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  1. What was that about charisma? Coming off him in bucket loads. Absolutely loved it. Come back to ballet, Sergei.
  2. I find it beggars belief that an arts critic should call for work to be removed. I have seen some pretty offensive stuff on London stages over the years, a particular rape seen at ROH was somewhat OTT some years back, but I would never call for something to be censored. I simply vote with my feet.
  3. I forgot to ask, why would we need to 'justify Bayadere?' If this rather silly but immensely enjoyable ballet is really trying to make some deep political point then, for the life of me, I have no idea what it is!
  4. Dear Colman, I think that is a horribly dismissive thing to say and pretty insulting to the many people who disagree with you. If the abbreviation PC offends you (and it seems that everything offends somebody these days) I am happy to use something else - suggestions on a postcard please. PC stands for Political Correctness which is something this country currently has a surfeit of. It is often used to describe a way of thinking mostly proscribed by the moral minority and often, although not always, completely lacking in common sense. I use it precisely and accurately to describe attitudes that I think defy all reasoned thinking. I do not need and never have used it as an excuse to be rude. Just because many people find certain attitudes idiotic does not necessarily mean that they are wrong. The same people dismiss the many millions of readers of the Daily Mail as if they are somehow too ill-educated, too zenophobic and altogether too moronic to form their own opinions. That is precisely the attitude the government took in campaigning for us to stay in the EU and look how that ended up. Like everything else, there is good and bad in the Daily Mail, the important thing is that people should be free to read it and draw their own conclusions. As for La Bayadere, does anyone who buys a ticket honestly leave thinking that in the mysterious Orient they do nothing but parade around in silk pantaloons and smoke opium? If that is the case, then we have a serious problem with our education system that has absolutely nothing to do with ballet. Bayadere is not my favourite ballet but if we don't defend this piece of art, what hope for Butterfly, Manon, Carmen, Turandot......?
  5. Re use of the word dangerous, I think I took it as the OP intended, I.e. ‘dangerous’ to presume that because we see a culture or nationality depicted in a certain way in entertainment, that we might think such depictions accurately represented the culture. My point was that you would have to be remarkably ill-educated and insular to make such a judgement. Traditional ballet is not a subtle art form and characterisations are inevitable in communicating identities, the equivalent of pages of exposition in a novel. i think the OP made an interesting point that has been enjoyable to debate.
  6. Annoyed? No Amazed? Yes, because labelling a piece of fairytale nonsense as dangerous seems absurd. As I said in my earlier response, we are not children. We love our fairy tales but that doesn’t mean we believe in fairies. In today’s politically correct world,many of us see the Arts as one of the few areas left for free expression which is probably why we react somewhat vehemently when PC revisionism rears it’s head.
  7. Goodness me, I’m almost afraid of going to my first performance on Friday. Are we not over intellectualising it? Bayadere is not a play by John Osborne or David Hare, it is a piece of froth depicted through stunning dancing against a colourful backdrop. If we accept that the storylines are fantasies, then why would we expect the setting to be based on reality?
  8. You'll be explaining to us next that not all Aussies wear hats with corks or call their ladies Sheila. And as for us wingeing Poms, well we don't have much time for 'orientalism because we're too busy drinking tea, there being no coffee shops in London.
  9. 'it is imporrant to be aware of the insidious infliuence of largely unexamined assumptions.' And there was me thinking political correctness was a peculiarly British disease. We are all adults, not children. Most of us are educated and a lot of us are widely travelled. Just as I don't believe Jack had a Giant Beanstalk or Ali Baba a Magic Carpet, I am perfectly able to understand that Bayadere is a fairy story - even if it doesn't have any fairies. Must we be revisionist about everything, including fantasies? As for these delightful ballets being dangerous - words fail me. The only danger I can detect is that of treating art as something to be censored in case it leads to impure thoughts.
  10. That is a complete mystery. In fact everything their marketing department does is .....of course, they believe that everything is online or on social media so the idea of helpful, knowledgeable people selling tickets is SO over!
  11. Umm, I did say I had probably been unfair... I am not actually referring to Durante leaving which I too seem to remember was because she didn't want to dance with a particular partner. I was thinking more that over the years, Darcey was more and more pushed to the fore, possibly at the expense of Viviana. Her partneship with Irek really was something.
  12. That's so that you can eat it after reading
  13. You are right. I can remember all that. I think it was the loss of Durante that made me a tad anti-Darcey. I always felt that she had elbowed Durante out, although it is much more likely that RB put an extra push behind a British girl who just happened to be extremely photogenic, had a memorable name and was obviously keen to co-operate in publicity. For my point of view, I always preferred Durante although both were wonderful, and I suppose it coloured me against Darcey, probably completely unfairly. I don't have these feelings with Hayward and Naghdi. Both are wonderful but somehow very different and I can honestly say I don't have a favourite and would prioritise booking for both of them. If I have tended to book more Hayward, its only because she so often seems to dance the type of moody, passionate, essentially sad programmes that I gravitate towards. I have also very much enjoyed her partnership with Watson and could wish that there was not such a disparity in their ages. But I will certainly be first in the queue to book Naghdi's Juliet and, if its with Ball, I might camp out all night!