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Tonight's premiere of Cathy Marston's The Cellist at the Royal Opera House is an event I've looked forward to, since long before I heard she had the commission.  It is twinned with a revival of Dances at a Gathering.  Discussion here please.

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Yes, please let us know how it goes - I can't be there this evening.

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Very much looking forward to tonight, particularly after the various streamed rehearsals and all the publicity. Cathy Marston and the ROH media team have clearly been working very effectively. 

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Looking forward to seeing this on Tuesday

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Seeing it tomorrow with my daughter and glad I can squeeze in the second cast in a couple of weeks!

I'm looking forward to The Cellist, especially after the insight a couple of weeks ago and all of the interviews with Marston. I particularly liked the one where her lovely mum had posted a comment, she is obviously so proud!

Really excited for Dances at a Gathering too - was on my wish list and nice to have ended up with this unexpected addition to the season.

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I switched on BBC Radio 3's In Tune shortly before 6 pm to find part of the Elgar Cello Concerto playing, in the Du Pre version.  I don't know whether there was an interview with anyone immediately before it?

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Looking forward to seeing this tomorrow with my daughter who is currently at GSA doing Actor Musician degree, her first instrument is the Cello. She has gone down the Actor Muso route rather than dance or MT because she couldn’t imagine life without her Cello. Personally I th8n’ she has the best of everything studying dance,acting, music and voice - sorry that was off tangent  

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The Cellist is the same running length as DAAG ... 65 minutes .... plus it has a larger cast. 'A Chorus of Narrators' are played by 'Artists of the Royal Ballet'!!

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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47 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

Julie Etchingham has published a feature on the ITV News website and at the end mentions her report will be on News at Ten tonight for anyone who isn't at the premiere.

 

https://www.itv.com/news/2020-02-17/jacqueline-du-pre-life-new-production-royal-ballet-the-cellist-multiple-sclerosis/

 

What a lovely feature - Julie Etchingham's love and understanding of ballet really comes through.

 

I often complain about the ROH press office but I think they've done a great job with this commission.

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Bravo to all dancers. Obviously they put a lot effort and work very hard. Special admiration to the leading 3. 

 

However my feeling is too... busy...

 

Designer just cannot resist to win the most Ikea staging prize.

 

And find a job for everyone and keep them busy just like a work union...

 

Edited by HelenLoveAppleJuice
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Just missed it: waiting for it to come around again on ITV+1.

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47 minutes ago, HelenLoveAppleJuice said:

Bravo to all dancers. Obviously they put a lot effort and work very hard. Special admiration to the leading 3. 

 

However my feeling is too... busy...

 

Designer just cannot resist to win the most Ikea staging prize.

 

And find a job for everyone and keep them busy just like a work union...

 

 

I have to agree - 'busy' was exactly the word I had in mind.  There were some lovely passages but also a lot of milling around a full stage for no apparent reason, and too much 'air cello' for my liking.  I really enjoyed Dancers At A Gathering on the other hand, though even that could use a judicious 5 minute pruning; and for that piece the bare stage was a perfect foil to the beautiful dancing and witty choreography.  A delight to see Frankie Hayward on wonderful form and without a tail.

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The Cellist really moved me. Was not prepared to like it as much as I did. 

 

The three principles were amazing as you’d expect. What an experience to bring this to life. One element in the ballet I really liked was the inclusion of Jacqueline as a young girl. Emma Lucano did a beautiful job. At the curtain call, Lauren Cuthbertson took her hand and brought her to the front for a special bow (Hashtag all the feels)
 

 

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I thought the 3 Principals in the Cellist were superb, with Marcelino  Sambe absolutely outstanding as the cello. Best thing I have ever seen him do - and that's going some. I wasn't so sure about all the narrative - some bits worked, some not for me. Similarly I liked the choreography for the 3 Principals as they interwove between each other and my favourite piece was when they "performed" the Elgar cello concerto. Very moving. 

