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Jane S

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  1. Thanks - it's been a very long update, though, and I don't remember seeing any warning about it, which they usually do. Just keep checking, I guess.
  2. I've been unable to reach the balletalert site all day - anyone who uses had better luck?
  3. That's a bit hard, isn't it? David Dougill had only just over 400 words to set the scene for general readers and then to review two casts, and he manages to praise 13 dancers by name - seems rather well balanced to me!
  4. The Outstanding Performance awards are for a single performance - someone who only appeared once in the whole year could be nominated.
  5. I'm struggling to remember a time when they did flag debuts in minor roles (or major ones, come to that) - was it quite recently? (Also I don't know how to delete tags when quoting a previous message!)
  6. Gregory Dean's latest ballet, Blixen, opens tonight in Copenhagen. There's an interesting podcast in whch Dean, Kizzy Matiakis (who has the title role tonight) and the designer Jon Morrell talk about the problems of bringing Karen Blixen's life to the stage. (The music is by Debussy.) One idea that's new to me, at least, is that Matiakis does the whole ballet in the first cast but at some later performances the role is split between Ida Praetorius (Young Karen) and Gudrun Bojesen (Older Karen). Matiakis, who is within a couple of years of mandatory retirement at 40, feels she's at exaactly the right point in her life to be able to do both and sounds to be relishing the challenge. I hope anyone who sees her, or the Praetorius/Bojesen combination, will write a nice long piece about it for us.
  7. 60 years ago at this very minute I was at Covent Garden for the very first time, watching a matinee of Swan Lake (still Le Lac des Cygnes at that time) with Svetlana Beriosova and Donald Macleary. It was a very foggy day and my train was 3 hours late so I missed most of Act 1 - they used to let latecomers in to stand at the sides of the Stalls Circle and I vaguely remember just catching the end of the pas de trois. Beriosova was already my idol and I had never seen her live before - I thought she was wonderful. Otherwise from my notes I seem to have been most impressed by the size of the stage and the way the curtains went up 'sideways' - but looking at the cast now I really wish I could see the cygnets again - Merle Park, Antoinette Sibley, Doreen Wells and Debra Wayne - Wayne didn't stay long in the company but she had already danced Odile at her graduation performance and I wonder if they ever again had four once-and-future-Odiles as cygnets! My Stalls Circle seat cost 17/6 (about 86p) and the programme was 1 shilling. I don't remember if the fog had lifted by the end of the afternoon but it was a memorable day, anyhow!
  8. From an interview with Christopher Hampson by Kelly Apter in The List: 'We're using all of Kenneth's original choreography and the same score,' explains Hampson, 'but there will be some adaptations in terms of the scenes we present, and the order we present them in. So it's two acts rather than three, and because there will be far less pageantry around Rudolf, we'll really focus in on those iconic, key dramatic moments in his life.' Well hallelujah. I've been saying, and writing, for so long that there could be fine, strong ballets buried inside MacMillan's blockbusters and I'm so pleased someone is trying this! Hope it's a huge success. Extra doublegood if they drop the brothel scene.
  9. Denise Nunn danced Concerto with Nicholas Whittle at the 1974 RBS performance but she also danced with Michael Batchelor in the same performance in Friday in Ashton's Jazz Calendar.
  10. The credits list says 'Developed in association with Lady Deborah Macmillan'. Also 'Adapted for Scottish Ballet by Christopher Hampson and Gary Harris' Could be a great improvement!
  11. I should have said that Shine On is not being done at every venue on the tour.
  12. This morning's links include a long and detailed review by Claire Seymour of the Alston company's programme at Snape Maltings on Saturday. I saw the same programme the night before, which included the first performance of Shine On, the latest addition to Alston's probably unequalled list of dances to the music of Benjamin Britten - I say 'the latest' rather than 'the last' in the hope that this isn't the end: the last poem in the piece ends '... the loss as major, And final, final' but I would sooner believe Alston's own very brief speech at the end - "I LOVE this place. I will not say goodbye". Anyway. I liked Shine On a lot, despite my own very strong preference for a tenor voice in this music (no disrespect at all to the soprano. Katherine McIndoe). I did wish though that Alston had found rather more depth in the Nocturne ('Now through night's caressing grip') - for me it's one of the most beautiful pieces Britten ever wrote and I was hoping for a stronger response. The programme ended happily with Brahms Hungarian, which I hadn't seen before - and if you are a ballet-goer I defy you to sit through it without once thinking "Dances at a Hungarian Gathering" - and very nice too.
  13. Anne, I believe that if you really don't like a ballet after 20 years of trying, you probably never will. Just stop going to it - it' s a huge relief, as I found myself with Manon , decades ago!
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