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6 minutes ago, David G said:

The experience of dancing on the main stage must also help the students and it must give them a focus for their dancing – and to be involved in the creation of a new ballet is something which I am sure they will remember for the rest of their lives and will assist them in their dancing careers.

 

I'm sure this is true. However, I do wonder if seeing the RBS students perform is really of great interest to a wider public coming to the ROH (as opposed to family/friends etc and those with a serious interest in ballet) and that may be at least part of the reason for the slow sales of these performances. Perhaps a stronger marketing campaign would have helped; but watching ballet students perform is quite a specialised interest so I'm not sure (especially since there were 3 performances).

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I very much welcome seeing the RBS students more often than the big performance in July but wonder with costs etc whether the main stage is the best place...perhaps in the Linbury Theatre more often to supplement the summer show? 

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I thought Jann Parry perfectly articulated what was amiss in Naghdi's portrayal of The Young Girl, in her Dance Tabs review. found in today's links. 

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And I very much enjoyed reading Jann Parry’s review of The Cunning Little Vixen.  I look back on the one performance I saw with great affection and Jann Parry certainly captures that overall sense of joy, with the unexpected happy ending, as well as the darker aspects.  I’m rather hoping Vixen might be included in the Royal Ballet School Holland Park performances - and the Annual Performance (if I can get a ticket).

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Vixen never used the full depth of the stage, did it? The screen was only part way back.  I wonder if that's a clue that it might have been created with the shallower Holland Park stage in mind (I believe it IS still relatively shallow even though for the RBS performances they extend the normally very shallow stage by covering the pit, as well as putting down an appropriate floor covering).

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1 hour ago, Darlex said:

I thought Jann Parry perfectly articulated what was amiss in Naghdi's portrayal of The Young Girl, in her Dance Tabs review. found in today's links. 

I thought she perfectly didn’t!  

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1 hour ago, Darlex said:

I thought Jann Parry perfectly articulated what was amiss in Naghdi's portrayal of The Young Girl, in her Dance Tabs review. found in today's links. 

 

On a website a reviewer of Naghdi's portrayal referred to Antoinette Sibley, who was considered too sophisticated by Ashton to dance the role of Lise in "Fille mal Gardee", that Naghdi likely has too much of MacMillan in her veins (she has two abstract Ashton ballets in her repertoire - ballets in which she shone - "Monotones" and "Symphonic Variations"), and further mention was made of Cojocaru having been criticised for acting as if she was in a MacMillan ballet when she tackled Chloe in 2004.

 

Very interesting observations indeed.

 

 

Edited by Xandra Newman
typo

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8 hours ago, David G said:

I am relieved to read some positive comments about Liam Scarlett’s Cunning Little Vixen.

 

 

Hello David and welcome out of the lurking shadows!  Now that.you've broken the posting ice I hope we will hear more from you.

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9 hours ago, bridiem said:

 

I'm sure this is true. However, I do wonder if seeing the RBS students perform is really of great interest to a wider public coming to the ROH (as opposed to family/friends etc and those with a serious interest in ballet) and that may be at least part of the reason for the slow sales of these performances. Perhaps a stronger marketing campaign would have helped; but watching ballet students perform is quite a specialised interest so I'm not sure (especially since there were 3 performances).

 

I'm afraid that I had very little interest in seeing students perform & only ended up at the first performance because I wanted to see Campbell/Naghdi. I will say that the students considerably exceeded my expectations, helped by most of them being Upper School & therefore able to do "proper" ballet, i.e. pas de deux & en pointe. I thgouth beforehand that it might be a bunch of 12 year olds skipping around, like in the party scene in The Nutcracker. I'm still not sure I'd want to see an entire programme done by students though.

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But even skipping by Royal Ballet Students is a joy to watch ....lovely height ...lovely pointed feet...lovely charm while performing!! 

 

I much much prefer watching children perform appropriate age related works than see very young children doing grown up variations as you see on YouTube and at some competitions.

 

Ive also been to Upper School performances at the RBS which have made me cry.

I just think that I'd rather see them more often but the Linbury seems more appropriate because of the costs and ticket sales probs if on at the main theatre too often. 

I guess even parents relatives and friends would have a problem ( money wise) attending too many performances put on on the main stage. 

 

 

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I’d been meaning to return to the point I’d queried about Liam Scarlett ‘s ‘flawed judgement’ but had difficulties accessing the thread the other day.

 

On 16/02/2019 at 21:29, JohnS said:

Whilst I’m sure Bridiem has reasons for what she says and might well have voiced those reasons in posts over the years, this statement to me comes a bit out of the blue on this thread.  I’d welcome some examples of ‘flawed judgement’ as I find it a little difficult to respond to such a statement which seems pretty damning.

 

Having now re-read the thread, what strikes me most as regards Scarlett is the almost universal praise for Asphodel Meadows and people’s surprise at how impressive they found the work.  There has also been a fair bit of praise for Vixen, particularly in one or two reflective posts where people had seen more than one performance.  At one point in the thread people were musing on what might be included in a Scarlett Triple Bill, with some enthusiasm.  There was perhaps one critical post highlighting a concern that Scarlett has been given too many opportunities and expensive productions.  

