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Found 19 results

  1. It was good to see the Bolshoi's La Sylphide- a ballet I haven't seen for years, with the most beautiful woodland set from Peter Farmer. We were told that Johann Kobborg was watching this, his production, from a cinema in London. Worth it anyway for Semyon Chudin with his lovely line, impeccable feet and that lopsided smile. Does anyone know what went wrong in the interviews? Anna Balukova (Madge) was being interviewed by Katie Novikova , but with her eyes constantly in the wings and a growing sense of unease, and then she cut the question short rather brusquely, it seemed, and dashed off. A bit disconcerting.
  2. Powerhouse Ballet has received a lot of help from a lot of teachers, schools and companies all around the country and beyond but nobody has done more for us than Yvonne Charlton of the Jos Dolstra Dance Institute in the Netherlands. Yvonne trained at what is now the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam and works very closely with the Dutch National Ballet. Twice a year her adult ballet students get to learn a bit of the company's repertoire with some of its best dancers. I am a Friend of the Dutch National Ballet and I visit Amsterdam frequently. It was through my association with the company that I got to meet Yvonne. Last September I invited Yvonne to give us a repertoire class in Liverpool. Our ballet mistress, who is not known for lavishing praise, described that class as our best ever. Everyone who took that class agreed. Before I had even left the studio I was mobbed with requests to bring her back as soon as possible. As we don't yet know whether we will be able to hire teachers from EU countries after brexit, I had to hire her before 29 March. Yvonne is coming back on Sunday 24 Feb to give us a special repertoire class in two of her works: her own version of one of the dances from Don Quixote which we started to learn in Liverpool, and Morning Mood to the music of Edward Grieg from Peer Gynt. The workshop will take place at Dance Studio Leeds in Mabgate Mills between 09:00 and 14:00. I apologize for the early start but Yvonne has to catch a plane to Amsterdam at 18:00 and this is the way we can make the best use of her time. To give attendees the optimum experience we have hired Northern Ballet's accompaniest, Alena Panasenka, to play for Yvonne and Fiona Noonan to learn the pieces and coach us so that we can eventually include them in our own company's repertoire. Ladies who are trained and experienced in pointe work are encouraged to bring their pointe shoes to the workshop. We want to use this visit as an opportunity to welcome more dancers into our company and support networks. The whole workshop will be sponsored by my law practice so it will cost our guests nothing. We do hope to meet a lot of new people. If you want to attend the workshop you can register here. If you can't get to Leeds on Sunday you may like to come to our company class at the Dancehouse in Manchester which Yvonne will also give between 13:30 and 15:00 on Saturday 23 Feb. If you want to attend that you are welcome to register here. If you want to attend both events, feel free. We want to get to know and make friends with as many dancers as possible.
  3. Well, it's been quite a year .... Firebird, two of them, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Leila and Majnun, Spartacus. Good thing there's no mandated maximum to the number of highlights you can have, because I don’t know what I'd drop from the list. And there's still TAB's Cinderella to come. But right now there's Teatro alla Scala's Giselle and Don Quixote in Brisbane. First, Giselle. With David Hallberg. Which I didn't know when I purchased the ticket. And Nicoletta Manni. There has been criticism, elsewhere in this forum, of David Hallberg's performance. With respect, I largely disagree. It is true that his performance, particularly in Act 2, lacked fireworks. Great partnering, but no fireworks. But his presentation of the character of Albrecht was wonderful. At the beginning an arrogant aristocrat bent only on seduction, he became more and more enamoured, his gaze seeking out Giselle, and softening, even when she was on the opposite side of the stage. When confronted with the Duke, he froze; then Bathilde appears and the horror of the situation breaks over him. Only with difficulty is he able to pull himself together and greet her. Then Giselle intervenes and the rest is history. It occurs to me that