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Everything posted by Duck

  1. Yuli has just been released here (described as "inspired by" the life of Carlos Acosta and his autobiography). I saw it yesterday and found it very personal and profoundly moving. I hadn’t read Carlos Acosta’s autobiography or even followed him much during his career and so wasn’t quite prepared for how much the film has affected me. Wow just wow and huge respect to him for being so open as well as to those involved in creating the film for capturing not only his story but also life and events in Cuba at the time.
  2. I've got IE11 on my laptop and Samsung IE on my phone. Both had bookmarks set to "events" to avoid the home page that the ROH introduced a few months ago. This worked as expected until ... a couple of weeks ago, the events page on my phone switched to the new layout even though there were no changes to the set up of my phone at the time. I called myself lucky as at least my laptop still displayed the previous layout until ... just this morning, this also showed the new layout - again, without there being any changes to the set up of my laptop. So thank you, Richard, for mentioning the links in your posts above, I've now changed the bookmark on both devices to show the productions page, and it works
  3. 5 is Romeo and Juliet. I'd say Vladimir Klos. Can't quite see the face of Juliet. 6 I think Birgit Keil - and? 4, 7 and 9 I also think Requiem. 4 and 7 agree Reid Anderson and Egon Madsen I think. 9 Reid Anderson to the right. The dancer to the left John Neumeier? 8 the dancer to the right Richard Cragun. On my phone so can't quite see the details of 1, 10 and 11.
  4. Been watching most afternoons this week and was consistently drawn towards candidates - 408 for his beaming smile - 416 as it all just looks great (and I don't say this just because he trains at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart)
  5. Been watching the classical coaching this afternoon. Just love the smile of candidate 408, Yu Wakizuka. I saw him in class earlier in the week and he was smiling back then just as during his variation a short while ago. Seeing him smile makes me smile, too.
  6. Extensive media coverage through previews and reviews of Die Sieben Todsuenden/ Seven Heavenly Sins which premiered in Stuttgart on Saturday as the first co-production of Stuttgart Ballet, Stuttgart Opera and Stuttgart Theatre for more than 20 years. Not that a co-production in itself would trigger this extent of media coverage through newspapers up and down the country plus television, I’d rather think this comes as Peaches features prominently in the production. I haven’t seen the production nor am I going to; based on what I’ve read, the production is split largely into two parts. Part 1 – based on Brecht’s work and transferred into a boxring, Anna comes in four different characters (a female actor – Josephine Koehler, a male dancer – Louis Stiens, who has also provided the choreography for the production, an older version of Anna – Melinda Witham, and Peaches). Anna’s family is represented through four referees. Part 2 – the boxring has disappeared, and Peaches performs a number of songs in relation to the seven sins (I guess the word “heavenly” in the work’s title is based on a comment that she made that she doesn’t consider these seven aspects to be sins), complete with matching outfits. Opinions in previews and reviews range from rather dismissive to jubilant, others highlight the fact that the piece will have attracted new audiences or that the audience on Saturday reacted with prolonged ovations. Based on the variety of opinions, I am not providing any links but a search for “Peaches Stuttgart” will provide plenty of them (a word of caution – the work comes with an age guideline of 16+ years, and some of the pictures or excerpts in some of the previews and reviews confirm why this is the case).
