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Everything posted by Fonty

  1. πŸ˜€ It has been so long since I have seen any dancers, I am struggling to put names to faces. Who were they in the photos, Rob? (Just the main dancers will do.)
  2. Could one of the issues be that performing Ashton requires a level of pin sharp technical accuracy, particularly with regard to footwork, that is not quite so necessary for Juliet and Manon? I have heard it said that the role of Juliet is not technically that difficult. Plus R & J, Manon and Mayerling have such terrific plots, allowing the dancers to display their dramatic skills. A girl pouting at her lover to catch his attention in Two Pigeons, or sneaking off behind her mother's back to enjoy a romantic tryst in Fille, requires a much more subtle approach. It doesn't capture the imagination in the same way from a performing point of view as Manon dying in the swamps, I would imagine. For some reason, someone who excels in comedy is never given the same credit for their acting skills as a tragedian. When was the last time someone won Best Actor for a comedy role in the Oscars, I wonder?
  3. I think Monica Mason started the trend by employed McGregor as the resident choreographer. A completely crackpot idea in my opinion, totally wrong for a classical ballet company. I know nothing about opera, so I can't think of a suitable analogy. However, I would imagine appointing, say, Andrew Lloyd Webber, to write one new piece for the Royal Opera every year might not be too well received by those preferring more traditional fare? Having said that, as I enjoy Lloyd Webber's musicals, I rather fancy the idea of him having a go!
  4. Ok, I know these have been exceptional circumstances, and we are all overjoyed to see the RB back on stage. However, this seems to be the message being put across generally - Kevin O'Hare giving "an important indicator for the company’s future" to quote one review. If the future rep is going to consist of modern works, the 3 Tchaikovsky ballets, and the full length MacMillan ballets in rotation, with the occasional Month in the Country to satisfy Ashton fans (or possibly Marguerite and Armand if someone is retiring) then I might have to give up watching the Royal Ballet. If heritage works are going to be reduced to something dusted off to mark an anniversary in the company's history, tentatively danced to cool reviews, and thankfully discarded afterwards, then I might have to give up going. While I don't mind a new work, I want to see it balanced with something more traditional with attractive costumes. People in office outfits, or leading ladies with bare legs (a particular dislike of mine) just don't do it for me.
  5. She is 27. I am surprised that Anna Rose O'Sullivan is also 27. Where does the time go?
  6. Now that is a book I must have, however long it takes to be published.
  7. We can all express our hopes with regard to farewell performances though, can't we?
  8. So which one of these new dancers will excel in the Ashton works then? πŸ™‚ I think Anna Rose O'Sullivan has been groomed for the highest rank since she joined the company, so that doesn't come as any surprise. I cannot say I know too much about Fumi, although she has always struck me as a very polished, elegant dancer. As far the others, it remains to be seen, but like others I am surprised at some of the promotions. It seems natural to assume that some people will be leaving, as otherwise there will be too many dancers in certain ranks to allow them all to get a fair crack at the major roles. However, I am very sad to think that one of my favourites may not be appearing on stage when things finally get back to normal.
  9. Sorry that came out so huge. I tried to edit but it wouldn't allow me to put in the link without the picture. πŸ™‚
  10. Been a long time since I have taken any ballet exams, but surely there are quite strict rules when it comes to what is described as classical ballet technique? Hence the Encyclopaedia Britannica definition. It doesn't matter whether it is the Sleeping Beauty or Giselle, the movements themselves follow the same principles. I don't think the classical ballet curriculum has altered that much over the last 100 years, has it? It might go back a lot further, I don't know. However, the greats of old, such as Margot Fonteyn, would immediately be familiar with classwork being taught today if they suddenly reappeared on earth. Companies are still dancing ballets choreographed for her, after all (and struggling with it in many cases.) I would put Ashton firmly in the classical ballet category for that reason. Likewise MacMillan. Some of his pas de deux work might raise an eyebrow amongst the purists, perhaps? But he could and did choreograph ballets based on pure classical ballet techniques. I am not that familiar with Balanchine, but the stuff I have seen such as Jewels look to be firmly based on the types of movements practised every day