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  1. Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere but I got this email from Trafalgar Studios with details of new cinema cultural events. Some of them are plays and Metropolitan Opera season but there is the 2021/22 Bolshoi ballet season as well. https://outlook.live.com/mail/0/inbox/id/AQMkADAwATYwMAItZGQAMzQtOTFjMC0wMAItMDAKAEYAAAO%2FXQFqTsSFTrjvHgqOeEmSBwCPA1%2Fr9w2lRZyeVAuTnF7CAAACAQwAAAB4WvjRaiXXTIQShAX9COQgAAP%2FRTZNAAAA If this doesn't work (it is linked to my email) this is the Bolshoi link. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FhxDwQIygZV9rHUGy69T83cS02Yn8NH-/view Spartacus Nov 7 2021 Nutcracker Dec 19 2021 Jewels Jan 23 2022 Swan lake Mar 6 2022 Pharaoh's daughter. May 1 2022
  2. Really liked the film, Hayward as glorious as expected (the camera clearly loves her) and the rest of the cast looked very good as well. Clever 'staging', though there was a bush that really needed pruning since it took centre view in a couple of scenes. The set and costumes are deliciously opulent. I was very happy to hear that Michael Nunn and William Trevitt are hoping to make more ballet films. I'd love to see Swan Lake filmed, though judging by the comments about mime and natural settings, that is unlikely to be a contender.
  3. The Bolshoi have announced three cinema broadcasts for next season, all obviously recordings. 4 October + Romeo and Juliet 1 November + La Dame aux Camelias 20 December - The Nutcracker They are obviously hoping to be able to broadcast some live in 2021 as they haven't announced any thing further. Let's hope they can.
  4. Ballet related....new documentary on Audrey Hepburn with Wayne McGregor, Francesca Hayward & Alessandra Ferri and lots of expensive clothes https://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/audrey-documentary
  5. https://www.roh.org.uk/news/celebrate-classic-royal-opera-house-productions-this-autumn--in-cinemas-across-the-globe
  6. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MATTHEW BOURNE’S THE RED SHOES CINEMA RELEASE RESCHEDULED FOR 30 SEPTEMBER 2020 Running time 97 mins / BBFC Cert U / In cinemas nationwide from 30 September, 2020 More2Screen is pleased to confirm that the postponed cinema release of Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes has been rescheduled. The double Olivier award-winning dance adaptation of the legendary film will be screened in cinemas across the UK and Ireland from 30 September 2020. Tickets are going on sale now at TheRedShoesCinema.com ‘Utterly enthralling’ ★★★★★ Daily Express ‘Bourne’s supremacy is assured with a gorgeous take on a film classic’ ★★★★ The Times ‘Matthew Bourne’s finest achievement to date’ ★★★★★ The Stage Matthew Bourne said today “New Adventures may not be able to perform on stage this year, but I’m thrilled that the UK will be able to experience the magic of our award-winning production of The Red Shoes on the big screen. This show was in many ways a love letter to a life in the theatre for me and it seems particularly apt to be able to share it with you at this time. We are extremely proud of this film, which captures the excitement of live performance so powerfully and we trust it will bring a much-needed escape for our loyal audiences countrywide.” The Red Shoes is a tale of obsession, possession and one girl's dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion. Set to the achingly romantic music of golden-age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann, The Red Shoes is orchestrated by Terry Davies, with cinematic designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Paul Groothuis and projection design by Duncan McLean. Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes was filmed live at Sadler’s Wells in London and is the seventh New Adventures production to be filmed in partnership with More2Screen and distributed to cinemas worldwide. World-famous dancer, actor and choreographer, Adam Cooper, returns to New Adventures after more than 20 years to play the iconic role of Svengali-like Impresario ‘Boris Lermontov’. One of New Adventures much-loved stars, Ashley Shaw, reprises her award-winning role of ‘Victoria Page’ having first created it for the 2016 World Premiere Season. Acclaimed New Adventures performer Dominic North dances the role of struggling composer ‘Julian Craster’, with whom Victoria falls in love. The filmed cast also includes other celebrated New Adventures dancers: Michela Meazza as the Prima Ballerina of Ballet Lermontov ‘Irina Boronskaya’, Liam Mower as Premier Danseur ‘Ivan Boleslawsky’ and Glenn Graham as the Ballet Master ‘Grischa Ljubov’. Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes is directed for the screen by Ross MacGibbon and produced by Illuminations. It is being screened in cinemas worldwide by More2Screen, a leading Event Cinema distributor based in London. For more information visit: TheRedShoesCinema.com #TheRedShoesCinema CREDITS Based on the film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale Music by Bernard Herrmann Orchestrations by Terry Davies Cast BORIS LERMONTOV, Ballet Impresario: Adam Cooper VICTORIA PAGE, A Rising Star: Ashley Shaw JULIAN CRASTER, A Struggling Composer: Dominic North The Ballet Lermontov IRINA BORONSKAYA, Prima Ballerina: Michela Meazza IVAN BOLESLAWSKY, Premier Danseur: Liam Mower GRISCHA LJUBOV, Ballet Master, Choreographer and Character Artist: Glenn Graham NADIA – Rose Goddard SVETLANA – Bryony Harrison BERYL – Stephanie Billers PAMELA – Kate Lyons MIKHAIL –Danny Reubens ANTON – Harrison Dowzell SERGE – Jackson Fisch FREDERIC – Joao Carolino LADY NESTON (Victoria’s Aunt), JOYCE (Auditionee), EDITH (Costume Designer) – Daisy May Kemp SERGEI RATOV (Scenic Designer) – Reece Causton DIMITRI (Lermontov Secretary & Company Manager) – Ben Brown MUSIC HALL PERFORMERS, LADY NESTON’s GUESTS and other characters played by members of the Company Production Directed & Choreographed by Matthew Bourne Set & Costume Design by Lez Brotherston Lighting Design by Paule Constable Sound Design by Paul Groothuis Projection Design by Duncan McLean NOTES TO EDITORS About Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures New Adventures is proud to be a truly national dance-theatre touring company and is one of Britain’s leading exporters of dance internationally. Over the past 30 years New Adventures has transformed the popularity of dance in Britain, creating works that have altered the public perception of what is possible when it comes to telling stories without words. New Adventures has received numerous international awards and an incredible 12 Olivier Award nominations resulting in 6 wins. Over the past 30 years New Adventures has created 12 full-length productions and a mixed-bill of shorter works. This award-winning repertoire has inspired and thrilled millions of people worldwide. New Adventures is passionate about diversifying the dance landscape and investing in the future of dance, through delivering inclusive projects for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, and developing and inspiring emerging artists. https://new-adventures.net/ About More2Screen More2Screen is a leading distributor of Event Cinema with an unparalleled reputation among its blue-chip partners for professionalism, responsiveness and the delivery of great cinema events to audiences around the world. Founded in 2006 by CEO Christine Costello, it has been a global pioneer in the harnessing of digital technology to bring the very best in live music, performance arts and cultural entertainment to local cinema audiences. In collaboration with its stellar list of long-standing content partners, More2Screen has acted as consultants, producers and worldwide distributors in bringing over 150 ‘special event’ productions to its network of more than 7,000 cinemas in 65+ international territories. Winner of the inaugural Best European Distributor award in 2015 (Event Cinema Association) and a Screen International Screen Awards finalist in 2015, 2016 and 2017, More2Screen won the Screen Award ‘Event Cinema Campaign of the Year’ category in 2018 for the live broadcast of the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Recent highlights of the More2Screen slate include the special art exhibition event, Gauguin from the National Gallery, London, Emma Rice’s highly acclaimed production of Wise Children and two highly successful musical releases – 42nd Street and Kinky Boots. The Red Shoes is the seventh New Adventures production to be filmed in partnership with More2Screen and distributed to cinemas worldwide. www.more2screen.com
  7. Well, it will soon be time for my Mayerling fix (!) and I have tickets for all three Watsons. But I would like to see somebody else and seem to remember forum members raving about Bonelli and Morera. Am I right? Oh, and does anyone know if Ed Watson is fit again??????????
