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Sharon

Cinema casting (Royal Ballet)

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I'm probably a bit slow in mentioning this, so please excuse me if I'm repeating. But, can someone please tell me why RB management thought it a good idea to cast Lauren Cuthbertson in ALL the big classics in the live Cinema relays??

A repeat of Nutcracker in December.

Sleeping Beauty in January.

Swan Lake in April.

I like Cuthbertson - but this is hardly fair to the other 7 principals. And to actually repeat her 2016 performance? And we have also seen her Sleeping Beauty broadcast live before too.

As someone who cannot get to London frequently to see the RB, I really appreciate the live Cinema relays. But I don't want to see the same ballerina everytime I go. You'd think there was only one ballerina capable of dancing the big one's from this casting, and we know that's not true. Is it so difficult to share the roles so those of us outside London get to see the remarkable variety and talent within the company.

 

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Posted (edited)

I agree, it does seem a little like overkill to have her dance them all. And I say this as someone who very much appreciates her performances in many roles. However, as was discussed on another thread (I think!), she has had a very difficult time with illness & injury so perhaps it was thought it was overdue (although I still think giving her the Swan Lake live relay would have been enough). 

Edited by Ianlond
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To be fair, up until this Cinema season it has felt for a while as if the only people trusted with live streams have been Nuñez and Muntagirov.  Nutcracker’s being repeated in the cinema because it isn’t being performed at the ROH this year - and to be fair, Clara gets much more dancing than Sugar Plum.  As others have said, Cuthbertson has had terribly bad luck with serious injuries and illness.

 

The only one I wish were being given to someone else is Sleeping Beauty, purely because Naghdi is absolutely sublime as Aurora and really should be recorded with Ball for cinema and DVD release. 

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I'm sure she will be, sooner or later.  But *she*, of course (they) has just had Romeo & Juliet ...

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I thought it a bit misleading that the cinema publicity did have Naghdi/Ball in the photo of the Sleeping Beauty. Perhaps Kevin O'hare originally intended their cast to be filmed and then changed his mind for some reason. As Aurora is supposed to be a teenager it would seem to make sense to film this casting or even the Hayward/Campbell cast which I thought sublime when I was lucky enough to see their one performance when it was done previously.

Incidentally I haven't seen any publicity in the Odeon cinema listing for the RB Nutcracker. I don't see why they should not screen it when Nutcracker is so popular and I'm sure most people attending will not know or care whether it is a repeat. Also they don't seem to have a problem with screening Bolshoi repeats. Are any other cinemas showing it? I couldn't see it mentioned at Vue either which is my other local cinema.

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17 minutes ago, jmhopton said:

Incidentally I haven't seen any publicity in the Odeon cinema listing for the RB Nutcracker. I don't see why they should not screen it when Nutcracker is so popular and I'm sure most people attending will not know or care whether it is a repeat. Also they don't seem to have a problem with screening Bolshoi repeats. Are any other cinemas showing it? I couldn't see it mentioned at Vue either which is my other local cinema.

This link should allow you to search for your nearest participating cinema.

https://www.roh.org.uk/showings/the-nutcracker-recorded-2019

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Thanks Richard.  The Cinema link reminded me that Nuñez and Muntagirov have been given the Coppélia live stream so Cuthbertson hasn’t been given “all the big classics” - just Beauty and Swan Lake (which she didn’t even get to dance on stage last time). 

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@Anna C ok let me rephrase - of the '4 big classics' of the RB's  2019/20 Cinema broadcast - Lauren Cuthbertson is dancing 3 of them!

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5 minutes ago, Sharon said:

@Anna C ok let me rephrase - of the '4 big classics' of the RB's  2019/20 Cinema broadcast - Lauren Cuthbertson is dancing 3 of them!

 

Yes but as already explained, Nutcracker is a repeat of the most recent DVD recording and it could be argued that Hayward is the actual “star”.  

 

Swan Lake is possibly because Cuthbertson was injured during rehearsals and wasn’t able to perform the role at all, in which case it’s only right that she should be given the live broadcast. 

 

If you search the ROH shop, Lamb appears to have at least as many DVD recordings as Cuthbertson, including both Manon and Mayerling.  The only Female Principal of similar age and longevity in the company who has been (criminally, IMO) underused for cinema streams is Morera.  

 

I suspect that if we look back at Cinema casting over the 17 years Lauren has been with the company, she has been underused for a variety of reasons.  It could also be that if she (hopefully) stays until 2022 the ROH and Opus Arte *may* release a collection of Cuthbertson DVDs as they have for Nuñez, so in theory they may be wanting to add Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty to this as the last Beauty to be recorded was Nuñez and Muntagirov.  There’s been no news whatsoever on a Cuthbertson collection but it would be well deserved IMHO. 

