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DanJL

English National Ballet - Romeo and Juliet (and other) livestream

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I really enjoyed this last night. From the one previous time I've seen it (on DVD) I'm not a huge fan of Nureyev's choreography. But thought the performances here were great. I was completely gripped by act 3 in particular - Cojocaru was incredible. But also something about the whole atmosphere made it feel even more intense than usual. This was another filmed version very clearly not meant for public viewing, with bits of the action apparently only available from what seemed to be some kind of security camera. Another angle showed the full orchestra playing while the dancing and the action unfolded in front of them. For me at least, this unexpectedly added an intimacy not usually present when watching filmed ballets. Perhaps more of a sense of being there. Another video I feel lucky to have been able to watch.

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DvZS5LJQwqo

 

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I agree. The performances from all concerned were tremendous. I think that I was in Bristol the night that the filming took place and the huge challenge there was to avoid getting the conductor into every shot. There is no pit to speak of at the Hippodrome.

Bravo ENB.

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Oh great.  I have to get through the last act of Winter's Tale, the whole of Manon, Rubies and now this, all in the space of 24 hours or so ... :)

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@alison May I ask which company is showing the Manon you refer to? I haven't come across any streamed Manons yet. Some ballets seem to be being streamed by loads of companies & others rarely: I've seen 4 SBs already & will be seeing a 3rd Don Q this evening.

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One of the Japanese companies (with Vadim Muntagirov guesting): see the Calendar.

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(That is presumably Japanese time rather than anything else, so don't cut it too close to the deadline, whatever that may be.)

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Really enjoyed the performance and as @DanJL said, the intimacy of this recording, obviously not meant for broadcast.

Also not a big fan of the Nureyev choreography, but even more so of the libretto for this version. However, the acting and the dancing from the ENB cast were superb. Particularly enjoyed the treat of having Cesar Corrales as Mercutio, a fabulous  role to play and well interpreted. Also love Alison McWhinney who I assume was Rosaline. She is such an expressive and joyous dancer, would love to see her as Juliet (I didn't particularly like the section they chose to perform at the 70th gala where she briefly appeared as Juliet) - and also to see her promoted.

 

I spent a little time watching the Mariinsky version which is currently available on YouTube but found that the dancing and storytelling didn't work with the music and the acting (or gross overacting) was just painful to watch. Having not seen Cranko's version, which I believe is what inspired MacMillan to choreograph his version a few years later, I can honestly say that choreography wise, MacMillan cannot be beaten. Before seeing his version, this was not one of my favourite ballets and I would not have chosen to listen to Prokofiev's score. Having now seen and enjoyed his choreography and libretto, I feel that he really gets under the skin of the story and more so it is a perfect match for the music - every note now makes sense to me.

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I didn't watch this.  Last time I saw it live I was so bored I thought I was going to fall asleep - far too many steps for my taste!

 

Scottish Ballet used to do the Cranko production and I enjoyed that greatly (and saw some terrific performances over the years).

 

My 2 favourite productions are the Ashton as danced by London Festival Ballet in the 1980s, just when I started watching ballet, and Christopher Gable/Massimo Morricone's production for Northern ballet.  I would put the MacMillan as third for me.

 

If there is time I may watch this recording of the Nureyev production.  Sorry to rain on everyone's parade.

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The Nureyev is far from being my favourite production, too, but I'll give it a whirl once I've got Manon out of the way - I missed Cojocaru in it last time around, so it'll be good to see her.

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Wonder if they will stream a recording of the Mary Skeaping Giselle, I would really like to see that again

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It's been many years since I saw this version - and I just didn't really enjoy it. The balcony pdd was such a let down. Not romantic at all. It's all really about Romeo isn't it? I had just finished a 12hr shift - so that didn't help I know, but I just couldn't get into it, and I thought the orchestra 

sounded terrible! 

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Just now, Sharon said:

It's been many years since I saw this version - and I just didn't really enjoy it. The balcony pdd was such a let down. Not romantic at all. It's all really about Romeo isn't it? I had just finished a 12hr shift - so that didn't help I know, but I just couldn't get into it, and I thought the orchestra 

sounded terrible! 

 

I saw it with a friend many years ago in Manchester and he whispered "it's all about Romeo because Nureyev created the production for himself".  You got it in one there Sharon!

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I'm not sure they have a recording of the full Skeaping Giselle - although I think they did film some of it for the Giselle TV programme.

