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Ballet Black: Triple bill, Spring 2016

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I was at the rehearsal for Ballet Black's triple bill at the Barbican earlier this week - here are some photos. Sadly only 2 shows, which have sold out. Just a bit envious of those that got their tickets organised!

 

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Cristaux: Cira Robinson, Mthuthuzeli November
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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To Begin, Begin: Josua Harriette, Kanika Carr
©Matthew Golding,  Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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Storyville: Damien Johnson, Cira Robinson
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

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Set from DanceTabs: Ballet Black - Barbican triple bill
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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I was also at the Barbican to see this wonderful group of dancers. Those who have missed it may be able to get to Ipswich in May or Newbury, Oxford, The Lowry and Nottingham in June

 

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Cira Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November in Arthur Pita's Cristaux 

 

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Jacob Wye and Isabela Coracy in Christopher Marney's To Begin, Begin
 
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Cira Robinson and Damian Johnson in Christopher Hampson's Storyville
 

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Yes, I'm afraid the tickets in my price range had sold out by the time I got around to looking.  I'd be glad to hear from anyone who did go, though.

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Yesterday my friend Gita, my ballet teacher Mark and I attended Ballet Black's triple bill at the Quays. It was very good to see them in Salford and their visit was particularly timely as it coincided with Manchester Day.

 

The programme included new works by Arthur Pita and Christopher Marney as well as the revival of Christopher Hamson's Storyville.

 

I enjoyed all three works, particularly Marney's To Begin, Begin.

 

On the way out Gita and I met Janet McNulty which is always a pleasure. Mark, Gita and I had a little chat with the dancers and their director after the show.

 

I have written a full review in my blog if anyone is interested.

Edited by terpsichore

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I was at Ballet Black's last performance this season of their Triple Bill. In my home town,great audience, in a small scale venue that made it a very intimate and powerful performance. I don't know why I haven't seen them before but they are are really good!

 

I'll skate over the Pita piece because I found the music excruciating. I couldn't focus on the dance. Sorry!

 

But the next 2 pieces were superb. Chris Marney's To Begin Begin is so beautifully lyrical. The choreography just flowed naturally. It was gorgeous to watch.

 

The final piece is Chris Hampson's Storyville. Really good piece, great narrative.

 

So impressed by the superb 8 dancers that make up this very exciting company. Bravo!

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I saw this triple bill at the Lowry 2 weeks ago.  This was Ballet Black's first visit to the Lowry and I do so hope they will be back!

 

 

I loved, loved, loved Arthur Pita's Cristaux from the second it started.  I just did not want it to end.  I loved the music (just bought it in fact) and as for the tutu ... totally WOW!!!  The music reminded me a bit of an Indonesian gamelan.  Cira Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November danced the elegant and stately choreography beautifully.

 

Christopher Marney's To Begin, Begin was gorgeously lyrical - I got drawn in to its flow.

 

I've seen and enjoyed Christopher Hampson's Storyville before.  I enjoyed it then and enjoyed it now.  The dancers of Ballet Black imbued the sad story of Nola with meaning.  Christopher Hampson tells the story clearly, elegantly with joy and with sadness.  It's terrific.

 

It was a great evening!

 

This triple bill is being performed in Leeds in October - the tickets are already on sale!  http://theatreleeds.com/d/?q=event/ballet-black-triple-bill

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I was in Leeds to see this programme again on Friday evening and I enjoyed it even more!

 

Yet again Cristaux just swept me away with its beauty and the beauty of the performance by Cira Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November;  if BB had performed this piece three time over in the same evening I would not have tired of it!

 

Christopher Mariner's To Begin, Begin is also very beautiful with lovely lyrical choreography and tonight I was even more impressed than I had been in June at The Lowry.

 

Storyville ended the evening and shows just what an impressive company Ballet Black is.  The story of Nola came across really well with subtle acting and great dancing.

 

It was a superb evening.  I just wish I could get to see more performances of this terrific company.

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There are seats priced at 12.50/15.00/17.50 on Tues 15th November at 7:30 at Watford Palace Theatre. The stage is fairly small but they have performed here before so they must feel it is OK. Euston to Watford Junction is 20 mins then a 10 minute straight walk.

