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Royal Ballet Insight and In Rehearsal discussion

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At my age, I am very happy when anyone calls me a girl!  🤣

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It's all about avoiding "infantilising" dancers, which happened all too often in the past. 

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Just looking at the cast sheet for last night's Two Pigeons....The Young Girl, The Young Man, Gypsy Girl, Gypsy Boy......outrageous 😲😂

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26 minutes ago, Rob S said:

Just looking at the cast sheet for last night's Two Pigeons....The Young Girl, The Young Man, Gypsy Girl, Gypsy Boy......outrageous 😲😂

 

...and I’d like to think we’d moved on since that was the norm, nearly 60 years ago.

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2 hours ago, Xandra Newman said:

I believe Isabella Gasparini is 31 or 32

 

Gosh, I thought she was only in her early 20s. I've not seen her in any (identifiable) roles onstage but in this Insight & a previous Nutcracker one I thought she looked really young.

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2 hours ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Any presents I send are always addressed to "The ladies of the corps de ballet" or "The gentlemen of the corps de ballet", as appropriate.

 

Spot on BBB. I once heard someone have a little giggle about that form of address (not sure whether it coincide with one of your lovely gestures) but it was a giggle of pleasure at being accorded that respect.

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1 hour ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

...and I’d like to think we’d moved on since that was the norm, nearly 60 years ago.

What's wrong with it?  Don't young girls, boys, ladies and men exist anymore? What should the characters be called today?

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1 minute ago, Sim said:

What's wrong with it?  Don't young girls, boys, ladies and men exist anymore? What should the characters be called today?

 

Old girls, boys, ladies, men ... 😂

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Is it usual for ballet companies to have issues with male dancers not being tall enough for their female partners when they're en pointe? It's been mentioned several times in this thread & seems to crop up regularly in discussions about RB pairings. Hence I'm wondering if it's a perpetual problem or is it an exception that the RB at the moment just happens to have a plethora of shorter male dancers & taller female ones?

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On 05/02/2019 at 09:40, Rob S said:

I think it’s incredibly rude of them not to give a special thanks to the Royla Ballet for allowing their pianist to appear at this Insight, what a way to treat a guest appearance! 😱

 

In my dream role of Head of Pamphlets I would list the presenter first and then everyone in order of appearance and provide a helpline number at the bottom for people requiring counselling. 

 

Yes Michael was a stellar pianist I loved him.

Head of Pamphlets - love it! I agree it looked weird in alphabetical order I much prefer the order of appearance format! That aside it was great evening and lovely to be in the studio, I just wish the evening had been longer. 

 

I definitely agree with comments about Sambe's height.  It was clearly a problem for him and Naghdi when she was en pointe.  When KO'H took over it was much better - he appears to be a couple of inches taller than Sambe.  

Edited by Don Q Fan
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6 minutes ago, Don Q Fan said:

Michael was a stellar pianist I loved him.

Agreed...he really brought those pieces to life, complementing  Martin Yates' informative talk about the Don Q score.

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40 minutes ago, Don Q Fan said:

Yes Michael was a stellar pianist I loved him.

 

As did a lot of the online tweets, persistently calling for more of the 'hot' pianist.

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1 hour ago, Sim said:

What's wrong with it?  Don't young girls, boys, ladies and men exist anymore? What should the characters be called today?

 

She's a "girl" but he's a "man", though he shows no more maturity than her.

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3 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

She's a "girl" but he's a "man", though he shows no more maturity than her.

A lot less, I would say!  Maybe he’s supposed to be a bit older than her. 

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31 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

She's a "girl" but he's a "man", though he shows no more maturity than her.

 

Perhaps there’s a point being made there...

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On 05/02/2019 at 23:24, loveclassics said:

Can anyone tell me about the January 31st Insight?  It was described as 'Masters of Ballet', so could  refer to choreographers, companies or dancers

and I was hoping it would be filmed but it isn't on YouTube.

 

Linda

Sorry to be late with this - Zoe Anderson spoke about Petipa and Ivanov with illustrations with RB video clips. She spoke well and I found it interesting but I think it was an impossible task to do justice to the two choreographers in the time. I didn’t know that Petipa’s first ballet was the Pharaoh’s Daughter and he produced it in 6 weeks. More on his relationships with the composers would have been appreciated. 

 

 Ivanov was particularly hard done by, given that his ballets are probably the best known to the public. Really it would need a series of lectures to properly cover the ground - are there any- I would love to be better educated. Zoe compared the Kingdom of the Shades entrance to that of the White Swans in Swan Lake. I would have liked more of this analysis but there just wasn’t time.

 

there followed a Q and A with Monica Mason about her views of the sleeping beauty and its importance to the company from the perspective of a dancer and director. 

 

There was a short time (not enough) for audience Q and As. 

 

I would go to another event like this. It’s a shame it’s not online.

 

 

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Thank you.  I'm sorry I wasn't able to go even if it was a rather superficial look at arguably the most influential choreographers in ballet.

 

I remember when there were Insight Days which could cover a subject in depth instead of the brief evenings (usually less than 2 hours) we get now. 

 

Such an important subject would be better covered in a full day but perhaps people can't spare the time or is it that the ROH management is trying to attract a younger audience with a presumed shorter attention span?

