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BBC Ballet on TV season - March 2014


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There are a couple of extracts from Bejart's Queen ballet - it has a long title which I can't remember - on Youtube if you search under Bejart Presbytere.  It is rather badly filmed, but you do actually get genuine Queen tracks.  It seems to have been filmed in its entirety, judging by the end credits on one of the extracts, but I've never seen the full version, except on stage many years ago in Paris.

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Isn't it Bejart's 'Ballet for Life' (with music by Queen and Mozart) ? I saw it a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. You can find segments of it on youtube with (imo) the beautiful Elizabeth Ros dancing.

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Yes, that's the one!  The English title is Ballet For Life, as you say.  It was the French title that was incredibly obscure and very long!  I was inspired by this thread to hunt online to see if there was a dvd of the whole ballet.  Apparently there is, and I'm trying to make sure it's playable in this country.

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  • 9 months later...

When I watched Darcey Bussell's porridge advert on YouTube (see thread on Not Dance) the "red button" programme "Darcey Bussell:  A Ballerina's Life" started playing immediately after.

 

I had never watched it before and I have to say that I enjoyed it very much.  It was particularly interesting to hear Ms Bussell talking about Sir Frederick Ashton and working with Sir Kenneth MacMillan.  That little bit starts around 14 minutes in but I found the whole 30 minutes very watchable:

 

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Darcey always speaks very warmly of her days with SWRB and she has kind of returned to the company as she is (or at least was) the figurehead of BRB's fundraising campaign. Regarding her retirement, from what I remember she asked that her last performance should be in Song of the Earth which the RB was presenting. I cannot recall ever hearing that she wanted to finish at Sadler's Wells.

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Many thanks for bringing this to our attention Janet. I really enjoyed the programme and her comments about Ashton and always showing the dancer's back made a lot of sense. I did feel for her a bit when she talked about only Jonathan Cope talking to her during Pagodas. What a lot for a young dancer to take on.

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I saw Darcey on the you tube link posted by here. She said one dancer had costume on full orchestra and she was told not good enough. That must have sent her home in tears for weeks?

 

I guess is way it is but seems to me even if you get to top such is ballet you are not allowed to get over the top. She said McMillan was quiet and I think that premier dancers can wow audiences then still get critcsm.it is a disciplined art?

 

If Nureyev had not defected would Russia have considered him as great and did they give him his greatness in the end?

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Did she do some sort of a song and ballet show with Katherine Jenkins after she had finished at RB?

Yes it was called Viva La Diva and the only good thing about it was Darcey's bits and her pdd with the wonderful Jonathan Cope

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In case anyone is not aware, the repeat (first shown 2014, introduced by Darcey Bussell) of the 1959 TV version of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty featuring Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes was on TV at 2am(!) today, and is currently available to see on iPlayer.

 

Called Fonteyn '59:Sleeping Beauty.

 

(edited to add title)

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Is a full cast list for that available?

(from the credits)

Lilac Fairy 

- Lucette Aldous 
Fairy Godmothers - Antoinette Sibley, Prudence Rodney, June Lesley, Audrey Farris, Judith Sinclair 
Four Princes - John Chesworth, Bob Stevenson, Peter Wright, Jelko Yuresha 
Pas de Trois - Prudence Rodney, Jelko Yuresha, Judith Sinclair
Blue Birds - Brian Shaw, Antoinette Sibley
Three Ivans - Terry Gilbert, Robert Harvey, Derek Westlake
Puss In Boots - Keith Beckett White Cat - Audrey Farriss
Carabosse - Yvonne Cartier
King - Alfred Rodrigues Queen - Felicity Gray
Countess - Greta Hamby
Master of Ceremonies - Claude Newman
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This programme contains what must be one of the best masterclasses for dancing the black swan pdd, by Tamara Rojo and a delightfully puzzled young prince, Vadim Muntagirov. Should be essential viewing for all those dancing Odile. She could kill with a flash of those eyes alone!

I enjoyed watching this again last night. Miss Rojo brings an intelligence to the subject, explaining and demonstrating the choreography and its meaning in a way that makes it accessible and real. She clearly has a sense of humour but takes her subject seriously and treats it with respect. As such, she draws the viewer in and makes you want to know more. No names, but it is hard to imagine her giggling inanely and doing a silly little twirl as she walks down the street. 

As for the scenes from the RAH, maybe it was just me, but there seemed to be quite a lot of 'running about' in order to reach the correct spot on stage, in time with the music. I wondered if this was just because the area they have to cover is so big or just a optical illusion.

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This was one of the reasons I was a bit wary of seeing the SL at the RAH last week, along with the intense blue light that apparently pervades everything. None of this is apparent in the actaul show. The light is whiter, so the 60 white tutus shine, and you are only aware of the fabulous patterns the swans are making.

 

Because a lot of it was filmed in close up, you are very aware of the corps running, but this is angle that no-one would actually see from the audience. As a film editor of 20 years at the Beeb, I am aware that you choose the shots with the most drama. I think that the few year's old programme about the staging of this production, 'The Agony and the Ecstasy', put me off from going for a long time, with Mr. Deane's ghastly treatment of Daria Klimentova, and some of the corps. A very negative portrayal it appeared, but this is because the bits that go wrong make the best television, and the actuality was so much more than this!

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That's interesting about the filming, Cavycapers. I did get the impression of running, both from the corps and one or two almost comical scenes with Odette and Siegfried having to cover some ground. I remember The Agony and the Ecstacy also putting me off going for reasons you mention - didn't Mr Deane, ludicrously, call Miss Klimentova unmusical? There was also, as I recall, lengthy and tedious airtime given over to one of the corps and her poorly toe/foot, and whether she would be fit to dance. I lost the will to live.

The feeling I had was that this was a big production number over effective story telling, although sixty swans must be an impressive sight, even visibly sweating! :blink:

I was thinking about going this Saturday pm, but decided not to for various reasons. No doubt I am missing a treat but it will come round again!

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"Effective storytelling" can be had, even in this production - if it were still online, I'd refer you to my review of a Tamara Rojo/Patrick Armand matinee from early this century (she says, feeling old :( )

 

Edit: actually, feeling even older - remembering when Rojo joined the RB, it may even have been right at the end of last century.  In fact, I think it must have been :(

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