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23 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

From where I was looking on opening night, O'Sullivan's wig was very much of its time, which reminds me: I respect the ROH costume department a lot, and I'm all for sticking to the original designs unless there's good reason not to, but I think they have a blind spot about the wigs for 70s and early 80s designs (see also Manon and Nutcracker). I think all too often they just look a bit silly to the modern eye and nothing would be lost with some updating. 

Also Tatiana in the Dream. Is there anything in Shakespeare that means she always has to be a strawberry blond, especially as many of the dancers have dark hair? It looks very strange.

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8 hours ago, jmhopton said:

Also Tatiana in the Dream. Is there anything in Shakespeare that means she always has to be a strawberry blond, especially as many of the dancers have dark hair? It looks very strange.

My thoughts exactly! I wish they adapted certain styles/hair colors more often.

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Delicate topic but the insistence on the blond wigs for Titania and Nutcracker is also very Euro-centric. For instance, would Francesca Hayward look good in a frosted blond wig? Marcelino Sambe? 

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Marcelino Sambe actually mentioned the Nutcracker wig in the discussion a few months ago hosted by Kenneth Olumyiwa Tharp at ROH, in relation to diversity in ballet. I will see if I can find a link later, or someone else could post it.

 

Here is the link - an interesting discussion about hair in general too.

ROH Insight discussion

Edited by Pas de Quatre
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38 minutes ago, Ivy Lin said:

Delicate topic but the insistence on the blond wigs for Titania and Nutcracker is also very Euro-centric. For instance, would Francesca Hayward look good in a frosted blond wig? Marcelino Sambe? 

 

Well she looks fine in the Nutcracker wig, which reflects the idea of the glittering light of the Kingdom of Sweets. And the source material for these works is after all the product of European imagination. I personally have no problem with seeing dancers of any colour in light-coloured wigs if it suits the story/ballet. I associate them with the character being portrayed, not the real life dancer wearing them.

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5 hours ago, Ingrid said:

My thoughts exactly! I wish they adapted certain styles/hair colors more often.

I agree about blind wigs looking distinctly odd on darker skins. The Nutcracker wigs are probably not so bad as they are just part of the general glitz of the designs. But for me the worst wig of all is the dreadful blond curled job given to Kolya in Month in the Country. Awful!

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I didn't want to detract from the discussion on the RB's Beauty mixed performances and Ms Stix-Brunell's final show so I've split the wig-specific posts into another thread where we can discuss wigs to our hearts content.

 

I absolutely LOATHE a lot of the wigs that are used in ballet performances.

 

I agree that sometimes they can be necessary, for example if a ballet is set in a time when wigs were worn almost as a matter of course by the aristocracy or when a particularly ornate hairstyle is required.  Those hairstyles are usually for female characters though.

 

I have a particular loathing of the wigs in the Royal Ballet's Nutcracker (not that I like that production either) - they are so unflattering and, for me, add absolutely nothing to the production.  Do some dancers just put a lot of glitter on their own hair?  Goodness only knows what damage it does to their hair but infinitely preferable to this viewer than a wig.

 

When BRB first started performing SKM's Romeo and Juliet the bulk of the male dancers wore hideous wigs.  The number of wigs was gradually reduced until eventually only poor Paris had to wear one.  Fortunately that has long gone.

 

I never understood why the role of Daisy in David Nixon's Great Gatsby was given a blond wig when the role was created by the dark-haired Martha Leebolt.  When Ayami Miyata danced the role in 2019 she styled her own black hair and she looked fabulous.  She did wear the wig in one of the trial mixed bills in October 2020 and actually looked fabulous in it but I think that was more to do with the fact that she had appeared earlier in a role with a more conventional ballet hair style and wouldn't have had time to restyle to Gatsby.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

I agree that sometimes they can be necessary, for example if a ballet is set in a time when wigs were worn almost as a matter of course by the aristocracy or when a particularly ornate hairstyle is required.  Those hairstyles are usually for female characters though.

 

 

The problem IMO is that a lot of the so-called period wigs are more reflective of the era in which they were designed than the period they were meant to evoke.

 

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1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

 

I never understood why the role of Daisy in David Nixon's Great Gatsby was given a blond wig when the role was created by the dark-haired Martha Leebolt.  

