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I was just wondering why this doesn't seem to be booking terribly well when compared with Anastasia and the Triple Bill.  I know there are a lot of performances but even the ones with Osipova still have a lot of seats left.

 

It will be my first time for this particular ballet so I was interested in people's thoughts.

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They did perform this quite recently, so maybe that's why. Although enjoyable for first timers, this ballet does not have much 'ballet' in it!

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They did perform this quite recently, so maybe that's why. Although enjoyable for first timers, this ballet does not have much 'ballet' in it!

 

wait, what? it's non-stop dancing.

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And I've mentioned the Royal Ballet as, of course, it is also in the rep of BRB.

 

I love Fille.  When I first saw it in the late 1980s I enjoyed it but didn't think I'd be watching it too much as I found it quite light.  As the years went on and I saw it more and more I came to realise that it is a WORK OF GENIUS.  Yes the corps work has a fair amount of skipping but the duets for Lise and Colas are all sublime masterpieces that move your soul from A to Z and back several times.

 

The ballet is wonderfully structured and, as ever, Sir Frederick Ashton made characters that you really care about.

 

I don't know why it is not selling well at the moment but I am sure that it will be a sell out by the time the run starts.

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Perhaps people are on holiday?

 

I'm definitely going but still haven't made up my mind about which cast!!!

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I suspect that for those not in the know, a title in a foreign language probably doesn't help with marketing. It's clearly nothing to do with the quality of this sublime ballet.

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I also agree with Janet that although it's not the grand scale 'ballet' of Swan Lake its a very lovely one with some moving moments and it's the characters you fall in love with!

 

I've had more tears watching Fille over the years than Swan Lake.

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wait, what? it's non-stop dancing.

 

 

I absolutely agree.  There are - if memory serves - far more longueurs - from a balletic perspective - in Anastasia (what about those children swinging beer steins to that stunning music which - at least to my mind - will forever be married to Balanchine's Diamonds) or - dare I say it (and I know this won't be popular in certain quarters) - some of the parade of Mayerling.   It will be sad indeed if Fille were not to sell.  I understand that vast swathes of the Met were left vacant when ABT did it this summer - and that on top of stunning reviews.   

 

Strange.  Fille is a ballet of perpetual sun.  

 

I would have thought people would go out of their way to seek such.

 

Happily it seems to continually sell out at the Mikhailovsky. 

 

In my experience Fille is a piece that suits all weathers.  Such do not - at least as far as I'm aware - grow on trees.  

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Well, I am doing my bit. Going to three so far - the rehearsal, Frankie and Roberta's final performance. As an entertainment I love it.

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In the words of Deborah Bull which are forever etched on my memory after she introduced it on BBC TV once - Fille is a "sunshine ballet" how true!

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I adore Fille but the fact that I saw it relatively recently (onstage and onscreen) combined with the high, high prices is really putting me off. For a day trip to London I would like to get decent seats where I can see without binoculars, but at £100-200 for two people I just can't justify it, even with exciting new casts.

Edited by Sunrise
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Yes, I'm trying to plan a quick run to London with the 8 year old and much though I love Fille, he's seen it on stage in POB and on screen and DVD recently so it seems like a bad use of resources to travel to see it rather than something new.

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wait, what? it's non-stop dancing.

It is also amazing how many ballerinas can do the classics but cannot dance Lise. I always remember Jennifer Penney who danced pretty much everything else being asked if she would like to dance in Fille. Her reply was 'oh no, it's far too hard' and this was not someone who was too tall for the role, like Darcey.

Edited by Two Pigeons
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I'm seeing two performances, and I do have a lot of time for the piece, but to me the last run feels very recent - not 18 months before this one.

 

Also, I wish they had published the casting of Widow Simone when they announced the principal pairings.  They still haven't, I definitely don't need to see more performances of it than I have already booked, but I'll kick myself if one of my existing bookings doesn't feature Will Tuckett.

