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To my astonishment I was given a set of earplugs at the Paris Opera Ballet mixed programme, prior to Schechter's piece, The art of not looking back. (The message on the plastic cover said, in French, 'So that the music remains a pleasure"). Has anyone been given ear plugs at the ballet before?

 

Unfortunately the ear plugs didn't prevent someone in the central stalls being seriously incapacitated during the piece. Like the music, the choreography was often dark and aggressive, and contained words blaming his mother for leaving him. Danced by nine women it contrasted utterly with a ballet by another angry man, Robbins, for eight female dancers, which I had seen just three weeks before at the Robbins festival. Antique Epigraphs is brightly lit, has varied pastel coloured costumes, is joyous and serene, to lovely music by Debussy.

 

The programme opens with a site specific work by the circus artist, Thierree, with a wide selection of POB dancers slithering about the steps and locations of the Garnier dressed as mystic creatures. The third item is The Male Dancer by Ivan Perez, to music by Part, for 10 males, including etoiles, all in extravagant costumes. The solos include references to L'Apres-midi d'un faune and Le spectre de la rose. The final piece, my reason for doing a day trip to Paris, was Crystal Pite's The Seasons' Canon to Max Richter's version of Vivaldi's Four Seasons (which is also the music Kenneth Tindall is creating his new ballet on), as impressive and moving as ever.

 

This programme was filmed last week and will be available to watch on line for several weeks. The music is all recorded.

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31 minutes ago, SheilaC said:

Has anyone been given ear plugs at the ballet before?

 

No, but I wish I had been for Will Tuckett's License My Roving Hands for BRB at Sadler's Wells years ago!

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1 hour ago, SheilaC said:

 

 

Unfortunately the ear plugs didn't prevent someone in the central stalls being seriously incapacitated during the piece. Like the music, the choreography was often dark and aggressive, and contained words blaming his mother for leaving him.

 

This has made me laugh  a great deal and also give thanks I wasn't there!

Thanks for such an interesting review, SheilaC.

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2 hours ago, SheilaC said:

This programme was filmed last week and will be available to watch on line for several weeks. The music is all recorded.

At least we will be able to turn the sound down....but I think I would probably skip to the last piece anyway!!  :)

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2 hours ago, SheilaC said:

To my astonishment I was given a set of earplugs at the Paris Opera Ballet mixed programme, prior to Schechter's piece, The art of not looking back. (The message on the plastic cover said, in French, 'So that the music remains a pleasure"). Has anyone been given ear plugs at the ballet before?

 

 

1 hour ago, alison said:

 

No, but I wish I had been for Will Tuckett's License My Roving Hands for BRB at Sadler's Wells years ago!

 

 

Thanks for the report Sheila.

 

At the Lowry you can ask for ear plugs if you are concerned about the noise levels.  I can't remember what I went to see but the signs on the door into the auditorium mentioned loud unexpected bangs, which I can't stand.  I mentioned this to the Duty Manager and was given some ear plugs.  I don't think it is generally advertised but they are available on request.

 

I saw Hofesh Schechter's Political Mother at The Lowry I and the 2 ladies on either side spent most of the evening with our fingers stuffed in our ears.  Some months later I mentioned this on a tour of the stage areas at the theatre and was asked where I was sitting (which happened to be in a direct line with the speakers being used).  I was told that the music had been within acceptable decibel levels but the theatre had been made aware that there were "black spots".

 

Unfortunately I remember License my roving hands all too well.  The sound system at SW was absolutely appalling and the music just sounded distorted.  It was awful.  When I saw the same programme in, I think, Birmingham the sound system was much better.  I still think of that piece as "Pan's People en pointe"!!  

 

I should point out that I (mis)spent my youth going to see rock bands who played far too loud so loud music doesn't bother me.  My friends know this to be true having heard my car from three floors below in Pershore Street car park when I was playing In the Upper Room at what I considered to be an appropriate volume!!!  They told me the whole fabric of the car park was shaking!!!

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2 hours ago, alison said:

 

No, but I wish I had been for Will Tuckett's License My Roving Hands for BRB at Sadler's Wells years ago!

 

 

Funnily enough exactly that work was the first that came to my mind too Alison.

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50 minutes ago, Pulcinella said:

We were all handed earplugs on the way in when I went to see Hofesh Schecter's Grand Finale at the B'ham Rep in April and I was very glad of them. It's obviously a thing with him by the sound of it.

Good pun there, Pulcinella!  😜

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16 hours ago, alison said:

 

No, but I wish I had been for Will Tuckett's License My Roving Hands for BRB at Sadler's Wells years ago!

Yes, it was loud, wasn't it?  However it was worth it for the sight of a leather-clad Miyako Yoshida bumping and grinding enthusiastically, and the steady trickle of elderly people, fingers in ears, tiptoeing up the aisle to the exit within seconds of the start.  

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I was given ear plugs at Gauthier Dance at Stuttgart for their "Mega Israel" evening - there were ear plugs at every seat. They did "Uprising" by Shechter, so it seems they come with Shechter 😀 I did not need them, sometimes it depends very much on where you sit, people in the back complained how loud it was. I loved the loud music 😎

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I recall the concern about Multiverse and the volume of John Cage's music.  When I saw it later in the run the volume I believe had been turned down appreciably and I was very pleased the Royal Opera House had responded to comments (though I know some felt pretty affronted by the music even at reduced volume).  I'm afraid I've never understood why unremitting very loud volume is in any sense pleasurable and often think wouldn't it be good to turn the amplification down a few notches when passing buskers.  Apologies for being an old fogey although I would be interested to see Multiverse again at some point (so long as the volume is at the level when I saw it).

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