 

 

 

Perhaps in keeping with the era of the book and how Daisy has been portrayed on film (I don' t think she is described in the book)?  

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As someone who's studying Gatsby for A-Level, I don't remember any description of Daisy's hair, but I find the book so boring that I might've missed it. 
 

And as for wigs, I'd much rather see the dancers comfortable and with their own natural hair. I'm not bothered whether a role was originated by a brunette or a blonde or whatever. The only exceptions I can think of is if they need a particular hairstyle to evoke a certain period that couldn't be achieved with natural hair, or were playing a historical figure, but even then I wouldn't be that overly fussed if wigs were removed from the equation.

Edited by MaddieRose
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On 10/07/2021 at 19:56, Lizbie1 said:

 

From where I was looking on opening night, O'Sullivan's wig was very much of its time, which reminds me: I respect the ROH costume department a lot, and I'm all for sticking to the original designs unless there's good reason not to, but I think they have a blind spot about the wigs for 70s and early 80s designs (see also Manon and Nutcracker). I think all too often they just look a bit silly to the modern eye and nothing would be lost with some updating. 

 

Personally speaking, I find the ROH wigs far superior to those used at the Bolshoi and Mariinsky companies.  (Especially those for the Corps dancers.)

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8 hours ago, bridiem said:

 

Well she looks fine in the Nutcracker wig, which reflects the idea of the glittering light of the Kingdom of Sweets. And the source material for these works is after all the product of European imagination. I personally have no problem with seeing dancers of any colour in light-coloured wigs if it suits the story/ballet. I associate them with the character being portrayed, not the real life dancer wearing them.

 

Yes but by having such Euro-centric wigs ism't the message that the only "right" dancers for these roles are white and of European heritage? 

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6 minutes ago, Ivy Lin said:

 

Yes but by having such Euro-centric wigs ism't the message that the only "right" dancers for these roles are white and of European heritage? 

 

I don't mind the SPF's wig in this respect as it just reflects the 18th century fashion for powdered (not blonde) hair.

 

The Titania wig is definitely open to question though.

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34 minutes ago, Ivy Lin said:

Yes but by having such Euro-centric wigs ism't the message that the only "right" dancers for these roles are white and of European heritage? 

 

No, I don't think it is. 

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1 hour ago, Ivy Lin said:

 

Yes but by having such Euro-centric wigs ism't the message that the only "right" dancers for these roles are white and of European heritage? 

 

1 hour ago, bridiem said:

 

No, I don't think it is. 

 

I agree with Bridiem, I don't think it is.  I have never actually thought these wigs were blond but more silvery gold.

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I guess I disagree about the Nutcracker wigs because they seem irrelevant. Like in Sleeping Beauty I get that the powdered wigs are supposed to evoke the French nobility. But Nutcracker's second act is a fantasy and there's nothing dictating that the SPF and Cavalier have to wear frosted blond wigs. Moving to a more natural look seems like a small tweak that reflects the diversity of today's company. 

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7 hours ago, Ivy Lin said:

I guess I disagree about the Nutcracker wigs because they seem irrelevant. Like in Sleeping Beauty I get that the powdered wigs are supposed to evoke the French nobility. But Nutcracker's second act is a fantasy and there's nothing dictating that the SPF and Cavalier have to wear frosted blond wigs. Moving to a more natural look seems like a small tweak that reflects the diversity of today's company. 

 

In the (very short) run of the Nutcracker last December, certainly the men didn't wear wigs in the second act (I think the Cavalier did) and looked all the better for it.

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57 minutes ago, MJW said:

 

In the (very short) run of the Nutcracker last December, certainly the men didn't wear wigs in the second act (I think the Cavalier did) and looked all the better for it.

 

I would hope that that remains the case but I suspect it was more of a Covid-safe practise than a design decision.

 

8 hours ago, Ivy Lin said:

I guess I disagree about the Nutcracker wigs because they seem irrelevant. Like in Sleeping Beauty I get that the powdered wigs are supposed to evoke the French nobility. But Nutcracker's second act is a fantasy and there's nothing dictating that the SPF and Cavalier have to wear frosted blond wigs. Moving to a more natural look seems like a small tweak that reflects the diversity of today's company. 

