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  1. I think it is true to say that several theatres have been built or rebuilt on the site, and the "old" theatre was far from being "antique". So at what point in time would a new short name be appropriate seeing that the full name has not changed over the centuries? Now, if a theatre on the site was no longer called Sadler's Wells then that would be the time to dump tradition.
  2. I have noticed that several members posting on this site refer to Sadler's Wells theatre in its shortened form as" Sadler's". This is a recent departure from the long established tradition of "The Wells". When Michael Sadler built his theatre on this site at the end of the 17th Century it was found to contain a number of wells constructed by the monks of nearby Clerkenwell Abbey. The water from these wells was thought to have therapeutic properties, and so Mr Sadler decided to add to the attraction of his venture by not only offering his patrons theatrical entertainment but possible cures for their ailments by "taking the waters". Sadler has long gone and his theatre has had several subsequent owners , but the wells remain. even though their waters are no longer considered therapeutic. There is one in the basement of the present theatre under a plate glass cover, and I understand that there are several more under the former Metropolitan Water Board building opposite the theatre, When Pinero wrote his play "Trelawny of the Wells" the "Wells" theatre of the title although not specifically "Sadler's Wells" was a thinly disguised version which contemporary audiences would have recognised. When Lilian Baylis, already owner of the Old Vic, acquired Sadler's Wells the companies that performed in the two theatres adopted the title of "Vic Wells" and not "Vic Sadler's", and the support association was, and still is the Vic Wells Association. I would therefore respectfully suggest that we continue to maintain the long established usage of "The Wells" when referring to Mr Sadler's theatre.
  3. I saw Lachlan Monaghan dance the Clog Dance from Hobson's Choice at a solos evening at the RBS when he was still a student, and.It struck me then that he was born to dance the role of Will Mossop, and it is great to see that that early promise has been fulfilled
  4. Wonderful debut from O'Sulivan and Sambe. In addition to the standing ovation they took a curtain call with the house lights on. A rare tribute these days and well deserved.
  5. Regarding McRae's jumps.He concluded his variation in the first act with a manege of Barrel Turns (tours de reins). In the white act he threw in a couple of 540s (Revoltade 540: so called because the body turns through 360 degrees and then another 180 - you can look this up on youtube). At the conclusion he did not perform the usual manege of double assembles but instead one of double sauts de basque.
  6. The Golden (? Bronze) Idol is a Soviet era addition, and definitely not by Petipa. Talking of additions, that dreadful jester in Swan lake is the work of Alexander Gorsky who interpolated it into a revival of the ballet in the early 1900s. On the subject of the Berlin production of La Bayadere, is this billed as a reconstruction or simply "after" Petipa. I note that the German text says "nach Petipa" which leads me to believe that the latter is the case.
  7. Definitely Bugaku. Long time since the RB did it. I remember seeing Bryony Brind in the female role.
  8. Further to my previous post, I have just checked out the music and it is part of No19 in the full score Act III pas de six (andante con moto). This item is for the 6 potential brides, each one having her own variation.
  9. To the best of my recollection this music has been used in a previous RB production. It is in fact the variation for the Hungarian princess in the original score.
  10. Many people seem to hate the Bintley waltz and love theAshton version act IV. My thoughts on these items are that as regards the waltz Bintley has followed quite closely Petipa's libretto (in this connexion check out Roland John Wilely's book on the Tchaikovsky Ballets.) The Ashton version of ActIV in my opinion involved far too much running around by the corps in order to form beautiful floor patterns at the expense of drama, and it is interesting to note that Ratmansky"s reconstruction is very similar to the current RB version.
  11. I agree whole heartedly with Floss's comments. It seems that my worst fears are about to be realised and that we are going to get a trendy "concept" version of SL, which while paying lip service to respecting the Petipa/Ivanov text - and for that matter the libretto too - ditches much of the choreography in favour of Scarlett's innovations. Much as I respect Scarletts own original creations I find it hard to believe that he will reveal himself as a better choreographer than Petipa or Ivanov. I think that the RB can no longer claim to be a guardian of the 19th century classics, especially since they seem to have made no effort to research the notations that are available in the Harvard collection. In future, in order to see productions closer to the original texts we shall have to look elsewhere.
  12. I think that those of us who saw Fonteyn in roles originally created for her will inevitably see "echos" of her when those roles are performed by other dancers., so I don't think that such an experience is peculiar to Sylvia although this was a role created specifically to show off Fonteyn's talents. The big difference between Fonteyn's performance and those of the current run of Sylvias is that today's dancers have a more athletic attack and bigger jump than Fonteyn.
  13. What Nunez was doing was authentic Ashton, and she was doing what Fonteyn did in the role. The only difference was that she has a naturally bigger jump than Fonteyn. The steps in act1 portray the dancers as huntresses and and are not influenced either by Balanchine or Darcey Bussell. Incidentally, regarding the music.When Tchaikowsky heard it, he admired it so much that he said that he would not have dared to compose Swan Lake if he had heard it earlier. Also the score of Sylvia was quite revolutionary in its time. Delibes was an admirer of Wagner and the score incorporates a number of Leitmotivs, which was unusual for ballet music of that period.. It also strikes me that the entree and pas des chasseresses, is a sort of gallic Ride of the Valkyries.
  14. I thought that the revival of Sylvia went very well, and overall was better danced and with stronger technique at all levels than on some occasions in the past. In particular the women's jumps are far stronger than they used to be. I saw the original production of Sylvia with Fonteyn a number of times in the past and I consider that Christopher Newton's "realisation" is pretty faithful as far as the choreography goes, However he has made changes to the drama in the second act. Originally there was no wine in Orion"s grotto, but Sylvia took some grapes and squeezed them, and made 'instant" wine - "silly" I know , but I think it was in the original libretto, and sometimes you have to suspend disbelief. Of course Orion and his minions being unacquainted with alcohol quickly got drunk and collapsed. Sylvia then tried to get out of the grotto but couldn't find a way, she then prayed to Eros, the roof of the grotto flew off and Eros was revealed standing on a sort of plinth. He beckoned to Sylvia to go free and she jetteed off into the wild woods . This ending leaves us with the question of how did she find her way onto Eros's boat, so the new ending makes more dramatic sense. Some years ago at an insight evening I mentioned the "instant wine" to Christopher Newton and was told that I was talking nonsense. However, some time later I met Valerie Taylor who was one of Orion's concubines in the original production, and she confirmed that my memory was correct. Toda's Sylvias are more athletic in act 1 than Fonteyn was, and jump higher and further. The one thing that Fonteyn lacked was a good jump, but she made you think that she had one. That solo in act 1 has a number of difficulties, steps that look easy but are not, and the only time I ever saw Fonteyn fall on stage was in that solo. Certain numbers in act 3 have been cut in this production for the simple reason that their music is not in the original score and Ashton borrowed a couple of items from "La Source". In particular I remember that there was a pas de dix for Apollo and the nine muses. I thought that Vadim Muntagirov was excellent as Aminta and made much of what is quite a slender part. To those who feel that he should have more to do I say, "Where do you find the music, and how would you fit the extra action into the drama?" His solo in act 1 was outstandigly well danced with beautiful line, fluid and assured execution and sensitive use of the upper body which I am sure would have pleased Ashton.
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