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Douglas Allen

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  • Gender
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  • Location:
    Sunderland UK
  • Interests
    Classical, Neo-classical and the Romantic Ballet; Ashton and Balanchine.

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  1. That the Royal Ballet, ENB, New York City Ballet and the Paris Opera (where the ballet was first performed) all spell the character without the "h", suggests a strong bias in that direction.
  2. It's always been Swanilda (no h) for me. I checked a couple of books and Chujoy's Dance Encyclopedia (1949) not only gives the name as Swanilda but gives the cast of the original production which refers to Swanilda also.
  3. Curses, Jane S!!! You have now condemned me to spending the next 24 hours in going through all these pages and lots! Seriously, it's a very interesting collection and it has been reasonably catalogued and collated. The photography is sufficiently high quality that you can see most of the individual titles and work out many of the editions. The suggested starting bids are all low and I suspect there won't be many bargains unless the auction isn't well publicised. Oh, I'm so tempted... but I keep thinking of the carriage charges...
  4. Yes, it's David Wall. It is an excerpt from the film of Act 1 of Beauty Keith Money filmed with the Touring Company in the early sixties. It was filmed at a theatre on the South Coast somewhere (? Bournemouth). Money had hoped to film the complete ballet with Fonteyn but couldn't raise the finance and only Act 1 was actually filmed.
  5. Both born in 1992 I've noticed that as dancers become "more mature" their dates of birth tend to disappear from biography entries in programmes and dictionaries.
  6. Absolutely and totally agree!! I don't know if it is in the text supplied by Sergeyev or created by Ashton for Fonteyn and I don't really mind either way as it is so magnificent. When it isn't performed or emphasised (as it isn't always by some other companies) I always feel a sense of loss. It seems to me to be the moment when the dancer transcends the narrative and speaks directly to the audience to say "I am the ballerina, this is the Royal Ballet - behold greatness and rejoice!". Sadly, it doesn't always work out like that, though.
  7. This just goes to show how people react differently when faced with the same picture. I've always felt the Messel designs are overpraised. I'm not saying that you are wrong and I am right, just two people having different preferences. I take the view that the Messel designs, both for sets (but particularly) costumes are too garish and the costumes are too fussily delineated. Part of the reason for the praise lavished on the Messel designs was relief after the relative drabness of the war years when material was rationed and so much seemed to be swathed in grey. The primary colours lavished on
  8. Indeed. The Guardian and The Observer (not that there is any difference on the website) don't explain the reason for removing comments, nor do they contact the individual who made the comment. We are all just left to wonder. It seems to be up to the individual moderator to judge whether not to remove a comment and the newspapers do not enter into any correspondence about the matter - so it's not possible either to appeal or to enter a discussion about the matter. The only recourse, if people are concerned would be to question the application of the policy (i.e. to consider whether simple criti
  9. I see that the absurd article/review in The Observer. has attracted further critical comments, which in turn have been moderated (removed). The review on the website has now been closed for further comments. Only the two mildest critical comments have been left available to see. The other ten comments have disappeared. Criticism of their writers, it appears, is not welcome at The Observer/Guardian. Sad, really. None of the comments used extreme language - they were simply expressions of disagreement coupled with a suggestion that Bidisha didn't really know much about ballet. I seem to rec
  10. Capybara I'm really pleased to hear this from you, both because it is a difficult role to judge how to play, but also because I hope it marks the end to the ridiculous booing of a performance because the character is judged to be morally deficient! I don't know how or where it started, but it really has no place in any serious opera house or theatre. If pantomime antics like this persist, why not boo poor, absurd Catalbutte, whose gross negligence in drawing up the invitation list led to all the trouble in the first place?
  11. FLOSS well said. I think that the full story about Stretton's appointment is still some way away from appearing - as you suggest, more time needs to elapse before the roles of Isaacs, Kaiser and the ROH Board (rather than the role of the Royal Ballet Governors) in the affair become clearer. Your earlier comments about the strategy de Valois had for the company suggest a clearer pathway than actually existed - there were some missteps on the way; her attitude to Baronova, Volkova and Karsavina in the 40s and 50s suggest some insecurities - but in general I agree with you that there wa
  12. I totally agree, Dawnstar. The current policy is absurd. Dancers benefit from and give better interpretations when they have several performances in a relatively short period of time. They, and we, would benefit from a change in line with your suggestion. Obviously, some dancers would then miss out on the chance of performing a particular role, but the converse would be that not everyone would try to dance everything. So, for example, Dancer A might not perform Odette/Odile in a season but would have significantly more performances, say, of Aurora. We need to move away from the idea that once
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