GTL Posted January 13, 2013 Share Posted January 13, 2013 (edited) I'm sure this was discussed on the old forum but I can't find anything on this one. It is prompted by some of the discussion on the threads “Commenting on reviews”, “Royal Ballet Firebird/In the Night/Raymonda Act III bill” and “Do professional critics write for their perceived audiences?” but mainly by a comment made at the end of the last night of the Raymonda triple bill at the Royal Opera House. As the house lights came up, a lady with an American accent said, “If they did that in New York, they'd be on the bus to Pittsburgh.” She has every right to express an opinion, especially a witty one, and no rudeness was intended: her remark was addressed only to her companion and she apologised profusely when she realised others had heard. Though my only involvement with the ballet world is as a spectator, the Royal Ballet is my home team and my unvoiced, instinctive reaction was outrage – but it has got me thinking. In the course of that evening I had:- initially regretted the many cast substitutions but realised that the replacements were dancers I am happy to watch; seen nothing to condemn and much to admire in the first and second pieces; enjoyed the solos in “Raymonda”, especially those by the replacement dancers, and decided the ensemble dancers were having an “off” day, perhaps due to the many last-minute revisions, despite the presence in the ranks of many I admire as individual dancers. I look to the London visits of the Mariinsky and Bolshoi as setting the gold standard and I have seen enough to know which of them is in the doldrums and which riding high – and how that changes over the years. However, I appreciate the fact that the Royal Ballet draw their dancers from a wider range of physiques, which is obviously going to affect the impact of the corps. Because I have come to recognise and appreciate the individual Royal Ballet dancers, especially through their roles in the more dramatic works, I excuse the lack of uniformity but should foreign visitors do so? Is it for the same reason that I thought English National Ballet's “Sleeping Beauty” London first night superior to the Mariinsky one I saw here about six years ago? I certainly enjoyed ENB's much more. The New York City Ballet's visit here a few years ago disappointed me. They dance fast and they're very thin and Balanchine is great and I'd love to see them do “Western Symphony” again but I missed the individuality I see at the RB or ENB and the grace and intensity of the Russians. It was really good to see legends like Wendy Whelan, Albert Evans, Damian Woetzel, not so good to see some of their other icons – but if those others had been long-serving ballerinas whose careers I had followed, I would have been more tolerant. One of the best things about this forum is the positive and mature level of debate so I'm definitely not advocating more venom, but there might be a good outcome from the American lady's comment after the RB “Raymonda III”: Tamara Rojo was seated immediately in front of her so if she heard it, we can expect a humdinger of a “Raymonda III” from ENB this summer. The forum has enough non-London members to refute any suggestion that it is a Royal Ballet fan club, how do you assess your local companies against the visiting? Anyone want to defend the honour – or honor – of Pittsburgh? Edited January 13, 2013 by Grand Tier Left 5 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now