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  1. I check it every day and it is the Links I read before News, then Performances. I am deeply grateful to Ian, John and Janet for all their work, it's invaluable. Also, they sometimes pick up an online review that isn't later covered in the newspaper concerned, certainly of my daily paper. The international coverage is great.
  2. My favourite non-ballet, non-jazz, activity in NY is the(free) boat trip to Staten Island. The view of Manhattan is absolutely wonderful. The last time I went my daughter wanted to do an open bus tour so we got off at Battery Park, which is a pleasant spot, and later went back to Times Square on the bus ( and were treated to a mini tornado as the weather changed drastically, scary wind, with chairs flying through the air, then torrential rain).
  3. It is a good film. I watched it yesterday after seeing the docudrama Dance to Freedom on BBC4 the night before. The two are complementary. The docudrama explored the relationship with Soloviev more fully, indicating that the KGB blackmailed him into informing against Nureyev. His story is tragic, he was a better classical dancer than Nureyev, a truly wonderful dancer, but his dancing and health declined as he resorted to alcoholism. Now we know why. In the docudrama his widow spoke sadly of his situation. Dance to Freedom includes other famous dancers who were involved in the Kirov and the Paris ballet scene, talking about Nureyev and the situation. White Crow contains some wonderful acting. The little boy who played Nureyev as a little boy was compelling and was a very good dancer. Oleg Ivenko gives a riveting performance as Nureyev and as that remarkable teacher, Pushkin, who inspired the artistry of Baryshnikov as well as Nureyev, Ralph Fiennes is remarkable, totally convincing in his subtlety. The ballet shown was a little disappointing in quality but there were lovely shots of the Paris Opera ( but the stage used for the ballet excerpts was definitely not the Garnier stage) and of Leningrad/St Petersburg. Well worth watching.
  4. Unfortunately the masterclasses are no longer filmed, even though there is always fascinating information provided by the guest teachers and the notators.
  5. First, good news for Londoners. Although this programme has been sold out for weeks at ROH, Yolanda Yorke-Edgell told me yesterday that she is hoping that an extra performance will be offered on 16 May. She is hoping that the ROH website will include it at the end of this week. The ROH website says there will be one interval but last night there were two. This very talented and innovative company performed in Leeds last night as part of a tour before arriving at the ROH in mid May. The first piece, Playground, one of MacMillan's dark works, will interest those of you who have indicated a wish to see My Brothers, My Sisters again. Many of us will find the choreography interesting but the content disturbing (what MacMillan wanted, of course). However, to see dancers of the calibre of Romany Pajdak, Jonathan Goddard and Dane Hurst supported by other excellent dancers, makes the experience worthwhile if harrowing. The second piece by a choreographer new to me, Sophia Stoller was a short contemporary dance for two female and two male dancers (including Dane Hurst). The third dance, Communion, was specially created by the 94 year old Robert Cohan for the company. It starts slowly with repetitive, almost minimalist, movements but eventually a complex series of solos (notably for Dane Hurst, dancing with infinite fluidity, also Jonathan Goddard) and small group dances. Much of it seems to refer to ritual and community (as the title suggests). A most interesting work. Unfortunately I was unable to stay for the final piece, Imprint, by Yolanda herself, for 6 dancers to a mixture of music excerpts, including the currently ubiquitous Max Richter remix of Vivaldi.
  6. Sorry for the error, Geoff, of course its February, I was typing from untidy notes! Bruce, I've not seen full season, either. I got this info from the French organisation that shows the Bolshoi Live, Pathe Live (via danses avec la plume). The image was ridiculously obscured, making it difficult to read, but I think the 3 ballets that are not repeats are Raymonda, Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet. So it looks, Geoff, as if 4 are repeats and, Bruce, that the other 3 form part of the season next year.
  7. Not sure if this is the right place to post this news, in which case a moderator will move it, but I don't think anyone has listed the Bolshoi Live ballets to be seen next season. They will be: 2019 Raymonda, 27 October Corsaire, 17 November Nutcracker, 15 December 2020 Giselle, 26 January Swan Lake, 23 January Romeo and Juliet, 29 March Jewels, 19 April Apologies if someone has already posted.
  8. No, it was a speech to celebrate the wonderful versatile career of Pippa Moore who has been with the company for 23 years, through different directorships. She is leaving at the end of this season and it was her final performance in Leeds, the home town of Northern Ballet nowadays (she will presumably be dancing at Sadler's Wells, at the end of the month, as well as other touring venues). David Nixon is an exceptionally good public speaker and his summary of her career was honest, detailed, amusing and very warm. He made one interesting general observation, that it was unlikely in the new ballet world, where dancers change companies a lot, that there will be other dancers to stay with one company for so long. Not true of Nela and some others at the Royal, but probably true overall.
