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Angela

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  1. You need to ask where the arts editor comes from - normally, they are opera/classical music or drama/theatre critics, never ever dance critics. Of course they prefer their own genre to the genres they don't know so well: for a theatre critic, plays are the most important thing. You need to ask if the opera and theatre critics are permanently employed or freelancers - most dance critics are freelancers. Of course there will be money to send the editors traveling, not so much for the freelancers. You need to ask who pays the travel costs, the newspaper or the critic himself. If the dance critics start paying their own travel costs, there will be nothing left to earn. You start to do it for some important show, because you believe in what you do, but at a certain point you just can't afford it any more. I am speaking from a German point of view, where it is exactly the same - in most local newspapers, you can read opera and theatre reviews from all over Germany, but no dance reviews from outside of their hometown. Even most big national newspapers have axed the dance much more than opera and theatre. It's a slow process, but I keep thinking that the dance section is just the beginning. Sometimes I find more reviews for Netflix series in my newspaper than for live theatre.
  2. Daniel Camargo, who guested with the RB, has left Het Nationale to work freelance. He continues to be a Principal Guest Artist at Czech National Ballet at Prague.
  3. Three principal dancers are leaving Hamburg Ballet after this season: Carsten Jung, Carolina Agüero and Karen Azatyan. Hamburg Ballet gives no information about their further careers - Jung and Agüero are both over 40, so I think they end their careers, but Azatyan is in his 30s, he might well continue to dance elsewhere. It will be interesting how John Neumeier will fill their places.
  4. Okay, I’ll try to explain once more what I meant. I was not talking about story ballets like Swan Lake or Coppelia: that’s what I would call fairy tale ballets of the old French/Russian/Petipa style. Yes, I know, some of them don’t use fairy tales, but they follow the established form of féerie or grand ballet, they tell the story mainly by mime, not in choreographed movement. And I don’t count one act ballets or the Ballets Russes short ballets among narrative ballet. I mean two or three act, full-length works. I was talking about literature ballets like MacMillan‘s Manon and Mayerling, Cranko’s Onegin, Neumeier’s Camellias (and the main part of his oeuvre), many works by Roland Petit, some by Alexei Ratmansky, Boris Eifman, even Matthew Bourne, if you like: ballets which adapt a novel or a play, ballets which develop characters in deeper, richer shades than prince gets princess. They are a European development, and a European speciality, that is my theory, and American audiences largely skipped that part of ballet history in the second half of the 20th century. So if you refer to Balanchine and drop the one act ballets and fairy tale ballets, there’s not much left of narrative ballet. Story-telling, you have to admit, was not his strength. He was a choreographer, THE choreographer for steps, structures, lines, forms – not drama. I think American audiences are just not "trained" in appreciating sophisticated story-telling, psychological shades of characterisation, mirrored or split figures, doppelgangers, all that tricks that try to show what happens in a mind. They are so much better trained in judging forms, steps, and the pure, abstract essence of dance. I don’t intent to say what is better and I know there are huge differences in style and quality from MacMillan to Petit to Ratmansky or Marston. I just try to find an answer why so many story ballets we like in England or continental Europe can’t make it in New York.
  5. Thank you for the clarification, DrewCo. I might have read too much Arlene Croce, Alastair Macaulay and Robert Gottlieb on that subject, that shaped my opinion.
  6. Do the Americans even want narrative ballet? Or understand it, to ask in a very offensive way? I remember so many reviews of Neumeier's Lady of the Camellias, which the US critics hated every time it came to New York, if on tour in the 80s or later in repertory with the ABT, where the critics just did not care for Neumeier's sophisticated storytelling but only for the quality of the steps, no matter if they were used for characterisation. It does not matter there how and if a choreographer can tell a story; I think dramatic ballet is a European thing (and in the version of drambalet also a Soviet/Russian thing). Most American audiences and critics are still stuck with the abstract, neoclassic aestetic. Ashton, Cranko, MacMillan and their successors tried to get away from the old fairy tale content, they tried to bring drama and literature to the stage. The repertory in the US kept the old Russian classics with the old, simple stories and moved in a completely different direction with Balanchine.
  7. At Dresden Semperoper Ballet, Italian ballerina Alice Mariani was promoted to principal dancer after a Swan Lake performance on Wednesday. https://www.semperoper.de/en/ensemble/personen/peid/alice-mariani/3732.html
  8. And then you can watch it for 30 days on arte concert, the link is on the page!
  9. For all the new Cherkaoui fans in London who liked his Medusa: there's a live stream of the opera Alceste by Gluck today at 19.00 CET from the Munich State Opera - staging and choreography by Cherkaoui. The dancers are from his company Eastman. https://www.staatsoper.de/tv.html Cast: https://www.staatsoper.de/en/productioninfo/alceste.html
  10. The Cranko ballets are gone from the repertoire. 🤔
  11. Next season at Stuttgart Ballet is online here https://www.stuttgart-ballet.de/schedule/19-20-season/
  12. A short filmed report about Mayerling with scenes from the ballet and interviews with Jürgen Rose - I hope it works outside of Germany https://www.swr.de/kunscht/ballett-mayerling-am-staatstheater-stuttgart/-/id=12539036/did=24061096/nid=12539036/hkseuz/index.html
  13. I really wanted keep quiet, but I found something new: Trouble in Italy https://www.gramilano.com/2019/05/rights-group-asks-for-polunin-ballet-in-veronas-arena-to-be-cancelled/
  14. Was that the performance where he forgot to come to the front and then a backdrop fell and he accidentally was behind it and not present for his scene, so he had to run into the wings and return from the side? All because he had decided to skip a rehearsal the day before? I think the complete package includes diligence, humility and a passion for your art, not for becoming famous. Back to the yawning.
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