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Two Pigeons

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About Two Pigeons

  • Birthday August 1

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  1. I did see Makarova and Schaufuss in the 80s 'revival'. Everything was very exaggerated, even Makarova's frock was much more elaborate than the original design. I am far too young to have ever seen the original but I knew several people who had and there was this massive wince all round. The critics were less than complimentary and Jean Bedells who was supposed to be assisting with the revival absolutely insisted on having her name removed from the credits. Yes, it was that bad.
  2. When I started ballet going exactly 40 years ago I was hugely jealous of old fans who had seen Fonteyn, Shearer, Markova and Ulanova. My grandmother saw Pavlova but. Oddly enough, I didn't feel envious about that. Had it been Karsavina I might well have seethed but I reserved that emotion for the fact that she had seen Gertrude Lawrence and Noel Coward in 'Private Lives'. I take great pleasure that I did see Fonteyn (but only when she was 60) and Sibley when she came out of retirement. I still regard the two performances of Cinderella with Dowell as among the very best highlights of my ballet going years.
  3. One of my great ballet wishes is that some kind body would release a DVD of the televised programme for, I think, Sir Fred's 70th birthday. It was shown on BBC 2 and I remember my mother and I being absolutely riveted to it all, but especially Seymour and Dowell in Month in the Country. Although that was both the climax, I will always remember Sir Fred coming on and repeating Dowell's final act of kissing the long ribbons of her frock, there were other performances I have cherished. Marion Tait and David Ashmole with SWRB in Les Rendezvous (in the proper designs without a spot or ghastly washing up gloves to be seen). After that we had Monotones and then Lesley Collier as Alice with Wayne Sleep and Graham Fletcher as Tweedledumb and Tweedledee. Proper Ashton performed by proper Ashton dancers supervised by the Great Man himself.
  4. I know that Australia had a brief interval when Damehood and such honours were reuntroduced but that has ended. The introduction of the Order of Australia in 1975 meant a decline in the old Imperial awards.
  5. Just as long as she comes back to BRB. What a good job she is Mrs Holder. You're completely right George. Actually, terrific opportunity for her and I am sure she will want to work with Senor Acosta. I can just see her having fun as Kitri.
  6. Happy Birthday to a great ballerina. I only saw her dance a very few times but you can see from the works created for her just how special she was. I have seen on this forum before that as Lynn is Canadian she cannot be offered or accept a Damehood from the UK government. I gather a similar situation applies to Australians.
  7. No, not at all. The only critic I can remember who was married to a dancer was Nicholas Dromgoole who was married to the wonderful Lesley Collier. Mr Christiansen is of a different persuasion.
  8. I do hope all posters who saw Beauty and the Beast really enjoyed it and appreciated the company's commitment. I thought all the casts were well worth seeing, especially if the Beast was played by Tyrone Singleton or Brandon Lawrence. I haven't seen it this time round but I have seen Tyrone more than once and was reminded of his powerful stage presence two weeks ago at Symphony Hall. I say this because I have just seen the review by Rupert Christiansen in the Mail on Sunday which is both utterly patronising and condescending even by his standards. He gives the work 3 stars, but then I am convinced that when reviewing BRB he automatically lops off a star for them not being the Royal Ballet. It is headed 'Carlos needs to tame this Beast' and it continues as follows - edited highlights only as I don't want to risk being charged with copyright breaches. 'Good news for BRB, where it's recently been announced that the great Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta will be taking over in January as director. But ................. (he) faces a daunting challenge: David Bintley has been in the job for a quarter of a century, and his people and way of doing things are deeply embedded. .....a large loyal local audience, bags of team spirit in the ranks and a strong repertory of classic and story ballets. 'But new blood and fresh thinking are desperately needed. ...............Beauty and the Beast demonstrates BRB's strengths and weaknesses'. It offers pleasant entertainment for family audiences - Bintley is a skilful craftsman and he can turn out eye-candy choreography by the yard - but there's no depth or originality, and sometimes one senses that it's being done by numbers. '...........Momoko Hirata makes a pretty little doll of a Belle, and Cesar Morales dutifully jumps and spins as the Beast; Kit Holder and Rory Mackay prove comic cameos, and the corps keeps in line and time. 'But ballet must aim higher than this if it's to gave a future. So over to you, Carlos, and best of luck.' Now, I admit that I am not great fan of the piece and Christiansen didn't see the strongest cast but does he have to be so demeaning of the company and Bintley's achievements over the past 25 years? More to the point, has he attended any of the other programmes presented by the company? Mind you, this is the man who years ago said Tyrone's Tybalt lacked presence and menace! I was at the same performance and, trust me, he didn’t. The thing that got me most was the headline which said the company needs taming and then went on and on to say that, basically, they were all too passive. No doubt once Carlos arrives and the company starts to get serious investment (no bad thing in either respect) our Rupert will be leading the pack of Metropolitan critics racing up the M40 to rave about absolutely everything, irrespective of its actual merit. Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. P.s. reminds me of Clement Crisp who adored Sylvie Guillem when she danced with POB and then loathed her once she joined the Royal Ballet - in reverse obviously.
