Jump to content
Sim

Royal Ballet - Coppelia (Dec. 2019 - Jan. 2020)

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, FLOSS said:

I have to say that I do not understand why people have suddenly taken to saying that the sequence of dances celebrating the bell makes no sense. We need to remember that the church bell was the first piece of technology which regulated the the day's activities telling people when it was time to get up, time to pray, time to work and time to rest and relax. Thus in the ballet we have the night hours followed by Dawn and Prayer which are in turn followed by the working day.

 

 

I think the complaint is actually that no explanation is given in the cast sheet (and perhaps also the programme?) as to what these dances are, rather than that they make no sense.  If we were told they were the dances of the hours rather than just some random dancers dancing I'm sure it would be far more comprehensible.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just thinking back to the first night of Coppelia and would like to commend   the  great support for Francesca Hayward as   Swanhilda from her "friends" - Bradbury, Gasparini, Grennell, Hinkis, Pajdak, and Stock. All very talented and experienced  Company members of course, but that night I was particularly  struck by new First Artist  Mica Bradbury who always looks so elegant, and by Hannah Grennell (First Artist since 2017) who seems such a reliable and accomplished member of the Corps. 

Edited by Richard LH
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Richard LH said:

Just thinking back to the first night of Coppelia and would like to commend   the  great support for Francesca Hayward as   Swanhilda from her "friends" - Bradbury, Gasparini, Grennell, Hinkis, Pajdak, and Stock. All very talented and experienced  Company members of course, but that night I was particularly  struck by new First Artist  Mica Bradbury who always looks so elegant, and by Hannah Grennell (First Artist since 2017) who seems such a reliable and accomplished member of the Corps. 

 

Hannah Grennell has somehow turned into a "first among equals" within the corps. She draws the eye and has a full range of stage emotions from "sweetness and light" to "downright nasty" which make her a very interesting artiste. One of the RB's not so hidden treasures! Agree about Mica Bradbury as well.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FLOSS many thanks for (as always!) such a detailed, and interesting, post. Even though it is not a ballet I especially warm to,  I agree very much that is is good to see the full variety of ballet steps (not a very descriptive/ appropriate word I know) used; how boring it would be if everything was the same! 

Having looked at the ROH database on RB performances though, it is startling how few performances of Coppelia there are; three in 1954 of this (then new) de Valois production then some more (but not that many) until 1969. Then the big gap to 2000. I assume from the posts here that the performances 54-69 are very incomplete? 

Was there a previous production prior to the 1954 de Valois one? (I assume so?) if not, it does seem a little late to get one of the key ‘classics’. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Ianlond said:

Was there a previous production prior to the 1954 de Valois one? (I assume so?) if not, it does seem a little late to get one of the key ‘classics’. 

 

I happen to have Julie Kavanagh's Ashton biography next to me (not an unusual occurrence), which mentions a "riotous" performance of Coppelia on VE day itself - featuring Helpmann "improvising his own celebrations on stage".

 

So - 1945 at least!

  • Like 3

Share this post


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

I’ve always liked Hannah Grennell. She has an unusual quality about her somehow

Ditto.  She seems to be quite a character!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 06/12/2019 at 18:59, Balletfanp said:

’ve always liked Hannah Grennell. She has an unusual quality about her somehow

Ditto.  She seems to be quite a character!

 

I've met Hannah on a couple of occasions at RB events and she was really interesting and also very friendly. I always look for her now., which at first was difficult because off stage she has a fringe, so looked very different on stage. Now I can spot her easily and always enjoy watching her performances. She seems to bring an extra spark to the character acting pieces as well as being a very good dancer.      

