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Two Pigeons

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  1. I must begin this posting by saying that I haven't seen this bill as it had no real appeal for me. I have seen Lyric Pieces often enough and I was not gripped by the other works. However, I did see the vintage suitcase on Bargain Hunt - oh the joys of retirement! - so I can imagine that thought would have struck me too. Not only was i not gripped by the programme but someone else whose opinion i value highly was very unimpressed with the show so I was pleased I had stayed home. I share the concerns expressed above about the quality of the mixed bills in recent years. I must stress that this is absolutely NO reflection on any of the dancers or their peformance but since the company has gone in for these rather gimmicky combinations with supposedly catchy titles the programmes have been somewhat hit or miss. I also take on Alison's point about the poor attendance. However, this does not always reflect poor programming. the double bill we had a few years ago of the Dream and A Month in the Country was one of the finest bills I have seen in 40 years of ballet doing. in the days of Sir Peter Wright, both SWRB and BRB had great mixed bills and there was always something to really enjoy. I always say that my all time favourite was at the old Sadler's Wells and it was Les Rendezvous (in the proper costumes), the Dream and Facade. spot the Ashton fan! I often heard die hard RB fans say that the SWRB triple bills were far more attractive than some of those at the Opera House (I am talking the 80s here). I would suggest that Kevin O'H has learnt from the master and his are pretty uniformally successful where as the BRB ones are going in the other direction. Admittedly funding may have something to do with this. Finally, may I say Janet, that when someone as utterly devoted to BRB as you and with your ability to always find something to appreciate in every performance mentions specifically that there is an increasing problem here it shows that all is very far from well in this respect. Like you I hope that this is not a worrying sign for the future but I fear it may be. New and modern is not always a guarantee of success and it is unfair to expect the excellence of the dancers to be relied on to carry less than successful work.
  2. Don't forget a certain Kevin O'Hare banging the drum and as one of the three men in the trio section. I still think they will find it very hard to beat the utterly scene stealing Brandon Lawrence on the cymbals.
  3. I agree. it goes a long way for making up that I will miss Tyrone Singleton in the Salvation Army.
  4. I would love to have been able to get to the Saturday night at the Wells but this is totally impractical for me these days. Having been to the opening night at the ROH, the first night in Birmingham, the last performance of SWRB in Liverpool, Karen Donovan's last in Plymouth amongst others I would have loved to have completed the cycle with the very last showing. Added to that I would have had the opportunity to see the other cast. I have absolutely no qualms about the excellence of both casts but I had been looking forward to seeing Lachlan in the role for over a year now. At the end of the day, Que Sera Sera.
  5. I am pretty cheesed off that I have booked two performances and they are both with Max Maslan and Beatrice Parma. Absolutely NO offence to them but I really did feel that the occasion of Bintley's farewell would have warranted the first cast. My husband is adamant he won't take a third time. Incidentally, I agree with Janet's disappointment that Mathias Dingman has not been cast. I supposed that as there are so few performances the casts are restricted to two. I was really hoping to see both casts for the Salvation Army bit too!
  6. Don't go on about it! LOL. Remember, you also saw Tyrone Singleton's first Romeo. Actually, seriously, haven't we both been really lucky over the past few decades? It seems a bit petty to moan about the stuff we have missed. Mind you, a bit of pettiness won't stop me seething about one or two omissions. See you for Hobson's. Really can't wait but some casting would be nice.
  7. P.s., best La Bayadere ever, Asylmuratova, Ruzimatov and Guillem as Gamzatti at the ROH in the early 90s. Now THAT was ballet.
  8. This is the cast I want to see most. For me Samara Downs is an ideal Maggie and if it isn't Lachlan as Will I will ask for my money back.
  9. Daphnis and Chloe, The Firebird, Raymonda, Cinderella (Prokofiev) are all first thoughts for me. If this is a list of music written for ballet (as opposed to things like Theme and Variations which are adapted from concert works) two of my favourites as being created scores which are excellent for their intend purpose I would list Paul Reade's music for Hobson's Choice and Far From the Madding Crowd. It was a real loss to the world of ballet music that he died so young.
  10. The Farmer designs were all in Autumnal colours but the big giveaway that it is Sir Peter's production is the photo of the two side boys in the Act I pas de six. The Bintley/Samsova one only has the regular pas de deux.
  11. It would appear Iain Webb had the sense to acquire the SPW production with designs by Peter Farmer rather than the Bintley/ Samsova later one as designed by Haydn Griffin. BRB will be using the latter next season.
  12. I can't see Carlos putting up with antics of some of the other judges. He would take the whole thing seriously which is not want the BBC seems to want these days.
  13. Karen Hardy would be a very good suggestion but she might be too much competition for Shirley thingy. Whoever it is I really hope the slide from ballroom to more or less being shoved aside in favour of Latin is halted or even reversed.
  14. The Arlene Phillips suggestion recurs every time a judge's place becomes available. I cannot see the BBC revisiting that one. 'Cheryl' please God no!!! I think we can be pretty safe that it won't be a white, middle aged man - sorry Anton, you're too popular. I can see Ore Oduba getting the gig. Lots of boxes ticked, but the BBC appears to promoting only women at the moment. I take it Fiona Bruce is too busy.
  15. Darcey has always put 'bums on seats' and I suspect she is now well know enough to pull in the punters, despite the literary quality (or lack of it) of the most recent book. She has had a very interesting life and I am sure a lot of people would wish to hear her be interviewed. She will be far more upbeat and positive than several more authors.
