Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Do you want to discuss individual ballets on this thread or start new ones for each?

 

I have just watched the Mariinsky Nutcracker which was gorgeous.  Gergiev was conducting and the orchestra played incredibly well.  There were interesting shots of him and the musicians during the Overture and the linking musical passages.

 

The dancing of course was superb, as was the whole production.  Masha (Clara) is a child and in a transformation at the beginning of the second act becomes "Masha the Princess", likewise her Nutcracker, a child in the first act becomes an adult Prince in the second act.  My only reservation was the choreography for the Grand Pas de Deux, which also incorporated four cavaliers and felt a bit like the Rose Adagio at times.

 

So many good things, but one section I shall remember is the Pas de Trois to the Mirlitons' music performed by three young students.  The two girls were slender leggy adolescents and danced ravishingly, but the young man was really outstanding.  It is difficult to say how old he was, possibly twelve or thirteen, and he wasn't as tall as the girls even before they stood on pointe.  But he partnered with assurance and the audience burst into applause during his short solo moment. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you want to discuss individual ballets on this thread or start new ones for each?

 

A good question, PdQ - let's play it by ear and see how it goes.  I've split your original comments off into a new thread so we can stop the information one from getting too clogged up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree, the Mariinsky Nutcracker is a totally sumptuous production, beautifully filmed and the sound track is wonderful. One little tip, if you are going to watch this, record a late night broadcast as, on Virgin Media at least, the daytime and early evening ones have the horrible onscreen channel number graphics whereas the late night ones are clear.

 

So many good things, but one section I shall remember is the Pas de Trois to the Mirlitons' music performed by three young students.  The two girls were slender leggy adolescents and danced ravishingly, but the young man was really outstanding.  It is difficult to say how old he was, possibly twelve or thirteen, and he wasn't as tall as the girls even before they stood on pointe.  But he partnered with assurance and the audience burst into applause during his short solo moment. 

 

I totally agree that trio are something special to watch. And the great thing about TV versus live performances is that you can rewind and watch again!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

   I watched the Mariinsky Nutcracker this morning and have mixed feelings about it. The party scene seemed a lot shorter than the Royal's, which I think drags on a bit. The national dances were done well, especially the Spanish and Chinese ones and the three little dancers were impressive. The scenery and the costumes were lovely, although there was an awful lot of pink onstage at certain  points. The lead male dancer (whose name I won't even try and spell) was impressive as well. 

 

    The Christmas tree growing and the battle with the mice weren't particularly well done, not helped by the filming here which zoomed in on Clara while the tree was growing. I felt the filming was an issue throughout with the camera often zooming in on the upper body while the lower body was doing most of the work, during turns for example. I also didn't like the one dancer playing both Clara and doing the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux and I must admit to not finding Alina Somova a particularly inspiring dancer, she tends to have very broken wrists and in some of her early attitudes she sacrificed the line of her upper body to get her leg higher, although later on she did have a lovely line in her arabesques. 

 

    Overall I prefer the Royal's version but I think the Mariinsky one is well worth a watch.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enjoyed watching Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty followed by Don Quixote- what a  nice Christmas treat.

S.B was fun though I could have done without some of the tackier parts ( oh please, not vampires). I liked the park bench rose adagio pas de deux- and many other very imaginative and expressive  moments.

 

But then the real thing...

Marienela Nunez beyond praise in Don Q in my humble opinion. The whole piece seemed to work-well paced, full of life, happy- some superb and a lot of excellent dancing; I found myself wondering why there had been moans about the windmill/lilac dresses etc. ?

 

A good choice for TV, surely bound to appeal widely and perhaps find some new audiences for ballet.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mary, both ballets seem well suited to the small screen.

