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JohnS

Royal Ballet Insight and In Rehearsal discussion

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Many thanks BBB - I thought I’d read this and had taken a look at the website.  Accessing the information for the Insight via Calendar (which I used) omits the first sentence, with the reference to Les Beaux dormants, and only has the second sentence - which is not so explicit.  Another website quirk which hopefully will get resolved.

 

Calendar:

https://www.roh.org.uk/events/5wg0q

 

Tickets and Events:

https://www.roh.org.uk/tickets-and-events/insights-the-sleeping-beauty-details

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I was not impressed at all by Leanne Benjamin as a coach.

 

It's the first time I see a ballet master giving a kiss to a dancer to congratulate him straight after his prestation !

 

Not exactly what I expect from a coach....   😀

 

Great presentation from Leanne Cope.

 

 

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I thought Leanne Benjamin (who is not a ballet master) was wonderful.  She explained every nuance of the choreography and the characterisation, and it was fascinating to see both dancers improve in front of us.  She has the right balance between getting it right and being empathetic to the dancers.   

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Yes she can give the impression that she is effective as a coach !

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It’s not giving the impression of being effective, she IS effective.  I have spoken to several dancers who have been coached by her and every one of them has said that she is one of the best...and they should know.  

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I am sorry but I confirm what I say : she gives the impression to be effective but she is not to my eyes an interesting coach.

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7 minutes ago, MAX said:

I am sorry but I confirm what I say : she gives the impression to be effective but she is not to my eyes an interesting coach.

 

Well that depends what you find interesting, of course. I found her fascinating.

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16 minutes ago, MAX said:

I am sorry but I confirm what I say : she gives the impression to be effective but she is not to my eyes an interesting coach.

So please inform us what, in your eyes, an interesting coach is?

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I caught up with the Insight last night and very much enjoyed it - great to see Mayara Magri and Cesar Corrales.  I found Leanne Benjamin exceptionality perceptive, drawing on her vast experience, with dancers responding warmly to her coaching.  Leanne Cope was very engaging.  It more than lived up to its ‘Insight’ billing for me and I’ll look forward even more to upcoming Coppelia performances.

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I was in the studio and found  Leanne Benjamin to be a wonderful, inspiring coach....firm when she needed to be, but able to emphasise with the dancers, explain the context, and demonstrate some of the movements with the sort of ease and grace that she has retained from her  dancing career. She knows exactly what she is about, coaches around the world and is clearly in demand. The RB should make the most of her  whilst they can!

Her Coppelia and Firebird are well worth watching on DVD.

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49 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

I was in the studio and found  Leanne Benjamin to be a wonderful, inspiring coach....firm when she needed to be, but able to emphasise with the dancers, explain the context, and demonstrate some of the movements with the sort of ease and grace that she has retained from her  dancing career. She knows exactly what she is about, coaches around the world and is clearly in demand. The RB should make the most of her  whilst they can!

Her Coppelia and Firebird are well worth watching on DVD.

 

She was the best Firebird I've ever seen.

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It is extremely usual for a coach to give a kiss to the dancers he or she has been coaching at the end of a rehearsal.

For those interested, it is also very usual for Russian coaches coaching Russian dancers, to have heated arguments during a coaching session, then meeting up  afterwards over a meal or a drink as the greatest of friends :)

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Why is giving a dancer a kiss after a coaching session wrong? It’s a huggy , kissy  profession - we all do it.  
 

I haven’t seen the session in discussion, but I know from 50 years or so in rehearsal studios (drama rather than dance) that rehearsals range from  being very boring for those watching, to electric. I still remember about 25 years ago watching a very famous director take something that seemed to have happened by accident, and setting it in the scene, to transform the  ending of a play - it transformed the play.  What coaching and rehearsals look like from the outside may be very different from what they feel like for the participants.  Detailed, painstaking work in developing nuance and subtlety can be quite internally directed and not performative. 
 

If artists find it works for them, I  wouldn’t presume to judge. When I work in the rehearsal room,  I’m a facilitator not a performer.  My job is to help performers find what they need.  They’re the ones on stage who take the responsibility in the end!