  8. 3D CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE ABOUT LEGENDARY AMERICAN DANCER AND CHOREOGRAPHER MERCE CUNNINGHAM SET TO BE RELEASED IN CINEMAS ACROSS THE UK AND IRELAND FROM 13 MARCH 2020 CUNNINGHAM, a 3D cinematic experience about legendary American choreographer Merce Cunningham is set to be released in cinemas across the UK and Ireland from 13 March 2020, following the Merce Cunningham centenary this year. Directed by Alla Kovagan for Dogwoof, the film follows Merce’s artistic evolution over three decades of risk and discovery between 1944–1972, from early years as a struggling dancer in postwar New York to his emergence as one of the most visionary and influential choreographers in the world. Misunderstood and rejected by the dance world of his time, Merce persevered against all odds and developed a new dance technique and a new way of thinking about making dance performances in collaboration with composer John Cage and visual artist Robert Rauschenberg. Rooted in both imaginary realms and actual life experiences, the film features excerpts from Cunningham’s works, re-imagined for 3D cinema at interior and exterior locations. The precise choreography of the camera will allow viewers to “step inside the dance”; and the archival materials (16mm/35mm footage, audio, and photographs) evoke the charged atmosphere of the time, while Merce’s own diagrams and drawings provide insight into his creative process. 3D technology weaves all the elements together, creating a moving and visceral journey through Merce’s world. Alla Kovagan, Director, said: “I never imagined working with Merce’s choreography on filmbecause of the complexity of his choreographic structures and his infinite explorations in time andspace. 3D offers interesting opportunities as it articulates the relationship between the dancers in and to the space. Merce and 3D represent an idea fit, not only because of his use of space but also because of his interest in every technological advancement of his time and his willingness to adapt and work in unconventional settings/locations. It became clear to me that even back in the 1950s, before Merce developed the idea of an “event,” he had been longing to create immersiveenvironments for his dances. Today, 3D allows for his dream to come true.” Jennifer Goggans, Director of Choreography said: “There is a certain poignancy in hearing Merce’s voice for those of us that knew and worked with him. But beyond that trigger of emotion is the fact that he and his early collaborators and dancers tell the story, in their own voices, which gives a weight and power to this film that is undeniable. The archival materials that Alla uncovered in her research are simply stunning and the live action scenes bring Cunningham’s dances into the present tense, displaying how truly ahead of his time he was as an artist. But what touched me most of all, was being reminded of the perseverance and determination of everyone involved in the formative years of the company and Cunningham’s openness to the generations that followed. It is an honor to be part of this history and to be able to share his work once again on such a large scale.” The full creative team on the film is made up of Alla Kovgan (Director & Writer), Jennifer Goggins (Director of Choreography, US), Robert Swinson (Supervising Director of Choreography, US), Joséphine Derobe (Director of Stereography, France), Mko Malkhasyan (Director of Photography, Us/Armenia), Hauschka (Volker Bertelmann) (Composer, Germany) and Mieke Ulfig (Archival Sequences Designer, Germany). Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) was a world-renowned choreographer unequaled for innovation in both the 20th and 21st centuries. Merce persevered against all odds and developed a new dance technique and a new way of thinking in collaboration with seminal visual artists and composers such as John Cage (who was also his life partner), Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. The Merce Cunningham Dance Company was founded in 1953 and disbanded in 2011 after Merce’s death. Throughout his seventy-year career, Merce choreographed more than 180 dances and over 700 “Events,” which combined excerpts from diverse works in novel contexts. Known for his experimentation with “chance operations,” he also worked with the cutting-edge technologies of his time —including film, video, TV, computer programming, and motion capture—to explore his work in different contexts. Merce’s story, commitment to innovation, and ideas continue to influence generations of artists and choreographers worldwide. Born in Moscow, Alla Kovgan has divided her time between Europe and the US working with dance and film collaborations on screen, VR and in theatre. She also brings a strong record as a documentary writer/editor. Her film NORA