Jump to content

BBC's "Christmas" Dance Offerings 2015


Recommended Posts

How fantastic to see Les Noces again, in the second programme. I went along to ROH in 2012, to see Birthday Offering and A Month in the Country and expected, in my ignorance, to have to tolerate Les Noces, also on the bill.

My goodness, it blew everything else away, it was all I could think of for days afterwards. That pile of little faces!

Edited by cavycapers
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 215
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Wasn't he just!

 

Nureyev was so individual looking so to find someone who more than even vaguely resembles him was terrific. And a lovely dancer too....though revealing some ignorance here I didn't know whether it was an actor with a "dancer" stand in or he is a current dancer in Russia.

 

A terrific programme anyway. it was riveting viewing and completely different and more informative than others I have seen about his defection.

 

Regards to TV recording a nightmare evening as am too an avid fan of the Bridge and with the strictly final the Bridge and Nureyev all on at the same time ....very difficult!! Because Strictly and the Bridge are on series record I still am not sure which one has recorded in the end. Thank goodness for i player!!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lin. Artem is a Bolshoi principal. Quite uncanny resemblance in some ways! So great that this programme was done in this brilliant way. As in with a real dancer who is both acting and dancing. Fascinating interviews with former KGB agents who were involved. And I've never before heard the Clara Saint audio interview about Rudolf's defection.

 

I hope you got your recordings sorted!

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was out, and rushed home thinking it started at 9pm, so I missed the first 10 minutes.   I thought we would get a lot of actors doing fake Russian accents, and that the dance scenes would show the same actors standing still on stage with artfully arranged arms. Instead, the actual format was excllent; a very interesting programme. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I enjoyed this doc drama it didn't have the impact of the BBC 2007 documentary Nureyev:From Russia with Love. I think the reconstruction format is difficult to make feel convincing and the casting of Nureyev didn't help. Lovely dancer & lookalike Ovcharenko is too tidy and he simply doesn't have Nureyev's raw energy/intensity. Edgy rebel Polunin might have been a better choice.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No other dancer would have those exact qualities that Nureyev had I think........not even Polunin......who definitely has something extra of course ....but I wish I could put into words what it really was which made Nureyev so special in my books anyway.

He definitely wasn't the tidiest of dancers ....well especially not in his latter years....but I have never yet seen another dancer who sort of grabbed your soul and communicated so directly his connection to and fire for the Ballet when he walked onto a stage. I have seen better technical dancers than him many times but no other dancer ...so far ..has fired me up to walk the four miles home(at the time) after a performance!!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought that other documentary you mentioned (can't believe it was already so long ago) was also excellent and also compulsive viewing at the time but I did think this programme revealed more about everything that was going on and the audio interview with Clara Saint was so interesting.....and showed more the real actual physical struggle Nureyev had to escape.....must have been terrifying at the time. What a truly awful decision he had to make and now I feel he made this choice not just because of having more artistic freedom I think he genuinely feared for his life....and or his need to dance ....as at the very least he must have suspected his career was over for sure if he went back to Russia.

He wasn't allowed back till 1987!! And that photo of him back in Russia always moves me a lot.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having switched the tv on too early for the Strictly results show I switched to BBC2 to escape the National Lottery for 10 mins, and I didn't switch back.I found this programme totally captivating and thought the mix of drama and documentary worked well. Definitely worth a look if you missed it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fascinating programme but I wish it had ended with Nureyev meeting Fonteyn, if only for a moment!

 

Artem Ovcharenko is probably the closest dancer for facial resemblance to Nureyev, and his acting was surprisingly good, I didn't realise there was such a physical fight at the airport, I thought he was told to just walk to the two policemen and say "I want to stay in France".

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I agree Beryl H showing him eventually in London and meeting Fonteyn would have been good but I think this was concentrating just on his flight from Russia.

 

In the 60's and 70's I was so much more of a timid soul than I am now so maybe there was something about Nureyev's absolute belief in himself (also clearly revealed in this programme!!) that caught up with something in my imagination.

 

I find it difficult to be really objective about him perhaps and ....quite ridiculously of course ....was a little in love with him at the time too maybe!!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought it was a well-presented overview of modern dance during the last 100 years or so, putting the work of the choreographers in their historical context. A lot of good talking heads with interesting contributions from Forsythe and McGregor. Judith Mackrell (another participant) tweeted today that it was originally proposed as a more ambitious multi-part documentary rather than a single programme, albeit one of 90 minutes duration. Condensed and selective it certainly was, but nonetheless interesting, illuminating and well worth watching.

