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52 minutes ago, sanj2000 said:

Oh dear!

 

Both sim and annamk have got me worried - I am going tomorrow (Sat 17). I am not a fan of modern ballet/opera, but was intrigued by the Bernstein connection, so bought tickets for the triple bill. Now I wonder if it's going to be "wow" or "meh" for me!?

Sanj, you might love it like Dave did, and Judith Mackrell!  If you don't, then you can just notch it up to experience, like I always do.  I always learn something, even from pieces or performances I don't like.  

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56 minutes ago, aliceinwoolfland said:

The Corybantic Games costumes look dreadful.

 

Emperor's new clothes?

 

I very much enjoyed the Insight relay and will be very interested to see the Triple Bill in the cinema so won't comment until then.  I'm still hoping that I'll want to see if there are any returns for the final performances.

 

Many thanks to Indigo and Bluebird for their posts.  I think some homework might help but all this does rather underscore the paucity of the ROH's website information.

Edited by JohnS
Missed a word
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Thanks, JohnS.  Just a little knowledge of what Plato's Symposium is about & also who the Corybants were would have helped me.

Alternatively, having seen the triple bill after reading The Telegraph & Guardian reviews! 

 

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19 hours ago, Vanartus said:

Strangely muted evening. The expected running order was changed with Anxiety put in the middle of the bill rather than at the end as scheduled. So I couldn't sneak out as I'd planned. Think others had that idea too. Anyway glad I didn't as I actually rather enjoyed it, far more than the other times, and I thought the cast gelled well - really liked Campbell. The MacGregor was the opener and shortest piece at 19 minutes. I'm a MacGregor fan, and I found it fluid and lyrical. Beautifully danced. Very post-Woolf Works, a little bit MacMillan Requiem too, and really flowed with the music. Want to see it again. But my friend and neighbours hated it, and although the applause was warm, it was noticeably louder for the orchestra- never a good sign! The new Wheeldon looked great. Rather Fedorovitch/Symphonic Variations in feel, and it started strongly. But it meandered ...and the music was sort of faux Bartok which dragged on a bit and I sort of lost the plot (...well it was a plotless work, so I guess that's why...) ...but the dancing was superb. Tierney Heap a triumph! My friend and neighbours hated it even more than the MacGregor. And since they could only muster mild contempt for Anxiety, my corner of the Amphi was a little gloomy! Anyway I'm def done with Anxiety, would love to see the MacGregor again, and I'd also like to see the Wheeldon - it managed to be complex and a little superficial- want to sort it in my mind.

 

 

Very worried you may be describing myself and my friend - was it row G amphitheatre!!??

 

MacGregor was tolerable as it was short - costumes OK but as normal for me the lighting is a tad too dark - does no one from the production team ever view from lofty areas? Bracewell very effective in an imitation of Watson

Anxiety - I have no idea why this was allowed to reach a stage - as this was my first time to view I reserved judgement,but as many have said it meanders along with no real point to it. If I nod off during a ballet there is a problem and I did!

Wheeldon - started well I thought - then lost its way - then found it briefly with the underused Sambe and Magri - then lost it.....too long and sad to say that none of the music used ignited my curiosity to listen to more.

Fair to say I will not be seeing this bill again although happy to view the first and last again - but on a better planned bill.

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48 minutes ago, PatC said:

Very worried you may be describing myself and my friend - was it row G amphitheatre!!??

🤣🤣🤣🤣Gotcha!!!

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20 hours ago, Vanartus said:

 and, although the applause was warm, it was noticeably louder for the orchestra- 

 

That is often the case and I can rarely understand it. 

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12 minutes ago, Vanartus said:

🤣🤣🤣🤣Gotcha!!!

 

Will look out for you in the future then!

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4 hours ago, JohnS said:

Emperor's new clothes?

 

Sadly, John, this has been my response to much of the recent, new RB output.

 

Of the Bernstein triple, I enjoyed the McGregor most. I found it aesthetically beautiful but hadn't a clue what it was about or how it could be said to gel with the Chichester Psalms.

 

As with the last run, Age of Anxiety screamed musical theatre. I spent much of the time trying to figure out, unsuccessfully, whether there had been any or, indeed, many changes from last time round. Gartside injected the emotional content.

 

I also felt that the Wheeldon started well but before long it started to drag and I began to feel bored. I also agree about the costumes and felt that it wasn't too much of an exaggeration to say that I or, indeed, pretty much anyone with a mind to do so, could have designed something far more appropriate at a fraction of the cost.