Giselle could be seen as a study in the consequences of ignoring the law of cause and effect. Giselle falls for a completely unknown young man, someone with no ties to the village. I am sure that her over-protective mother must have warned her about the dangers of unknown and unattached young men. (Yes, I know that with Giselle herself, I'm drawing rather a long bow, but hopefully less so with Hilarion and Albrecht.) Giselle has clearly indicated to Hillarion that she does not love him, but he clearly believes that he only has to get rid of Albrecht and he will be home and hosed. Giselle's own wishes don't seem to register in his mind at all. He appears sublimely unaware of the possible effect on Giselle herself of exposing Albrecht's deceit. As for Albrecht, well, he has clearly no concern about the effects of his seduction (what else are attractive peasant girls there for?), until he falls in love, ending up in far deeper water than he had previously experienced. He is consequently shocked to the core when Bathilde (Emanuela Montanari) appears, and watches Giselle's disintegration with impotent horror, aware of his responsibility, but unable to intervene in events. This sets up Act 2, where Giselle intervenes discisively, rather nicely. Whatever, in Act 2, Nicoletta Manni is a feather-light Giselle, flying across the stage, rarely touching the ground. In Act 1 she had been a quiet, even shy girl, coming to life as she fell more and more under Albrecht's spell. Now she is loving, mourning, pleading for his life. The fireworks are provided by Christian Fagetti. His Hillarion is a far more sympathetic character than is usually the case, and his terror, his desperation, his pleading results in a brief but spectacular burst of dance before he is hustled off the stage and out of this life with unusual rapidity. Overall, this Giselle was very different from the TAB presentation I saw in August, a presentation also featuring Hallberg. Don Quixote was a very different kettle of fish. This was an exuberant, colourful ballet, and Nicoletta Manni a vibrant, cheeky Kitri, one who knew her own worth and was not about to settle for second best (BTW, Nicoletta Manni danced Giselle on Friday night, Kitri on Saturday and Giselle on Sunday. How she did it, I don't know, but thank you, Nicoletta; you were great. 😊) Basilio was danced by Leonid Sarafanov of Moscow's Mikhalovski Theatre, and I didn't know that he would be dancing either. Anyway, he provided fireworks aplenty, as well as being a worthy foil for Kitri. His dancing was technically assured and the chemistry between him and Manni convincing. Special mention needs to be given to Giuseppe Conte's Don Quixote, a characterisation second only to that of Robert Helpman in Nureyev's 1972 film with Lucette Aldos and TAB, and anyone who has read my previous posts on DQ will know that I have no higher praise. His DQ was elderly and deluded but eternally dignified. Great costumes and wonderful sets, especially the wonderful woodland setting of Act 3. Overall, two memorable performances and a great trip to Brisbane.
  4. I did ask on another thread, but probably the wrong place! What DVD should I buy for the "definitive" Don Q?
  5. I have a DVD of a 1978 performance of Don Quixote, Kitri danced by Nadezhda Pavlova and Basilio by Vladimir Lasashev. Their dancing of the last Act pas de deux is marvellous, I have not seen it done so marvellously. Last year I twice saw the Bolshoi performance of this ballet at CG and on Tuesday the Mariinsky's. I thoroughly enjoyed these performances and the dancing was excellent but in the pas de deux the dancers were a lot less adventurous in terms of lifts etc and bravado than the pair in 1978. Might it be that dancers are a lot more cautious these days, or maybe the quite justifiable wellbeing of dancers, or a Company's health and safety liability playing a part?
  6. Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kevin Galiè, has just recorded this beautiful and very hard to find Girl's Harp Variation from Paquita. It was originally from the ballet "Camargo", but is danced in Paquita, Act II, Scene II, in Anna-Marie Holmes' version. It is also danced in Don Quixote. It can be downloaded at cdbaby and is titled: Paquita, Act II, Scene II, 8.4: "Girl's Harp Variation from the Ballet La Camargo" Here is a link to hear an excerpt or to purchase the download: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/evergreensymphonyorchest3 It is also streamable from all of the usual online sources.
