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Royal Ballet: A Diamond Celebration


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3 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

 

I thought the same thing after Act II on Wednesday, though as I've only been regularly balletgoing since 2018, including the covid interruptions, I would really like to get a few more years of torturing my bank account in before contemporary dance takes over!

They'll presumably continue doing the classics for a few years at least - I'm actually grateful that there's usually only two or three productions a year I'm interested in, I think I get more out of seeing several casts in one production than one cast in many. It would be nice if there seemed to be something more palatable (to me) on the horizon but I'm happy enough seeing the same handful over and over! The worry for me is that the Royal Ballet don't really seem very keen on ballet, but maybe I read too much into it. 

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21 minutes ago, ellyb said:

I suppose that's what surprised me, if we're deep in Nutcracker season and I see soloists in the corps I wouldn't bat an eyelid but this was a pretty small corps in just one act on an evening with almost no other corps work. Of course the bulk of the company is likely extremely busy behind the scenes preparing for Nutcracker, and then straight into Sleeping Beauty and quite possibly learning Cinderella too - most would probably be unfamiliar with Diamonds as well so having to learn it on top of everything else would be quite a lot to ask! Makes perfect sense now I think about it!

I think Gina Storm Jensen is quite familiar with Jewels as she danced various parts in the last run; I can’t promise she was in the exact spot for Diamonds then, but  it’s not too difficult a corps part to learn. I am guessing they haven’t started preparing Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella yet, with the last performances of Mayerling still left to go and Nutcracker beginning on 6 December. 

 

29 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

 

I thought the same thing after Act II on Wednesday, though as I've only been regularly balletgoing since 2018, including the covid interruptions, I would really like to get a few more years of torturing my bank account in before contemporary dance takes over!

Don’t worry, Dawnstar- to be honest, if I knew no ballet and hence had no biases, and analysed the situation purely from a business point of view, I would tell you that it’s classical ballet that has a rosy future and likely to last, while contemporary dance is the one on precarious ground and too dependent on famous individuals like Wayne McGregor, Akram Khan, Hofesh Schecter, Crystal Pite, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui etc to keep it going.

 

If you look at the box office figures for Nutcracker, especially at the Coliseum, where with more than 3 weeks to go and no casting yet (how cheeky yet astonishing), ENB have sold out the first week already - that’s over 2350 seats per night (double that on two show days), and many of the remaining dates in December only have 3-5 single seats left. That’s just on the basis of the name Nutcracker and the ENB name. Classical ballet is very much here to stay.

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7 hours ago, Emeralds said:

this does often lead to mutterings among former NYCB dancers who themselves worked with Balanchine saying “who staged this?”, “why are the x, y, and z all wrong?”

 

Conversely, I understand the Jerome Robbins trustees are far more strict as Robbins himself was, and would only allow performances of his works if he (or subsequently, his stagers) could stage the work and be confident of the company’s ability to dance the work to the standard and style he demanded. 

John Clifford writes (overwrites at times) about this on his Instagram feed; noting how steps, costumes, lighting, etc. in some productions have changed to the point where George Balanchine might not recognize them as his own. Clifford also has a lot to say about the style of some of these productions. For instance, he's had some heavy things to say about the "Rubies" and "Diamonds" sections of Jewels, especially in regard to how the central couples are being coached.

 

The Robbins Trust may sanction fewer revivals but the revivals themselves are always coached to Robbins's intent. Jean-Pierre Frolich, in particular, runs a tight ship in that regard.

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Something nobody seems to have asked yet: given that "For Four" was, I think, made for Kings of the Dance (or something similar), can anyone tell me which RB dancer was dancing the part taken by which dancer in the original?

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7 hours ago, alison said:

Something nobody seems to have asked yet: given that "For Four" was, I think, made for Kings of the Dance (or something similar), can anyone tell me which RB dancer was dancing the part taken by which dancer in the original?

 

From this on YT I think the original order was Stiefel, Kobborg, Corella, and Tsiskaridze - and not the order of the names in the YT title. Interesting given that Corrales was originally cast in the "Danish" role. 

 

 

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Was Corrales supposed to be in this ….for Diamond Gala? Does anybody know why he wasn’t dancing then? 

Annamk Thankyou for that lovely video of the original. Not quite enough Tsiskaridze in it for me though ..…I really love his dancing he has a wonderful almost panther like quality….just as in fact I thought not quite enough Vadim the other night ….who is quite different to Tsiskaridze though! So not sure if the four RB chosen are particularly corresponding to the four original dancers? 
 

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11 hours ago, miliosr said:

John Clifford writes (overwrites at times) about this on his Instagram feed; noting how steps, costumes, lighting, etc. in some productions have changed to the point where George Balanchine might not recognize them as his own. Clifford also has a lot to say about the style of some of these productions. For instance, he's had some heavy things to say about the "Rubies" and "Diamonds" sections of Jewels, especially in regard to how the central couples are being coached.

 

The Robbins Trust may sanction fewer revivals but the revivals themselves are always coached to Robbins's intent. Jean-Pierre Frolich, in particular, runs a tight ship in that regard.

