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Two Pigeons

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Posts posted by Two Pigeons

  1. 12 hours ago, maryrosesatonapin said:

    There have also been a number of adverts for orchestra members, including some of the most important roles.  Thoughts that went through my (totally not-in-the-know) head:
    1 - Acosta doesn't like what he has inherited so is determined to make drastic improvements
    2 -Acosta has rubbed everyone up the wrong way and they are leaving in droves

    3 - Acosta somehow has the means and vision to increase  and enhance the company without losing any talent, thereby making it irresistible.

    Additional thoughts from totally my not-in-the-know head:
    Perhaps Acosta is aware, as I am, of how badly BRB fares in ticket sales, reviews, government support and public awareness/respect - all vital.  For example, I recently saw R&J from both companies and I would defy anyone who said the RB dancers were superior, yet they received multiple accolades from reviewers whereas BRB only got one review (I think).  On this forum alone, they are largely ignored in spite of their quality.  And perhaps their new director is seized by an ambition to adjust this unfairness, and with a sense of healthy competition is throwing all resources into making them an undisputed 'premiere' company in every way.

    From what I have observed of him over the decades, Acosta is a 'people person' and is unlikely to alienate those whom he values.  So maybe this is all part of a very well thought out plan.  Or maybe he's just not very good at his job.  I have no idea.  Time will tell.

    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.

    • Like 7
  2. 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.

    • Like 4
  3. 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.

    • Like 2
  4. 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.

    • Like 11
  5. 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.

    • Like 9
  6. On 03/09/2021 at 23:09, jmhopton said:

    Wow  I didn't realise Tamara was nearly 50. I vaguely thought she was early to mid 40s (as I suppose Alina is now). Also with all the organisational work for the company as well as the choreography I suppose it would be difficult if not impossible, to maintain the level of fitness necessary for a new full length ballet. I only thought of seeing them because I'm a bit out of touch with ENBs ballerinas and I know them. I'm sure whoever I see will be splendid.

    Like maryrosesatonapin I  always thought the Raymonda plot (and character) was incredibly weak and thin even by ballet standards. In the 1980s Bolshoi recordings the only saving grace (for me) was the terrific villain of Gediminas Taranda who's one of the handsomest, most charismatic male dancers I've ever seen. In Raymonda  and Golden Age he even managed to upstage Irek Mukhamadov (not easy to do!) The only time I've seen it live is when the Bolshoi performed it at the Coliseum in 1999 where the fabulous Nina Anashvilli succeeded in making the ballet seem credible and the character interesting; an amazing achievement. 



    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.

    • Like 3
  7. 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.

    • Like 1
  8. 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.

    • Like 2
  9. 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!

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