has received 30 awards in every genre and was broadcast worldwide. She co-wrote/edited the Emmy-nominated TRACES OF THE TRADE (Sundance, PBS), MOVEMENT REVOLUTION AFRICA (ZDF/ARTE) and edited MY PERESTROIKA (Sundance, PBS). Her first VR piece with Finnish music duo Puhti DEVIL’S LUNGS won Grand Prix at the Vienna Shorts Festival, which made her an artist-in-residence at Vienna’s Museum Quarter 21 in 2019. Jennifer Goggans, a Kentucky native, holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase and performed as a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for 12 years. She was the Assistant to the Director of Choreography during the company’s final Legacy Tour. She has taught Cunningham Technique® classes and staged his works across the globe, notably, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Lyon Opera Ballet, the Bayerisches Staatsballet, L.A. Dance Project, the Stephen Petronio Company and the Juilliard School. Goggans has performed with the Louisville Ballet, MOMIX, Chantal Yzermans, and Christopher Williams and has appeared as a guest artist with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She also studied fashion design at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and has created costumes for Tere O’Connor and RoseAnne Spradlin. Currently, she is also the Program Coordinator for the Merce Cunningham Trust. Robert Swinston joined the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) in 1980 and became Assistant to Merce Cunningham in 1992. Following Cunningham's death in 2009, he was named Director of Choreography and a Trustee of the Merce Cunningham Trust. He oversaw the MCDC, the Repertory Understudy Group, and the Cunningham Educational Outreach Program until the closure of the MCDC in 2011. Swinston reconstructed many Cunningham dances for the MCDC and staged his works worldwide – for Boston Ballet, White Oak Dance Project, New York City Ballet, and the Paris Opera Ballet. In 2003, Swinston received a Bessie Award for his performance in the revival of Cunningham’s How to Pass, Kick, Fall, & Run. Since 2013, he has acted as the Artistic Director of the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Angers, France and formed a new company that has 8 Cunningham dances in its repertoire, and performed numerous Cunningham Events. His tenure at the CNDC will expire in June 2020, and he is dedicated to continuing sharing the Cunningham legacy throughout the world. -ENDS- LISTINGS CUNNINGHAM In cinemas across the UK and Ireland from 13 March cunninghamfilm.com NOTES TO EDITORS Dogwoof is regarded as the foremost documentary specialist brand in the world and is a stamp of the highest quality content. We sell worldwide, distribute theatrically in the UK and invest in the production of creative feature docs and docu-series. Founded in 2003 by Andy Whittaker, Dogwoof is a London-based, documentary film company integrating production, world sales and UK distribution. Dogwoof has so far released 24 Oscar®-nominated documentaries, with four wins and an additional three BAFTA winners; notable titles include Oscar®-winning and BAFTA-winningFree Solo (the UK’s highest grossing documentary of 2018), BAFTA-nominated Three Identical Strangers, Oscar®-nominated RBG, BAFTA-winning The Act of Killing and Blackfish. Dogwoof’s TDog production investment fund has premiered two films in Sundance Film Festival - Westwood and Halston - with more in the production and post production stage; the fund is focused on feature docs, docu-series, and remake rights, gearing up the company towards vertical integration.
  9. Well, I'm afraid it wasn't a flawless broadcast of Raymonda today at the cinema I went to: in addition to numerous (and seemingly regular) gaps in the audio (and often video) of about one second, we had two long losses of picture and sound, one in each of the first two acts. One of them resulted in the screen becoming more horribly pixelated than anything I'd seen since the motherboard on my new laptop failed about a decade ago I hope others fared better. Technical issues apart, I'm afraid I found myself nodding off several times during Act I: not sure to what extent that was due to the very dark set. The third act is quite different in many respects from the Raymonda Act III which the Royal Ballet are currently performing, in particular due to the lack of solos for the supporting dancers - presumably these were given earlier in the ballet, perhaps in the bits I was unable to view. Certainly, the only additional solo was for either Clémence or Henriette, which I thought was a bit odd - I did entertain the thought that one of the dancers might have injured herself and so her solo was simply omitted without comment. It has to be said that it looks a lot more expansive on the Bolshoi's far more spacious stage.
