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About Duck

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  • Location:
    Stuttgart/ Germany
  • Interests
    MacMillan, Scarlett, Cranko, Bejart, Goecke, Scholz, McGregor, Royal Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Bejart Ballet, Ballet Nice Mediterranee, Gauthier Dance, Paris Opera Ballet

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  1. Oh no. Loved the 2014 movie. Condolences & RIP
  2. Ashton's Rhapsody - the lead couple slowly walking towards the front of the stage, holding each other tight, heads tilted towards each other Kylian's Sinfonietta - the dancers performing higher and higher lifts during the final few bars of the music Bejart's Bolero - the dancers on the floor circling the dancer on the table in ever increasing intensity and numbers Cranko's R&J - Romeo doing pull-ups on the balcony railing to give good-night kisses to Julia who is back up on the balcony McGregor's Woolf Works part 3 - the corps representing the waves The more I type the more visuals come to mind so I'll better stop here ...
  3. In order to provide a few additional opinions about the programme and thus illustrate that the reception of artistic endeavours is indeed subjective, I’ve done a search on the web for reviews and posts about the programme. The below are all those that I’ve been able to find (they are all in French), searching by the names of the four choreographers, and using a UK laptop and a local phone in doing so. I’d be happy to look at other reviews/ posts that are out there. All aspects below relate to the work of the choreographers (rather than that of the dancers/ musicians). Sorry, long post. Reviews - The reviewers enjoyed Bertaud’s work and some aspects of Valastro’s piece. She summarises the evening as “interesting and refreshing” and regrets that Academy is not pursued. - The reviewer highlights Bertaud’s work and less enjoyed the others. - The reviewer gives the programme 4 out of 5 stars, highlights Valastro’s piece, and did not enjoy Bouche’s work. Blogs - Pictures of Valastro’s work remain with the reviewer, who also highlights Paul’s piece. - The reviewer highlights Paul’s piece and less enjoyed the other works. Forums - 6 reviewers One poster did not enjoy Bertaud’s work, found that of Bouche mixed and higlights Valastro’s (“a rare quality”) and Paul’s pieces One poster did not fully enjoy Bertaud’s and Bouche’s works, found Valastro’s work “impressive” and Paul’s piece “very accomplished” and regrets that the Academy is not pursued One poster highlights Valastro’s and Paul’s works and regrets that the Academy is not pursued One poster highlights Valastro’s work, finds that of Bertaud nice to look at and did not enjoy Paul’s piece One poster enjoyed Bertaud’s and Valastro’s works, found that of Bouche mixed and did not enjoy Paul’s piece One poster strongly disliked Bouche’s and Paul’s works - Two reviewers - one poster did not enjoy Bertaud’s work however found Valastro’s work “magnificent” and Paul’s piece “very elaborate”. Another poster did not enjoy Bertaud’s work and found Valastro’s piece “interesting”. Twitter - It may also be useful to scroll through the POB twitter account @balletoparis for further comments
  4. The company in Kiel doesn't seem to have an English version of their web site so any questions once the new season is fully up, just ask. Trains ... not always what they used to be re punctuality ... I've experienced a few delays over longer distances myself recently whereas other journeys were perfectly fine ...
  5. I had a look at the web site - from what I can see, the specific dates for next season are not listed yet (monthly schedule under .... click on "Monat" and tick the box for the month that you are interested in) ... so it's not a language thing :-). The 17/18 season brochure shows some of the performances following the various premieres as part of the information about subscriptions (pages 99f) however there will certainly be performances outside any subscription package, too. There are various dates mentioned in the brochure as to ticket sales for next season, though I believe individual tickets will go on sale on 4 September. The current season runs well into July so I'd expect the detailed calendar for next season to appear over the coming weeks, together with precise information as to when tickets are put on sale.
