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It may have happened on Monday, but I certainly didn't notice if it did.  

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45 minutes ago, Fonty said:

It may have happened on Monday, but I certainly didn't notice if it did.  

On Monday it was the wonderful Emily Suzuki and she chose not to.  At the 'Creatives' session on Tuesday, the two representatives of the Pina Bausch Foundation did say there was room for interpretation within the choreography.  Quite frankly, I find bearing a breast adds nothing to the performance.  It was very much the trend in the 1970s to feature nudity within new works (strangely, complete nudity for male dancers, apart from Pilobolus, quickly went out of fashion because part of the male anatomy refused to be choreographed, leading to a famous headline by dance writer Deborah Jowitt!) so that element of the piece is very much of its time.  

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22 minutes ago, Irmgard said:

part of the male anatomy refused to be choreographed

 

Brilliant ! 

 

Its very tempting to continue responding along these lines, on the grounds that  Funny Friday may grant immunity from the normal discretion that, very appropriately,  Forum members normally apply. 

 

However I will resist a) because I can't immediately think of anything funny enough and b) I feel I should not detract from the amazing performances and commitment displayed by all the dancers in Le Sacre du printemps,  with  Francesca Velicu, in particular,  so striking and moving  last night as The Chosen One.  This is such a unique, powerful ballet. 

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A friend who went thought it was a wardrobe malfunction( breast exposure)  but as I remember it happening before I said perhaps it is part of the piece as such...which it appears it is. 

In the context of this piece it is sort of appropriate I suppose ......but personally think it adds nothing so am happy for dancers to choose not to.

The dancing speaks for itself. In fact it is so intense that I can imagine people not being in the mood for it on occasions.

I had to leave slightly early on Tuesday ( not my choice) but I can imagine that it's not something you would want to see if had been going through some very intense stuff in your real life.....which says how powerful it is.

 

 

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Some £70 tickets for tonight on the website ...

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Unsurprised to find I got the same "Chosen One" on each occasion :( 

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A few more thoughts on this triple bill - although  not on Le Sacre du printemps - I don't know that I could do it justice - I think it is something that just has to be experienced.

 

I was mightily impressed with Begona Cao in Broken Wings - first time I have seen her live - such an accomplished dancer and powerful character!  Broken Wings itself was a bit mixed for me - I loved most of the  staging, costumes and visual effects, and there were some very moving references to her art and to her personal struggled and pain. Some  sections seemed to go on a bit long ( particularity  the section where a lady sings which a rather repetitive song) and I was not particularity fond of the  Diego Rivera character. I suppose he had to be there as an essential  part of Frida  Kahlo's story but somehow I would have preferred more emphasis on herself, along with  more interpretations of her art and achievements.

 

 Nora was OK, but it felt to me more like the last Act of a ballet yet to be written.  I had swatted up on the Doll House story in advance , but  I am not sure I followed quite what was supposed to be happening with the various documents and whether this properly reflected the play. I am not sure either that the ballet fully showed Nora being treated as a doll by her husband Torvald, and  his self-obsession, and the impact and meaning of her exit at the end was rather muted . A difficult and complex play to successfully  represent in one Act, perhaps. 

 

But a great bill all in all, and good value as already mentioned. 

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Great evening tonight.  I've seen BW and RoS a few times over their two runs and enjoyed every cast.  Of the Fridas I've seen, I think Tamara Rojo best captures the pain, and Begoña the joy - but Katja Khaniukova gave a well balanced performance tonight. In the Bausch, Precious Adams threw herself into the Chosen One role tonight and was very powerful.  For me in Rite of Spring however, even when as tonight she is not the Chosen One, Francesca Velicu is on another level and simply owns the stage - she really seems to become the character rather than play it, and I couldn't take my eyes off her.  It's an absolutely gut-wrenching work, a real masterpiece.

 

As for Nora, not knowing the play, I had little idea what was going on, but aside a few McGregoresque arm-whirls I enjoyed the choreography and thought Stina had put together a visually appealing piece. 