  10. Not sure if this is the right place to post this news, in which case a moderator will move it, but I don't think anyone has listed the Bolshoi Live ballets to be seen next season. They will be: 2019 Raymonda, 27 October Corsaire, 17 November Nutcracker, 15 December 2020 Giselle, 26 January Swan Lake, 23 January Romeo and Juliet, 29 March Jewels, 19 April Apologies if someone has already posted.
  11. Pathé Live is showing the 2019-20 season of Bolshoi broadcasts, but for some reason only in French at the moment: https://www.pathelive.com/programme/ballet-du-bolchoi-19-20
  12. I've just gotten home from watching Cats with my 11 yr old and his friend, I loved it, so did they, giving it 8 out of ten. I agree. I went expecting to hate it. I hadn't seen the stage version, so had no comparison as a starting point. It really was a festive treat, Francesca Hayward was lovely, appearing in just about every scene. She has a really beautiful expressive face which added to her role. I was surprised that she sang, I am hoping it was indeed her. Steven McRae's tap dancing was phenomenal! I can't work out why the film received zero or only one star reviews, I didn't read them beforehand as I really wanted to come to my own opinion without the critics words and spoilers reverberating in my head. Three people walked out of the screening this afternoon, about 30 minutes in; this got me thinking about the negative reviews on the way home. I think perhaps this is a film where there is no middle ground, you either just love straight away, or you don't. It has an unusual rather unreal quality to it, not quite magical, but an unusual 'feel.' If you love the poems of T.S Eliot and the music of ALW, and want to watch some wonderful cats with human faces, then go, suspend disbelief and enjoy.
  13. Francesca Hayward is to take the lead role in the new film Cats - see http://www.roh.org.uk/news/royal-ballet-principal-francesca-hayward-leads-the-cast-of-cats?utm_source=social&utm_medium=twitter She'll be replaced in The Unknown Soldier by Yasmine Naghdi and will be back with the company in the spring.
  14. Just received a tweet announcing a new filmed version of the the above starring Francesca and Bracewell as the lovers, supported by dancers from the RB. Being shown by Curzon chain on December 16th , I guess to tie up with release of Cats. Looks great, hope for DVD eventually. If there was any doubt this will rocket Francesca’s career to greater heights.
  15. Did anyone else get to see Dracula in their local cinema this evening? Wasn't it wonderful? Although we are lucky enough to live close enough to Leeds to see Northern Ballet regularly, it was perfect on a work night to be able to stay close to home and see it in our wonderful local independent cinema with a mug of tea in hand. I really hope there will be many more live broadcasts by Northern Ballet.
  16. Ralph Fiennes is to direct “The White Crow,” written by David Hare, which centers on the life of Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. http://variety.com/2017/film/global/ralph-fiennes-rudolph-nureyev-the-white-crow-1201977389/
  17. Countess Sybil de Daurice Ekaterina Barykina Raymonda, сountess' niece Olga Smirnova Andrei II, the King of Hungary Alexander Fadeyechev Knight Jean de Brienne, Raymonda's fiance Artemy Belyakov Abderakhman, Saracen knight Igor Tsvirko Clemence and Henriette, Raymonda's girlfriends Anastasia Denisova Maria Vinogradova Bernard and Beranger, troubadours Klim Efimov Ivan Poddubnyak Seneshal Nikita Elikarov Two Knights Dmitry Efremov Egor Khromushin "Raymonda's daydreams" Bruna Cantanhede Gaglianone Alexandra Trikoz Ana Turazashvili Angelina Vlashinets Victoria Yakusheva Xenia Zhiganshina First Variation ("Raymonda's daydreams") Antonina Chapkina Second Variation ("Raymonda's daydreams") Eleonora Sevenard Saracenic Dance Nina Biryukova Evgeny Triposkiadis Spanish Dance Anastasia Ermolaeva Kristina Karasyova Mazurka Anna Balukova Anton Savichev Hungarian Dance Oxana Sharova Vitaly Biktimirov Grand Pas Olga Barichka Antonina Chapkina Olga Kishnyova Ekaterina Smurova Alexandra Trikoz Victoria Yakusheva Ekaterina Zavadina Xenia Zhiganshina Ivan Alexeyev Batyr Annadurdyev Anton Gaynutdinov Alexei Gaynutdinov Fuad Mamedov Artur Mkrtchyan David Motta Soares Maxim Surov Four Cavaliers' Variation Aleksei Khamzin Ivan Poddubnyak David Motta Soares Denis Zakharov Variation (Grand Pas) Elizaveta Kokoreva Conductor Pavel Klinichev
