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zxDaveM

The Royal Ballet: Elizabeth (Will Tuckett), London, January 2016

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I was at the rehearsal for Will Tuckett's 'Elizabeth' at the Linbury Studio Theatre, which opened on Friday January 8th. Here are some photos:

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Carlos Acosta & Zenaida Yanowsky
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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Zenaida Yanowsky & Carlos Acosta
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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Set from DanceTabs: RB - Elizabeth
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
By kind permission of the Royal Opera House

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Fabulous photographs Dave!  It looks a stunning production.

 

I can't wait to hear what people think.

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No need to wait, Janet - an overnight review from Mark Ronan just posted in Links.

 

Dave: Done it again - those eyes, that face - she's magnificent!

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She is indeed. Really enjoyed it, and looking forward to seeing it as a punter next week

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This piece looks great I saw that 2 performances are being filmed - I wonder if it will ever be released to the public on DVD or TV?

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Saw it last night and loved it! The movement, text, singing and music all play very well off each other. The actors are speaking excerpts from different texts by or about Elizabeth, and Carlos and Zenaida essentially dance out what it is being narrated, then have spaces where they engage in some very beautiful pdds. There's a lot of emotion to the piece, what with all of Elizabeth's different romances fraught with infatuation, obsesssion, betrayal, etc -- so it's really choreographed to a T for Zenaida. I absolutely love watching her portray so many layers of emotion at once, both Elizabeth's surface regality and her underlying true motivations. Her brow can say one thing while the arch of her back says another, and her whole body can soften or tense on a dime.. ever captivating. Carlos was also in turn adorable then pompous then suave, and had many delightfully hilarious moments. He is such an entertainer!

 

But it many ways the whole thing was a too literal for me.. I'm so used to watching ballet and intuiting another layer of content from the movement.. but they essentially spoke and mimed everything so I had nothing left to do. Nothing remained to sink in, no message for me to take away, no lingering thought.

 

Anyway.. going again tonight and tomorrow (got to make the most of my Zenaida-time)! So I'll try to eke out something else.

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I do hope there's going to be a DVD, although I'm not sure it would have a wide audience. Hopefully "filming" means that those of us who can't go will have an opportunity to see it on screen somehow. Looking at the whole Flickr set, I must say she looks uncannily like some of the portraits of Queen Elizabeth in some of those photos.

 

One thing I'm wondering - she seems to have quite a lot of costume changes, and those costumes are fairly elaborate (including jewellery and whatnot), but I assume she's on stage most of the time. How do they manage that? Is she changing costumes as part of the performance or are there a bunch of quick changes in the wings?

Edited by Melody

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There are exits at the back of the stage, so dancers can nip off for costume changes whilst speeches or songs are going on. The costumes are very light, and the 'jewellery' on strips of velcro, so really easy to change

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I'm surprised there isn't anything about it on the ROH YouTube channel.

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Thanks, Ian and BBB.

 

I do hope there'll be a DVD one of these days...

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Saw the performance this afternoon. Beautiful costumes, period style and light enough for dance, and the music nicely supporting the atmosphere. Very enjoyable how the different men in Elisabeth’s life were portrayed as well as Elisabeth’s reaction to each of them. Interesting interaction between the actors/ singers and the dancers, with the latter portraying through movement what the former were saying/ singing. Kudos to all the performers who, other than for a costume change, hardly left the stage during the 90 minutes.

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Went last night, thought the dancing parts were beautiful, Zenaida Yanowsky looks so like the young Elizabeth, and admired Carlos Acosta as four different people, he was particulary funny as Walter Raleigh, and very tragic at the end as Essex. Wasn't so keen on the acting sequences, nothing wrong with the 3 actresses but I couldn't hear everything from the back, it went off the boil just a bit for me but as soon as Zenaida and Carlos reappeared, which was most of the time, I was happy.

 

Good use made of the space, the apron stage made it look bigger and better than usual, and the costumes, designs and lighting (bit dark) gave an Elizabethan atmosphere.

 

Didn't see any evidence of filming last night.

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I enjoyed this work far more than I thought I would as I tend to find that dance and the spoken word don't always gel. but the actors here carried the story forward without intruding on the dance sequences in any way at all.  It was the first time I'd heard a woman give the 'hollow crown' speech from Richard II, I thought it was very appropriate in the context of Elizabeth's life.

 

Ms Yanowsky was by turns imperious and vulnerable as Elizabeth playing out the pivotal events of her reign with Acosta turning in a real tour de force performance as the four most important men in Elizabeth's emotional life, each a distinct and vibrant character.   Will Tuckett's choreography was a clever blend of classical and modern rounded off with 16th century flourishes.

 

A hugely enjoyable evening, I hear it's a sell out - I'm not surprised

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I saw the performance this evening. I enjoyed it very much and thought all the performances were excellent and it was very absorbing. I wasn't always sure, though, about the way the dancing and the words worked together. The words were so rich and so specific that the dance didn't seem to really be necessary to interpret them further - I almost felt that mime would have been just as effective if physical interpretation was wanted (as some of the mime/gesture in fact was). Or perhaps words followed by dance, so that the dance could speak its own language rather than following the words so closely. But the performers were all so talented that they made it work, and Yanowsky was tremendous - powerful, moving and beautiful. At the end, you really felt you had been in the Elizabethan court and world, with a monarch both headstrong and vulnerable at its centre. A very interesting and rewarding evening.

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I was very lucky to get a ticket for the last performance (the first time I used the “Wanted” section of the forum and - ta-daa! It happened!), and it was indeed a very special experience – the first time I saw Acosta live on stage, and with Zenaida Yanowsky whom I love and admire since I saw this insanely funny rehearsal video on youtube – the Red Queen in Alice!

 

A queen she truly is and although at times she seemingly was manipulated by her “court”, she always had the reigns in her hands.

 

I saw the actresses and the singer as courtiers and ladies-in-waiting who never let Elizabeth be on her own and commented on everything she did.

Her interactions with Acosta, who impersonated the different gentlemen very elegantly and with enormous power of endurance were sometimes sophisticated and courteous, sometimes loving and vulnerable, sometimes mocking and playful… a very thruthful representation.

 

Normally I wouldn’t like the simultaneousness of text and dance but here everything came together very smoothly.

 

An exciting evening, being in the presence of such great artists at such a small distance!

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