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On 16/11/2019 at 10:41, MAX said:

I am sorry but I confirm what I say : she gives the impression to be effective but she is not to my eyes an interesting coach.

 

so, what, she effectively teaches the dancers the steps and the emotions - I don't think Leanne was there to merely entertain/interest us in the audience (though I did find her interesting AND entertaining, not to mention being a knowledgeable, informative teacher, who has been there and done it - and now passing on that knowledge)

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I watched tonight's Insight online; it was billed as 'The Royal Ballet rehearses The Sleeping Beauty', but there was a long section in the middle which involved the RB's creative director, the director of the Ballet du Rhin and the choreographer of Les beaux dormants talking about that production which is on in the Linbury, accompanied by some filmed excerpts. So the Insight should perhaps have been billed differently. The live RB elements were Samanta Raine coaching Yu Hang, Sae Maeda and Leticia Dias in fairy variations. Samantha Raine is another wonderful coach, seeing absolutely everything and helping the dancers so much. All three of the dancers were lovely, and clearly thrilled to be dancing these famous solos. There was also some footage of Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae dancing part of the third act pas de deux with breathtaking beauty and skill. I found the Ballet du Rhin section far too long and although I started off being interested, my attention wasn't held. I also felt extremely irritated when the choreographer mentioned #MeToo again in relation to the awakening kiss, although since she then talked only about awakening passion and the memory of one's first kiss etc quite what she thought that has to do with #MeToo I don't know. NB in case she or anyone else is in any doubt, Sleeping Beauty is NOT about NON consensual sexual activity of any kind. End of.

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Can't say i'll be rushing out to get a ticket for that 'dormants' show. I initially didn't buy into it as it was described as a 'family' show - yes, if the family all grown up and left home...

 

Otherwise, same as Bridiem there. I thought Leticia Dias came over as a real sweetie (even when caught out of breath!), as well as a fabulous dancer - a future star, I have no doubt. Always get a lot out of watching Sam Raine coaching (the way she drilled the corps on World Ballet days was AWESOME!) and seeing her with all 3 dancers in their solos convinces me the production line for new talent at the RB is intact and working well (Sae Maeda had already caught my eye last season, and Yu Hang seems a real find)

 

sorry to hear that Claire Calvert unwell though - hoping she will be better real soon

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I have to say after last week's brilliant Coppelia insight this one didn't live up to expectations for me. 

 

It was nice to see some of the younger dancers get some exposure, but how lovely would it have been to see someone like Sissens rehearsing the Bluebird variation, or to see some of the white cat variation/character? The fairy variations were great but I have to say I wanted something more. It also felt a little odd as all those who appeared have already done those characters on stage. This is not to say they shouldn't continue learning/rehearsing the roles but it did feel like the Insight would have been better if they had rehearsed someone who hasn't yet 'debuted' on stage (O'Sullivan as Aurora?) - alternatively the Insight should have really taken place before the start of the run or at least much earlier in the run. 

 

And I agree with @bridiem - the Les Beaux Dormants was totally out of place. It should have been part of the advertised evening (Sleeping Beauty and Les Beaux Dormants) or it shouldn't have been included at all in my view. I would have been quite annoyed if I paid to see (what I thought was) a Royal Ballet Insight and to have this be included, especially at that significant length. 

 

It's a shame Onegin isn't getting an Insight (copyright issues?), the next one to look forward to will be the one for the Cellist. 

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I thought it was lovely to see Hang, Maeda and Dias...a pleasant change from watching soloists and first soloists. Could really have done without the overly long chat about the twaddle though. If your Lilac Fairy is dressed all in black you've done something wrong, I think. 

Edited by Rob S
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1 minute ago, Rob S said:

I thought it was lovely to see Hang, Maeda and Dias...a pleasant change from watching soloists and first soloists. Could really have done with the overly long chat about the twaddle though. If your Lilac Fairy is dressed all in black you've done something wrong, I think. 

 

black costumes, black background, black floor - the Fast Show sketch with the painter springs to mind: bleck, bleck!!! BLECK!!!!

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1 minute ago, zxDaveM said:

 

black costumes, black background, black floor - the Fast Show sketch with the painter springs to mind: bleck, bleck!!! BLECK!!!!

