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Gutted not to have been able to make this performance tonight, but I hope others will comment.

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I was at the dress rehearsal on Wednesday evening - here are some photos of the first two pieces (the Forsythe and the van Manen)
 
32801159473_88e9e7680b_z.jpg
In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated: Tiffany Hedman, James Streeter
© Dave Morgan.
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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Adagio Hammerklavier: Isaac Hernandez, Tamara Rojo
© Dave Morgan.
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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Set from DanceTabs: ENB - Forsythe, van Manen from mixed bill
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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I was at the working stage rehearsal on Wednesday evening and wow what an evening. The first piece In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated, was beautiful danced, although for me it went on a little too long and the music was not really my cup of tea. Standout performer was Precious Adams. The second piece Adagio Hammerklavier was beautiful. The 3 couples were Fernanda Oliveira, James Forbat, Laurretta Summerscales, Fabien Reimair, Tamara Rojo, Isaac Hernandez. The piano playing was exquisite. Finally Le Sacre du printemps with Francesca Velicu as 'The Chosen One'. I was not sure how I would feel about this piece, but OMG it was so emotional. The commitment from the dancers was amazing. In short, Graham Watts Instagram post sums it up "gorgeous, life-affirming dance". LTD

Edited by Living the Dream
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I agree very much with Living The Dream above - I was also at the rehearsal.  I'd pick out Crystal Costa in In The Middle; I've seen her dance this before and it suits her dynamism and energy to a tee.  It was great to see Francesca Velicu get a chance at a prominent role (blame my ignorance if she already has in the past) and boy did she give it her all. It's a hugely exposing role and takes a brave and committed performer. After the performance as we were all filing out she came back on stage and sat in a corner of the dirt, looking completely drained. I agree that Precious Adams was also outstanding.  Dancers were commenting on social media later how much they had enjoyed performing - and I think this enthusiasm really came across on stage and added that extra something.

 

I'm so looking forward to seeing the performance tonight.

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I really enjoyed this programme. From where I was sitting at the back of the First Circle the dancers looked very well rehearsed in all the ballets, I particularly noticed Hernandez in the Forsythe & Van Manen because I didn't much like him in Giselle but last night he was terrific. The Bausch Sacre is absolutely mesmerising, to me it makes MacMillan's version feel dated.

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I thought this was an amazing programme. I always love "In the Middle" and although it wasn't the best cast I've ever seen, it was a very respectable attempt and there were a few outstanding moments. Some of the men in ENB have ridiculously powerful techniques and James Streeter was a great presence at the heart of the piece.

 

The van Manen is not for me. Cleanly danced and Tamara brought her usual 200% commitment to it but meh...I didn't really see the point.

 

Rite is the thing to come for though. I had worried a little that it would be a pale reflection of watching Pina Bausch's own company. And there were a few overly 'balletic' arms and pointed toes but it really didn't matter because the dancers threw themselves into it with the whole-hearted sincerity that Bausch's work demands. Their fear, turned into pack-excitement once the Chosen One has been selected, was chilling. Francesca Velicu's sacrificial dance was heartbreaking in its vulnerability and once again James Streeter was a mighty presence at the centre of it all.

 

Amazing stuff and so exciting to see what Rojo continues to achieve with this company.

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I believe that Francesca Velicu is the youngest dancer in the company and so it's a great honour for her. I think that Crystal Costa is to be another of the Chosen Ones. I can't wait to see this programme.

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And I agree Annamk. There is something about the 'aboriginal' choreography and costuming for Macmillan's Rite that I have always disliked. It's very 'colonial anthropologist' checking out the natives.

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What a wonderful evening of dance.

 

The last time we saw In the Middle Somewhat Elevated it closed the show, so it seemed odd to start with that piece. It was very loud (but not unpleasantly so) and danced with very high energy. It may not have had quite the finesse that Cojocaru brought to it last time, but boy did they make up for it in absolute commitment. It was lovely to see James Streeter given a prominent role (in both this and Rite) and Caesar Corrales in particular was on fire. It brought the house down. 

 

Adagio Hammerklavier was a complete contrast. The three couples dancing to a solo piano was so calm and beautiful. It was longer than I thought it would be, but I didn't want it to end.Tamara was on top form and absolutely shone...her lines and those beautiful feet brought tears to the eyes. That piece too brought loud cheers from the house.

 

Although not listed as an other interval, there was then a considerable break while the stage was prepared for Rite of Spring. This was done in full view of the audience and it was fascinating to watch the men fix a groundsheet and then dump huge containers of earth over it and rake it smooth. 

As for Rite itself, we have seen quite a few versions now and none have ever seen to match up to the excitement of the music. This one really delivers both physically and emotionally. The dancers gave absolutely everything and the orchestra were superb. Francesca Velicu as the chosen one must have been absolutely exhausted at the end, I know I was just watching her! 

 

Tamara really seems to know how to deliver both as a dancer and as an artistic director.  It was a fabulous evening. 

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There is something about the 'aboriginal' choreography and costuming for Macmillan's Rite that I have always disliked. It's very 'colonial anthropologist' checking out the natives.

 

Perhaps ENB will revive their production, and you can see whether you find it any better in different designs.  After all, with Song of the Earth coming up, who knows?

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I don't think it's just the design that's a problem for me Alison - all of the foot-stomping choreography has the same 'feel'.  Luckily, I don't think that ENB need another Rite - the one they currently have is great!

