52 posts in this topic

20 hours ago, alison said:

 

It has: for a start, Mauro Bigonzetti did a version for English National Ballet - I'd guess that was back last century.  Didn't it involve several sofas, or something?

Was this the one called XNTricities? With a funny mirror/glass? I never saw it. Sometimes a title is enough to put me off... now how I wish I'd gone to see The Iceman Cometh starring, a relatively unknown at the time, Kevin Spacey!

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On 19/05/2017 at 01:08, Balletfanp said:

I thought the lighting and projection effects were effective (if dazzling!),

 

Could someone elucidate, please?  Am I likely to end up with a migraine through having lights shone in my eyes, for example?

 

2 hours ago, Darlex said:

Was this the one called XNTricities? With a funny mirror/glass?

 

No.  It was called, surprise, surprise: Symphonic Dances, I think.

 

Anyway, any more thoughts on the second cast, please?

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The effects were not of the blinding lights variety- there was a flat projection screen at one stage with slow images of swirling red satin ( don't ask me why)...which was certainly bright, but, it didn't fill the stage or project into the auditorium.

Most of the ballet was pretty dark. I don't recall aything shining into the audience....

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1 hour ago, Mary said:

The effects were not of the blinding lights variety- there was a flat projection screen at one stage with slow images of swirling red satin ( don't ask me why)...which was certainly bright, but, it didn't fill the stage or project into the auditorium.

Most of the ballet was pretty dark. I don't recall aything shining into the audience....

 

The overhead projection was the swirling red dress - and at one point it looked like an overhead camera view of the male dancers swirling around. The backlighting looked like it shone into the first few rows of the stalls, as I recall, or perhaps that was just cos it was quite bright at that point

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2 hours ago, Mary said:

The effects were not of the blinding lights variety- there was a flat projection screen at one stage with slow images of swirling red satin ( don't ask me why)...which was certainly bright, but, it didn't fill the stage or project into the auditorium.

Most of the ballet was pretty dark. I don't recall aything shining into the audience....

 

From mid way back in the Amphi the projection screen was partly obscured anyway, so it was entirely unclear as to what was being projected.

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20 minutes ago, alison said:

So, nobody else saw the second cast on Saturday?

 

The second cast of Symphonic Dances don't have a performance until tomorrow.

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True enough: I was interested to hear thoughts on the rest of the bill, though.

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Delayed posting, but I saw the opening night of this bill. 

 

Had never seen the Forsythe before - really enjoyed it, felt exhausted just watching by the end! Nunez and Muntagirov dance so well together, makes me lament that they weren't paired for 'Diamonds' even more. Also a great joy to watch McRae and Muntagirov dancing side by side - it seems to me that it's rare we get to watch two male principals do so, but I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Like others, I thought Sambe and Hayward were just a joy to behold in Tarantella, and I'm sure they will get even more brilliant with more performances.

 

Strapless, for me, just doesn't work. The beginning is promising and sets up tension, which promptly falls flat during the pas de deux between Amelie and Pozzi. I'll lay a significant chunk of the blame at the door of music, which is just not 'sexy' and seems at odds with the choreography. No chemistry, for which I will not blame Bonelli and Osipova since (as the recent Mayerling run has showed) they are both exceptional actors. And it's basically downhill from there until the final unveiling and Amelie's solo. It seems to me that Wheeldon has tried to tackle this from too many perspectives - either it is about Gautreau trying to make a name for herself in society and being undone by the portrait, ultimately achieving notoriety, or it is about the inner workings of Sargent and his perspective of this society woman. As it stands, it is does not focus on either, and thus becomes an oddly emotionally detached experience as an audience member...

 

Symphonic Dances I really loved. For the lion's share of the 40 minutes, I felt like I was watching the music, or the character of the music, which for me is a thing of true joy - when I can barely separate/distinguish the music from the movement. I thought Scarlett made such clever use of stillness, of that held moment with movement suddenly bursting forth - who knows from where next. I thought the staging was very striking (although i'm inclined to agree with other posters about the projections, thankfully mostly obscured from my amphitheatre perch!).

