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Bruce

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  1. Foteini Christofilopoulou was at the The Firebird, A Month in the Country and Symphony in C photocall... Itziar Mendizabal in The Firebird © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Marianela Nuñez and Matthew Ball in A Month in the Country © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Sarah Lamb and Nicol Edmonds in Symphony in C © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Foteini Christofilopoulou: Royal Ballet in The Firebird, A Month in the Country and Symphony in C Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
  2. As we all noted some time ago and Janet reminds... the NY critics have a very different view on Jane Eyre to the UK scribblers. Marina Harss is a brilliant writer and I count us as most fortunate to run her words. We obviously all have our own tastes and perceptions. Re the NB version we ran three 4 star reviews of Jane Eyre in it's opening 2016 run. (I only intended two - premiere and when it hit London, covered by different writers, but the last one covered Hannah Bateman as Jane - a role she created in the studio but was injured and could not dance at the premiere): https://dancetabs.com/2016/05/northern-ballet-jane-eyre-doncaster/ https://dancetabs.com/2016/06/northern-ballet-jane-eyre-london/ https://dancetabs.com/2016/06/birmingham-royal-ballet-taming-of-the-shrew-northern-ballet-jane-eyre-leicester/
  3. Foteini Christofilopoulou was at the Margot Fonteyn Celebration photocall, if sadly Darcey Bussell wasn't at the call... Francesca Hayward in Ondine © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Natalia Osipova in Romeo and Juliet © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Lauren Cuthbertson in Apparitions © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Foteini Christofilopoulou: Royal Ballet's Margot Fonteyn: A Celebration Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
  4. I'm afraid it is a national difference. It's a self evident fact that the (vast) majority of critics and writers in NY don't think much of Jane Eyre. As I show above, it's a self evident fact that the (vast) majority of critics and writers in the UK think Jane Eyre a great piece. It follows that there is a difference in perception about what constitutes good narrative work. A national difference. For the avoidance of doubt I'm not saying its a national thing in some silly "The Americans are criticising Jane Eyre because it comes out of the UK" etc. Everybody is way above that. There are very different artistic tastes and value judgements at work here.
  5. Marcelino Sambé promoted to Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet The Royal Ballet announces promotion for the 2019/20 Season. Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare today announces that Marcelino Sambé has been promoted to Principal dancer, the highest rank in the Company. O’Hare comments: “I’m thrilled to announce that Marcelino Sambé will become a Principal dancer from the start of the 2019/20 Season. He has had a fantastic year with some notable debuts, including a dazzling Basilio in Carlos Acosta’s Don Quixote, and a heartfelt Romeo in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet. The impressive range of his artistry has also been displayed in his performances this Season in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs and Wayne McGregor’s Infra. He has the most wonderful personality that endears him to audiences and fellow Company members alike. I know everyone will be delighted with the news of his promotion. He has accomplished so much since joining the Company from The Royal Ballet School, and I’m very excited to see him progress to the next phase of his career.” Born in Lisbon, Marcelino Sambé joined The Royal Ballet in 2012 from The Royal Ballet Upper School. He was promoted to First Artist in 2014, Soloist in 2015 and First Soloist in 2017. He began his training at the National Conservatory of Lisbon. His repertory with the Company includes Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Basilio (Don Quixote), Colas (La Fille mal gardée), Oberon (The Dream), Hans-Peter/Nutcracker (The Nutcracker), Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), Lescaut (Manon) and Benno (Swan Lake). He has created roles in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, Obsidian Tear, Multiverse and Woolf Works by Wayne McGregor, and Hofesh Shechter’s Untouchable. Sambé’s dance awards include a silver medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 2008, first prize at the Youth American Grand Prix in 2009, a gold medal and special award at the USA International Ballet Competition in 2010 and the Dance Europe Award for Outstanding Male Performance (Classical) at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2017. Details of additional promotions, leavers and joiners will be announced at the end of the season.
