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Bruce

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About Bruce

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  1. Yes - one of life's givers and he took forward the BA site, which was rather lacklustre at the start, in a wonderful way.
  2. The news comes as a huge shock and a reminder of the frailty of life and how quickly things can change as we all get older. I will miss him greatly. I spoke to John only a short while ago and we planned to meet up, but events have overtaken us all. John was quietly authoritative with a deliciously dry sense of humour and not one to gush. Super intelligent he was one of life's givers and somebody who always seemed to do the right thing. Wherever he is now, we can be assured he will be quietly contributing to making it better for all then it would ever otherwise be.
  3. Foteini Christofilopoulou was at the photocall for the Bolshoi Ballet Swan Lake... Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin in Swan Lake © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Ksenia Zhiganshina and Jacopo Tissi in Swan Lake © Foteini Christofilopoulou/ROH. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Foteini Christofilopoulou: Bolshoi Ballet in Swan Lake Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
  4. That was a point made to me only recently by an NB dancer! I suspect any change will only come when David Nixon decides to retire. I actually hope that does not come too soon - of all the English companies NB now seem to be doing the best job on commissioning new narrative work.
  5. It was a little tongue in check. Even if you did all the new work I mentioned, year in, year out, (which would never happen) there would still be lots of slots and bills which would be filled by the great things of the past. There are many threads on the forum about favourite ballets and what should be in next season etc. and hardly anybody talks about new work. I feel that's a great shame - it's what a vibrant art should be concerned about. Yes, it's right to do 'Ye Olde British Ballet' justice, but not to forget the future - which threads like this tend to. For what is worth I have many past favs, but am content to see them come around every now and then. Every ballet you repeated each year would really condemn some good works to the scrapheap for lack of performance slots.
  6. New work by Ratmansky and Crystal Pite - year in, year out, but sadly not going to happen. Festival of new works - like San Francisco Ballet did last year - 12 new works from a wide variety of choreographers arranged as 4 bills of 3 ballets delivered in rapid succession. Festival of young choreographers work - where they can do exactly what they want without all the stuff about having to commission a score and whatever. The past will take care of itself I'm sure!
  7. Perhaps everybody in NB could become a soloist... Premier Soloists Principal Soloist Leading Soloist First Soloist Soloist Junior Soloist Minor Soloist Trainee Soloist Possible Future Soloist...
  8. Northern have a seriously bonkers structure with more soloists then corps... Northern Ballet Premier Dancers - 2 dancers Soloist levels (Junior Soloist, Soloist, First Soloist, Leading Soloist, Principal Soloist) - 20 dancers Coryphées - 3 dancers Corps de Ballet - 15 dancers Apprentices - 3 dancers Total Dancers = 43 over 9 ranks Northern seem reluctant to promote to Principal level - why I don't know, but it feels a shame. For comparison... Scottish Ballet Principals - 5 dancers Soloists - 12 dancers First Artists - 8 dancers Artists - 12 dancers (+1 Senior guest) Total = 38 dancers over 4 ranks.
  9. 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
  10. 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/
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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