 

I found the duet (for it was not really a pas de deux) between Yanowsky and Hay profoundly moving, for reasons I cannot quite articulate...the yearning beauty of Hay, the initial haughtiness/stillness softening to an almost maternal interaction (or at least that was my reading of it). As others have commented, the pas de deux with Reece Clarke was also wonderful, although for me the unconventional beauty of the first duet was the highlight. I wasn't mad keen on the ending, but I'd like to give it a second chance, since I mostly just found it rather unexpected!

 

Edited by standingticket
correct typo
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Thinking about Symphonic Dances ( I posted some thoughts about this on Sunday) I found it a slightly strange piece, although one that I enjoyed hugely. Still not sure why the James Hay figure was so 'cringing', for want of a better word. Was the main female figure some sort of mother figure? Why did so many movements look like athletic warm ups? Think the ending is odd with the female figure apparently getting squashed, or is she meant to be done sort of predatory figure? None of this detracted from my enjoyment,probably because it was all so very well danced. At least it's had me thinking since last Saturday!

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Agree with every word, standingticket. I will always remember seeing Muntagirov and McRae side by side. Hope it isn't the last time though.

 

I queried the 'squashed' moment of the ending on first night- does anyone have any idea what is the significance of this bizarre ending? I can't say it added to the piece in my eyes.

In fact, as the piece was homage to Zenaida, very richly deserved, I thought it was a very unfortunate choice!

 

 

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Looks as though a number of amphi seats for tomorrow night's performance have been put on sale: I think this was originally the one where the amphi was supposed to be students only?

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Much to engage in the second cast of this triple bill.  

 

Standouts for me were Sambe's authoritative - almost animistic - power in the Muntagirov role in Vertiginous; Zucchetti being an absolute delight in Tarantella - and infusing it with a definitive Italianate grin - oh, and a mean tambourine - and Laura Morera - Yes oh so lovely and provocative Laura Morera in Symphonic Dances.  You can see why she is Scarlett's muse.  As one regular said to me on the platform 'it is almost a different ballet'.  Indeed it is.  Morera and Ball are such fine dance actors that that third movement PDD is in an entirely different league through their bodies - not that it disappointed before.  It didn't.  ...  Here it consistently simmers in its build, then stings.  A word of praise for young Giacomo Rovero .... He is vivid in his depiction of innocence.  A shout out too for young Francisco Serrano - lovely and clean lyrical turns ... oh, and Leo Dixon - but then he always looks good in whatever he does.  Donnelly's partnering was exemplary.  What wealth through rank the RB now has ... and that without hesitation includes the MD.  Kessels made the Rachmaninoff sing throughout with rightful force.  SO much to celebrate.    

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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The other cast last night were as outstanding as the opening night cast. James Hay and Marcelino Sambe were amazing in Vertiginous. Having seen all three Tarantella casts it was Zucchetti and Naghdi who brought real Italian flair to Tarantella. Her speed and beautiful extensions were truly impressive and she gave Tarantella just the right amount of flirtiness, lending it a soft comical edge, which clearly amused the audience. Valentino was also an absolute delight to watch. To me this was Balanchine's Tarantella danced at its best and a roaring audience seemed to agree. I'll skip Strapless, although beautifully danced by Lauren Cuthbertson, this ballet does nothing for me.Laura Morera and Matthew Ball were gorgeous in Symphonic Dances, and there was much to enjoy in this new Scarlett ballet but I found the red too overpowering at times! The middle all male section, dancing with Morera, was stunning. In the mixed Non Allegro and Lento Assai, it was Yasmine Naghdi alongside Mayara Magri - dancing with corps dancers - who gave both sections its particular force and beauty.

 

 

 

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Delighted to hear Symphonic Dances looked just as good with a second cast as I think this ballet deserves a permanent place in the repertoire, it reminded me that despite the odd hiccup, Mr Scarlett is well on the way to eventually create a work of genius.