  7. I was at the rehearsal for 'Don Q' the afternoon (NB - Act One only) before the opening night. Here are some photos: Viktoria Tereshkina, Kimin Kim © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Viktoria Tereshkina © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Ekaterina Chebykina © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Set from DanceTabs: Mariinsky Ballet - Don Quixote Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
  8. This year’s programme of “Ballet in the Park” included the live broadcast of Maximiliano Guerra’s Don Quixote by Stuttgart Ballet on Saturday evening and a mixed programme performed by the John Cranko School on Sunday morning. This was also the 11th anniversary of such live broadcasts, and it was explained that the inspiration came from a public viewing in Trafalqar Square in 2006! With approximately 7,500 people in attendance on Saturday evening (I’ve also seen a figure of 10,000 though this will maybe include the broadcast on Sunday morning), the area dedicated to the live broadcast was closed to avoid overcrowding, and people were thus watching even from across the lake just outside the Opera House. I went to see Don Quixote predominantly for the wedding celebrations in act 3, with the lead roles danced by Elisa Badenes and Adhonay Soares da Silva. Once I was there, I realised that this was also one more opportunity to see Robert Robinson and Myriam Simon perform before they leave the company at the end of this season, and to witness the official farewell to Georgette Tsinguirides, who retires after 72 years with the company. There was a short speech by Reid Anderson in praise of Tsinguirides before the start of the performance, she gave a sparkling and humorous interview during one of the intervals, and there was a procession of dancers and colleagues past (Birgit Keil, Vladimir Klos, Egon Madsen … and others whom I didn’t recognise) and present following the final curtain call, presenting her with red roses and other flowers and some very intensive, memorable and emotional hugs. On to Elisa Badenes and Adhonay Soares da Silva in the lead roles of Kitri and Basilio. Oh, act 3 was so much worth the wait with their magnificent solo variations and PDD! I couldn’t take my eyes of Soares da Silva, only 20 years old, and promoted to the rank of Soloist recently. Clean double tours en l’air followed by pirouettes followed by double tours …, and on and on it went, all with an exuberant smile. Also, the scene in act 3 where he pretends to be dead was so funny, right from when he falls down on the floor, then Kitri removing the knife with his upper body bouncing up, and Basilio reaching out for her body (which is not something that I would normally find overly funny however this was so much over the top, I just couldn’t help bursting out laughing). What a night! Back in the park on Sunday morning for a performance by the John Cranko School. I got badly sunburnt and didn’t notice a thing while I was there as I was so mesmerised by the dancing. The programme covered the broad spectrum of the students’ training, from Lavrovsky’s Classical Symphony via neoclassical choreography to a number of short contemporary works, and closing off with “Extracts from Etudes”, bringing together students of all age groups, from flexing/ pointing of toes by the youngest students to highly technical jumps and turns by the graduating class. Highlights for me were seeing The Four Seasons again (more about this work in last year’s post ... extract below), Classical Symphony with Gabriel Figueredo (who was so impressive as Tadzio in Death in Venice recently) as male lead in the first part and Natalie Thornley-Hall as female lead in the second part (luminous and full of poise and maturity), and Goecke’s revised version of A Spell on You. I am very happy to be back to see the same programme from within the Opera House next Sunday. Next year’s Ballet in the Park broadcasts will be gala performances by the company and the school, both with international guests, as part of the festive week to celebrate Reid Anderson’s directorship.
  9. The January edition of the Dancing Times says that the Mariinsky Season next year will be from July 24 to August 12. They open with Don Q and follow this with Swan Lake, Anna Karenina (Ratmansky), and a Triple Bill (Carmen Suite; Infra and the Paquita Grand Pas), closing with La Bayadere.