 

When I first read Bridie’s post I did think it a little strong and unsubstantiated in the context of this thread and drafted a brief response.  I ended up deciding to include that response when adding my thoughts about Saturday’s matinee, the deciding factor being a conversation I had where my neighbour spoke eloquently and passionately about Scarlett’s ballets.

 

On 16/02/2019 at 22:03, bridiem said:

 

I was referring to works such as Sweet Violets, The Age of Anxiety and Frankenstein, all of which I think were so chock full of design, plot, steps, and characters that they were ultimately less successful than they could have been (in spite of all the works having merits - I often really like his works at first viewing when I get swept along by their scale and ambition, but on further viewings I get frustrated by the flaws). It's really good to be ambitious but I sometimes think that 'less is more'. And as you know I think that the ending of the new Swan Lake is misjudged, marring what was otherwise a great achievement.

 

I haven't seen most of his works created for other companies, but I thought that No Man's Land for ENB was excellent. And I do have a great deal of respect for Scarlett - he has undoubted choreographic talent and a lively imagination.

 

I’m very grateful to Bridie for providing her response and elaborating on what she sees as ‘flawed judgement’.  Bridie in her initial post reserved judgement on Frankenstein and, as we will soon see what tweaks are made in the restaging, I wasn’t going to add anything about Frankenstein other than to say I’m looking forward to the second run and hope very much ticket sales will accelerate.  I appreciate the points made about design, plot, complexity etc.  But I have to say I found Sweet Violets gripping, in part because I thought the plot, choreography and music were so well integrated, and I would be very pleased to see it performed again.  I was not as moved by Age of Anxiety because I found the characters less interesting/sympathetic but I thought it certainly worked as a piece of theatre, and particularly in the cinema.  It certainly worked for me much better than Strapless, The Wind and The Unkonwn Soldier.  As regards Swan Lake, I appreciate people have different expectations for the ending but I wonder if it’s fair to say that because a choreographer takes a different view to an audience member (or even a large number of audience members) that is evidence of ‘flawed judgement’?  Taken to an extreme, that’s almost suggesting that anyone who disagrees with a particular interpretation has ‘flawed judgement’.  It strikes me many interpretations are valid and may well be worth presenting and whilst I might have preferences, I wouldn’t presume people who don’t share my preferences have ‘flawed judgement’, let alone the choreographer.

 

On 16/02/2019 at 23:59, Sim said:

I also agree with Bridie’s comments and have said so in threads about those ballets, so these comments are not out of the blue.  I think Scarlett is very talented, but for me he is hit and miss.  I think he needs to find his own choreographic voice;  I find a lot of his work very derivative, especially of MacMillan.  

 

As regards Sim’s comment, I’d just highlight that I was making the point that the criticism of Scarlett’s judgement to me came out of the blue on this thread.  The vast majority of comment to that point had been positive (if surprised) and I do think if a strong statement is being made, it really helps the debate if some argumentation is presented.

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10 minutes ago, JohnS said:

I’m very grateful to Bridie for providing her response and elaborating on what she sees as ‘flawed judgement’.  Bridie in her initial post reserved judgement on Frankenstein and, as we will soon see what tweaks are made in the restaging, I wasn’t going to add anything about Frankenstein other than to say I’m looking forward to the second run and hope very much ticket sales will accelerate.  I appreciate the points made about design, plot, complexity etc.  But I have to say I found Sweet Violets gripping, in part because I thought the plot, choreography and music were so well integrated, and I would be very pleased to see it performed again.  I was not as moved by Age of Anxiety because I found the characters less interesting/sympathetic but I thought it certainly worked as a piece of theatre, and particularly in the cinema.  It certainly worked for me much better than Strapless, The Wind and The Unkonwn Soldier.  As regards Swan Lake, I appreciate people have different expectations for the ending but I wonder if it’s fair to say that because a choreographer takes a different view to an audience member (or even a large number of audience members) that is evidence of ‘flawed judgement’?  Taken to an extreme, that’s almost suggesting that anyone who disagrees with a particular interpretation has ‘flawed judgement’.  It strikes me many interpretations are valid and may well be worth presenting and whilst I might have preferences, I wouldn’t presume people who don’t share my preferences have ‘flawed judgement’, let alone the choreographer.

 

As regards Sim’s comment, I’d just highlight that I was making the point that the criticism of Scarlett’s judgement to me came out of the blue on this thread.  The vast majority of comment to that point had been positive (if surprised) and I do think if a strong statement is being made, it really helps the debate if some argumentation is presented.

 

I don't think that choices are always just 'preferences' (though sometimes they are); sometimes I do think they're actually flawed (though I fully respect the right of others to make them, and to disagree with me.) And my comment about Scarlett was responding briefly to the previous post, which had made and quoted brief general comments about him as a choreographer. I didn't expand further because I didn't think this thread was the right place to enter into an extended discussion.

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