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On last night ....

I enjoyed the second cast of Vertiginous. It's such a busy ballet I find most of the time it's easier to pick one person to watch which in my case was James Hay and I thought he was tremendous, I love how he elongates every movement and yet is totally on the music. 

Naghdi & Zucchetti were excellent in Tarantella but I still think the piece belongs in a gala. 

I couldn't being myself to watch Strapless but when I returned from my extended interval I was shocked at the number of empty seats that had appeared in the stalls circle. I can only assume it was a reaction to Strapless and if so I think that's a great pity because Symphonic Dances was terrific. Laura Morera was outstanding and the different physicality of Morera/Rovero gave a different shade to their pdd. The corps men looked fabulous & the effect of their greater physical homogeneity made the choreography with the red skirts incredibly powerful - Donnelly and Richardson were particularly eye catching in this section, as were Ball and Rovero in the pdds with Morera. The only awkwardness came in some of the entrances which seemed oddly abrupt and more like Mcgregor's style than a neo classical work and I found the choreography for the women corps generally weaker than that for the men. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

Laura Morera - Yes oh so lovely and provocative Laura Morera in Symphonic Dances.  You can see why she is Scarlett's muse.  As one regular said to me on the platform 'it is almost a different ballet'.  Indeed it is.  Morera and Ball are such fine dance actors that that third movement PDD is in an entirely different league through their bodies - not that it disappointed before.  It didn't.  ...  Here it consistently simmers in its build, then stings.

 

So am I correct in my understanding that this role was created on both Yanowsky and Morera, rather than on Yanowsky, with Morera also learning it?

 

So glad to read the posts above that it was such a great performance last night, although it makes me all the sadder that I am not able to see the Morera cast.

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3 minutes ago, standingticket said:

 

So am I correct in my understanding that this role was created on both Yanowsky and Morera, rather than on Yanowsky, with Morera also learning it?

 

 

According to Scarlett at a recent event, the piece was created on Yanowsky.

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Perhaps three is the magic number? Last evening was my third viewing of this quad bill. I saw the the friends rehearsal and the opening night performance (same cast). I love exactitude and it was great to see a second cast - it was really well danced last night as well (even if I missed Nunez a bit). I really enjoyed James Hay in this. Tarantella was 10 mins of cheeky fun and it was great to see Zuchetti's take on the role. The response from the audience wasn't as raucous as opening night but it wasn't a full house last night.

Umm, ahm and there was Strapless whose music I find a tad irritating and whose subject is too inconsequential to hold my interest. I disliked it when I saw the original version but last night, i found myself mildly engaged and I can say (truthfully) that I enjoyed last night's performance. I wouldn't rush back to see it but at each performance, there were people around me who seemed to really enjoy the piece.

i wasn't sure about Symponic Dances at first but I had already warmed to the piece on the second viewing and I absolutely loved it last night. It isn't a perfect piece but for all its flaws, it is an engaging and interesting piece. As others have mentioned, there is a discernible difference between the 2 casts - not in the sense that one is better than the other but rather a difference in the aura, intrigue and mood created by the different dancers...

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I've thoroughly enjoyed the two performances of this bill I've seen so far - and have just picked up a ticket for Wednesday because I really want to see it again. When it was first announced, I was a bit ho-hum about it as it seemed an odd mix of ballets but, for me, it really works and I love the contrast between the three parts of the evening / afternoon. The Forsythe ballet seems to be one of those pieces which is incredibly short but you feel that you've seen an amazing amount of dancing and on both viewings I could have done with an immediate repeat so I could concentrate on different aspects and dancers. I know what people mean about Tarantella being more of a gala piece but it is so irresistible (particularly with Hayward / Sambe) that you can just feel everyone sitting there with a big smile on their faces.

