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Found 8 results

  1. The Spring 2020 edition of ROH magazine announces a gala to support the ROH Covent Garden Foundation on Wednesday 20 May 2020, comprising a programme of opera and ballet on the main stage. There’s the option of dinner with the performers and ROH staff afterwards. Full details will be shared in the Summer 2020 magazine (out in January).
  2. As in previous years I attended the opening night gala of the Dutch National Ballet on Tuesday night at the Music Theatre in Amsterdam. The gala is not just a ballet performance. It is also a party. Unlimited wine, beer, soft drinks and nibbles are included in the ticket price. They are on offer from the moment the theatre opens until well after midnight It is a very grand occasion with the gentlemen in dinner jackets and in at least one case shoes that resembled Delft china and the ladies in the most gorgeous evening attire. The gala which takes place during the first few days of September follows a pattern. The evening opens with a Grand Défilé, a march of the whole company to the polonaise from the Sleeping Beauty starting with the youngest students at the National Ballet Academy and finishing with the principals. The women sre in dazzling white classical tutus and the men in dashing tunics. Next, Ted Brandsen, the director, makes a speech which in previous years has been delivered partly in English. There then follows extracts from the current repertoire or works staged specially for the occasion. There is always a work by Hans van Manen, usually works by Rudi van Dantzig and Toer van Schayk and often ballets by the company's resident choreographers such as David Dawson, Jianjo Arques or Ernst Meisner. Also at the gala, the Alexandra Radius prize is presented by the great ballerina herself to the dancer of the year, This year's gala seemed to be shorter than previous years' with only 6 pieces all but one of which had some connection with George Balanchine. Guest artists Xander Parish and Maria Khoreva danced the Diamonds pas de deux from Balanchine's Jewels which was my favourite of the evening. Other works included a pas de deux for Conrad and Medora from which had been created by Balanchine's teacher for his students , van Manen's Trois Gnossiennes, and Balanchine's Symphony in Three Movements and Who Cares? Edo Wijnen won this year's Radius prize. A video of his work over the year shows that he was a very worthy winner. The party was excellent, especially after the dancers joined the audience in the celebrations. The company's press officer, Richard Heideman, has sent me some lovely photos of the evening which he has licensed me to post to my blog. Unfortunately he has not licensed me to upload them anywhere else. Over the next week or so I plan to exhibit them all. I start today with a glorious photo of Xander Parish and Maria Khoreva.
  3. Every year in the first week of September the Dutch National Ballet holds a gala at the Stopera to launch the new ballet season. It is a very grand affair. Everyone is in evening dress. Lots of local and some international celebrities attend the event. With the exception of last year, I have been coming since 2015 and each year has been better than the last. The evening opens with a grand defile - a parade starting with the first year students of the National Ballet Academy and ending with the company's principals to the strains of Aurora's wedding from The Sleeping Beauty. This year the orchestra was conducted by our very own Koen Kessels. The company's artistic director then comes on stage and welcomes the audience partly in Dutch and partly in English. There are then a number of performances some created especially for the evening and others classics from the company's repertoire. This year the gala was dedicated to the memory of Rudi van Dantzig and three of his works were danced including his the white and black acts from his Swan Lake. The Netherlands' other towering fenius, Hans van Manen, was also well represented with the performance of three of his works including his Symphony for the Dutch People which particularly impressed me. Other full length works that were dipped into were the first Dutch performance of the Flames of Paris and Neumeir's Lady of the Camelias. Of the shorter works I particularly enjoyed Ernst Meisner's Embers which was danced by Jessica Xuan and Cristiano Principato. When they danced it at Varna earlier in the year Xuan won the first prize and gold medal for her performance. I also liked Grimm which was a collaboration between the Junior Company and ISH and combined ballet with hip hop. Finally, I was glad to see Michaela DePrince back on stage after a very nasty tendon injury. Every year a prize is awarded by Alexandra Radius to the best dancer of the year.. It is usually won by a principal but this year it went to Timothy van Poucke who is one of the company's youngest dancers. They say that the best is the enemy is the good and I think there is some truth in that saying because the gala spoils me for anything else for months on end. There were quite a few Brits this year including my former ward and her little boy who are from Sierra Leone, colleagues from Powerhouse Ballet and DonQFan. I have written a fuller review in my blog if anyone is interested.
