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Royal Ballet - Within the Golden Hour mixed programme livestream - 13/11/2020


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Just a note to say that, if reviews etc have not been posted on a newspaper or other website by around breakfast time ( a variable feast, dependent on household regimes), then they will have to wait till the following day.  We long ago decided that doing Links was not to be a day-long trawling exercise.  We do, however, say Thanks for links posted during the day by members and I'm sure that Janet will have these tucked away as starters for tomorrow.

 

 

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1 hour ago, oncnp said:

 

It's not often a critic talks about shouting for joy over a performance!! (artsdesk)

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34 minutes ago, Jane S said:

I don't remember seeing those helmet-like hats in Monotones before - are they new for this run?

 

Hope they're not permanent.


Were the ears cut away to accommodate mask wearing , I wonder?

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52 minutes ago, Jane S said:

I don't remember seeing those helmet-like hats in Monotones before - are they new for this run?

 

Hope they're not permanent.

 

At least since 2014....

 

 

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Replying to the different lifts in Swan Lake , both are valid, I prefer the jeté lift to the pressage , but when the pressage is done properly without lifting from an à la seconde plie it can be seamless , on the hops the partner steps on his left foot croisé after the fifth count and lifts and she flies up 

their coaches should know!

Edited by mart
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The 'helmets' shown in the photo above did not have cut away ears (the fact that they did this time supports my 'masks theory') and were worn further forward on the dancers' heads with no hairline showing.

So there was a change.........

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The ones they're now wearing are almost identical to the ones the Tuesday trio in Jazz Calendar wear - but if they've ever been worn in Monotones before, I've never seen a   picture of them.  I too wondered if there was some Covid reason for them.

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2 hours ago, Jane S said:

I don't remember seeing those helmet-like hats in Monotones before - are they new for this run?

 

Hope they're not permanent.

I believe Ashton designed the costumes himself and was influenced by the imminent possibility of man ‘walking on the moon’ and the American Space programme (hence the slow adagio movements of Monotones 11) during the 1960s.

I saw Monotones in the early 1970s (Royal Ballet) and I seem to remember they were wearing white headgear then. 


Ashton’s description (from an article in a 2014 edition of the New York Times);

 

A further 1960s touch was that the three dancers of “Gymnopédies,” dressed in white, moved with the slowness that evoked recent film imagery of astronauts walking in outer space. Men had not yet walked on the moon, and yet “Gymnopédies” anticipated the look of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin so well that within a few years Ashton – mistakenly – told an interviewer that his choreography was influenced by the time “when you Americans were all landing on the moon.”
 

93F54FA5-C567-4D58-A0D5-602E8A4CC569.jpeg

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There is, as I suggested, a key difference from what we have seen before insofar as the ears are now cut away. Also, the helmets are being worn lower at the front, thus hiding the dancers’ hairlines which were visible before .

 

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I absolutely adored Sambé and O''Sullivan in the Fille pdd and so was a little disappointed that their Tchaikovsky pdd didn't quite live up to my expectations.  Perhaps it was because the studio rehearsal of it by Muntagirov and Nuněz had been so exciting and brilliant,  but I just had the odd feeling that it didn't suit them as much as Fille did.  Her solo didn't seem quite fast enough to make me gasp at her footwork and as someone mentioned the leap into his arms seemed to be fumbled.  They are both gorgeous dancers, so it seems a bit mean to quibble over the fact that it wasn't as absolutely stunning as I imagined it would be! But there you are.......?.

Edited by Dance*is*life
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15 hours ago, mart said:

They are the original design 

Love the helmets, so retro and for me they added to the 'other worldliness' of the ballet. I have not seen Monotones in full before and I really liked the slow deliberate movements.

Edited by Janite
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In a biography of Frederick Ashton there is a photo of Anthony Dowell, Vyvyan Lorraine and Robert Mead from the 1960s wearing exactly the same helmets as in the vido above in Monotone: Gymnopédies.  However, there is also a picture of Monotones: Gnossiennes which Ashton choreographed to add to the first one to make a longer ballet.  It is of Antoinette Sibley, Brian Shaw and Georgina Parkinson.  The costumes were supposedly identical to the original, but in sea- green, later terracotta but then green again.  The helmets are a bit different though.  They have extra space at the top (where there would be a bobble on a winters hat), so more "gnome" like and there are definitely cutouts behind the ears.  You can even see the hair grip Sibley has behind her ear holding the helmet on!

 

With regard to the whole programme - I think it was brilliant and I do hope that RB will continue with streaming.  I agree with many of the posters above and I did love Scherzo.  It is interesting that many people are making comparisons between O'Sullivan with Sambé and Nuñez with Muntagirov.  The former couple are much younger only in the 20s, Sambé was promoted to principal last year, and O'Sullivan is still a first soloist.  So it promises well for their future! 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Pas de Quatre said:

IIt is interesting that many people are making comparisons between O'Sullivan with Sambé and Nuñez with Muntagirov.  The former couple are much younger only in the 20s, Sambé was promoted to principal last year, and O'Sullivan is still a first soloist.  So it promises well for their future! 

 

 

 

Just for the record both O'Sullivan and Sambe are 26 and Muntagirov is 30. All with April birthdays (O'Sullivan and Muntagirov on the same day) - a good month for the Royal Ballet. 

 

And I read the comparisons not to do with age or experience but that O'Sullivan/Sambe had performed this piece brilliantly a couple years ago. 