  10. I was lucky enough to visit Paris last week to catch 2 performances by Irina Kolesnikova and her company. I saw Swan Lake and Don Quixote both of which I enjoyed very much. The Swan Lake is the usual Russian happy ending but it was well danced. The corps swans were pretty much together for most of their pieces which is always nice to see. I did not get much emotion off Irina Kolesnikova as Odette and found her rather more a technician, so accordingly her Odile came across suitably wicked. Prince Siegfried was danced by Dmitry Akulinin, not that he had a lot to do in this version. I loved the sets and costumes throughout and in particular I liked the black Odile tutu which was made with a red layer of tulle under the top black one so it looked great with a flash of red which matched the red jewelled head piece which was showed off brilliantly by the black feathers behind it. Irina Kolesnikova did a really fast set of fouettes I was out of breath just watching! One ballerina who danced in the pas de trois was very heavy footed indeed and again in DonQ and the noise from pointe shoes was quite distracting at times. As usual with Russian dancers they did tend to "milk" the applause which becomes rather tiresome after a while, but overall the performance was very well received. Don Quixote I found to be lovely again with super sets and some really gorgeous costumes, especially the tutus. However, after a run of 2 Swan Lakes the previous 2 nights, I thought that DonQ was danced rather more "sedately" than I would expect, and also one must bear in mind that Irina Kolesnikova and Dmitry Akulinin are no spring chickens as well. Bolshoi lifts were replaced by "easier" fish dives and I felt myself that the only time that Irina Kolesnikova really worked up any speed was in the gpdd with her magnificent fouettes - started off with a quad I think!! The music was a bit different in places and I think (not having seen a DonQ for a while) that some of the gpdd was interspersed with other variations - as if to give the principals a breather. Nonetheless the soloists performing these diverts were very proficient and lovely to watch. The costumes from the Dream Scene reappeared in the diverts in Act 3 which I thought was a nice use of the costumes as they are really gorgeous. What I felt was lacking with this version of Don Q was the full prologue, what we got was a very brief reading of a book by DonQ and Sancho Panza and then off they were on their travels! I did not get a cast list for Don Q (you had to buy a programme) so I do not know who was who, although I did find one on the floor for Swan Lake, but no names were familiar to me. Again the ballet was very well received and I was glad I had made the trip to Paris to see these 2 classics.
  11. Well, the Bolshoi's 2016 season started tonight at the Royal Opera House with their new production of Don Quixote. For those who were there, please report back!
  12. I was very lucky to see Don Quixote last week at La Scala in Milan. It was a really lovely show. The choreography is Nureyev with some tweaking I think by Laurent Hilaire. It was certainly slightly different to the Nureyev danced by POB and Vienna SB , I think. Naturally all the dancers were new to me, but I was very impressed with the company. The corps de ballet were excellent and were very together and their timing was spot on. Kitri was danced by Vittoria Valerio and Basilio by Angelo Greco. Both were really suited to the roles and gave their all. Greco can jump really high and did some really great cabrioles. They were a very joyful couple indeed. In the beautiful Dream Scene we were treated to Daniele Cavaleri as Amore/Cupid (who wore a tutu rather than Romanesque toga) and the only principal in the show Nicoletta Manni was the Queen of the Dryads. Manni whipped off some perfect Italian fouettes no hint of a wobble at all fantastic stuff! I liked the Dream Scene very much as it was not overcrowded with too many ballerinas as can sometimes happen in DonQ. Espada's role seems a little shortened in this version compared to the Bolshoi and Royal ballet Don Qs, especially in Act 3 - he just gets a fandango - Jacopo Tissi danced Espada he is very tall and handsome and perfect for the role. In the fandango he was partnered with Maria Celeste Losa who was very nice too. The Don and Sancho Panza were played by Giuseppe Conti and Andrea Piermattei respectively and Gamache was Marco Messina but he reminded me more of Alain in La Fille Mal Gardee because his costume was SO similar to Alain's! There were lovely ensemble dances for the corps de ballet and the grand pdd was danced really well by Valerio and Greco. I would definitely like to see this Don Q again. After the show I went to the stage door and seeing as there was quite a crowd (including very excited students from the ballet school) I decided to stay - the dancers I met were all lovely and obliged fans with autographs and selfies for those that wanted. Tip for La Scala - the local government subsidise around 20 opera and ballet performances a season this explained why tickets for the Don Q the day before I went were ridiculously cheap..top tickets were normally 150+Euros but this night were 63.25 there were loads online and I wish I had booked seeing as the show was so good! From what I can gather these tickets go on sale with the run of a particular show BUT they are sold in person to the public and then after 24 hours any left go on sale online. The system is known as "Scal Aperta" so look out for that if you go to Milan - there is a list of all the performances that will be subsided on the website. E.g. Ratmansky Swan Lake is 14 July (but I can't make that one!). Also please note that there is huge thick safety bar in front of seats in the First and Second Galleries I had to look above/below and got a really painful back/neck from it. Of the 3 rows of seats the 2nd is probably the least affected by the bar in the First Gallery
