Jump to content
JohnS

Royal Ballet School Summer Performance 2019 and Annual Performance

Recommended Posts

I don’t think there’s a thread as yet for the Royal Ballet School’s end of year performances at Opera Holland Park and next Sunday at the Royal Opera House although I’m sure somewhere I’ve seen some approving comments about the students’ choreography.

 

First visit for me yesterday to Holland Park and I very much enjoyed the matinee (mainly White Lodge) and evening (mainly Upper School) performances.  A great location and a feeling of being outdoors despite the substantial marquee giving an excellent auditorium with I thought good raking in the Stalls providing a clear view of the stage.  The Holland House facade gives a splendid ‘backcloth’ and perches for several pigeons (not two white ‘pigeons’).

 

Good to have live music (a piano) for one item, ‘Let’s Begin’, all the rest being recorded.  

 

Scottish and Irish dance was well represented - ‘Scottish Dances from Flowers of the Forest’ was danced at both performances with two casts showing great panache (although one sock could have done with some support); and I very much enjoyed White Lodge’s ‘Celtic Voyage’ and ‘Coimeasgadh’.

 

Different excerpts from Paquita were presented in both performances, giving plenty of opportunity to the Upper School girls, and ‘Bottega’ was performed twice.  

 

The matinee included ‘Coppelia Suite’, rather whetting the appetite for next season’s Coppelia.  

 

The evening began with a very impressive ‘La Valse’, as was ‘Pulse’ for 50 students which started the second half.  Two brief extracts from Mats Ek’s Swan Lake and then ‘Untied, Undone’ with 15 of the Upper School’s boys showing real strength.

 

Good to see some familiar faces on stage - Frankenstein’s younger brother, Cesar Corrales’ brother, and many faces from previous years and visits to see classes at the Upper School.

 

Standout for me was the opportunity given to showcase some of the students’ choreography (as suggested above).  I thought Year 9 Tianie-Finn Granger’s ‘Classified’ very impressive and was very pleased to see a good photo included over two pages in the programme.

 

A great double performance and very rewarding to see such talented students excelling - a tribute to their dedicated hard work and skill, and reflecting so well on the Royal Ballet School.  Looking forward immensely to next Sunday's Annual Performance and hoping that much of the material seen in Holland Park will be included, together with more live music.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, capybara said:

Who is Frankenstein's younger brother, please?

 

Guillem Cabrera Espinach dances William Frankenstein on the dvd - he is shown as year 10.  I’m pretty sure there was at least one other ‘William’ from the recent revival but I’m afraid I don’t have my cast sheet to hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JohnS said:

 

Guillem Cabrera Espinach dances William Frankenstein on the dvd - he is shown as year 10.  I’m pretty sure there was at least one other ‘William’ from the recent revival but I’m afraid I don’t have my cast sheet to hand.

 

Thank you. I think there are few 'names' which ring bells, not least from Nutcracker appearances.

I thought that this year's RBS shows were terrific.

Roll on next Sunday.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was looking for comments on these performances yesterday but couldn't find any so was wondering if maybe it wasn't the done thing to comment on student performances, but I guess we are allowed after all. I've not seen the RBS at Holland Park before (though I've seen quite a few operas there) but after enjoying The Cunning Little Vixen back in February my mother & I decided to give it a go. We opted for the mostly Upper School performance yesterday evening, on the assumption that with older dancers there'd be more proper pas de deux work. All the pieces were new to me so the following comments are highly inexpert! The comments are more about the pieces than the dancers, as I don't feel I know enough to judge student performers properly. If therefore thse comments are completely pointless please let me know & I'll remove them.

 

La Valse - I thought this was lovely, although I may have spent about at much time admring the girls' costumes as the choreography. I found both rather remiscent of Apparitions at last month's Fonteyn Celebration

 

Bottega - I found the voiceover rather baffling but once the dancing started I liked it. I found it interesting that with this Year 10 & 11 group the boys on the whole looked less mature than the girls (whereas with the Upper School dancers the genders looked evenly matched). I imagine this must make starting pas de deux work in the Lower School rather challenging.

 

Scottish Dances - I really enjoyed this. Not having seen any Bintley before, this is now the second piece I've seen by him in 2 weeks, after Hobson's Choice last week. I have no idea what Flowers of the Forest is about but this extract made me want to see the whole piece.

 

Simple Symphony - The day-glo neon costumes made me fear this would be ultra-modern but it was more classical than I expected. I thought the third solo couple were particularly good, especially as they had some quite challenging-looking lifts.

