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Richard LH

Royal Ballet Casting for Autumn Season 2018/19

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1 hour ago, aliceinwoolfland said:

I wonder if Anna Rose O’Sullivan will be promoted to first soloist. 

I sure hope so!  

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She's a dancer I like a lot too but wasn't she only just promoted to soloist last season? I think it would be a tat too fast for her (knowing there is also Magri and Heap and last but not least the beautiful Fumi Kaneko who's been a soloist for several years now).

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Yes I am pretty sure that it will be the following season that she is promoted. 

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With regard to Francesca Hayward, I would put money on her getting a crack at Kitri later in the season.  She will most likely be one of the three shades in the third act of Bayadere.  Those solos are killers and by rights they should always be danced by principals.  When I first saw the Nureyev's RB version they were usually danced by variations of Mason/Park/Seymour/Bergsma.

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4 minutes ago, Xandra Newman said:

Correct, she danced one performance as Aurora and it is only normal to have at least danced one full length classical tutu role when one has become a principal don't you think?

 

I think this can be explained in part by there being little opportunity to dance classical rep in the couple of seasons before her promotion. Swan Lake was last on in 2015 when she was 22 and newly promoted to Soloist and Sleeping Beauty was a year before that, prior to the 2016/17 run in which Hayward featured (remember, she had to cancel one of her scheduled performances - I was there!).

 

I can't remember who danced Giselle in 2016, but was anyone other than Takada cast from outside the rank of Principal?  (She of course was promoted at the same time as Hayward.)

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1 hour ago, MAB said:

With regard to Francesca Hayward, I would put money on her getting a crack at Kitri later in the season

Good point MAB; if so, that would be at least one "classical" lead debut for her in 2019, after her  successful debut as Giselle this year. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Xandra Newman said:

It is very rare that a dancer is suited to all and just about any role in the company repertoire.

Is that right? From what I have seen (admittedly as a relative newcomer) all the RB principals seem to succesfully  take on every sort of role.

 

3 hours ago, Xandra Newman said:

There may also be reasons unknown to us why Hayward is not cast in classical tutu roles. 

But she has been, and still is.

Out of interest (again, as a relative newcomer, still learning about ballet styles), is there such a clear distinction in what makes a "classical" role? Surely it is not just whether the ballerinas wear tutus. If so,  wouldn't you  have to  rule out  Giselle?

Edited by Richard LH

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36 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

Is that right? From what I have seen (admittedly as a relative newcomer) all the RB principals seem to succesfully  take on every sort of role.

 

But she has been, and still is.

Out of interest (again, as a relative newcomer, still learning about ballet styles), is there such a clear distinction in what makes a "classical" role? Surely it is not just whether the ballerinas wear tutus. If so,  wouldn't you  have to  rule out  Giselle?

 

I'm no expert but I think of "classical" as the 19th Century Russian ballets.  Giselle and the Bournonville ballets I would class as romantic.  I'm never quite sure where Coppelia fits in.

 

Not every dancer is suited to every role even though they may have the technique to dance it.  Watching a number of ballets with a number of casts over a number of years has given me this remarkable insight!  What I have noticed, for myself, is that if I am particularly keen on a dancer I can't always see that they aren't suited to a particular role and I have enjoyed their performance because it is them.

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12 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

What I have noticed, for myself, is that if I am particularly keen on a dancer I can't always see that they aren't suited to a particular role and I have enjoyed their performance because it is them.

 

Ha! Guilty too! :-)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

From what I have seen (admittedly as a relative newcomer) all the RB principals seem to succesfully  take on every sort of role.

 

I am also a relative newcomer so stand to be corrected, but going down the current list of (more experienced) principles:

 

Bonelli hasn’t done Colas and didn’t get Rudolf until he was 38ish; Cuthbertson hasn’t done Lise, Kitri, or Tatiana; Lamb hasn’t done Lise; Morera hasn’t done Juliet, Kitri, or Odette/Odile, and performed Vetsera for the first time at 39ish; Nunez hasn’t done Vetsera; Soares hasn’t done Des Grieux, or Colas; and I don’t think Watson has danced any of the classical roles.

 

It seems that even being a principle doesn’t guarantee a dancer will get all the ‘big’ roles. Considering that Hayward, Naghdi and other young dancers have already danced roles that more ‘senior’ principles have not, I guess we should be grateful for what they are given even if we would cast them in everything right now! I have no doubt that in time they will dance most, if not all, of the roles they want.

Edited by Saodan
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1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

if I am particularly keen on a dancer I can't always see that they aren't suited to a particular role and I have enjoyed their performance because it is them.

I see your point, Jan, but if you enjoy their performance, and don't see it  as inappropriate for the role,  then at least in your eyes, and probably those of others, they must be  suited to that role! After all,  whether a dancer is considered suited to a particular role  can only be a matter of opinion. 