 

I saw Sleeping Beauty at the Bradford Alhambra and was somewhat underwhelmed http://jelterps.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/why-cant-i-be-nicer-to-matthew-bourne.html. For some reason or other I like the film version  much better

 

I have yet to see this version  of Don Quixote on stage but I saw the live streaming in October.  Again I was underwhelmed http://jelterps.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/por-favor-don-quixote-streamed-to.html   However I like the ballet http://jelterps.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/more-thoughts-on-don-quixote.html  For some reason I enjoyed the TV recording more than the broadcast.  I appreciated Acosta's dramatic skills better this time I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw DQ and thought that a lot of Act 2 was far too dark; there were some parts where you could hardly see the dancers and, in the case of the Vision Scene, the striking set. I assume that this was the filming as I don't remember any of the live performances which I saw being that dark, although they were a bit dark in places. It's a shame as I thought that the Vision Scene in particular lost much of its magic in the transmission. Alternatively, perhaps there was a problem with my parents in law's television! I liked the lilac dresses for Kitri's friends even less on the television; I thought that the shiny material looked a bit cheap and nasty.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe it's just me but I really don't understand Matthew Bourne. The story seems reengineered for the sake of it and the choreography is limited. It seems like a very watered-down version of the real thing. The dancing wasn't really very good either. I was really surprised that this was on prime time Christmas Day and hope it doesn't put off anyone who is not too familiar with ballet from going to see the real thing.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Matthew Bourne works best for people who have not seen the actual ballet - it's somewhere between musical and ballet, possibly providing a link towards ballet for those who enjoy the dancing in musicals. And without previous familiarity you won't experience the jarring moments when instead of seeing a Bluebird strutting its stuff, all you get is vampires in a night club wedding scene.

 

The dancing in Bourne's always feels secondary to the staging, and the only piece of dancing I really liked when watching it on TV was the park bench rose adagio. I did like his SB when I saw it at Sadler's Wells but didn't feel an urge to see it again after watching the recording. Having recently seen His Swan Lake, I feel quite tired of the choppy arms, forced-looking hand movements and most of all the annoyingly tacky night club scenes.

 

I tend to think of Bourne productions as "[insert ballet name] the Musical" - takes away the expectations and allows me to watch them as a nice little romp with the occasional piece of brilliance like the topiary in Edward Scissorhands. But then maybe not everyone is as fond of moving topiary as I am.

 

... It's a shame as I thought that the Vision Scene in particular lost much of its magic in the transmission. Alternatively, perhaps there was a problem with my parents in law's television! ....

Same for me, so unless your parents-in-law and I have the same faulty TV, the glorious flowers were all but lost in the shadows. I thought DonQ held up quite well on the screen, though there were some things that were amazing when I saw the same cast live that I barely noticed on screen, eg Espada's solo in the first Act. Edited by Coated
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty last year, and enjoyed it very much, but it is more pantomime than ballet, and I think it needs to be viewed in that way. 

 

I didn't watch the whole of Don Quixote, just the beginning and the very end (although I recorded all of it).  I thought it came across much better on tv than ballet usually does.  I didn't have a problem with the lilac dresses, other than thinking that it looked as though the two girls went to a different dress maker to all the others!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I agree. The Matthew Bourne was fun, ( and often visually pleasurable and imaginative) but somehow unsatisfying,- too many predictable and obvious /modish features like the naughty nightclub,vampires, 'anyone for tennis' scene-and not enough  good, sharp dancing- so for me the juxtaposition with RB Don Quixote really emphasised the joy of watching good ballet.The quality of dancing  just sang through  - and so made me forget the - all right, admittedly rather weird lilac dresses!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I loved the quote from the reviewer for Don Q (sorry, can't remember who it was) who said that 'Kitri's friends were dressed in a colour that I can only describe as Windowlene' . Every time I see them I now think of Windowlene! Apart from that I enjoyed what I saw of Don Q up to the end of the gypsy scene. We had to switch over after that so my husband could watch the M.R. James (you have to give in sometimes) so I'll watch the rest tomorrow. I think there is always a problem with filming scenes that are darkly lit. They are never as dark when you are watching them at the theatre because your eyes can adjust. However, a camera can't, so somethimes I think there may be a case for having slightly more light when a performance is being filmed though that may be too difficult to achieve. Presumably lighting is plotted and it may not be possible to re-plot it just for a couple of performances.

