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nottsballetlover

Birmingham Royal Ballet - Arcadia, Le Baiser de la Fėe, Pineapple Poll - Birmingham, June 2017

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Just seen Arcadia in the BRB triple n Brum. I loved it! More later! Got to find existing review thread...

Edited by nottsballetlover
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I saw both performances of this programme in Birmingham on Thursday.

 

Arcadia has been tweaked since I saw it in Cheltenham as part of midscale.  The chorus now has 5 couples rather than 3.  The set and costumes are FABULOUS and I love the music.  In Birmingham it was played by the full orchestra so sounded even better.  John Harle, the composer, is playing saxophone at every performance.  Basically Pan is in a bad mood because three nymphs are ignoring him.  His people (the chorus) try, without success to cheer him up.  Night falls and Selene, the goddess of the moon, finally restores his good mood, cue much happiness and dancing.  The score is very busy but I think Ruth Brill uses it well - she doesn't try to fill every note with steps and that is all to the good.  Pan has some very sensual, animalistic moves.  I like the dances for the chorus and think they look even better with more dancers.

 

I commented on Brandon Lawrence's remarkable creation of the role in May and also on William Bracewell's interpretation.  On Thursday evening I saw Tyrone Singleton in the role of Pan - HE WAS UTTERLY MAGNIFICENT encapsulating both the sensual ennui of Brandon and the harder edge of Will.  Delia Matthews was his delicious Selene. 

 

I'm looking forward to seeing Arcadia again!

 

We then saw Le Baiser de la Fėe, which I find interminable.  There are way too many steps - it is as though every note, every hint of a note has to be filled with steps.  The score is gorgeous, the set and costumes are fabulous and the company are on magnificent form but I just can't warm to this piece.  On Thursday afternoon we saw Celine Gittens as The Fairy with Matthias Dingman as The Young Man and the sublime Miki Mizutani as The Bride.  In the evening we saw Jenna Roberts, Joe Caley and Momoko the Magnificent (as I have renamed her!).  Both casts were wonderful.

 

The performance ended with Pineapple Poll which has scrubbed up as fresh as a daisy.  In the afternoon Maureya Lebowitz danced Poll with Yasuo Atsuji as Belaye, and Alexander Bird as Jasper.  In the evening we saw Wonderwoman (Nao Sakuma) as Poll with Tom Rogers and Kit Holder.  Again both casts were terrific and all the dancers looked as though they were having a ball!  The performances certainly finished on a high.

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I decided on impulse to come up from London for today's matinee of this triple bill. I too enjoyed Arcadia - I literally knew nothing about it so just sat back and enjoyed the dancing. Like you, Janet, I particularly enjoyed the group dances - and what is it about BRB that they always manage to convey such enthusiasm for everything they do?

 

It's a while since I saw Baiser and I agree it goes on a bit, but having said that it was beautifully danced, the costumes are lovely and the story very clear. So all in all, one for the positive column. Incidentally does anyone know why Joseph Caley was presented with flowers and gifts at the curtain call?

 

I was so looking forward to Pineapple Poll as I find it such a great pick-me-up ballet. So it was incredibly frustrating to find I had accidentally booked an earlier train home than I meant to (needless to say no flexibility) and had to miss it. SO annoying and doubly so because, try as I might, I could find no-one to blame but myself!

 

So quite a journey for a triple bill that turned out to be a double but, disappointment aside, very glad I went. Shame the audience was quite thin but we did manage to generate some genuinely enthusiastic applause.

 

 

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Hopefully, I assumed that it was probably his (Joseph) birthday. There seemed to be quite a noise behind the curtain after the performance. I think Arcadia is a wonderful achievement for Ruth Brill. I miss Carol-Ann Millar as Pineapple Poll. Her first entrance was always quite wonderful but all the dancers I have seen in these performances are exceptionally good. The one real tease for me though is whether I enjoy Laura Day in the role of Blanche, the fiancée or as just one of the girl friends. Leanne Cope comes to mind as I watch Laura in this ballet!

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I saw it this afternoon too. Loved the choreography, sets and costumes. I enjoyed the other pieces too. Pineapple Poll brought a smile to my face.

 

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6 hours ago, nottsballetlover said:

Just seen Arcadia in the BRB triple n Brum. I loved it! More later! Got to find existing review thread...

 

Oops, didn't realise you'd posted before Janet had started this thread.  Never mind, I've moved you now.

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4 hours ago, Tony Newcombe said:

Hopefully, I assumed that it was probably his (Joseph) birthday. There seemed to be quite a noise behind the curtain after the performance.

 

Hmm, Joe's Twitter account gives his birthday as being in February, so I'm afraid not.

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Gosh, if it was his last performance with BRB the Company has made absolutely no announcement of it that I have seen.  Anyone else know anything about this?