  6. Marcelino Sambé promoted to Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet The Royal Ballet announces promotion for the 2019/20 Season. Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare today announces that Marcelino Sambé has been promoted to Principal dancer, the highest rank in the Company. O’Hare comments: “I’m thrilled to announce that Marcelino Sambé will become a Principal dancer from the start of the 2019/20 Season. He has had a fantastic year with some notable debuts, including a dazzling Basilio in Carlos Acosta’s Don Quixote, and a heartfelt Romeo in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet. The impressive range of his artistry has also been displayed in his performances this Season in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs and Wayne McGregor’s Infra. He has the most wonderful personality that endears him to audiences and fellow Company members alike. I know everyone will be delighted with the news of his promotion. He has accomplished so much since joining the Company from The Royal Ballet School, and I’m very excited to see him progress to the next phase of his career.” Born in Lisbon, Marcelino Sambé joined The Royal Ballet in 2012 from The Royal Ballet Upper School. He was promoted to First Artist in 2014, Soloist in 2015 and First Soloist in 2017. He began his training at the National Conservatory of Lisbon. His repertory with the Company includes Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Basilio (Don Quixote), Colas (La Fille mal gardée), Oberon (The Dream), Hans-Peter/Nutcracker (The Nutcracker), Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), Lescaut (Manon) and Benno (Swan Lake). He has created roles in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, Obsidian Tear, Multiverse and Woolf Works by Wayne McGregor, and Hofesh Shechter’s Untouchable. Sambé’s dance awards include a silver medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 2008, first prize at the Youth American Grand Prix in 2009, a gold medal and special award at the USA International Ballet Competition in 2010 and the Dance Europe Award for Outstanding Male Performance (Classical) at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2017. Details of additional promotions, leavers and joiners will be announced at the end of the season.
  7. I think it is a national thing - at writers/critics level anyway. Not sure if it's the same at audience level, but any differences there, I suspect, will be much smaller. Good to see Popkin's generally +ve review, but there are three 2 star reviews out there and one review that doesn't star rate but reads like 2 stars. Of those four, three are by writers of great consequence and much experience - Gia Kourlas, Marina Harss and Robert Greskovic. I admire them all - greatly. All up, out of a current haul of five reviews, four are very unhappy. My recollection was that back in 2016 Jane Eyre was critically well received and got 4 star reviews, either overtly or inferred from the tone of the review. I just did a quick check and came up with this list: Jane Eyre 2016 premiere and tour - reviews FT/Louise Levene/4 stars: "a textbook example of dance storytelling" Observer/Luke Jennings/4 stars: "Restrained, but clear and fluent choreography brings Charlotte Brontë’s novel to life on the stage" Telegraph/Rachel Ward/4 stars/"Marston has succeeded in crafting a beautiful and expressive new ballet that soars in the triumph of effecting change from the inside out." Guardian/Judith Mackrell/4 stars: "Cathy Marston displays a novelist’s touch in layering characters in her wonderfully choreographed show for Northern Ballet" Spectator/Ismene Brown: "It wasn’t really a surprise that Cathy Marston had a triumph with the Brontë — Royal Ballet-raised but Europe-bred, the choreographer has gradually developed a knack for character empathy and, crucially, a gift for externalising inner feelings in a vividly legible way." DanceTabs/BM/4 stars "It’s actually the best new narrative work I’ve seen Northern Ballet do in many years." BTG/Mark Smith "this ballet demonstrates a fierce intelligence and wit" Fjord/Rachel Elderkin: "this production by the Leeds-based company is a fitting celebration of the Yorkshire author’s most famous work." END of review quotes. There will inevitably be some less glowing reviews in the UK, but the point is that the overwhelming weight of critical option (here) see's the work at the 4 star level. Why this difference? I think in America Balanchine set expectations and when American critics talk of British choreographers they usually mention Ashton first. He's seen as somebody who could 'trade blows' with Balanchine at broadly equal level. MacMillan is never usually mentioned in the same breath and ultimately seen as a bit alien and second division, regardless of how he connects with the audience. Marston of course is in the MacMillan tradition and wanders further in trying to find movement that, as Ismene Brown says, is about "externalising inner feelings in a vividly legible way." For some it's about ballet steps conveying emotional drama and for others its about ballet informed movement conveying emotional drama. The above is just my hunch - PhD's could be written on all this and I'm sure there are many other takes on the differences.
  8. I was due to be there but alas will not - I got back from Leicester and the Matt Bourne R&J premiere gone 1AM and too shattered to leave home for ROH at 06:30. Pathetic I know! Good work from 'oncnp' means there is not so much to discover now. Have tweeted and credited. And included a screenshot for posterity!