 

Available on iPlayer for a month.

 

Have finally been able to watch this. I agree with the above comments, except that I got rather irritated by the constant implication that contemporary dance in its freedom and reality is somehow superior to classical ballet in its rigidity and artificiality. It didn't question/challenge the validity of any of the statements being made about contemporary dance or the quality of any of the work/s shown; it was all accepted as automatically good and enlightening. That said, there was a lot of fascinating early footage, including of Pina Bausch who was a breathtakingly beautiful dancer when young (and, in fact, when older), and the whole development of contemporary dance was very well covered. Wonderful to see Nijinska, and Ashton talking about the importance of continuity (unlike many other contributors) in relation to asking her to revive Les Noces. And seeing Akram Khan dance, no matter how briefly, is always a reason to celebrate.

 

Given that contemporary dance was clearly shown to have developed as a reaction against classical ballet, I did wonder (not for the first time) on what grounds Wayne McGregor (regardless of any estimation of the quality of his work) is deemed to be the right person to be resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet. But that opens up a whole different can of worms.

Edited by bridiem
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bridiem you have said exactly what I thought.

 

But so much of  the modern art of the past century or so has harped on the same theme of revolution and "breaking barriers" etc. That is all very well and might need to be done, but the trouble is, how do you go on and on doing it once you've done it?

 

 

I loved the Nureyev programme-but did wonder, how true was it?

The reconstruction did put in another layer of inevitable falsity in a sense, enjoyable as it was.

It has sent me back to look for my Nureyev biography, and the other 2 documentaries that I have stashed somewhere....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am watching this [Carmen, Christmas Day] now having seen the slating reviews and the comments on these pages saying this was the turkey of the year.

Well, it's even worse than that. No quibbles about the performances but it is such a mess and in poor taste as well.

I should have appreciated how bad it was the way so many people were trying to talk it up in Darcey's preamble. Why was it not strangled at birth?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it was bad. I gave it another go but it was unwatchable.  I particularly disliked the black lacy underwear, especially the stripping off- oh it was tacky- and the sub- musical theatre style of musical dancing, which wasn't even well put together.

Also the use of chairs.

I was cringeing and had to switch off.

 

What a shame this was the only RB on TV this Xmas.

If only it had been Two Pigeons, Two Pigeons!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also found Carmen unwatchable. I have already given my opinion of the live version, but thought I would give it another go on television,in case I had been unduly harsh. It was actually worse than I remembered, the close ups didn't help with all the pantomime gurning and gesturing and I really do hope the whole embarrassment will never be allowed to see the light of the ROH or any other stage ever again.
I also watched the latest Darcey production. I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood - it is Christmas after all! - but I found her unbelievably irritating last night. She is getting terribly close to being a parody of herself in my opinion and the programme, title notwithstanding and despite containing some very interesting footage and commentary from various contributors, seemed to be relentlessly about her. At one point, as I recall, Alban Lendorf was speaking, but the camera remained on Darcey and a rather dramatic New York backdrop. I did wonder how considerable time was given to Danish ballet dancers and style, without even mentioning Johan Kobborg. I suppose you can't name everybody and maybe he was not available for interview. The footage of Nureyev and Bruhn was fascinating. These people were so interesting, I would love to see a really well made documentary about the subject of male dancers. 

Anyway, perhaps as I say, I wasn't in the mood for giggling and prancing and so missed the point. I rather liked last year's ballet heroines after all.

Edited by Jacqueline
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you, Jacqueline.  This could have been so much more interesting, but Darcey as a presenter just irritates me each time.  Because I knew I had no intention of watching Carmen, I wanted to get a small dose of brilliant dancers on Christmas Day.  Luckily the footage spoke for itself;  as Jacqueline said, the film of Nureyev and Bruhn was wonderful and the programme was worth watching for that alone.  I just had to keep telling myself that it wasn't aimed at "forum folks" so perhaps people who only have a passing knowledge of ballet would have found it interesting and would have learned something, in which case it is a success.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sorry, this is probably terribly naughty of me, and I might be reprimanded for "Bussell Bashing", but I just have the image in my head of yesterday's programme beginning with the words:

 

"When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a ballet dancer.  Well, I was lucky enough to achieve my dream, and I danced with some of the best male dancers in the world..."