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a lovely review by Sarah Crompton in the Observer in today’s Links - and such a contrast to the recent Sleeping Beauty:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2019/dec/08/coppelia-royal-ballet-review-francesca-hayward-ninette-de-valois-delibes

 

I’d been getting round to posting on Wednesday’s performance and would very much endorse what Sarah Crompton has to say -  I do hope she’ll be writing regularly fur the Observer.  I’d just add that Francesca Hayward’s entry in Act 1 will live long in the memory.  From those very first moments she completely owns the stage, living Swanilda with every breath and step - a truly fabulous performance.  She inspires such confidence that you know you’re in for a treat.  I think someone earlier commented on her anticipating the beat and that means that she seems to have so much time for every step, never looking rushed.  She could almost be conducting the orchestra, although there must be some limits to her multi talented, multi tasking.  Great performances from Alex Campbell and Gary Avis which made for a hugely enjoyable evening.  First time I’d seen Coppelia in the theatre and looking forward to later casts although I have to say I wish this cast were in the cinema relay.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since we are talking about reviews, here is a short quote from today's Sunday Times in the context of a full piece about the Hayward/Campbell cast:

" The second night brought Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov...........(ref to cinema relay)......and, as with everything this pair dance together now, they are spot on wonderful: so natural, stylish, witty, technically breathtaking".

I loved Hayward's performance too but the cinema audiences are in for a treat.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved Coppelia, has been on my wishlist for the ROH for a number of years and so pleased that there was an alternative to Nutcracker this year as I only really enjoy it for the grand pas.  Beautiful performances from Hayward/Campbell - their personalities really shone through. Lovely to see Hayward shine equally in a classical role as much as the MacMillan choreography I so love her for and Campbell deliverrs on both the choreography and is perfection with his mime. 

 

Nunez/Muntagirov particularly loved for Marianela's super speedy footwork, amazed by her elevation. I am not a die hard Muntagirov fan, but along with Winter Dreams, this has to be one of my favourite roles for him, likely,  because his 'Russian-ness' (or Ukrainian?) gives  the character dancing elements of the role such flair. 

 

Which brings me onto what I feel is the elephant in the room, at least for me. I have been waiting for someone else to comment on the character dancing to no avail. I really feel that stylistically something was missing in tboth the Mazurka and Czardas from the corps de ballet,  there was no sharpness in the footwork, epaulement, head lines. The way they travelled the stage looked messy and cluttered and it  came across more like Morris dancing than Polish folk dancing. Thank goodness for Mayara Magri  and soloist peasants who gave the dances the oomph they needed. These dances are one of my favourite parts of the ballet and so disappointed.

 

Looking forward to the big screen with my daughters on Tuesday night - hoping my mind might be changed on the folk dance front with close ups of the action.

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been meaning to comment that, with Raymonda, Coppelia and something else which escapes me at the moment on the schedule this season, there will be absolutely no excuse for not getting the mazurkas, czardas and so on right by the time Swan Lake comes around.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Blossom said:

Which brings me onto what I feel is the elephant in the room, at least for me. I have been waiting for someone else to comment on the character dancing to no avail. I really feel that stylistically something was missing in tboth the Mazurka and Czardas from the corps de ballet,  there was no sharpness in the footwork, epaulement, head lines. The way they travelled the stage looked messy and cluttered and it  came across more like Morris dancing than Polish folk dancing. Thank goodness for Mayara Magri  and soloist peasants who gave the dances the oomph they needed. These dances are one of my favourite parts of the ballet and so disappointed.

 

Indeed Blossom. Something to do with "English" shoulders, perhaps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well don’t get to see this till Jan but I love character dancing and have done quite a lot of Hungarian and particularly Polish dancing so hope this is going to be vibrant and reasonably authentic in Coppelia to that lovely music!! Morris dancing it should not be much as it’s fun to come across a Morris dancing troupe at a pub on a summer outing!! Or catch a Morris dancing festival up in Haworth as we did a couple of years ago .....And I have a particular affinity with the name Morris lol. 

I always assume they have professionals advising on these character dancers just as much as in the more classical dancing so am hoping will be very much to be celebrated by January Blossom! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Blossom said:

Which brings me onto what I feel is the elephant in the room, at least for me. I have been waiting for someone else to comment on the character dancing to no avail. I really feel that stylistically something was missing in tboth the Mazurka and Czardas from the corps de ballet,  there was no sharpness in the footwork, epaulement, head lines. The way they travelled the stage looked messy and cluttered and it  came across more like Morris dancing than Polish folk dancing. Thank goodness for Mayara Magri  and soloist peasants who gave the dances the oomph they needed. These dances are one of my favourite parts of the ballet and so disappointed.

 

 

I do agree with you on this, which is why I didn't mention them favourably in my mini review earlier in the thread!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These dances are at the root of my 'issue' with Coppelia in this production of the ballet, not least because they are so forward-facing and repetitive that they feel like numbers in a revue.