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By a stroke of luck, I was able to attend the last performance of this triple bill yesterday evening at Sadler’s Wells.  It means I have been able to see five out of Khaniukova’s six performances as Frida in “Broken Wings” and it has been a joy and a privilege to watch her develop the character since I first saw her in the masterclass at Markova House two weeks before opening night.  While she has captured Frida’s zest for life, especially in the vivacious pas de deux with Barry Drummond as the Young Boy and in her mischievous interplay with the skeletons, it is her depiction of tragedy and Frida’s dogged determination to overcome it which I feel has matured in her interpretation over the past ten days.  The miscarriage scene was especially heartrending as she seemed to cling on to the ribbon with all her might, as was the despair on her face and in her body language as this was ripped from her hands.  After she has caught Diego with his mistress and puts on his jacket as if for comfort, the ensuing pas de deux with the skeleton in the green skirt (Junor Souza) was particularly violent last night, as if Frida were fighting with herself (the skeleton wears the yellow headdress of flowers which Diego had placed on her head earlier to symbolise their love) to rid herself of her demons, i.e. her failing health and increasing disability.  Above all, I was moved by the final pas de deux at the moment when, to the plangent piano solo exquisitely played by Julia Richter, Diego tries to attract her attention and the far-away look on her face, especially in her eyes, indicates she is already lost to the world.  There is a brief flicker of recognition and a playful kiss, reminiscent of their first meeting, and a last attempt to ‘fly’ (which Khaniukova does with a wonderful awkwardness to show that, in reality, Frida’s leg had been amputated by this point) before she collapses.  As with all the performances I have seen, the bird (Adriana Lizardi) fluttering above her tomb is a totally uplifting experience after this gentlest of deaths.  Khaniukova has shown in these performances what an exceptional artist she is, both technically and artistically, and I hope this will lead to her being featured more regularly when it comes to casting major roles in ENB’s repertoire.  Another exceptional artist who proved that she has the ability to make something special out of the smallest of roles is Jia Zhang who appeared as the stag/deer in this performance, making her encounter with Frida and her death something very moving.  It has also been a delight to have the great Mukhamedov back onstage, a dream partner for Khaniukova and for Alison McWhinney as the Mistress, perfectly capturing Diego Rivera’s larger than life personality.  My one regret is that I was only able to see one performance by the magnificent Begoña Cao as Frida but I hope this work will be revived soon or that the company acquires the planned full-length version by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.  As a point of interest, she posted on her Facebook page that five of her ballets were being presented in five different countries last night – quite an achievement!

 

“Nora” received another quality performance from Jeffrey Cirio, Junor Souza and, above all, Crystal Costa, not forgetting the crucial contribution from the Five Voices.  I note that some members on here have mentioned that they did not think Torvald looked like an abusive husband and that they looked too happy together.  This is where I think Quagebeur has scored, in showing that domestic abuse in the form of controlling behaviour is insidious in nature and it may take a very long time for the victim to realise that he/she is being abused, as it does in Ibsen’s play.  For Nora, as we learn from the play, this comes after many years of being treated as the “little woman” with no mind of her own and being the child-like creature her husband desires.  For the first time last night, I noticed how much the set reflects Nora’s transformation.  During the final pas de deux with Torvald when she resists his advances, the black curtains gradually enclose the box representing their home, leaving only the small ‘doorway’ through which she finally leaves.  As this also closes, and Torvald is left alone, the structure of the house he has created breaks up (this I have noticed at all other performances), as if his carefully constructed world has come crashing down around him. 

 

The evening finished with another awe-inspiring performance from the dancers and orchestra of ‘Sacre’, featuring Precious Adams once more as the chosen one in her visceral interpretation of the sacrificial dance.  This was the third time I had seen her and my only regret was that I had not seen Emily Suzuki once more so that I would have seen two performances each by all three of the chosen ones.  It seems invidious to single out dancers for special praise in such an otherwise ensemble piece, but I have been very impressed by the athleticism of Pedro Lapetra and Eric Woolhouse (sadly absent last night) amongst the men, and the beauty yet rawness of movement of Sarah Kundi as one of the more featured females who has found herself flung against James Streeter’s face to sit astride his shoulders at most of the performances I have seen and who has an almost matriarchal gravitas as the chosen one seems to plead for her help.  As always, the star for me was the music, superbly conducted by Gavin Sutherland, and it was rather wonderful to see the mutual admiration between the orchestra and the dancers as they applauded each other during the curtain calls. 