 

I didn't find myself blown away by it, but there was much to admire and the audience gave it resounding applause at the end. Apparently Daniel Barenboim was in the audience although I didn't see him.

 

As for DAAG, what a luxury cast and luxury viewing.  

 

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I loved Dances, which I hadn't seen since the original run. I think this cast was near perfect, particularly loved the duet with Campbell/Bonelli, also Nunez and Morera. And I wouldn't short it by a minute! Slightly half hearted about The Cellist. Performances by the three principals were excellent, particularly Sambe. But I found there were too many extra characters e.g.. cello teachers and the corps de ballet seemed to do a lot of busy movement without it getting anywhere!. I did love the scenes using the Trout Quintet - a nod to the other famous Christopher Nupen film I think? I will be interested to see the second cast near the end of the run. But in the main, I think I'd rather have seen Dances again.

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5 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

What a lovely feature - Julie Etchingham's love and understanding of ballet really comes through.

 

I often complain about the ROH press office but I think they've done a great job with this commission.

A shame she refers to ballet as “a guilty pleasure” though.  Speaking of newsreaders, Fiona Bruce was there tonight.  

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Sadly I have to echo most of what has already been said regarding The Cellist.

I was so looking forward to this premiere but found myself in two minds about the merits of the piece. 

On a positive note, I was definitely moved by the end of the piece but rather felt like moving during some of the earlier bits.

Overall I felt that it would have worked far better as a three hander at roughly half the length and benefitted from some judicious pruning of the (to my eyes) superfluous ‘others’.

Lauren Cuthbertson gave the piece it’s emotional heart and it was an absolute showpiece for the virtuoso talents of Marcelino Sambe. I felt that Matthew Ball was somewhat underused.

So, on to Dances at a Gathering. I absolutely loved it and each and every one of the wonderful dancers, in particular the weightless and nuanced lyricism of Francesca Hayward who really does seem to be made of little more than air. 

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6 hours ago, Rob S said:

cell1

 

cell2

 

cell3

 

cell4

 

cell5

 

Great photos - do you take a proper camera in?

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It was a dispiriting evening.

 

I find DAAG can be hit and miss depending on casting and pianist. Last night was not a patch on previous casts - for starters just thinking Acosta and Kobborg as Brown Boys. Maybe this generation will find their way into it with a few performances. I also thought the piano playing was lifeless. 

 

The best bits of The Cellist were the pdd as seen in the RB Insight and Ballet Studio. But even the impact of those was lost on a large stage filled with members of the corps milling around pointlessly (as the orchestra and "symptoms" ?)  and moving large items of set around. What a disappointment. 

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1 hour ago, Quintus said:

Great photos - do you take a proper camera in?

 

Oh yes

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A word for Morera in the DAAG green.  For me she encapsulated Robbins' glorious wit brilliantly; breezy without every being meddlesome.  Thought Bracewell and Kaneko were particularly fine as well.  What a stunning treatise of rapture it is; saying so much with such an economy of means which sadly seemed to be missing in the dry spin of The Cellist.  DAAG's simplicity IS its brilliance ... but why, oh why must it run a stated five minutes (seven in reality last night) longer in London than it does in New York and Paris?

 

Agree with annamk - for me too the DAAG playing was often wayward. ... The RB audience deserves better ... Moreover, the orchestration of The Cellist was, again for me, often muddy and too B-Movie grounded somehow.  Du Pre made her cello fly.  Marston somehow here - as opposed to her intoxicating narrative surrounding  the enchanting rehearsed bits I was privileged to see - seemed to weigh the instrument down far too often and much, much too close to the earth for my taste with - as became increasingly obvious with the multitudinous Les Miserables panel swings -  far, FAR too many cooks to spoil the idea of her and Ed Kemp's broth.  DAAG only served to highlight the latter. Robbins' less appeared to be decidedly more somehow.  

