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Two Pigeons

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  1. P.s. I am not sure that there is exactly a rosy view for the orchestra members. If they are leaving in droves I am not entirely surprised. Wall to wall Nutcracker with only a bit of Minkus to provide some variety is hardly a very enticing prospect.
  2. Hear, hear! Especially the bit about a lack of press reviews. I have had some, very limited, contact with the Company and it seems to me that the administration is so grateful to have the job taken by an indisputable ballet megastar that his word is law. However, sometimes all powerful people may need someone who is prepared to rein them in and say 'no', or even 'do you think that's wise sir', from time to time.
  3. During the heyday of Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet a great friend of mine used to say that the Royal Ballet recruited all the best dancers but SWRB did more with the students they took. I know exactly what he meant. I am afraid that the spirit and ethos of that Company seems to be disappearing and very fast.
  4. I think there is a genuine dichotomy here for the Company. I agree your point that this may well be a time for the real 'tried and tested' approach to the repertoire in order to provide a more familiar product for the audience. However, from my recent dealings with the Company and the points raised in the most recent issues of Entrechat and Dancing Times the clear emphasis seems to be on a different repertoire aimed at a new, younger and more diverse audience. To say that the timing for such major changes is unfortunate is an understatement. A new audience cannot be built in a hurry so this may not be the time to reject the more established one. I share your concern for the effect on the dancers, and I would add to that the effect on the orchestra.
  5. For a couple of reasons I have taken the decision to sever my links with BRB. However, this does not mean that I do not wish that the company shouldn't thrive. But from my distant standpoint I share Janet's view that the Company should receive top billing in its own programming. I think the current dash for a new, younger audience may be counterproductive.
  6. I think many of us are expressing much the same view of our delight in Clem's eloquence. If there was one thing better than a good review from him it was a report in his very idiosyncratic style of work he didn't like!
  7. Now available from Amazon at a cost of £20. Having spent £30 on my copy I am not sorry to have given my money to Waterstone's rather than the behemoth that is taking over the world.
  8. My copy has just arrived and I will be delving into over the next few days. However, there is one point I would like to praise from what I have seen so far. I think it is a universally acknowledged opinion that Clem is pre-eminent amongst ballet critics and his opinion is to be held in the highest esteem. Right at the end of the book he has a section discussing dancers he has loved. Amongst them are two great ballerinas who I feel are very underappreciated and effectively being airbrushed out of their place in Royal Ballet. The first is Lynn Seymour. I remain staggered that TV programmes discussing the life and work of Macmillan ignores any hope of a contribution from her in favour of younger dancers. The second, as this is sort of the crowning moment of the book, is Alicia Markova. Now, I am far too young to have ever seen her but whenever I see Fonteyn described as our first truly famous or internationally famous ballerina I want to scream 'but what about Markova?'. I mean absolutely no disrespect to Fonteyn by this but she just wasn't the first. Markova inspired Clem, he still treasures her memory and that is more than good enough for me.
  9. I have no skin in this game as I know very little about Liam Scarlett and have only seen his work on film. For as long as I can remember there have been stories about is problems with the RBS, although this is very far from the only school which has had issues. However, my main point is I found the article unbelievably sad. I make no comment on its veracity or otherwise.
  10. Waterstone's have confirmed they have taken my money so I am hoping it will arrive within a matter of days. I am really looking forward to receiving it. Clem is my hero!
  11. Many thanks for posting this extract Rina. I had forgotten how criminally difficult is the solo for the principal girl. Makes you appreciate how technically strong Markova was.
  12. Lovely dancing but - sorry, pet peeve- hideous set and costumes.
  13. I saw Nina at the Coliseum in 1999 too. I still regard that as the greatest individual classical performance in a full length I have ever seen in over 40 years of ballet going. Sylvie Guillem as Manon ran in as a close second.
  14. Good week coming up. Rhapsody and Two Pigeons on Thursday morning. But then, I would say that wouldn't I.
  15. Just ordered my copy too! Really looking forward to it.
  16. Thanks Janet. I will give it a go tomorrow.
  17. I have today received a glossy brochure from the Hippodrome announcing its reopening and listing forthcoming productions with the appropriate dates. The Nutcracker is listed but there is absolutely no indication that it isn't the usual version. If I can find e-mail contact details for Carlos Acosta or Fiona Allen I will notify them of my feelings.
  18. I have had moments like that when l completely lose confidence in my memories. I have excused them as a sign of rapidly advancing age!
  19. With the greatest respect it really is not the issue which years were involved. My key point is that I have paid for one product which has subsequently been replaced with another. Pulcinella is in the same situation. As I turns out my family members are content to go with the flow but I do feel that this is a case where the opportunity for a refund should be at least extended to customers.
  20. I think this is another severe test of loyalty to the company I have watched since May 1979.
  21. I seem to be the first person to raise this issue but I am very disappointed by a significant change to the performances at the Birmingham Hippodrome for this year. Pre Covid I bought 2 front stalls seats for Don Q for June last year. When lockdown cut in refunds were offered, although I understand it was quite onerous to actually achieve this. We were sent the usual plea to leave the money with the Hippodrome as a gesture of support until plans were clearer. About a couple of months ago I exchanged them for 2 tickets for Nutcracker this coming November. I wanted them for 2 family members, 1 of whom has never been to live ballet. I did this in the belief that they would have the experience of the full, glorious, production. Yesterday I received an e-mail saying that what us being presented this year is actually the cut down Royal Albert Hall version, complete with virtual Simon Callow. To this extent the first 4 rows of the front stalls are being reinstated. To this effect the only options are 1) move further forward or 2) lump it. The sweetener is that the production is being refurbished for the 2022 season. No indication of any refunds being available. I very much hope my family members will enjoy what us being presented but I have to say that I feel rather cheated by it all. I see Fiona Allen is leaving the Hippodrome for Opera Australia. I hope this isn't due to embarrassment!
  22. Good! She is an excellent presenter and I really wish she did all the coverage of the Proms. She doesn't grate.
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