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Found 6 results

  1. This opens tonight, so all reports/reviews/discussions here please. I can't believe that there is only one week to go until the end of the RB season....where has it all gone??!!
  2. I've seen three performances of Birmingham Royal Ballet's Shakespeare's Triple Bill this week. Jessica Lang's Wink premiered on midscale and I very much enjoyed it. It looks much better on a bigger stage! We only saw a few of the revolving screens on midscale, on a bigger stage there are five screens at the back and five at the side. Brandon Lawrence is really spectacular as The Poet. I particularly like his duet with Lewis Turner. The choreography is lovely and lyrical with lots of different groupings of the dancers. Are the revolving screens symbolising winks? ... The Moor's Pavane also looks even better on the bigger stage. With so many midscale performances under their belts the dancers have really brought out the casts. Tyrone Singleton, Delia Matthews, Iain Mackay and Elisha Willis are all very powerful performers and bring out the nuances of the characters. The other cast I saw this week - Cesar Morales, Yvette Knight, Chi Cao and Samara Downs are more contained in their performance but give an equally valid performance. Chi, in particular, shows a very subtle touch, making Iago as slippery as a snake with his insinuations to Othello. The evening finished with David Bintley's exuberant Shakespeare Suite. I will never forget Robert Parker in the role of Hamlet but Mathias Dingman, Lewis Turner and particularly Lachlan Monaghan gave really good accounts of the role. Tyrone Singleton and Elisha Willis were outstanding as Othello and Desdemona. Jonathan Caguoia and Momoko Hirata were hilariously dotty as Bottom and Titania. The orchestras sounded wonderful - the first 2 pieces were played by the BRB Sinfonia and the third by Colin Towns Mask Orchestra. As well as Elisah Willis, Jonathan Caguoia is retiring from BRB after 14 years - the Birmingham stage will be a less bright place without him. I would like to wish Jonathan all the very best for the future. Here's a review from Redbrick: http://www.redbrick.me/culture/review-birmingham-royal-ballets-shakespeare-triple-bill/
  3. BRB's Ashton double bill opens on Wednesday. Please use this thread for your thoughts. To start us off, BRB have issued a rehearsal video of The Dream from the last run: https://www.brb.org.uk/post/studio-rehearsals-for-the-dream
  4. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get this review out as I promised I would - but I have been travelling so much for work. I wrote it on an aircraft flying to Slovakia from Romania the day after I saw the second RNB performance of DSCH/The Dream ... DSCH \ THE DREAM REVIEW – ROMANIAN NATIONAL BALLET Had a grand time seeing two premiere performances (5 & 6/12/15) of two key masterworks – one of the 20th Century and the other from the dawn of the 21st Century - at the lovely Operal Nationala Bucuresti. The programme on both evenings consisted of Ratmansky’s zealously vivid CONCERTO DSCH and Ashton’s entrancing etching of THE [bard’s] DREAM. Both were performed by the Romanian National Ballet Company which Johan Kobborg is quite obviously building into a world class ensemble. May there be much, much more well deserved power to the already heady stealth of his arm. I certainly will be back for more. Of that there can be no question. The highest compliment I can perhaps pay to this very fine assemblage of dancers and production crew was that the performance on the Sunday evening – the second performance I saw – and one entirely honed by the home team – was by some considerable distance the better of the two. The Dream premiere on the Saturday night for me simply didn’t gel, whereas DSCH was mightily served on both evenings. There is no question but that Ms. Cojacaru was the apple of her native nationals’ eye but much of the deliverance of the Ashton was – as he might say – ‘too buttery’ on that occasion. It may well have been that Ms. Cojacaru had very limited rehearsal time given her many obligations. The sincerity of her obligation however cannot be doubted and her admiration for her husband’s entrancing ensemble is - without hesitation - well placed. What an ardently thrilling depiction Ratmansky's is of Shostakovich’s elaborately compulsive array of piano music which on both nights was zealously played by the very skilful Stefan Doniga. Doniga well deserved his cheers from both capacity audiences. Indeed I myself delighted in arriving early on both evenings just to hear him rehearse in this very handsome and acoustically astute opera house so lovingly set in an enchanting park setting replete with tastefully telling Christmas lights. Dawid Trzensimiech (who many may remember from his time with the Royal Ballet) shone in DSCH whereas his opening night Oberon was sadly somewhat mute theatrically I felt and (very much unlike his performance in the Ratmansky the next night) some of the partnering in the major Ashton PDD seemed awkward. The DREAM lovers at the opening performance simply did not take hold and the audience responded to them not at all which was decidedly not the case when a Romanian quartet took colourful charge of these roles the following day. It was markedly different. A special nod must be given to Bogdan Canila’s effectively forged Demetrius; one so obviously distraught at the restrictions of Victorian mores. Both Bottoms were effective with young Alistair Beattie taking especially musical delight in his dancing at this work’s RNB premiere. Trzensimiech’s partnering of the lovely Sena Hidaka (who beautifully etched the central DSCH role created by Wendy Whelan at the height of her powers on both evenings) fully allowed her to come into her special own opposite his musical tenure. That said she more than pleased on the night previous aside young Henry Dowden who – even now – shows much promise. On both nights the combination of Bianca Fota – with her especially elongated leap - and – most especially – Takahiro Tamagawa – a very special find who reminded me very much of the young Teddy Kumakawa – simply dazzled in the Ratmansky trio. His ballet – now a mainstay throughout the key balletic world – is one which will build the strength of any ensemble much as Ashton's and Balanchine's works do. How I wish the Royal Ballet might bring it into their rep to set it aside the McGregor, Wheeldon and Scarlett. The speed it demands is very much akin to that of both Ashton and certainly the Balanchine works that Ashton so admired. Shuhei Yoshida who has unquestionable strength but often is muddy in his placement completed the trio in DSCH on the opening night and was I felt was a dramatically monotone Puck on the same evening. Indeed he was I thought totally overshadowed in the latter charge by Christian Preda on the second night. Preda BEWITCHED with a gleeful razzmatazz much akin to that Valentino Zucchetti so delightefully evidenced in the Royal Ballet’s most recent run of this Ashton MASTERWORK. Overall the Sunday evening DREAM - in its entirety - was a joy to behold – made especially so because the Oberon and Titania of Barnaby Bishop and Andra Ionete took complete and charming theatrical charge in equal and rightfully dramatic tandem. Even now I’m not certain that Barnaby Bishop is not one of the very best Oberons in the Ashton that I have EVER seen. This was especially impressive as one has to remember that this was his DEBUT in the role. Bishop ruled every inch as a mighty king of the fairies with total and easy authority and danced gloriously in very much Kobborg’s own mould and certainly replete with a legato line similar to that of Dowell. The central pas de deux between the two glistened in a way that it had not the evening before. The music on both evenings shone out under the conductor's mighty baton. Sunday’s audience were especially and sincerely ecstatic and rose to their feet – as well they might – and kept calling the delighted – and seemingly amazed ensemble - back. This audience's pride in their home team was not only palpable; it was well placed. I happily joined in myself with keen appreciation.
  5. I know it's a bit early yet, as performances don't begin until the middle of next week, but I thought I'd start a thread in case anyone wants to comment on tonight's insight evening or anything else relevant. (Don't forget that we already have a thread for Period 2 casting, if anyone needs to post about cast changes: http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/35-rb-period-2-casting/).
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