 

Having been intrigued by the two red dresses, I watched very carefully last night and it appears that the second dress Is actually inside the first dress and the girls very discreetly separate the two while they are grouped in the tightly-knit circle before the selection begins.

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6 hours ago, Irmgard said:

the beauty yet rawness of movement of Sarah Kundi as one of the more featured females who has found herself flung against James Streeter’s face to sit astride his shoulders at most of the performances I have seen and who has an almost matriarchal gravitas as the chosen one seems to plead for her help. 

 

Ah, so that's who it was.  She's struck me each time.

 

I'd be interested to know: is it possible to work out from the choreography who the Chosen One is going to be?  I mean, are there certain parts in the run-up which are danced by whichever dancer is going to be the Chosen One, or does everyone dance their own part each time regardless, so that there may be a greater or lesser gap between the dancer's "break-out" and her then being chosen?  Not having seen any variety in the casts, I haven't been able to work it out.

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3 hours ago, alison said:

I'd be interested to know: is it possible to work out from the choreography who the Chosen One is going to be?  I mean, are there certain parts in the run-up which are danced by whichever dancer is going to be the Chosen One, or does everyone dance their own part each time regardless, so that there may be a greater or lesser gap between the dancer's "break-out" and her then being chosen?  Not having seen any variety in the casts, I haven't been able to work it out.

 

I wondered that, too, Alison. Having only attended the final performance, I had no way of knowing; or, indeed, of weighing the different interpretations in either Broken Wings or Rite of Spring but what a class act all round and what an inspiring evening. This company just gets better and better; unmissable in everything that it does.

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9 hours ago, alison said:

 

Ah, so that's who it was.  She's struck me each time.

 

I'd be interested to know: is it possible to work out from the choreography who the Chosen One is going to be?  I mean, are there certain parts in the run-up which are danced by whichever dancer is going to be the Chosen One, or does everyone dance their own part each time regardless, so that there may be a greater or lesser gap between the dancer's "break-out" and her then being chosen?  Not having seen any variety in the casts, I haven't been able to work it out.

No, not possible.  As far as I could see, having watched it six times (!), Francesca Velicu and Emily Suzuki danced the same 'role' each time, whether or not they ended up being the chosen one.  When Francesca Velicu was the chosen one, Precious Adams did the 'role' I have mentioned Sarah Kundi dancing in the other performances so she seemed to be the only one dancing different choreography when and when not dancing the chosen one but, as far as I remember, she did not dance the 'matriarchal' role (as I have named it) during the one show I saw when Emily Suzuki danced the chosen one.  Therefore, until they step out of the circle, it really is impossible for the audience to tell (and the order of this is obviously carefully worked out before each show so that the dress/es are handed to each other in the correct order).

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On 14/04/2019 at 16:18, Irmgard said:

  After she has caught Diego with his mistress and puts on his jacket as if for comfort,

 

Indeed, or possibly comfort turning into rejection - for anyone unfamiliar with Frida's work this scene, with the jacket and the skeletons holding her detached braids, is a direct reference to her painting here.  Similarly the miscarriage scene with the red ribbons refers to this henry ford hospital painting, and there are of course many other references - the Wounded Deer, the Broken Column,  and many others. Her work can be very dark, so even the fluttering bird at her death also evokes that in the grisly 'A Few Small Nips'.  I wish this were on DVD so I could sit and spot them all at leisure!  

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11 hours ago, Quintus said:

 

Indeed, or possibly comfort turning into rejection - for anyone unfamiliar with Frida's work this scene, with the jacket and the skeletons holding her detached braids, is a direct reference to her painting here.  Similarly the miscarriage scene with the red ribbons refers to this henry ford hospital painting, and there are of course many other references - the Wounded Deer, the Broken Column,  and many others. Her work can be very dark, so even the fluttering bird at her death also evokes that in the grisly 'A Few Small Nips'.  I wish this were on DVD so I could sit and spot them all at leisure!  

Thank you very much for this!  I thought it might be for comfort at first because both Cao and Khaniukova almost caress the jacket and then sniff it (as they 'sniff' Rivera on their first encounter - something Ochoa was very specific about in her masterclass) but this reference to yet another of her paintings shows how much there is to discover in this ballet, as I found on each of my six viewings of it this time round!  A DVD would certainly be very welcome!

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