  13. Carlos Acosta's production of Don Quixote for the Royal Ballet opens its Christmas/New Year run on Tuesday (25th November) at the Royal Opera House. Here are a few photos from the dress rehearsal last week. Jolly good fun it was too! Marianela Nunez, Carlos Acosta © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Tristan Dyer, Claire Calvert © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Thomas Whitehead, Kristen McNally © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Set from DanceTabs - Royal Ballet ‘Don Quixote’ Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr By kind permission of the Royal Opera House
  14. So the RSB is coming to Belfast and Mommy got me and her tickets to go see them in January, seeing La Fille mal Gardee. I see there Giselle and it was pretty good, they are a small company so it wasn't going to be mind blowing but their Swan Lake is one of the best I've seen. It blew me away. Tatianna (Bolotova??) was an amazing Giselle. Anyway, does anyone know how I can find out who is dancing in La Fille? As I would simply love to meet the company. The Grand Opera house have told me to send in a request through them and they'll see what they can do but does anyone else have any other ideas or suggestions.
  15. This thread is to discuss any of the Bolshoi Ballet cinema broadcasts for this season. According to our original list on the "ballet in cinema" thread (http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/3251-ballet-in-the-cinema-2013-14-season/page-0), they are: October 20th Spartacus November 17th le Corsaire (repeat) December 22nd Sleeping Beauty (repeat) January 19th Jewels February 2nd Lost Illusions March 30 Golden Age Marco Spada although I have a feeling this may have changed?
  16. I was fortunate to see the DQ rehearsal on Saturday and what a lavish production it was. Steven danced with Iana Salenko, and what a well matched pair they were. Steven's performance was a "knockout", he was jumping like I have never seen before, very agile and technically brilliant. Iana was so tiny, almost like a little doll, and made Steven look tall. They had matching red hair as well! They looked superb. All the dancers had upped their game and performed very well indeed. Carlos had coached them well. One lady to look out for in the future was Anna Rose O'Sullivan who featured as "Amour" in the dream sequence. She was stunningly good with great stage presence, charisma and technical skill. I believe she was a previous winner of the Young British Dancer of the Year. A young lady to watch. Thy Gypsy scene featured 4 acoustic guitar players around the camp fire which really set the scene brilliantly. With imaginative sets, wonderful costumes, and super dancing, I cannot wait to see this again! I would be interested in other comments after the gala performance this evening.
  17. Do you want to discuss individual ballets on this thread or start new ones for each? I have just watched the Mariinsky Nutcracker which was gorgeous. Gergiev was conducting and the orchestra played incredibly well. There were interesting shots of him and the musicians during the Overture and the linking musical passages. The dancing of course was superb, as was the whole production. Masha (Clara) is a child and in a transformation at the beginning of the second act becomes "Masha the Princess", likewise her Nutcracker, a child in the first act becomes an adult Prince in the second act. My only reservation was the choreography for the Grand Pas de Deux, which also incorporated four cavaliers and felt a bit like the Rose Adagio at times. So many good things, but one section I shall remember is the Pas de Trois to the Mirlitons' music performed by three young students. The two girls were slender leggy adolescents and danced ravishingly, but the young man was really outstanding. It is difficult to say how old he was, possibly twelve or thirteen, and he wasn't as tall as the girls even before they stood on pointe. But he partnered with assurance and the audience burst into applause during his short solo moment.
  18. Well, tonight saw the first night of the Mikhailovsky's London run: a pretty packed Coliseum, by all accounts, to watch Giselle with Osipova and Vasiliev. Please post your views on the entire run in this thread rather than the general Bolshoi/Mariinsky/Mikhailovsky thread.
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