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Johnpw

Romantic Revolution

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Given that it was a one-off by a school, I was impressed by the production values - costumes, lighting, general professionalism.

The students were talented, some perhaps more promising than others in terms of assurance in dancing and in stage presence, but overall a good advertisement for the school.

Of the student pieces, I particularly enjoyed the two premieres choreographed by Dmitry Antipov (graduate of the Bolshoi School and member of the Krasnoyarsk Ballet): 'Angel' (about a blind girl recovering her sight?)and 'La Petite Danseuse' (evoking the Degas sculpture). Antipov himself danced the male roles with good performances by Natalie Carter as the Blind Girl and Marianne Allen as the Sculptor's Muse. There was also some spirited dancing in excerpts from Don Quixote.

I'd been feeling rather 'hungry' after the feast which was the Mariinsky Tour so it was a real joy to see such wonderful Bolshoi dancers as Ekaterina Krysanova, Maria Alexandrova, Semyon Chudin and Vladislav Lantratov. 

Chudin performed an interesting contemporary piece (W.Oda) to music by Philip Glass, choreographed by his colleague Andrei Merkuriev. Krysanova did Cinque by Mauro Bigonzetti to a Vivaldi score.

Alexandrova and Lantratov performed the Pas de Deux from 'Raymonda' and, in the second half,  an excerpt from 'Carmen Suite'. The latter was rather different from the performance I saw last month with Vishneva and Ivanchenko (which I enjoyed but more as an historical curiosity than a piece of living theatre) - I'd love to see Alexandrova and Lantratov in the complete ballet.

Krysanova and Chudin returned for the Grand Pas from Don Q. Cheers all round.

As well as a showcase for the School, the evening was part of their very worthy outreach programme enabling many children from primary schools in Lambeth and other boroughs to experience 'live theatre' and specifically ballet. So far as I could tell, that aspect was a success. Great evening!

 

 

 

 

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I'm afraid I was a little less enthusiastic, the audience was the worst I've encountered anywhere and I found the evening an ordeal rather than a pleasure, had such stellar guests not been on offer I would have made a very early exit.   Sitting on the aisle I had to endure kids running backwards and forwards and adults getting up and returning, behaving as if they were in their own living rooms, in addition the ushers were also running backwards and forwards to police mobile phone filming.    Perhaps worst of all was when a child started screaming over and over and to my astonishment it wasn't even removed.  Had I been sitting behind the woman who thought wearing a wide brimmed hat was suitable attire for the theatre I would probably be facing a charge of grievous bodily harm today.  Yes, it got worse, when a group of moronic women started rhythmically clapping to the Don Q. fouettes clearly mistaking the ballet for the circus. 

 

It was not a great evening for me.

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Was anyone else there last night?

 

4 principals from Bolshoi joined students from London Russian Ballet School for a show at the Palladium.

 

Bill Boyd posted a link to the program (below)

 

I only found out about it from a friend! I had a wonderful time. It was hard to believe I was seeing these wonderful dancers up close. 

 

As a note, I thought that the piece "Angel" was truly splendid, and would love to see it again. I was mesmerised, and often don't like things in that modern style. As it ended someone exclaimed "BRILLIANT!" and truly, I felt it was.

 

Lantratov and Alexandrova certainly turned the heat up in Carmen, let's just put it that way! At times it felt rather indecent! Chudin was as always beautiful, and Krysanova polished off fouettés and all with ease. For the final pas the place was a boisterous hall of clapping in time, loud bravos, cheering. I was sat behind schoolchildren, who I imagine hadn't ever seen any ballet before. I think many of them loved it.

 

And I just want to mention of course the students onstage. I had the pleasure of sitting next to a young man who had attended their school and he and I briefly praised Chudin, and talked Bolshoi and Mariinsky. There was a considerable depth of talent onstage, and as the young man said, how inspiring to dance with these stars! 

 

Edited by nickwellings
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Well, yes. The young man next but one to me spent most of the second half checking his mobile phone but I managed to ignore it, partly by using opera glasses. I was in the stalls, not so far away from the screaming child. It made me regret that London doesn't follow the Bolshoi's relatively strict policy of excluding those under 10 at evening performances: the dancers carried on regardless. I was aware that a couple of times a parent and child left their seats and hoped they wouldn't return (they did).  Ushers did attempt to police mobile phone filming. But people complain when ROH ushers don't police use of mobiles. 

Everyone has different tolerance levels.  At one of the Mariinsky Swan Lakes I was sitting behind a lady in the front row of the ROH Grand Tier who occasionally took a swig from a bottle of wine under her seat and ostentatiously raised her index finger to count each of Odile's fouttes. Perhaps I'm more 'resigned' to contemporary audience behaviour than others. Nonetheless I enjoyed the performances despite the distractions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm trying to move over the performance comments from the News thread but currently having issues.

 

Watch this space...