 

I'm guessing the woman in the white shirt was the king

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2 minutes ago, Rob S said:

 

I'm guessing the woman in the white shirt was the king

 

nah - Aurora with her gladrags on!

 

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I must confess I fast forwarded through the bit about the Beaux Dormants because it was dull.  Yu Hang was really sweet to watch and I loved watching her being coached.

 

I was really hoping they'd rehearse the Florine and Bluebird variations and pas de deux and the puss in boots and white cat sequence.  I love those the best out of the ballet.

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21 minutes ago, Tango Dancer said:

 

I was really hoping they'd rehearse the Florine and Bluebird variations and pas de deux and the puss in boots and white cat sequence.  I love those the best out of the ballet.

 

As memory serves, I think they have done the bluebird section in the recent past (i.e. within the last run or two of the production) though happy to be corrected. And/or perhaps it was more difficult to get hold of a suitable couple for it (that is just a guess) even if they wanted to do it, along with a 'bluebird/florine' coach of course.

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Samantha Raine is a wonderful coach, very demanding but yet very simple in her approach.

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On 16/11/2019 at 21:31, betterankles said:

It is extremely usual for a coach to give a kiss to the dancers he or she has been coaching at the end of a rehearsal.

For those interested, it is also very usual for Russian coaches coaching Russian dancers, to have heated arguments during a coaching session, then meeting up  afterwards over a meal or a drink as the greatest of friends :)

 at the end maybe but not in the middle of a rehearsal come on :)

 

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14 minutes ago, MAX said:

 at the end maybe but not in the middle of a rehearsal come on :)

 

 

She was embracing Corrales to congratulate him on how spectacularly he had just danced part of his solo; the audience also responded ecstatically to his technical prowess. It was a lovely moment for everyone.

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anyway :)  it has absolutely no importance..... it's just that it was the first time I saw anything like it (and I saw quite a lot of rehearsals in my life) :)

but yeah why not....  I might be too old fashioned :)

 

 

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1 hour ago, bridiem said:

It was billed as 'The Royal Ballet rehearses The Sleeping Beauty'

 

As BBB pointed out earlier, it was not a standard Royal Ballet Sleeping Beauty Insight:

I don’t think it’s a standard “forthcoming production” insight: “Petipa’s timeless classic returns to the Main Stage this Season and Hélène Blackburn brings Les Beaux dormants (the sleeping beauties) to the Linbury Theatre. This Insight explores the world of The Sleeping Beauty and the ways it has been made into ballet.”

 

But the billing is not consistent and depends on how you access the website.  

 

On 16/11/2019 at 07:31, JohnS said:

Many thanks BBB - I thought I’d read this and had taken a look at the website.  Accessing the information for the Insight via Calendar (which I used) omits the first sentence, with the reference to Les Beaux dormants, and only has the second sentence - which is not so explicit.  Another website quirk which hopefully will get resolved.

 

Calendar:

https://www.roh.org.uk/events/5wg0q

 

Tickets and Events:

https://www.roh.org.uk/tickets-and-events/insights-the-sleeping-beauty-details

 

And the ROH’s website/Facebook advertising the streaming simply shows ‘The Royal Ballet rehearse The Sleeping Beauty’.

 

But I agree with all the comments above - very much enjoyed Samantha Raine coaching the three fairies, odd to pull in the Sarah Lamb/Steven McRae clip, and Les Beaux dormants seemed a bit overblown.

 

The main point must be that the ROH needs to be much more consistent in how it describes and publicises its Insights or it risks irritating its audience.

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12 minutes ago, JohnS said:

The main point must be that the ROH needs to be much more consistent in how it describes and publicises its Insights or it risks irritating its audience.

Although to be fair it may not be always easy to know exactly what they are able to show in advance, given the various commitments of all involved, fitness of dancers etc. For example Claire Calvert was planned for this evening, presumably demonstrating Lilac Fairy, but was unable to attend as she was unwell.

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2 hours ago, bridiem said:

NB in case she or anyone else is in any doubt, Sleeping Beauty is NOT about NON consensual sexual activity of any kind. End of.

 

Not exactly.  I'm guessing you haven't read the original  :) 

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