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Everything posted by SheilaC

  1. Has anyone seen dates for the Bolshoi screenings? I've got dates (eg Spartacus, 7 November) but the source may have been for screenings in France; and when I checked that date for the cinema I usually travel to, in York, there was no mention.
  2. Mark Bruce has just sent out an email aimed at recruiting new dancers, so they intend to continue, but there's no reference to future performances. Ballet Black is performing in York, in October (the same programme as at the Linbury). Phoenix (under their new director, Dane Hurst) is performing an interesting programme in York, in November, as well as premiering a new piece by Hurst, choreographed to Bernstein's Westside Story Suite, in partnership with Opera North, in Leeds, Newcastle, Salford, Nottingham, from October. On 3 December Phoenix have a gala, celebrating 40 years of the company, and including dancers from the National Dance Company of Wales, Scottish Dance Theatre, Ballet Black, Motionhouse, ACE dance and Music, plus their neighbours, Northern Ballet.
  3. I'm currently reading through ballet magazines from the early '60s and have been impressed at the range of activities LBC organised then- eg hosting a celebratory dinner for Sir Fred, organising a meal for Bolshoi dancers, arranging trips to watch performances outside London.
  4. It was fascinating reading Alastair Macaulay's blog, so helpfully included in today's Links, that Ashton created the first ballet featuring Jacques d'Amboise, two years before Balanchine created a major role for him. The photos were very interesting but it was difficult to recognise him, with the beard and with the poses being so different from the lively movement shown in photos of him performing In Balanchine's ballets, above all Apollo. Although the text rightly referred to Diana Adams dancing the main female role in Picnic at Tintagel, the captions named her as Diana Gould, who of course was the wonderful English dancer who eventually married Yehudi Menuhin. I've not been able to find whether that was the original name of Diana Adams; but I'm pretty sure that she was known as Diana Adams throughout her remarkable career.
  5. It's very good news, overall, but I'll miss her when she leaves Essential Classics, just as I miss Sarah Walker, who always comes across as genuinely interested in many genres of music (she does now do the Sunday morning show) and whose partner creates music for a number of dance groups. It would be great if Suzy Klein were able to commission more ballet for TV. I am currently reading through some of my ballet magazines from the '50s and early '60s and it's stunning how each month there were several ballet programmes. For instance, the June 1958 Dance and Dancers reviews (1) A Blue Rose (Peter Wright's first major ballet, cast includes the wonderful Anne Heaton and Donald MacLeary), shown on Granada. (2) Royal Danes (BBC Children's Television; excerpts from La Sylphide plus Nutcracker- starring those Bournonville experts, Henning Kronstam and Kirsten Simone. I remember this programme, my first introduction to Bournonville. (3) Les Sylphides, BBC, Nadia Nerina, Rowena Jackson, Julia Farron, Philip Chatfield.
  6. SkyArts keep showing a series called The Agony and the Ecstasy (eg midnight this coming Tuesday). Is this the ENB series showing the problems facing Daria and a very young Vadim, inter alia ? I've never checked as I've got it recorded but others might want to watch it, if it is.
  7. I've now had a response, stating "we have no firm details at this point but it's possible we may offer some streams in the future." They suggest checking the site periodically.
  8. I've emailed NYCB this afternoon to check if there's any chance of on-line viewings.
  9. I've just noticed that Sky Arts showed Spartacus early this morning. Given the unearthly time (6.20) I assume it was ballet. Did anyone see it? And if so, who was dancing? Presumably they'll show it again, whatever it was, so we can then look out for it. That's assuming the listing is correct. The awards programme was scheduled to be shown yesterday, 9-11 am, but instead it was yet more Tales of the Unexpected.
  10. Although the view from the circle is good, as Two Pigeons says, I really cannot recommend it. In most theatres I prefer the circle but the one at the Hippodrome is very steep. It is difficult to get to your seat unless you're in a row close to the entrances and end of the row. And it is a nightmare if you are at all prone to vertigo. The view from the stalls is good, even at the back.
