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Two Pigeons

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  1. Another couple of greats who have not been mentioned are Natalya Bessmertnova and Eketerina Maximova. Actually, this list is getting odder and odder in parts.
  2. Having finished my ironing I am going to be even more subjective now. I have been lucky to see dancers whom I would regard as ballerinas, some I think of as stars. I can instantly think of three greats whom I would regard as both. The list is probably longer if I think about it but my gut reaction is Fonteyn Makarova Guillem To be really controversial I would regard Viviana Durante as a ballerina and Darcey Bussell as a star but not necessarily a ballerina. I will now retire with my tin hat on in case of incoming missiles.
  3. Although I agree with you about Elisabeth Platel, and I would also mention Pontois, I think we must point out that Sylvie Guillem is deservedly on the list and is also French so the nation is represented. Could we start a similar thread for 12 of the greatest male dancers?
  4. For me the greatest thing Pavlova did was to inspire a very young Frederick Ashton. Whatever were her limitations he put her into pretty much every ballet he ever wrote via the Fred Step. Few artists anywhere in any discipline have that kind of immortality.
  5. To be fair to the article it does say twelve OF the greatest ballerinas, not THE 12 greatest. To me a great ballerina also needs to inspire great choreography so there are three names I think should be on the list. Tamara Kasarvina Maya Plisetskaya Suzanne Farrell sorry, I have not checked the spelling so apologies for any errors. I also find it hard that Lynn Seymour is not on the list.
  6. I have just seen two casts for this work. On Thursday I saw the Japanese guests artists and they were exquisite. It is probably over 20 years since I saw the MacMillan version. I was less than keen on the score then but I was amazed how much of it came back to me this time round. I cannot say that this is a ballet I would choose to see very often but I found this version easier to understand onnthe second viewing. I really enjoyed Jenna Roberts and Will Bracewell as the lead siblings, and Will again the previous night when he was the sinuous King of the East. Epine like so many baddies had all the best frocks, not least the drop dead gorgeous purple number in the last act. In the part Celine Gittens looked beautiful but I never really got the idea that she was evil. On the other hand Samara Downs was evil personified and just terrific in the role. For the second time in two weeks she really stood out for me. The men have greater opportunities for individual roles and I would single out Rory McKay as The Emperor, Kit Holder, James Barton and, especially, Brandon Lawrence as the Kings of the East, West and South respectively. Apart from the two leads there is very little chance for the girls to shine.
  7. I think all three of us are right. One of the things which really has really struck me is that there are no small boys in the company any more. I think I was wrong to limit my view to that angle only. Yes, you are both right about the girls. Some of the girls are very tiny and there are very few especially all ones. Heigh ho!
  8. I saw this programme last night and again this afternoon. I will just limit my comments to Slaughter on 10th Avenue. I think this work is an utter joy from start to finish. This afternoon I finally got to see Celine Gittens as the striptease girl after I had heard so much about her performance. She was dancing with Tyrone Singleton to whom I will yield to no one in my admiration. Can I just say that absolutely everything I had heard about Celine was justified and in spades. She really understood the part and was the epitome of allure. She was so magnetic I couldn't take my eyes off her. Having raved about Celine I must also say how good Samara Downs was the night before. I was slightly surprised that she had been cast in this role but she more than justified it. She gave a really intelligent and well thought out performance. I was very lucky in both the hoofers, Tyrone as I gave mentioned but l also enjoyed hugely seeing Lachlan Monaghan. They were both terrific and I just loved it all. I remain of the view that Card Game is not an opening ballet but Elite was fine. However, it is interesting that there ars no longer any boys who are short enough to really bring off the Alaskan Rag these days. I have to agree with you BillyBob. May BRB never lose what they have.
  9. So I understand. Mind you, if he contines to progress the way he is I expect the Royal will nab him, and Luke Schaufuss
  10. You make a number of very interesting points Billy Bob relating to the spirit of BRB. I think a lot of this goes right back to the SWRB days. During the 80s and into the 90s I saw l lot of both SWRB/BRB and the RB side by side. Since a single performance of Giselle in 1982 the former has been my favourite company. I put this down to more attractive programming, particularly triple bills, the cherishing of character roles, a higher proportion of Ashton works and an overall ethos of entertaining the audience. A great friend of mine (yes Terry, you know how you are) always says that the Royal has the best dancers but BRB do more with what they have. I think this is so true. I know that we do lose dancers to the Royal but when a dancer like Will Bracewell actively chooses BRB the company has to be doing something right. I must also endorse your comment about the strength of the male side. When looking at David Bintley's achievements I would put righf at the top the way he has built up the men dancers, both in number and quality. I am really looking forward to tomorrow now. However I am almost counting the days until I can see Les Rendezvous again. It has been too many years since I have seen this utter gem of a ballet.
  11. I hope the performance lived up to your wishes as it is an intriguing bill. I am not huge fan of Card Game but when it goes well it is great fun. I also share you enthusiasm for Celine Gittens. I have booked twice as I have always missed her in Slaughter so I have high hopes for this week. I am really pleased that she is doing it with Tyrone Singleton. For me they are the company's most exciting partnership as I feel that it is the classic case of two stars who together are even greater than the sum of their parts. The hoofer in Slaughter is a role I will always associate with Robert Parker (although anyone who saw Joe Cipolla smouldering in the initial runs will find him hard to forget) but I am happy to see Tyrone in anything so I am greatly looking forward to this.