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4 minutes ago, Saodan said:

Bonelli hasn’t done Colas and didn’t get Rudolf until he was 38ish; Cuthbertson hasn’t done Lise, Kitri, or Tatiana; Lamb hasn’t done Lise; Morera hasn’t done Juliet, Kitri, or Odette/Odile, and performed Vetsera for the first time at 39ish; Nunez hasn’t done Vetsera; Soares hasn’t done Des Grieux, or Colas; and I don’t think Watson has danced any of the classical roles.

 

Although in at least one of the above cases, it’s not that they haven’t been cast in those roles. Lauren Cuthbertson should have danced Tatyana, but was injured at the time, replaced by Itziar Mendizabal who I wouldn’t ever have got to see dance the role otherwise.

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Watson has danced Siegfried and Albrecht.....I've seen him as both!  It was a long time ago, though.

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18 minutes ago, Saodan said:

Lamb hasn’t done Lise

 

Four shows on consecutive days with Carlos Acosta when she was with Boston Ballet and at the ROH with Martin Harvey in 2006. Not since.

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24 minutes ago, Saodan said:

Bonelli hasn’t done Colas and didn’t get Rudolf until he was 38ish; Cuthbertson hasn’t done Lise, Kitri, or Tatiana; Lamb hasn’t done Lise; Morera hasn’t done Juliet, Kitri, or Odette/Odile, and performed Vetsera for the first time at 39ish; Nunez hasn’t done Vetsera; Soares hasn’t done Des Grieux, or Colas; and I don’t think Watson has danced any of the classical roles.

 

The term used these days is employ,  some dancers aren't considered suitable for certain roles/  There is also a possibility that some dancers actually refuse certain roles, I've certainly hears of such cases.

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54 minutes ago, Sim said:

Watson has danced Siegfried and Albrecht.....I've seen him as both!  It was a long time ago, though.

 

Very clever of you, Sim - but wishful thinking on the Siegfried front, I'm afraid!  (He did do the Swan pdd from Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, though!)

 

1 hour ago, Saodan said:

Bonelli hasn’t done Colas

 

But he's a Prince, dahling! (to be said in as luvvie-ish a voice as possible :) )

 

Quote

Cuthbertson hasn’t done Lise, Kitri, or Tatiana;

 

The latter only due to injury (or was it illness?)

 

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Lamb hasn’t done Lise

 

She did once, but abandoned the role after her foot injury - I always assumed there was too much jumping, and she didn't want to take the risk.

 

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Morera hasn’t done Juliet, Kitri, or Odette/Odile,

 

She's done Kitri before now - a long time ago, not in the Acosta production.

 

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Soares hasn’t done Des Grieux, or Colas

 

He's danced Colas, but again, not recently.  2007-ish may have been the last time.  Watson hasn't danced Albrecht since Leanne Benjamin retired.

 

MAB's right: I'd forgotten (tried to forget? ;) ) that Don Q was coming back.  Will there be any vacancies, though?  I'm not sure how many performances there will be.

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Posted (edited)

I stand corrected already! Thank you all for your knowledge, this is why this forum is so useful. I would go back and correct the errors if I could.

 

It is true that in some cases injury is the culprit. I think the point stands though: not everyone is destined to dance everything, for one reason or another.

 

I can answer with more accuracy (hopefully) on this year's Don Q: One less performance than last time (17 rather than 18) and we are down two Kitri's (Marquez and Salenko) and two Basilios (Golding and Acosta) with question marks over whether Soares will dance it. Vacancies there one would think... Hayward, Corrales, Naghdi, Sambé, Magri...

Edited by Saodan
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12 minutes ago, Saodan said:

I stand corrected already! Thank you all for your knowledge, this is why this forum is so useful. I would go back and correct the errors if I could.

 

It is true that in some cases injury is the culprit. I think the point stands though: not everyone is destined to dance everything, for one reason or another.

 

I can answer with more accuracy (hopefully) on this year's Don Q: One less performance than last time (17 rather than 18) and we are down two Kitri's (Marquez and Salenko) and two Basilios (Golding and Acosta) with question marks over whether Soares will dance it. Vacancies there one would think... Hayward, Corrales, Naghdi, Sambé, Magri...

 

I was thinking the same. I feel like there will be quite a few debuts. Definitely Corrales, and given how he is paired with Osipova in Bayadere, it makes sense he would be paired with her again. I imagine Ball and Sambe will debut, as well. I'm hoping Magri will get a chance. She would make a perfect Kitri.  

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Hmmm I was so sure I could remember Ed Watson in Siegfried's blue costume, but I guess not!!  As you say Alison, probably more a case of wishful thinking!!  :)

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1 hour ago, Saodan said:

 

I can answer with more accuracy (hopefully) on this year's Don Q: One less performance than last time (17 rather than 18) and we are down two Kitri's (Marquez and Salenko) and two Basilios (Golding and Acosta) with question marks over whether Soares will dance it. Vacancies there one would think... Hayward, Corrales, Naghdi, Sambé, Magri...