I have never cared for Matthew Bourne's productions and this one was no exception. I thought I might like it more as it had some good reviews but it just seemed to be change for the sake of it and to possibly shock traditional ballet goers. However, judging by the cheers at the end perhaps I am in a minority.  As SB is often a ballet children are taken to I hope potential parents were informed it wasn't suitable for small children. I thought the last act (which reminded me more of Dracula than Sleeping Beauty) was potentially quite scary for children. I think Lez Brotherston also did the sets and costumes for Northen Ballet's Dracula which I enjoyed. I recorded SB but I won't be keeping it. Roll on tomorrow for a proper Sleeping beauty on SkyArts with the added bonus of Polunin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are never as dark when you are watching them at the theatre because your eyes can adjust. However, a camera can't, so somethimes I think there may be a case for having slightly more light when a performance is being filmed though that may be too difficult to achieve. Presumably lighting is plotted and it may not be possible to re-plot it just for a couple of performances.

 

Yes, the 2009 recording of Ondine shows what happens if you go for more light :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just watched Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty on the i-player. I thought it was a terrific recording.

 

I loved this production live and I loved watching it on the TV.  Although Matthew Bourne stresses he does not choreograph ballet, I love his nods to Petipa in the Fairy dances.   I loved the closeups showing the subtle but effective acting of the leading dancers.

 

Don Q to come ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty was filmed in Bristol. Dd and I watched on I-player and we enjoyed it almost as much as the first time we saw it at Plymouth. I am not an expert on cheography etc but this is one of my favourites and dd and I would defiantly go and see it again.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well caught up with the Christmas terrestrial tv ballet at last!

 

First Matthew Bourne......well I did actually really enjoy this! I think maybe the problem is the familiarity of that music! When you have seen many performances of the classical ballet Sleeping Beauty it's really strange seeing such completely different choreography to the music. And in a way as the Bourne "ballet" (more Dance Theatre) is so different perhaps it would have been better to a completely new score as others have done when creating new ballets around an old theme.

However I thought some of his choreography......the rose adagio as mentioned ......the final pas de deux and other parts were very good and used the music extremely well though was a bit "busy" in places. I liked the vampire setting idea with some nice dramatic touches here and there......finding the chief vampire character in the bed and not Beauty for example!

I even enjoyed the puppet "baby" which also added to the other worldly feel of the piece though the ending was a bit mawkish but although probably deliberately so I think detracted from the piece.

The best thing is to try to divorce it from the original and take it for a piece of dance theatre and on that level I think it works well.

 

Then of course Don Q. My first sight of this new production so I havent seen it live yet and loved it!! ( even more than the Bourne piece!)

All the dancing was a delight and is as far as Dance goes much more my cup of tea!

I didn't mind the "dancing sets" or the mauve costumes! Especially as the two dancers wearing them are two of my favourites of the younger dancers coming through!

All the 4 main dancers were fantastic. Just one thing.......was it Melissa Hamilton in the more yellowy of the tutus in the dream scene ? She was lovely. And I just love Marianuela and Carlos dancing together both in brilliant form and such a joy. Just a little bit of over "business" at times in this ballet too....but the production certainly stands up against others Ive seen.

 

So a good ballet Christmas in all and nice to have both these now recorded!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know the full cast for the RB's Sleeping Beauty on today?  Would love to know some of the fairies and smaller roles.

 

Thanks

 

Linda

 

Linda, the original cinema showing was while the old Ballet.co was off the air, so all I could find was this thread: http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/9-royal-ballet-live-transmission-of-sleeping-beauty-15-december/?hl=%22sleeping+beauty%22+cinema

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thought it might be useful to post the iPlayer links in the forum for those that missed the festive dance treats on BBC:

 

Royal Ballet Don Quixote (Available until 1/1/14) -> http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03mp7b4/The_Royal_Ballet_Don_Quixote/

Matthew Bourne Sleeping Beauty (Available until 1/1/14) -> http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03n2r4q/Matthew_Bournes_Sleeping_Beauty/

 

Also, The Red Shoes is up until 1/1/14 too -> http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0074t6v/The_Red_Shoes/

 

Nice to see a full casting given on the DonQ iPlayer page (under "More Programme Information"): pretty sure that's a more detailed casting than on the cast sheets in the cinema!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just been watching my recording if the Mariinsky Opening Gala (I have to admit to fast-forwarding through some of the opera). Was a bit disappointed in their ballet choices - I usually like gala dances as your get to see small bits of impressive pieces, but found their choices strange and give me the RB and BRB costumes any day. The children didn't look nearly as drilled as the RBS students but I think that was partly due to them being en pointe at a younger age than we see WL students (in performance) and it looked too hard for some.

