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Odyssey

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  1. Really looking forward to this. I’ve gone for tickets at Warwick Arts Centre this time. I believe it’s the first time they have repeated a performance of this annual showcase event at this venue. edited to say It will be strange not having Sir David Bintley (how good does that sound?) present the programme. incidentally, does anyone know if he has had his award presented at the Palace yet?
  2. So sad to hear this. I have so enjoyed the beautiful photographs he has taken over the years. Many of us will be able to continue to appreciate the unique qualities of his work through his contribution to many wonderful dance books. I hope a retrospective exhibition will be mounted in the near future.
  3. Yes sorry, very careless of me for not looking out for predictive text - how could I have got such a lovely dancer’s name wrong?
  4. Given the rather limited repertory that Melissa Hamilton has been given this season, I imagine that she probably has reached some kind of agreement about guesting -she seems to be a fairly regular partner for Bolle. She also recently guested with BRB in The Dream pas de deux partnering Brendan Lewis. I hope we haven’t seen the last of her appearing in a major role at RB.
  5. I wasn’t aware of any trailers but the Christmas Radio Times ran a two page feature about Francesca with some attractive photos.
  6. Balletfanp, I am in complete accord with your various observations. Re: the outdoor scenes, I thought they would ‘liberate’ the action, but they seemed to confine it. I applaud the project and hope there will be more to come, but this didn’t do justice to the choreography although some of the perspectives were innovative and interesting.
  7. Unsurprisingly, BRB have made this headline news on their website. It’s accompanied by a nice quote from Sir David. https://www.brb.org.uk/post/arise-sir-david
  8. Well, I hope someone amongst the powers that be in Birmingham will have nominated him! As well as the wonderful company he built up and the way he steered it through less prosperous times, he actively supported educational work in the City . I was fortunate to have first hand experience of this at a sixth form college some years back. He came with two principal dancers and ran a masterclass and was very generous with his time. I know of others who testify to his commitment to projects with young people.
  9. It’s always interesting how we respond differently to individual performers be it dance or voice. I am not particularly fond of Jennifer Hudson’s power ballads but I thought there was more light and shade in her performance and actually found it quite moving. On another matter, someone higher up this thread mentioned the appearance of Olivia Crowley and Eric Underwood which I had forgotten about so had failed to notice. Can anyone enlighten me in what sections they appeared or is there a trailer in which they feature?
  10. Just wanted to note how appalling the Sky Arts programming is over the Festive season. Several airings of the Nutcracker early in the morning is pathetic for an Arts Channel and it’s not even a new screening. Their offering for Christmas Day was a whole day of programmes about a Freddy Mercury and Queen. Bah humbug!
  11. At the very least I think we can expect to see her being offered quite a few cameo roles similar in kind to Misty Copeland’s appearance in the Nutcracker and the Five Realms. It’s true the camera loves her, but I don’t think we have any evidence as yet that she can deliver a major dramatic role in terms of dialogue. I can see her featuring prominently in any future Ballet Boy projects, as mentioned by Trevitt and Nunn, which will bring more ballets to the screen. Her name on the cast list will ensure a wider audience and encourage financial backing. My main hope that she will bring a new, young audience to ballet.
  12. I found this an enjoyable film and certainly undeserving of the curmudgeonry one star awarded by many of the critics. What were they expecting? The songs from Cats have never seemed consistently strong to me, although I do like Memories (which I think Jennifer Hudson performs here extremely well) , and because there isn’t a strong storyline, I can understand it might not have the appeal of say Les Mis. I thought there were some lovely individual performances, not least from our two Royal Ballet stars. Stephen McRae has received very little mention, yet his is a gem of a part to dazzle us with his tap dancing skills. I think Francesca Hayward was very fortunate in landing this role -and I don’t mean this in a way that is at all derogatory. There is more acting and singing, and not as much solo dancing as I expected. I’m also at odds with the majority of the critics in how the cats look. I love the facial makeup, and the moving ears and tails combined with the catlike movements work well. The controversial body suits were not an issue for me and the London settings were beautifully realised. A nice way to spend a couple of hours away from all the Christmas shoppers.
  13. I have just spent an enjoyable couple of hours viewing the DVD of the BRB Nutcracker from back in the 90s and can assure you that the black ‘splotches’ are very much in evidence in Mrs Stahlbaum’s sumptuous gown. In fact your comments got me noticing just how frequently the inky darkness is used throughout the whole design to great effect. I had a gander through several programmes from across the years and didn’t come across any interview with John Macfarlane ( in fact I noticed how the same couple of articles have been regurgitated each year!) In terms of symbolism, the only thing I would add is that Macfarlane's comments, reported both in the Wright autobiography and in direct conversation with Sir Peter in the tribute documentary aired on the BBC to celebrate Sir PeterWright’s 90th birthday, reveal an interest in bringing out the darker aspects to the tale, rather than a story of mere confectionary. As noted in my previous post, he was initially reluctant to take on the designs for this ballet and his stipulations included the depiction of the rats as genuinely threatening creatures. You might be interested in the following two interview with John MacFarlane. The first is mainly about his designs for David Bintley’s Cinderella.I think you can see a very similar thinking behind his interpretation of a classic children’s story. At the end of the interview he also talks about attempts to tour the production and the staging at the Coliseum. Incidentally in the same article is an interview with Peter Farmer about his designs for the ENB Nutcracker. The second is specifically about designing the Nutcracker. https://theartsdesk.com/dance/design-secrets-cinderella-and-nutcracker https://theartsdesk.com/dance/how-design-nutcracker
  14. I think that this will be one of the ‘brown’ dancers in Concerto. She had two performances in the pas de deux at the start of the season, but that has been her only leading role this season to the best of my knowledge.
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