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The Unknown Soldier

Infra

Symphony in C

 

Opening Night tomorrow Tues 20th November 

Dress Rehearsal today - this lunchtime's  stellar cast and performance were as per attached sheet, and presumably will be deployed again tomorrow night.

 

 

Rehearsal cast.jpg

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Thanks for posting this, I was sure the Symphony in C adagio would be danced by Nunez/Muntagirov, interesting!

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Were there any cast changes? I couldn’t go due to work so sent my daughter (day off school today)  with a friend and she didn’t quite catch the announcement. 

 

My my daughter had a great time - wasn’t so keen on Infra in terms of the music or the choreography. She usually likes more contemporary dance way more than me but I think we are both no fans of Wayne McGregor. Hopefully will like Cats!

 

Would love to hear more about the staging on Unknown Soldier in terms of the audio visual tech used. 

 

Sad I couldn’t go - looks like it was a great cast all round.

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Thank you Richard! What an absolute fantastic cast for Symphony in C even for the smaller solos! Also lovely to see a little mix in the principal pairings. So excited for next week. There are more women in Unknown Soldier than I thought and interesting to see, that there are even more named roles and a little seperated group. I am curious how this will work out! Can´t wait for all the three pieces!

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30 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

My mouth is watering for tomorrow!  Is that the order of the evening?

Yes the order is The Unknown Soldier, then  Infra, and ending with Symphony in  C with what seems almost  the whole company on stage by the end....superb!

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31 minutes ago, Blossom said:

Were there any cast changes?

The only announced change was Grace Blundell for Ashley Dean.

44 minutes ago, Blossom said:

Would love to hear more about the staging on Unknown Soldier in terms of the audio visual tech used. 

TUS starts and ends with the dreaded full frontal scrim but when there it is  for a purpose and not out of place. Also a sort of upper scrim at times and back projections, all enabling some interspersed visuals and poignant interviews.There are some nice lighting effects via large vertical moving slats which also allow entrances and exits. And a moveable ceiling... hope this makes sense Blossom..I thought the staging, thought quite simple, was very effective...but others may be able to describe it all better!

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11 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

The only announced change was Grace Blundell for Ashley Dean.

TUS starts and ends with the dreaded full frontal scrim but when there it is  for a purpose and not out of place. Also a sort of upper scrim at times and back projections, all enabling some interspersed visuals and poignant interviews.There are some nice lighting effects via large vertical moving slats which also allow entrances and exits. And a moveable ceiling... hope this makes sense Blossom..I thought the staging, thought quite simple, was very effective...but others may be able to describe it all better!

 

Thanks, makes sense along with what my daughter and friend have told me!  

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4 hours ago, Beryl H said:

Thanks for posting this, I was sure the Symphony in C adagio would be danced by Nunez/Muntagirov, interesting!

 

But the 2nd  Movement man hardly dances - well not really until he comes back on in the 4th Movement. So the 1st Movement uses Muntagirov to much better advantage.

 

I'm bracing myself for a discussion on here about the set and scrim for The Unknown Soldier.

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20 minutes ago, capybara said:

I'm bracing myself for a discussion on here about the set and scrim for The Unknown Soldier.

 

 I wouldn't expect any problems in that regard. The moving narrative and splendid dancing should be the main talking points.

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10 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

 

 I wouldn't expect any problems in that regard. 

 

I'm not so sure.  I was in row D of the amphitheatre and the 'upper scrim' you mention prevented me from seeing the dancers at the back of the stage.  I don't know for sure but I would speculate that those with seats or standing places in the rear amphitheatre will have serious problems during the section of the work when this 'upper scrim' is in use.   

Edited by Bluebird

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We were sitting in the mid amphitheatre for the rehearsal today and couldn't see the heads of some of the dancers at the back until it rose higher for the next section. 