 

Muntagirov danced Basilio last time (and very well too!). Takada also danced Kitri.

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Janet - I see Coppelia as a soubrette role,  along with Lise in Fille. Two wonderful ballets but surely 'classical'?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Balletfanp said:

 

Muntagirov danced Basilio last time (and very well too!). Takada also danced Kitri.

 

Sorry - just reread your original post, Saodan, and realised I misread it - please ignore! ☺

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

I think of "classical" as the 19th Century Russian ballets

Does that mean the main (popular)   "Classical" repertoire only comprises  Don Q, La B, possibly Coppelia and the three Tchaikovsky's ?

Edited by Richard LH

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Posted (edited)

When was the last time the ROH staged Paquita? (If ever?) 

Edited by HappyTurk

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Posted (edited)

There still seems to be an unwritten rule that  in order to be considered worthy of promotion to the rank of company principal dancers have to have passed the technical test of successfully dancing leading roles in more than one of the five ballets which De Valois designated the "classics", Coppelia , Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty , Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince in Nutcracker. As  the acquisition and performance  of these works was intended to guarantee and maintain the high artistic and technical standards of company members it seems not unreasonable to treat them as test pieces even today. The intention of the company's  original management team was to establish a creative company rather than a museum one. The requirement  that dancers can master the great works of the past  seems to be a guarantee that no one would be promoted  to principal who was only exceptionally good at dancing the roles created on them. Using the great works of the past as a means of assessing whether or not a dancer has the sort of technique, artistry and musicality which will withstand  close scrutiny in exposed roles seems pretty certain to guarantee that  no one who dances untidily and can only emote and sprawl will become a company principal. As the requirement  seems to call for a dancer to  maintain consistently high standards it seems a trifle more civilised than the POB's promotion concourse. The leading roles in these ballet are either being danced well or they are not . They are all roles which can not be fudged by acting, The same can be said of roles like Lise and Colas which while they are demi-character in nature are exceptionally exposed and technically demanding. Just because the choreography seems so simple and easy it does not mean it is easy to perform.It needs to be remembered that when  Fille was premiered there were serious doubts expressed about its viability as a repertory piece in the absence of the original cast.

 

Don Q has never been in the repertory long enough to be one of the test ballets. After a short while management tends to  recognise that the ballet does not really suit the company and it prevents other more  worthy ballets being performed. This is the third production the company has had. The previous two were very short lived. The Covent Garden Company has never had Paquita as part of its repertory. Its music like that of Don Q is not of sufficiently good quality  to have satisfied thecompany's first artistic director or its first music director while its choreography is  very much "after Petipa". Perhaps so far after him that Petipa would be hard pressed to recognise what is generally described as Paquita as his work at all.

Edited by FLOSS
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Well, that "unwritten rule" seems not to have applied in quite a few cases since I've been RB-watching.  I'd give an exact number, only adding Giselle and Coppelia to the mix may skew things somewhat, and I can't remember whether certain ballerinas danced those roles before or after their promotion.  "Successfully" is of course a subjective judgement.  "To the standard expected of a principal" might be a little less so, but might arguably exclude a few dancers.

 

My "unwritten rule" still remains: 2 out of the 4 major strands of the RB repertoire - Ashton, MacMillan, "Classical" and neoclassical/contemporary.  That covers everyone I know of.

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Posted (edited)

Very interesting, thanks Floss.

Applying this "unwritten rule"  to the earlier  discussion (and since Coppelia has not been produced by the RB  during her time there as a leading artist), Hayward has already danced (with much acclaim) 3 of these 4 "classic" leading roles.   I would be very surprised if she is not cast as the lead in the 4th, Swan Lake, when it is repeated, which could be towards the end of next year, or later in 2019/20. I can't imagine any of the RB hierarchy regarding Hayward, out of all the principals, as somehow  unsuited to "classic" roles, as one or two posters seem to imply.

SPF2.jpgSB.jpg

Giselle.jpg

 

See here for photo credits.

 

Edited by John Mallinson
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A couple of things, Edward Watson doesn't seem to fit your criteria for being a principal.

 

Don Q. requires a type of dancer the RB hasn't had in sufficient quantities to make it viable as a repertory work in the past, things are changing now and hopefully the ballet will stay, though far from being a personal favourite it is very much an audience pleaser and the middle act is gorgeous.  Paquita requires a line up of top class ballerinas for it to work, again the RB hasn't in the past had the resources for it.  Virtually all the choreography is Petipa, though nor necessarily from Paquita.  I find the music both tuneful and memorable.

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On 12/04/2018 at 19:18, Xandra Newman said:

Correct, she danced one performance as Aurora and it is only normal to have at least danced one full length classical tutu role when one has become a principal don't you think?

She dance done performance as Aurora very well even though she was ill and had to miss her second scheduled performance due to illness.  I have been around ballet long enough to know what some people mean about one dancer being very classical but I find that often the term is misused and overused and gets my back up and  I shall stop here and not go on with the rest of what I think....

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