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About FrankH

  • Birthday 29/10/1945

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  1. This has just appeared on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSGLGnHJDSQ "Artists of The Royal Ballet in Liam Scarlett's production of Swan Lake, which will be broadcast on Christmas Day 2018 on BBC Four. Find out more at http://www.roh.org.uk" Apologies if this is a duplication.
  2. The live transmission is over, but still can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj2I7TrWWNo
  3. Most of you probably know this already, but the Northern Ballet class is live on Youtube at present. Forgive me if this has been noted elsewhere. Moderators please cancel this post if that's the case.
  4. Which shows just how much in the appreciation of the arts depends on the subjective impressions of the viewer/listener. There was a discussion about "charisma" on another thread, in which this was brought up. One poster wrote to the effect that if someone didn't see such a quality in a performer who obviously had it, it reflected (by implication badly) on the viewer (I may be unfairly presenting the viewpoint, but that's what it read like to me). I differ, in that I believe it reflects both on the artist and the viewer/listener. There is certainly an objective dimension to charisma or any other quality in the arts. Otherwise, how could anyone state with certainty that Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky etc. were among the greatest composers? And yet there are those who dislike the music of one or more of these masters. For that matter, Tchaikovsky apparently thought Brahms was talentless. As I love the music of both, I find this incomprehensible. So there is an inescapable subjectivity too.
  5. I think this points up the difference between a seasoned, knowledgeable ballet lover (you), and a novice (me). Although I don't know whether I will ever be able to advance to the stage of pure appreciation of dance technique, as that would probably require more intimate knowledge of dance than I could acquire.
  6. Let me make it quite clear that I meant absolutely no slight to Miss Naghdi in my comments! All I was doing was stating that in Miss Hayward's absence, other dancers will have more opportunities, including Miss Naghdi and Miss O'Sullivan (not in any way putting the latter at the same level as the former). I certainly did not mean to imply that Yasmine needs Francesca's absence to shine!!! That would clearly be nonsense. It's obvious from the tremendous appreciation that Yasmine's dancing receives from so many on this forum, and from many others, such as reviewers, that she is a dancer of quite exceptional quality. I am looking forward very much to the live transmission of the RB Romeo and Juliet next June, which will be the first time I will have the opportunity to see her in a really major role, alongside the much praised Matthew Ball.
  7. That's an approach which certainly makes the Sugar Plum Fairy/Prince prominence more understandable. Next time I watch this ballet, I'll try to see it with your interpretation in mind. Whatever the case, I agree that the Grand Pas de Deux is breathtaking, and that all the qualities you mention are expressed in it. Sir Peter Wright certainly tidied up the original ballet. However I still think The Nutcracker is basically a bit of a "mess" in a dramatic sense. One of the touring "Russian" companies, the "Moscow City Ballet", has a version of The Nutcracker, which does away with the SPF, in effect combining the role with that of Clara. I thought it was, dramatically speaking, an improvement. However it's probably far too radical a change to be generally accepted - and the SPF is far too beloved and iconic a character to be so dismissed.