  9. Foteini Christofilopoulou was at the photocall for Medusa, Within the Golden Hour and Flight Pattern... Natalia Osipova in Medusa © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Ryoichi Hirano and Lauren Cuthbertson in Within the Golden Hour © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Royal Ballet in Flight Pattern © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Foteini Christofilopoulou: Royal Ballet in Medusa, Within the Golden Hour and Flight Pattern Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
  10. Difficult and for people to do what the mods set. But I took a different view a while back wrt to Twitter and DanceTabs. I think the public record is the public record and if something has been made public (for a reasonable period of time) then it's best it remains public and if the poster subsequently believes they got it wrong then best they say why in public - but the original public comment remains. Thus the complete record is clear to all. That's very easy to say, I know(!), and sometimes things arise that would have us all act another way, but as a starting position I think it is good and sound. My specific intervention on Twitter came when David Dawson's "The Human Seasons" was put on by RB that was not so well received. Dawson unhappily and sarcastically tweeted about looking to withdraw the work - so incensed was he by the reception. The tweet was up for a good while and then was deleted. And on Twitter, I republished a picture copy of the tweet. It happened, and people could see what was going on. For those interested the Telegraph has more on the furore and quotes the tweet as well: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/23/royal-ballet-choreographer-appears-ridicule-stars/ Going back to my running of this forum, back in the early days (very early - the late 90s or early 00's) we had a few occasions when posters edited posts that had generated angry response from others. Thus it was hard to see what was going on and why umbrage had been taken. And based on that I originally introduced an editing window of 1 hour. But that still allowed problems and it came down to 15 minutes - at least for a while. And that forced posters who later felt the need to revise thoughts to post again and what was going on was clear to all. And there is still an editing window on this version of the forum - because the mods are keen not to see the public record massaged, on a whim or otherwise. Wrt to this specific case, I'm not too fussed about the PowerPoint, but I certainly have a copy of the artspro article with its 'interesting' Lucy Sinclair quotes - just in case it ever might disappear. I'm actually surprised that ROH has not commented under the piece looking to repair some damage... that they haven't I think is a mistake. None of this is easy, and the mods have my knowing sympathy!
  11. There is an interesting piece in The Stage re Facebook changes deemphasising arts journalism and the sharing of links: https://www.thestage.co.uk/opinion/2019/howard-sherman-how-changes-to-facebooks-algorithm-heaped-injury-on-the-arts-and-its-coverage/
  12. Wrt to Northern Ballet, I think your mind must be playing tricks - Hutera covered the Marston Jane Eyre premiere in Doncaster, The Watkins 1984 premiere in Leeds and the Nixon Little Mermaid premiere in Southampton. Craine covered Tindall's Casanova in Norwich - not the premiere but a month ahead of it getting to London. Northern has been much more interesting these last few years as David Nixon has given commissions to other choreographers. And by and large, critics have responded as the above indicates. Hopefully, the new BRB artistic management will put on bills that attract more coverage.
  13. I rather like Debra Craine and find her reliable and fair to ballet and contemp - some writers can seem overly drawn to one or the other. I read her (and others) if I've not got to something or if I'm interested in 'sniffing' the air for a rounded overall opinion on a new work. She always seems to be very sensible and usually on the money - for me anyway. Don't have a down on Craine re London only reviewing only - she is Arts Editor and very much tied to the desk. Good really that an Arts Ed is as dance centric as she is. Away from London Times readers are still catered for with Donald Hutera often reviewing for them - he got to the Cathy Marston Victoria premiere in Leeds for example.
  14. Papers and magazines are seeing declining circulations with the rise of social media, particularly for news. There is also more 'distrust' of critics these days - several times some posters have said they don't trust critics or think them relevant, so why on earth would they read them or use the TodaysLinks service? All up some in the audience (a growing number I suspect) are now very self-contained and flying that way very happily. For myself, I don't trust all critics either but I value the mix of thoughts, and the putting of dance works into some perspective that is neither nearly all supportive gush or dismissively short. We need a mix of all the thoughts for dance (not just ballet), and criticism is still finding its new level in the mix. It's a sadness to me that meaningful criticism is shrinking - it matters which is why I support it. Boy, do I miss Clement Crisp, Ismene Brown and now Alastair Macaulay. I'm pleased to hear there are no plans to stop collecting the links if some of the local press ones are pretty poor if truth be told. Also, Twitter tends to be a conduit which many fans plug into to get newsy updates and links to reviews and features soonest. But one place with collates them has always been a grand idea and remains a grand idea.
  15. I think it's a shame to see such largely negative reactions to ACE contemplating its navel as to how best to spend its budget on the nations art over the next few years. Most of the readers here have every reason to be thankful that ACE is funded as it is and has made the decisions it has around dance and company funding - so that many shows are substantially cheaper to see than would otherwise be the case. And of course, some shows tour that otherwise would not. In terms of The Stage report, I see lots of useful things emerging from ACE and particularly welcome its wish to connect with and be more relevant to more of the population. It's right that they are concerned about the audience who fund them. That doesn't mean they are not committed to high-quality work - it just shouldn't be an end in itself. It will be interesting to see how this crystallises out, but they are there to enrich the nation and not just a few who "Get it" in a high art sense. The only thing I don't spot in the report is any continued pressure to spend less on the arts in London and more away from the capital. But overall ACE deserve our appreciation and constructive support. No institution is perfect of course!
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