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Royal Ballet: The Four Temperaments / Hofesh Shechter / Song of the Earth


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I'm trying to organise my diary and need to know the approximate duration of this triple bill. Please get your crystal balls out!

 

Does anyone know the duration of "The Four Temperaments" please?

 

From memory, Song of the Earth is between 60-70 minutes long.

 

Hofesh is a new work so duration is obviously unknown.

 

I would be grateful if you could help me fill in the gaps where possible:

 

1)  The Four Temperaments - duration TBC

2)  Interval - assume 25min

3)  Hofesh Shechter - unknown

4)  Interval - assume 25min

5)  Song of the Earth - 70min?

 

Thank you!

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According to the Balanchine Trust website, The Four Temperaments runs about 30 minutes.

 

Looking at YouTube versions of Das Lied von der Erde, your memory of 60 to 70 minutes looks about right.

Edited by Melody
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I understand the piece is 50 years old this year, but even so, surely it doesn't need to be on twice and within such a short period. I find it rather annoying as well, as there are other pieces in both bills I would like to see. I have seen Song before and wouldn't mind seeing it again, although I wouldn't particularly choose to and certainly not twice. 

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Maybe there isn't the time to rehearse another ballet? Or perhaps they were trying to squeeze in two more ballets without limiting the number of Song of the Earth performances? Nine performances seems about right for three casts (I can't remember them doing more than six performances with two casts), though the cast distribution is weighted towards the Acosta cast at the expense of the Watson one. 

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This is what Kevin O'Hare said:

 

The season ends with a triple bill of Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun and In the Night, with another chance to see Song of the Earth. "What's been amazing about this last season, and the season before, is that the mixed bills are so full. It's hard to get a ticket – it's 97 point whatever per cent full every night. So I think it's very important that we show those programmes as much as possible, or works from that programme. I thought it was a nice idea to bring one of the works back into another programme.

 

"I love Afternoon of a Faun, and we'll be doing In the Night in Copenhagen, so it makes sense. You have to look at programming and scheduling, making sure we've got enough time to do everything we want to do."

 

Taken from a Dancing Times article which you can find here.

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"What's been amazing about this last season, and the season before, is that the mixed bills are so full. It's hard to get a ticket – it's 97 point whatever per cent full every night. 

 

Said before the Age of Anxiety bill this autumn, of course.

 

Even then, though, I can't see why they couldn't have done The Dream if they wanted an hour-long work, given that that's appearing in the US tour as well.

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I am very pleased to have the chance to see Song of the Earth twice in one season in two mixed bills. It is a masterpiece and should be shown far more frequently than it is.Apart from the fact that the company has to cover its costs and clearly sees full length works as the easiest way of doing so the main argument against its frequent revival is that it is one of the more expensive ballets to stage.I am just grateful that as they are taking it to New York we get it in two programmes.

 

I agree with other people's comments about over lengthy runs of full length works  but how would you prevent it happening?.In the dim and distant past the casting of the nineteenth century classics and the modern full lengths did not require that every Principal female dancer gave us her Odette/Odile, her Giselle or her Juliet. At a time when the company had fewer full length ballets than now, I am talking pre Manon,the director applied a system of emploi to casting which meant that you did not see dancers who the director deemed unsuitable in a particular role. Ashton famously decided after Sibley had made her debut as Lise that she was too sophisticated for the role and she did not dance it again. Even the regular ballet audience had their views about the suitability of certain types of dancers for particular roles.They knew what a price should look like and the type of dancer who should be seen in the roles of Giselle,Aurora and Odette/Odile.I recall the shock expressed by older "Regulars" when Merle Park, a soubrette, who they associated her with the Neapolitan Dance and Lise,danced Swan Lake. The director was saving us from too many performances of a particular work and may have been saving some dancers from themselves but he was also exercising enormous control over their careers  I can't imagine that many dancers would accept anything like that degree of control today. 

 

There are certain ballets where virtually every Principal gets the opportunity to dance the lead roles, Manon, and Swan Lake are two prime examples where the number of performances scheduled appears to be directly connected with the need to give each female principal two or three performances apiece.The more female Principals the company has the greater the number of performances of these ballets it seems obliged to show.Then there is the problem of developing the younger dancers. How many performances should be allocated to them as a group and how many should each be given?

 

I hope that the seemingly interminable run of Don Q this season has more to do with ensuring that they enough dancers available to cover injury and illness during their American tour than anything else.

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An interesting post, Floss. Of course, emploi is why Osipova and Vasiliev and, I believe, Mukhamedov and Barishnikov before them left Russia. I've previously suggested on another thread that some principals should be rested in runs of the full lengths which come back frequently (eg Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, R&J, Giselle and Manon) so that their performances remain fresh and up and coming dancers have the opportunity to dance these roles. However, this may not be viable commercially or reputationally (audience members want to see principals and will (unless they are regulars) not be satisfied with debuts of uneven quality or practically (more time is needed to rehearse dancers who are debuting in a role).

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