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  1. As a former national dance critic I can help you with better information. Since the slashing of payment rates and writing opportunities to dedicated arts critics about a decade ago some of the critics you complain about as neglecting regions are already in senior jobs full time and have very little time between the end of work and show time. Hence only London is possible except on rare occasions. This was a deliberate policy to cut budgets, and dance coverage took a hit not shared by theatre. In the past I and some other dance critics routinely covered the whole country by train, car or even plane in the case of Belfast or Glasgow, our travel costs paid by our papers. The change is regrettable for readers, yes, and serious for the art form, yes, but these hardworking critics do not deserve your attacks.
  2. The Checkmate designs were very new then and much discussed. No doubt in art colleges too. The male figure in the painting looks possibly influenced by the celebrated artist Edward Burra who was designing quite a bit for Sadler’s Wells Ballet at the time (and had Scottish relatives incidentally). Plenty of potential hooks there to chase.
  3. Very interesting! He must have seen Checkmate before doing the front cloth tho the ballet did not have many performances in 1947-8 according to the ROH database. http://www.rohcollections.org.uk/production.aspx?production=6241&row=0 I suggest he may have imagined suitable costumes for the other two ballets. The triple bill that appears likeliest is either the Helpmann Hamlet/ Lac Act 2/ Checkmate one on Nov 18 1947 or Nov 22nd, Boutique fantasque/ Sylphides/ Checkmate. If he was a student in Dundee in 1948 he must have made a London trip before then? Presuming his painting was a design exercise or wishful vision it could be a merge of those. In fact both the Hamlet and Sylphides costumes had differences from those pictures but front cloths are never exact depictions ( by their nature they can’t be). The triple mirror behind the ballerina is very distinctive but not at all like the sets for any of the possible ballets, so might be an artist’s symbol for the 3 ballets. It’s a rather lovely picture.
  4. Thanks Jan. The Roh says that the promo code box does not appear in around 1in 5 customers' pages. And the system logged my card unbeknownst to me on a previous ticket purchase. And I was on my iphone, which added to the potential to go wrong. It is all sorted now and I did get the offer.
  5. I have just had an alarming experience with this. Beware, on my iphone the promotion code box can't be found and as I sifted through the pages the ROH system has just automatically sold me an £80 full price ticket without requesting payment details. I have no idea how they did this, as I tend never to leave payment details on sites, and trying again is not an attractive notion. Ideally I will be refunded in the morning and will still be able to get the offer. Ideally.
  6. I interviewed Mona Inglesby in 2000. This was what she said about her Rambert time, which does not support the idea that she thought Rambert undermined her, though she did not have instinctive sympathy with her. Inglesby: “I didn’t like the work Rambert did, I wasn’t happy with the style, although she did wonders for me. She gave me lots of principal parts to do. I was only 14. But I couldn’t get along with her idea of the right way to do things. She gave some beautiful ballets in that little Ballet Club. Walter Gore, lovely work he did.” Brown: At Rambert didn’t you understudy Markova in something? Inglesby: "Yes, Bar aux Folies Bergères by Ninette de Valois. Markova was the principal and I was the understudy. And Madame Markova would not allow me to be present at the rehearsals, so I couldn’t learn the ballet. I did half of it and it was left. Then one day Markova injured her foot and couldn’t go on, and I was pushed on. And only knowing half the ballet, I had to improvise the rest. I was only 14 or 15. She did take a lot of risks, Madame Rambert. Afterwards she just said to me, ‘Well done.’ That was all I wanted." Brown: Do you maintain any contact with Markova? Inglesby: "No. She used to live opposite us in Knightsbridge. But I never really liked her anyway. She was rather snooty. I never got on with snooty people." I attach here links to other articles I wrote based on my two meetings with Inglesby and related research, for the Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/dance/9729920/Mona-Inglesby-the-forgotten-heroine-of-British-ballet.html, and a transcript of the BBC programme on The Arts Desk http://www.theartsdesk.com/dance/black-out-ballet-invisible-woman-british-ballet. Kay Hunter's book Ballet in the Blitz, to which others have referred, is a good account of Inglesby's story. My earlier articles about Inglesby and the Sleeping Beauty reconstruction are no longer available on the Telegraph online archive but here are pdf versions. Inglesby Keeper of old scores.pdf Kirov Aurora's new dawn.pdf
  7. In the ABT Bayadere extract, the final credits and voiceover say that it is not Johan Renvall as the Bronze Idol but Danilo Radojevic. The Nikiya in that extract is Marianna Tcherkassky, who took over after Makarova hurt her knee in Act 1. This is Makarova in Act 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX2XZllu8SU
  8. No problem, Nina. Respect to Kuznetsova, a very long-established & distinguished critic for the business paper Kommersant, I can assure you.
  9. The purpose of my translating these reviews is so that you can read what the writers said and not jump to erroneous conclusions on the basis of misquoting three or four words. MAB and Nina G, you have both misquoted Kuznetsova by inference and inattention. If you were to read her triple bill review you would see that she is vastly admiring of Osipova and her points about physicality are part of the context of that huge admiration and for the British handling of realism. She would also likely not agree with you that Rhapsody is crying out for Russian performance - she writes that the Russians could learn a great deal from the British (and another critic makes the same point in a separate review). She thinks McRae is the equal of Baryshnikov, and that the London men and women have an enviable discipline and stylistic nuance. Her Manon review is here, comparing Osipova and Nunez. I suppose she might be considered the Moscow equivalent of Judith Mackrell/Clement Crisp. Maya Krylova is another thoughtful, appreciative critic who acclaimed the triple bill in detail. And Svetlana Naborshchikova raves about Sarah Lamb and McRae in Manon here.
  10. Hi, Angela - you are wrong in reporting this letter that culture figures signed. The text did not say they supported the annexation of Crimea, which occurred a week after the letter was raised (weekend 8-10 March). It stated that the signatories believed in Ukraine and Russia being of one shared culture, and that the future was together. It concluded that this was why they supported Putin's position over Ukraine - it is important to remember that this letter was launched by the Culture Minister at the general Culture Council. Therefore it cannot be said that people signed up to the annexation - at the time the letter was being raised, the potential referendum was still being hotly debated. Some of them, interviewed in the press, said they believed Putin's position at the time was to negotiate, talk, and settle the disturbances going on. Whether others believed something else, and signed up to that, is not possible to say from here. I have been following the Russian press on this on my blog. Ismene
  11. Thank you, John. Hope that information was interesting to others (it certainly stimulated my memories, especially of the superb acting of Genesia Rosato and Gillian Revie).
  12. The 1998 Hermanas performances at Sadler's Wells (there were just four, 2-5 November) were stronger in the second cast than the first, listed above: it was Genesia Rosato as the mother and Gary Avis as the man, with Gillian Revie (replacing an injured Christina McDermott), Laura Morera and Chloe Davies as the three main sisters - a tremendous ensemble.
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