  11. Actually, glowlight, it's even closer than moving across the road, it's two floors up! Phoenix and Northern Ballet share the same purpose built HQ in Leeds. In all the years I volunteered for NB, prior to lockdown, I saw very little interaction between the two companies, so Matt's move to Phoenix should facilitate that. But equally so will the new director of Phoenix, that wonderful performer and human being, Dane Hurst, who is often to be seen at ballet performances and who values inclusivity and cooperation.
  12. Sorry, don't know how to edit! Of course, I meant The Dream
  13. I didn't dare hope that Cesar would win, especially against the great competition. The BRB twitterfeed has clips of him dancing many classical roles and also from Ashton's Enigma Variations and Midsummer Night's Dream. If only one felt there was a chance of Cesar and the company dancing those ballets again.
  14. Antony Tudor is another great British Choreographer whose work is woefully neglected nowadays. Alina Cojacuru's programme at Sadler's Wells was the last programming here that included a Tudor ballet (sadly, not one of my favourites, The Leaves are Fading, as I find the music soporific; indeed, at one performance, at the Met, the great late critic Clive Barnes who was sat behind us, did fall heavily asleep). His Lilac Garden is an exquisite masterpiece, I would have loved to see Alina do it, she would have delicately brought out its psychological truth, but Kevin O'Hare says it's not suitable for the ROH stage. Yet the RBS performed it there, some years back, and ABT performed it for many years on the huge stage at the Met. Dark Elegies is a very different ballet, more timeless than Lilac Garden, and another masterpiece, which the Royal has performed (admittedly not very successfully compared to the moving performances by Rambert). Apart from the very varied works he made for Rambert, before he left for America, he later created a successful work on Dowell for the Royal Ballet (Shadowplay) and for the Royal Ballet Touring Company (now BRB) , Knight Errant. Yet Tudor doesn't now even make it to the patronisingly termed 'heritage' works!
  15. Yes, and with Romany Pajdak as Giselle. Two lovely expressive dancers.
  16. Actually in the BRB talk he did refer to splitting the company in two (as though it had never happened before!- and so successfully) so that different dancers could tour in different places. This was in answer to a question about touring. He was asked about touring to the Lowry and Sunderland which he said would continue (he turned up at Sunderland last March, just for a single performance as he was then touring with, and dancing for, his other company, Acosta Danza). He stated hurriedly that touring would continue, then enthused at greater length about the importance of international touring (Tamara Rojo also is more enthusiastic about international than national touring, when asked); but then aded the idea of splitting the company for touring, which is encouraging for us provincials! And could also expand the number of ballets danced.
  17. My concern, Jan, is that he may not consider the company's rep as a treasure trove. My detailed notes of the talk don't include any comments that were favourable to the past of BRB/SWRB. I don't mean that I thought he was negative about the rep, just that he thought it was imperative (my word, not his) to move on with the times in order to be relevant (that word again!). He also emphasises his desire to reflect Birmingham and his pride in being an ambassador of the city. But what happens when he moves on? ABT and SFB are looking for new directors. It's too soon for him to apply when he's not been in Brum long but the time may come when he wants to become the director of another major company. What will have happened to the rep by then?
