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Everything posted by SheilaC

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Anyone interested in Northern Ballet, Cathy Marston and their new ballet to be premiered in a month will be pleased to know that a special event, 'Victoria- Behind the Veil' will be live streamed on Wednesday 13 February, from 6.30 pm, from the NB website. Check that for any additional information.
  11. One of my all time favourite ballets is Bruce's Intimate Pages, to Janacek's Second String Quartet, which was also used by Lynn Seymour, Kylian and Mark Baldwin, among others. Re last night's Two Pigeons I thought Hay was profoundly moving, a totally convincing portrayal of the Young Man's feelings and development. I have liked all the casts a lot but not all the Young Girls have demonstrated the stroppiness of Lynn Seymour, who created the part, it shouldn't just be humorous, in my view..
  12. I remember seeing her first Swan Lake at a matinee one Thursday in Sunderland, when she had to replace Clare French who was substituting for another dancer that evening. Wonderful Odette-Odile. And a performance I later saw her do of Theme and Variations in Birmingham was the best I've ever seen of that fabulous ballet.
  13. I enjoyed the programme much more than some, the dancing and piano playing were beautiful, and I left on a high. However, my reason for posting is a minor detail that no-one's mentioned, and not to do with the performance itself. At the end of the opening night all 3 performers were presented with a huge bouquet (I've no idea if that happened at subsequent performances). A member of staff told me that it was the first time that men had been presented with flowers at the ROH (Herman Cornejo and pianist Bruce Levington) and that until then there had been a house rule against presenting men with bouquets. I have no idea if that is true but the woman who told me volunteered the information excitedly.
  14. I wrote to complain to the Guardian when I knew LW had been appointed as I knew from an ENB masterclass I attended where she led discussion how little she knew about ballet history (I told them that half the audience there were more knowledgeable than she was) and that the paper which had previously had eminent critics James Monahan and Mary Clarke, should appoint someone with more expertise. One of her first articles for the Guardian stated that ballerinas are universally petite (Zen?) But I don't agree about Clement Crisp, in my view he may often had an agenda, attacking the Royal in the past (during that period he lauded BRB much more than usual, as part of his campaign) and promoting Russian companies and dancers he was associated with. Reputable critics often make mistakes. The recent article on Apollo by Alistair Macaulay claimed that the ballet was unique among Balanchine's works in having a narrative (Davidsbundlertanze? even more so, A Midsummer Nights Dream? The Night Shadow?). In the programme for Trio Concerto Dance, Sarah Crompton claims that Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet toured during the war (started 1947)
  15. She will be greatly missed, she has made a huge contribution to the company. I have a ticket for the Linbury that night but will have to return it so that I can go to Pippa's last Leeds performance. I hope she has an appropriate role in Victoria so that she can go out with a flourish.
  16. Thanks everyone for your sympathy and advice! Unfortunately, Lizbie 1 I’ve already been to that exhibition (it was very good). I’ll keep trying to get a return. Happy ballet going year everyone.
  17. Unfortunately the website was correct for the performance I wanted, completely sold out when I rang (the last performance, Sunday matinee , 13 jan). I thought i'd booked it so have a train booked back to North Yorkshire in the evening, instead both ENB Swan Lake and the Matthew Bourne sold out so I'll have nowhere to go unless I can get a return!
  18. I agree that all the signs are of an oversight. It reminds me of the Paris Opera Ballet's event meant to honour Yvette Chauvire, (their equivalent of Fonteyn) which was also very last minute and was an absolute disgrace,, I can't believe that the Royal's approach will be so demeaning. But as Floss implies the content needs to be carefully designed and prepared. The text about the celebration in the ROH magazine is written by someone who understands little about Fonteyn (' Frederick Ashton created several ballets for her'- little recognition that she was his muse). One despairs.
  19. I requested a change of cast list but the young Irish woman was quite rude in saying the sign was sufficient. Yet the last time I got a form it (correctly ) named 2 changes whereas the sign only listed 1. I later went back to the sign to update my cast list: but I must have inconvenienced other audience members who were waiting to buy a programme. Thankfuly the wonderful mixed bill, extremely well danced, made up for the aggravation. But if the ROH can’t be bothered to print the changes they should announce them from the stage.
  20. I'm glad that Beatrice Parma is cast in several performances. I saw her at Thursday's matinee, as the Rose Fairy, and was blown away be her dancing- very musical, and the choreographic shapes beautifully articulated. She'd make a wonderful Odette.
  21. She was a really wonderful dramatic dancer and, as muse to Peter Darrell at Scottish Ballet, created roles in many ballets. After his death she remained at Scottish Ballet for a while, in a leadership role as well as principal dancer, but eventually seemed to be eased out, I never knew why. The last I heard of her was several years ago when she was featured in a campaign against government cuts in disability support as, sadly, , she had serious mobility and financial problems. She was yet another great dancer who came from Hull. Thanks to that, she and Scottish Ballet regularly performed in Hull at a time (like now!) when Scottish Ballet scarcely performed in England, apart from Newcastle. I was disappointed that when the 50 year celebration of Scottish Ballet was announced for next year none of Darrell's ballets were announced (Tales of Hoffman would still sell), even though Christopher Hampson has told me, and said on a TV documentary, how much he admired Darrell's work.
  22. I'm glad to say, Bruce, that the Paris Opera staff will be paid for their day off. As Yaffa said, the closure also stopped the Paris Opera Ballet School class demonstrations scheduled for Saturday. Apparently they have been retimed for Wednesday, but still very disappointing and disruptive for the children and their families. I'm glad to say I was still able to see La Dame aux Camelias at the Garnier on Friday. Although well danced (Leonore Baulac and Mathieu Ganio in the main parts and Eve Grinsztajn and newly promoted Marc Moreau as Manon and Des Grieux) as always I was a bit disappointed in it as a ballet; the fusion of Margeurite's story with that of Manon must be confusing for people who've not read the ballet's plot and it reduces the emotional power. Ashton's version may not be one of his best works but in terms of structure and emotion it's more effective, in my view. The media, as ever, have exaggerated the relative amount of violence in Paris on Saturday, at least during the day. I kept away from the main demonstration areas but saw a lot of Gilets jaunes, ambling about peacefully. But sat in a side street cafe, I saw a convoy of 20 police vans, a procession of 12 mounted police, armed vehicles and frequent police cars and vans going backwards and forwards. Arriving at Kings Cross station this morning what did I see- a lot more police!
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