Indeed! Clifford is exactly one of the people I was thinking of - but definitely not the only one. One of my own bugbears is the cutting out of the entrechats in the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux ballerina solo- I noticed this when the Royal Ballet acquired it in the 90s and one principal (who shall remain nameless) who was famous but not noted for good allegro work would cut them out, but Sylvie Guillem always managed to get them right. Recently there seems to be a move to stage them without even bothering with the entrechats at all (!!)...not even trying to see if the dancer can do them- I’m sure all of them can. Patricia McBride does perform them in the legendary  recordings where she danced it with Baryshnikov, and the current NYCB ballerinas that I’ve seen do include them. I dislike the way many companies/dancers treat the Tchai Pas as “just another party piece like Corsaire pas de deux” and don’t always dance it properly. 

 

If all this seems pedantic compared to the staging of Ashton’s ballets, I wish more attention was paid to Ashton works being staged meticulously.....whether in Britain or other nations and companies around the world, sometimes the epaulement and ports de bras (the use of the shoulders, back and arms) are watered down either to make it easier for the performer or....worse still....maybe they forgot! 

 

I agree Jean-Pierre does a great job ensuring that the Robbins ballets are danced as their creator would have wanted- they are always wonderfully performed when I’ve seen them staged. Before the Royal Opera House had to close for the Covid lockdowns imposed by Boris Johnson, the Royal Ballet performed Dances at a Gathering very beautifully (staged by Ben Huys), so much so that they had a few celebrity fans- David Hallberg raved about their performance on Instagram and Facebook while watching it in the audience (he wasn’t performing that night), and star cellist Sheku Kanneh Mason and his sister, pianist Isata Kanneh Mason came to watch it with a group of friends and both Sheku and Isata said they really enjoyed Dances at A Gathering.

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2 hours ago, Emeralds said:

If all this seems pedantic compared to the staging of Ashton’s ballets, I wish more attention was paid to Ashton works being staged meticulously.....whether in Britain or other nations and companies around the world, sometimes the epaulement and ports de bras (the use of the shoulders, back and arms) are watered down either to make it easier for the performer or....worse still....maybe they forgot! 

 

 

Oh, if only.  I just wish someone somewhere would offer to take this up.

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11 hours ago, annamk said:

 

From this on YT I think the original order was Stiefel, Kobborg, Corella, and Tsiskaridze - and not the order of the names in the YT title. Interesting given that Corrales was originally cast in the "Danish" role. 

 

 

Thank you for posting this. I loved it. I don't know why, but this I find quite beautiful, whereas the Diamond Celebration lacked the sparkle of this performance. I like the lines of the costumes, which show off the dancers' fluidity and grace. 

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Thanks so for the video of the For Four, Anna.  It brings back such vivid memories of seeing both Stiefel and Corella dancing with their original companies (NYCB and ABT) as teenagers.  Much as had been the case with Darci Kistler (then in the hands of Balanchine in his final stretch), Stiefel - then so young - seemed to be thrown by Peter Martins literally into everything and it was so thrilling to see him tackle - with those stunningly fleet feet - each aspect so freshly.  Corella had been in the same class in Spain with Victor Ullate as Tamara Rojo.  Puts the longevity of her performing career into vivid perspective somehow!

 

 

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Yes Kobborg and Tsiskaridze stood out for me though all four were great to watch and expressive of the music perhaps I know less about Stiefel and Corella as that’s the first time I’ve seen them dance in that video. 
Must have taken some courage for Wheeldon to stand in front of such four prestigious and talented dancers to create this Piece but satisfying that in the end it proved to be worthy of them. 

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12 hours ago, Jorgeb said:

Akane and Calvin. Lovely (but sometimes pointe shoes are a bit noisy).

 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/ClOHsXBqsOZ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

Thanks, Jorgeb! I have no idea how the fan managed to upload such a clear video (I presume it came off the HD cinema relay) but I’m very glad it exists in cyberspace now for anyone who loves ballet to appreciate. I thought Akane and Calvin were gorgeous in this pas de deux onstage, but they are even more gorgeous - if that seems a strange thing to say because it’s still the two of them! - in this video where I can see the details closely, and the orchestra sounds glorious too.

 

I’m explaining away the pointe shoe noise like this: Des Grieux’s rented room is in a house that is not built nicely (and no carpets), because he hasn’t very much money, so the floor boards are too thin and make every shoe sound “clump clump”. And the reason why Des Grieux’s footwear isn’t just as loud because he’s “at home” and has quiet footwear (18th century slippers?Socks?) whereas Manon has just run away with him without her trunk and other luggage so she still has her noisy street shoes on. 😆😁

 

But all in all, a glorious video- and they do convey the sweetness of two young people in love just at those precious moments before Monsieur GM and Lescaut spoil everything. 

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16 hours ago, Linnzi5 said:

I like the lines of the costumes, which show off the dancers' fluidity and grace. 


Totally agree. And matching the colour top and bottom is so flattering to both dancer and choreography. In the RB version I felt the light top and dark trousers cut the body in half so to speak, especially the show I watched from the Amphitheater 

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  • alison changed the title to Royal Ballet: A Diamond Celebration
On 21/11/2022 at 07:56, annamk said:

 

From this on YT I think the original order was Stiefel, Kobborg, Corella, and Tsiskaridze - and not the order of the names in the YT title. Interesting given that Corrales was originally cast in the "Danish" role. 

 

 


thank you for posting this … and yes it was for Kings of the Dance.  (This video is on the YouTube channel of the promoters/producers of those shows)
 

so comparing the cinema recording to this …

Ball is Steifel, Hay is Kobborg, Sambe is Corella, Muntagirov is Tsiskaridze 

Edited by FionaE
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