  6. Thank you, Estreiiita, for coming back to this as it reminds me that I was going to comment about travelling to Kiel in response to Janet's post. I am not overly familiar with the area north of Hamburg, however from checking on the web, I believe that Hamburg airport will be closest. There is a frequent direct bus from the airport to Kiel, or alternatively there is local public transport into Hamburg and a train back out to Kiel if Hamburg is the first stop. Trains come normally come with a saver fare (with travel bound to specific trains) or a more expensive flexible fare (not restricted to a specific train on the day). For the short distance between Hamburg and Kiel, however, there shouldn't be that much of a difference. There'll probably also be long-distance busses between Hamburg and Kiel, I don't know about their fares. Link to public transport within Hamburg Estreiiita, feel free to add information (and/ or contest the above) as your location is closer to Hamburg and Kiel than mine.
  7. Brigitte Lefèvre organised a number of – I understand informal – choreographic events for the company’s dancers when she was at the helm of POB. Benjamin Millepied changed this into something more formal and set up a Choreographer’s Academy, with Sébastien Bertaud, Simon Valastro, Bruno Bouché and Nicolas Paul – all dancers with POB – participating, and with William Forsythe as – then – mentor (I’ve read somewhere that Aurélie Dupont has since put the Academy on standby, and I can’t see any choreographic events scheduled for next season at all). The mixed programme at Palais Garnier last week presented the results of the Academy’s work. I saw the performance on Sunday afternoon. The four dancers all started to produce their first choreographies some 10 to 15 years ago, though I hadn’t previously heard of any choreographies by Valastro or Paul. Bertaud’s Renaissance for 15 dancers was undoubtedly the piece that received by far the most press coverage before the opening night, due to the designs by Olivier Rousteing/ Balmain. The costumes looked sparkly in the pictures and even more so on stage, reflecting the strong lights. The choreography to Mendelssohn’s 2nd Violin Concerto was vivid and fluid, alternating corps, PDD and small groups. Some movements gave a hint of a story (a dancer running to the side of the stage, pausing, his hand on his front as if thinking about something, and running back into the centre of the stage; also some of the PDD), other elements were purely abstract. While I thought at times that, given the passionate music, a stronger narrative element would have been great, the work was just beautiful to look at. The uncontested star of the performance and indeed of the whole programme for me was Pablo Legasa (Coryphée), who stepped in for Mathias Heymann the day of the opening night, and thus danced his corps role plus the role created on Mathias Heymann with its many intricate and incredibly fast solos. And dear me, he delivered! With astonishing fluidity, assuredness, precision and an immensely visible joy of performing. In one of these allegro solos, following a fast section, he took his leg into a high developé à la seconde (with the leg at say, 10 o’clock) on demi pointe, and then he held that position for a second or two or three, all while smiling exuberantly … followed by the next fast section of that solo. I fell in love with his dancing rather helplessly! Great also to see Joseph Aumeer on stage in a corps role that put him centre stage. Simon Valastro’s Little match girl Passion (Passion with a capital “P”) is based on Andersen’s story and uses David Lang’s music. This is a multisensorial work – live Passion-like music in the orchestra pit, 4 singers – one singer wears a soutane, the others are dressed in black from head to toe, they start in the pit, then walk onto the stage where they walk around to sing and tell the story, they hold and comfort the little match girl (Eleonora Abbagnato, superb) on her deathbed, they end the piece back in the pit. I sensed that the singing was the driving force and the dancing was shaping out its content. I guess I will have read the story as a child but had forgotten its bitter end, and I found the piece incredibly emotional. If Pablo Legasa in Renaissance was the star performer of the programme for me, Simon Valastro’s choreography achieved this for me in its story telling cum choreography, and I would love to see more of him as choreographer. Bouché’s Undoing world is about refugees; to quote from the programme book, “seeking out rare halos of resistance in a society torn between chaos and survival”. Dancers use golden rescue sheets to highlight their plight, and they dance simple steps in circular groups as a means of calm and resistance. While there were elements of the choreography that went beyond me, I found the group sections very effective. Paul’s Seven and a half metres above the mountains uses Renaissance music and, based on the programme book, refers to “submersion in all its forms”. Dancers in everyday clothes walk up the stairs from