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Odyssey

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  1. Yes, you are right. There are intimate moments within the public scenes, but that is the point I was making about this ballet, that the action is almost entirely in a public space and their relationship is conducted amidst this frantic atmosphere.
  2. A thoroughly enjoyable night out at the cinema. I was struck by a number of 'inexperienced' ballet watchers at the screening I attended ( based on a several overheard conversations in the intervals), who were clearly impressed by what they were seeing .There is indeed a lot going on in this production - other than the prologue, I don't think there are any scenes where there are only handful people on stage. Kitri and Basilio do all their love making in public - I think this may be true of all productions of Don Q - but someone with greater knowledge can put me right. I love the set designs, the live musicians on stage and the involvement of the whole ensemble in the action, even the odd shouting aloud. But all this would fall flat if it were not underpinned by the high quality of dancing throughout the cast. There really wasn't a weak link, and you never for one moment felt anxious about the technique to bring off the choreography. To the person who dismisses this production and longs for the Bolshoi, I would say, enjoy it for the standard of dancing that we are currently fortunate to witness at the Royal Ballet. Thankfully, there is a production of Don Q in the repertoire which is one of the few ballets that can adequately reflect this strength and breadth..
  3. Do we know who is doing the presenting the live transmission of Don Quixote tomorrow evening and any idea of who might be interviewed? I imagine that Carlos Acosta may be featured. So enjoy these mini segments during the intervals.
  4. Very interesting. Lovely that Sir Peter Wright was there and that Carlos Acosta acknowledged his tremendous contribution. Without reading too much into what we heard,, it came across as more than platitudes, but a general desire to maintain the classical tradition while embracing a more diverse landscape - difficult to pull off, but there is so much goodwill for him to succeed.
  5. What a lovely evening! I feel privileged to have been at David Bintley’ s final appearance at the annual Evening of Music and Dance. We had treats aplenty with a programme devoted entirely to David Bintley’s work, each element introduced by the man himself with anecdotes a plenty, danced by a range of company principals, first soloists and soloists, demonstrating the depth and versatility of this jewel of a company. Then we had the orchestra of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, led by the energetic Paul Murphy, heard and seen (in the words of Bintley “ they scrub up nicely”), in the acoustically perfect setting of the Symphony Hall. We had a world premiere in Tsfasmania, a piece choreographed by company soloist, Kit Hoder, reflecting signature steps from a range of Bintley’s ballets and accompanied by the wonderful Jonathan Higgins playing the fiendishly difficult First Movement of Tsfasman’s Piano Concerto - a little known composer in the West, who Bintley admitted he hadn’t heard of when first approached by Holder. The ‘curtain call’ included an emotional tribute from Marion Tait, who spoke of her forty year ‘parnership’, working with David, and a standing ovation with a flower throw orchestrated by dancers of the BRB. There was a strong showing of both current and past dancers of the company. Now to the dancing. This annual event has always included excerpts from ballets currently in the repertoire and in this case we had the Clog Dance and Lily of Laguna pas de deux from Hobson’s Choice. Bintley reflected that unlike the ‘stuffy’ Covent Garden audience, where it was premiered, the Birmingham audience has always sung along to Lily of Laguna . We were invited to do so again - which we did, Lachlan Monaghan made a lively Will Mossop, capturing the sunny spirit of this popular ballet. Also from the current rep was the Act 1 pas de deux from Beauty and the Beast. Bintley spoke about the heavy and unbearable nature of the Beast’s costume. Tyrone Singleton certainly showed no evidence of any adverse reaction. His moving interpretation reached out beyond the layers of fur and together with Yvette Knight, they generated real pathos for the complex emotions these two characters feel upon their first encounter. Other highlights included two wonderfully danced extracts from Carmine Burana, featuring Samara Downs and Brandon Lawrence in the seductive pas de deux Sick with Love and the energetic Boiling with Rage solo,which Mathias Dingman threw himself into with suitable vigour. The first half finished in style with the Act 2 pas de deux from Bintley’s Cinderella. This was an accomplished and beautifully nuanced performance from Delia Matthews and Tyrone Singleton. My personal highlights were both in the second half. Firstly, the Unsquare Dance from Take Five. Bintley’s interpretation of Dave Brubeck’s music is a crowd pleasing piece with the dancers’ clapping maintaining the rhythm throughout the piece whilst managing to perform fast, apparently, ‘improvised’ movements. This was superbly performed by four dancers, Tzu Chao-Chou, Brandon Lawrence, Tom Rogers and Lachlan Monaghanth, demonstrating the strength and depth of the company. The final piece was the Act 3 pas de deux from Bintley’s Sylvia, danced by Momoko Hirata and Mathias Dingman. She is a lovely, light, dancer, exquisite shaping in her upper body, fast turns, technically so secure, and he, an attentive and strong partner, polished and technically secure in his solo. I shouldn’t forget to mention the Sinfonia also treated us to the Overture from Verdi’s The Force of Destiny , Elgar’s Sospiri and Copelahnd’s beautiful The Red Pony Suite! Whether this remarkable event will continue following David Bintley’s departure remains to be seen, but I personally doubt that it will. This is so imbued with David’s own personality and the unique relationship that he has developed with the City of Birmingham. I am glad to have been a witness to it over the years. What an emotional few moths lie ahead.
  6. A link to some further photos and film from the RBS performance attended by a Prince Charles https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/uk/prince-of-wales-attends-ballet-world-premiere/
  7. Yes indeed a brilliant way to inspire younger dancers who feel that they are getting nowhere. It has furthered my regard for dancers like Xander Parish and Melissa Hamilton who have seized opportunities and have worked extremely hard to get where they are . Of course, all dancers who achieve success work hard, but for some the path is less straightforward and they determinedly seek other routes through..
  8. The casting for this event is now available. https://www.brb.org.uk/whats-on/event/an-evening-of-music-and-dance-with-birmingham-royal-ballet
  9. it’s Campbell and Takada sorry, I misread this I thought you meant the screening 🤪
  10. You might be interested in the production that Sky showed at Christmas which I think is still available to download. It is the same Sir Peter Wright production which he did for BRB but performed by Australian Ballet .(Sorry to go off the topic of the thread)
  11. You can get a region1 DVD of the BRB recording but for some unknown reason it has been unavailable as a region2 DVD for several years. I would have thought it would have sold well given the same production is still performed annually. I was at the filmed performance with Yoshida and Mukhamedov at the Hippodrome ,which at the time was a rare occurrence. I keep looking for a version that I can play on my DVD as it’s not a multi region machine.
  12. Not sure if someone has already posted this, but I came across the press release concerning the Fonteyn celebrations as reported in The Broadway News which I had missed on the ROH pages. “This celebration will also include a free exhibition of Margot Fonteynrelated items from the Royal Opera House archive.” I had hoped the V and A might do something, but this should be worth seeing.
  13. Agree totally with previous comments regarding her time at SWRB/BRB. She was a tremendous asset and I was so sad when she transferred to London. So many wonderful memories of her, particularly her Aurora and Sugar Plum Fairy. Sir Peter Wright pays her a wonderful tribute in his autobiography which she richly deserves.
  14. What an uplifting film. Xander Parish has my utmost respect and admiration for the way he has worked for his success.
  15. I have just read the New York Times piece in Dance Links -interesting in itself that this paper gave the appointment fairly lengthy coverage. Their report is based on several telephone conversations rather than the press release that most of the media have gone with. If you haven't read it, it's worth doing so as it sheds a little more light on his potential plans. Interesting snippets are his casual dismissal of likely cuts to funding and not ruling out performing in more contemporary roles ( surely a money spinner!).
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