 

As for Strapless, I'm not only sitting on the fence but rather draped all over it! While I (sort of) agree that it is a bit of a dud and should be quietly put in a drawer somewhere yet I do actually quite like it and on both occasions I have heard audience members around me seeming to enjoy it and find it quite intriguing. I can't quite put my finger on why the parts don't add up (Osipova and great cast, lovely costumes, interesting story) but I do feel that in there somewhere is a good ballet struggling to get out and not quite making it. Despite best efforts, haven't managed to see second cast which is a shame as I would have liked to see Lauren in it as well as Natalia.

 

Really loved the Scarlett - great dancing from both casts, and thought the set and costumes really effective (not normally a fan of the swimwear look but it seemed to really work here).  It was very well received and it's great that he has a hit on his hands after a bit if a bumpy road. Very much looking forward to third viewing next week.

 

Finally, having booked today's ticket ages ago, I had forgotten what I paid for it: £6!  For that I got a brilliant seat in the amphi with a clear view of the stage, saw ballets by 4 very different choreographers, and enjoyed dancing from every rank of the company, from a global superstar right through to hugely talented corps de ballet members. All for roughly the price of a couple of coffees - amazing!

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I saw the matinee today.  I was going to give it a miss but I've always wanted to see Tarantella and also wanted to see Osipova in Strapless.  It was definitely a mixed bag for me but I mostly really enjoyed it.

 

My surprise favourite was The Vertiginous Thrill...I didn't want it to end.  I loved the Schubert, and I think the choreography was just perfect.  They danced how the music makes you feel really well.  I have never seen anything by William Forsythe so I guess I should read up on him.  Also...funky costumes! :D   

 

Tarantella was great, so much fun and exciting choreography.  Alexander Campbell had so much energy...I really loved him in this piece.  I thought Meaghan Grace Hinkis danced really well but I don't think she quite matched his energy but that said I still loved it.

 

I have to agree with the majority re Strapless...it really isn't great.  The positives for me were that I found the story to be interesting.  I was interested in how this piece of art inspired Wheeldon into creating this piece and was intrigued as to how it would pan out.  I love the way Osipova dances so she can make some things work for me that might not with another dancer so I did really enjoy her solos.  I enjoyed Edward Watson in it and the set was really lovey.  The negatives for me were I think quite a lot of it was actually just plain bad.  Some of the lifts were horrible.  The music was really not good at all which didn't help matters but really I just thought the choreography was very poor in places and just didn't work.  

 

I didn't really enjoy Symphonic Dances which is a shame.  I thought everyone was dancing on absolute top form- there was no real stand out for me I just thought everyone was brilliant.  I quite like the music and some of the choreography worked really well.  There was some great stuff for the corps and some exciting choreography for the men to dance.  The only stuff I really didn't like was the running around and the exercise related dance moves!  But there was a lot of good stuff in it.  Unfortunately it didn't really make me feel anything and I just kept thinking about how well everyone was dancing instead of being swept away in it.  I also caught myself thinking about what I was going to cook when I got home so obviously I was not as engaged as I wanted to be :lol:  So overall, great dancing which just left me cold unfortunately.  It got a great reaction and Laura Morena got a massive cheer so that was nice.  

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On 24 May 2017 at 08:27, Mary said:

Agree with every word, standingticket. I will always remember seeing Muntagirov and McRae side by side. Hope it isn't the last time though.

 

I queried the 'squashed' moment of the ending on first night- does anyone have any idea what is the significance of this bizarre ending? I can't say it added to the piece in my eyes.

In fact, as the piece was homage to Zenaida, very richly deserved, I thought it was a very unfortunate choice!

 

 

 

So I'm not sure she's always meant to be squashed.. on the 23rd, the final light shone on her just as she did a triumphant, arms-open yearning toward the sky.. on the 25th, she was face down on the floor when the light hit.

 

Actually, we asked her at the stage door what the piece meant (because I likewise really didn't understand the last moment, nor the whole third segment).. and she didn't seem to be sure either :P

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