 

Followed by loads of footage of Darcey dancing with some male dancers, none of whom feature in the programme.

Edited by Fonty
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 and the programme, title notwithstanding and despite containing some very interesting footage and commentary from various contributors, seemed to be relentlessly about her. 

 

I only caught a small segment of this programme last night but that included Darcey introducing her younger daughter's desire to dance into the conversation with Luke and Peter Schaufuss. When she said something to the effect that, if her daughter was to go to the RBS, she would be in a studio named after her mother, Luke said simply that she would get over it. Well said.

 

I sense that I am going to have to steel myself to watch the rest of the programme (and, indeed, for the cinema repeat tomorrow). I wish it wasn't like this.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am watching this [Carmen, Christmas Day] now having seen the slating reviews and the comments on these pages saying this was the turkey of the year.

 

Well, it's even worse than that. No quibbles about the performances but it is such a mess and in poor taste as well.

 

I should have appreciated how bad it was the way so many people were trying to talk it up in Darcey's preamble. Why was it not strangled at birth?

 I think this will remain one of the great mysteries of our time. Perhaps RB thought they owed Acosta.  Personally, I would have thought they owed it to him to be honest that choreography is not his strong suit.  Terrible waste of money and what a disappointing way for such a wonderful dancer to bow out.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only caught a small segment of this programme last night but that included Darcey introducing her younger daughter's desire to dance into the conversation with Luke and Peter Schaufuss. When she said something to the effect that, if her daughter was to go to the RBS, she would be in a studio named after her mother, Luke said simply that she would get over it. Well said.

 

I sense that I am going to have to steel myself to watch the rest of the programme (and, indeed, for the cinema repeat tomorrow). I wish it wasn't like this.

 

I only caught a small segment of this programme last night but that included Darcey introducing her younger daughter's desire to dance into the conversation with Luke and Peter Schaufuss. When she said something to the effect that, if her daughter was to go to the RBS, she would be in a studio named after her mother, Luke said simply that she would get over it. Well said.

 

I sense that I am going to have to steel myself to watch the rest of the programme (and, indeed, for the cinema repeat tomorrow). I wish it wasn't like this.

God, this woman is so irritating.  I think since she left RB she has been bigged up as Princess Darcey and now overdoses on the simpering.  She is just as annoying on Strictly Come Dancing where she lusts after the male celebrities and patronises the other judges.

 

However, the programme was worth watching.  The footage of Mukhamedov dancing Spartacus took my breath away and I had never realised how drop dead gorgeous Erik Bruhne was.  Tragic that Kobborg was completely ignored - perhaps he and Darcey didn't get on.  I always got the impression that she was allowed to do whatever she wanted at RB and have always blamed her for the loss of Viviana Durante.  I am probably completely wrong but DB has always struck me as one of those people who go through life getting everything they want.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to trash productions but have to agree, watching for the 3rd time it was excrutiating. The only section I really like is Escamillo's first solo which Federico Bonelli danced with character and panache. I had to rewatch this Carmen afterwards in order to wipe it from my mind! Really hoping we may get a chance to see this far more dynamic Carmen in March at the Ave Maya Gala at the coliseum..wishful thinking maybe! ^_^

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA0EOFWPyCw&list=LL6F51vGpjhCo3EkeVSrCfRw&index=24

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having a quick viewing of Darcey Bussell's Ballet Heroes-not sure about the title. I'm only up to her visiting Jonathan Cope in rehearsal.

So far have been completely bowled over by Irek in Spartacus-incredible elevation and power in his jumps.

How wonderful too to see Nicol Edmonds and Fumi Kaneko (hope that's right) rehearsing Romeo and Juliet. They seem to have great chemistry. I've enjoyed Nicol's dancing since I saw him in Onegin-definitely one to watch.

Darcey however...presenting isn't her calling.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carmen certainly didn't improve on TV, although I'm going to watch it again tonight as I missed some of the better parts such as the toreador's solo, thoroughly enjoyed Darcey Bussell's programme though, personally I think she is fine whenever she does interviews with others and she seemed genuinely excited to be in the company of some great male dancers of the past, nice too to see Luke Schaufuss, Eric Underwood, Alban Lendorf and especially Edward Watson who at the end was shown rehearsing with Wayne Macgregor in the most modern style of ballet, right up to date, the film did cover different periods of history. 

 

Some great clips too, I was momentarily fooled by the hoax Nijinsky film!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...