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Dutch National Ballet will be streaming performances from its back catalogue, changing the programme once a week.

 

Ratmansky's production of Don Quixote is available now, with Wayne Eagling's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King and Ted Brandsen's version of Coppelia following in the next two weeks.

 

Ted Brandsen's Coppelia is particularly interesting, because he has choreographed his own version, without reference to Petipa and following the original sequence of Delibes' score.  Although he made the ballet in 2009, it was very imaginative in its portrayal of Coppelia in the early days of artificial intelligence.

 

Turning back to Don Quixote, the cast is

 

Kitri - Anna Tsygankova

Basilio - Matthew Golding

Don Quixote - Peter De Jong

Sancho Panza - Karel De Rooij

Gamache - Dario Mealli

Lorenzo - Altin Kaftira

Mercedes - Natalia Hoffmann

Espada - Moises Martin Cintas

Piccilia - Maiko Tsutsumi

Juanita - Nadia Yanowsky

Cupid - Maia Makhateli

The Queen of the Dryads - Sasha Mukhamedov

 

It can be seen here

 

https://www.operaballet.nl/online/ballet/streaming?utm_source=facebook-hnb&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=don-quichot&utm_content=hnb-3-4-2020

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Ooh, great!

 

Thanks for adding it to the Calendar, charliewise.  I'm getting confused with all these Sleeping Beauties, so I've added that it's the Wright production in the hope that more people will pick up on it.

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Dutch National Ballet has continued streaming a new programme every week, reflecting the range of their repertoire and with interesting documentary clips to support some of their shows.

 

After the Ratmansky Don Quixote, they showed Wayne Eagling's Nutcracker, Peter Wright's Sleeping Beauty, Ted Brandsen's highly original version of Coppelia, Rudi Van Dantzig's Swan Lake and two separate Hans Van Manen programmes.  Hans Van Manen is as distinctive to Dutch National Ballet as Neumeier is to Hamburg or Cranko to Stuttgart.

 

They are currently showing Ted Brandsen's Mata Hari, which he created in 2016, featuring Anna Tsygankova in the title role.  Ted Brandsen has been the Artistic Director of Dutch National Ballet since 2003, in succession to Wayne Eagling.  Mata Hari is available until next Saturday, June 6.

 

In 2013, under Ted Brandsen's direction, Dutch National Ballet has set up a highly successful junior company, comprising 12 dancers either in their final year at the Dutch National Ballet School or first year apprentices with the company.  The dancers stay for two years, although sometime they graduate early into the main company.  About half the junior company progress into the main company, which now includes more than 20 former juniors, including one principal dancer, Jessica Xuan.

 

The junior company sometimes take class with the main company and sometimes take their own class.  They form part of the corps de ballet for the main company's large scale productions, but also undertake an extensive tour around Holland each Spring, presenting a mixture of classical pieces, Hans Van Manen works and new creations.  The junior company offers a rewarding route towards a mainstream company, where the young dancers gain early experience of dancing featured roles alongside more routine corps de ballet work.  As the junior company has become increasingly recognised, there is much competition to join it.

 

From the outset, Ernst Meisner, previously at the Royal Ballet School and Royal Ballet, has been leading the junior company as artistic co-ordinator.  He has been choreographing both for the junior company and the main company.  In 2014, he collaborated with Marko Gerris, the artistic director of ISH - a hip-hop dance company, to make a full-length ballet for children, Narnia, based on The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - using the combined resources of the junior company and the hip-hop company.  The same forces came together again in 2018, to create another full-length children's ballet, Grimm, based on the Grimm fairy tales.

 

From tonight Dutch National Ballet will be presenting a triple bill comprising Paquita, in a version by Rachel Beaujean from 2012, with Anna Tsygankova and Matthew Golding (who was then a principal of DNB), Remi Wortmeyer's pas de deux Penumbra, made for Anna Ol and Artur Shesterikov and No Time Before Time, which Ernst Meisner created on the junior company.  It was seen during the junior company's Linbury Theatre season in 2019.

 

From 6 June, DNB will be streaming Grimm and the following week a David Dawson double bill - more of these later.  I will come back to post the links to these programmes, as they appear.

 

In the meantime, Anna Ol introduces tonight's triple bill and commences with a heartfelt expression of hope, now that Dutch National Ballet has returned to the studios.  I understand that each class is for limited numbers and it is quite a logistical exercise to stagger classes throughout the day.  Anna Ol is also happy that the explosion of streaming has enabled so many performances and dancers to be seen by a new audience around the world, including DNB's own repertoire.  The link is here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I loved this triple bill from Dutch National Ballet.   All three pieces are uplifting and joyous.   Highly recommend.   Super performances from all the leads and you’ll catch many currents soloists/principals in support in Paquita.   
 