 

I've still got loads more ballet to catch up on! Mostly things I've seen before but that's ok with me :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm only just catching up with all the ballet I recorded over Christmas and I have to say how disappointed I was with the Mariinsky's Nutcracker.  As Pas de Quatre says, the musical side was lovely but the production!  My impression was pink, pallid and rather underwhelming - sort of 'Nutcracker Lite'.  Why on earth had the grand pdd been so watered down so that 4 extra men were needed?  And making Clara vanish into the persona of the SPF makes no sense dramatically.  I agree that the RB party in Act 1 can seem a little long at times but it makes for a better story and it certainly looks much better.  When the curtain went up in this version I thought we already were in a candy-floss kingdom.  The fight with the mice was very odd and unconvincing - in fact they were so much larger than the others onstage, they were more like super-rats and Clara's victory over the king was lacking in drama.

 

Like most ballet-goers of a certain age, I have seen a lot of Nuts over the years: from the Bolshoi of the Cold War era via Mark Morris' Hard Nut, the Balanchine version & other US ones, to the two Peter Wright productions for the RB & the BRB but I felt very let down by this one.  Is this version what is always danced by the Mariinsky now?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure, Alison.  Sky Arts credits are rather unreliable but I'll look out for the date if it is repeated.  Have to say the male lead looked incredibly young, barely more than 16 so if he is now a mature principal that would be a clue to the age of the production.  I would hope that such a prestigious company would have a more recent, and much better, version to show to the world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was hoping someone else would have seen the Sleeping Beauty with Cuthbertson and Polunin. 

 

I've never seen Cuthbertson in a traditional role before, and I thought she was lovely.  However, I was less impressed with Polunin.  Lovely technique, but I am struggling to think of the adjective to describe my feelings.  Mainly, I thought he didn't have that elegant air required for the pure classical roles.  Also, I though his acting was unconvincing.

 

I didn't know it was him when I watched the performance in a post Christmassy lunch haze, so my judgement was not influenced by knowledge of his subsequent behaviour. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw RB's Sleeping Beauty too and had mixed reactions.  Although Cuthbertson has some lovely lines and a light jump I felt she was miscast.  There were serious wobbles/strain in both the Rose Adagio and the Grand Pas de Deux in the last act.  She also fell off her triple pirouettes a couple of times and had a few stumbles.  I simply don't think she has the strength for this role.

 

The role of the Prince is a thankless one, lots of wandering about looking noble and very little dancing.  Polunin perhaps wasn't mature enough to project the whole time, but his dancing was excellent and in many ways he reminded me of a young Nureyev.  His partnering was also attentive and first class.

 

The Lilac fairy was danced radiantly by Claire Calvert - you could really believe in her magic!  Hopefully she will be given more roles in future.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw RB's Sleeping Beauty too and had mixed reactions.  Although Cuthbertson has some lovely lines and a light jump I felt she was miscast.  There were serious wobbles/strain in both the Rose Adagio and the Grand Pas de Deux in the last act.  She also fell off her triple pirouettes a couple of times and had a few stumbles.  I simply don't think she has the strength for this role.

 

The role of the Prince is a thankless one, lots of wandering about looking noble and very little dancing.  Polunin perhaps wasn't mature enough to project the whole time, but his dancing was excellent and in many ways he reminded me of a young Nureyev.  His partnering was also attentive and first class.

 

The Lilac fairy was danced radiantly by Claire Calvert - you could really believe in her magic!  Hopefully she will be given more roles in future.

 

Yes,she did struggle in the Rose Adagio, but so does everyone else I have seen recently.  In fact, I can't remember the last time I saw what I would consider to be a wonderful performance of this.  Those balances seem to defeat everyone these days, and even the most experienced seem to frown their way through it.  It is almost as if the style required to perform this most classical of roles is disappearing. 

 

I didn't notice any serious stumbles, but I wasn't concentrating that hard.  It is the first time I have seen Cuthbertson in anything classical, and my only impression was of her nice clean lines, as you say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...