 

Pulse - Not to my taste at all. I can't believe that any little girl dreaming of becoming a ballerina dreams of something like this!

 

Mats Ek's Swan Lake extract - The Prince's solo I thought had some ugly choreography but also some that was quite expressive. At least, I thought it expressed that the Prince was having a sort of nervous breakdown but out of context I might be misinterpreting it. I presume the three "swans" (the movements were more Ugly Duckling!) are being dreamt/hallucinated by the Prince? I don't think I'm ever going to be able to hear the Cygnets' music in the same way again!

 

Untied, Undone - I quite liked this but I don't know what it was supposed to be about. I presume it was included partly to give the boys more to do, given the girls had the corps de ballet work in Paquita.

 

Paquita exerpt - Finally, some tutus! I've not seen the piece but I'm guessing that the part that was done comes at the end of the ballet for the happy ending. I felt there was a certain similarity with the ending of Don Quixote. Can anyone tell me whether in a complete performance the solo parts are distributed between several dancers or whether they should all be danced by one man & one woman? I was wondering if they'd shared them out to give more dancers the chance to perform & so they weren't over-taxed by the very exposing choreography (there were a few wobbles). I didn't manage to recognise many dancers from The Cunning Little Vixen but did recognise Daichi Ikarashi, who evidently specialises in jumping!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

Scottish Dances - I really enjoyed this. Not having seen any Bintley before, this is now the second piece I've seen by him in 2 weeks, after Hobson's Choice last week. I have no idea what Flowers of the Forest is about but this extract made me want to see the whole piece.

 

 

 

Flowers of the Forest is almost a ballet of 2 halves.  Scottish Dances is the first half danced to the music of Malcolm Arnold and is, perhaps,  about the "carefree life" before the clans were hammered at the Battle of Culloden.  The second half is much more melancholy and thoughtful, to music by Britten, and perhaps refers to the times after the battle.

 

It is another Bintley masterpiece.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

Flowers of the Forest is almost a ballet of 2 halves.  Scottish Dances is the first half danced to the music of Malcolm Arnold and is, perhaps,  about the "carefree life" before the clans were hammered at the Battle of Culloden.  The second half is much more melancholy and thoughtful, to music by Britten, and perhaps refers to the times after the battle.

 

It is another Bintley masterpiece.

 

Oh, is the Scottish Dances about half the ballet then? I didn't realise that. I'd assumed it was just a single scene from a full-length piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

 

Oh, is the Scottish Dances about half the ballet then? I didn't realise that. I'd assumed it was just a single scene from a full-length piece.

 

I think it's around half an hour.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It probably doesn't affect the ballet in any way, but the poem/song "Floers o' the Forest" refers to the defeat of James IV's army at Flodden some 230 years earlier than Culloden.  And on that occasion, I think that all of the Scots involved were on the same side.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Dawnstar said:

Paquita exerpt - Finally, some tutus! I've not seen the piece but I'm guessing that the part that was done comes at the end of the ballet for the happy ending. I felt there was a certain similarity with the ending of Don Quixote. Can anyone tell me whether in a complete performance the solo parts are distributed between several dancers or whether they should all be danced by one man & one woman? 

 

Yes they are all individual variations for different dancers.  The principal couple dance the final pas de deux

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ian Macmillan said:

It probably doesn't affect the ballet in any way, but the poem/song "Floers o' the Forest" refers to the defeat of James IV's army at Flodden some 230 years earlier than Culloden.  And on that occasion, I think that all of the Scots involved were on the same side.

 

Thanks Ian - I got my Scottish battles mixed up.  That’ll teach me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched both Saturday matinee and Wednesday evening at the Linbury Theatre and there were some cross over of pieces. It was fascinating to watch the pieces in different settings (some worked , some didn’t). I’m interested in how the casting works. For instance Wednesday evening the show was stolen by one performer in a contemporary/ neo- classical piece but that performer was noticeably missing on Saturday matinee and the piece lost its impact. Do the school showcase all students as par for the course or is the show run as a ballet company would be? I understand they are students in training but I’m interested in how casting works at that level? Are we, as ticket purchasers watching everyone or an elite few? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jan. I’m  a lurker...always read with interest and in the Doing Dance section. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/07/2019 at 17:07, JohnS said:

I don’t think there’s a thread as yet for the Royal Ballet School’s end of year performances at Opera Holland Park and next Sunday at the Royal Opera House although I’m sure somewhere I’ve seen some approving comments about the students’ choreography.