 

Most wigs seem irrelevant to me.  I repeat though that the wigs don't look blonde to me, they are a fantasy in themselves (however hideous and unflattering I find them on anyone).  I would like to see them disappear but not because I think they are Euro-centric (I don't) but because they are horrible to look at.  (Not that it matters as, in my scheme of things, I have no intention of ever watching that version of Nutcracker again (don't start me on the angels!))

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19 hours ago, Ivy Lin said:

 

Yes but by having such Euro-centric wigs ism't the message that the only "right" dancers for these roles are white and of European heritage? 

Not at all.  Many non-white, non-European dancers at the Royal Ballet have worn and continue to wear these wigs...and they have been more than 'right' for the roles.  These wigs are simply meant to reflect the bright, sugar-spun set and costumes of the land of the sweets.  It's a fairy tale, and although I don't like the wigs, I understand what they are for.    

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I think Carlos Acosta didn't wear the frosted wig in Nutcracker, and his partner was dark-haired too. I think this has been noted on here before, though I'm not sure I can find the thread. 

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I wonder if it was on the previous forum?  I don't remember Acosta dancing the Cavalier in his later career, although I have to admit that I don't retain Nutcracker casting information that readily.  I did think I might have seen Miyako Yoshida dancing Sugar Plum with dark but silvered hair at one stage, but my programme appears to show her with the wig on.

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On 12/07/2021 at 06:52, Pas de Quatre said:

Marcelino Sambe actually mentioned the Nutcracker wig in the discussion a few months ago hosted by Kenneth Olumyiwa Tharp at ROH, in relation to diversity in ballet. I will see if I can find a link later, or someone else could post it.

 

Here is the link - an interesting discussion about hair in general too.

ROH Insight discussion

 

I thought that was a brilliant event overall.  It was fascinating hearing the diversity of BAME dancer views.  It has also furthered my existing crush on Joe Sissens who seems very intelligent and thoughtful as well as being lovely to watch as a dancer. 

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20 hours ago, Ivy Lin said:

I'll add that many European dancers also do not look good in those wigs. Some white people have very dark hair and eyebrows and don't look good with a blond wig. 

 

Yes.  I don't think anyone looks particularly good in those wigs from Nutcracker.  Case in point Vadim looks like a Ken doll in it and it does nothing for him at all.  He's so much better looking with his natural hair.  I'm not wild about the sleeping beauty ones either although I love the way they dress and style Carabosse. 

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39 minutes ago, alison said:

I wonder if it was on the previous forum?  I don't remember Acosta dancing the Cavalier in his later career, although I have to admit that I don't retain Nutcracker casting information that readily.  I did think I might have seen Miyako Yoshida dancing Sugar Plum with dark but silvered hair at one stage, but my programme appears to show her with the wig on.

I think she and Jonathan Cope had their natural hair, with added glitter, when they were filmed in the early 2000s?

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9 hours ago, Tango Dancer said:

 

Yes.  I don't think anyone looks particularly good in those wigs from Nutcracker.  Case in point Vadim looks like a Ken doll in it and it does nothing for him at all.  He's so much better looking with his natural hair.  I'm not wild about the sleeping beauty ones either although I love the way they dress and style Carabosse. 

 

I think he looks like Prince Joffrey.

188274-marianela-nu-ez-and-vadim-muntagi

 

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9 hours ago, RHowarth said:

I think she and Jonathan Cope had their natural hair, with added glitter, when they were filmed in the early 2000s?

Yes, you are right. I have the dvd issued in 2001.

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9 hours ago, Tango Dancer said:

 

Yes.  I don't think anyone looks particularly good in those wigs from Nutcracker.  Case in point Vadim looks like a Ken doll in it and it does nothing for him at all.  He's so much better looking with his natural hair.  I'm not wild about the sleeping beauty ones either although I love the way they dress and style Carabosse. 

But don't you just love a Ken doll?!!!!! Maybe Nela will appreciate?!!! 

Keep the wigs in Beauty!!! 

 

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9 hours ago, Ivy Lin said:

 

I think he looks like Prince Joffrey.

188274-marianela-nu-ez-and-vadim-muntagi

 

 

I had to look up who Prince Joffrey is!

 

This photograph shows the full hideousness of these wigs and IMHO they should be got rid of immediately!

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