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The Royal Ballet: Ceremony of Innocence / The Age of Anxiety / Aeternum


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So just as Charlie and I had met, we were joined by Alex Beard, who I interviewed for the London Ballet Circle recently, who gave us a mini tour of the ROH redevelopment plans exhibition - well worth seeing in my opinion.

 

Then up to the Clore where Kim Brandstrup was rehearsing Deirdre Chapman and Bennet Gartside in Ceremony of Innocence. Although I've already seen it performed in Snape and Copenhagen, Kim used this opportunity to amend and fine tune this work.

 

Although there is no narrative as such, this scene was inspired by a memory from Benn's character's childhood when a day at the beach was marred by getting separated from his mother. Years later his mother still remembers being frantic with worry and it appears the experience scarred her for life, still worrying about him as a grown man.

 

Liam Scarlett's work Age of Anxiety is still in development. Based on the book, the first section that was rehearsed saw Matthew Ball and Natalie Harrison as the young couple very much in love in a late night bar. Liam's ability to articulate every facet of the characters helped his dancers find their unique interpretation. It was great fun to watch the development of that section.

 

The evening concluded with Liam rehearsing Tristan Dyer's solo which was a masterclass in the eloquence of the smallest of movements.

 

Many thanks once again Charlie for the opportunity to sit in on the rehearsal this evening.

 

Kind regards

 

Allison

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Coming back to the original topic, I saw the rehearsal today. Not sure how much I'm allowed to say about Age of Anxiety but it's very definitely a vehicle for Steven McRae and Laura Morera who were brilliant.  The New York sets are stunning too.  Suggest you gen up before you see it otherwise detail and context will be missed. The Bernstein score is also amazing and the orchestra are loving it.  

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Dave, I've seen it before - twice - and I don't feel the need to see it again. I don't appreciate being called 'daft' either. I'm entitled to my opinion, just as you are. These things are largely a matter of taste and opinion rather than fact. Your tastes and opinions are just that, not fact. I'd appreciate it if you would address me more respectfully in future. Your tone is very patronising and you come across as a middle aged know-it-all.

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I've only booked one performance of this bill so far - and, given the cast changes, may not be booking any more - so would expect to stay until the end, but last time around I found that Aeternum, like Trespass in the Titian programme, was for me a case of the law of diminishing returns, so if I do book more performances it's conceivable that I too might leave early.  OTOH, I might change my mind totally and decide that it's a masterpiece.  I shall have to wait and see.

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Dave, I've seen it before - twice - and I don't feel the need to see it again. I don't appreciate being called 'daft' either. I'm entitled to my opinion, just as you are. These things are largely a matter of taste and opinion rather than fact. Your tastes and opinions are just that, not fact. I'd appreciate it if you would address me more respectfully in future. Your tone is very patronising and you come across as a middle aged know-it-all.

 

didn't say YOU were daft - I just think its daft to miss the best piece of the bill, is all. I may well be middle aged, but certainly not a know it all, you cheeky wee scamp! ;-)

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Can someone tell me anything about the Bernstein score?  For example, when was it written and can I find a recording to listen to first?  I miss out on a lot of new stuff because I find the music uninspiring and sometimes downright repellent (shudders at memory of Pierrot Lunaire).  With most ballet I find familiarity with the music adds immeasurably to my enjoyment of the dancing.

 

Linda

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I also saw Aeternum two or three times and I can't remember anything about it...even whether I liked it or not. That in itself probably answers my question! Will be interested to see my reaction this time around.

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I remember thinking the pdd at the end of Aeternum was very emotional, it seemed to be about forgiveness and redemption after war, there's a rehearsal photo of Marienela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in The Times today.

 

Also I seem to recall a significant solo section created for the very talented James Hay ... but perhaps I am wrong in that ... 

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I generally don't like to post about rehearsals but I have to say that Claire Calvert was simply stunning in the final Aeternum pd2 this afternoon. I'm still shaking!

 

 

Same here. Watching that performance had me speculating which roles she ought to be dancing.

She was absolutely stunning. Wonderful pd2. 

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I was at a couple of rehearsals during the week (sadly, for me anyway, missed Aeternum due to unavoidable circumstances). Anyhoo, a couple of photos, and link to more...

15112500234_999f3a182a_z.jpg
Edward Watson in Ceremony of Innocence
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
 
15547276977_a2d2a136d0_z.jpg
The Age of Anxiety - Tristan Dyer, Laura Morera, Bennet Gartside, Steven McRae
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

See more...
Set from DanceTabs: Royal Ballet - Ceremony of Innocence and The Age of Anxiety
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
By kind permission of the Royal Opera House

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Also I seem to recall a significant solo section created for the very talented James Hay ... but perhaps I am wrong in that ... 

 

you were correct Bruce - he and Marcellino Sambe share duties, but I think it was created on James. And a sprightly solo it is too!

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To be fair I'm not a big fan of abstract work, but overall last night's programme really didn't work for me.

 

I did talk to and overhear several people who really enjoyed the Brandstrup piece, but it didn't grip me at all - I found my attention wandering constantly.  I made the mistake of not looking up a synopsis before I came, so I hadn't the foggiest what it was about.  I picked up a theme of loneliness, but according to some hasty research during the interval it was something to do with an adult confronting their childhood self.  The choreography was unimpressive, and seemed a waste of the various talents on stage, in particular Ed Watson.  I will say the lighting scheme was pretty good however.

 

I did enjoy Age of Anxiety, which I had expected to as I liked what I saw during the rehearsal shown on the 24hr stream.  I'm starting to recognise Liam Scarlett's distinctive style now, and it is growing on me.  Good choreography and characterisation, well performed, in particular by McCrae and Dyer.  From the audience reaction I think this piece went down quite well.

 

Aeternum was ok.  Quite beautiful although I don't think I'd go out of my way to see it again.  I think a slightly disappointing evening needed something else to give it more of a lift at the end.

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