  18. I'm sure this is a factor, Darlex, you can see the effect on other companies, too, in limiting the rep to make it seem more 'relevant'. Acosta said he wanted ballets to be 'stories of our time' and that he wanted the company to present itself as 21st century. I think a major motive for Acosta is to increase diversity, both in the rep and in attracting new audiences; the two go together, to some extent. BRB comms and Brandon in the talk make a lot of having heavy metal as part of the score for the City of One Thousand Trades tribute to Birmingham. Years ago the Royal also boasted of bringing White Stripes to play for a McGregor ballet. The immediate result was an influx of young people who didn't traditionally go to the Opera House- but they didn't seem to come back for other programmes. The danger could be that the company jettisons the loyalty of old supporters but then finds that new audience members fade away. On diversity, he's right to want to encourage children from all backgrounds to engage in ballet training but he didn't seem fully aware of all that BRB has done in the past (Ballet Hoo) and nowadays in teaching children from unprivileged backgrounds or with special needs, which of course most other companies do, too. Another issue he may be referring to is the environment. One of the new ballets, Imminent, is about climate change. The composer was on In Tune a couple of nights ago and the music was very far from heavy metal, and a dancer who participated in the BRB/Carlos talk, Ellis Small, said it was neoclassical in style so the new programme sounds quite mixed (the 3rd ballet is Chacona, to Bach). But on climate change why not do Bintley's Still Life at the Penguin Cafe? Both popular and 'relevant'. At times in his talk it sounded as though he saw it as a brand new company although it would be more of what he called 'the next chapter of the company'. I wonder what all the members of the Board think. He has brought in 3 new members to the Board, who seem to have a similar outlook to his. But best of all, one is a woman who was a star in Ballet Hoo, so has direct experience of some of the issues that concern him.
  19. I didn't hear him use the phrase 'treasure trove' Jan. The chair asked a question about 'heritage' ballets. Acosta said of course he would continue to show these, but then only referred to well known classics (one of which BRB doesn't even have in their rep!) BRB has wonderful ballets by Ashton (not just Fille), Tudor, de Mille, Cranko, de Valois, MacMillan (not just R&J), Tudor, Bintley, Balanchine, to name but a few, in its rep, most of which are now unlikely to ever be performed again. John Field and Peter Wright led a wonderful company, which I have supported passionately since my early teens. Most of what Acosta said in that talk gave the impression that he was creating a completely new company although given he acknowledged that he'd still do some classics in reality it would become a hybrid company.
  20. Thanks to everyone for their comments and advice on my tricky cough. I've had it for many years; the only person who has complained was my husband, who found it very embarrassing but died 19 years ago this week (no connection!) But one's always very conscious of how annoying it can be for other people even if they don't complain. All I meant was that it's easy to blame other members of the audience for their irritating behaviour but you can't be sure that people are coughing just for effect, it could be very traumatic for them; it certainly is for me.
  21. Sorry, Dave, but I have a nervous cough as quite a lot of people do. The more I know I mustn't cough, the more irritable my throat becomes so that I'm in absolute agony trying desperately to keep the cough at bey until a spot in the ballet comes where the orchestra gets louder or where a lot of applause is likely. You have no idea what agony it is! And now your comment will make me anxious on my first return to ROH next Sunday. And with Dances being 65 minutes (should be 55 minutes, they take it far too slowly, especially at the beginning) of piano music I could be in for a long drawn out spasm.
  22. If you can't wait to see Ferri in L'heure Exquise at the Linbury in October you can stream it for free tomorrow, 6 June, at 8.30, UK time, from the Ravenna Festival.
  23. I've never forgotten the first time I saw her, in her mid-teens, dancing with the Morphoses company at Sadler's Wells, whilst still, I think, training. Mesmerising. The ROH information is a bit obscure: what do they mean by 'academic career'? Which discipline? As a student? or research? or some teaching capacity? (many dancers take degrees while performing nowadays) Deborah Bull, another remarkably articulate dancer, has ultimately reached the heights of academia in the UK.
  24. Those nostalgic for Sibley and Dowell in Cinderella (with the Walker designs; not to mention Ashton as the timid stepsister, with the far from timid Helpmann) may consider buying the newly released DVD recorded in December 1969. For anyone reluctant to use Amazon I got it for £12.59, post-free, from Hive Books. The standard of dancing is very high; although it's commonplace to comment on how much higher technical standards are nowadays, the quality of the dancing and the truly Ashtonian style would be hard to equal.
  25. I'm sure I saw him dance with ABT, although that company is not listed in the details. He has contributed in very many ways to British ballet, since moving here. The honour is well deserved .
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