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Extract from an email sent yesterday from "Development and Enterprises" at the ROH:

" We are delighted to announce that early in July the Company will be making a very special journey to Budapest to film our production of Kenneth MacMillan’s beautiful Romeo and Juliet for broadcast by the BBC. …………………. The film, which is scheduled for broadcast by the BBC on Christmas Day 2019, is a collaboration between The Royal Ballet and BalletBoyz that will bring this true classic of 20th-century ballet to a huge audience of new ballet fans and life-long balletomanes alike"

Edited by Bluebird
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Interesting, but mention of Budapest raises a few questions.  Does the city provide suitable exterior locations for shooting?  I imagine that it might, though why not Verona?  Or are the sets and all other kit going to be transported from London just for a theatre venue??

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The e-mail from the ROH was like the current publicity for Swan Lake: absolutely no detail of the kind we would be interested in on here.

I think that it was aimed at getting RB regulars to go on a very expensive tour (2nd - 7th July).

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52 minutes ago, Ian Macmillan said:

Interesting, but mention of Budapest raises a few questions.  Does the city provide suitable exterior locations for shooting?  I imagine that it might, though why not Verona?  Or are the sets and all other kit going to be transported from London just for a theatre venue??

 

From elsewhere in the email:   They will be using the “Korda Studios just outside Budapest…………. In addition to transporting the dancers, costumes and sets, we will also be hiring a state of the art sound stage and skilled technical crew to make a film of the highest quality that does justice to MacMillan’s masterpiece.”

 

I can't help wondering why they have to go to the expense of transporting everything to Budapest.  Surely it would have been possible for the filming to take place here in the UK?

 

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Bridie: If I recall correctly, Messrs Nunn and Trevitt produced/directed a documentary around Chris Wheeldon's difficulties at the Bolshoi (eg a significant falling-out with Nikolai Tsiskaridze) when had had been commissioned to create a version of Hamlet some 10 years ago.  I'm sure there must have been others since.

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12 minutes ago, Ian Macmillan said:

Bridie: If I recall correctly, Messrs Nunn and Trevitt produced/directed a documentary around Chris Wheeldon's difficulties at the Bolshoi (eg a significant falling-out with Nikolai Tsiskaridze) when had had been commissioned to create a version of Hamlet some 10 years ago.  I'm sure there must have been others since.

 

And before that there was a documentary about the RB's Cuban tour.

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The mind boggles.  I guess Budapest is probably cheaper, but it's a long way to up sticks just for filming.

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I'm hardly an eco-warrior, but surely it's a terrible waste of energy/resources etc.

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I don't understand why they're filming it this summer, when the company hasn't danced it for a couple of seasons. Surely it would be better to film off the back of a run?

 

I'm also curious about the casting: is there an obvious first choice pairing?

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the whole thing sounds pretty strange. Why Budapest? Why Ballet Boyz? Georgiadis sets/costumes? And Christmas Day 2019 is a long way ahead - castings announced for this filming may be less appropriate 18 months on.

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Budapest is a popular choice for film makers.  Not only are the facilities excellent, with plenty of studio space and highly experienced technical staff, the usual red tape involved with location filming has been minimised to attract directors.  It's cheaper too by about 20-30% and best of all, the government gives a substantial tax refund if 80% of a film's budget is spent in Hungary*.  

 

For a cash-strapped BBC it's a no-brainer.

 

*Information supplied by filminginhungary.com

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This seems very strange to me. What is the connection with Balletboyz? Are they going to be playing the male roles? As it is going to be filmed for cinema relay why is another filming needed, particularly one abroad? Why is it being filmed this summer and not shown until Christmas next year unless 2019 is a mistake? I suppose I've been criticising the BBC for not showing full length productions and now they are so I shouldn't complain but I hope it's not going to be an 'updated' Macmillan but I suppose Lady Macmillan wouldn't allow anything too non-traditional.

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Only this week, BF Posters who’d watched the live relay of 'Manon' expressed concerns about the restrictive nature of filming a performance at the ROH.

 

One poster expressed a concern, which I’ve also had, that the live relay film director tends to concentrate on the dancing of the principals to the detriment of the action going on around them. 

 

MacMillan ballets have large casts and a great deal of action, both centre stage and at the sides. It makes sense to me for the RB to explore the possibility (which they must already have done) of using facilities and a filming team which can do justice to this very exciting ballet.

 

Apart from the BBC performance it is likely that the RB will hope to achieve wide sales, coverage and publicity from what seems to me to be a very exciting development. 

 

The RB is an internationally acclaimed company and I support this development.

 

Also a good idea to take advantage of the terms and facilities whilst we remain a member of the European Community. 

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3 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

I don't understand why they're filming it this summer, when the company hasn't danced it for a couple of seasons. Surely it would be better to film off the back of a run?

I'm also curious about the casting: is there an obvious first choice pairing?

 

This has the feeling of a docu./performance about it and it is a potentially exciting prospect. Maybe they wanted to undertake it  in a period when their touring schedule was quite light (i.e. one week in Madrid in July)? In 2019, they are away for longer, I believe. However, preparing R&J some 3 years after its last run, alongside all those performances of Swan Lake, will be a 'big ask' for the Company.

 

There is a feeling around that the Romeo and Juliet film will be led by  "younger dancers".

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Why the Balletboyz?  Possibly because they have done a number of dance films including at least 1 with RB...  And, of course, they are both ex-RB and will know this production.

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I thought when they said Balletboyz they meant the current dance company, which is why I was very confused?  But Nunn and Trevitt would make a lot more sense.

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