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  1. Well said Pups mum! I have more experience of specialist music schools than dance, but it took a string of very nasty scandals for them to even begin to admit that it should be "children first, musicians second". And given the recent testimony from heads and governors of various schools in front of the National Enquiry it seems that complacency is still alive and well in many places. I really hope that specialist dance schools can wake up to the fact that they are first and foremost in a position of care for children and that their mission to protect standards of dance is a secondary consideration.
  2. I was not being in the least disingenuous and am a little confused as to where your accusation of ‘fat-shaming’ came from. I was responding to the binary that you set up in your previous post between musical theatre and Tippett/Stockhausen by giving examples of the musical theatre which is musically complex and sophisticated. And as for the charge of resorting to “a higher authority” (by which I assume you mean expertise) I live with someone who works in tertiary music education and know scores of others but in fact it doesn’t take more than my basic training in theory and harmony to see that ALW’s music is harmonically basic and far more simplistic and less interesting than the work of the others I listed. It is a free country in which you are entitled to choose to spend your money on ALW’s work. But others are also free to express objective opinions about his music.
  3. Luckily for composers, death is no barrier to their works being performed
  4. Here are some examples of composers of “dramatic storylines” that “unfold through catchy tunes” which my ears tell me are vastly superior to ALW’s derivative and simplistic efforts. Hope helpful: Irving Berlin Cole Porter Ivor Novello Leonard Bernstein Noel Coward Jerome Kern George Gershwin Marvin Hamlisch Kander and Ebb Frank Loesser Lionel Bart Stephen Sondheim Lin Manuel Miranda
  5. I think those engaged in higher level music education know that ALW's work is musically banal with a generous topping of ersatz emotional manipulation. And of course, the reason Roger Waters has a problem with ALW's "genius" has long been known: An astute businessman - undoubtedly. An artist - hardly.....
  6. I think the corps dances in the street scenes have been compressed and possibly the ball scene too. The overture was also shortened.
  7. I was actually a little underwhelmed by the film. I'm not generally convinced that a "naturalistic" approach works in the context of ballet - any attempt at immersive realism is constantly interrupted by "oh she's just got out of bed but she has pointe shoes on" or "he's just stopped in the middle of a sword fight to do a pirouette". Also ballet dancers are not professional actors and it shows. Hayward has some talent in that direction and I can see why they chose Bracewell for Romeo, he looked very young on camera and has a nice smile (which they kept defaulting to as obviously it was his expression that came over best on film). Sambe had good swagger as Mercutio and Ball was a moody Tybalt, but neither was subtle (which is hardly unexpected from dancers used to "stage acting") so the overall effect was of slightly mediocre acting. And you couldn't really see how good the standard of dance was (except for a couple of moments during Mercutio's solos) because the film wasn't shot to foreground that, so the camera constantly cut away to reaction shots and didn't show feet. I'm afraid I don't buy that this is an exciting new way of telling a story through dance or that it will bring young people into ballet. It treats the audience in a rather patronising way. If one wants to see a R&J with "real emotion" I would prefer the film of Maillot's Romeo et Juliette - he uses dance steps in a far more intelligent way to remove the barrier of artificiality between the dancers and the audience. Or just see the Macmillan production on stage where it works the way it was designed too. This film is just a superficially attractive mish-mash.
  8. I believe that Nikisha Fogo was also in that year and she is now a First Soloist, which is the highest rank available, in Vienna.
  9. I think it’s because Osipova is one of the most famous ballerinas in the world - amongst the RB dancers only Nunez comes anywhere close in terms of global name recognition. And because right from the beginning of her career Osipova made bold artistic choices and her physical gifts and stage presence immediately marked her out as something quite different from the ‘ordinary’ run of talented ballerinas. She is an absolute phenomenon and so people are more likely to have strong opinions about her, for good or for bad, then they will about dancers who turn in excellent but more conventional and predictable performances.
  10. I think “unpleasant and unprofessional” is a very charitable way of describing her behaviour Lizbie1...... I used to temp at the ROH in the 90s (a couple of years after this so I do not feature in the programme, although my husband does) and do remember it being incredibly ‘jobsworthy’ and unprofessional in some departments. There were quite a few people who had been there for years and considered their way of doing things sacrosanct (for no particular reason except that it had “always been done that way”) and who looked down upon any incoming staff or visiting artists. Especially if they were “foreign”. Unless they were an acknowledged “star” in which case they fawned all over them. Put me right off a career in the arts!
  11. I also think the Florine tutu is the most flattering. The worst in my opinion are the pouffy Florestan's sisters tutus, with the ugly little neck ruffs. By the way, for anyone wanting a look at the costumes from the 1990s production of Sleeping Beauty, the old (and notorious) BBC six-part documentary on the ROH has appeared on youtube. You can see the final London rehearsal of the production before its Washington DC premiere in episode 2 - which includes Dowell's rather exasperated comments about an injured Darcy rehearsing Aurora on a shiny floor - as well as much amusement from a female dancer at the Lilac Cavalier outfits the men are er 'burdened' with. The US premiere, with the Clintons and Princess Margaret in attendance, appears in a later episode. )
  12. I agree with this. Osipova is many things but she is never boring. You can tell that she has spent hundreds of hours on stage and is a thoroughly theatrical animal. Although for anyone who has seen more than a couple of Rose Adagios it was evident how much she was struggling in Act I (shaking and at times off the music and what on earth was going on with the hand gestures on the supported attitude turns and constant hand fluttering in her solo?) she delivered it like the pro she is and most of the audience roared their approval. I was then amazed to see her come out and deliver an immaculate and rock steady Act II. I don't know what she took in the interval but it worked. I also agree with Tebalise that Hallberg, although his line is undeniably beautiful, was the weaker of the two in Act III - I thought that skipping all the overhead lifts was shocking - although they sold it with such aplomb that anyone not familiar with the pas de deux would never have known. BUT, and it is a big but, I was not bored at any point in the proceedings. And this is by no means my favourite ballet, even when immaculately performed. Totally agree with everyone that this was not an evening for lovers of pure classicism but as a spectacle it was entertaining!
  13. I wondered about that too capybara but they were only in the prologue so could have left by the end of Act 1 Lilac Fairy was Mendizabal. And other than Fumi in the prologue none of the “other” Auroras were on tonight.
  14. I defer to you JNC - I wasn’t that close so you will almost certainly know better. I was however close enough to see and be amused by the corps men coming out as “trees” for Red Riding Hood. I assume they sent the kids home since it was getting so late.
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