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9 hours ago, Bluebird said:

 

I'm not so sure.  I was in row D of the amphitheatre and the 'upper scrim' you mention prevented me from seeing the dancers at the back of the stage.  I don't know for sure but I would speculate that those with seats or standing places in the rear amphitheatre will have serious problems during the section of the work when this 'upper scrim' is in use.   

 

9 hours ago, cackles said:

We were sitting in the mid amphitheatre for the rehearsal today and couldn't see the heads of some of the dancers at the back until it rose higher for the next section. 

 

Sorry, yes, after I had posted the above I realised  there might be some cut-off problems for those higher up. I hope it didn't spoil things too much for you both?

Presumably Infra and SIC could be seen OK? 

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12 hours ago, Richard LH said:

 

 I wouldn't expect any problems in that regard. The moving narrative and splendid dancing should be the main talking points.

 

Sometimes not so on this forum, Richard :)

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No problems with watching Infra or the beautiful SIC Richard.

I will be interested to see if there have been any adjustments tonight when I am sitting further back. It was such a pity as, having been to the Insight and also watching a rehearsal on one of the Month of Sundays, I was looking forward to seeing The Unknown Soldier.

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Never having been to a rehearsal, I’m curious: do they ever solicit feedback about this kind of thing?

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Okay, I’ll plunge in having had to leave before the Balanchinedue to trains.

 

i wasup for this.  Having watched They Shall Not Be Forgotten Last Su day I was expecting something pretty good.  The Programme  notes further whetted my appetite for a deep emotional experience which, at the very least, reassur d me that Alastair Marriott knew what was expected.

 

Why he  didn’t Deliver is a mystery as the components were there.  Naghdi - tick.  Ball - a trifle underpowered but still good.  Costumes - tick.  

 

Music, frame not right at all. Most relevantly, it seems not to have anything to do with the dance. Secondly, it was all scored on one mournful level and don’t reflect the change and n mood from ‘oh what a lovely war’ to the supreme sacrifice. Most pertinently for me, it was discordant throughout whichmay accurately reflect the ultimate sorrow of war, but did not chime with the early stages of the performance which was all about the boys joining up. The first two years of the Great War were about groups of pals joining up together, of jingoism where the whole country was behind the war effort.

 

I found myself wondering how anyone above the Grand Tier saw much at all...

 

so,not bad,but...

 

 

 

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I was there this evening and as an extra bonus saw Lady Sarah Chatto and son. 

Anyhow as a work of art the Unknown Soldier looks amazing. As a dance piece it is strangely unmoving. 

 

Infra I really liked and found it moving.

 

And Symphony definitely shows off the musicality of all.

 

Piece of the night though was So And in Infra.

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I’m not seeing this bill till last night. Greatly looking forward to Infra and Symphony, just feeling (probably completely unfairly...) that I’d have liked to see Gloria as the WW1 piece. 

Edited by Vanartus
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Unknown Soldier was nicely danced, nicely costumed with nice music and a nice set.  I found it pleasant, but it should have been more than that. Infra I enjoyed more than on previous outings and Symphony in C highly enjoyable. The whole company seemed on great form. Particularly enjoyed Alexander Campbell - just love his dancing 

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I found The Unknown Soldier intensely moving; in fact I was in tears as it ended. Apart from the film projections, I found the early sections a bit bland, and EXTREMELY annoying because of that ridiculous scrim stopping half way down and obscuring the view of much of the stage for I would think quite a lot of the auditorium. To me, that was plain stupid. Did no-one watch the ballet from anywhere other than the stalls? Did no-one think of this? But when the scrim went up and I could see properly, things gradually improved as the relationship between the two leads blossomed. And it then went from strength to strength - the movement was more interesting and individual, and the words/interviews used were simple and devastating in their power. I thought Yasmine Naghdi was superb and so expressive, both with Matthew Ball and on her own. The receipt of the telegram was shattering; but it was the ending of the ballet that was both original and life-affirming. Ball running and then dancing on his own, in his new life; and then suddenly joined by all the other beautiful young men, also restored to life, their bodies glowing and their limbs flying. And the endless names running past our eyes - lost, but not lost, and never forgotten. (Why did the scrim stay down throughout the applause though??!! Absolutely daft.)

