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Royal Ballet: The Dante Project - October 2021


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I thought to set up this topic for reviews of The Dante Project, as this week finally sees the commencement of this  new full length ballet choreographed by Wayne McGregor for the RB, long delayed due to Covid.

The opening night is on Thursday 14th, with 9 more performances up to the end of October. 

The last performance on 30th October is also the last here for the brilliant Edward Watson and is sure to be a memorable event. 

Streaming online from 29 October (recorded 26 October).

Looking forward to all the BcF feedback!

 

(Unless I have missed something there has been no advertised General Rehearsal available for Friends to attend....but perhaps  this is normally the case  for new RB ballets)?

 

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  • Richard LH changed the title to Royal Ballet: The Dante Project, October 2021
  • Jan McNulty changed the title to Royal Ballet: The Dante Project - October 2021

Someone commented after the first night of R&J about how many Principals (five) there were in that cast. It looks like the third act of The Dante Project has beaten R&J hollow: I make it 11 Principals on the cast list!

 

ETA Now why is it that the Dante Project cast list opens as a .pdf when none of the R&J cast lists do?

Edited by Dawnstar
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9 minutes ago, oncnp said:

That's one impressive list. Looks like virtually every principal is involved.

No Morera or Nunez unfortunately. Nunez was originally cast, I think, but  perhaps her recent injury has ruled her out. Good to see Cuthbertson returning after her pregnancy leave. McRae will be reserving himself for Romeo. Corrales and Muntagirov are also not featured. Bonelli heads Cast 2,  I believe. 

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Good to see that there’s some naming of characters/dancers on the Cast Sheet, much better than for Woolf Works.

 

I assume this is a one off Cast Sheet as there’s a lot of material about First Night Celebration donors.
 

I hope that tomorrow and for other performances there’s a brief synopsis.

 

I’m looking forward very much to Friday evening/Saturday matinee. The Insight and pre-performance publicity have certainly whetted my appetite. High expectations indeed if Paradiso is to evoke comparisons with the closing pages of Parsifal.

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Well I thought that was absolutely outstanding. Epic music and choreography, design etc to match. The enormous cast of dancers were wonderful, Ed Watson as magnificent as expected. I won't spoil any details but suffice to say I've left feeling greatly uplifted! 

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Great news! 
Ive been coming in and out of this thread fir about last half hour looking for a comment. 

A bit unfair as not even giving people time to get home!! 
Anyway glad you enjoyed it! I see this cast on 26th Oct with a bit of luck 🍀
 

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There are two main casts but not sure which nights they are dancing 

I booked the 26th because it’s the Ed Watson cast which is the one on the 14th or  First night. But there is another group but Ed not in that one. 

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42 minutes ago, DanJL said:

Well I thought that was absolutely outstanding. Epic music and choreography, design etc to match. The enormous cast of dancers were wonderful, Ed Watson as magnificent as expected. I won't spoil any details but suffice to say I've left feeling greatly uplifted! 

Agree.  It was fabulous.  A real ensemble piece. No “stars”, just the whole company being amazing.  
 

Beautiful sets and lighting, and I loved the music.  McGregor has matured so much as a choreographer.  A wonderful night;  can’t wait to see it again!

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6 hours ago, Sim said:

Agree.  It was fabulous.  A real ensemble piece. No “stars”, just the whole company being amazing.  
 

Beautiful sets and lighting, and I loved the music.  McGregor has matured so much as a choreographer.  A wonderful night;  can’t wait to see it again!

 

Is it for someone who liked "Woolf Works" but otherwise doesn't care for McGregor?

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1 hour ago, oncnp said:

 

Is it for someone who liked "Woolf Works" but otherwise doesn't care for McGregor?

I would say if you liked Woolf Works definitely give it a go! It certainly shares the maturity and vision of Woolf Works. I'd say the scope of the music and dance is more varied and ambitious. There are very many things to really enjoy in it 🙂

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Thrilling, gripping, moving, weird, mystifying, ugly, bursting with energy and at times achingly beautiful. The darkness, the love and the light embodied in these brilliant dancers, to a monumental score and with spectacular designs. A hugely ambitious work and hugely enjoyable. Edward Watson terrific as Dante - questing, suffering, learning, loving; Gary Avis wonderful as Virgil, guiding his charge with a stern but loving authority; and Sarah Lamb, the epitome of beauty and clarity, quietly showing Dante his - and our - ultimate destination.  

 

The sections are surprisingly uneven in length - Purgatorio and Paradiso are both only about half as long as Inferno, which I think is a shame. And there are a few times when I found the choreography a bit less lyrical than I might have hoped and the 'storytelling' aspect slightly obscure. The music is to my ears a complete smorgasbord of styles, influences and direct quotes from other composers; but it's exciting and hugely powerful, and matched in force by the choreography. The designs are simple but evocative and effective. 

 

A major achievement for the company and all involved with the production.

 

 

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The photo gallery in the Links page look stunning. This seems to be a successful fusion of some of the most interesting and talented, creative artists working across the spectrum .So looking forward to the live stream. Thank you for your review Bridem. 

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12 hours ago, alison said:

I've been attempting to check availability on the website - but all I get is the endlessly revolving circle :(

 

Sorry, I now realise that once you scroll down past the large patch of white where the seating place should be the "select best available" option is still available, but it's a mighty frustrating way of trying to book a seat.

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Overall I felt the piece was not as emotionally engaging as Woolf Works, however it had some brilliant dancing.
Purgatorio was filled with phenomenal pas de deux and solos though was perhaps a little long- running at 50 minutes. Special mentions to Richardson, Hayward/Ball, Naghdi/Sambé, Sissens/Kay, and Hamilton/Grennel(?) (from how far up I was it was hard to tell who she was dancing with but Melissa was unmistakable). The atmosphere is dark and heavy and is perhaps the most aesthetically striking of the three acts. Though it was very impressive, did anyone else find the Thieves section with all the men doing virtuoso a little cheesy? It felt just ever so slightly Barnum and Bailey.

 

Purgatorio was my favourite act. Simple and effective set, intriguing music, and glittering performances from the principals and the young Marco Masciari. It felt like it really captured the essence of limbo, being stuck in the ‘waiting room’ for heaven, mulling over your life and loves over and over again.

 

Despite some more phenomenal dancing and complex pas de deux, I was quite unimpressed by Paradiso. From a design perspective it appeared to me like a university dance course doing a Cunningham showcase, trippy projections et al. The principals were stellar, and I did enjoy that in being far up it was egalitarian, nobody is totally distinctive (with exception of Osipova, even from far away you can just tell it’s her, and she’s fab).

 

Overall I’d say definitely go, give it a try! It’s a happy medium between Woolf Works and McGregor’s less narrative pieces. The dancing is great, the choreography is of course always new and exciting. It was certainly a journey, just not an emotional one in my opinion.

 

And how could I forget, Ed Watson! What a thrill, still as striking as ever. To me, this work was such a gift to him, and I feel knowing his story and relationship with the dancers provides more pathos than the piece itself. I wonder will it translate with the other cast and with Paris when they do it!

Edited by LACAD
Edited to include Ed, who I disgracefully forgot to mention
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