  4. Every September the Dutch National Ballet opens its new ballet season with a party in its home at the Stopera. The show begins with a big parade beginning with the first year students of the National Ballet Academy, continues with the second and subsequent years, the Junior Company, Eleves, Corps de Ballet, Coryphees, Grands Sujets, Soloists and ends with the Principals. There is then a speech by the artistic director, Ted Brandsen, which is mainly in Dutch but partly in English to introduce Alexandra Radius who presents the prize which was established in her honour to the best dancer of the previous year. After the prize giving members of the company dance selected pieces from their repertoire. After the performance waiters pass round the theatre with drinks and canapes. The dancers and choreographers meet their fans. Everybody has a good time until well into the morning. I attended the show last year and described it as my best evening at the ballet and I have attended some great shows in my time including Frederick Ashton's retirement gala. I enjoyed this year's even better because several of my favourite artists took part. My overall favourite was the Junior Company's performance of Ernst Meisner's No Time Before Time which I loved from the moment I first saw the video of the finals of the Lausanne prize. I saw it live at the Meervaart Theatre a few weeks later and I was delighted to see it again on Wednesday night. I was also lucky enough to see Meisner dance again for the first time since he left the Royal Ballet. He was on stage together with Floor Elmers, Juanjo Arques, Rachel Beaujean, Marijn Rademaker, James Stout, Alexander Zhembrovskyy, Vito Mazzeo and Igone de Jongh in an extract from van Manen's Kammerballett to celebrate de Jongh's 20th anniversary with the company. Another piece I particularly enjoyed was Balanchine's Tarantella Pas de Deux in which Michaela DePrince danced excitingly with Remi Wörtmeyer. It was good to see a bit of Brandsen's Mata Hari again not to mention extracts from La Bayadere. The Sleeping Beauty. Balanchine's Theme and Variations and so much more. The party was also good. I met several of my favourite artists including Cristiano Principato whose gala in support of Casa Alessia I mentioned on this website earlier this year. I shall return to Amsterdam on 12 November to see La Byadere and Ted Brandsen's Coppelia. I tried to post pictures of the auditorium and Cristiano to this site but apparently it is not allowed even though I have the copyright owner's licence to share her work. They are nice pics and if you want to see them I will post them elsewhere on the web in due course.
  5. On the 28 June 2016 young dancers from the Dutch National Ballet, La Scala, the Vienna State Ballet and the Jas Art Ballet will perform in a benefit gala at the Silvio Pellico Theatre in Trecate near Novara in North West Italy to raise funds for the Italian charity Casa Alessia to carry out reconstruction work at Bujumbura in Burundi. The gala will start with a solo called Tempo which the talented young Italian dancer and choreographer, Cristiano Principato, has created for himself. It will continue with extracts from Swan Lake, Coppelia, The Pharaoh's Daughter and The Sleeping Beauty as well several new works including Palladio which Principato has choreographed for the Dutch National Ballet. The performance will end with Ernst Meisner's Embers which readers may remember from last year's performance by the Junior Company at Covent Garden. It is one of the most beautiful short ballets that I have ever seen. The charity was founded in memory of a young Italian woman called Alessia Mairati who died in a plane crash on her gap year in Ecuador. She had been shocked by the poverty that she seen in Latin America and vowed to do something about it on her return. Alas she was killed before she could fulfil her promise but her father set up the foundation to do the sort of work that she would have done had she lived. Principato's family was very close to Alessia's and they were affected by her death more than most. Every year a concert is held in Novara to raise money for the charity. Principato had always wanted to take part but was not allowed to do so until after he had left ballet school. Now that he has established himself in the Dutch National Ballet he has been able to arrange this show. His father has not seen him dance for many years because owing to an illness that prevented him from travelling long distances so this will be his first opportunity to see what his son can do. I am sure Mr Principato senior will be a very proud man indeed. Admission to the show is free but a collection will be taken and members of the audience will be exhorted to give generously. All the dancers are giving their time for free so every penny (or rather cent) raised will go to the charity. However, anyone wishing to attend is asked to call the number at the bottom of the above poster before the 24 June. Alternatively they can contact me and I will tell Cristiano Principato.