the orchestra pit onto the stage and then towards the back of the stage, where they disappear, just to walk up the stairs again, etc., creating an endless and possibly hypnotising flow of such movements. Some dancers walk towards the centre of the stage where they perform contemporary solos, duos and trios, while other dancers continue to walk past them. A number of comments on social media praised this work very highly, so, clearly, I will have missed something there (as I really didn’t get it). It’s a pity the work of the Academy is not continued as it not only gives dancers the opportunity to present and further explore their choreographic talents on the main stage; it also gives some of the more junior dancers who may not be in a featured role that often the chance to shine more prominently. I understand that with new works, the duration of the programme may be difficult to tell upfront. In this case however, something clearly went wrong. The programme was shown – up until the last performance – as 1 hour 50 minutes in duration. It took in fact 3 hours, and I understand the first night even went beyond that. I normally travel back the evening of a matinee performance which allows for a performance of up to around 2 hours 40 minutes in duration; the only reason why I was staying in Paris until Monday this time was because the train fare was so much lower on Monday that the savings even outweighed the costs of a cheap hotel on Sunday night. Lucky me that I did as I would have otherwise had to leave during the – one – interval. Who knows, though, how many others will have been affected. The first four minutes of the video in the following link show short extracts of the four choreographies
  8. Alvin Ailey will be at this year's "les étés de la danse" in Paris Running from 4 - 22 July, there'll be an opening night and 5 different programmes. Location is La Seine Musicale which opened in April 2017 and is based on an island in the river Seine.
  9. I guess I need to start by saying that I live very much at the edge of a conurbation over here, in a place where the countryside really takes over, where the trees are higher than the houses, where I wake up at dawn to a vivid chorus of songbirds, and where I often see woodpeckers and birds of prey during the day. So there I was, leaving a local supermarket this afternoon … when my eye caught what I thought was a familiar face in the window of a luggage shop on the other side of the street. A quick run towards it. The confirmation of what I saw left me stunned, open mouthed, my eyes wide open, too. A life-size cut out of Eric Underwood sitting on a – real - suitcase! I’d seen a couple of pictures of this on his public Instagram account (e.g., this one here … for the world of it, however, I would have never expected to see this here, all live and real, right in front of me. A score of pictures on my phone later … I think I need to walk past that shop rather frequently at the moment … she says, slightly embarrassed about her emotional reaction, wondering whether she'd seen the Royal Ballet a good few times too many, and apologetic for the length of this post just to provide a link to an advert.
  10. I cried in my living room earlier this morning , just from watching a number of pictures and short videos of the send off for Zenaida Yanowsky, and in reading the above posts. Thank you so much for posting about last night! Tempted to go to an encore screening (there are far fewer over here unfortunately) though I would probably flood the place. Will miss her terribly.
  11. Thank you, trog, for pointing to this programme, which I listened to last night. Given the above posts (clearly, these slips shouldn’t have happened), I found the programme more enjoyable than I thought I would. It’s been a while since I saw The Dream or Symphonic Variations and I may not be able to make it to one of the cinema broadcasts of the current triple bill, so listening to Kevin O’Hare’s explanations about the two ballets gave great insights and memories. The programme was described as exploring the relationship between dance and music, and so I don’t think the intention was to cover or mention all of Ashton’s major works but instead to show what influenced him, how he adopted music scores for his choreographies, and how the steps in his choreographies reflect his musicality. I think though that the programme would have worked better on television as this would have allowed to illustrate the description of Ashton’s style through excerpts of said works.
  12. My heartfelt condolences go out to you. What a wonderful gesture to name her favourite seat in her memory. The music chosen for the service reflects Lynn’s and your love of ballet and music so beautifully, and I hope the two art forms will be able to provide continued solace to you.
  13. Please do continue if you can find the time every now and then. Reading about companies and some of their performances that most of us would not be able to see allows for new insights and in some cases maybe even the decision to go and see them, too.