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Birmingham Royal Ballet - Midscale South 2016


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I saw the southern midscale tour in Chelentham last Saturday night. The program consisted of MacMillan’s Solitaire, Ashton’s Monotones II, Bintley’s Four Scottish Dances and van Manen’s 5 Tangos.

Loved Solitare -  so many great tunes and Yaoqian Shang was splendid as the girl, and I can watch Angela Paul all day. I nodded off duing Monotones as usual - I find it dull with some very inelegant movements at the start. Four Scottish Dances is a favourite - more great tunes and Yasuo Atsuji turned it up to 11 as usual. He is such a joy to watch. Having seen the Mariinsky dance 5 Tangos, I think the BRB were equally adept. It looked a bit lost on the Cardiff when the Mariinsky did it. It looks much better on the smaller Everyman stage, although the Mariinsky costumes seemed to sit better.

I'm very much looking forward to the northern leg next week.

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BRB's Midscale South tour started on Friday in Cheltenham.  I'm moving Trog's post to this thread so it will appear above this one as the first post.

 

Please use this post for your thoughts on Midscale South performances.  I'll start a separate one for Midscale North.

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I was in Cheltenham for the matinee on Saturday.  This is a great programme!

 

Miki Mizutani and Laura Day were both sublime in Solitaire.  Miki and Fergus were a total delight in the beautiful pdd.  

 

I don't usually like Monotones ll because I do not like the music.  However on Saturday afternoon with Jonathan Higgins playing the piano score so beautifully I was converted by that performance.  Jenna Roberts, Tom Rogers and Yasuo Atsugi were glorious together.  Having seen this recently at ROH I have to say that it may only be 3 dancers but it looks a lot better on a larger stage.  With Tom and Yasuo being 2 of the taller gentlemen of the company I must admit I was a bit worried about how the piece would come across but I need not have worried at all.  All three dancers coped particularly well with the tiny stage and, against expectation, this was my highlight of the afternoon.

 

I just love the Four Scottish Dances element of Flowers of the Forest and the company danced it with gusto.  Brilliant!

 

Five Tangos is a great work to finish on.  As usual Nao Sakuma scintillated, particularly in the pdd with Yasuo.

 

For me, this is a well put together programme with plenty of interest for everyone ... and the southern company looked to be on splendid form.

 

Up north next and then Truro...

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I saw this programme in Poole. I actually really enjoyed the Monotones; I have seen it on Youtube and found it a bit dull (and with slightly weird costumes), however seeing it live, accompanied by beautiful piano playing and lovely clean lines from the 3 young artists of the company who appeared to be completely in tune with the the music it was actually very moving and probably got the loudest applause of the night.

The Four Scottish Dances were very well executed and great fun. I personally found the Solitaire not so much to my taste and it appeared a bit messy at times but Yaoqian Shang as the girl displayed a lovely quality. The 5 Tangos was very enjoyable and very tight, Yasuo Atsuji looked like he was enjoying every minute.

A very enjoyable evening from a splendid company and an absolute bargain at £20 - it is a shame that it was not sold out - people just don't know what they are missing.

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