  18. This year's London Film Festival includes the new film about Merce Cunningham. I see there are still tickets for one of the showings: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=cunningham
  19. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MATTHEW BOURNE’S ROMEO & JULIET IN CINEMAS NATIONWIDE ON 22 OCTOBER Running time 93 mins / BBFC TBC / Released in cinemas nationwide 22 October 2019 More2Screen is delighted to announce that New Adventures’ stunning new 5-star production of Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet will be screened in cinemas across the UK and Ireland from Tuesday 22 October. ‘One of Bourne’s smartest, sexiest, most stirring shows ever’ ★★★★★ Daily Telegraph ‘A seismic youthquake. A Romeo and Juliet for the millennial generation’ ★★★★★ The Stage ‘Your jaw will drop, there are moments so stunning that you might just forget to breathe’ ★★★★★ Broadwayworld Matthew Bourne commented: ‘I’m thrilled that New Adventures’ brand-new production of Romeo and Juliet will be in cinemas across the UK from 22 October. We have been overwhelmed by the fantastic response to the work during our tour and felt we couldn’t miss this opportunity to share it with as many people as possible across the UK and around the world. This timeless story of forbidden love, repressed emotions and teenage discovery is no better told than by the young, and I have been refreshed and inspired by what this team of young dancers and artists have brought to Shakespeare’s classic tale of tragic conflict and young love.’ This passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic story of love and conflict is set in the not-too-distant future in ‘The Verona Institute’. Here ‘difficult’ young people are mysteriously confined by a society that seeks to divide and crush their youthful spirit and individuality. The two young lovers must follow their hearts as they risk everything to be together. Filmed live at Sadler’s Wells in London especially for cinemas, Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet stars Cordelia Braithwaite as Juliet, Paris Fitzpatrick as Romeo, Dan Wright as Tybalt and Ben Brown as Mercutio. ‘Paris Fitzpatrick is a wonderful Romeo, tender-hearted and heartbreakingly out of his depth. Cordelia Braithwaite is a beautiful and doomed Juliet, a young woman who moves with a fleet grace and a sense of unhinged desperation.’ ★★★★ The Times Bursting with youth, vitality and Matthew Bourne’s trademark storytelling, the UK’s brightest young dance talent join the New Adventures company, with direction and choreography by Matthew Bourne, design by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Paul Groothuis and new orchestrations of the Prokofiev score by Terry Davies, played live by the New Adventures Orchestra conducted by Brett Morris. Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet is directed for the screen by Ross MacGibbon and produced by Illuminations. It is being screened in cinemas worldwide by More2Screen, a leading Event Cinema distributor based in London. This cinema release would not have been possible without the support of the following partners: New Adventures, Arts Council England, Bradford Theatres, Birmingham Hippodrome, Curve Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, Theatre Royal Plymouth and Mayflower Theatre. For more information and to book cinema tickets visit: RomeoAndJulietInCinemas.com #RomeoandJulietCinema
  20. a trailer has just been released for Yuli, based on Carlos Acosta's memoir, No Way Home. It seems the movie is just doing the rounds of the film festivals at the moment. I expect its theatrical release will be next year
  21. “Turandot”, Saturday 30th January After having to attend a funeral service for an acquaintance of Mr P we decided to distract ourselves with a visit to a cinema live broadcast of “Turandot”. As we had just seen the Rhapsody/2P relay with an audience of about 10, we were surprised to find a packed cinema. Turandot is a production by Franco Zeffirelli from 1987 and I’ve never seen a stage so overdecorated and cramped. I can’t imagine how, if sitting high up in the auditorium, one could manage to find the leading characters if they weren’t placed front and middle (as they were most of the time). Such an overwhelming amount of extras, dancers and props! But I must admit, the camera work was very good in concentrating on the important actions, much better than with the RB broadcast. The conductor was Paolo Carignani who too often preferred to