Edited by RuthE
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I wonder why Anastasia is selling better than Fille. Could it be that the publicity machine for MacMillan as the greatest choreographer who ever worked for the RB is part of the answer? Could it be that the prices for Anastasia are lower than those for Fille ? This suggests that Fille like Beauty and Nutcracker are cross subsidising other works to be performed during the season. Could it be its rarity value? I am afraid that it is not a forgotten masterpiece and depends very much for its success on the ability of the dancer taking the main role to carry it. My view is that Fille is a far greater ballet than the three act Anastasia could ever hope to be and much better for the company's technical standards than MacMillan's ballet.. Fille used to be performed pretty much every season at one time and tickets sold without any trouble. Perhaps someone who does not have much time for Fille would like to say what they find wrong with it. I am really curious.

Edited by FLOSS
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Oh FLOSS, why did you have to say that? I'm afraid I am one of those who aren't all that fond of Fille. ???? I should just keep zipped I know, but I'm not the only one of my friends that find both the plot and characterisations sometimes over twee. (I have the same problem with Two Pigeons too...) For me "my" Ashton are all of the abstract pieces, plus Sylvia and even Ondine, and D&C. And of course I like Cinders. But both Fille and Two Pigeons are a hard slog. I simply wait for the glorious PDD and the key solos...and grit my warped, cynical, nasty, I-should-know-better, I-am-bad-person, teeth through the other bits. Sorry.

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I wonder why Anastasia is selling better than Fille. Could it be that the publicity machine for MacMillan as the greatest choreographer who ever worked for the RB is part of the answer?

I don't understand where this statement is coming from. Do you have any current evidence of this? I've watched the RB over the last 15 years (which I know is relatively short) and the impression I've always had from the company was that the RB was lucky it had two of the greatest choreographers, and they happened to approach ballet very differently. I think Anastasia is selling well because is is a 3 act ballet about a compelling story that is familiar to many, it has not been onstage in a long time and this has attracted new audiences, helped by the lower prices. I don't think it is one of MacMillan's best. In contrast Fille is one of my favourites, but it is ridiculously expensive and I'm certainly not going to see it every season when there are so many other wonderful things I could see.

Edited by Sunrise
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Oh FLOSS, why did you have to say that? I'm afraid I am one of those who aren't all that fond of Fille. I should just keep zipped I know, but I'm not the only one of my friends that find both the plot and characterisations sometimes over twee. (I have the same problem with Two Pigeons too...) For me "my" Ashton are all of the abstract pieces, plus Sylvia and even Ondine, and D&C. And of course I like Cinders. But both Fille and Two Pigeons are a hard slog. I simply wait for the glorious PDD and the key solos...and grit my warped, cynical, nasty, I-should-know-better, I-am-bad-person, teeth through the other bits. Sorry.

You don't have to apologise, not everyone has to be a Fille or even an Ashton fan :-)

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Fille is possibly my favourite ballet so even though it means travelling, accommodation and booking leave from work I've booked 4 performances as I want to see Vadim twice, Francesca's debut and Roberta's matinee as she's always been my favourite Lise. However, having said that I'm possibly slightly disappointed they are performing it so soon after the last run which was only just over a year ago. This proximity means it isn't eligible for a cinema broadcast and I would have loved to see Vadim at the cinema as you get all the wonderful close-ups as well as rehearsal clips and interviews. I suppose if people have to make budget choices they may either want to choose the well known options such as Nutcracker and Beauty or if they are more adventurous, Woolf Works or Anastasia and Fille falls somewhere in the middle. Also, as others have pointed out, the amount of performances make it difficult to sell. However, there were 100s of seats available at the Bolshoi's Flames of Paris as near as 3 weeks beforehand and they ended up being sell outs. I know we're only talking about 3 performances for Flames but there's still plenty of time for Fille sales to improve.