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I expect the usual company announcement about leavers, joiners and promotions will be out some time w/c 3rd July after the season has finished.  

 

Speculation is not a good idea on a public forum.

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I was at the evening performance on Thursday. I enjoyed Arcadia - it looked lovely and was upbeat and well made and well danced. I was far to the side of the auditorium though, and I'd like to see it again seated more centrally since I think some of the effects were a bit lost on me. And the ending seemed rather rushed. I also thought that it was like something David Bintley could have made; which in one way is good, but I hope that Ruth Brill has her own personal voice too (this is the only choreography I've seen by her). For me the highlight of the evening was Le Baiser de la fée; I hadn't seen it for a long time, and I thought it was terrific. Brilliant choreography and designs to beautiful, interesting music, and a haunting plot clearly related. I thought Joseph Caley was wonderful as The Young Man, both technically and dramatically, and Jenna Roberts was an excellent Fairy. I hadn't seen Pineapple Poll for many years, and although I can see it's a well-constructed work, and amusing, it was really too over-the-top for my liking (though perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood).

 

This was also my first visit to Birmingham Hippodrome; what a beautiful theatre!

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I have at last got round to contributing to ballet forum after following it for a very long time. However,my first contribution is sad. Like others,I was puzzled about Joe's flowers so consulted the Hippodrome front of house manager who confirmed that it was,indeed Joe's farewell performance. He is off to ENB. Doubly sad to learn this from Hippodrome staff. An announcement from BRB before the performance would have enabled us to give him a better send off. So we have lost Alex,William B and now Joe. Please,please please not Brandon next !

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Hello and welcome to the Forum George. 

 

We we have not yet had an official announcement from the Company.

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As I said above, I was at the matinee yesterday of this varied triple bill from BRB.  I absolutely thought Arcadia by Ruth Brill was in fact quite brill! It was a fabulous combination of the superb music and sax playing by John Harle, and lovely and quite sensual choreography, which really showed off Brandon Lawrence's wonderful talent. 

 

Corder's La Baiser I was not too sure about. Superb dancing from the whole cast but I was a bit bored really. 

 

I'd already seen Pineapple Poll twice when it came to Nottingham in May with 2 other pieces. It's so fun and uplifting, so great way to end a show.

 

Very good value this triple, with my front row stalls seat only costing £28 I think. As BMC mentioned above, very thin audience, which is a shame as there was something to suit most people in the audience with this triple and such good ticket prices!

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Thank you Janet, for your welcome. As a BRB subscriber since they moved to Birmingham and ballet goer since 1943 I don't know why it has taken me so long to join the club ! It occurred to me, after my original item, that maybe Joe wanted it this way - no fuss. I just feel that it was a shame that we had no way of showing our public appreciation of the wonderful work he has done with the company. As for the triple bill I agree that Ruth has done an excellent job and given the company a piece that should stay in the repertoire. When BRB introduced Le Bsiser some years ago I was seriously underwhelmed and still feel the same. Lovely to look st, some beautiful dancing but way too long for the slight story line. As for dear old Poll......I saw the original production at the Wells in 1951 and love it when BRB revive it as it brings back happy memories and,let's face it, one does come out of the theatre with a soppy grin on one's face and that doesn't happen all that often !

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I saw two performances of the triple bill, Friday evening and Saturday matinee.

 

When I first saw Arcadia on the midscale tour, I thought it was OK but nothing special. It has grown on me somewhat. As Pan, Will Bracewell is more menacing than Brandon Lawrence. Of course, both are fab to watch. Samara Downs and Celine Gittens were both wonderful as Selene. Very speedy are Samara's pirouettes! I preferred the matinee performance, mostly because more of my favourite dancers were on stage. During the matinee I was sitting about half way back in the auditorium and I think the score sounds much better here than sitting in the front row.

 

I loved Le Baiser de la Fėe, first time around and even more so now. It has been away too long. Both Celine Gittens and Jenna Roberts are wonderful to watch as the fairy. They both command the stage and you can't take your eyes off them. The very long pdd with the fairy and young man is heaven - it could go on all day as far as I'm concerned. The finale is a wonderful picture. I love the way the fairy "flies", the head dress really emphasizing this.

 

Finally Pineapple Poll. Great fun.

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Trig and I may not agree about the length of Le Basier but I fully agree about the finale. It is a breathtaking picture and must come near the top of the most beautiful pictures in ballet. Which leads me to think that if I knew how to do it I would love to open a thread and find out what other ballet lovers consider to be the most beautiful picture in ballet. For me,the curtain rise on Enigma Variations or the curtain rise on the Capulet's ballroom spring  to mind, but then.........!

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George, please feel free!  Towards the top of this thread is a large green button marked "Reply to this topic", and to its left there is a command to start a new thread :)

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