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About Sophoife

  • Birthday February 15

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    Arsenal, ballet, books, food, France, music...

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  1. When AusBallet finally got Onegin back, all the dancers in the lead rôles (Onegin, Tatiana, Lensky, Olga) were naturally making débuts and I thought it Wrong And Against Tradition that the company doesn't have a début recognition policy. So four nights in a row I bought four bouquets and took them to the theatre. Cost me a fortune even though I got a discount from the florist for volume and the fourth lot were almost free, but every single dancer who received one made a point of thanking me and expressing their pleasure at the reason (the cards all said "on your début as X"), most in person but a couple in actual handwriting. None were presented on stage as that isn't company policy except for retirements and company-provided bouquets on opening nights. Since then I've restricted myself to retirements. It's cheaper! 😊
  2. Aw @capybara you spoilsport 😉 yes he's easily recognisable but I was trying to share the fun I had recognising him!
  3. Stella Abrera's Instagram alerted me to this account https://instagram.com/albertcoblegit?igshid=upuhrx1kdf6r Former Royal Ballet principal Albert Cob is making a comeback, and documenting it https://instagram.com/dyingswanseries?igshid=5yku4wdsakym Fun 😂
  4. Robert Curran, now AD in Louisville, Kentucky, was the partner par excellence for me, and many of us here in Australia a) think he retired much too soon, b) wish he had been called upon to coach after he did retire, and c) are still waiting for his replacement. Rudy Hawkes was shaping up pretty well, but then he, too, retired much too soon. But Mr Curran made anyone and everyone look good, I've been told he was very caring and generous as a partner.
  5. My brother and I saw this on our Subscription Night in Melbourne. We had the cast of Benedicte Bemet (Sylvia), Chris Rodgers-Wilson (Shepherd), Dimity Azoury (Artemis), Nathan Brook (Orion), Jill Ogai (Psyche), Brett Chynoweth (Eros), and Andrew Killian (Evil Kidnapper River God), with Franco Leo (Old Shepherd). Love to know which casts you saw @jmb! The music was very well played and it's such a beautiful score, even my brother said he liked it (he doesn't really "do" classical music). Having had the Good Luck to have been indoctrinated with Greek myths and legends by my dad (as was my brother), we had no trouble following any of the three plotlines, except for being bemused by the fact that they were all bunged in to one ballet! The delightful costumes and their colour-coding also made it easy to differentiate the stories. However we both spent both intervals explaining plot points to our (regular) neighbours! Due to the larger stage and backstage areas in Melbourne, the sets were amazing, and there was plenty of room for the ensemble pieces. Ours was the third or fourth show of the run and the ensemble pieces looked good, but my goodness, Chynoweth! Wow wow wow. Seems as if Stanton Welch choreographed Eros specifically to show off all his (very) strong points and boy did it come off! Also Rodgers-Wilson was back on beautiful form as the Shepherd (something to please @Jan McNulty). For a female-centric ballet, I was disappointed in Bemet's Sylvia - I didn't feel the steely strength I wanted to, although the pdds with the Shepherd were romantic and drew us all in. The Generals, lead by Nicola Curry, felt fierce. Azoury's Artemis was the strong woman I wanted Sylvia to be. Ogai was terrific in her facial expressions and eyes, and beautifully romantic (she could hardly have been otherwise with Chynoweth as her partner) in her pdds. The Fauns were spot-on in the casting and obviously having great fun. I'm looking forward to seeing it again this Friday...
  6. Mmm yeah @DD Driver sad to say the AB ones that most excite me are Alice's new piece, Month (and I bet you we get Hallberg for that), and Molto Vivace plus Chroma which to my surprise I enjoyed last time round. Never liked Anna Karenina from when I first read it. Both QB and WAB are doing Beauty, Nutcracker and Dracula - you would think Li Cunxin and Aurélien Scannella might at least have chosen slightly different full-length ballets! 😉
  7. West Australian Ballet 2020 season - starts with a mixed bill at the Quarry Amphitheatre (Krzysztof Pastor's In Light and Shadow, an extract from Graeme Murphy's Air and Other Invisible Forces, Wubkje Kuindersma's Architecture of Hope - a co-production with HNB), then a mixed bill of new works by company members, then Javier Torres' Sleeping Beauty, another mixed bill featuring the full Air and Other Invisible Forces plus Pygmalion and Galatea and Garry Stewart's Reincarnation with contemporary dance company, Co:3 Australia, followed by Pastor's Dracula (also on QB's slate), and finishing with seasons of The Nutcracker and a "Gala" which will run in a repertory-style season.
