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jmb

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  1. I went to Sylvia twice. And if I'd written this review 10 days ago, it would have been considerably more negative than it is! Anyway, it's a sprawlling ballet. The Australian version was choreographed by Stanton Welsh, and he introduced two more love stories, the first between the gods Artemis and Orion, the second between god and mortal (Eros and Psyche). Anyway, trying to keep all these Greeks separate was impossible, not only for me but for lots of the audience with whom I talked. So first time I had no idea what was going on. And while the individual dancers and the pdd were superb, reall
  2. In the last month, I've seen Macmillan's R&J with Karlsruhe Ballet, Cranko's R&J (twice!) with Stuttgart Ballet, and now QB's R&J. And I still love the ballet! Both versions! Mia Heathcote was Juliet, and Romeo was danced by Patricio Reve, who is so new to the company that he's not yet listed in the program. He is another Cuban dancer, and brought the dash and brio that all Cuban male dancers seem to have to the role. Mia Heathcote was a beautiful, strong, and determined Juliet. (Her father, Stephen Heathcote was Lord Capulet ... nothing like keeping things in the family!) Vito Ber
  3. Mum died on Sunday and I'm at the ballet on Tuesday. She would have approved but, particularly as it was Natalia Osipova's Pure Dance, with (be still my beating heart ), David Hallberg. The evening consisted of 6 individual works, starting with the main pdd from Antony Tudor's The Leaves are Fading. The program says the pdd explores 'reminiscence of love and the bittersweet beauty of the passing of life'. That is not how I saw it. For me, it was a glorious celebration of love. Osipova was electric, Hallberg right there with her. Next up was Ivan Perez' Flutter and we were suddenly in a diffe
  4. jmb

    Vale Mum

    A heartfelt thanks to everyone who responded to my post. You don't know me but you reached out to me and I can only say a very humble thank you. The support of people on this forum has been very important to me. So once again, thank you.
  5. jmb

    Vale Mum

    My Mum died last Sunday. She was 94. But why am I writing a memorial here, on the BalletcoForum website? Well, Mum was entirely responsible for my love of ballet. About 6 years ago (yes, so recent!), Mum could no longer follow the narrative thread in shows such as Midsomer Murders and New Tricks. Quite independently, I was given a ticket to The Australian Ballet's La Bayadere. Mum was very jelous, but given her very limited mobility, getting her to the Opera House, not to mention sitting through a three hour ballet, was just not on. So I bought a couple of DVDs. The first was a production of t
  6. Last three performances of the Stuttgart tour: Neumeier's Kameliendame, Kilian's One of a Kind and Macmillan's Mayerling. Let's start with Kameliendame (Marti Fernandez Paixa and Miriam Kacerova). Great dancing, but I really don't know if I like it or not. I found the parallel between Marguerite and Manon initially interesting (Marguerite and Armand meet at a performance of Manon), but finally intrusive. I'd got the point. But the P de D! I need to see the ballet at least once more before I decide like/not like.and heaven only knows when that will be, as I don't think anyone in Australia has i
  7. Well, last week I saw Macmillan's R&J in Karlsruhe. This week it's Cranko's R&J in Stuttgart. Twice. I'll leave comments on the technical apects of the performances to more capable commentators than me. But I am constantly asked which I prefer. I don't. Both are wonderful works, and I love both of them, but I think that Macmillan really gets what it is to be 16, 17, 18 and absolutely, dilariously head over heels in love with a girl who similarly loves you. Think the balcony scene. Cranko is way too restrained. On the other hand, Cranko gets devastation, loss and grief. Act 3 is heart-
  8. And for me, Shades of White is the first of nine performances with Stuttgart Ballet that I will see over the next 9 days. No white fatigue with me. John Cranko's Concert for Flute and Harp left me asking why more choreographers don't choreograph for a male corp de ballet. Strong, but such superb pas de deux, great footwork, really exciting dance. And the dancers seemed to be having a ball! Kingdom of the Shades, from La Bayadere was in fact the work that got me into my current infatuation. Well, actually I was appauled by the Orientalism of the piece, but the Kingdom of the Shades was utterly
  9. So, you might ask, what's a well-brought-up Australian doing swanning around Karlsruhe? Apart from having a ball, that is. I'm here with Tours en L'aire's trip to the Stuttgart Ballet, and Karlsruhe is an optional add-on. (If anyone wants to know more about my wonderful experience with Tours en L'aire, send me a PM). 5 days, 3 ballets, Macmillan's Romeo and Juliet, Wheeldon's Swan Lake, and a new work by Thiago Bordin, Zukunft Barucht Herkunft, which I have translated as Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: a history of ballet in Karlsruhe over the last 250 years. We kicked off with Romeo and Juliet an
  10. So the Bolshoi is back in Brisbane, six years after their earlier visit. I have no idea what brings such stellar companies to Brisbane, and nowhere else. La Scala, Royal Ballet, POB, ABT and now Bolshoi again. It is true that Brisbane is a delightful city with a winter not dissimilar to a standard European summer, but is that all? Anyway, the Bolshoi is here, with Spartacus and Jewels. Let's start with Spartacus. I'm sorry, but I did not warm to Spartacus. I did not care one scintilla for Spartacus or his wife; nor did the ever emoting Crassus or his lady do anything for me. My under thi
  11. As selected sections of the doco that preceeds this work make clear, aboriginal dance has had a profound and lasting influence on Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian. His work, Stamping Ground is the central work in this three part program looking back at Bangarra's 30 year history. (30 years of 65,000). It is also the first time that the company has featured a non-indigenous work. And what a work it is! It opens with a single dancer on stage, a dancer who is replaced by another, and another. The 6 dancers introduced, they break into pounding duos and trios, the influence of aboriginal dance seen
  12. Free speech is not as simple as it sounds. Young gay boys have committed suicide because of the homophobic comments made on-line. Is the right to say anything you want more important than young mens' lives?
  13. I saw Queensland Ballet's Masters Series; Balanchine's Serenade, Kylian's Soldier's Mass and McIntyre's The Shadows Behind Us on consecutive nights last week, each night a similar distance from the stage, but on opposite sides of the theatre. I saw two rather different performances. First off was Serenade, a work that I have seen on Youtube, but never in real life. Superb. Really, different but superb, from both angles. The corps de ballet established a gloriously romantic setting for the action, if that is the right word. Yanela Pinera and Victor Estevez on Friday, followed by Laura Hidalgo a
  14. You may remember that Graeme Murphy, TAB's famous choreographer, pulled out of presenting his latest work, The Little Prince only a couple of months before it was due to premiere. Ill health. Anyway, TAB replaced it, in Sydney, with Giselle, which was presented in Melbourne last year ( I saw it with David Hallberg as Albrecht. Unforgettable.) This presentation was good but not great. Ako Kondo was a feather-light Giselle, dazzled by the wonderful, good-looking, apparently considerate creature who was interested in her. You saw her move from dutiful daughter, remembering her mother's (undoubted
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