 

First visit for me yesterday to Holland Park and I very much enjoyed the matinee (mainly White Lodge) and evening (mainly Upper School) performances.  A great location and a feeling of being outdoors despite the substantial marquee giving an excellent auditorium with I thought good raking in the Stalls providing a clear view of the stage.  The Holland House facade gives a splendid ‘backcloth’ and perches for several pigeons (not two white ‘pigeons’).

 

Good to have live music (a piano) for one item, ‘Let’s Begin’, all the rest being recorded.  

 

Scottish and Irish dance was well represented - ‘Scottish Dances from Flowers of the Forest’ was danced at both performances with two casts showing great panache (although one sock could have done with some support); and I very much enjoyed White Lodge’s ‘Celtic Voyage’ and ‘Coimeasgadh’.

 

Different excerpts from Paquita were presented in both performances, giving plenty of opportunity to the Upper School girls, and ‘Bottega’ was performed twice.  

 

The matinee included ‘Coppelia Suite’, rather whetting the appetite for next season’s Coppelia.  

 

The evening began with a very impressive ‘La Valse’, as was ‘Pulse’ for 50 students which started the second half.  Two brief extracts from Mats Ek’s Swan Lake and then ‘Untied, Undone’ with 15 of the Upper School’s boys showing real strength.

 

Good to see some familiar faces on stage - Frankenstein’s younger brother, Cesar Corrales’ brother, and many faces from previous years and visits to see classes at the Upper School.

 

Standout for me was the opportunity given to showcase some of the students’ choreography (as suggested above).  I thought Year 9 Tianie-Finn Granger’s ‘Classified’ very impressive and was very pleased to see a good photo included over two pages in the programme.

 

A great double performance and very rewarding to see such talented students excelling - a tribute to their dedicated hard work and skill, and reflecting so well on the Royal Ballet School.  Looking forward immensely to next Sunday's Annual Performance and hoping that much of the material seen in Holland Park will be included, together with more live music.

What a lovely review and summary! Sadly didn’t make it to the upper school evening performance but hoping much of this is repeated on Sunday at roh. Was very impressed by the students and the work showcased at the Saturday matinee. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw The Royal Ballet School in the Linbury Theatre Young Talent Festival and was bowled over by ‘Untied, Undone’. 

They said: it is a new ballet Ashley Page has created on students this year. It's based on the 4th movement of Mendelssohn's 4th symphony showcasing men from each year group of Upper School.

What a joy to watch and I imagine to dance. How special to still be a student and participate in the creation of a brand new ballet. Would love to see the adult company do this as well. Be a great gala piece.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ballet4429 said:

I watched both Saturday matinee and Wednesday evening at the Linbury Theatre and there were some cross over of pieces. It was fascinating to watch the pieces in different settings (some worked , some didn’t). I’m interested in how the casting works. For instance Wednesday evening the show was stolen by one performer in a contemporary/ neo- classical piece but that performer was noticeably missing on Saturday matinee and the piece lost its impact. Do the school showcase all students as par for the course or is the show run as a ballet company would be? I understand they are students in training but I’m interested in how casting works at that level? Are we, as ticket purchasers watching everyone or an elite few? 

 

Thank you for raising this as I thought it was strange that some of the dancers listed as being part of the year group appeared not to be dancing.  For WL years 7, 8 and 9 it looked like they may have all danced in the opening - which I have to say was better than last year and a lovely way to watch technical progress - but when it came to the character dances it was clear that not all of the year group were on stage.  One person I don't recall seeing in the US show was the young lady from Australia who gained place last year into 6:1 - did she not subsequently join the school?  I will have to go back to the programme and look more closely at who was dancing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ballet4429 said:

I watched both Saturday matinee and Wednesday evening at the Linbury Theatre and there were some cross over of pieces. It was fascinating to watch the pieces in different settings (some worked , some didn’t). I’m interested in how the casting works. For instance Wednesday evening the show was stolen by one performer in a contemporary/ neo- classical piece but that performer was noticeably missing on Saturday matinee and the piece lost its impact. Do the school showcase all students as par for the course or is the show run as a ballet company would be? I understand they are students in training but I’m interested in how casting works at that level? Are we, as ticket purchasers watching everyone or an elite few? 