  8. Unlike with La Bayadère, my local Curzon, while quite full, wasn’t sold out. However the ROH live performances are also available at a larger cinema less than 100 yds away, so perhaps that’s where most of the viewers went. There weren’t many children in the Curzon audience, which suggests that my surmise might be correct.Thanks are due to Richard LH, who provided the link in his OP to the full cast list. As usual, the programme we got was very skimpy – only 5 cast members given. I’m at last beginning to be able to recognise some of the “lesser” names of the RB by sight, but a proper cast list is still very much appreciated, as most are still not known to me. Random comments: It was seeing Francesca Hayward in the role of Clara (again in a live transmitted cinema viewing) which convinced me that all the rave reviews about her at the RB were totally justified. As Anna Rose O’Sullivan has been receiving similarly enthusiastic comments in this forum, I wondered if I would have a similar experience.The answer is, quite frankly, no. As a ballet ignoramus, I can only claim to be able to (I hope) tell the difference between bad dancing and good dancing. At the top end, as represented by the elite dancers of the leading ballet companies, I cannot claim to be able to tell the difference between the exceptional and the merely excellent. Thus I am not able to judge, who of Francesca Hayward, Yasmine Naghdi, Anna Rose O’Sullivan etc.etc., is the best dancer. All I can do is to record my personal emotional reaction to a performance. In the case of Francesca as Clara, she lit up the stage whenever Clara was the centre of the action, and often even when she was just a bystander. This was not the case with Anna Rose, excellent dancer as she clearly is. To me at least, she doesn’t as yet have that indefinable extra something, as the captivating Francesca certainly has. “Charisma” (or – ugh! – the “X factor”) is a debatable concept, and much depends on personal response. But if it means anything objective, then Francesca Hayward has it in buckets, while Anna Rose, as yet, only has it in teacups. I’m not sure it’s something which can be learnt. Charisma may not always be an advantage. It may lead to the person being diverted away from the artistic environment to which they are best suited, into the more "popular" and superficial (“Cats”?). I very much hope this will not happen with Miss Hayward. In the meantime Misses Naghdi, O’Sullivan, etc. will have more opportunities to shine. As for Marianela Núñez and Vadim Muntagirov, of course they were excellent. And yet, I didn’t find their performances as compelling as previous performances in other ballets. I realise that this is because of the rather unsatisfactory nature of The Nutcracker as an example of “narrative ballet”, in that the two leading parts in terms of the choreography, are given to characters who are peripheral to any dramatic thrust the “story” might have. When I have seen Núñez and Muntagirov previously (Manon, Two Pigeons, La Bayadère etc.) it has generally been in ballets where they have to dance and act out situations of great emotional depth, which of course they do wonderfully. Here in The Nutcracker, they were required merely (!) to dance excellently, while their facial expressions were frozen into rather vapid grins (please forgive me for these heretical thoughts). Melissa Hamilton (Arabian Dance). Vanartus wrote “Just a quick addition - loved Melissa Hamilton at her silky slinky best!”. Springbourne3 wrote “I think Hamilton dances this role the best out of all the other Arabian dancers I’ve seen - the role is so suited to her physical qualities.” Absolutely! It has been mentioned a number of times in this forum that Miss Hamilton is not suited to more strictly “classical” roles. But in this particular sort of role she is superb. Dare I write that she has the “sex appeal” necessary to carry this sort of thing off? The Corps were as usual almost flawless – not a weak link among them. They are all such good actors as well as dancers. And that goes too for the delightful youngsters from the Royal Ballet School. You obviously need to be a good actor as well as a brilliant dancer to get there. Let's hope we see some of them progress to the RB. And I could go on and on and on, about the glorious music, so well played by the ROH orchestra. It includes what is to me one of the high points of late 19th century Romantic music – the andante maestoso from the Grand Pas-de-Deux, heavenly in its perfection. Tchaikovsky one of the greatest composers in being able to write music which directly affects the heart strings, and the tear ducts. On my way home after a great evening, I passed the other cinema as people were still coming out. Among them two teenage girls, singing the theme of the "Waltz of The Flowers".
  9. Oh dear, at first sight, it seems to be a rather "PC"ified version. Still, the Shades look reasonable. And it's no more "adapted" than the AB's rather peculiar Swan Lake.
  10. There are a few more clips of QB's LB here: https://www.queenslandballet.com.au/backstage
  11. Can't claim too much credit. QB is one of the (far too?) many channels I subscribe to on Youtube!
  12. This has only just appeared on youtube. Maybe the Queensland Ballet website will be more informative.
  13. Well I, for one, haven't dismissed these responses as ipso facto defensive or insulting. I can quite understand if a favourite work of art is attacked on what seems to many (in this case including myself) as specious and invalid reasons. But equally any posts opposing those views should not be dismissed as examples of "The PC Brigade". I was hoping there would be an end to all this nonsense - on both sides, and we could get back to discussing ballet. I wasn't optimistic - and I was right not to be.
  14. But someone on this thread did claim that Luke Jennings was calling for the ballet to be dropped. Which he clearly wasn't, even if his reasoning that it shouldn't be was flawed, in your, and my, opinion. I'm sorry but I see no reason now to go on about this. Much heat has been generated, but very little light. As I posted previously, I myself would much rather post about the excellence of the RB dancers.
  15. This may be of interest to some, if they haven't already seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7cy03eYLFU Very short excerpt from Queensland Ballet's staging of this ballet.