 

Looking forward to seeing The Cellist again to see if I just need to re-calibrate.   I saw the new Ratmansky - called Voices - at NYCB twice the week before last.  It celebrates oral history.  At first - knowing nothing about it in advance - (unlike The Cellist) - I found it too odd for words.  I'm so glad I saw it a second time.  The wit - with the voice line being projected up at the back being celebrated in the choreography below - suddenly came to the fore.  Moreover the quartet of men removing the focused woman from her plinth after each survivor's account had finished - with one man breaking there-off in a different bravura balletic display - was an inspired idea.  Suddenly there was nothing static about it.  Nothing at all!  (Maybe it will be the same with The Cellist. I'm not certain.  The Ratmansky had, of course, the distinct advantage of being half the length.  As my mother used to write to me in letters at school: 'If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.')  Indeed, I now have a passion to see Voices again.  I could more than happily - and easily - fit that in.  

 

 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Loved Dances at a Gathering with such a fabulous cast.

 

Very much looking forward to seeing The Cellist again tonight as there are a few too many questions for me on first viewing. Some sections were incredibly moving, particularly where the focus was on Cuthbertson, Sambe and Ball, and the joy of music making in the Trout section contrasted so well with the more elegiac sections. I think the ballet worked best where dancers moved away from depicting the playing of an instrument and we could see music as a free spirit.
 

But I hadn’t expected so much narrative, and given such a focus, I found it very odd that there was so little material in the programme about Jaqueline du Pre’s early life, family relations, particularly with her sister. Yet again with a new ballet, I think a better synopsis would have helped.

 

I’m also wanting to hear the music again as last night I found some sections good (the early references to the Elgar and the Trout pastiche) but I was not convinced by the new material and thought greater use of du Pre repertoire played un worked might have worked better. And congratulations to Hetty Snell for all her cello solo work.

 

I rather liked the set, inside a cello, and how the stage could so easily be transformed, although the early scenes seemed rather dark.

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Rob S said:

 

Oh yes

And the bag scanners and ushers are ok with it? I’ve thought before about taking g my DSlr with a 300mm lens but always chickened out 

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As previously posted I'm very much a new ballet goer and as a writer I do like a discernable narrative! I brought my teenage daughter (in vocational training so knows a lot more than me) to see the double bill last night as a pre GCSE half term break treat and we both agreed that we did really enjoy Dancers, especially Nunez who was luminous last night, but it was 15 mins too long. 

Contrary to most people here (so far) we absolutely loved The Cellist. I was almost in tears at the end... But we've both seen Victoria and there are some similarities with the use of the corps as background/objects there so maybe it just wasn't such an adjustment as a result. We found it very moving and emotional with wonderful performances from the main three.

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18 minutes ago, Quintus said:

And the bag scanners and ushers are ok with it? I’ve thought before about taking g my DSlr with a 300mm lens but always chickened out 

 

The ushers don’t see it as they head for the doors as soon as the curtain comes down (although standing right next to them in the stalls circle they don’t say anything)...and as for the bag ‘scanners’ I’m not sure what they are looking for but it’s not cameras as some people walk in with them round their necks 

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57 minutes ago, Yrosered said:

As previously posted I'm very much a new ballet goer and as a writer I do like a discernable narrative! I brought my teenage daughter (in vocational training so knows a lot more than me) to see the double bill last night as a pre GCSE half term break treat and we both agreed that we did really enjoy Dancers, especially Nunez who was luminous last night, but it was 15 mins too long. 

Contrary to most people here (so far) we absolutely loved The Cellist. I was almost in tears at the end... But we've both seen Victoria and there are some similarities with the use of the corps as background/objects there so maybe it just wasn't such an adjustment as a result. We found it very moving and emotional with wonderful performances from the main three.

 

I came out of DAAG thinking it was a bit of a DRAG....i enjoyed the look but I thought it about 15-20 minutes too long too

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