The school usually has 2-3 casts rehearsed so that all students are able to perform in something. This is one of the few chances that parents get to watch their children dance so they do try to ensure that each student is in at least one of the performances. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you that’s interesting. I wonder if maybe the ‘school show’ element doesn’t carry to us ‘non relation’ audience members.  I was mesmerised by Robert Binet’s Earthborn at  The Linbury and very much hoping to see it again at Opera Holland Park so was disappointed when I realised the cast wasn’t the same. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched on Saturday afternoon , it was a real treat . It was clear that some students are featured far more heavily than others, so I’m glad to hear as a parent with a child about to start WL that the opportunities are spread out across the performances . I was so impressed by the student choreography one piece in particular was spectacular and had me on the edge of my seat .The obvious progression shown in the class pieces from year 7-9 was inspiring . My only regret is not getting tickets to also watch the upper school show .

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, junedancer said:

 

Thank you for raising this as I thought it was strange that some of the dancers listed as being part of the year group appeared not to be dancing.  For WL years 7, 8 and 9 it looked like they may have all danced in the opening - which I have to say was better than last year and a lovely way to watch technical progress - but when it came to the character dances it was clear that not all of the year group were on stage.  One person I don't recall seeing in the US show was the young lady from Australia who gained place last year into 6:1 - did she not subsequently join the school?  I will have to go back to the programme and look more closely at who was dancing.

 

I’m not sure what the rules are here surrounding naming students but I follow one of the girls from Australia who is in RBS 6:1 but she is currently out of dancing and recovering from an injury.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, SugarPlum2000 said:

I’m not sure what the rules are here surrounding naming students but I follow one of the girls from Australia who is in RBS 6:1 but she is currently out of dancing and recovering from an injury.

 

Possibly the same young lady then -  hope she makes a speedy recovery.

 

I have been back to the programme and cast sheets and taking account of what others have said about two or three casts I still don't understand the one or two missing from certain year groups for some dances but maybe they have had other opportunities. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the few missing were also injured. Sadly there are always a handful of students at any point who are recovering from injury and unable to perform. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silly question but the website is no help - does anyone know the running time for Sunday?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just had this confirmation from RoH

 

PART 1 13:30 – 14:38 1 HOUR 06 MINUTES

INTERVAL  14:38 – 15:03 25 MINUTES

 

PART 2 15:03 – 16:12 1 HOUR 09 MINUTES

 

CURTAIN CALLS  16:12 – 16:17  5 MINUTES

 

TOTAL RUNNING TIME = 2 HOURS 47 MINUTES

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/07/2019 at 17:57, MJW said:

Just had this confirmation from RoH

 

PART 1 13:30 – 14:38 1 HOUR 06 MINUTES

INTERVAL  14:38 – 15:03 25 MINUTES

 

PART 2 15:03 – 16:12 1 HOUR 09 MINUTES

 

CURTAIN CALLS  16:12 – 16:17  5 MINUTES

 

TOTAL RUNNING TIME = 2 HOURS 47 MINUTES

 Thank you most helpful !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 08/07/2019 at 06:01, Jan McNulty said:

 

Thanks Ian - I got my Scottish battles mixed up.  That’ll teach me!

 

 

You are both right.  Britten's Scottish Ballad is indeed based on the old Scottish folksong 'Flowers of the Forest' which is a traditional lament for the loss of the nobility at the battle of Flodden in 1513 when James IV rather ill advisedly took on part of the English army while Henry VIII was in France fighting the French.  The Auld Alliance in action with disastrous results for the Scots.

 

However, the ballet reflects the loss at Culloden in 1746 where more Scots fought Charles Edward Stuart than fought for him.

 

Spot the lover of all things Scottish (except Frankie Boyle, Neil Oliver and 'Flower of Scotland').

Edited by Two Pigeons
Spelling
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well just got back home and thank you to those who said I ought to go as that was thoroughly enjoyable! Very impressive performances all round and nice to see pieces I haven't seen before.

 

I recognised some of the dancers from the Cunning Little Vixen earlier in the year and it will be nice to follow the careers of those joining the RB next season as Aud Jebsen dancers.

 

I am sure there were many very proud parents, grandparents and other family members today/

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great show this afternoon. Some real talent on show.

Probably for me one of the standout performances from the Seniors was Kele Roberson ....and his own choreography too ...he definitely had the wow factor .....but is not joining the Royal Ballet as one of the Aud Jebsen apprentices at any rate. Lucky Company who gets him! 

Some lovely performances from the pre Upper school groups but won't mention names for these younger students just hoping that quite a few of them have got into the Upper School for next year! 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...