  8. Have to say when Hallberg first guested with AusBallet in I think 2010, company dancers were telling me I must fly back from Hobart to Melbourne to see him, and raving about his feet. It was the Sir Peter Wright BRB Nutcracker and I did come back and he was marvellous. As he was every other time I saw him pre-injury. Since his long injury and rehab layoff, I've seen him several more times down here and he's not quite the same.
  9. Hmm yes. The Australian Ballet uses a subscriber model for the majority of its seats. We have to buy our next year's package in September/October immediately after the season announcement, with zero casting information. For 2018 my brother and I paid 17% more than for 2017, for 2019 30% more than for 2018, and for 2020 we will pay 11% more than for this year. High up far away seats that five years ago cost under $40 each now cost from $78 to $100 depending on the programme. The prices are even higher in their second home of Sydney because the venue capacity is smaller (2,079 in Melbourne v 1,507 in Sydney). Unless a person is rich (or doesn't ever have to pay for doctors, dentists, medicines, car insurance, clothes, food, and useful things like that) and doesn't have to travel, seeing more than one or possibly two shows of a run (usually 10-12 shows over 2 weeks in Melbourne) is financially impossible. I live 3½ hours' travel (train or car) from the nearest Australian Ballet venue, and the last train home leaves at 8pm - half an hour after curtain up. So I stay in a hotel. More money I'd rather spend on a performance. AD and CEO are aware there are quite a lot of subscribers in similar positions but don't seem to care that we stalwarts are being priced out of regular attendance. Currently TAB receives approx 12% of its income from various governments (state and federal), so that's lots to raise from box office and what they call "other revenue streams" - philanthropy, corporate sponsors, tacky marketing ventures...there is nothing special about a pair of signed pointe shoes you've paid for. Or a children's clothing collection at one of the major cheap department stores. Part of the problem is that the company has no ownership in any of its performance venues. Oh it's nearly five in the morning, anyone wants more detail, PM me 😉 😴
  10. The Australian Ballet 2020 season - A Month in the Country makes its TAB début, Alice Topp from strength to strength, co-productions with the Joffrey and American Ballet Theatre...David McAllister's final season as AD. Queensland Ballet 2020 season - Dracula was a success in WA, Stevenson's Nutcracker now a company staple, and new work including one from HNB principal Remi Wortmeyer. West Australian Ballet has not yet announced their 2020 season but I will add it here when they do.
  11. Here's a radical thought: the announcement of Sambé's [deserved, inevitable and welcome] promotion was deliberately timed for before the Japanese tour, certainly the size and location of the printed article do not appear to indicate a stuff-up, in fact I wouldn't mind betting that The Times was carefully given an exclusive. Certainly in this day and age it is doubtful that the article would have been as prominent if the company press release had already been in the public domain. I am also guessing here, but in the general announcement of promotions, joiners and leavers, some well-deserved moves in the lower ranks may go less noticed by the wider public with a more passive interest in dance in the excitement of who might have been promoted to principal. Perhaps this is an attempt at making those promotions more prominent?
  12. Oh no, @Jan McNulty I was not casting any aspersions on NB dancers, far from it, and I do hope that's not how you read my comment. I was responding specifically to @Jeannette and her comment re ABT principal(s).
  13. !!!! 😱 Surely anyone who lacks technique to that extent, in a company such as ABT, shouldn't be a principal!
  14. This episode was on SBS in Australia tonight (seen by accident, never seen the show before) and I was trying to work out how to find out who that coach was! So I dove in to the forum's Search function. The girl's name sounded like Freya, and she didn't sound native-speaker English...? The archivist obviously has so many fascinating stories to tell, pity that odd man in very red trousers didn't spend more on-camera time at the School! Daria Klimentová was also seen, teaching a group of girls, but was not spoken to or interviewed on camera. And I agree, the Liberty segment was fun, especially the photo of the lady cicerone in her "mediaeval" gown.
  15. Oh @Ian Macmillan, thank you! I was in need of a good laugh and doubled over on reading "[Lang Lang] treated the audience to some improvisations on Brahms' Hungarian themes. Had I ever wondered about the sound of a sewing machine on crack, I should wonder no more." It encapsulates my own opinion of Mr Lang!
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