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  1. This recording has long been unavailable in this country which is a great pity since it is of great historical and artistic interest. This is one of the first ballet productions which Nureyev staged in the West and also one of the BBC's earliest outside television broadcasts in colour. De Valois thought it the best Nutcracker production that she had seen and reportedly said as much when she attended the premiere of Sir Peter Wright's production of the same ballet. I believe that she held to that opinion even when told how much Nureyev's staging owed to earlier Kirov stagings of the work.
  2. The Bolshoi occasionally bring Gregorovich's Spartacus to Covent Garden when they come to London but the ballet has never been performed by the Royal Ballet and no one in their right mind would ever contemplate acquiring it for the company. It is said that in the 1990's when the Royal Ballet School seemed to be awash with Russian teachers Dowell had occasion to comment that the school was producing male dancers who could dance Spartacus,which was not in the company's repertory, but that they had trouble dancing works which were. I seem to recall that at one point Carlos Acosta appeared as a g
  3. The choreography danced by Kaneko and Clarke in this programme is not intended to have any narrative or emotional content. If it is about anything it is about calm serene movement in contrast to the quirky movements of the opening and closing movements of Concerto. MacMillan's inspiration for this part of the ballet came from watching Lynne Seymour doing simple basic movements at the barre and it has been a real test of artistry for every dancer who has performed the choreography subsequently to make simplicity the essence of its theatrical impact. Seymour had beautiful arms and was capable of
  4. I suppose it was inevitable that the evening would end up being the Tony Pappano show with only a nod to the work of the one world class company currently resident in Bow Street. The The balance between the two art forms may have something to do with the idea that Pappano is the greatest music director that the so called opera company has ever had and the idea that ballet is merely a secondary art form but there again it could well have something to do with individual dancers' fitness and performance readiness after so many weeks away from the studio. I doubt that anyone would feel up to perfo
  5. What are the chances that the new Wayne McGregor piece is the other half of the Dante project which was due to be premiered at the end of the season for which the casting was to be announced , or at least something closely connected with it ? I think it is difficult to judge how much interest a new work by McGregor would generate whoever is dancing. Whatever the powers that be may believe McGregor is not universally admired. It will be interesting to see what sort of audience the new work generates. Perhaps the ballet management is banking on the idea that the ballet audience is feeling so de
  6. The companies performed at different venues across London during the closure which meant that they retained the audience's interest and support and had a stream of income which covered part of their costs but that is only part of the story. The real difference was that both companies were far less dependent on private money than they are now as their subsidy covered a greater proportion of their costs which made them far less vulnerable than now. In addition the opera company was far more conservative when it came to productions. There were no opera production involving radical revisions of te
  7. I don't think that anyone is in a position to say when the theatres and other places of public entertainment will be able to reopen. We are still in lock down in the UK and although the Prime Minister seems to be contemplating some sort of easing of restrictions which will be announced on Sunday I don't think that it will be anything major and that everything will be taken very gradually to prevent a flare up.The number of people dying in hospital seems to be going down but there are still major problems as far as care homes are concerned. I can't see anyone except a complete idiot ignoring th
  8. I have just visited the ROH website and it is clear that all remaining opera and ballet performances due between now and the end of the season have been cancelled. The one exception seems to be the RBS main stage performance and that may simply be an oversight on someone's part. I don't expect any early information about next season's opera or ballet programmes. At this point the ballet company is at a considerable advantage as the management knows who will be in the company next season and their versatility, the availability of those who also perform abroad and how much flexibility in progra
  9. I think that anyone anticipating that the season will resume any time soon is being wildly optimistic. In fact I think it quite likely that we shall be told in the not too distant future that the season is being abandoned. The shut down started last week and we shall not begin to see its beneficial effects for at least three or four weeks because of the time lag between controlling the sort of social interaction which makes high infection rates possible and reducing them by the closure of places of public entertainment and placing other restrictions on our behaviour . We also need to bear in m
  10. Why not take the opportunity to look further afield and explore some of the offerings on Vimeo ? Here are a few suggestions 1) Frederick Ashton A familiar name however the range of his works which we are permitted to see is somewhat limited. Here is an opportunity to watch "Frederick Ashton performed by the Satasota Ballet" which runs for about an hour and includes excerpts from the works in Sarasota Ballet's repertory some of which we may only know by name rather than being works with which we are all familiar. It includes excerpts from Apparitions the work which establish
  11. It seems pretty clear to me that when Hayward was talking about the "classics" she was talking about the five nineteenth century ballets which de Valois acquired for her young company in the 1930's and chose to describe as "The Classics". I have no idea whether or not Hayward wants to dance lead roles in Don Q or Bayadere only time will tell.whether she wants to dance them. In fact if she chooses not to dance them I would be tempted to ascribe her failure to sound artistic taste. I think that we have to accept the sad fact that not all nineteenth century ballets are of equal quali
  12. I think that from what I have read elsewhere the point being made here is that the change at the top in a ballet company based in Germany has the potential to be far more disruptive than it is elsewhere in the world as the new director is free to replace every dancer in the company should he or she wish to do so. Of course something like Ratmansky's reconstruction may be years in the planning and may not always disappear overnight with a change of director, in the absence of repertory to replace it, but the fact remains that the artistic direction which a German company takes can, and often d
  13. As there are two more performances at which Osipova is to dance Tatiana I thought it might be interesting to visit a couple of these resale sites to see whether there were any tickets being offered and what sort of prices the sellers were asking for them. Not surprisingly I found tickets for sale for both performances at highly inflated prices including some for seats in the Upper Slips from which there is virtually no view of the stage. As it is so easy to find tickets being offered for any number of performances at the Royal Opera House on these sites I can't help wondering why it takes no a
  14. I trust that this does not offend anyone but Marguerite Porter's Lilac Fairy is not an ideal exemplar with which to compare later exponents of the role save where tempo is concerned. Where the 1978 recording of the ballet really scores is in the dancer's relationship with the music. Apart from the Crystal Fountain variation which is slower all the other dancers in that recording are within seconds of the tempi set by Previn in his LSO studio recording of the score and Collier is a second or two faster as the Fairy of the Songbirds.From my recollection this degree of acute musicality is true of
  15. I may wish to add to it after I have been to the gala but at present my list is as follows:- Lander's Etudes, which was once the company's calling card. Ashton's Romeo and Juliet. Balanchine's Night Shadow. Balanchine's Apollo. Markova's staging of Les Sylphides. Skeaping's Giselle which should be timetabled for regular revival. Lifar's Suite en Blanc. Massine's Parade for its Picasso designs and its sheer oddity. Bejart's Song of a Wayfarer. All of which I think bear repeated viewing. Could you please move this to the reviv
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