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11 hours ago, Johnpw said:

 

Everyone has different tolerance levels.  .

 

 

 

 

Indeed, reading the audience behaviour thread I'd come to the conclusion my own level of tolerance was remarkably high, but after what I witnessed on Monday night I can see a time coming when I give up on live performance in the UK altogether if that was a taste of things to come.

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18 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

I'm trying to move over the performance comments from the News thread but currently having issues.

 

Watch this space...

 

Finally done.  Although it's messed up the timeline somewhat: the originator of this thread was nickwellings, at post no. 3, I think.

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I think there is something worth pointing out for those who haven't seen the information about this show. The performance on Monday evening was a one-off gala to support the work of the London Russian Ballet School, which is based in Lambeth. A specific part of that night's offering was to give seven hundred free tickets (700) to children from other local schools in Lambeth, children who had never previously attended any show, never mind an evening of classical ballet.

 

As the Palladium seats 2,200 at most, and it wasn't completely sold out, this means that at least a third of the audience were first-time children. Despite the occasional squeal or whatever, I found the children from the 31 schools invited remarkably well behaved in the circumstances, their accompanying teachers having clearly done a lot to prepare them for the treat. Well done to the London Russian Ballet School - and their sponsors - for their generosity.

Edited by Geoff
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The unaccompanied children/youths near me behaved impeccably, I only hope the behaviour of other elements of the audience won't influence their views on theatre going.  I hate to say this but whenever there is a large number of Russians in an audience behavioural standards seem to fall off a cliff.

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13 hours ago, Geoff said:

I think there is something worth pointing out for those who haven't seen the information about this show. The performance on Monday evening was a one-off gala to support the work of the London Russian Ballet School, which is based in Lambeth. A specific part of that night's offering was to give seven hundred free tickets (700) to children from other local schools in Lambeth, children who had never previously attended any show, never mind an evening of classical ballet.

 

As the Palladium seats 2,200 at most, and it wasn't completely sold out, this means that at least a third of the audience were first-time children. Despite the occasional squeal or whatever, I found the children from the 31 schools invited remarkably well behaved in the circumstances, their accompanying teachers having clearly done a lot to prepare them for the treat. Well done to the London Russian Ballet School - and their sponsors - for their generosity.

Geoff, this is true: the secondary school pupils in front of me had a mini lecture with him saying to each something like "we're here to see this, for free, so let's be Respectful. Respectful!... for it. OK?"

 

And mostly, they were. I still can't quite believe someone managed to get four stars over for the evening! Someone of the Russian audience probably has deep pockets! Regardless, I thought it was a great initiative. I imagine the ROH schools matinees are similar.

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Except that the last time the RBS fielded a similarly starry cast was 1997, I think?

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9 hours ago, nickwellings said:

I still can't quite believe someone managed to get four stars over for the evening! Someone of the Russian audience probably has deep pockets!

 

The person who runs the school has links with these dancers through his own schooling or families. This was explained in the pre-performance blurb. So good for him for using his contacts so effectively.

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More effectively than just the invited stars as the students were wearing Bolshoi costumes in some of the numbers too.

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Thanks for the piccie of the programme Nickwellings as it shows me a certain young man is still dancing with this school which is great to see.

I'd love to have gone to this but couldn't make it unfortunately. 

I do admire the work LRBS do in the local schools as this is free for the kids who attend ....I shouldn't think they get any sort of Government subsidy to do this so it's very generous spirited and hopefully will encourage more kids into ballet/music or theatre etc.who might not normally be that exposed to it. 

I guess some of the audience would be brothers and sisters and other family members of those performing so a bit of a "family" affair and maybe because some of them know each other so well they forget that they are not in their "LRBS bubble" but in a big public theatre!!

This might explain some of the bad behaviour BUT I'm  not trying to excuse it ....it's absolutely infuriating!! And there does seem to be .....sadly ...an increasing trend for people with children to behave as if in their living room at home in public confined spaces. 

The good thing seems to have been that the majority were well behaved....and I know they can be as I've taken many groups/classes of children to ballet/theatre and music events over the years and they have been fine.

 

 

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On 21/09/2017 at 08:07, Geoff said:

A specific part of that night's offering was to give seven hundred free tickets (700) to children from other local schools in Lambeth, children who had never previously attended any show, never mind an evening of classical ballet.

 

As the Palladium seats 2,200 at most, and it wasn't completely sold out, this means that at least a third of the audience were first-time children.

 

Just to add, a friend has pointed out that my numbers may not be right. Does anyone know if all levels of the theatre were in use? If not then the proportion of free seats for schools to purchased seats may be even higher.

Edited by Geoff

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On 22/09/2017 at 08:05, capybara said:

 

The person who runs the school has links with these dancers through his own schooling or families. This was explained in the pre-performance blurb. So good for him for using his contacts so effectively.

Thanks, but I didn't see that. I didn't see programmes for sale in my part of the theatre!

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