  7. For anyone heading to Stuttgart to see Stuttgart Ballet and/or Gauthier Dance in February or March this year - there are a couple of exhibitions in the Stuttgart area in relation to dance that may be of interest. The exhibition “Ecstasy” at the Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart covers ecstasy in dance, sports, youth culture, religion, mythology, etc. As for ecstasy in dance, a number of paintings portray early 20th-century dancers; pictures and videos show e.g., traditional dances and dance in a night club. More information about the exhibition which runs until 24 February here https://kunstmuseum-stuttgart.de/index.php?site=Exhibitions;Current&id=114&bereich=ECSTASY&1538130133. The link also gives access to a detailed brochure that describes some of the works that feature in the exhibition. The Kunsthalle in nearby Goeppingen has a new contemporary exhibition that depicts the interaction between movement/dance and fine art through a mixture of drawings, paintings, sculptures and videos. Contents include Works about dancers (e.g., drawings by Vasily Kandinsky of Gret Palucca) Works created based on the analysis of someone’s movement across space (pencil drawings by Morgan O’Hara – the wider the movements are, the larger the drawing becomes; the more diverse the movements are, the lighter the colour of the resulting work remains – whereas movements that stay within a small area lead to a much darker shade of the same colour. And so … e.g., the movements of dancers of English National Ballet in Act III of Swan Lake lead to a large round-ish form that is filled with roughly the same shade throughout, the wide and flowing arm movements of a conductor lead to a large drawing with many fine lines, the intense focus of a pianist on just a few keys creates a small and very dark, almost rectangular form) Videos that show how dance and movement create art (e.g., the moving arm of a sculpture by Jean Tinguely draws a picture, someone jumps along a wall and the ensuing movement of the person’s arm draws a picture) Recordings of (excerpts of) performances (e.g., Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace, Bruce Naumann’s Floor and Wall positions, a work by Nam June Paik that shows multiple instances of Merce Cunningham, a work by Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker, along with some of her plans for and notations of the work, William Forsythe's Improvisation Technologies, Samuel Beckett's Quad I + II)) There is also a drawing by Vaslav Nijinsky This exhibition runs until 24 March. I saw it earlier today and found it mesmerising. Link http://www.kunsthalle-goeppingen.de/ausstellungen/aktuell/halle-unten/, and via Google translate https://translate.google.de/translate?hl=&sl=de&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kunsthalle-goeppingen.de%2Fausstellungen%2Faktuell%2Fhalle-unten%2F&sandbox=1
  8. More extensive live streaming from the Prix de Lausanne this year with both morning and afternoon sessions covered. Schedule and links to both live streaming for 2019 and replays from 2018 here, I presume this is where the replays from 2019 will feature, too https://www.prixdelausanne.org/multimedia/live-streaming/ Live streaming in 2019 on Arte https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/RC-014432/prix-de-lausanne/prochainement/ (I don't know whether they'll drop the word "prochainement" from the link come 4 Feb).
  9. Gauthier Dance has performed in hospitals and nursing homes as part of its Outreach Programme
  10. There's a new statement by the Bavarian State Ballet on their web site https://www.staatsoper.de/presse/presseinformationen/presse-infos-ballett/mitteilung/news/presseerklaerung-ergaenzung-zur-personalie-sergei-polunin.html?no_cache=1&tx_news_pi1[controller]=News&tx_news_pi1[action]=detail&cHash=174e87ec643f17759ecc72ec0289ba6e and via Google translate https://translate.google.de/translate?hl=&sl=de&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.staatsoper.de%2Fpresse%2Fpresseinformationen%2Fpresse-infos-ballett%2Fmitteilung%2Fnews%2Fpresseerklaerung-ergaenzung-zur-personalie-sergei-polunin.html%3Fno_cache%3D1%26tx_news_pi1%5Bcontroller%5D%3DNews%26tx_news_pi1%5Baction%5D%3Ddetail%26cHash%3D174e87ec643f17759ecc72ec0289ba6e&sandbox=1 I find the last sentence of the second paragraph interesting as this reads as if they genuinely hadn't had the policies and procedures in place to deal with the recent issue (I would have thought that this was a given but maybe I am expecting too much? Not sure how other large-scale cultural organisations are set up in this respect?) and that instead, they did indeed encounter a range of diverging opinions within the organisation (as referred to in the statement dated 17 January 2019 - "For days now we have been talking to one another"). This would then also explain the change from the initial statement (which is no longer on their web site) to the version dated 17 January 2019.
