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The Royal Ballet: Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams, The Concert, December 2018

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1 hour ago, capybara said:

 

I genuinely didn't know (I do now!) and thought that I would say so. After all,  posters on here who don't give dancers' full names are called to account so I felt that the same rules should apply to talk which was mumbo jumbo to me.

 

When at school (rather a long time ago), my chief claim to fame was as the girl who put her hand up and asked what 'dung hill' meant. The teacher berated me for what she saw as a 'send up'.  I really didn't understand the term but, for some strange reason, the episode seemed to lead to my being elected Form Captain the following term.

 

 

 

Also reminds me of a manager at work who persistently kept using certain words and terminology that were - let’s say, inappropriate.... the meanings of which he was clearly ignorant, and it was provoking odd looks and/or stifled giggles in meetings. In the end a friend of mine emailed him links to the specific words in the Urban Dictionary. They have not been uttered since....😳

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7 hours ago, LinMM said:

Actually your school story reminds me of an incidence at school too. 

And that mix-up reminds me of the time at my primary school when I was  a sub on the school under 11s football team, which included the important duty of handing out refreshment in the form of  22 slices of oranges to the players at half time. The Head instructed me to serve the guests first, so I dutifully started offering slices to the visiting parents standing on the touchline...

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Personally I think it's lovely that in this modern world there are still people around who don't know all/some of the vulgarities of our language!!  

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Posted (edited)

Here is a question which perhaps one of those who thought the use of word "muff" was packed with all sorts of hidden meaning may be able to answer. It is this. What should one call the tubular shaped piece of fur or fabric used as hand warmers which the girls in brown used to wear and use in Les Patineurs but are now firmly attached to one sleeve of their jackets ? These items of clothing  seen in seventeenth century Dutch genre paintings, where they may be intended to hint at the morality of the women depicted in them;  more innocently in pictures of Victorian skating scenes, which is probably where Chappell got the idea for his designs for the ballet and even found their way onto the lids of tins which contained Quality Street toffees, are properly described by a word of Dutch origin as "muffs". What would you have me call them? I am not aware of a synonym and "tubular hand warmers" is an exceptionally long winded way of describing an item of apparel which has a proper, if giggle inducing, name. 

 

Edited by FLOSS
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All vulgar giggling aside....

Your use of the term was irreproachably correct, Floss.

I had a muff, inherited from an aunt,  when I was a very young girl. It hung from a lovely green silk cord round the neck, and the purpose was to warm both hands in it (lovely green silk lining) . (Mine had a matching hat with hanging bobbles but my sister commandeered that.) Happy memories. You don't see them much these days but I agree some of the sweeping two-handed movements Ashton choreographed for them were delightful and should not be lost.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Mary said:

I had a muff, inherited from an aunt,  when I was a very young girl. It hung from a lovely green silk cord round the neck, and the purpose was to warm both hands in it (lovely green silk lining) . (Mine had a matching hat with hanging bobbles but my sister commandeered that.) Happy memories. You don't see them much these days but I agree some of the sweeping two-handed movements Ashton choreographed for them were delightful and should not be lost.

Mary, how lovely. However I suspect  that by describing your muff  as you have ( I won't  highlight the particularly sensitive parts) you will not  help to  improve the tone of this discussion when it comes  to those posters on this Forum who are determined, vulgar gigglers...

Edited by Richard LH

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Just now, Richard LH said:

Mary, how lovely. However I suspect  by describing your muff  as you have ( I won't  highlight the particularly sensitive parts) you will not  help to  improve the tone of this discussion when it comes  to those posters on this Forum who are determined, vulgar gigglers...

 

A titter ran around the auditorium...

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4 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

A titter ran around the auditorium...

 

Not least because of some of Richard LH's own choices of words!

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Come along now, children......'we're all grown-ups here', as my primary school teacher used to say.

