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Nothing to report from the incredible, shrinking Sunday Times today. Is it my imagination or is the paper doing an Alice and getting smaller and smaller?

I did like the Telegraph article seen in today's links, regarding the ROH's latest appeal for donations.  I received such a letter and admit it had a similar effect on me to those mentioned. Given the state of the world and that appeals usually focus on what one might term real and in many cases, desperate need, it does seem beyond parody to be asked to donate money to pay for crystals to adorn a caterpillar's shoes , the glue with which to adhese them and various other sundries.

Although I realise the appeal is aimed at those most likely to appreciate the cost, having seen a number of productions that were a "triumph" of expensive style over substance I wonder about budgetary decisions sometimes. Still, if people want to donate, that is their choice.

There was also  reference in the letter to an amount of money that would pay for seven tutus for the new production of Swan Lake. Is this perhaps a clue as to what is in store if they are strapped for cash - a reduction in the corp numbers. Or perhaps there are seven more swans to cover the additional choreography. What excitement!

Edited by Jacqueline
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18 hours ago, Jacqueline said:

Nothing to report from the incredible, shrinking Sunday Times today. Is it my imagination or is the paper doing an Alice and getting smaller and smaller?

I did like the Telegraph article seen in today's links, regarding the ROH's latest appeal for donations.  I received such a letter and admit it had a similar effect on me to those mentioned. Given the state of the world and that appeals usually focus on what one might term real and in many cases, desperate need, it does seem beyond parody to be asked to donate money to pay for crystals to adorn a caterpillar's shoes , the glue with which to adhese them and various other sundries.

Although I realise the appeal is aimed at those most likely to appreciate the cost, having seen a number of productions that were a "triumph" of expensive style over substance I wonder about budgetary decisions sometimes. Still, if people want to donate, that is their choice.

There was also  reference in the letter to an amount of money that would pay for seven tutus for the new production of Swan Lake. Is this perhaps a clue as to what is in store if they are strapped for cash - a reduction in the corp numbers. Or perhaps there are seven more swans to cover the additional choreography. What excitement!

 

I agree about the Sunday Times, fewer sections, I suppose there were a lot before, and the print seems to be smaller too which is causing me eye problems, the magazines and prints are smaller too. Good news for my letterbox I suppose which was under strain before.

 

 

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On 11/04/2017 at 19:25, Lizbie1 said:

 

I think we should give Debra Craine and the Times a bit more credit than that - in my view they and the Sunday Times are streets ahead of the rest of the press in their commitment to and coverage of ballet (and indeed opera) and are quite capable of sniffing out a worthy candidate for an interview by themselves.

 

 

except of course when that ballet is somewhere like Birmingham.

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23 hours ago, Jacqueline said:

 

I did like the Telegraph article seen in today's links, regarding the ROH's latest appeal for donations.  I received such a letter and admit it had a similar effect on me to those mentioned. Given the state of the world and that appeals usually focus on what one might term real and in many cases, desperate need, it does seem beyond parody to be asked to donate money to pay for crystals to adorn a caterpillar's shoes , the glue with which to adhese them and various other sundries.

Although I realise the appeal is aimed at those most likely to appreciate the cost, having seen a number of productions that were a "triumph" of expensive style over substance I wonder about budgetary decisions sometimes. Still, if people want to donate, that is their choice.

There was also  reference in the letter to an amount of money that would pay for seven tutus for the new production of Swan Lake. Is this perhaps a clue as to what is in store if they are strapped for cash - a reduction in the corp numbers. Or perhaps there are seven more swans to cover the additional choreography. What excitement!

Speaking as a North American where such fundraising appeals have been standard in the arts for decades, I was quite surprised by the negative backlash. For that matter, I believe BRB used similar tactics a few years ago for their new Cinderella. Many donors like to understand the value of their donation in these terms, rather than having it swallowed up into some vague operating fund. It is also a way of educating the audience as to how much things cost... yes, even the spirit gum for the facial hair.

 

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I agree with toursenlair and think the ROH should be congratulated for its fund raising initiatives.  Box office revenue and grant cover only part of the costs and in recent years the ROH has become increasingly reliant on sponsorship, donations, legacies etc.  I thought the Nutcracker pointe shoe appeal championed by Lauren Cuthbertson a couple of years ago, and with more junior dancers decorating the tree with signed messages on point shoe cut outs from donors, was wonderful.  We also see the continuing pointe shoe appeal regularly in the cinema relays.  It strikes me that the latest appeal is very much in line with other appeals and it's difficult to see why it registers as newsworthy given what is going on in the world: another quiet day in the Telegraph offices?

