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

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33 minutes ago, MJW said:

 

There is a repeat screening on the 19th

 

Or the 16th, for the ones I've looked at.  Try the search on the ROH website to find out when your local ones are (they may be under "Encore" or under "Recorded").

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12 minutes ago, cackles said:

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

 

All 3 acts were too dark.  If they can lighten them up a bit, it will make a great DVD: if they can't, it will be even more difficult to see Muntagirov's legs than it was in the cinema, and that would be a huge disappointment (boy, was he on fine form tonight!  As was Nunez)

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A very small audience at the Ritzy in Brixton. If only people knew what they were missing... What a brilliant performance. Nunez was incredible, technically magnificent and so funny and believable; Muntagirov sensational in all he was asked to do. Just wow. Yes, the first act was much too dark, which was a shame. But nothing could mar the excellence of the performance. I also loved Annette Buvoli's Prayer - such beauty and grace! I immediately wanted to see her as Odette/Odile. And lovely interviews etc as usual. I thought it was so sweet at the end when Darcey Bussell said she felt so proud of the company; that shows that she still feels part of it, and quite right too.

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It was rather dark throughout in our cinema, but a thoroughly enjoyable evening nonetheless.

Lovely to see Merle Park , Darcey Bussell and Marianela Nunez chatting about Coppelia.  I also enjoyed hearing about the costumes, and the challenges of conducting for different casts. In fact, all the extra snippets for cinema-goers were interesting.

Nunez and Muntagirov were both wonderful; Nunez so delicate, yet vivacious and Muntagirov leaping effortlessly and landing silently. They made the pas de deux look easy! 

 

 

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Among the minor delights of this screening, I thought, was being able to watch the expressions on Romany Pajdak's face while she was trying to persuade Nunez's reluctant Swanilda to confront the "living" doll in Act II :)

 

Overall, though, I could probably have done with a touch fewer closeups, especially during the mimed or mime-like bits.

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I throughly enjoyed it with my daughter at our local cinema. Also delighted to see an Upper School student we know in the performance. All be it a small part on the steps - nice to see the company offering these opportunities to students. 

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That's a point: can anyone tell me what sort of age the students were?  I got the impression that they were older (well, taller) than in previous runs, although I may be mistaken.

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8 hours ago, alison said:

That's a point: can anyone tell me what sort of age the students were?  I got the impression that they were older (well, taller) than in previous runs, although I may be mistaken.

The one I know is in the last year of US. 

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8 hours ago, alison said:

That's a point: can anyone tell me what sort of age the students were?  I got the impression that they were older (well, taller) than in previous runs, although I may be mistaken.

 

They are upper school year 3.  The age of students used for these roles has gradually increased over the years!

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I wouldn't have realised there were any school students in the performance if I hadn't seen the credits. What roles were they playing?

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40 minutes ago, Tessie said:

I wouldn't have realised there were any school students in the performance if I hadn't seen the credits. What roles were they playing?

All those yellow country girls and their companions. 

 

To be honest I don't like that yellow blouse

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I agree with all the comments made. 

 

I thought Nunez was wonderful in this.  She looked as though she was having fun, and enjoying every minute of it.  And Muntagirov?  Wow!  I am starting to ask myself if he is one of the best male dancers I have ever seen.  I keep thinking of him as young, because he looks so boyish, but he is nearly 30 apparently.  I didn't really notice the lighting until Vadim started doing his solos, and then I found myself wishing he was wearing white or light tights, as those marvellous scissoring legs would have been even more spectacular. 

 

I also thought the Prayer solo was very calm and beautiful.  I don't think I even recognise Buvoli's name.  I thought she was a newcomer, but she joined the RB 6 years ago.  

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26 minutes ago, Fonty said:

I also thought the Prayer solo was very calm and beautiful.  I don't think I even recognise Buvoli's name.  I thought she was a newcomer, but she joined the RB 6 years ago.  

 

It seems it's only recently that the RB has started to give her featured roles (she is also dancing Winifred Norbury in one cast of Enigma Variations).

 

In 2013/2014, when Buvoli was new to the company, she was featured along with Nathalie Harrison in this behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsal process for the corps de ballet women in Giselle:

 

 

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I feel that all the performers were heavily restricted by the lack of available dancing space on stage. This also appeared to be a factor with the original choreography. It was most evident in the Mazurka, where cross stage movement was severely limited. Removing a couple of the large buildings in the set would have helped. I couldn't help make comparison with the recent Bolshoi production , where the performers had much more available space. I attach the Bolshoi equivalent for comparison. Of course the Bolshoi stage is bigger anyway, but all the more reason to have a more appropriate set size.

 

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24 minutes ago, RuthE said:

In 2013/2014, when Buvoli was new to the company, she was featured along with Nathalie Harrison in this behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsal process for the corps de ballet women in Giselle:

 

Many thanks RuthE - lovely to see this again, a real gem.