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9 minutes ago, Mary said:

Come along now, children......'we're all grown-ups here', as my primary school teacher used to say.

 

Or maybe not... :D. Even I am tittering now, in spite of still being oblivious to the original joke. Where is Joyce Grenfell when you need her.

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24 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

A titter ran around the auditorium...

That reminds me of an un-pc joke that my mother used to tell, with a similar punchline!!  :)

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4 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

Or maybe not... :D. Even I am tittering now, in spite of still being oblivious to the original joke. Where is Joyce Grenfell when you need her.

Or Frankie Howerd:  titter ye not!!  :)

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Well I was going to give a fuller description, with photos, but now I won't....

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1 minute ago, Mary said:

Well I was going to give a fuller description, with photos, but now I won't....

 

Probably best not JUST IN CASE it caused further widespread titillation.

 

Honestly, how did we sink from the sublime heights of Les Patineurs to these tittering depths.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

Probably best not JUST IN CASE it caused further widespread titillation.

 

Honestly, how did we sink from the sublime heights of Les Patineurs to these tittering depths.

Someone  bemoaning the absence of *****

Edited by Tony Newcombe
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7 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

Bringing us back to our senses!

 

Did you have to???!!!  I was enjoying Funny Friday!!  :)

 

Thanks for the gorgeous photos.  

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BTW, bringing us back to the subject of this far-too-short run: I'm sure I recall a publicity photo of the "white" couple in London City Ballet's production back last century where the "upturned" lady was not anywhere near 180 degrees, more like perhaps a "10 past 8" position.  Has it really always been nearly a horizontal line?  In recent performances, doing it that way rather seems to have "flattened" her partner, and I don't find it a particularly attractive pose any more.

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On 03/01/2019 at 12:18, FLOSS said:

The girls in brown no longer have usable muffs. Who authorised the costume change which reduces the muffs to an item firmly attached to one arm

 

 

 

 

 

I spent minutes trying to find Gina Storm Jensen's muff in my Les Patineurs pics until I realised you meant the red girls....and blue girls. I'd never even noticed that part of their outfits.

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5 minutes ago, Rob S said:

 

I spent minutes trying to find Gina Storm Jensen's muff in my Les Patineurs pics until I realised you meant the red girls....and blue girls. I'd never even noticed that part of their outfits.

 

 

A4466B3F-55D7-44A5-A324-C18444AB8D86.jpeg

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

 

A4466B3F-55D7-44A5-A324-C18444AB8D86.jpeg

Hmm well she may have a muff you can get both hands in but she's severely let down by that bonnet.

Edited by Rob S
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Thank you for the photos - always nice to have a memento of an enjoyable evening esp Les Patineurs which I thought was lovely.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Les Patineurs last night - I thought Sambe was exceptional as the Blue Boy, ably supported by the two Blue Girls, Choe (great fouettes) and O'Sullivan, and the Brown Girls (Stix-Brunell and Magri).  Their  muffs may have been unusable but at least they were firmly attached. 

Although Lamb is not  someone I would tend to prioritise when booking, I thought she was  splendid  last night, taking over as short notice fromNunez as the love-torn Masha in Winter Dreams and seemingly effortlessly transforming into a brilliant comic character in The Concert - which is a totally bonkers ballet experience. 

A good night out, but of the three pieces, Les P is the only one I would be particularly  keen to see again.  

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Posted (edited)

Last night, in Les Patineurs, Marcelino Sambe was, as RichardLH has said, everything a 'Blue Boy' should be. However, the 'White Couple' was Lara Turk and Lukas  Bjorneboe Braendsrod  who are clearly inexperienced in dancing pas de deux. Lara has had several roles in this Bill as she has danced both Natasha and Anfisa in Winter Dreams as well and those were much more her forte.