 

Infra: I know these dancers are incredibly strong and flexible, but I really have no wish to see them used as hyperextended bendy dolls. Mainly stretching and contorting masquerading as dance, IMHO.

 

Symphony in C: what a ballet. Magnificent. Very difficult, very exposing, but magnificent. I thought all the principals (cast as on the rehearsal list shown above) were excellent,

with a particular shout for Alexander Campbell who has (when relevant) a showbizzy pizzazz (??!) that I think suits Balanchine very well. One of my desert island ballets.

 

I didn't think the bill was very well balanced though. The first two works both used projections above the dancers on a bare stage, so although the Marriott work was much more ambitious the effect was slightly repetitious (and gave rise to the perhaps unworthy thought that they'd been paired together in order to save money on separate uses of the film equipment...). And then Symphony in C seemed to come out of nowhere; on a different planet visually and stylistically from the other works. But nevertheless, a terrific end to the evening.

 

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I found 'Unknown Soldier' very moving - nice blend of film projections, then into live dance. The main pdd between Matthew Ball and Yasmine Naghdi was beautiful, and beautifully danced. Also very moving, was Akane Takada in Infra - as the music swells and her face is crumpled in woe - my goosebumps had goosebumps. As for Symphony in C - ballet perfection! 🙂

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I would like to thank Alastair Marriott for at least using a scrim in the last part of the ballet: if we have to have lights shining in our eyes from the back of the stage - something which happens in far too many dance numbers for my liking - far better for my migraines for them to be muted somewhat rather than full intensity.

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Maybe it was just me and the Unknown Soldier. I liked it anshould it is ravishing to look at. Maybe it is a bit late for WW1. There were so many things done for it.

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7 hours ago, Shya100 said:

 

So much for typing on my phone. Takada.

 

Indeed..from Mayerling, to La Bayadere, to Infra, to Symphony in C, this young lady (along with Yasmine Naghdi and indeed the RB company as a whole) is really on a roll this season. I am just amazed how all these dancers move seemingly effortlessly from one dance to another, whether  narrative based, romantic, modern/experimental, classical or neoclassical, and perform them so beautifully.

Edited by Richard LH
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Last night: I thought the dancing in S in C was effervescent - it was a really enjoyable performance. Infra made for fascinating viewing (for me, at least) but I found the young cast did not pack  the emotional punch that I had experienced when I last saw it danced by  the Mariinsky.  Also, I was not sure that the all dancers had really mastered the particular choreographic idiom, although I  agree that Akada was completely compelling. Last and very much least, for me, was the US: I think that this is a facile work, far too derivative, and not helped by the music  (composed by numbers?) or designs (ill-conceived). It is a sign that something is awry , surely, when the spoken extracts are more effective than the dance content.. I think that it was a wasted opportunity, and reflects serious errors of judgment by a number of people involved (not on the stage).  I absolve the dancers because they danced with full commitment but I don't think that anyone could salvage this vapid piece.  

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I agree with Shya and Richard LH: for me, the night belonged to Yasmine Naghdi (in all three pieces - is three debuts and  premiere in one evening a first for a Principal? - and wonderful throughout) and Akane Takada (also showing us her artistry in both contemporary and classical works - wonderful too). Is there anything these two amazing young ballerinas can't do? 

 

I need to mull The Unknown Soldier over, and maybe see it again, before expressing a view. But I surprised myself by enjoying Infra - I think largely because of the particular dancers on stage (stunning movement from Francisco Serrano).

 

There can't have been  much rehearsal time for Symphony in C in particular and Balanchine makes very different choreographic demands from those of La Bayadere. The RB 'got away with it' through the joy of dance (and Muntagirov's smile among smiles) but I think it will get better over the run.

 

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