in class. On the other hand, Wayne Macgregor's stuff, certainly doesn't follow those rules. Nor would he describe himself as a classical ballet choreographer, would he? So I would say modern dance, modern ballet, contemporary ballet or whatever you like to call it, doesn't demand the same strict positioning of the body, the limbs and the feet as classical ballet. I would also say that the type of music used adds to the definition of what is and isn't classical ballet. Try doing any ballet movements to pop records, for example. Nothing to do with the actual music itself. I am sure someone could choreograph a wonderful classical ballet pas de deux to something like Bridge over Troubled Water. But for so much stuff, it just isn't possible to perform the steps correctly in time with the music. Having said that, I have suddenly got an image of a ballerina doing fouettes to this. Bit slow perhaps? Maybe Italian fouettes?
  11. Oh, I agree. My thought was that perhaps some of the younger members of the company might be given the opportunity to test themselves with his choreography in the smaller space. Personally, I would rather see Wayne McGregor's stuff permanently scheduled in the Linbury, leaving the main stage for a bit more Ashton. πŸ™‚
  12. 🀣 Ah, how I miss Mr Crisp's reviews. I really like @jmhopton's idea of Ashton being performed on a regular basis in the Linbury.
  13. Goodness, what was the designer thinking of with those ghastly primary coloured outfits for Les Rendezvous? 😡 Those huge, bright polka dots must have been so distracting. The original outfits were elegant and charming. Frankly, the new ones look more appropriate for something like the Kingdom of Sweets. On the subject of an Ashton Society, what would be the chances of getting all the Ashton repertoire under one roof, as it were, and owned by such a Society or Foundation or whatever? Would the costs of buying them back be prohibitive? Do they actually have that much value now to the current owners if they are not being shown?
  14. For goodness sake, this sounds grossly insensitive from just about everyone. I am appalled by this. I cannot think of any reason why she shouldn't be allowed to wear a bra, for example. I went to a vocational school, admittedly rather a long time ago, and we were positively encouraged to wear one when we first started requiring such a garment. I can't think why it would be any different now. Oh, and we didn't do anything like 16 hours of training. At 10 or 11, I think we did no more than 10 hours a week at the most.
  15. I have read this thread and I am slightly confused. @balletmom225When you say the teachers have "hinted" that she should move to their less intensive ballet programme, what exactly do they mean by that. What is the intensive ballet programme, and how does it differ from the other programmes. Why are they suggesting this? After all, your daughter hasn't lost the ability to do classical ballet moves simply because she has gone through puberty and now has to wear a bra! I think you should book an appointment with them and ask them to explain themselves fully, rather than hinting. If they are saying this because they think your daughter is getting self conscious and embarrassed, which is a possibility, the answer is not to shove her off to another class where the dancers wear less revealing outfits. The answer is to deal with it sensitively. Has your daughter said anything to you about it? She isn't being bullied by the other girls, is she, for looking different? In which case, that really is for the class teachers to deal with and stamp out.
  16. I just read this in my news feed. I was shocked to see it. Very, very sad news.
  17. I have read this thread with interest. I agree with so many people that there are many, many ballets that I would love to see again, or for the first time. Now, I know this might be slightly contentious, but I wonder if the reason that so many of these things are no shown very often, if at all, is because the dancers themselves don't want to do them? I know the Director has control of the programming, but even so I suppose a certain amount of thought has to be given as to whether or not the works will suit the company as it is now. I remember enjoying Les Patineurs when it was revived, but I have to say some of the dancers didn't look entirely comfortable with the choreography, and didn't seem to convey the idea that they were dancing on ice. Likewise, I was so disappointment when I saw one of the revivals of Birthday Offering. The dancers were dutifully going through the steps, but that was just about all I could say for it. When Ashton is performed correctly, as it was originally intended, then it is wonderful. Performed by dancers who are giving it their best shot but don't really enjoy doing it, and you wonder why on earth the ballet became so popular in the first place. My all time favourite is Symphonic Variations, and I live in fear that one day it will be staged