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May I say that as a distance viewer of the RB, ie only ever see them on film, that I am really sorry there isn't more film of Laura Morera as the little of her I have seen and everything I have read about her makes me want to see much more of her.

 

I was especially sorry she wasn't in the broadcast of Two Pigeons as I gather she is a very fine Ashton dancer and there are all too few of those around these days.

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2 hours ago, Two Pigeons said:

May I say that as a distance viewer of the RB, ie only ever see them on film, that I am really sorry there isn't more film of Laura Morera as the little of her I have seen and everything I have read about her makes me want to see much more of her.

 

I was especially sorry she wasn't in the broadcast of Two Pigeons as I gather she is a very fine Ashton dancer and there are all too few of those around these days.

 

I certainly agree about Morera being underused for both cinema performances and also performances in general. 

I believe she was scheduled to do the cinema broadcast of Two Pigeons but was replaced by Fumi Kaneko because she was injured. I was more annoyed that her and Bonelli's Mayerling wasn't filmed as they were superb in the roles and may never dance them again. 

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At the risk of repeating myself, I was talking about the cinema streaming for the 2019/20 season, and whether it's a repeat or not - Cuthbertson is still appearing in 3 of them. And as someone who can't get to the ROH often, the cinema stream is my opportunity to see the company and as many principals as possible.

Btw I totally agree about Morera, she is a wonderful dancer and I can't wait to see her in Manon in October.

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1 hour ago, Sharon said:

At the risk of repeating myself, I was talking about the cinema streaming for the 2019/20 season, and whether it's a repeat or not - Cuthbertson is still appearing in 3 of them. And as someone who can't get to the ROH often, the cinema stream is my opportunity to see the company and as many principals as possible.

Btw I totally agree about Morera, she is a wonderful dancer and I can't wait to see her in Manon in October.

 

I'm in exactly the same boat and I agree with all of this. I'm feeling quite let down by the choices for this cinema season. As a result of this, I think I'm going to have to plan an extra London trip which is more than I really should be spending. 

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2 hours ago, Sharon said:

I was talking about the cinema streaming for the 2019/20 season, and whether it's a repeat or not - Cuthbertson is still appearing in 3 of them.

She is also appearing in the new Marston, so that makes 4 (3 live plus the repeat).

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Posted (edited)

I think that I mentioned the possibility of a 'box set' on the other thread and that does seem to be a logical explanation for Lauren Cuthbertson having the lion's share of the cinema relays - and a deserved celebration for a long-serving Principal.

There might also be a 'British' factor at work here and a bit of balancing going on in the light of the spotlight being very much on Francesca Hayward of late.

Another interesting thing is that, with the exception of the new double bill, the first night cast and the cinema cast are not the same. They used to be more often than not but the change was noticeable from the start of this year (2019). And I think that, this coming season, Kevin O'Hare is also trying to be even-handed over which casts are exposed to the press.

 

 

 

Edited by capybara
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Raymonda act 3 will be cast Osipova/Muntagirov for screening.

 

It is not a full ballet but truly very classic.

 

I suggest it may be a time to try some new channels like broadcast some ballets though paid Youtube Live channel rather than cinema. Renting cinemas are expensive. And we may broadcast more and make our dancer more exposed. Russian audience often film the performance (I don't support that) and upload online. It certainly brings a lot for their dancers...

Edited by HelenLoveAppleJuice
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14 minutes ago, HelenLoveAppleJuice said:

Raymonda act 3 will be cast Osipova/Muntagirov for screening.

 

It is not a full ballet but truly very classic.

 

I suggest it may be a time to try some new channels like broadcast some ballets though paid Youtube Live channel rather than cinema. Renting cinemas are expensive. And we may broadcast more and make our dancer more exposed. Russian audience often film the performance (I don't support that) and upload online. It certainly brings a lot for their dancers...

 

I'd agree regarding YouTube - interestingly the RoH uploaded the cinema broadcast of the Marriage of Figaro on YouTube for a time-limited period. Perhaps they could do the same with the Royal Ballet's broadcasts?

 

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As far as I remember, Cuthbertson was’t cast in any big classic in cinema broadcast in the past 10 years except Beauty. Nutcracker hardly counts.

Her Beauty with Pulunin was never commercially released. (Possibly because of Polunin’s departure from RB) so people who live in other countries can only rely on 

pirated videos to see her in the role of Aurora.

