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Lynette H

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  1. On Wednesday 7 March at 1pm, Jane Pritchard gives a free talk at the V&A on Bronislava Nijinska https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/y2YAJV2M/lunchtime-lecture-international-women-s-day-march-2018
  2. Flowers in Giselle

    I think it is supposed to be, but in the Wright production it looks quite different. The Harvest Queen crown is decorated with several flowers, but the wreath is entirely bare. Perhaps we are to understand that they have fallen off, or withered and died ?
  3. The recent run of the RB’s Giselle has prompted a lot of thoughts about the imagery of flowers in the ballet. I thought it might be interesting to discuss how this is used in different productions. In the 19th century, different types of flowers would have been recognised as carrying specific meanings which are not so well remembered today. Giselle tests Albrecht’s fidelity by picking the petals of a flower (he loves me: he loves me not). This flower grows right outside her house. It looks like it is some kind of daisy. (The daisy was supposedly a symbol of innocence and purity). In Peter Wright’s production, Giselle gives Bathilde a small posy when introduced to her. It looks like it might be the just same kind of daisies. Giselle is crowned with flowers as the Queen of the Harvest (though it’s not so easy to tell exactly what these are – thoughts anyone?). The flower imagery really takes off in Act 2 however. Hilarion does not leave flowers at the grave in the Wright production, but a bare wreath of twigs. Albrecht brings a huge bouquet of lilies. Myrtha picks two sprigs of flowers which seem to be instrumental in calling up the spirit of Giselle. According to Beaumont’s account of the libretto in The Ballet called Giselle these are supposed to be rosemary. Giselle showers Albrecht with lilac flowers as part of their duet. (At least I thought they were lilac – but these are unlikely to be in flower in the early autumn at the time of the grape harvest, but then we are in Balletland). Myrtha in some productions holds a branch which seems to symbolise her power. I think in the Mariinsky version this is seen to wilt when confronted with Giselle’s protecting love. It doesn’t make an appearance in the RB’s current version. Finally of course, Giselle lets fall a small white flower as she returns to the grave. Are we to read this as another daisy like flower (as in he loves me, he loves me not) or is another flower with a different meaning intended here? Does anyone recall other flower symbols in productions of Giselle ?
  4. It is possible to read your statement as implying that there might be a link between the arrival of Hernandez, and the departure of Muntagirov., which might not of course have been your intention. Muntagirov left ENB in spring 2014 to join the Royal. Hernandez joined ENB in 2015, (though he had guested previously).
  5. It's interesting that Scarlett seems to be thinking of the entire production from Siegfried's viewpoint. It is a concept that Christopher Wheeldon utilised too, when he created a Swan Lake for Pennsylvania Ballet back in 2004. Wheeldon was in his early 30s then, just as Scarlett is now. Neither man ever got to dance Siegfried themselves, both giving up performance in favour of choreography. Perhaps if they had they might have approached it differently. The Wheeldon version came to the Edinburgh festival, in 2004 I think. The concept there was that it was set in the world of Degas, and most of it took place inside the head of the leading male dancer as a dream / fantasy. Rothbart was a rich, corrupt patron eyeing up the females. There were some very pretty moments as the corps of Degas style girls gathered and rehearsed. But the main difficulty was that if Odette was only a dream, then nothing is at stake, there was no real betrayal or sacrifice. There do seem to be some parallels with how some aspects of Scarlett's production has been described so far. I note that the article says that Siegfried will be on stage throughout. But the ballet isn't called Siegfried: it's called Swan Lake, and it is her ballet, not his. Wheeldon had the freedom to reinvent Swan Lake for a company that did not have the traditions and well established text that the Royal Ballet possesses. Scarlett is in a different position. Making Rothbart a courtier who is already present in Act 1, and making him a dancing character really is a major shift. As Wulff says, we may be in for a "concept" version which ditches much of the original and radically redraws the plot line. I would be very happy to be completely mistaken on this.
  6. I thought it was very good to see that David Pickering of the Royal Ballet received an MBE for his education and outreach work. Congratulations to him.
  7. see https://www.timeout.com/london/shop/entertainment-the-nutcracker-royal-albert-hall?cid=email--OFFERS--FRESH--1401229411&refid=email-1401229411&utm_campaign=campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_source=fr&tmsb=sgwu7bt&tmrl=2dxmz&tmsl=preview-version-new-daily-layout&tmty=e&tmcv=107&tmcs=ar8n2e9
  8. A dozen or so tickets for the 11th and 12th have become available, after this has been showing as sold out for some time.
  9. Christmas television?