to cater for the seeming preference of today's dancers for a slower pace, and all the other things that suck the life out of not just Ashton, but works by other choreographers as well, and which have been discussed on this forum many, many times before. The second act of Swan Lake is usually ruined for me, because the horribly slow pace makes Siegfried look as though he is struggling to prevent from escaping a female who has inherited the characteristics of some slightly too heavy land mammal, rather than those of a swan attempting flight. Ok, slight exaggeration there, but often a bird is not the first thing that springs to mind when I watch it. On the other hand, the dancers seem to love performing Wayne McGregor's stuff. I assume it is because they get the chance to have something choreographed especially for them? I have seen just about all his works, and I am not his greatest fan. He has his moments, but the modern style of choreography is not to my taste. However, one thing about it is that with regards to classical ballet technique, it hides any possible errors. I wouldn't know whether it is being danced brilliantly or not, whereas something like SV, or some of the other works mentioned, expose any technical weaknesses ruthlessly. I have made my deliberately controversial remarks, and will now sit back and wait for others with much greater knowledge then me to explain the superior technical abilities of today's dancers. πŸ™‚
  18. Etudes is another one that I was thinking about. That would be perfect, especially the bit at the end when the dancers leap across the stage. If anything could express the joy of coming out of lock down perfectly that would be it.
  19. Le Corsaire is exactly the sort of ballet that I had in mind. Seen the ENB production several times and really enjoyed it.
  20. Am I the only one who is not bouncing with enthusiasm over this announcement? On paper it sounds as though the bulk is going to be less classical than I would like. I enjoy Forsythe in moderation, but preferably in the middle of a triple bill, with classical pieces on either side. The idea of a whole evening doesn't fill me with great joy, although I am relieved to see that the music for one is by James Blake. The first time I scanned it, I misread it and thought it said James Blunt. I might hold off seeing the new Raymonda until reviews come in, although I think I can safely assume that as it is set around the Crimean War the dancers won't be wearing tutus. Wayne Eagling's Nutcracker is my least favourite production of a ballet I have seen so many times I vowed never to go again. So that leaves the Khan. I like his work, but we've all been in lock down for a year. Do I really want to see a ballet drawing on themes of abandonment, isolation and the fragility of the mind? I know these have been very difficult times for all the dancers, but personally I was hoping for a programme based around more traditional pieces, which are lively and fun. I am desperate to see something with glorious music and fabulous dancing. I don't want anything that reminds me of loneliness! Edited to add that I realise that things have been held over from the pre lockdown season, but even so I am still a bit disappointed.
  21. Presumably the teacher could just remove the word "Swans" and just advertise it as Senior Ballet? I agree this does seem a bit heavy handed and overwhelmingly petty on the part of the RAD, though.
  22. Fonty

    Room 101

    The problem is that people who genuinely cannot wear a mask are going to be a risk. If non mask wearing was limited to those with proof of medical exemption it would probably be fine, but there was a shocking video taken last week in a supermarket in Greenwich, showing about 15 people in the space of 6 minutes shopping without a mask on. I cannot believe they all qualify for exemption.
  23. Not quite a performance, as such, but I was suffering insomnia last night. I got up about 4.15am, switched on the tv, and saw Tamara Rojo being interviewed on Hard Talk on the BBC. I haven't checked, but I assume it was going out live, although quite why it was being done at that time of the morning I don't know. I missed that start, but amongst other things, Rojo was saying that ENB has until April before it goes bankrupt. The situation is very grim indeed.
  24. Fonty

    Room 101

    This is the problem. Last time I looked, the government guidelines said that people do not actually have to provide proof of medical exemption if they don't want to. It all seems a total waste of time, as that allows anyone who doesn't like wearing one to do so with impunity.
  25. Fonty

    Room 101

    My independent chemist also has the same sign, plus strict rules as to how many people can enter the shop at any one time. We were all queuing up outside. Shame about the assistant who was striding about the shop helping customers with her face mask under her chin.
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