  9. Many thanks Pulchinella, after reading your posting I made a point of catching the film of Sleep in the Teatro Colon. What a fabulous opera house! Really worth seeing, however brief the section and far more interesting than Jan Leeming and her various men.
  10. Well, I have to say that Senor Acosta impressed me with his enthusiasm and his ambition for the Company. I suppose it was churlish of me to wish that the Lady/Lord Mayor would announce a sharp increase in the Council's annual grant. We shall observe all with interest.
  11. Hubby and I made a real point of attending this event this year and I would suggest that as an occasion the evening was even greater than the sum of its parts. I had a mixture of emotions about the ballets danced as I share George C's reservations about bits of works being performed out of context and on a somewhat unsympathetic stage. However, double doses of Tyrone Singleton, Mathias Dingman, Lachlan Monaghan and Brandon Lawrence (resplendent in his Calvin Kleins) did make me think 'what the heck, just go with it'! I would also like to add my praise for Kit Holder's work and I hope we get to see his piece again. Although normally I do not praise the Covent Garden audience for David Bintley's work I have to take issue with the idea that the premier of Hobson's Choice was 'stuffy'. On that evening the audience was well warmed up after an exemplary performance of Theme and Variations led by the equisite Miyako Yoshida in one of her finest roles. After the first interval we had what are now performed as the first two acts of Hobson's Choice. It is my clearest memory of that night that from the moment Stephen Wicks appeared as Albert Prosper waving a rather sad bunch of tulips the audience did nothing but roar with joyous laughter. The performance got better and better as it went along. There was a real buzz around the theatre at the second interval. O K, we didn’t sing Lily of Laguna but everyone got a standing ovation at the end. I was told later that Mr B was in tears at the reaction the work received that night and it was so unexpected at the Opera House. This was all the more ironic when you remember that the ballet was pretty much slated by the critics, for all that the performances - especially from Karen Donovan and Michael O'Hare - were universally praised. I remember one critique finished with the greatest amount of patronising possible by saying 'no doubt it will wow them in the north'. Well, that is exactly what happened and has continued for the last 30 years through several casts. I am really looking forward to seeing it again in June. Back to Symphony Hall, the other great joy of the evening was the comings and goings off stage. We were able to catch up with pretty much all our ballet going friends, there wasn't enough time to chat to everyone, very sorry Pulchinella. I was thrilled to see Sheila (Lyons) Hitchman whom long standing friends of BRB will remember with gratitude and affection. The one person I did not get to say hello to was Peter Tod who as Director of the Hippodrome was key to the successful transfer from SWRB to BRB. It was a wonderful evening capped by having a few words with Sir Peter Wright. In his 93rd year he is still more spry and mobile than I am these days. He is a walking ballet marvel. George C's comment about how long he has been following the company reminded me that 3rd May this year will be the 40th anniversary of my first ballet performance attending as an adult. It was at the old Sadler's Wells, SWRB in a triple bill of The Four Temperaments, Las Hermanas with Galina Samsova and finishing with Pineapple Poll. I still have the programme. Who was the red sailor? None other than a very young David Bintley. It has been a hell of a ride and I would not have missed it. Thank you Mr Bintley, I owe you so much. Now, let's just hope you get that really well deserved knighthood.
  12. The final performance of SWRB was in Liverpool. It was Hobson's and Miyako led the Salvation Army pas de six. When she came on she looked different and I couldn't work out what it was that caused the effect. I asked a member of the cast and I was told that she had asked the (late) Nick Millington to give her a bigger nose. He gave her a more European nose and the difference was startling. This just shows you that she had a really good sense of humour.
  13. I think it is pretty obvious that Sir Peter Wright adored her and she adored him in return. I heard from a very reliable source that she moved to Birmingham out of loyalty to Sir Peter, despite a number of offers to go elsewhere.
  14. This is a current trend I am afraid. It started with Darcey, although she herself always spoke and wrote very fondly of her year with SWRB. It has gone on with both Alex Campbell and even Kevin O'Hare speaks as though he was always with 'the company' - always taken as being the RB. It just seems that the media are only interested in the company they know about rather than making a fully explored state of the facts. Either way, I have terrific memories of seeing her dance and I remember her as a person with great affection.
  15. clearly an event that most of the press regard as more important than Carlos' appointment at BRB.
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