 

I would say that I was disappointed but for the fact that, sadly, I hadn't expected anything better.

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16 minutes ago, PatC said:

 

Will look out for you in the future then!

 

Clearly there are BCF eyes and ears lurking everywhere!!

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It actually really saddens me that they choose to revive The Age of Anxiety when the Royal Ballet has so many wonderful pieces from their overflowing back catalogue which we never, or rarely get to see. I agree with all the negative posts about this piece from other posters. I overheard a positive audience comment about it last night and also one at its premiere, so obviously it did something for some people out there....I am still in shock! 

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42 minutes ago, Darlex said:

It actually really saddens me that they choose to revive The Age of Anxiety when the Royal Ballet has so many wonderful pieces from their overflowing back catalogue which we never, or rarely get to see. I agree with all the negative posts about this piece from other posters. I overheard a positive audience comment about it last night and also one at its premiere, so obviously it did something for some people out there....I am still in shock! 

They revived it because it is to Bernstein's music and this triple is to celebrate his centenary.  It saved the cost of making a third new piece!  Are there any other short ballets to Bernstein's music in the RB's history that could have been revived instead of Age?   I can't think of any, but that doesn't mean anything!

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59 minutes ago, Darlex said:

It actually really saddens me that they choose to revive The Age of Anxiety when the Royal Ballet has so many wonderful pieces from their overflowing back catalogue which we never, or rarely get to see. I agree with all the negative posts about this piece from other posters. I overheard a positive audience comment about it last night and also one at its premiere, so obviously it did something for some people out there....I am still in shock! 

 

What saddens me perhaps most - well, at this point a tad - is that they could have done Robbins' FANCY FREE in place of The Age of Anxiety - which itself was not greeted with great critical (or audience) response either in the UK (London only of course) or on the east coast of the USA when it was featured there.  Again, it is the centenary of Bernstein and Robbins both - and Robbins was the man who got Bernstein into ballet in the first place - and this was the resultant first ballet for both and Robbins of course had a closer active association with the RB than Bernstein ever did I think.  (It's running time is shorter than the Scarlett as well.)  It was the success of this ballet that was to lead to their Broadway triumph of 'On the Town' - which was so stunningly recreated recently in Regent's Park.  That stunning bar set from Age of Anxiety (one of its key attributes) could have been adapted for the Robbins (if the Estate would allow it) I'm sure.  Would have been great to have KO'H as the bartender too.  There are the same number of dancers in both casts - only the gender mix is equal in the Robbins.  With so many talented young men at the Royal I would have thought you could have had endless combinations.  For those who haven't seen the ballet - here is a historic recording for NYCB)  [Item of Trivia - Kipling Houston in this film noted below was in fact British born.  I remember him telling me so himself one day.]

 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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I don’t understand your Fancy Free comment Bruce - (London only of course).

 

BRB have performed this piece a number of times in the past. Robert Parker was sensational!

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I fully agree with the comments above. I was very moved by Yugen and would happily see it again. I think it deserves a place in the repertoire and will stand the test of time. The Wheeldon needs some more work/pruning/revision, but the music will always be the issue, I think. I had not previously seen the The Age of Anxiety and all I can say is that I never want to see it again.  As others have mentioned, it raises the question of whether there is any objective, critical scrutiny of new works which clearly generate a lukewarm response to assess if they warrant a continuing place in the repertoire. As Bruce Wall rightly points out above, with a little bit of thought (outside the RB box, even)  a  more interesting programme could have been compiled. A missed opportunity, it seems.

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46 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

I don’t understand your Fancy Free comment Bruce - (London only of course).

 

BRB have performed this piece a number of times in the past. Robert Parker was sensational!

 

Sorry, Janet .... I wasn't clear.  That comment was relating to AGE OF ANXIETY ... as it was immediately after it.  To wit:   in place of The Age of Anxiety - which itself was not greeted with great critical (or audience) response either in the UK (London only of course) or on the east coast of the USA when it was featured there. 

