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Birmingham Royal Ballet - Giselle - Autumn Tour 2019

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Hi all, I’m thinking about seeing Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Giselle at Sadler’s Wells this November. 

 

Just wondered how this version compares with other Giselles and if it is recommended? 

 

Thanks 

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It was produced by David Bintley and Galina Samsova and is very traditional.  I think Act 2 is absolutely exquisite.  Act 1 is good but my personal feeling is that there are not enough men in the village to make it realistic.

 

When it was first produced Bathilde entered on a horse (I think only in Birmingham) accompanied by 2 salukis.  Fortunately they are no longer included.

 

It is very well worth seeing (IMHO).  I don't think any of the current company, apart from Cesar Morales, have performed Giselle or Albrecht although I stand to be corrected.

 

My favourite production is Mary Skeaping's for ENB.  Yoko Ichino produced a beautiful traditional production for Northern Ballet 8 years ago (using ENB's set and costumes) but it was only shown in Leeds.

 

The production which most sticks in my mind is the one by Christopher Gable and Michael Pink for Northern Ballet produced in 1997.  Because the company was smaller then they used both men and women as vengeful spirits.  It has subsequently been mounted in Milwaukee but I have not made the trek there to see it.

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I have to say that I am less keen on this production as I vastly prefer the earlier production by SPW.  I particularly miss the pas de six in the first act as this has reverted to the traditional pas de deux which I find less interesting.

 

Having said that I have absolutely no dispute that with the right casting it is worth seeing.  If I could book for any combination of Celine Gittens, Delia Mathews, Samara Downs or Yvette Knight with Tyrone Singleton, Brandon Lawrence, Cesar Morales or Mathias Dingman I would happily book.

 

This brings us back to the eternal blister that is the BRB practice of not announcing the casting until about 2 weeks before.

 

Aside from that I endorse Janet's love of the Mary Skeaping's production for ENB.  To me it is the essence of the Romantic ballet.

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Thanks both. Well considered, I think I will hold off booking for now and reassess closer to the time. Looks like there is still a lot of seat availability at Sadler’s Wells (although the best selling seem to be the cheap seats!) so there may also be deals closer to the time. 

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2 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

When it was first produced Bathilde entered on a horse (I think only in Birmingham) accompanied by 2 salukis.  

 

And at the ROH, I think.

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I really do hope ENB revive Mary Skeaping's Giselle considering it is held in high regard. Whilst I really like Khan's contemporary Giselle, I think it's a shame if they have replaced Skeaping's with this, I certainly think there is place for both in the repertoire and hope it comes back in the 2020-2021 season. 

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They haven't replaced it: they performed both in one season a couple of years ago.

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19 hours ago, alison said:

 

And at the ROH, I think.

That’s my memory too.

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My favourite Giselle production is one Northern Ballet did in 1990. I don't know if it is the same one Janet referred to but the second act was wonderfully creepy with a fabulous gothic set, very Casper David Friedrich. The Willis had quite long, clinging dresses and looked very vampirish. I remember seeing the Kirov's version in Manchester several months later and thinking it wasn't a patch on Northern Ballets! 

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9 hours ago, jmhopton said:

My favourite Giselle production is one Northern Ballet did in 1990. I don't know if it is the same one Janet referred to but the second act was wonderfully creepy with a fabulous gothic set, very Casper David Friedrich. The Willis had quite long, clinging dresses and looked very vampirish. I remember seeing the Kirov's version in Manchester several months later and thinking it wasn't a patch on Northern Ballets! 

 

That was Christopher Gable's first production for Northern Ballet, which was absolutely terrific.  When he and Michael Pink were going to revive it in 1997 they decided the company was not large enough to do full justice to Act 2 and the version set in a ghetto, which used the whole cast as vengeful spirits, was born out of that.

 

In 1999 Norwegian National Ballet performed both of those productions back to back and some friends and I were fortunate to see a performance of both. in Oslo.  It was then I realised just how clever Christopher and Michael had been in their revised production where a lot of the vengeful spirits movements reflected the traditional Wilis choreography.  The choreography for Albrecht and Giselle was traditional.

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Birmingham Royal Ballet have issued a new trailer for Giselle.  I love it!

 

 

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I think that this trailer is exquisite. An unusual take on the ballet and beautifully filmed. He really is a very talented young man....and not a bad dancer ! !

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Might be able to see Giselle at Sadlers Wells this November and was wondering about seating as I haven't been there for ages. Is it better to be on the back row of the lower circle or nearer the front of the upper circle? I don't usually sit in the stalls as I'm not very tall and dread getting someone tall in front of me. 

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Personally, I'd probably go for the Second Circle, but I'm not sure there's a lot in it.

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16 hours ago, jmhopton said:

Might be able to see Giselle at Sadlers Wells this November and was wondering about seating as I haven't been there for ages. Is it better to be on the back row of the lower circle or nearer the front of the upper circle? I don't usually sit in the stalls as I'm not very tall and dread getting someone tall in front of me. 