  6. Dear BcF, I very often watch the Galas in Italy of Roberto Bolle & Friends, and they are really fantastic events! I was just in Bari to watch the show and it was a really amazing show and atmosphere, I highly recommend them. Also in his choice of 'Friends' I think you get to see a mix of you emerging talent, the emerging stars and the fully fledged 'bought the T Shirt' stars. Check out Roberto's website for dates, and there are lots of great photos and funny things that follow the tour on instagram and Twitter #bolletour2015 Also with Prototype which is a video based choreography where Roberto does everything from Duel with a computer version of himself, to leading an dancing Army of Bolles. Here was the programme in Bari on 3,4,5 October: Roberto Bolle: Prototype Kiyoka Hashimoto & Davide Duato: Mozart a 2 Viktorina Kapitonova & Dinu Tamaslacaru: Carneval de Venice Maria Eichwald & Alexander Zaitsev : Ring them bells Julie Kent & Roberto Bolle: Manon bedroom PDD Roberto Bolle: Through the light Kiyoka Hashimoto & Davide Duato: Donizetti PDD Julie Kent & Roberto Bolle: Sinatra Suite Maria Eichwald & Alexander Zaitsev: Kazimir's colours Dinu Tamaslacaru: Les Bourgeois Viktorina Kapitonova & Roberto Bolle: Le Grand Pas De Deux by Christian Spuck (Funny with the cow) As a quick review, Davide & Kiyoka were enthusiastic and very nice dancers, both from Vienna, Maria & Alexander (both Freelance now) were technically very good in their PDDs but I am not sure about how Marco Goeke's choreograpy really shows the best of the Liza Minelli song 'Ring them Bells' but the skateboards they use made for a really funny video (see below) Dinu (Berlin) is a regular and his Les Bourgeois is really charismatic, and that guy can jump! Julie Kent was lovely in the slower more easy numbers with Bolle, but she shows great class even in 'retirement' Viktorina (Zürich) yes I am not ashamed to say I am biased, but if you have not seen Spuck's Grand PDD watch it on youtube. It can be really hilarious and she plays it with Bolle Fantastically to end with Standing ovations (the crowd very much warmed up by DinuT) Roberto Bolle...A true star!! And for me one of the best ever! Curtain calls: A quick video summary, and the skateboard piece I will be in Parma one night at the end of the month where they do 3 more nights 22, 23, 24 October. The videos are not mine, but from RBs army of fans
  7. On Tuesday I hope to be in the audience for the opening gala of the Dutch National Ballet at the Stopera in Amsterdam. I had to work all day and well into the night yesterday which meant that I missed the opening night of 1984 which was an enormous sacrifice for me but if Tuesday is anything like this video it will have been worthwhile. The company's website suggests that it will be a great evening, "Nearly two hundred dancers, including the dancers of the Junior Company and pupils from the National Ballet Academy will make their appearance. And after the performance, it’s party time!" Here are some of the delights in store: "This year, the festive programme will consist of new creations, famous pas de deux, work by the Netherlands’ greatest choreographer Hans van Manen and highlights from the repertoire. Artistic director Ted Brandsen will make a selection from the company’s varied repertoire, which will include some ‘appetisers’ that give a taste of special ballets in the coming season. The complete ensemble will perform in a Grand Défilé alongside the youngest dance talents of the Netherlands: the pupils of the National Ballet Academy." There should be quite a substantial British contingent. DonQ Fan will be there for a start as well as the immediate past president of the London Ballet Circle. After Ernst Meisner had addressed the London Ballet Circle a gentleman who introduced himself as a friend of Meisner presented himself to me and suggested that we might form a British branch of the Friends of the Dutch National Ballet along the lines of the American Friends of Covent Garden. I think it is a great idea and have written about it more than once in my blog. If anyone is interested I would love to hear from them. Finally, for the last two years the Junior Company have performed at The Linbury. That auditorium will be closed for a while next year so I hope it will be possible for them to dance somewhere else. I suggested the Stanley and Audrey Burtin Theatre in Leeds and Meisner did not rule it out, If they did come here Team Terpsichore would spoil them to bits.
  8. Unfortunately, I got caught out by the unexpectedly high prices of the programmes last night and wasn't able to buy one: perhaps someone who did could give us a better idea of what and who we saw than I can, so we can get a discussion started?
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