  11. From what I can see, the Bavarian State Ballet has not added another press release on their web site following on from the statement dated 17 January 2019. They have updated the web site to confirm that Polunin will dance in Spartacus on 25 March 2019 https://www.staatsoper.de/en/your-visit/aktuelles/meldung/news/kommende-gastauftritte.html?no_cache=1&tx_news_pi1%5Baction%5D=detail&cHash=7172bab216e74aacf7728d2af12cb823 There’s another article in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung though that reports on a statement made by the company yesterday in relation to the issue https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/staatsoper-polunin-darf-weiter-tanzen-1.4298132 and via Google translate (I haven't used this tool before so I hope that both link and translation work as intended) https://translate.google.de/translate?hl=&sl=de&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sueddeutsche.de%2Fmuenchen%2Fstaatsoper-polunin-darf-weiter-tanzen-1.4298132&sandbox=1 I had stopped following Polunin quite some time ago and only started to read this thread again when the discussions about him dancing in Paris and now in Munich started a few weeks ago. Just as a lot of posters here, I am shocked by his latest tattoo and his recent controversial statements on Instagram. What also caught my attention in the current situation was how the organisations that cast him have reacted in response to his actions and the ensuing discussions. POB announcing him well after the tattoo and the posts on Instagram became public, and then withdrawing their invitation shortly afterwards, it seemed to me, following a public outcry. Munich, what can I say. There’s been a lot of discussion about the content of the statement dated 17 January 2019. The company had also issued an earlier shorter statement which seems to have disappeared from their web site since (I remember reading it at some stage last Thursday, probably at around lunchtime). Posters on dansomanie discussed this earlier version last Thursday, and one of them also provided a translation into English http://www.forum-dansomanie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3496&start=375&sid=6d671cca90b27a34306cb4085ccb12e0. An article by the Bavarian Radio last Thursday also reported on the earlier statement https://www.br.de/nachrichten/kultur/bayerisches-staatsballett-haelt-an-tanz-star-sergei-polunin-fest,RFPPSDb - and again using Google translate (the layout of the page in the translation looks a bit odd on my laptop, I don’t hope it will affect the translation) https://translate.google.de/translate?hl=&sl=de&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.br.de%2Fnachrichten%2Fkultur%2Fbayerisches-staatsballett-haelt-an-tanz-star-sergei-polunin-fest%2CRFPPSDb&sandbox=1 If I read the statement dated 17 January 2019 with unease, I found the earlier version even more dreadful. Adding to that the contents of the newest article in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the organisation has been going through an internal discussion process, and it'll be interesting to see whether there'll be further announcements following the internal company meeting that the article refers to. The outcome of all that so far leaves me hugely dissatisfied though. I hadn’t found the programming in Munich particularly interesting anyway, I guess the newest developments just confirm that I won’t be missing anything there. @ ChMeBa – if the performance of Spartacus that you’ll be attending in April is the one on Apr 1, you’ll be seeing Vladimir Shklyarov :-)
  12. The Semperoper Ballet in Dresden in Aaron Watkins' version of The Nutcracker was broadcast on 24 Dec and is currently available as VOD. https://www.br-klassik.de/programm/fernsehen/ausstrahlung-1615954.html I hope this one is accessible from abroad, too.
  13. Glad to see that the video is accessible from abroad :-)
  14. Stuttgart Ballet in Cranko's Romeo and Juliet with Elisa Badenes and David Moore in the lead roles was shown on television in Germany this morning. It is now available as view on demand until 6 Feb 2019 - I don't know, however, whether this works from outside Germany, too. https://swrmediathek.de/player.htm?show=ba958e50-1012-11e9-9a07-005056a12b4c
  15. A mix of works that I’d like to see again and a few others - Woolf Works, Song of the Earth, Requiem, Voluntaries, The Four Temperaments, Sinfonietta Works that I haven’t seen yet: Xenos, My Brother My Sisters, Tetley’s version of The Rite of Spring Marco Goecke – anything, anywhere within reasonable travel distance Crystal Pite’s new work for Paris Opera Ballet in autumn 2019, mentioned as part of the 17/18 season announcement Visiting companies in the region that I wouldn’t be able to see otherwise 2019/20 will be the first season for Bridget Breiner in Karlsruhe and for Marco Goecke in Hanover. I look forward to their season announcements and how they will shape their companies
  16. Bejart's Nutcracker has a sad starting point - a child next to a sparse Christmas tree, the mother has died, she then appears and leaves a gift for him, and so the magic begins. https://www.bejart.ch/en/ballet/nutcracker/ I understand Bejart captured part of his own childhood in this ballet as his mother died when he was seven years old.