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On 06/12/2019 at 20:23, Lizbie1 said:

 

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!

The  company (firstly as the Vic-Wells ballet) performed Acts I and II from 1933 until 1938, staged by Sergeyev. The whole ballet, again staged by Sergeyev, was performed from 1940  until 1953 (with Fonteyn giving over forty performances as Swanilda), with De Valois revamping the production the following year.  The second company (through all its many changes of names) has been performing a production based on the Sergeyev staging since 1951. This information is from my Royal Ballet 'bible': "The Royal Ballet, The first 50 years".

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13 minutes ago, JohnS said:

 

Many thanks RuthE - lovely to see this again, a real gem.

Indeed.  I think it's time for me to watch Giselle again...I do so fairly regularly so the time has come.  Otherwise, withdrawal symptoms will set in.

 

Does anyone know if BRB's version is on DVD??  Sorry to divert from Coppelia...

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Last night was pure joy. There is very little that I can usefully add except that I too was impressed again by the principals and thought that Annette Buvoli danced Prayer beautifully. I shall keep an eye out for her in future. 

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I watched the character dances carefully (in light of earlier comments on this forum) and while I cannot comment on technical aspects, I also felt that the limited space detracted from these dances a little.

 

Thank you Helen LAJ. I agree with you about the yellow blouses. They clashed a bit with the other colours, in my opinion. I loved most of the other costumes, but was not so keen on the shape of the men's huge sleeves (or maybe it was lack of shape that bothered me?)

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32 minutes ago, Sim said:

Indeed.  I think it's time for me to watch Giselle again...I do so fairly regularly so the time has come.  Otherwise, withdrawal symptoms will set in.

 

Does anyone know if BRB's version is on DVD??  Sorry to divert from Coppelia...

No, it's not.  I was filmed by the BBC in the mid 90s but never issued on either VHS or DVD.

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Annette Buvoli had a fairly major role in the RBS student performance a few years back and then “disappeared” into the Corps so if she is now starting to get small solo parts then that’s good to hear. 
Thanks for the Bolshoi clip Stevie enjoyed that and the music was up to speed to! 
Im also pretty sure I saw some final year students in Sleeping Beauty last week as well. 

 

Edited by LinMM

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I’ve been wishing to see this ballet (Coppélia) again for so long and was so pleased that the RB brought it back in the repertory this season - so glad that I got to see last night’s livestream.

 

I just love those Osbert Lancaster sets and costumes - they so reflect the early years of the RB and how stunning are the Polish and Hungarian influenced ones.  This ballet fills me with with so much nostalgia in many ways.

 

I think Nunez is probably the best Swanhilda I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a few!) - perfect technique and full of mischievous joy.  She is now so technically secure that she can fully immerse herself into the character she is performing.  I thought the Swanhilda role really suited her. I think she streets above any other principal female in the company and during the interval break it was enchanting to see a film clip of her perform the Swanhilda solo aged 12 years old - and with so much aplomb! 

What can I say about Muntagirov in this ballet? Perfection! His variation was all beautiful style, lines, crystal clear batterie (beats) and beautifully held balances - I think he’s probably one of the greatest males dancers currently.

 

A beautiful Dawn variation from Calvert - she’s really blossoming into what must be a future principal.  She’s so strong on her pointes and has a beautiful soaring grand jété. 

I was so glad to see Annette Buvoli at last dancing a variation - what a lyrical and gentle performance of the Prayer solo she gave with those smooth bourées en pointe.  

Other dances were the beautiful Waltz of the Hours (that music and those costumes) which gave some opportunity for some of the more junior members of the company to shine - I noticed one of this year’s Prix de Lausanne recipient, Sumina Sasaki,  who showed confidence  and grace at the front of the ensemble. 

The mazurka and czardas were full of colour and performed by the corps with well placed style - Reece Clarke shone throughout.  

Gary Avis was as usual, gave a brilliant characterisation of the role of Dr Coppelius.  This ballet has many mime sequences and some of which was helpfully explained during the interval featuring company members, Charlotte Tonkinson and Téo Dubreuil.  There was also an interview with ROH conductor, Barry Wordsworth, about the composer, Léo Délibes’s beautiful and well-known score for Coppélia.

It was good to see the RB Upper School students given an opportunity to dance in the Act 3 celebrations too.  It must be an inspiration for them to dance alongside such incredible dance artistes as Nunez and Muntagirov - and I think it showed.

 

All in all a great evening of glorious music and dance - even though the cinema screen went blank towards the end of Act 2 so this was part was unfortunately missed - the perils of a livestream sometimes I think.

