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On 06/07/2017 at 10:38, annamk said:

It sounds fascinating - sadly there are no copies of that magazine on eBay and nothing else comes up in a search. If anyone happens to know where back copies might be had perhaps they could post on here. 

 

 

Westminster Reference Library is your obvious choice, surely, Anna?  You can at least read it.

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I was given a load of back issues of Dancers & Dancing by the widow of an eminent dance critic and many of them date back to the 60s.  I've been meaning to catalogue them for ages so I'll have a look over the next week and see if I have the issue referred to above.

 

Linda

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1 hour ago, alison said:

 

Westminster Reference Library is your obvious choice, surely, Anna?  You can at least read it, even if you can't take it away :)

 

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Finally saw the triple bill in Baltimore last night. That was intense! I was so pleased to see The Dream performed as it should have been, because the last time I saw it live it was done by San Francisco Ballet back in the 1980s, and they made such an appalling pig's breakfast of it that I've been trying to forget it ever since (having seen it done by RB back in the 1970s, that SFB debacle was all the more painful). I've only seen the complete Symphonic Variations on YouTube, which didn't really convey the full experience, but what an absolute joy that ballet is. As for Marguerite and Armand, I must say I thought Zenaida Yanowsky's send-off was more emotional, but I'm glad to have finally seen it in full.

 

I wish they did Ashton triple bills more often. It's not that there's a lack of source material, and the dancers seem to appreciate his work. The audience most certainly does!

Edited by Melody
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13 hours ago, Melody said:

I wish they did Ashton triple bills more often. It's not that there's a lack of source material, and the dancers seem to appreciate his work. The audience most certainly does!

 

I must echo Melody in this sentiment. One of my biggest disappointments of next season was no Ashton mixed bill. I felt sure that after the public and critical acclaim for the last 2 Ashton mixed bills it would become a regular (hopefully an annual) event. As Melody says, it's not as it there is a shortage of material and it does keep the dancers grounded in the Ashton style, so important to the Royal Ballet style. Done regularly, it would also give an opportunity to be more adventurous and perform short ballets not seen so often while there are people still around who can coach them.

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Actually, while I agree on the advisedness of a regular Ashton bill, I intensely dislike the casting compromises that they frequently require: if dancer A is the best person to perform both ballet X and ballet Y, then I'd like to see him/her in both.  If that requires the Ashton pieces to be scattered over a variety of mixed bills rather than combined in one, so be it.

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One thing that worries me is that the less well known Ashton pieces seem to be pretty much the exclusive province of Sarasota Ballet. Ian Webb isn't going to be there for ever, and once he's gone, those ballets stand a good chance of being lost. If the Royal Ballet is serious about all the lovely things they say about their founder choreographer, I hope they have some contingency plans in place when that happens.

 

Couple of quick thoughts about the triple bill. Given that the world is going through some political upheavals at the moment, although obviously nothing quite like WW2, I remember getting a feeling of happiness and peace (which has been sadly lacking over the last year or so) when the curtain went up on that iconic backdrop of Symphonic Variations, which only grew as the ballet developed. The whole ballet has a sort of healing quality. I can only imagine the effect it had when it was first performed in 1946.

 

Also, that blonde wig in The Dream made Akane Takada look disturbingly like Ivanka Trump. Maybe, now they have so many dancers from Asia and South America, they could have a somewhat darker version that doesn't clash so badly with skin tone and eye colour. I always found those white wigs in Nutcracker Act 2 distracting on dancers like Miyako Yoshida but at least there was a point to them - this seems a bit arbitrary. They didn't make Zenaida Yanowsky wear a black wig in Marguerite and Armand simply because Margot Fonteyn had black hair. That is, unless Titania is specifically referred to as blonde in the original Shakespeare, of course, in which case we're probably stuck with it.

 

 

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I remember Marguerite Porter rebelling and having her own hair as Titania.  When you have dancers who are less expressive than others I think to handicap them with a wig which is both unconvincing and unflattering is unnecessary.   BRB has the same problem.  When they did The Dream last year both Nao Sakuma and Momoko Hirata were less convincing than they could have been had they not been so hamstrung by the wigs.  It was even worse for Takada because of all the close ups.  

 

There is nothing to say Titania HAS to be blonde.  Such restrictions don't happen in the theatre.

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Totally agree about the blonde wig in The Dream, it doesn't suit Francesca Hayward either.  A deep strawberry blonde might be better or light brunette. I remember Sarah Lamb put a colour in her hair as Kitri, there was really no need as I've seen many blonde Kitris eg Ekaterina Shipulina, Stepanova etc

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I don't think Titania is said to be blonde in the play, is she?  My copy of MND is up in the loft at the moment, so I can't check, but I don't remember it.  Can't think why Shakespeare would give her a particular hair colour.  

 

More to the point, why did Ashton want all the Titanias to have these horrible wigs?  

 

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Perhaps Sir Frederick Ashton stipulated that Titania HAS to be blonde?  (Like the young boy in "Month in the Country"?) I would imagine that he wanted it this way.  (Although I agree that many dancers are not enhanced by the wig at all.)

 

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I thought all the Titanias looked wonderful, including Takada.

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Talking of wigs, I was just remembering something that had amused me.  I was thinking of the moment in Margurite and Armand, when Alessandra Ferri's hairpiece fell off as she lunged for the chaise.  What made me giggle was not that the hairpiece fell off, as her character was very distraught at this point, and Marguerite may well have been wearing a hairpiece, so it might have appeared to be part of the action, but rather the attempts of a corps member to try to disguise it by placing his foot on it and shuffling backwards, bless him, making the whole thing far more noticeable!

Edited by cavycapers
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I know i'm late but i just got here. I LOVED this performance. I had only seen The Dream once on youtube with Anthony Dowell and it was amazing except for the video quality but that's a different story.  I was very sad when I found out Sarah wouldn't be dancing Tatiana but Akane did a beautiful job. I went to the theater (Cause Oregon's a long way from London) with my sister who's only ballet viewing experience is Baryshnikov's Nutcracker which btw as a kid really messes up the story for you a lot cause he gave all the good parts to himself and the clara girl, but she quite enjoyed this production.

 

She did fall asleep during Symphonic Variations though which slightly insulted me but oh well.

 

Oh! and the poster who was asking about the makeup, McRae had it on his hands and neck to.  Andrej uspenski did this wonderful little video with McRae at the makeup chair for the performance on his instagram and you can see it. And you can see it was basically sweated off at the end.

 

 

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On ‎08‎/‎06‎/‎2017 at 11:28, Anna C said:

Wasn't the interview with Henry Danton wonderful? 

 

Talking of which, if you haven't looked at yesterday's Links page, https://eu.hattiesburgamerican.com/story/news/local/2019/03/29/ballet-dancer-henry-danton-still-teaches-100-year-old/3179958002/

Just turned 100.  Quite an amazing character.

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