 
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 Given the Telegraph's politics I should have thought that the paper would have been pleased that the Royal Ballet was raising money to cover its needs rather than criticising it for doing so.The article seems to have been written by a journalist who covers a wide range of stories rather than someone who reports on the arts and its tone seems to be designed to generate a negative response from its readership about the company's activities. In that respect it strikes me that it is not that different from the story which the same paper ran at the time that Muntagirov joined the Royal Ballet in which it accused the company of poaching him from the ENB. That article was written by a journalist whose specialist area of activity seemed to be gossip and entertainment rather than culture and the arts.

 

Both of the articles were very negative and critical in tone and but their subject matter was scarcely newsworthy. Is the Telegraph trying to tell its readership something about the company or the arts in general or has it simply inadvertently published a couple of negative non stories about the same company?

 

 

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1 minute ago, capybara said:

The RB has been encouraging people to sponsor roles/costumes for around 10 years at least. ENB has adopted a similar practice.

And BRB and NB and, IIRC, SB.

 

I think it's a terrific idea.  Having donated in a small way a couple of times it makes me feel "involved" in the production.

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  • 2 months later...
1 hour ago, Pas de Quatre said:

There is a fabulous photo on the Times main front page of Xander in a grand jete, then another full page portrait on the cover of Time 2 with a substantial article inside.

 

Yes, but the strapline for the front page photo misleading reads: "Xander Parish will make a triumphant return to the Royal Ballet as the lead in Swan Lake".

The article covers familiar ground but it is lovely that Xander is getting this well-deserved coverage.

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1 hour ago, Pas de Quatre said:

Yeah - you can't have everything!  The strapline is obviously written by some minion who hasn't a clue!

There has been a concerted effort to try to convince Royal Ballet and their public that Xander should return to the company after his wonderful  success abroad. I think that this is part of that effort, and I hope that Royal Management will have a good think about whether they should invite him back, it is clear that Xander himself (from his comments in the press and social media) would very much like to.

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When I pulled the paper out of the letterbox this morning and saw a ballet dancer on the front page I immediately thought it was Sergei Polunin, very pleased it was Xander Parish, haven't read it yet but there was also a leading article which is for the important news, so he was on 3 pages!

 

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2 hours ago, Pas de Quatre said:

No - I think you have misunderstood me SBF.  The caption says he is appearing with the Royal Ballet.  Who ever wrote it thought that as the performances are at the Royal Opera House it must be the Royal Ballet dancing, obviously unaware of the Mariinsky visit.

 I understood, I think maybe I was misunderstood, but that happens a lot, so no problem. I was referring to the fact that I would not be too confident that it was 'a minion with no clue' rather than..'a minion who knew what they were doing and the effect it may have'

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Really enjoyed the piece on Xander Parish and the beautiful photos (he sounds a very modest and appealing person). And fantastic to see him getting an editorial in the main section as well - we don't often get that for dancers!

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  • 1 month later...

Today's Times2 has a 2-page spread about the Skelton Hooper School in Hull and the extraordinary number of male dancers it produces:

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/times2/the-boys-in-tights-who-became-hulls-most-unexpected-export-l3d9xw62z

 

(I was a bit surprised to see the Trocks described as  "an all-male troupe who do bowdlerised comedy versions of the classics" - really?)

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10 minutes ago, Jane S said:

Today's Times2 has a 2-page spread about the Skelton Hooper School in Hull and the extraordinary number of male dancers it produces:

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/times2/the-boys-in-tights-who-became-hulls-most-unexpected-export-l3d9xw62z

 

(I was a bit surprised to see the Trocks described as  "an all-male troupe who do bowdlerised comedy versions of the classics" - really?)

 

Of course, many more dancers have come from Hull...

 

Mark Silver, Robert Parker, Natasha Oughtred, Ashley Dixon and Neil Westmorland to name but a few.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is a lovely picture in today's Times of four of Olga Semenova's pupils (Photo: Nigel Norrington) with the announcement that her school, previously Russian Imperial Ballet School, is moving studios and changing its name to Masters of Ballet Academy with Artistic Directors Elena Glurjidze and Olga Semenova.

 

Sorry don't know how to put a link in, perhaps someone else can oblige. 
 

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