  17. The Mariinsky Ballet was back in Baden Baden over the holidays for its annual visit and with a variety of works – Swan Lake, two mixed bills and a gala performance. I attended the matinee performance on Boxing Day of one of the mixed bills, comprising two small-scale works that were premiered in 2017. The Cat on the Tree is by Anton Pimonov, a former dancer with the company, to songs by Nico Muhly and Teitur Lassen. When I saw the title of the work, I thought it’d be a narrative piece – actually it isn’t. The lyrics are based on comments made below videos on YouTube, and I understand the title of Pimonov’s work is the title of one of the songs created by Nico Muhly and Teitur Lassen. The music is soft, melodic and fluid, using strings and cembalo, providing for easy listening. An example on the YouTube channel of the record company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymbFlrch0vw. The stage is bare except for strips of light at the back and the front. Three couples (Viktoria Tereshkina – Alexander Sergeev, Ekaterina Kondaurova – Andrei Yermakov, Nadezhda Batoeva – Alexei Timofeyev) perform as group, in solos and as couples. Dance is neoclassical, fluid, on pointe and intertwined with other activities e.g., plies and slow jogging as if warming up in a gym, a dancer sits down on stage and adjusts her hair. There is a video on Andrei Yermakov’s YouTube channel with an extract of the work. It was nice to look at, contemplative, sort of a relaxing afternoon tea while looking at a gently flowing river. The Four Seasons by Ilya Zhivoi, a dancer with the company, uses Max Richter’s version of The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. It portrays the development of a relationship through the seasons of the year/ of life and comes with a lead couple (Ekaterina Kondaurova and Xander Parish) and four supporting couples as friends of the female and male lead respectively. The pre-show introduction to the work contrasted extracts from Richter’s version with the same extract from Vivaldi’s work, an exhilarating experience. Dance is neoclassical here, too, with a PDD for the two leads in each season and interaction by the supporting friends amongst them and with their respective lead. There is also a variety of pantomime to further illustrate the emotional state of the two leads in their relationship. The colours and shapes of the costumes change with the seasons and come in shades of light red, blue, burgundy and greyish blue. Spring. Birdsong before the curtain opens. Hedges at both sides and stretches of lawn at the back and the front of the stage. The female lead is on the lawn. The male lead appears, sees her, runs to her and tries to impress her. She looks indifferent at first and is then won over by his approach. The four supporting couples appear, the four supporting male dancers interact akin to “oh, look at the two lovebirds”, gesticulating with their arms (… my reading …). Summer. The lawn is now at both sides of the stage. Conflict enters the relationship of the main couple and is shown through angry looks and arm movements - fists are shown, bodies turn away. The conflict extends to the supporting friends – the four couples break into male friends of the male lead and female friends of the female lead. They retreat and then approach each other with arm movements of “no more” (… again, my reading …). The lead couple goes through reconciliation at the end of summer. Autumn. The lawn is now a single stretch at the back of the stage. The two leads dance on it, surrounded by the supporting couples, this reminded me of maybe folk dances at harvest time, a family gathering, or similar events. Joyful, playful, the two leads teasing each other. Mature love. Winter. Icebergs depict the cold atmosphere on stage. The male lead reaches out to the female lead, she withdraws and turns to her female group of friends, he then interacts with his male group of friends. Spring returns, and the lead couple is back on the lawn (and one other couple underneath the lawn). The pre-show introduction ended with a melancholic outlook at the end of winter in that love didn’t work out. So when spring returns, has their love been reinvigorated, or do the two leads now represent another couple at the start of their relationship? I liked the clear, straightforward and effective stage design and the flowing costumes as they changed from season to season. It was interesting to see that a number of times, the male lead takes the initiative (e.g., at the start of spring and in winter) but it is the response of the female lead that determines how their relationship moves ahead. Equally, the supporting couples often act as a group but in times of conflict this changes, and the male friends then turn to supporting the male lead whereas the female friends support the female lead. Extract on the company’s web site https://mariinsky.tv/1147-en. I hope the company will continue to bring modern works to Baden Baden as part of future visits.