My other 'problem', which has, I think, been picked up by one critic, is that the wonderful Gary Avis does not, for me, bring out sufficient vulnerability or pathos in his characterisation of Dr Coppelius.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Geoff said:

 

Indeed Blossom. Something to do with "English" shoulders, perhaps?

 

Something about general line and head placement too... Not enough technical expertise to really unpick what my issue is. I also wonder if perhaps a bit more space is needed on stage (the village set appears to encroach quite a bit).  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎08‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 18:10, Blossom said:

Which brings me onto what I feel is the elephant in the room, at least for me. I have been waiting for someone else to comment on the character dancing to no avail. I really feel that stylistically something was missing in tboth the Mazurka and Czardas from the corps de ballet,  there was no sharpness in the footwork, epaulement, head lines. The way they travelled the stage looked messy and cluttered and it  came across more like Morris dancing than Polish folk dancing. Thank goodness for Mayara Magri  and soloist peasants who gave the dances the oomph they needed. These dances are one of my favourite parts of the ballet and so disappointed.

 

I always got the impression that the RBS pride themselves on their character dance training so it's a pity that this doesn't appear to be reflected in the company.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 09/12/2019 at 09:48, capybara said:

My other 'problem', which has, I think, been picked up by one critic, is that the wonderful Gary Avis does not, for me, bring out sufficient vulnerability or pathos in his characterisation of Dr Coppelius.

 

Although I've seen this ballet numerous times, it especially struck me this time (although it's true of other productions) that at the point where the village boys 'tease' Dr C so that he drops his key, in real life that would be an attack, a mugging!  So maybe Avis feels he has to avoid being too sympathetic a character in order to avoid the audience recoiling from what happens to him, even though it's all happily made up in the end with the remedial bag of coins.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the ROH website, tonight’s cast (10/12/19) is Nunez and Muntagirov.... Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t Osipova supposed to dance tonight? Has the casting been changed? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it’s been Nunez and Muntagirov all along. I don’t think Osipova is dancing in Coppelia at all (I might be wrong).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Osipova is not dancing in Coppelia this time swan princess. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly not in this run- there was some comment about that earlier I think. 
 

I hope to catch tonight’s performance at the cinema.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching at a cinema screening - how joyful is Marianela?

 

looking forward to seeing it live at the end of December 

  • Like 3

Share this post


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

Watching at a cinema screening - how joyful is Marianela?

 

looking forward to seeing it live at the end of December 

Is it going to broadcast again? I thought next one in cinema is Lauren's nutcracker

Share this post


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

Is it going to broadcast again? I thought next one in cinema is Lauren's nutcracker

 

There is a repeat screening on the 19th

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 08/12/2019 at 12:20, capybara said:

Since we are talking about reviews, here is a short quote from today's Sunday Times in the context of a full piece about the Hayward/Campbell cast:

" The second night brought Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov...........(ref to cinema relay)......and, as with everything this pair dance together now, they are spot on wonderful: so natural, stylish, witty, technically breathtaking".

I loved Hayward's performance too but the cinema audiences are in for a treat.

How very true!

What an enormous treat that was- technically breathtaking indeed, with Nunez on superlative form. I enjoyed the first night immensely with Hayward and Campbell but I must say tonight was just on another plane. Muntagirov's variation! It drew gasps from the audience and the cinema audience and I couldn't help exclaiming 'fantastic' during the applause.

I think someone said he was like a race horse or a greyhound let out of the slips..yes indeed, he just unleashed this incredible sequence with such nonchalance and a sweet joyful smile. . I have to go to the encore to see it again.

A lovely evening all round. How marvellous to see Merle Park in the second interval.

 

 

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thoroughly enjoyed the live broadcast, but did anyone else find the first act much too dark? Perhaps the old DVD gave a false impression of the production - most recordings of that era were over-lit for the TV cameras - but I was a bit disappointed when the curtain rose to find that twilight had already fallen and Osbert Lancaster's lovely buildings and clouds were barely visible!

 

On the credit side, thank goodness the night hours no longer have to carry those comically huge candlesticks...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, we thought that the first act was too dark. This isn't usually a problem at the Odeon in Wimbledon.

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...