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These photos are absolutely gorgeous - I would love to see them! Watford's a little far away for me without a reliable means of transport though :(

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I didn't bother with the live streaming of Anastasia last night. I had been at one of the first performances in 1971 with Lynn Seymour in the title role and even though Dowell, Beriosova, Sibley, Rencher, Eagling and many other favourite dancers were in that show I have never been tempted to see that work again. Instead, I went to see some live ballet in Doncaster, namely the last performance by Ballet Black of their triple bill, Cristaux, To Begin, Begin and Storyville, in the North.

 

Ballet Black danced particularly well last night. I had seen them at Leeds and Manchester earlier in the year and enjoyed their performances very much indeed, Yesterday they made some cast changes in Storyville that changed the dynamic of the ballet and enhanced my appreciation of the piece. Damien Johnson, who had danced the lover in Leeds and Manchester, became the villain, Mack.  He brought a real chill and creepiness to the row. Jacob Wye was the lover and he brought sensitivity to that role. In some respects, he was as vulnerable as Nola. Isabela Coracy danced Lulu. She is a tall powerful dancer and her dance "Sorry" was scornful, not effacing as was Sayaka Ichikawa who had danced the role well but differently in Leeds and Manchester.

 

It was a bittersweet moment yesterday. We in the North had been spoilt this year. I saw them twice at Sale in Dogs Don't Do Ballet  as well as the triple bill in Leeds and Manchester as well as Donny. I had also seen their rehearsal at the Barbican and attended Cassa Pancho's talk at the London Ballet Circle. In my view this has been their best tour ever but I look forward to their new season that opens at the Barbican in March.

Edited by terpsichore

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Jacob Wye - that name rings a bell.  Is he ex-RBS?  If so, I'm wondering whether he may have been the changeling boy in The Dream, or something.

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Alison, I think you are right about Jacob Wye's training (see The Company page on Ballet Black's website). I don't know whether he was the changeling boy. He is, however, an excellent dancer and he performed the sailor role particularly well last night.

The company is performing the mixed programme at Watford and Harlow (which are far from London) as well as Exeter and Lichfield. In the terminology of the Michelin rouge, they are "vaut le voyage."

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Jacob Wye - that name rings a bell.  Is he ex-RBS?  If so, I'm wondering whether he may have been the changeling boy in The Dream, or something.

 

2001 - what an amazing memory you have, Alison!

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Dunno Janet! I thought I saw you at the Lowry.

 

One of the endearing traits of what used to be called "SELNEC" (South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire), later "Greater Manchester County" and now "Manchester City Region" is flexibility of boundaries. Folk in the leafier southern suburbs will insist on giving their address as "Cheshire" despite local government reorganization even if they are north of the Mersey. Similarly, a lot of businesses on the western side of the Irwell (especially law firms and chambers) like to say they are in Manchester, As they are within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester and city region I don't see why they shouldn't. As one who was lucky enough to have been born in Didsbury (just north of the Mersey) I am a true Mancunian by birth but I don't begrudge that description to the 2.5 million or so other residents of the region,

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Dunno Janet! I thought I saw you at the Lowry.

 

One of the endearing traits of what used to be called "SELNEC" (South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire), later "Greater Manchester County" and now "Manchester City Region" is flexibility of boundaries. Folk in the leafier southern suburbs will insist on giving their address as "Cheshire" despite local government reorganization even if they are north of the Mersey. Similarly, a lot of businesses on the western side of the Irwell (especially law firms and chambers) like to say they are in Manchester, As they are within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester and city region I don't see why they shouldn't. As one who was lucky enough to have been born in Didsbury (just north of the Mersey) I am a true Mancunian by birth but I don't begrudge that description to the 2.5 million or so other residents of the region,

 

 

 

However the Lowry is in Salford which is a city in its own right and rightly proud to be the home of The Lowry.

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2001 - what an amazing memory you have, Alison!

 

Not really, Jane.  It's just that when you see quite a few performances of a work featuring the same young dancer the name does sometimes stick, like Anna Rose O'Sullivan in Swan Lake.

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