IMO It is only wise to record her while she’s at her peak and sickness and injuries seem to not have occurred for a while, otherwise there might not be a chance to (as in the case of Morera).

 

I cannot understand why this is a problem, as some other dancer was cast again and again in almost every major role in RB rep in cinema broadcasts and nobody seemed to have opened a thread to complain about it. Maybe it’s because this time they are all In the same season?

Edited by yvonnep
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28 minutes ago, yvonnep said:

As far as I remember, Cuthbertson was’t cast in any big classic in cinema broadcast in the past 10 years except Beauty. Nutcracker hardly counts.

Her Beauty with Pulunin was never commercially released. (Possibly because of Polunin’s departure from RB) so people who live in other countries can only rely on 

pirated videos to see her in the role of Aurora.

IMO It is only wise to record her while she’s at her peak and sickness and injuries seem to not have occurred for a while, otherwise there might not be a chance to (as in the case of Morera).

 

I cannot understand why this is a problem, as some other dancer was cast again and again in almost every major role in RB rep in cinema broadcasts and nobody seemed to have opened a thread to complain about it. Maybe it’s because this time they are all In the same season?

 

Yes, I assume it is. But either way there has been plenty of discussion about cinema casting on this forum. For what it's worth, my view is that the point of cinema screenings is to show the company - its dancers, its range, its artistry etc - to as wide a public as possible, and so the lead casting should be spread out as much as possible. Recording particular casts for posterity is an important but secondary aim (and I don't think that having a DVD box set of a particular dancer's performances should figure at all, much as some of us might like to possess such a thing).

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1 hour ago, bridiem said:

Recording particular casts for posterity is an important but secondary aim (and I don't think that having a DVD box set of a particular dancer's performances should figure at all, much as some of us might like to possess such a thing).

 

A 'box set' is surely a lovely way of honouring a long serving star performer.

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44 minutes ago, capybara said:

 

A 'box set' is surely a lovely way of honouring a long serving star performer.

 

Yes, it is - but I don't think it should influence the decision as to the lead casts in cinema showings.

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Let's face it, also, the RB doesn't usually run Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty (and Nutcracker?) in the same season, I don't think, so perhaps it's just more obvious this time around.  I don't think it's the case that other ballerinas haven't been cast in multiple classics, just that they may generally have been spaced out better and therefore less noticeable.

 

As for the younger dancers, perhaps Kevin O'Hare's just pacing himself?  Otherwise, possibly in a few years time, given that both ballets are likely to show up every couple of years, and probably get cinema showings too, people will be starting posts asking why Naghdi, say, is getting all the cinema broadcasts again! :D

 

EDIT: Or even, dare I hope, could we have for Sleeping Beauty the luxury casting of some of the younger ballerinas as Prologue Fairies, Florine and so on?  (None of those being roles which Cuthbertson dances)

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6 hours ago, yvonnep said:

As far as I remember, Cuthbertson was’t cast in any big classic in cinema broadcast in the past 10 years except Beauty. Nutcracker hardly counts.

She has also been broadcast in Romeo and Juliet, and The Winter's Tale, (some may regard that as a modern classic) !

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17 hours ago, MJW said:

 

I'd agree regarding YouTube - interestingly the RoH uploaded the cinema broadcast of the Marriage of Figaro on YouTube for a time-limited period. Perhaps they could do the same with the Royal Ballet's broadcasts?

 

 

The new Swan Lake was also available on YouTube (Nuñez/Muntagirov) for some time.  I see it’s been removed now.

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To be honest, as long as she isn't given the Nunez treatment after this season (which means overly-featuring a dancer in almost every big classic in back-to-back-to-back seasons), I'm fine (for now) with her being given the two big cinema screenings this upcoming season. She tends to be injury-prone and is already in her mid 30s. So, she doesn't have that much time left to wait and wait to dance these big classics in the cinemas. The time is now, especially with the younger three principal dancers on her heels. 

 

I will also add that I think it's a shame that a thread was dedicated to Cuthberston being given the crux of the classics (which I admit I'm still iffy about) as opposed to others when she has been absent from many of the past seasons' classical cinema relays. Perhaps that's because she doesn't have as many fans as other dancers, which can explain why she is receiving the short end of the stick? Maybe that can also explain the inconsistency of some...

Edited by HappyTurk
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I always thought that Cuthbertson was and is very popular with audiences and not just at ROH, she has guested internationally, including stepping in at the Mariinsky at short notice I believe. I wish her all success with the cinema performances 

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