push the sound level as far as possible but Nina Stemme as Turandot was of Wagnerian stance and strength and held up as the true dramatic heroine that she is even in a lavish but quite unflattering costume. Her Calaf was not as impressive (Marco Berti), he acted as if he was under-rehearsed and too often took refuge to the standard tenor moves like the single-handed throw, the double heart grasp, the two-arms-out… quite annoying. A revelation was Anita Hartig as Liu, who was able to send long, colourful, lyrical ribbons of music into the air, she really sang from her heart, I felt she was the only one who truly lived the role. She made the incredible beauty and complexity of Puccini’s music audible, and visible, too. Also very interesting was Alexander Tsymbalyuk as Timur, a beautiful voice and quite a good actor, as far as could be seen under the exaggerated make up. I find close-ups at the opera as difficult as at the ballet, particularly with an ugly pseudo chinese make-up (the three “ministers” were an especially bad example). The presenter was Renee Fleming, and she did her job with a professional friendliness (albeit with some gushing) and she obviously had much fun. Very interesting were the intervals – there were cameras onstage and we could see the changing of the scenery, what an enormous amount of work! If they were not so expensive, I’d rather like to see more of the Met broadcast events. Does anybody else go or do you stick to the ROH?
  22. Paris Opera Ballet: Thanks, Bruce! I'm not sure what the geographic spread of these outside France is, but thought we should record it anyway.
  23. ‘FORCE OF NATURE NATALIA’ PORTRAIT OF A DANCE SUPERSTAR The dynamic new film documentary about NATALIA OSIPOVA. Directed by Gerald Fox Premiere: June 6th at the Curzon Mayfair at 6.30pm + Q&A with Gerald Fox and Natalia Osipova Sunday June 9th – extra screening at Curzon Mayfair at 3pm + Q&A with Gerald Fox and Natalia Osipova Curzon Mayfair, 38 Curzon St, Mayfair, London W1J 7TY Tickets: www.curzoncinemas.com UK-wide cinema release from June 7th Sky Arts TV broadcast: June 18th TRAILER: https://youtu.be/yRfDklgF6QI FORCE OF NATURE NATALIA is a thrilling new film documentary about Royal Ballet Principal NATALIA OSIPOVA directed by the BAFTA, Prix Italia and Grierson award-winning British arts documentary filmmaker GERALD FOX. Regularly considered to be one of the world’s greatest ever ballet dancers, Natalia Osipova is constantly in demand by audiences, ballet companies, choreographers, photographers and collaborators all over the world. Her time is beyond precious but director Gerald Fox has delivered the perfect treat for ballet fans, arts lovers and contemporary dance audiences with his superb film documentary which will have its UK cinema premiere at the Curzon Mayfair on Thursday June 6th. Force of Nature Natalia follows a year in the life of this fabulous dancer. Fox takes the audience on a fascinating journey to the heart of the Royal Opera House, home of the Royal Ballet – through the labyrinthine backstage corridors to the airy studios – many named after ballet legends including Sir Frederick Ashton - to watch Osipova in the creation and rehearsal of some thrilling works: Russian prima ballerina Natalia Makarova’s revival of La Bayadere which requires Osipova to dance both lead roles – Gamzatti and Nikiya - on alternate nights, a challenge that she grasps with relish; Arthur Pita’s thrilling new dance/theatre work The Mother with the critically acclaimed dancer Jonathan Goddard which has its London premiere at the SouthBank on June 20th; Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s new piece, Medusa, with the Royal Ballet which opens May 8th and finally, an up-close-and-personal glimpse of Natalia and her partner, Jason Kittelberger, rehearsing their new contemporary piece, I’m Fine. Film audiences gain a real sense of how much goes into bringing a work of dance into the light while Natalia’s rich dance history is explored through glorious clips of Royal Ballet productions of Swan Lake and Giselle as well as hitherto unseen footage from her personal archive. Focusing in on her tireless pursuit of the most challenging classical and contemporary roles, Gerry Fox’s film shows that Osipova really is a force of nature in the dance world. ******* Born in Moscow Natalia Osipova began training from the age of eight and when she graduated from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography she went straight