  12. Indeed, he called them Margot's little pats of butter. I think much of Fonteyn's legendary stamina must lie in the number of performances she gave during the early days of the company, not least during the war years. I remember reading in her autobiography (I think) that Swan Lake was the ONLY ballet she could not have performed twice in one day. With Nureyev I think he was probably one of the most driven dancers ever. His determination throughout his entire life was staggering.
  13. Oh terrific, I get Jenna, Will and Celine. I think that would have been my first choice. My only grumble, no Tyrone, but on balance I'll take that.
  14. Hi there I have always interpreted that remark as a criticism of the ROH, who were happy for him to keep dancing with Fonteyn as the two of them made a lot of money for the company. They were less keen on him dancing with other ballerinas or doing his own stuff. I do not think this was in any way an adverse comment on her. One thing is clear, he absolutely adored her to the end of her life and when she was destitute he helped her more than anyone, least of all the ROH. I saw him a number of times but unforunately never in his prime. He was the most amazing theatrical presence and personality but his virtuosity had long gone. I saw Fonteyn 'appear' (her own word) around the time she was 60 and I can truly say that I have never forgotten the effect she had on me. Other great dancers, Baryshnikov, Makarova, Bessmertnova, Patrick Dupond and, my favourite, Nina Ananiashvilli whose Raymonda at the London Coliseum in (I think) 1999 is still my favourite individual performance in over 35 years of ballet going.
  15. My first conscious trip to the ballet was the night Maggie Thatcher came to power in 1979. I saw SWRB at the old Sadler's Wells in a triple of The Four Temperaments, Las Harmanas with Galina Samsova and Pineapple Poll. I still have the programme and our seats in the upper circle were something like £2.50 each. One person I still remember very clearly was the red sailor in Poll. He was played by someone called David Bintley. Whatever happened to him I wonder? Yes, I am being ironic. A month later my mother and I paid our first of many visits to the Opera House. Ever believing that you should start at the top it was the gala for Fonteyn's 60th birthday and official retirement. There is so much about that evening which I will never forget, not least one the lady herself. You see utter magnetism like that very few times in a lifetime. This having said all that, the performance which really set me off on my balletgoing path was back at the Wells in 1982. Giselle with David Ashmole and the incandescent Margaret Barbieri in the Peter Wright production which I still think is the best. The other person who stood out for me was Stephen Wicks as Hilarion. We are still great friends and he came to my wedding 18 months ago and my mother's funeral. We had the Two Pigeons for all those years of ballet going and Salut d'amour for Margot starting it all in 1979.
  16. I have just remembered another one. I once gave flowers to Ulanova when the Bolshoi were preforming at The Birmingham Hippodrome, again in the 80s.
  17. I remember waiting for Makarova to come out of the coliseum once in the 80s. She was such the diva (in the best sense of the word) it was like seeing an extension of the performance.
  18. I can remember a few partnerships which really moved me in certain roles, for example - Merle Park and Wayne Eagling in Manon as well as some of the classics. I was lucky enough to see Sibley and Dowell but I would also mention Makarova and Dowell some more off the wall suggestions:- Haydee and Cragun in Ongin and Taming of the Shrew Evdokimova and Schaufuss in La Sylphide and Giselle and as someone has to assist Janet in supporting ballet outside of London Sandra Madgwick and Michael O'Hare in anything by Ashton but principally Fille and (above all) Two Pigeons Monica Zamora and Joseph Cipolla in anything dramatic
  19. To quote another irony, I suppose many of us should be grateful that she had to keep going for so long as it meant we could see her dance 'live'. It is almost 40 years since I saw but I still remember her sheer magnetism extremely clearly. I still feel that overall her life was fulfilled but not desperately happy. Colette Clark, her P A, said that she was surrounded by love but what she wanted was to give love. Great artists do indeed have to make great sacrifices.
  20. I cannot add much to this thread as my ballet going tends to involve BRB only but I must mention Ambra Vallo's fantastic last Giselle at the Hippodrome with Cesar Morales. Added to that I would like to mention the increase in ballet on T V. Particularly on Sky Arts 2. If anyone has not seen the documentary 'Madam and The Dying Swan' I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's even very funny in places.
  21. I have long found it ironic that the careers of both Beryl Grey and Moira Shearer were undoubtedly damaged in favour of Fonteyn's (not her fault I hasten to add) but they both went on to have long, happy marriages with children. It does make you wonder who were the ultimate winners. Fonteyn had the long and legendary fame but I doubt it brought her that much real happiness.
  22. Having finally rejoined these forums after a bit of an absence (previous incarnations being Redwick and Wolfie) I have to ask why David Bintley has never been knighted. He has been director of BRB for almost 20 years and has had strong links within the Royal Ballet group set up for over 35 years. I cannot but wonder why he has been overlooked. No doubt had he stayed at Covent Garden he'd have got one as a matter of course by now.
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