 

Linda

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Given what they're now charging for an hour and a half, I dread to think how much a full-length "insight day" would cost now :( 

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I have fond memories of the Bayadere and Onegin Insight days I attended. Sorry to keep going on about it but when you're travelling 200 miles and need an overnight hotel stay for anything in the evening, the idea of coming just for something that may last just over an hour isn't affordable. I would LOVE to attend the Gary Avis talk but can't justify the expense. That is why it's so great the Insight evenings are being filmed and can be enjoyed by everyone. Would be fabulous if the discussions could be filmed too but I suppose I mustn't get greedy! I assume the powers that be think there isn't enough interest for them (or the 'right' young audience wouldn't be interested; only us pesky regulars).

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8 minutes ago, jmhopton said:

Would be fabulous if the discussions could be filmed too but I suppose I mustn't get greedy! I assume the powers that be think there isn't enough interest for them (or the 'right' young audience wouldn't be interested; only us pesky regulars).

 

Or that people who have paid for tickets deserve a bonus.

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35 minutes ago, jmhopton said:

I have fond memories of the Bayadere and Onegin Insight days I attended. Sorry to keep going on about it but when you're travelling 200 miles and need an overnight hotel stay for anything in the evening, the idea of coming just for something that may last just over an hour isn't affordable. I would LOVE to attend the Gary Avis talk but can't justify the expense. That is why it's so great the Insight evenings are being filmed and can be enjoyed by everyone. Would be fabulous if the discussions could be filmed too but I suppose I mustn't get greedy! I assume the powers that be think there isn't enough interest for them (or the 'right' young audience wouldn't be interested; only us pesky regulars).

 

It's a simple limitation exercise as ROH has no control over whether questions from audience members are suitable for live transmission.

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I could be wrong, but I think John and BBB in the last two posts may have got the wrong end of the stick - I read jmhopton's post as being about the fact that performance-based Insights are streamed but In Conversation-based Insights are not, rather than about the fact that those Insights which ARE streamed are taken off-air before the audience Q&A segment.

Edited by RuthE
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Although I suppose that the same might apply.  Bear in mind that the Ballet Association always sends its reports of interviews to the interviewee for approval (editing/deletion) before they're published, to give them a chance to retract anything controversial/tactless etc.

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3 hours ago, jmhopton said:

I have fond memories of the Bayadere and Onegin Insight days I attended. Sorry to keep going on about it but when you're travelling 200 miles and need an overnight hotel stay for anything in the evening, the idea of coming just for something that may last just over an hour isn't affordable. I would LOVE to attend the Gary Avis talk but can't justify the expense. 

 

I feel the same & I only live 60 miles away. It's still over £20 train & tube fare to get there. Hence I feel that money is better spent on a full-length evening at a theatre or, when possible, doing matinee & evening performances on the same day (not usually of the same show!). I was hoping the Avis interview would be streamed but given the comments about talks not being streamed then it sounds like it sadly won't be.

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4 hours ago, RuthE said:

I could be wrong, but I think John and BBB in the last two posts may have got the wrong end of the stick - I read jmhopton's post as being about the fact that performance-based Insights are streamed but In Conversation-based Insights are not, rather than about the fact that those Insights which ARE streamed are taken off-air before the audience Q&A segment. 

 

Yes you are right Ruth. I was rather bemoaning the fact generally that insights are streamed but discussions aren't. However, I do take the points made by John Mallinson and bangorballetboy that if you're prepared to pay for a ticket it may be annoying to find it live streamed where anyone can watch for free. Also that the questions and answers may not be suitable for live transmission and people may not be as keen to participate if they knew their answers are being broadcast worldwide. Anyone can make a slip in a live transmission and regret it afterwards. However, I suppose if they were filmed they could be edited later and eventually transmitted subject to the interviewees approval.

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On 05/02/2019 at 07:21, Jan McNulty said:

 

The only technical knowledge I have is that a fouetté is only a single turn.

 

I never count and I don’t know why fouettes seem to make or break a performance for a dancer when it is one step sequence over in a minute or so.

As far as I'm concerned it's quality not quantity that matters!

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Although it is true that the Ballet Association enables its guest speakers to check the official account of the meeting at which they spoke in order to edit out indiscretions before the text of the meeting is made available to members I don't think that is the reason why the question and answer section of the Insight events are edited out. I suspect that the real  reason why the question and answer sessions at the end of Insight events are cut is not to encourage free debate or eliminate indiscretions but to save audience members  embarrassment as these sessions tend to reveal that a lot of the nice middle class people who attend them can not readily distinguish between questions and statements and do not know how to transform a statement into a question. I don't go to many Insight events because I don't find them that insightful but on the rare occasion that I do attend one the questions that are asked would tend to suggest that very few people listen that attentively to what the speakers have had to say. Of course just occasionally an audience member comes up with a question that the speaker can't answer immediately and unlike professional trainers and lecturers that can completely throw the non-professional speaker. Someone asked about the original score of Swan Lake at the Petipa Insight evening because he had noticed marked differences between the entire ballet score as played in the concert hall and the revised score used by Petipa in his 1895 production of the ballet which is the form in which most of us hear the score in ballet performances today. The speaker was not expecting the question and I thought she floundered a bit in answering it.

Edited by FLOSS
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Ouch, FLOSS.

I think that it also about giving the paying audience something for themselves.

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It is not just Insight events where inattention rears its ugly head. I used to attend a great number of training events in a professional capacity and we trainers used to wait for the daft questions keeping our fingers crossed that whoever it was who asked the daft question or questions was not someone whom we had been directly involved in training that day in one of the subgroups doing the case studies and that it was not someone who came from the centre at which we worked on a daily basis.

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