into the corps of the Bolshoi Ballet, dancing principal roles from the age of 17. In 2012 she became Principal at American Ballet Theatre and joined the Royal Ballet as Principal in 2013. She has danced every lead role in the ballet repertoire; she interprets classical and contemporary roles with unforgettable dramatic sensibility and total commitment to her performances. Her thirst for pushing the boundaries of her craft has led her to collaborate with world-class contemporary choreographers. This unique commitment to contemporary dance so early in a stellar classical career leaves audiences and critics alike reaching for superlatives to describe her appetite for new artistic challenges. As dance critic and author Judith Mackrell says in the film, she is, absolutely FORCE OF NATURE NATALIA. Credits: Directed by Gerald Fox Produced by Justine Waddell, Alexandrina Markvo and Gerald Fox Produced by Asterisk Films, Bird & Carrot and Foxy Films in association with Sky Arts Edited by Miranda Watts Camera Steve Haskett; Sound John Quinn GERRY FOX – director of ‘FORCE OF NATURE NATALIA’ What inspired you to make a film about Natalia Osipova? GERRY FOX: I'd seen Natalia perform a couple of times, at Covent Garden and at Sadler's Wells so when my two wonderful producers Justine Waddell and Sasha Markvo, who was working with Natalia on a new dance project, The Mother, approached me with the idea for a film about her, of course I jumped at it. Natalia is the most exciting dancer of her generation and the opportunity to make a portrait of her, someone who uniquely covers the whole gamut of dance, was irresistible. What was the next step? GERRY FOX: Exceptionally for an arts documentary it didn't take long to come to fruition! Sky Arts luckily leapt at it and it was then only a matter of working out a slot for it and the usual financing issues. It took a long time to film, however, because both we and Natalia were determined that the film should depict the full breadth of her range and talent from classical ballet with La Bayadère to dance theatre with The Mother to contemporary dance at Sadler’s Wells and this inevitably took a year to achieve. There has been a slate of documentary films about dancers - what makes this film different? GERRY FOX: It’s been a long time since anyone really focused in on a female dancer so I thought that was interesting too. We’ve had documentaries on Sergei Polunin, Carlos Acosta and Nureyev so isn’t it time to focus the spotlight on the great female dancer? I wanted to show the sheer determination, hard work and skill that being an artist of Natalia’s calibre demands. What were the challenges of filming someone who is in constant demand worldwide? GERRY FOX: It was pretty easy in one respect because Natalia was working on all different facets of her dance career in London over this year so that certainly made life simpler! But it was still incredibly challenging fitting interviews into her very busy schedule and getting the cameras into her rehearsals on all these very diverse, highly demanding productions. We were lucky this supremely hardworking dancer was so amenable! What locations did you use? GERRY FOX: The locations for the film really are rehearsal studios, great stages and dressing rooms. It's a very pure film that looks closely at what Natalia does best...dance! We filmed her rehearsing with the Royal Ballet for La Bayadère with Natalia Makarova and Medusa with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui at Covent Garden, in the wonderful old Limelight church/club and at Wayne McGregor’s studios at the 2012 Olympic Park with Arthur Pita for The Mother and various other contemporary dance spaces including Sadler's Wells. What do you hope audiences will enjoy most about your film? GERRY FOX: I hope audiences will just enjoy the sheer brilliance of Natalia's dancing in all its different attributes, styles and processes: from improvisation through rehearsal to glittering performance while also learning about her story of how she became a young dancer in Moscow and then with the Bolshoi before joining the Royal Ballet as one of its prima ballerinas. I hope they will enjoy watching what it really takes to stay on top of your game as a true force of nature!
  24. 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.
  25. This opened last night with a stunning first performance. I loved it. More thoughts from me when I've seen other casts.
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