(Also the stage lighting seemed a bit dark at times, but that could be because it was viewed via the cinema screen).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh how I agree with the above remarks about Nunez.  When I bought my tickets, I fully expected that Hayward and Campbell would be the ideal casting  and I was a little worried that Nunez and Muntagirov would not be as suitable.  How wrong I was!!  I'm so glad I saw Hayward/Campbell first, as although they were very good they were eclipsed by Nunez/Muntagirov..  (I am referring to the stage performances that I saw in the Opera House, not to the transmitted one).

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55 minutes ago, jm365 said:

Oh how I agree with the above remarks about Nunez.  When I bought my tickets, I fully expected that Hayward and Campbell would be the ideal casting  and I was a little worried that Nunez and Muntagirov would not be as suitable.  How wrong I was!!  I'm so glad I saw Hayward/Campbell first, as although they were very good they were eclipsed by Nunez/Muntagirov..  (I am referring to the stage performances that I saw in the Opera House, not to the transmitted one).

I had the same qualms as you, @jm365, similarly quashed. I went to the live Nunez/Muntagirov performance expecting Nunez to be brilliant, which she was.  I've never seen Muntagirov dance less than beautifully but wasn't sure how he'd fit the role of a humorous  peasant.  He exceeded my expectations with his comedic skill.  They are a wonderful pairing.  (My second choice would've been Hayward/Campbell but I didn't want to go to two performances although now I wish I had seen them too.  I'm not a fan of Campbell in princely roles but knew he'd be great in this, which by all accounts he certainly was. And Hayward is always gorgeous.)  

 

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1 hour ago, LinMM said:


Im also pretty sure I saw some final year students in Sleeping Beauty last week as well. 

 

 

They're in all the performances Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia at the moment and were also in all the Manon performances earlier this season 

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I don’t think Muntagirov’s comedic skills were ever in doubt to those of us who follow the Campbell/Muntagirov dressing room antics on Instagram! 😂

 

He was equally as good in Don Q.

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2 hours ago, Springbourne3 said:

It was good to see the RB Upper School students given an opportunity to dance in the Act 3 celebrations too.  It must be an inspiration for them to dance alongside such incredible dance artistes as Nunez and Muntagirov - and I think it showed.

 

It's not only the students who feel the privilege of being on stage with this pairing: you only have to look at the faces of the company members (the men in particular) to know that they feel the same sense of awe.

This interview with Christopher Carr might have been posted elsewhere but, if so, I can't locate it. I also says much about the artistic amazingness of Nunez and Muntagirov and their personalities but it alludes, too, to the chequered preparation which Hayward had prior to her debut: https://www.gramilano.com/2019/12/interview-the-royal-ballets-ballet-master-christopher-carr-on-mounting-coppelia-the-companys-dancers-and-technique/

I find it verging on the parsimonious that the Nunez/Muntagirov combo has only two shows but, then, the most any couple have been afforded is 3 (with Campbell doubling up at 6).

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48 minutes ago, capybara said:

 

It's not only the students who feel the privilege of being on stage with this pairing: you only have to look at the faces of the company members (the men in particular) to know that they feel the same sense of awe.

This interview with Christopher Carr might have been posted elsewhere but, if so, I can't locate it. I also says much about the artistic amazingness of Nunez and Muntagirov and their personalities but it alludes, too, to the chequered preparation which Hayward had prior to her debut: https://www.gramilano.com/2019/12/interview-the-royal-ballets-ballet-master-christopher-carr-on-mounting-coppelia-the-companys-dancers-and-technique/

I find it verging on the parsimonious that the Nunez/Muntagirov combo has only two shows but, then, the most any couple have been afforded is 3 (with Campbell doubling up at 6).

Must related to their busy international commitments. 

And they will dance Raymonda next week. 

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5 hours ago, Stevie said:

I feel that all the performers were heavily restricted by the lack of available dancing space on stage. This also appeared to be a factor with the original choreography. It was most evident in the Mazurka, where cross stage movement was severely limited. Removing a couple of the large buildings in the set would have helped. I couldn't help make comparison with the recent Bolshoi production , where the performers had much more available space. I attach the Bolshoi equivalent for comparison. Of course the Bolshoi stage is bigger anyway, but all the more reason to have a more appropriate set size.

 

I agree, Stevie, that the group dancing was restricted in "Coppelia" by the lack of space - there is too much scenery. Btw Bolshoi performs "Coppelia" on the New Stage, which is much smaller than the historic one. Here is a video of Yevgenia Obraztsova rehearsing with Motta Soares and Yanin first in a studio, then on the New Stage and then performing. Repetiteurs: Vladimir Nikonov and Nadezhda Gracheva.

However, it is not only the space that matters but the feeling for the character dance where the whole body (shoulders, head, neck, waist, etc.) are 'alive' with dancing.

 

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