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Well Romeo and Juliet is an archive recording, so presumably they would have done the same for other productions.

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1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

saw it with a friend many years ago in Manchester and he whispered "it's all about Romeo because Nureyev created the production for himself".  You got it in one there Sharon!

Couldn't agree more! Whatever Nureyev was he wasn't a choreographer. There were some good solos for Romeo (naturally) but I'm afraid I got the giggles in a couple of parts. I enjoyed it for Cojacaru - I think she could make anything look beautiful, but I felt she was almost underused. I loved Tybalt - think it was James Tyler. Think I'll have to watch my Cuthbertson/Bonelli/ Macmillan one to recover!

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I can't disagree with any of the comments on the Nureyev production. Act 1 in particular I think misses the mark. But this particular performance just overcame some of that for me - I guess more in the second and especially third acts. Due solely to the wonderful performances and the unusual sense of intimacy brought about by the filming circumstances.

 

For what it's worth, my own favourite productions are the Macmillan and Ratmansky. The latter mainly for the beautiful steps, based on the Bolshoi cinema performance a couple of years ago.

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, ninamargaret said:

Couldn't agree more! Whatever Nureyev was he wasn't a choreographer. There were some good solos for Romeo (naturally) but I'm afraid I got the giggles in a couple of parts. I enjoyed it for Cojacaru - I think she could make anything look beautiful, but I felt she was almost underused. I loved Tybalt - think it was James Tyler. Think I'll have to watch my Cuthbertson/Bonelli/ Macmillan one to recover!


James Streeter was Tybalt.   As always he gave a great performance ... fiery and arrogant but also playful and supportive  ‘older cousin’ with Juliet

Edited by FionaE
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I loved the production because of it’s completely different atmosphere to MacMillan’s version.  The contemporary dance moves, the cheeky and feisty interactions all made the market scenes more realistic.  The fight scenes included tumbles and interesting moves which were convincing and seemingly spontaneous.  

 

Cesar Corales was on fire as Mercutio. I think he must have been only 19 himself when this was recorded.  Fast footwork and huge stage presence.  Wow.

 

Isaac Hernandez coped well (easily even) with the difficult choreography for Romeo and danced beautifully as the young man in love.  Loved his backwards leaps into Benvolio’s arms when he heard that Juliet has died ... so evocative of all being lost.  
 

Alina Cojocaru was a tour de force as Juliet  ... from a very young girl playing children’s games wIth her friends, through her delight in discovering love, her abandoned passion, and then the anguish and torment of the decisions fate forces her to make.  Superb.   I had to watch twice!

 

Nureyev certainly knew a thing or two about love and how to portray it.  The pas de deux are intimate and so are quite  different to MacMillan’s.   And Nureyev knew about comedy ... the scene with the nurse being mobbed by Mercutio and Benvolio ... hilarious!   Mercutio’s death too.  
 

Many thanks to ENB for gifting us this archival record.  Wonderful 

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Here's the thread discussing that 2015 run of Romeo & Juliet:

 

 

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Posted (edited)

My first time watching a full length ballet. I really enjoyed it for the most part. I loved the comedy (spotting ballerinas in the background having a scrap or snatching hats) and nurse. 

 

I thought the dancers captured that teenage innocence and play moving to adulthood (and tragedy) really well and how lurching R&J into the affairs of adults (wear that dress, lassie, and marry) trampled over their discovery of love and play . Hernandez had a, care-free, dreamy quality I liked.

 

As a fencer the fight choreography sequences were interesting, bearing in mind this is dance and drama. So, the representation of the psychology of fight, the bravado and group dynamics worked well for me and also how a sword fight can develop from sword to dagger to grappling and even the hint of a throw. Well done for that, not expected!

 

Camera pulling out to show a foggy oval soup not so good. 

 

I definitely want a hat and lute so that I can follow my instructor at a distance and strum at important moments.

 

Edited by Alexander
Usual typos
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Oh, and those sumptuous ballet lines and forms... I couldn't get enough of those.

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How nice that you’ve shared your reaction to watching a full length ballet for the first time,  Alexander.