  18. Back in October, I mulled over this mixed bill for quite a while as I thought that it would probably include too much “white tutu” for me - happily one of these, maybe two of them, but three? I just wasn’t quite sure. When I finally decided to give it a go, I couldn’t get a suitable return ticket. Thankfully, the programme has been back with a few more performances over the festive season. I saw the performance on 28th December. Concerto for Flute and Harp – my favourite piece on Friday. I admired the multitude of geometric patterns, the opportunities that the choreography provides for the members of the corps with their solos and PDD with one of the two lead ballerinas, the petit allegro for the second lead couple, the uplifting and at times poetic atmosphere. I loved Shaked Heller’s entrechats six, the section whereby members of the corps perform double tours as they walk on stage from the side, the many smiles that the corps displayed. Superb performance by Timoor Afshar in the second lead couple, I couldn’t take my eyes of his fleet footwork. Experience has shown that I don’t tend to enjoy the classics and unfortunately, this also applied to The Kingdom of the Shades. Timoor Afshar also shone as male lead in the 3rd set of Symphony in C. I liked the costumes, the chandeliers, the allegro sections of the choreography, the vivacious finale. A great piece to finish the evening, sending off the audience in high spirits. Was it too much “white tutu” for me? I’d seen Concerto for Flute and Harp previously and enjoyed it. I’d seen Symphony in C at the ROH and liked it, too, but it wasn’t among the works that I’d been looking forward to most at that time. So having these two works in the same programme actually worked better for me than I thought it would. Whether Symphony in C would have had the same impact on me on Friday with a different piece in the middle, who knows. Anyway, good to be back at the Opera House and looking forward to seeing forthcoming programmes in 2019. Adding link to trailer and pictures of the programme https://www.stuttgart-ballet.de/schedule/a-z/shades-of-white/
  19. Most of the works that I’ve seen this year are mixed bills, and so the performances that I’ve enjoyed most all relate to mixed programmes or part thereof. In chronological order Mixed bill Jerome Robbins/En Sol, Dwight Rhoden/Verse Us, Oscar Araiz/Petrushka, Ballet Nice Mediterranee Marco Goecke/Almost Blue, Stuttgart Ballet Double bill Jerome Robbins/Dances at a Gathering, John Cranko/Initials R.B.M.E., Stuttgart Ballet Uwe Scholz/Air!, John Cranko School Kurt Jooss/The Green Table, Ballet de l’Opera du Rhin
  20. More information about the streaming on 31 Dec now on Arte https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/082792-001-A/350-ans-de-l-opera-de-paris/ - a gala performance in celebration of the Opera's 350th anniversary with extracts from a number of ballets and operas, and - the third act of Cinderella including the farewell to Karl Paquette So in a sense, all three sources above were correct (the POB site mentions the streaming with a slight delay also for the inaugural gala performances on 30 and 31 Dec).
