Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Did no Forum contributors go to the Hippodrome last week ? Due to old age this is the first season for over 20 years that I haven’t become a subscriber and due to ill health I had to miss the first of the only three shows booked. I had been hoping ( with mixed feelings) to reading a review of what I had missed.

I have heard a rumour that the new work was very good. More information would be very welcome.

Edited by alison
To reduce font size

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the first three performances at the Hippodrome and I thought it was a terrific programme.

 

Jack Lister's A Brief Nostalgia opened the performance.  When the curtain went up I thought "uh oh here we go again" when I saw the grey concrete-looking walls of the set but they were used as a backdrop for the shadows and I ended up having no reason to worry!  The music was somewhat discordant but matched the action very well.

 

The piece opens with Maureyer Lebowitz duetting with her own shadow ... I was immediately drawn in!  Matthias Dingman then appeared and danced with her.  The lighting was almost part of the action and most of the time the dancers were in silhouette.  There were six couples involved in the piece dressed in grey, the ladies in rather elegant, silky looking shift dresses and the gentlemen in polo shirts and trousers.  I found the choreography interesting and there were solos, duets, bigger and smaller group numbers.  All the dancers were superb but I must especially mention Brandon Lawrence and Delia Matthews, who were just breath taking in the final duet, and Max Maslen who had a short but compelling solo.

 

I enjoyed this piece more with each performance and would be more than happy to see it again.

 

Ballet Black performing The Suit was the filling in the sandwich.  I am a huge fan of Ballet Black and I loved The Suit when I saw it last year.  What can I say ... the company looked utterly magnificent on the large Hippodrome Stage and I was thrilled to see them there!  Cathy Marston proved yet again what a good story teller she is and the action is easy to follow.  I love the way she uses the chorus to mimic some of the movements of the three main characters, perhaps being different aspects of their personalities.  Of course it is something of a downbeat story but compelling and wonderful to watch.  Sayaka Ichikawa was outstanding as Matilda showing a huge breadth of emotion.

 

The evening ended with Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs - a lovely frothy piece to end the performance.  I particularly enjoyed the achingly romantic Eilis Small and Brandon Lawrence in All the Way.  Both Delia Matthews/Tyrone Singleton and Maureya Lebowitz/Max Maslen looked as though they were going to cause the stage to spontaneously combust in That's Life.

 

So, a great start to the season in Birmingham!

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@George C I am truly sorry to hear of your health problems.  I hope you make the next two performances that you've booked!  I am looking forward to their 'Giselle' this coming Thursday.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you  Maryrosesatonapi  for your good wishes. I have resigned myself that at 90 and living in Mid Wales my ballet going days are drawing to a close. Having been an avid ballet fan since I was 15 I have had a pretty good innings and can look back on some quite amazing experiences AND I did manage three performances of Hobson’s Choice last June !

I hope you enjoy Giselle - never one of my favourites although the thought of missing Momoko makes me a little sad. Perhaps you will post a thread on the performance that you see.Celine or Miki........I wonder !

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, George C said:

Having been an avid ballet fan since I was 15 I have had a pretty good innings and can look back on some quite amazing experiences

 

I would love for you to start a thread about them - the dancers you must have seen in that time!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear - where would I start ?!

In the hope that it might get someone else going my very first ballet performance was a wartime tour by Ballet Rambert. It was seeing the lovely Sally Gilmour dancing in Lady into Fox.

Perhaps my most memorable ballet night was being lucky enough to have (by chance) a ticket for the ROH for the first performance the Royal Ballet gave after their first triumphal tour of the USA. Sublime Fonteyn, my first flower shower and applause that seemed to go on and on. How lucky was that ?

You shouldn’t have got me started !

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

9 minutes ago, George C said:

Perhaps my most memorable ballet night was being lucky enough to have (by chance) a ticket for the ROH for the first performance the Royal Ballet gave after their first triumphal tour of the USA. Sublime Fonteyn, my first flower shower and applause that seemed to go on and on. How lucky was that ?

You shouldn’t have got me started !

 

Please, please continue! What was the ballet?

 

If I'm lucky enough to sit next to someone who's been going to the ballet for many years I always subject them to a grilling - you probably don't realise how thrilling it is to hear about it.

 

Moderators: if George C obliges us, can you please start a thread of eye witness accounts from before, say, 1970?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering if this topic should be a new thread but just to answer Lizie 1 the Ballet was Sleeping Beauty which was what they had toured the USA with. 

Also, before anyone asks what else Ballet Rambert danced on their wartime tour I sadly lost all my old programmes in a flood but if my memory serves me right it was Judgement of Paris and Aurora’s Wedding.

Edited by Ian Macmillan
NB: Our default Font Size is 14
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this bill at Sadler's Wells tonight. I very much enjoyed A Brief Nostalgia. I thought the music was rather lush and old-fashioned - a bit like the accompaniment to a black and white film (which I mean as a compliment), only this score accompanied a black and white ballet. Or rather black, grey and white. The dancers' silhouettes on the screens were cleverly and beautifully used, and the constant changes of lighting and dancers and their regular contact with the screens/walls produced a restless, claustrophobic and anxious atmosphere that was very effective. The steps were often interesting and expressive too, and Delia Mathews in particular had really beautiful steps to dance and danced them with enormous expressiveness. I'd like to see the piece again because there was too much to take in at one viewing.

 

I also really enjoyed The Suit. A sad and ultimately heartbreaking tale told in a quirky, interesting and sometimes witty way, but also generating a real sense of the tragedy at its centre. Brilliant performances from Cira Robinson and José Alves in the lead roles, and the 'chorus' were used very effectively, watching, participating, assisting, suffering; this is not just a personal disaster but one that affects all with whom the couple have contact, and the whole of society. No man is an island...

 

I had thought that Nine Sinatra Songs would be a fun end to the evening; unfortunately it didn't work out that way for me. Obviously there are some great songs involved; but I'm always surprised when I hear Sinatra at how bland his singing seems. He has a pleasant voice but I don't find it at all expressive. But, there are the songs... The choreography, however, I found unutterably tedious after the first few minutes. It added nothing at all to the songs and towards the end I started closing my eyes so that I just heard the music. The dancers, of course, performed very well, but to me it all fell completely flat.

 

But: two hits out of three is not bad going!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bridie - I love your evocative description of A Brief Nostalgia - so much more articulate than me.  Thanks!

  • Like 2

Share this post


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

Bridie - I love your evocative description of A Brief Nostalgia - so much more articulate than me.  Thanks!

 

Thanks Jan, but I was only building on YOUR very helpful description!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

anyone reading this inspired to see Ballet Black, I am  v sadly unable to go and see their Tripple Bill on Thurs. I did advertise the ticket bu tso far no takers. Let me know if you are interested.

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
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...