  9. Tonight's streamed masterclass of Romeo and Juliet, in the dance for Juliet and Paris, gave more clues about Lynn's dramatic capacity. Leanne Benjamin, another great MacMillan dancer, kept advising Bea to stop dancing classically but act from the heart. Although the choreography is by MacMillan it was created jointly with, inspired by, Lynn and Christopher Gable. All three lived and breathed the ballet for months while they were creating it and Lynn, as a dance actor, was MacMillan's instrument. The episode where Juliet sits motionless on the bed was Lynn's idea. She believed in being real, often acting or moving in quite an ugly way, if she thought the dramatic situation required it; very much like Galina Ulanova, whose Juliet made such an impression when she first danced in London a few years before, in 1956. It was good to see some lovely photos by Roy Round, in the masterclass, Leanne's father-in-law.
  10. The first time I saw Lynn was in The Burrow. There were some remarkable performances (Anne Heaton, Donald Britton, Donald MacLeary as well as Lynn) and the dramatic intensity seemed very modern. The next day, although a very priggish 15 year old pupil at Birmingham's most academic school for girls, I skived off school to see Lynn at a matinee in the first full length Swan Lake I'd seen (in those days out of London we mostly saw just the second act, from LFB). She blew me away. Her fouettés (which now would probably be criticised on technical grounds) were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. In her early days, and before she lost weight, she had the most wonderful quality to her dancing, a liquid flow as though she had no bones in her body. Her lyricism then was quite as remarkable as her dramatic quality. I got found out and hauled up to speak to the harridan of a headmistress. Somehow, so devoted to ballet and to Lynn, I admitted that I had a ticket for the matinee the following Wednesday (it was a 2 week season at the Alexandra theatre) and was actually allowed to go so I was able to see her as Prayer in Act 3 of Coppelia. Later she was unique in the roles she inspired MacMillan to choreograph: The Invitation, a landmark performance,, the bride in Baiser de la Fee (which I saw in Edinburgh with MacLeary and Beriosove as the Fairy) Juliet, with Gable, (I was at their first performance, shamefully not the opening night) Mayerling with Wall, Anastasia (Festival Ballet showed the original version, what later became the third act), another harrowing performance. Also with Festival Ballet I saw her in Onegin. People said she was too old, and in the first act her face's lived in quality did seem slightly out of keeping, but in the 2nd act, when Onegin walks past the sisters after killing Lensky, her pointed finger was chillingly accusatory. As for the final act, she absolutely convinced me she was going to change the ending and submit to Onegin. Her dance qualities inspired the wonderful second movement in MacMillan's Concerto. She was also wonderful in MacMillan's production of Sleeping Beauty which I saw her do at the Coliseum, partnered by Peter Martins (she writes about their brief affair in her highly readable autobiography). The choreography in the Vision scene revealed her fluidity, again. And of course she inspired Ashton to create her role in Month in the Country, with Dowell, earlier Two Pigeons, with Gable, which she made less saccharine with her stroppiness, and the wonderful Brahms Walitzes. At the Ashton conference at Roehampton a video was shown of her dancing Month in the Country and some of the younger critics were astonished by the quality of her movement; yet I've always been disappointed by that video as, to me, it fails to capture fully her lyrical flow. One of my greatest regrets is that I was unable to see her in The Concert. She choreographed several ballets but they haven't survived; great dancers are not always great choreographers. There are videos of her dancing with Nureyev, a great friend, in Sleeping Beauty (in I am a Dancer) and in Giselle (includes Monica Mason, a very chilling Myrthe)
  11. Lynn Seymour contributed to the character of the role. Ashton initially expected the Young Girl to be sweet and charming but Lynn wanted a more interesting depiction so introduced some of the irritating moves at the start. That's why I liked Beatrix best in the role, this time round, her portrayal was closest to Lynn's lively slightly bolshy approach.
  12. Vanartus is right, there was a serious possibility in the mid 1970s that the company would merge with the touring section of the Royal Ballet, then based at Sadler's Wells. There have been a number of occasions when the future of Northern Ballet has been precarious.
  13. I don't think anyone has noted that Phoenix Dance is performing their Windrush ballet, choreographed by their director Sharon Watson, on BBC 4 tonight at 10.30, as part of a series of programmes on Windrush. The performance was filmed in December, following their tour. Whilst I have some reservations about the piece, overall it is well worth viewing and the dancers are excellent.
  14. I agree about the need to take a torch, I was unable to find my seat number in the circle (cataracts don't help!) and had to rely on people sat in the vicinity. However, I emailed customer services about the difficulty in finding both the location and the seat number and they promptly sent a response stating that they are looking at improving signage (my word but I presume that's what they meant) and the placing of seat numbers so that it was easier to find seats.
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