 

I'm afraid that I have to agree with what has already been said about Thiago Soares's Vershinin - the negative comments, that is. He has danced the role in earlier runs and I'm sure he made more impact then than he did last night. I think that, because the role was created on Irek Mukhamedov, the characterisation needs to come out as much through the 'force' and elevation of the dancing as in any emoting - and, unfortunately, as on Wednesday, we were given another Vershinin who was very leaden footed and generally struggling with the choreography. I did get the feeling from Thiago that he knew how he wanted it to be but just couldn't execute it. Interestingly, he was very emotional at the curtain call - far more so than in the performance. Of course, it was a 'scratch' partnership and, while Lamb was very good as Masha, she was unable to make anything like the impact (on me) that she had achieved in her 2 performances with Muntagirov.

 

Bennet Gartside did not pull it off as Kulygin (the husband), partly because, unlike Nehemiah Kish (and the role's originator, Anthony Dowell,) he struggled with some of the steps. William Bracewell was simply wonderful - again -  as Tusenbach . It's odd to come away from a ballet feeling that the best performance, by far, was given by a relatively minor character.

 

Edited to add a plaudit for Yasmine Naghdi too!

 

 

 

 

Edited by capybara
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Les Patineurs and The Concert are a bit of light hearted fun but it is Winter Dreams which has impressed me the most.

I loved the psychological aspect of this ballet,  the display of deep feelings, the inner life of the various characters, the coldness of life in a boring provincial Russian town, and combined with the lovely traditional music for the balalaikas (so very atmospheric), this ballet really transported me to Russia.

I loved the lyrical style of Winter Dreams and last night Sarah Lamb and Yasmine Naghdi were simply outstanding. Credit to Itziar Mendizabal too who made the most of her role as Olga. They were just perfect together as the Three Sisters. I have seen both casts (Nunez/Soares and Lamb/Muntagirov) and I frankly prefer Sarah Lamb in the role of Masha. She not only blended in with her two sisters (Nunez sets herself too much apart from, and above, her sisters) but Sarah Lamb's natural coldness, combined with her beautiful technic, made her a perfect Masha. Yasmine Naghdi brought total "sunshine" to the somber atmosphere, she was a superlative Irina, and last night she was visibly in her element, totally natural and so expressive. The changes in her facial expression - throughout the story - really revealed her inner feelings: from her naivety as the youngest sibling to full awareness of her harsh reality at the end of the ballet. 

I very much loved the William Bracewell (Tusenbach) partnership with Yasmine Naghdi, and William Bracewell and Nicol Edmonds (Solyony) were outstanding together as Naghdi's suitors. The end Pd2/ Lamb and Soares was very emotional. A beautiful performance by all!

 

Winter Dreams is a fine work of art but I feel it is best enjoyed on its own, sandwiched between Les Patineurs and The Concert doesn't do it full justice. 

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First of all I would like to thank somebody from the forum who suggested the visit to London precsely in these dates to see both the mixed bill and "The Nutcracker", I took this great idea and am spending a marvelous weekend  here ( and looking very much forward to Matthew Bourne's "Swan lake" today).

   I can just say that Sara Lamb made my weekend ( I was lucky to see her in "The Nutcracker" yesterday as well). She danced beautifully as Masha on Friday ( I liked the whole ballet and would love to watch it again, though it surely seemed to be a bit gloomy to me). Thiago Soares didn't impress me much. 

   I also liked a lot Yasmine Naghdi who created a beautiful image of a young woman, and, actually, Bennet Gartside as Kulygin. I was a bit shocked at the beginning of this ballet as the opening scene ( with a drunken servant girl) differed quite a lot from my ideas about Chekhov, but then I read in the programme that it wasn't thought as  a reconstruction of the play, and, well, it certainly helped to create the atmosphere ( and all the participants of the scene acted quite well, especially the girl). 

   " Les Patineurs " was wonderful and a pure joy to see the winter evening. Marcelino Sambe was superb and I liked everybody, I believe, including the romantic white couple... A pity one of the ensemble girls fell down, but she continued quite professionally afterwards and she probably felt  more embarrassment than pain.