    Don't forget that the Scottish Ballet performance of MacMillan's The Fairy's Kiss is available on iPlayer until mid January https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p05q2727/the-fairys-kiss
  10. The Draft Works programme on 11 and 12 January is now in the RBS Linden Studio and the start time has changed from 8pm to 7:30pm. Incidentally, Friends (ordinary variety) booking opened on 5 December and for once I didn't see any mention of it here - none of the usual howls of frustration. Have they finally got it working smoothly?
  11. "Our annual New Year Sale is back offering £10, £20, £30 and £40 tickets for more than 45 of London’s best and brightest plays and musicals from 1 January until 9 February 2018. Booking opens at 10am on Tuesday 5 December." Includes Nutcracker, Song of the Earth/Sylphide. Jeune Homme/Sylphide and many others. https://officiallondontheatre.com/new-year-sale/?spMailingID=31928671&spUserID=NjU0NzI0MzA5MzU4S0&spJobID=1163926393&spReportId=MTE2MzkyNjM5MwS2
  12. Any views on the conductor, Simon Hewett? Is this his first ballet at the ROH? (he conducts for Hamburg Ballet).
  13. Has anyone read the recent Beryl Grey autobiography For the love of dance ? I haven't seen any reviews of it (apart from what you can see on amazon - mixed you might say).
  14. ROH Open Up changes

    It seems from the ROH web site that the Insight evening on 24 November on Benesh notation has been cancelled. It's not clear if this is related to the other venue changes.
  15. Just received an email today about changes to access in the ROH amphi "Key changes from 15 November Work will start on the Amphitheatre Level to create a fresh and contemporary restaurant and bar. The current Amphitheatre bar will relocate to the Clore Studio (during intervals only) so that we can continue to provide you with refreshments. There are a number of Insights events that will need to be moved to alternate venues and audiences who have already booked tickets for these will be contacted shortly. To help you enjoy your visit we recommend that you make use of the bars in the Paul Hamlyn Hall and Dorfman Conservatory before the performance as there will be no bar service on the Amphitheatre level pre-performance. You will also be able to leave your coat in the Paul Hamlyn Hall temporary cloakroom, and we do ask that you avoid bringing bags. If you are seated in the Amphitheatre please place your interval drinks order in the Amphitheatre Corridor before the performance and collect them in the Clore Studio during the interval. There will be a limited selection of refreshments available to all our Amphitheatre audience members during this period. From Monday 8 January 2018, the Amphitheatre Restaurant will also close." There is no indication of how long this closure lasts (or at least I didn't spot it). Further detail in a second mail indicated that the following Insights are relocated "Insights: In conversation with Arthur Pita, Tuesday 14 November This event is moving to the Crush Room at the Royal Opera House. You will not need a new ticket for this event and our ushers will be on hand to direct you to the new venue. Insights: What’s the Future of Opera?, Wednesday 22 November This event is moving to St Paul’s Church, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9ED. Tickets to this event will be reissued in the coming week. Insights: Joyce DiDonato – National Opera Studio Masterclass, Thursday 14 December This event is moving to the Linden Studio at the Royal Ballet School in Floral Street, Covent Garden and will now start at 7.30pm and conclude at approximately 9.30pm. Tickets to this event will be reissued in the coming week. Please note that all events will now be general admission rather than allocated seating and unfortunately there will not be refreshments available at venues outside the Royal Opera House." This looks rather hurried doesn't give the appearance of being particularly well thought through.
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