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On 13/01/2019 at 12:44, Jan McNulty said:

Matthew Bourne's New Adventures don't usually tour with an orchestra.  They didn't have one at The Lowry.  The sound of the recorded score was fine there and it didn't detract from the performance.

 

Thanks Jan. I've watched the MB Swan Lake recording a couple of times now and I'm not sure I'd enjoy it live and was relying on at least having the music live. The problem is when I watch it and I hear the music I can't help but think of all the traditional Swan Lakes with the classical ballet and feel I wish I was watching that instead.

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4 hours ago, Timmie said:

 

Thanks Jan. I've watched the MB Swan Lake recording a couple of times now and I'm not sure I'd enjoy it live and was relying on at least having the music live. The problem is when I watch it and I hear the music I can't help but think of all the traditional Swan Lakes with the classical ballet and feel I wish I was watching that instead.

 

I can appreciate it's not for everyone but I just love this interpretation.  It has always made sense to me that the swans are male.

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In this production it's  not necessarily a problem the swans being male though!

its other things ....for me anyway!

for me I didn't like the park setting with some sort of building walls hemming the scene in.

Then I didn't like the final scene set in a bedroom ....again with walls hemming everything in. 

I just don't think it's suits the "freedom and redemption" of the music.

There wasn't much wrong with the dancing per se. And thought the ballroom scene was terrific.

I know it's Matthew Bourne's choice how he sets it etc ....it is HIS ballet....and I have really liked some of his other ballets....and looking forward to Romeo and Juliet...but I didn't take to this Swan Lake as much as I'd hoped to. 

I still haven't decided whether to go for that Sunday 27th ....to see Ball....I have a feeling it will end up being a VERY last minute decision...if snow is forecast that day I will probably aim get home earlier instead!! 

 

 

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Full, sustained standing ovation last night (Friday) 👏 Fully deserved.

I's seen this ballet only once, when it opened on Broadway over twenty years ago. Spellbinding. The power of the swans blew my mind. It is such a vivid memory, that I almost didn't want to see this production. Thankfully, I did. Matthew Ball is mesmerising. I know audiences don't do standing ovations in the ROH, but it will be hard to keep me in my seat next time I see him.
 

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I suppose I'm getting old now ....as I would only give a standing ovation to a truely exceptional performance .....not as a matter of course for every show as seems to happen at the Wells....perhaps because the audience overall is a tad younger than at ROH? 

I do sometimes think the audience seems to be self consciously clapping for itself when they all stand up like that...sorry!! I know old fogey etc. It seems a bit showy I suppose. 

But it may be a bit of a tradition for Bourne shows? 

I do love the way the cast all join hands and run and whoop down the stage together ....perhaps this gets people going! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by LinMM
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Well I haven’t been able to concentrate at work all morning because I’m still in raptures about last night’s performance. I was quite nervous as I’ve not seen New Adventures before and I’m more of a classical fan, but I really enjoy the dark and dramatic RB rep particularly Onegin and the MacMillan, so was keen to try something new, and Matthew Ball was the lure to get me to take the plunge. It was my birthday-eve treat and I’d been building up to it all weekend (and indeed since booking... and RB Swan Lake and then the apprehension of Matthew’s injury and if he would be healthy enough to perform again). What if after all that excitement I felt nothing for it? 

 

I needn’t have worried. The orchestra struck the first chords of the prologue, the curtain was raised and in the opening minutes the Swan appeared, haunting the dreams of the Prince, with undulating body, a fantastic, beautiful, terrifying vision. I’m a huge admirer of Matthew Ball as an artist and it was brilliant to see him in such a different role, he truly inhabited the character and brought the piece to life. 

 

Interesting to see familiar music utilised in  such contrasting choreography. I liked the alternative narrative, and humour, and thought Dominic North did a good job of expressing the Prince’s despair, and desire for freedom. Now how I wish a recording could have been made of Matthew Ball in the role, his performance was so special that it deserves to be remembered and cherished. 

 

One thing to note - the programme doesn’t include a synopsis so definitely worth a quick read of the Wikipedia entry if you like to be prepped for the action. 

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Glad you enjoyed it Riva I will give it another go at some point shame I won't see Matthew Ball though who I originally had booked to see.

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Another ‘ Swanderful’ performance from Matthew Ball tonight. I particularly noticed a fabulous and exuberant double tours landing on his side as The Stranger at the Royal soiree as he settled down to watch the Queen and Princesses dance (ACT 3 ).... one of Matthew’s extra ‘whoop-de-whooos’ just thrown in to heighten the party atmosphere ! And again those Swan arms....so expressive and beautiful.

My friend hadn’t seen the show before and I enjoyed ‘watching it through her eyes’... I even laughed at the corgi which I haven’t done for a long time. 

I also loved watching Will Bozier in various incarnations tonight but especially as a ferocious Big Swan and a very irate Italian Princess's Escort. 

I haven’t yet managed to catch Max’s Swan so will probably be re-visiting the lake soon. 

 

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That sounds exciting, Mandy!  Hoping to see Mr Ball tonight..

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For anyone who has Instagram there’s currently a fun little “interview” with the three Swans/Strangers on the Sadler’s Wells account. It’s only going to be there for the next 2-3 hours, though. Wish I’d spotted it sooner!