   "The Concert" was also a great piece to watch, and again - Sara Lamb in a completely new image, and she was so good! 

All in all, a brilliant programme!

   

 

 

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1 hour ago, Estreiiita said:

A pity one of the ensemble girls fell down, but she continued quite professionally afterwards and she probably felt  more embarrassment than pain.

Yes, discounting the odd minor slip,   I believe that was the first fairly major fall I have seen over the last year, in about 30 performances.

Ironically, being in Les P, this was a slip on the "ice" in a performance where various falls were included as part of the choreography. But as you say, she just got up and continued professionally, and also looked  fine in The Concert later on, so hopefully there was no injury. It just shows how skilful and well trained the dancers are in generally avoiding such mishaps, when having to leap and turn so much. I don't see the odd fall like this as in any way a failure of the dancer concerned - in the same way, for example, that poor technique or characterisation might be criticised. It can happen to any of them, and probably has, over the course of their careers. 

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On 05/01/2019 at 18:29, capybara said:

Bennet Gartside did not pull it off as Kulygin (the husband), partly because, unlike Nehemiah Kish (and the role's originator, Anthony Dowell,) he struggled with some of the steps. William Bracewell was simply wonderful - again -  as Tusenbach . It's odd to come away from a ballet feeling that the best performance, by far, was given by a relatively minor character.

 

After seeing Avis's and Kish's quite different takes on Kulygin, I was sorry I didn't get to see Gartside's. I hope the trouble he had with the steps was only due to his recent injury. Was his characterization not quite right either, capybara?

 

About Bracewell's Baron Tusenbach - until I saw him in Winter Dreams on the 18th, I'd only seen him in the cinema relay of Corybantic Games and Les Patineurs in the same triple bill that evening. He was inevitably eclipsed by Matthew Ball in the former and in the latter, disadvantaged by the fact that I'd always found the couple in white the least engaging part of the ballet. So I didn't have a clear impression of him either way. Then I had a curious experience with his Tusenbach – there was something about him that persistently suggested he was more than his mousiness. When I saw the DVD later I realized that Tusenbach's characterization there (physically unattractive and nerdy) was supposed to imply that by accepting him (and not the more sexually confident and attractive suitor, for one), Irina is choosing a marriage of convenience, not love. But watching Bracewell and Naghdi, I’d taken Irina's acceptance of Tusenbach to show, not that she was overlooking his personal qualities for his title, but that she could see the value beneath his appearance. In other words, Bracewell had come across to me as a frog who would turn into a prince. I'm not sure that degree of depth is called for in this role, but it's certainly made Bracewell a rather intriguing dancer for me.

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On ‎05‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 10:44, Xandra Newman said:

Winter Dreams is a fine work of art but I feel it is best enjoyed on its own, sandwiched between Les Patineurs and The Concert doesn't do it full justice. 

 

And as much as I like the RB's seemingly random mixed bills for the purposes of my own edification/entertainment, what point is there in putting on a show like this at a time of year which is particularly appealing to families with children looking for something light-hearted and entertaining?  It's like inviting your friends round with their families, serving up a delicious starter and jelly and ice-cream for dessert, but giving them a main course of something heavy and indigestible made with ingredients that are an "acquired taste".

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4 minutes ago, RuthE said:

 

And as much as I like the RB's seemingly random mixed bills for the purposes of my own edification/entertainment, what point is there in putting on a show like this at a time of year which is particularly appealing to families with children looking for something light-hearted and entertaining?  It's like inviting your friends round with their families, serving up a delicious starter and jelly and ice-cream for dessert, but giving them a main course of something heavy and indigestible made with ingredients that are an "acquired taste".

 

I can only assume that this bill was not in fact aimed at families/children, but as an alternative bill to The Nutcracker for those NOT looking for a family/child-friendly show.

 

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