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On 07/05/2020 at 19:52, CHazell2 said:

Wonder if they will stream a recording of the Mary Skeaping Giselle, I would really like to see that again

In answer to the question about a recording of Mary Skeaping’s “Giselle”, as the representative of her Estate, I have been in discussion with ENB about this.  The only complete recording which is of a high enough resolution for streaming is a rehearsal, and unfortunately it is very much a rehearsal with stopping and starting, and the principal dancers marking their roles at various times.  Given the high standard of the performances ENB is streaming, this suffers in comparison and therefore will not be streamed.  However, the Estonian National Ballet also has the Skeaping production in their repertoire, with the beautiful David Walker designs, and they may be able to stream one of their recordings, as the opera house in Tallinn is streaming a production each Saturday (5pm UK time).  If they schedule it, I will post details on here.

 

I was very pleased to see the recording of “Romeo and Juliet”, although I have to confess I have seen more visceral and heartbreaking performances (and overcoming the awkward choreography) in the title roles (I have been watching this production since 1978!).  It is still my favourite production for its gorgeous, evocative sets and for the town square scenes, especially the fights, and this performance did not disappoint!  I also particularly love the scene with the Nurse, Benvolio and Mercutio, and this was a wonderful record of Tamarin Stott, James Forbat and Cesar Corrales teasing every ounce of comedy out of it.  Corrales was even more fabulous than I remember, and it is extraordinary to realise that he was just nineteen at the time!  I therefore watched it several times to marvel at him!  I agree with the comment that the music sounded odd at times and I believe this was due to the positioning of the microphones which did not evenly balance the sound.  I know I have been blown away many times in the theatre by the stunning rendition of Prokofiev’s score by the ENB Philharmonic but, as this was only ever meant as an archive recording, it seems the engineers were more focussed on what was happening onstage rather than in the ‘pit’ (such as it is in the Bristol Hippodrome!).

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Fingers crossed for a Skeaping Giselle somehow, then, Irmgard.  How much of the ENB version was recorded for the BBC Giselle programme, I wonder?

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On ‎15‎/‎05‎/‎2020 at 20:12, Irmgard said:

In answer to the question about a recording of Mary Skeaping’s “Giselle”, as the representative of her Estate, I have been in discussion with ENB about this.  The only complete recording which is of a high enough resolution for streaming is a rehearsal, and unfortunately it is very much a rehearsal with stopping and starting, and the principal dancers marking their roles at various times.  Given the high standard of the performances ENB is streaming, this suffers in comparison and therefore will not be streamed.  However, the Estonian National Ballet also has the Skeaping production in their repertoire, with the beautiful David Walker designs, and they may be able to stream one of their recordings, as the opera house in Tallinn is streaming a production each Saturday (5pm UK time).  If they schedule it, I will post details on here.

 

I was very pleased to see the recording of “Romeo and Juliet”, although I have to confess I have seen more visceral and heartbreaking performances (and overcoming the awkward choreography) in the title roles (I have been watching this production since 1978!).  It is still my favourite production for its gorgeous, evocative sets and for the town square scenes, especially the fights, and this performance did not disappoint!  I also particularly love the scene with the Nurse, Benvolio and Mercutio, and this was a wonderful record of Tamarin Stott, James Forbat and Cesar Corrales teasing every ounce of comedy out of it.  Corrales was even more fabulous than I remember, and it is extraordinary to realise that he was just nineteen at the time!  I therefore watched it several times to marvel at him!  I agree with the comment that the music sounded odd at times and I believe this was due to the positioning of the microphones which did not evenly balance the sound.  I know I have been blown away many times in the theatre by the stunning rendition of Prokofiev’s score by the ENB Philharmonic but, as this was only ever meant as an archive recording, it seems the engineers were more focussed on what was happening onstage rather than in the ‘pit’ (such as it is in the Bristol Hippodrome!).

Please let them stream it on youtube?

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Not sure where to put this; couldn’t find a General ENB comments thread.

 

I watched ENB’s stream of Nora on May 20/21, a 30-minute distillation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Thoroughly enjoyed it! All featured dancers were amazing but it is a special joy to once again see Jeffrey Cirio, former ABT principal, in a totally new dramatic light - great combination of powerful acting a blazing Tech. Harlequin has grown up! Bravo!!!

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I too thought Nora was wonderful. I saw it live when ENB did She Persisted and I got the programme out it re re read. I think it made much more sense to me second time around. I loved the music and the 'chorus' dancing Nora's feelings. I wish ENB steamed for a bit longer, still good to have anything at all to see. 

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