Available until Sat 6 June 
 

- Anna Tsygankova and Matthew Golding in PAQUITA 
 

- Anna Ol and Artur Shesterikov in PENUMBRA by Remi Wörtmeier
 
- Junior company in NO TIME BEFORE TIME  (the lead young man Dingkai Bai was impressive)

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GRIMM

From Saturday 6 June 19.00

In the world of GRIMM, Cinderella walks in sneakers and other familiar fairy tale characters are all given a funky twist. This is no sugar-coated fable, but a modern-day romp in which ballet and hip-hop dancers propel each other to ever greater heights.

A co-creation by Ernst Meisner (Junior Company/HNB) and Marco Gerris (ISH), GRIMM fuses the stories of Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel into one big adventure in which all the characters dance ‘happily ever after’. 

 

https://www.operaballet.nl/en/online/ballet/streaming?utm_source=facebook-hnb&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=online-streaming&utm_content=hnb-26-5-2020&fbclid=IwAR28ktBn0z4dJoksxgY9y9fgKzUM3KRNfCNc2sYdTrIQANmcqHhaHpv0YeI

David Dawson 25 years @ Dutch National Ballet

From Saturday 13 June 19.00

From Saturday June 13th we will stream two ballets by David Dawson: Citizen Nowhere, a solo danced by Edo Wijnen, and Overture. David Dawson gives his very own twist to the classical ballet technique. His work is inventive and architectural, but at the same time it is imbued with a great emotional intensity. In June, we're celebrating that Dawson was intensely associated with our company during 25 years: first as a dancer, then as a resident choreographer, and since 2015 as an Artistic Associate.

Citizen Nowhere
The starting point for this solo work was Antoine de Saint-Exupery's 'Le Petit Prince', but David Dawson and composer Szymon Brzóska were also strongly influenced by current events during the creation process. As a result, this little prince stands for, among other things, the lonely, stateless refugee. Dancer Edo Wijnen was nominated for his role in Citizen Nowhere for the 'Zwaan' for most impressive dance performance.
Dutch Ballet Orchestra conducted by Phillip Ellis

Soloist: Edo Wijnen

Overture
David Dawson found the first inspiration for his choreography Overture in 'The four quartets', a spiritual and comprehensive poem by T.S. Eliot. His composer Szymon Brzoska and the members of his team also studied the poem and gave their interpretation of it. The British choreographer prefers his creation to be experienced as a 'visual work of art': 'it is an interplay of decor, light, music, costumes and choreography; they influence each other, and therefore also me'.
Dutch Ballet Orchestra conducted by Matthew Rowe

'His work is a gorgeous thing to look at. Dawson is a choreographer with his eye on the big picture, making use of the vast stage, organising his dancers into pleasing architecture. For Dawson, it’s a highly respectable homecoming' - Lindsey Winship | Evening Standard

David Dawson 25 years @ Dutch National Ballet can be seen on the DNB website from m Saturday 13 June 19.00 until 20 June

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The triple bill is still available until Saturday tea-time.  

 

No Time Before Time features the entire 2019 junior company of twelve dancers.  Out of the 12, 4 are now listed as apprentices in the company, 3 appear to have moved on and 5 are still members of the junior company, now in their second year. 

 

Manu Kumar makes a double appearance in the programme, appearing as a young student at the Dutch National Ballet School in the 2012 Paquita and featuring in the 2019 junior company performance.  He appears about half-way through No Time Before Time in a duo with Dingkai Bai.

 

Amongst the Junior Company dancers are Conor Walmsley, now an apprentice in the main company, who joined the Junior Company from English National Ballet School and Sander Baaij, who joined the Junior Company from the Royal Ballet School.

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With DNB about to stream Grimm, their second full evening hip-hop ballet, choreographed by Ernst Meisner and Marko Gerris, I thought you might be interested in some of the background to this creation.

 

Meisner and Gerris have created two full-length hip-hop ballets, but neither has been performed outside Holland, nor have they been shown in the cinema or on TV.  Dutch National Ballet has worked on archive tapes of two separate performances of Grimm, to produce a film of suitable quality for streaming.

 

Ernst Meisner is remembered in London as a student of the Royal Ballet School and then a long-standing member of the Royal Ballet.  During this time, he took part in many choreographic initiatives and produced a string of short ballets, including one pas de deux for Melissa Hamilton and Sergei Polunin - and another for Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov.

 

During his time at the Royal Ballet, he also danced in the first performances of Wayne Macgregor's early ballet, Qualia, with music composed by Scanner.  Scanner is Robin Rimbaud, an electronic musician, who uses cell phones and police scanners in live performance.  He sat in solitary isolation in the orchestra pit, mixing the music from a desk.

