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Australian Ballet: Swan Lake, London, July 2016

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Referring back to Sophoife' s post regarding Nijinski piece


When in the new year someone was asking on the Forum whether the Australian Ballet were coming in July......as there was very little info around at the time.....I went to their site and found the gap in Company performances in July which could have meant a trip to UK!!!


Well I could have sworn that their website said at the time that they had just been touring Nijinski in Australia but perhaps got the year wrong.....maybe this was for 2016 and not what they had been doing in 2015!!

When I've got a mo I can check but obviously if it's a new ballet for the Company they would perform at home first I think.

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Thank you, Bluebird, for your comments on Benedicte Bemet, and for the link to the Michelle Potter review.


I have been a serious ballet fan for less than 2 years, and am still largely ignorant of the technicalities of the art form. Thus it's encouraging when my subjective response to someone I perceive as a particularly accomplished and beautiful dancer, actually seems to accord with the opinions of much more informed people. I don't claim any particular artistic sensibility in this - after all, as they say, a broken clock is going to be correct twice a day.


Not that I will always bow to the opinions of experienced critics. Quite often, you get great differences in their assessments - so who do you believe? On this production, just looking at the linked reviews in the Dance Links section of this Forum reveals a wide disparity. For instance Neil Norman (Stage) gives it 4/5 stars, Judith Mackrell (Guardian) 3/5, but Mark Monahan (Telegraph) only 2/5.


Mark Monahan's review "A Swan Lake dismantled with power tools and reassembled with a nail gun" is particularly discouraging, and I'm glad I didn't read it before I bought a ticket, as it might have persuaded me not to. Monahan is also, it seems to me, rather condescending in his description of The Australian Ballet company, "a likeable lot", but "not in the global first XI of ballet companies". What does that mean? Who decides on who gets into this "first XI"?


Back to Benedicte Bemet. On reading her bio in the programme, it appears that she was already a Coryphée at the time of World Ballet Day 2014. She had been promoted the year before, when she can't have been more than 19, only a year after joining the company. She is now a Soloist. This is surely a progression and promotions on the scale of a Francesca Hayward. If Mark Monahan is correct in his assessment of the status of The Australian Ballet, perhaps she will go to a more "prestigious" company one day. It would be great to see her for a season at an UK company.


Looking forward to the AB's "Cinderella", I've never found Prokofiev as compelling musically as Tchaikovsky.That might not be a bad thing - Tchaikovsky's music is so beautiful that it can almost be distracting. I have no idea whether the beautiful Benedicte will be involved - it will be a pleasant bonus for me if she is.

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Benedicte Bemet (one of the cygnets etc.). In the Class in the AB's section of WBD 2014, I thought she was one who really stood out. They also interviewed her after the Class, and she stars in a couple of YouTube clips. The AB clearly think a lot of her. At the time of WBD 2014 she was only a member of the Corps, but now, at the age of 22, she is already a Soloist. When I bought my ticket, I had no idea of the cast, so I was pleased to find that she was in the Friday performance. In the cygnets' dance my binoculars were largely focused on her - I have become a "fan". Her dancing, indeed her whole "persona", seem to epitomise what I find so attractive about the Australian Ballet. 


Then I guess you'll be delighted at this snippet from yesterday's Links:


"Benedicte Bemet will star as Aurora in the Australian Ballet's 2017 production of The Sleeping Beauty"


from http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/stage/australian-ballet-launches-2017-season-with-three-iconic-roles-for-women-20160926-grp6kc.html

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