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Yes I agree with other posters that Precious Adams, Streeter and Corales were also outstanding.

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Oh dear, I thought that MacMillan's collaboration with Sidney Nolan was more a homage to Australian Aboriginal art than anything 'anthropological'.  I'm lucky enough to have seen a great deal of fascinating aboriginal art in the Queensland Art Gallery though, I suppose people view the customers of other cultures in different ways.

 

Admit it's not my favourite version of Rite, but anyone who saw Monica Mason in the role will have vivid memories of the effectiveness of the work.

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I've seen and loved that art as well MAB.  But, as I recall, most of it was created by people from and living in that culture themselves. Which is somewhat different from a collaboration between a white European choreographer and an Irish-Australian from Melbourne mixing and matching characteristics of generic 'primitive' cultures and setting them to music by another European.

 

I don't want to say that any 'appropriation' of ideas, gestures or images from other cultures is wrong, but simply that in some contexts it can be tasteless, and I think Macmillan's rite, in its depiction of savagery, comes close to that.

 

To return us to the subject of the thread, Bausch's dancers in her Rite are simply humans.  They could be any of us and so we feel their emotions, rather than feeling like disinterested observers looking at a ritual used only by 'primitive' people.  That is why I find her choreography so much more moving.

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MacMillan's Rite was re-dressed the last time ENB performed it. Not sure who the designer was but the costumes had a Japanese feel to me and I think that they worked well.

 

I do understand, though, what you mean about being 'on the outside looking in' as distinct from being able to identify with the dancers. Strangely, I feel that even more with the 'original' versions of the piece and cannot 'get with it' that all.

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I totally agree Capybara.  I think that is reflective of the fact that attitudes to 'tribal' culture when the piece was created (now over 100 years ago!) were very different, with the notion of 'civilised' vs primitive cultures not really being questioned.  What would have seemed perfectly acceptable in 1913 now makes us feel uneasy.

 

Edited: I meant 1913 not 2013!

Edited by Lindsay

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(I'm going tomorrow. I just wondered, as it's Sadlers, what time it ended please? I'm on a very very tight timeline due to engineering works.

 

The site says approx 21.45, but Sadler's always start late at least 5-10 mins.

 

Thank you...)

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Nick - I was in second circle tonight and got out of the building just after 10; from there you have to allow a good 5+ minutes to get down the stairs

Edited by Quintus

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(I'm going tomorrow. I just wondered, as it's Sadlers, what time it ended please? I'm on a very very tight timeline due to engineering works.

 

The site says approx 21.45, but Sadler's always start late at least 5-10 mins.

 

Thank you...)

 

The working dress rehearsal started at 19:05 and even with 2 long breaks, it was finished around 21:30. Hope this helps. LTD

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Nick - I was in second circle tonight and got out of the building just after 10; from there you have to allow a good 5+ minutes to get down the stairs

 

Not if you go out the side exits :)

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I think you've just won terrible joke of the year Quintus ????...

Edited by Lindsay
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Hope  they got the potatoes in....

Is it real soil? Or compost? If so I hope it was peat-free or I might have to write to the director.

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Hope  they got the potatoes in....

Is it real soil? Or compost? If so I hope it was peat-free or I might have to write to the director.

 

 

It is peat from a German supplier taken from Börgermoor; there were pictures of the sacks posted in initial rehearsals.  Given its origin, I imagine the Pina Bausch custodians mandate what has to be used, so it's not at the director's discretion - otherwise it would doubtless have been easier to get a load of John Innes number 1!

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A few years ago I

sat in the front row (no orchestra) at Sadler's Wells for a performance of Pina Bausch's Rite. It was performed on very wet, soggy turf. By the end the dancers were covered in mud. Those of us in the front row got a bit splattered.

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I was at ENB Triple Bill last night ( Friday) and an unexpected lead change for In The Middle. Tiffany Hedman and Isaac Hernandez as the leafs. Each by themselves brought tremendous lines, angles, and presence - but together they brought down the house. Movement after movement just drew you into their world!!! I'm hoping to see more of these 2 together.

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Welcome to the forum, Mellissa, and thank you for posting!

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I saw this programme on Saturday evening and yesterday afternoon. On Saturday there were a lot of debuts in the first two pieces including the whole of the van Manen cast. Yesterday, the Forsythe was sharper, possibly because Cesar Corrales was in the cast and he is one of those dancers who seems to energize everyone else on stage. I'm not saying that he was the best dancer in this (I don't think that he was) but I feel that when he's on stage everyone tries to compete with him and raises their game. Everyone really went for it yesterday. Tiffany Hedman is not a favourite dancer of mine but she had the insouciance and sass for what I think of as the 'Scary Girl' role. This piece seems to suit the Americans so well and they were out in force yesterday. I'm hoping to see Precious Adams later in the week. It's interesting that several of the dancers have been cast in more than one part in this. The van Manen was beautiful yesterday after a performance which lacked a little finesse on Saturday. In yesterday's Sacre Emily Suzuki, another very recent joiner, took on the role of The Chosen One (I think that it was her debut) and threw herself into the part with gusto. I was so impressed by how the men in particular mastered Bausch's choreography. I marvelled at how versatile these classically trained dancers are. Erik Woolhouse really stood out in this.

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Does anyone know who danced the Chosen One on Friday night?  I'm pretty sure both from my own eyes and a subsequent social media photo that it wasn't Francesca, indeed I thought I saw her among the other non-chosen dancers, but couldn't recognise who it was. 

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