  16. Northstar, please do NOT miss Hobson's Choice, either at the Hippodrome or Sadler's Wells. It is David Bintley's finest work and a joy from start to finish. With the Changing of the Guard we may not have the chance to see it again for a very long time, if ever.
  17. I did see Makarova and Schaufuss in the 80s 'revival'. Everything was very exaggerated, even Makarova's frock was much more elaborate than the original design. I am far too young to have ever seen the original but I knew several people who had and there was this massive wince all round. The critics were less than complimentary and Jean Bedells who was supposed to be assisting with the revival absolutely insisted on having her name removed from the credits. Yes, it was that bad.
  18. When I started ballet going exactly 40 years ago I was hugely jealous of old fans who had seen Fonteyn, Shearer, Markova and Ulanova. My grandmother saw Pavlova but. Oddly enough, I didn't feel envious about that. Had it been Karsavina I might well have seethed but I reserved that emotion for the fact that she had seen Gertrude Lawrence and Noel Coward in 'Private Lives'. I take great pleasure that I did see Fonteyn (but only when she was 60) and Sibley when she came out of retirement. I still regard the two performances of Cinderella with Dowell as among the very best highlights of my ballet going years.
  19. One of my great ballet wishes is that some kind body would release a DVD of the televised programme for, I think, Sir Fred's 70th birthday. It was shown on BBC 2 and I remember my mother and I being absolutely riveted to it all, but especially Seymour and Dowell in Month in the Country. Although that was both the climax, I will always remember Sir Fred coming on and repeating Dowell's final act of kissing the long ribbons of her frock, there were other performances I have cherished. Marion Tait and David Ashmole with SWRB in Les Rendezvous (in the proper designs without a spot or ghastly washing up gloves to be seen). After that we had Monotones and then Lesley Collier as Alice with Wayne Sleep and Graham Fletcher as Tweedledumb and Tweedledee. Proper Ashton performed by proper Ashton dancers supervised by the Great Man himself.
  20. I know that Australia had a brief interval when Damehood and such honours were reuntroduced but that has ended. The introduction of the Order of Australia in 1975 meant a decline in the old Imperial awards.
  21. Just as long as she comes back to BRB. What a good job she is Mrs Holder. You're completely right George. Actually, terrific opportunity for her and I am sure she will want to work with Senor Acosta. I can just see her having fun as Kitri.
  22. Happy Birthday to a great ballerina. I only saw her dance a very few times but you can see from the works created for her just how special she was. I have seen on this forum before that as Lynn is Canadian she cannot be offered or accept a Damehood from the UK government. I gather a similar situation applies to Australians.
  23. No, not at all. The only critic I can remember who was married to a dancer was Nicholas Dromgoole who was married to the wonderful Lesley Collier. Mr Christiansen is of a different persuasion.
  24. I do hope all posters who saw Beauty and the Beast really enjoyed it and appreciated the company's commitment. I thought all the casts were well worth seeing, especially if the Beast was played by Tyrone Singleton or Brandon Lawrence. I haven't seen it this time round but I have seen Tyrone more than once and was reminded of his powerful stage presence two weeks ago at Symphony Hall. I say this because I have just seen the review by Rupert Christiansen in the Mail on Sunday which is both utterly patronising and condescending even by his standards. He gives the work 3 stars, but then I am convinced that when reviewing BRB he automatically lops off a star for them not being the Royal Ballet. It is headed 'Carlos needs to tame this Beast' and it continues as follows - edited highlights only as I don't want to risk being charged with copyright breaches. 'Good news for BRB, where it's recently been announced that the great Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta will be taking over in January as director. But ................. (he) faces a daunting challenge: David Bintley has been in the job for a quarter of a century, and his people and way of doing things are deeply embedded. .....a large loyal local audience, bags of team spirit in the ranks and a strong repertory of classic and story ballets. 'But new blood and fresh thinking are desperately needed. ...............Beauty and the Beast demonstrates BRB's strengths and weaknesses'. It offers pleasant entertainment for family audiences - Bintley is a skilful craftsman and he can turn out eye-candy choreography by the yard - but there's no depth or originality, and sometimes one senses that it's being done by numbers. '...........Momoko Hirata makes a pretty little doll of a Belle, and Cesar Morales dutifully jumps and spins as the Beast; Kit Holder and Rory Mackay prove comic cameos, and the corps keeps in line and time. 'But ballet must aim higher than this if it's to gave a future. So over to you, Carlos, and best of luck.' Now, I admit that I am not great fan of the piece and Christiansen didn't see the strongest cast but does he have to be so demeaning of the company and Bintley's achievements over the past 25 years? More to the point, has he attended any of the other programmes presented by the company? Mind you, this is the man who years ago said Tyrone's Tybalt lacked presence and menace! I was at the same performance and, trust me, he didn’t. The thing that got me most was the headline which said the company needs taming and then went on and on to say that, basically, they were all too passive. No doubt once Carlos arrives and the company starts to get serious investment (no bad thing in either respect) our Rupert will be leading the pack of Metropolitan critics racing up the M40 to rave about absolutely everything, irrespective of its actual merit. Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. P.s. reminds me of Clement Crisp who adored Sylvie Guillem when she danced with POB and then loathed her once she joined the Royal Ballet - in reverse obviously.
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