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Josephine

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  1. I agree that it's interesting and significant. As mentioned previously, I think this moment seems to foreshadow Von Rothbart ultimately being vanquished in Act IV. I presume that unfolding events are controlled by evil spirit VR, restrained by his human façade throughout the court scenes. Scarlett twice shows VR directly shadowing Siegfried to exert control, once in human guise and once in spirit guise. The final battle is won in the supernatural realm, bringing a melancholy redemption to the human world protected by Odette's loving spirit. As others have said, it is a huge disappointment that the final vision of Odette is obscured in some parts of the ROH auditorium. The ending feels unremittingly bleak if you miss this. Liam Scarlett's version of Von Rothbart seems focused on the theme of mysterious evil forces at large in the world, a theme which has preoccupied Scarlett in his earlier narrative works I think. A friend who saw the live screening described Von Rothbart as an occult figure, which seems accurate to me. It would be interesting to hear Scarlett speak about this.
  2. Von Rothbart's convulsion occurs in direct response to Siegfried overruling him. I read this as a power struggle. Human VR loses authority for this moment and angry spirit VR tries to assert control but must not be seen here. I formed this impression first from seeing Thomas Whitehead at the General Rehearsal, but we are not meant to give any comment on rehearsal performances. I've since thought that perhaps the moment prefigures the final power struggle at close of Act IV? But yes, for the narrative flow VR does have to get off stage very quickly here!
  3. A fair point indeed. I meant a resistance to the choreographer's reinvention aside from individual interpretations in the new production, but have not expressed this clearly enough. My comments relate to views posted e.g. on ROH feedback pages in which people appear to want to revisit Gary Avis's VR interpretation from the old RB production without (in my view) acknowledging the context of Liam Scarlett's intentions in his reimagined version. Gary Avis, Bennet Gartside and Thomas Whitehead all indeed present reinvented interpretations of VR in the Scarlett production. I have stated above which one is most effective for me and of course other viewers will have different opinions, both of individual interpretations and of the function of the reimagined role. For the record, I saw Thomas Whitehead's interpretation only at General Rehearsal.
  4. I agree with both Lizbie1's statements, although I think Bennet Gartside has rightly received many appreciative responses at various times on BalletcoForum. I am remembering Prince Rudolf and Leontes in particular. I do think it is hugely important for any production to allow space for varied dramatic interpretation by individual artists, obviously not just in the case of Swan Lake or Von Rothbart! However my impression here is that because Von Rothbart in the old Royal Ballet production seems so deeply loved by both audiences and critics as one of Gary Avis's signature roles, there appears to be resistance to reinvention. Von Rothbart is significantly reinvented by Liam Scarlett and for me Bennet Gartside's profoundly sinister reading most emphatically communicates Scarlett's bleak vision of an utterly evil force fracturing the human world. Obviously this is a personal response. As mentioned above, I think there should be space for some variety in dramatic interpretation, and likewise space for a range of audience responses.
  5. The notion of 'telling' the audience is exactly why this moment jars in my view. The 'telling' imposes a layer of theatricality which disrupts the naturalistic flow of this scene, for me. The audience has already seen Von Rothbart morphing in Scarlett's stylised Prologue. VR's convulsion happens in a more naturalistic dramatic context. As he flees I feel that the audience's gaze should be drawn back to Siegfried, the focal figure in this scene, and not be distracted by VR flapping his arms. I'm an aficionado only in terms of enthusiasm! I'm just aware of what works for me when watching, and of course this is subjective for each of us in the audience.
  6. The arm movement here seemed jarring to me. Scarlett's intention appears to be for Von Rothbart when in human guise to embody a force of evil, as if possessed. Here I think the convulsion and rapid flight alone more potently convey VR's struggle to contain his sorcerer spirit. He flees precisely to prevent his bird guise from being seen.
  7. Josephine

    Missing dancers

    I've been baffled for some time by Will Tuckett's omission from the Royal Ballet's online list of Principal Character Artists when his Biography page on the ROH website still shows him as a current guest PCA: http://www.roh.org.uk/people/will-tuckett
  8. Josephine

    Missing dancers

    Emma Maguire is also cast as Clara in The Nutcracker. Absolutely my favourite Royal Ballet Clara!
  9. Sorry - I can't get the system to include quotes as well as my comment. I agree with ninamargaret that it is very important to consider the period in which a work of art was originally created. But I strongly disagree that this should be the determining factor for all subsequent revivals. In my view this would lead to a very static and repetitive experience for audiences. I am not in sympathy with retrospective censorship, as for example in some Victorian productions of Shakespeare. But it seems to me hugely important to give space for revivals which have the potential to resonate deeply for the audience of their time. This does not mean changing the text, but thinking creatively about the interpretation. Of course the result may not succeed, but neither do all works succeed when they are first created. When reinterpretation does succeed it can be thrilling, e.g. Trevor Nunn's 1976 RSC Macbeth (old now I know, but extraordinarily powerful both as a theatrical experience and in terms of its stylistic influence in British theatre history). Given the unchanging nature of the human condition there must be some contemporary works whose themes could be reinterpreted in the context of an earlier period in time?? I admit that I can't think of an example offhand but I'm now a little out of touch with contemporary work!! I would strongly defend the space for artistic reinterpretation even if I don't personally enjoy the result. Lizbie1's comment above sums it up perfectly: 'I don't think we can mandate that people like what they see on stage.'
  10. Perhaps it is a performance for an invited audience only?
  11. I had to phone the Barbican Box Office for a different query but asked about this as well. They confirmed that there is no performance of MacMillan: Steps Back in Time on Thursday 19 April. I have to admit that I'm still confused given the information from their website listing in the link quoted above!
  12. This event will take place on 11th April at the Bishopsgate Institute, London. http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/event/1043/Peggy-Spencer-Archive-Celebration?&Keyword=peggy&TypeID=
  13. I realise the new website is a work in progress and have found a few inconsistencies, e.g. for the Infra mixed bill the stalls circle seats alongside the stage are shown within the pricing structure plan for the first performance, but not for subsequent performances. But I'm really struggling to see the logic in comparative pricing for some Amphitheatre seats which I believe are sold as restricted view. These are: (1) the clusters on or near aisle end of rows L-M, side blocks. (2) the clusters on or near outer aisle end of rows A-E, side blocks. Previously I believe these clusters have usually shared the same price for ballet performances, although the actual price does vary depending on the production. For Swan Lake evening performances seats in (1) are priced at £17 and those in (2) at £29. For Nutracker evening performances seats in (1) are priced at £28 and those in (2) are priced at £21. I realise the policy will be now to set a pricing structure specifically for each production. But it would be good to have some broad consistency in how this is applied in terms of relative pricing for specific seating areas. In the example given above I'm baffled by one area showing as significantly more expensive than the other for one production and then seeing this in reverse for another production.
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