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Matthew Ball's performance tonight was excellent. Otherwise I fear I am in a minority....I realise Bourne is not really for me.

 

It's a good many years since I saw the MB Swan Lake.  I can remember thinking the early scenes dragged a bit, and just wanting to watch the swans which I thought in that first run were really beautiful and poetic....This time  it was  much more so. The first 45 minutes seemed to go on and on with far too little dancing ( and the wonderful music thrown away) and a great many repetitive and rather feeble jokes-  I thought. My companions all said 'Too long'! as we came out of part 1- and felt the points were very laboured..'we get it'- no need for the hitting us over the head with the points....the royalty jokes and ballet pastiche seemed interminable and not really funny, and the storyline was impenetrable.

 

However, the swan scenes still seemed very poetic and beautiful- even if as others have said Ball's presence does rather show up other dancers ( and he  very noticeably had about 4 muscles for every 1 of the other dancers on stage!)

 

In the last scene the swan corps came into their own in their circling, hissing frenzy- a very powerful scene indeed.

 

Ball's black swan could not compete with my memory of Adam Cooper- noone could! and there was a slight shade of 'nice boy pretending to be bad' I thought. But nonetheless he was compelling to watch. And his good swan in the last scene was powerfully moving.

 

It was definitely worth the trip. But- for me,  there was just too much padding.

 

Also, although The Queen was excellent- and of course there were many good dancers  -  I didn't feel the overall quality of dancing was quite sharp and consistent enough.

 

It has made me really appreciate the amazingly high standard of dance throughout the company in RB, BRB, ENB though - oh and many other companies I have seen in the past years- all the more.

 

 

 

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Actually Mary, I’m with you there - I never quite “get” Bourne either! Ditto with the quality of the dancing - not bad, just not as good as elsewhere.

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Not bad but different I would say.

 

Matthew Bourne has never, as far as I am aware, presented his productions as ballets.

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Of course Jan-quite right -  I realise it is not a ballet. It wouldn't be right to make a direct comparison . But I thought the overall standard of dancing last night left something to be desired, regardless of style. And Bourne's choreography doesn't always satisfy me. That's the word- it was just unsatisying in parts- I was longing for some real dancing to that music - in any style you like! at times.

 

It is hard, as others have said not to think, while watching it, of the many Swan Lakes one has seen- and also, having a ballet principal in the  middle of it did rather point up the contrasts.

(I was trying to explain the similarities and differences  to a traditional ballet Swan Lake to my husband, who often goes with me but is not an expert- and by the time I had said something like 'Matthew Ball should be good in Matthew Bourne's ball scene' I realised I'd lost him....)

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I saw the matinee yesterday afternoon, with Will Bozier, and James Lovell as the Prince.  

 

I have seen this production several times in the past, and loved it.  I have to say I was a little bit disappointed on this occasion.  Although Lovell was fine, I didn't think Bozier's dancing was as good as that of Swans I have seen in the past.  Somebody else mentioned his feet, and they bothered me as well.  They seemed to be properly pointed on several occasions, and came across as a bit flappy (for want of a better word.)  

 

Several things seem to have changed.  I don't remember the cygnets being played so much for laughs last time.  I thought they came on hissing and spitting at each other, which was missing.  Also, I seem to remember in the Black scene, the costume for the lead was a longer coat?  The one last night looked a bit shorter, and at times I was having trouble at times trying to distinguish him from the rest of the black coated men.   He just didn't come across as sexy enough.  For me, anyway.  

 

On other occasions, I have been very moved at the end.  This time, it was spoilt because the mirror at the back of the stage wasn't angled properly.  Consequently, we had a wonderful view of the conductor waving his arms energetically, and glimpses of the violin bows going up and down.  Needless to say this was very distracting, and also obscured the swan and prince at the end.  This is not the start of the run, so that really was extremely annoying.  

 

 

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So, this Swan Lake addict is going again to the last show at Sadlers Wells this Sunday matinee ( Matthew Ball ) Any other balletcoforumers going to be there and fancy a Get Together  in the intervals ?  

About time ‘get-togethers’ were officially reinstated ?!

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1 hour ago, Mandy Kent said:

......... fancy a Get Together  in the intervals ?  

 

Just to say that there is only one interval - after about 75 minutes of Acts 1/2. Acts 3/4 are also rolled together with just a short pause in between.

 

Finally caught the Matthew Ball/Liam Mower cast last night, both of them electrifying. I particularly  liked Matthew's seductive stranger and Liam's abillity to take us with him on The Prince's emotional journey. The fact that their dance quality was in a league of its own in that company seemed to enhance the arc of the story.

 

I thought that the ballet itself would benefit from judicious pruning, especially in Act 1. A bit too much repetition of moves and group routines for me.

 

Don't forget that Matthew is talking at The  Ballet Association on Wednesday, 30th January. See here:  http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/261-ballet-association-news-of-upcoming-talks-and-events/

 

 

 

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Just a reminder to Matthew Ball fans who don't frequent the Ballet Association thread: he will be talking to the BA this Wednesday evening :) 

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Just back from a really enjoyable Milton Keynes matinee. The updated production is great and the performers uniformly terrific. Glenn Graham was outstanding.

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Goodness, I'd assumed the poor dancers would at least get a week off after their Sadler's Wells season!

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