 

I'd go for front of the Upper (2nd) Circle rather than back of the 1st Circle, as the overhang from the Upper Circle might affect the sound.  The rake is good too. IMHO of course 🙂

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17 hours ago, jmhopton said:

Might be able to see Giselle at Sadlers Wells this November and was wondering about seating as I haven't been there for ages. Is it better to be on the back row of the lower circle or nearer the front of the upper circle? I don't usually sit in the stalls as I'm not very tall and dread getting someone tall in front of me. 

 

Between your choices I'd go front of the upper circle. Sadlers Wells is a lot smaller than ROH and a new theatre. 

 

I've never sat in the lower circle (only the stalls and upper circle) but the rake is excellent in the upper circle (though you may have problems if someone is leaning forward, but usually a polite word does the trick). I think the front of the upper circle is reasonably close to the stage (compared to ROH where you're still quite far away due to the horseshoe design) and so you will probably be pleasantly surprised. 

 

I have also sat towards the back of the upper circle and found the view to be remarkably good - you may need opera glasses at this distance for extreme facial 'close ups' but the back of the upper circle at Sadlers Wells is almost equivalent to front of the amphi at ROH! 

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Many thanks for all who have replied. The consensus seems to be upper circle so I'll go for that if we definitely stop overnight before the triple bill at the ROH. 

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1 hour ago, JNC said:

I have also sat towards the back of the upper circle and found the view to be remarkably good

 

The problem with the back of the upper circle is that the seats are not staggered at all, so you are directly behind the person in front's head. I'm not sure if this is the case for the front of the upper circle - I think it might kick in from about Row E. It certainly becomes a problem by Row M, where the cheap seats are (so I can't complain too much).

 

I'm average height for a woman, and have had trouble with this more often than I'd expect from a modern - and purpose built for dance - theatre; the rake is quite sharp, but not sharp enough to offset such obstructions because of the high viewpoint. (i.e. the rake is about as sharp as the viewing angle when you're that far back.)

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5 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

The problem with the back of the upper circle is that the seats are not staggered at all, so you are directly behind the person in front's head. I'm not sure if this is the case for the front of the upper circle - I think it might kick in from about Row E. It certainly becomes a problem by Row M, where the cheap seats are (so I can't complain too much).

 

I'm average height for a woman, and have had trouble with this more often than I'd expect from a modern - and purpose built for dance - theatre; the rake is quite sharp, but not sharp enough to offset such obstructions because of the high viewpoint. (i.e. the rake is about as sharp as the viewing angle when you're that far back.)

 

I'm tall, and this is a big problem for me too in the upper circle (also not sure how far back it starts). Staggering really... 😏

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I didn't know about the lack of 'stagger'. I think that I've only been at the back of the Upper Circle for shows which haven't sold out and I therefore had empty seats in front of me.

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4 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

The problem with the back of the upper circle is that the seats are not staggered at all, so you are directly behind the person in front's head. I'm not sure if this is the case for the front of the upper circle - I think it might kick in from about Row E. It certainly becomes a problem by Row M, where the cheap seats are (so I can't complain too much).

 

I'm average height for a woman, and have had trouble with this more often than I'd expect from a modern - and purpose built for dance - theatre; the rake is quite sharp, but not sharp enough to offset such obstructions because of the high viewpoint. (i.e. the rake is about as sharp as the viewing angle when you're that far back.)

 

Ah ok - I double checked and I have sat in row M before and had no problems - but perhaps I was just lucky with the person sat in front of me! 

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I've never had a problem with being able to see at Sadlers Wells but usually sit in the front half of either the First or Second Circle 

The only thing is I go for end of row seats if can get as the rows are so long so if you are in the middle of a row it's a long way to get out!

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Giselle opened last night in Birmingham and we were treated to a very special performance by Momoko Hirata and Cesar Morales with Kit Holder an outstanding Hilarion.  Samara Downs as Myrtha led an exemplary troupe of Wilis.  What a night!

 

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15 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

Giselle opened last night in Birmingham and we were treated to a very special performance by Momoko Hirata and Cesar Morales with Kit Holder an outstanding Hilarion.  Samara Downs as Myrtha led an exemplary troupe of Wilis.  What a night!

 

 

Looking good for Sadlers Wells. If only they would be proactive with the casting information!

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We're going to see this tonight.  I bought tickets (before knowing the cast), and then today another friend wanted to join us so I checked the Hippodrome website and was shocked to see how many unsold tickets there are.  @Jan McNulty was yesterday's performance well-attended?

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1 hour ago, Scheherezade said:

 

Looking good for Sadlers Wells. If only they would be proactive with the casting information!

 

58 minutes ago, maryrosesatonapin said:

We're going to see this tonight.  I bought tickets (before knowing the cast), and then today another friend wanted to join us so I checked the Hippodrome website and was shocked to see how many unsold tickets there are.  @Jan McNulty was yesterday's performance well-attended?

 

 

perish the thought that these two observations may be connected.

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Having booked for BRB’s Giselle at SW. I am now receiving flyers about it. A worrying sign.

 

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Celine Gittens and Brandon Lawrence made their debuts this afternoon.  I was totally overwhelmed.  

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Did anyone see the Delia Mathews/Tyrone Singleton debuts last night?

 

Am off to Birmingham this afternoon to see Gittens/Lawrence so will report back!

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