 

My fault entirely.  I knew BRB had done it - but I have never seen them do it sadly.  I would have LOVED to have seen Robert Parker in it.  I'm sure he would be spectacular in it - as he was in so much.  It actually was one of my favourite things to see Baryishnikov do (e.g., FANCY FREE) - and that was the very first time I saw the piece (which happened to be the season he was at NYCB - for he wasn't there very long if I recall correctly).   I hope that BRB revive it again soon.  Would love to see so many of their fine talents in it, e.g., Brandon Lawrence :), etc.  I really do love it as a piece.  I'm going to see it in Paris in November.  (You can see four performances in just over 48 hours one weekend) ... and so hope to catch Germain Louvet in at least one :) 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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The critics are all (with the exception of Hannah Weibye) very positive about this bill.   I have obviously missed something!!  😁

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32 minutes ago, Sim said:

The critics are all (with the exception of Hannah Weibye) very positive about this bill.   I have obviously missed something!!  😁

 

I haven't seen this bill yet so can't comment on it, though I've been reading these posts with interest. But I sometimes think that critics (and non-critics, including me no doubt) go to performances predisposed to like or not like a bill according to its purpose, vibe, participants, etc. Bernstein is currently in vogue, as are all three of the choreographers in their different ways, and it takes courage to go against what is currently in favour. I'm not saying that's necessarily the case here, but I did think that the critics would be positive about the bill before it was ever aired. (And I have sometimes seemed to be in a small minority - or moreorless on my own! - either liking or not liking a bill/work, which is quite disconcerting. But as Sim said earlier on, I think we always learn from what we like or don't like, and what others do or don't like and why. All part of the rich tapestry.)

 

P.S. I'm actually looking forward to this bill, partly because I LOVE Chichester Psalms and I LOVE McGregor in lyrical mode.

Edited by bridiem
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12 hours ago, Scheherezade said:

 

As with the last run, Age of Anxiety screamed musical theatre. I spent much of the time trying to figure out, unsuccessfully, whether there had been any or, indeed, many changes from last time round. Gartside injected the emotional content.

 

 

Neil Norman in The Stage mentions goose-steps and Hitler impersonations have been added!

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I think the mocking goose stepping / salute were there in the first run already.

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Those costumes for Corybantic Games cannot be as bad as they look in the photographs, can they?  :o  I am sure my granny wore bras and pants similar to those.  

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18 minutes ago, Fonty said:

Those costumes for Corybantic Games cannot be as bad as they look in the photographs, can they?  :o  I am sure my granny wore bras and pants similar to those.  

 

I'm afraid they are, and she probably did

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can't wait to see this next Friday!  The Times review gives it four stars but manages to say little about any of the three ballets and doesn't mention a single dancer.

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Well, I liked Yugen ...  I'll hold fire on the rest, though.

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We went yesterday, and unfortunately it was definately "meh" for both of us. Out of the 3 pieces, "Age of Anxiety" we enjoyed the most, but disliked both Yugen and Corybantic Games.

 

I will add that whenever I go to see any show (ballet, opera, concert, theatre, etc), I always approach it with an open mind, even if I have read reviews - as in this case - which are mixed/bad. So I was ready to like and enjoy the evening. However, both Yugen and Corybantic Games failed to engage my girlfriend and I - perhaps they were just too modern for us!

 

We will be seeing the Obsidian Tear mixed bill (mainly for Osipova/Shklyarov in Margeurite & Armand), which has also McGregor's Obsidian Tear, and out of the 3 ballet yesterday, Yugen was the one we liked least. It just looked like contemporary dance (including the red baggy trousers) instead of ballet. Nevertheless, I will again approach the performances with an open mind.

 

However, I am glad that others did enjoy the Bernstein triple bill.

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I forgot to mention that my pet hate was once again evident in Corybantic Games - running round in circles. Why do choreographers continue to foist this abomination upon us? All it suggests to me is that the choreographer has run out of ideas. If this is the case, let's have fewer, and better thought out, commissions.

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I have been complaining about this for years;  it has become a cliche that about 80% of modern dance works include at least one bit where someone is running around aimlessly in a circle, almost as if filling in space whilst the choreographer decides what on earth to do next.  At least in Corybantic Games, that other cliche of modern choreography, dark lighting, isn't a feature.   

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1 hour ago, Sim said:

I have been complaining about this for years;  it has become a cliche that about 80% of modern dance works include at least one bit where someone is running around aimlessly in a circle, almost as if filling in space whilst the choreographer decides what on earth to do next.  At least in Corybantic Games, that other cliche of modern choreography, dark lighting, isn't a feature.   

 

Sim, is it my imagination - or doesn't the Malin character (the Dyer/Hay role) also run around in circles in front of the New York city scape near the tail end of The Age of Anxiety as well?  

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