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I don't understand where this statement is coming from. Do you have any current evidence of this? I've watched the RB over the last 15 years (which I know is relatively short) and the impression I've always had from the company was that the RB was lucky it had two of the greatest choreographers, and they happened to approach ballet very differently. I think Anastasia is selling well because is is a 3 act ballet about a compelling story that is familiar to many, it has not been onstage in a long time and this has attracted new audiences, helped by the lower prices. I don't think it is one of MacMillan's best. In contrast Fille is one of my favourites, but it is ridiculously expensive and I'm certainly not going to see it every season when there are so many other wonderful things I could see.

Just to add that I'm very aware of the rivalry they had in the past and that ill feeling may continue now amongst ardent fans, but I've never seen anything from the RB or Deborah MacMillan to suggest that one was better than the other (though some dancers obviously have preferences) as they were such different choreographers.

Edited by Sunrise
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I confess I'm confused by this piece of information. I had assumed that the reason the RB decided to do Fille again after such a short time was to make money (they could well have lost some on The Winter's Tale - there were so many empty seats when I was there) from something that they could guarantee would attract a large audience. Maybe people thought they couldn't get their kids out of school to see it? I've certainly seen higher prices from the ROH, so I'm sure it's not money related. This would appear to be a mystery for the ages.

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Also, I wish they had published the casting of Widow Simone when they announced the principal pairings.  They still haven't, I definitely don't need to see more performances of it than I have already booked, but I'll kick myself if one of my existing bookings doesn't feature Will Tuckett.

 

You're right - Will Tuckett is marvelous in the role - worth going to see whoever the lead couple are! :-)

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I'm not sure how ticket pricing decisions are made. I'm beginning to find it quite annoying when a work I really want to see (preferably several times) is a lot more expensive than and so presumably cross-subsidising another work that I think is less good. (I'm not specifically talking about Fille and Anastasia here - it's a more general comment.) So I can go less often to the works I like, and although the other works are cheaper I'm not likely to want to go more than once to them. Is pricing based purely on what the market will bear (in the judgement of the ROH), or is the cost of mounting the work also a consideration?

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I wonder why Anastasia is selling better than Fille. Could it be that the publicity machine for MacMillan as the greatest choreographer who ever worked for the RB is part of the answer? Could it be that the prices for Anastasia are lower than those for Fille ? This suggests that Fille like Beauty and Nutcracker are cross subsidising other works to be performed during the season. Could it be its rarity value? I am afraid that it is not a forgotten masterpiece and depends very much for its success on the ability of the dancer taking the main role to carry it. My view is that Fille is a far greater ballet than the three act Anastasia could ever hope to be and much better for the company's technical standards than MacMillan's ballet.. Fille used to be performed pretty much every season at one time and tickets sold without any trouble. Perhaps someone who does not have much time for Fille would like to say what they find wrong with it. I am really curious.

I wondered about the pricing Floss, but then I looked at Sleeping Beauty which is, predictably, selling well, so ????  

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I confess I'm confused by this piece of information. I had assumed that the reason the RB decided to do Fille again after such a short time was to make money (they could well have lost some on The Winter's Tale - there were so many empty seats when I was there) from something that they could guarantee would attract a large audience. Maybe people thought they couldn't get their kids out of school to see it? I've certainly seen higher prices from the ROH, so I'm sure it's not money related. This would appear to be a mystery for the ages.

I'm surprised to hear that.  I went twice and it was jammed both times.

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I'm surprised to hear that.  I went twice and it was jammed both times.

 

Really? Where were you sitting? I particularly noticed a lot of empty seats in the orchestra stalls and stalls circle on one of the nights with Marianela Nunez/Bennet Gartside. I also thought their ticket prices were pretty steep, but I suppose they had to pay for the ship animations somehow.

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I wonder why Anastasia is selling better than Fille. Could it be that the publicity machine for MacMillan as the greatest choreographer who ever worked for the RB is part of the answer? Could it be that the prices for Anastasia are lower than those for Fille ?

I should think the fact that it hasn't been performed for, what, a decade or more? might have a lot to do with it.

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