 

Meisner moved to Dutch National Ballet in 2010 and was soon choreographing there as well.  His first project was The Little Big Chest, a dance performance for toddlers (4-6 years), which is taken on small scale tours and has proved popular in a market where there is very little theatre available.  The Little Big Chest is about a group of dancers finding a box of costumes in the attic and dancing an extract of each role as they try on the costumes.  At the end of the performance, children and parents are invited to look in the box and talk to the dancers.

 

In 2012 Meisner directed the remarkable Canta ballet, with a large television budget.  The Canta is a two-seat microcar from Holland, specifically created for disabled drivers.  The ballet was set for 55 Canta cars and their drivers and 50 dancers from Dutch National Ballet.  In the build-up, the television company showed a series of documentaries, presenting the back stories of some of the drivers, who had variously been disabled from birth or as the result of an accident.  The series culminated in a televised, live performance in the disused Amsterdam Gasholder.  The whole event was a triumph of co-ordination over the production challenges.

 

To fill the cavernous space of the venue and to be heard over the noise of 55 car engines, Meisner commissioned Scanner to compose a score for the work.  The highlight of the ballet was a double pas de deux, first for DNB principals Marisa Lopez and Casey Herd - and then for Casey Herd and a Canta car driven by Dutch writer, Karin Spaink.  The double pas de deux can be seen here

 

and the whole performance is also available on you tube.  It was very moving, when the disabled drivers paraded their cars around the ring and their families clapped and cheered them - particularly as many had witnessed the challenges of their lives in the TV series.

 

In 2013 the Dutch National Ballet opened its junior company and Ernst Meisner was appointed its artistic co-ordinator.  He began a series of choreographic creations for the new company, alongside further works for the main company and elsewhere.

 

In 2015 Meisner teamed up with Marco Gerris, the director of ISH - a hip-hop dance company based in Amsterdam - to create Narnia, a full evening ballet based on the children's book by C.S. Lewis.  The work was created on the combined cast of the junior company and the hip-hop dancers.  Meisner turned once again to Scanner for a specially commissioned score.  The production relied heavily on laser projections, rather in the manner of Wheeldon's Alice in Wonderland.

 

The chemistry worked from the outset, both Meisner and Gerris collaborating on the choreography - and the conjunction of the junior dancers and the hip-hop company took off.  Narnia opened at the Dutch National Opera House in Amsterdam and then toured medium-sized theatres across Holland.  It proved very popular with children, who were attracted both by the story and by the energy of the movement and lighting.  The work was an artistic and a financial success.  Many of the original cast are now soloists and dancers in the main company.

 

Narnia was announced for a revival in the 2017-18 season and went on sale.  In advance sales it was the top-selling show of the season.  A routine application to the Narnia estate for performing rights produced an unexpected shock.  The estate had sold the world-wide exclusive rights to Hollywood for two years and it was not possible to grant the rights to DNB.  One weekend in early summer 2017, Meisner and Gerris disappeared for an emergency think tank and came up with the idea of Grimm, based on a selection from the Grimm fairy tales and with no copyright complications.  Somehow the DNB found the finance to convert a revival into a new production and Grimm was born out of necessity, rather than planned per se.  DNB was obliged to contact everyone who had purchased tickets to offer a refund, but the overwhelming majority decided to see Grimm.

 

Here is further information about the transition from Narnia to Grimm

https://www.operaballet.nl/en/ballet/news/narnia-becomes-grimm

 

Meisner and Gerris worked to the same formula and once again commissioned a score from Scanner.  Grimm repeated the artistic and financial success of Narnia and met with considerable critical acclaim.  It was scheduled for its first revival in the spring of 2020.

 

There is a short film about the creation of Grimm, which illustrates in detail the working methods of Meisner and Gerris and the artistic chemistry between them.

 

 

 

Meisner and Gerris are scheduled in the Spring of 2021 to create a full-length work for the main company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A few weeks ago, I got very excited about Stuttgart Ballet's stream of Initials R.B.M.E.

 

Now I am looking forward to the David Dawson programme (25 years at Dutch National Ballet) and in particular to Citizen Nowhere, an extended solo which David made for the highly talented Edo Wijnen.  I was fortunate enough to see this live in Amsterdam and it was mesmerising.

 

The starting point was Antoine de Saint-Expery's Le Petit Prince, but the little prince stands for the lonely, stateless refugee.

 

Don't miss Citizen Nowhere.

 

The introduction to the evening is here

 

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Dutch National Ballet have continued their enterprising programme of streaming, partially to reflect the live performances lost this season.

 

Last week they streamed the hip-hop ballet, Grimm, which was due to tour Holland this spring.  They have cancelled their new ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, which was to be created by a group of three choreographers for the main company, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth.

 

Under lockdown conditions, the three choreographers have each  created a solo on the Prometheus theme.  The solos were filmed on the stage of the Dutch National Opera House and the world premiere was given online this evening.  The link is here

 

 

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