  21. Oooh, thanks so much, Vanartus! In the event that you have a chance to head to Stuttgart - there'll be further performances over the coming months https://www.theaterhaus.com/theaterhaus/
  22. A programme in celebration of Egon Madsen´s 75th birthday at the Theaterhaus in Stuttgart earlier this year included extracts from Don Q, a piece that Christian Spuck had created for Egon Madsen and Eric Gauthier in 2007. Rehearsing these extracts provided the impetus to revive the full work, now called The Return of Don Q. I saw the performance on Sunday night. An elderly man (the programme notes call him Egon) and his loyal younger companion/ at times servant (Eric in the programme notes) live in a world of their own, replete with a number of items that bring to mind some of their adventures earlier in life e.g., a cupboard with a small windmill on top, a rocking horse, a clothes rail, a piano, a number of boxes, plus a bicycle, a table and two chairs. Eric is asleep leaning against the piano at the side of the stage. Egon lies on the floor towards the back of the stage and dreams of Dulcinea. The day starts, and Eric begins to entertain and support Egon. … They pull faces whereby, it seems, each person rings a bell when the other’s face becomes too distorted. … Eric serves tea to Egon, the latter dunks the teabag a few times and throws it away, and with each cup of tea being served, the teabag is thrown away further. … Egon is longing for Dulcinea. The cupboard opens and Dulcinea (this is in fact Eric) in a long pink dress and with long blond hair appears to soothing music. When Egon tries to reach Dulcinea, however, the doors close, and Egon is thus left longing for her (this sequence is repeated later on). … Eric takes the windmill from the top of the cupboard and plays with it on the table. Egon takes his wooden sword and tries to fight the windmill, but to no avail. … They don carnival hats and Egon uses a party horn to have fun. … The funniest part for me was when a small electric windmill criss-crossed the stage and seemed to chase Egon and Eric, and they both reacted with prolonged frenzied panic, until ultimately Egon starts to pursue and fight the electric windmill. Not all is fun though. … Eric takes the bike and loads Egon’s books and suitcases on top. Egon carries his rocking horse as well as his sword and shield. So they head towards the side of the stage, and are however held back by an invisible barrier, unable to leave the world they live in. … Equally, Egon discovers the blond wig in one of the boxes and realises that what he took to be Dulcinea was in fact just a vision. The day comes to an end an Egon and Eric go back to sleep. I found this saddened atmosphere which dominated towards the end of the day more moving than many of the funny elements earlier on. I was thinking that the following day and every day thereafter would probably be pretty much the same as the one that was being portrayed. Two people caught up in their rituals, in their rhythm, in their memories - looking back at life and what hasn’t worked out, full of longing for unattained/ lost love -, unable to break out, at times despairing of the situation and of each other, and yet unable to change it and thus continuing to make the best out of it. The piece comes with some acting, some miming and some dancing in duets and solos (some disco type, some contemporary – the music ranges from Schubert via Minkus and Schnittke to James Brown et al.). Egon Madsen was truly amazing at 75+, he was rolling/ moving along the floor, he was lifting Eric Gauthier, there were some pirouettes, he was climbing a table and jumping back down again, … If I am anywhere near as agile as he is at that age, I won’t be asking for much else in later life. Some pictures of performances in 2007, 2012 and 2018 as part of a review in the link here https://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.eric-gauthier-und-egon-madsen-tanzen-wieder-don-q-zwei-veteranen-wollen-s-wissen.91521831-5c5b-4a23-9f8c-72f3390c4514.html.
  23. The programme of the 3rd Colours International Dance Festival at the Theaterhaus in Stuttgart from 27 June to 14 July 2019 is now online http://www.coloursdancefestival.com/en.html Akram Khan Company with a world premiere, Ballet BC, Gauthier Dance, Compagnie Maguy Marin, Stephen Shropshire, etc etc.
  24. Manuel de Falla with a variety of works Heitor Villa Lobos, Concerto for Guitar Manuel Ponce, Concerto del Sur Maurice Ravel, Pavane pour une infante defunte, Alborada del gracioso Nikolai Rimsky-Korssakoff, Capriccio Espagnol Rodrigo's Conderto de Aranjuez is superb.
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