Edited by oncnp
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Having watched a couple of times now - and some bits more than that! - the parts I enjoyed most were Concerto's middle pdd with Yasmine Naghdi and Nicol Edmonds (just sublime, heavenly dance, and some beautiful music - what more does one need!); Rhapsody with Akane Takada and Alex Campbell (so sublime, with utterly lush music). Also a masterly rendition of the bedroom pdd from Manon by Laura Morera and Federico Bonelli, set the heart racing. I thought Valentino Zucchetti's piece was fab - so nice seeing tthe corps dancers get to star. And despite the dismal lighting at times, and my preference to the original costumes, loved 'Within the Golden Hour', one of my fave Wheeldon short pieces.

 

I wasn't so keen on some of the wider camera angles, when only 1-2 dancers on stage. They sometimes left perfectly framed dancers, to show a wide shot - why? There was no scenery to show, no other dancers on the sides - and barely a lighting effect, as half the lights seem to have switched off. And occasionally the close ups were simply TOO close up! Apart from that very, very minor niggle, has to be a tenner well spent!

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1 hour ago, Pas de Quatre said:

Another minor niggle - I felt it was a pity that Scherzo and Rhapsody were back to back. Much as I love the Rachmaninoff music, it would be better to separate them.

 

 

But if you watch it again you could do yourself a shuffle if you make a note of the start times for each piece!

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52 minutes ago, Pas de Quatre said:

Yes I can dip in and out. But this was meant to be a live performance, the streaming was only put on because of the lockdown. 

The pre-lockdown programme would have been much shorter.

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53 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

The pre-lockdown programme would have been much shorter.


Yes, and so would the programme on the 4th. I had a message to say that that would finish at 8.15pm but it went on until 9.25pm including a 20 minute interval.

My impression was that pas de deux had been added in both directions to give both of the couples preparing a pas de deux the opportunity to perform . A good plan for the dancers and for us.

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Only got around to watching it last night and overall I thought it was very strong, very much a showcase for heritage and the English style I felt (not sure if others agree). I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the whole thing for someone who wasn’t so familiar with ballet, but for loyal ballet fans it’s a real treat.

 

Highlights for me were:

-William Bracewell’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits. He seemed so peaceful and at ease, no princely showboating. Dancing as if it was instinctive. I noticed I’d held my breath by the end.

-I have to say I really liked Osipova’s dying swan, yet I understand the criticism. That’s how she is, she’ll go with her gut and commit to the character, I loved this raw interpretation. 

-Speaking of commitment to the character; the magnificent Romany Pajdak. A real actress. She imbued so much emotion into this without making it schmaltzy or overindulgent, I agree that she could -and frankly should- be a contender for Juliet. I’d also quite like to see her Manon or Marguerite.

-Nuñez and her evergreen Gamzatti variation. Admittedly -I’m a great admirer but not necessarily a fan of Nuñez (and I will take the jeers and looks of disgust), however you can’t deny her mastery of the classical technique. She still churns out a Gamzatti like no other.

-I agree that Monotones I is a bit long for a gala setting, but the serene grace of this trio (particularly Hamilton) shows a really pared down idea of Ashton’s aesthetic. Lovely épaulement with that trademark elasticity and clarity of line. I remember in one interview Ashton mentioning the moon landing (as had been mentioned previously) as a source for inspiration, and it certainly has an spacewalk zen to it.

-The hunger of the corps! They ate the stage and faced everything with great enthusiasm, for me they even outshone the central couples in Within the Golden Hour. Zucchetti really bestowed a glorious gift to those young dancers in his new work.

-For me the major discovery of the night came from one of the most established pairs in the company. I was absolutely bowled over by Morera and Bonnelli in the bedroom PDD from Manon. I’ve only had the chance to see Morera on a few occasions in the past, I can never quite forget her virtuosic performance in Chroma. But of course time passes and the roles become a little less punchy, and I haven’t managed to see her in a performance that wowed me from a dynamic standpoint for a while. But with this PDD it felt like we got the best of her, the abandon and daring paired with the charisma and character that only a ballerina with her experience can supply. ¡Mucha emoción! And of course Bonnelli is as valiant a dancer as ever. They really felt like a young couple in love. 

 

 

No gripes with the evening. Again I felt it was a bit of a retrospective in style but that’s to be expected from a company like the Royal. Hayward is well on her way and I’m sure she already has many ideas on what to do with her Odette, time is on her side with a role like that. She’s a really really wonderful dancer and I think truly brilliant in the Ashton and McGregor rep, however I feel she has a strong Royal Ballet School reservedness that she’s still coming out of with her port de bras. O’Sullivan and Sambé had the unenviable task of doing the iconic tchai pas, and while I felt I was a little surprisingly underwhelmed, I also understand that it’s almost cruel to be up against every iconic couple that have done it in the past. I felt it ironic as it’s a PDD that’s almost made for them but not every performance can be the best for all tastes, maybe I was expecting them to leave burn marks on the stage from igniting it (fair play to Anna Rose for spotting forward though!). Campbell and Takada were lovely but good lord I really do dislike the costuming for Rhapsody!!!

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1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

Great review LACAD; sorry you don't like the Rhapsody costumes though, having just changed my profile picture! 

 

Funnily enough I hated the costumes when the ballet premièred, but now I love them! They're a fine fizzy filigree delight, like the choreography. (I hated the temporary re-design.) So you may keep your excellent new profile picture Richard LH!!

Edited by bridiem
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I don’t know if there is another thread for ROH incidental videos...so not part of this livestream but have just seen a short extract of Corrales and Hayward dancing the White Swan pas de deux from the second Act! 
This was only a short extract but so moving they are really terrific together again!! 
It also reminded me of what I’d missed last April when had tickets for their debuts together in Swan Lake 😢

It would be lovely to hear that Swan Lake may be on the menu for the summer 2021 season at the ROH and even lovelier if these two could make their debuts then 😊 

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