Jump to content

Recommended Posts

The Northern leg opened in York on Tuesday, at the Grand Opera House, a venue new to the company. Although overall successful, the tour was plagued with problems. There were no programmes as those for the North had been sent to the South and vice versa. There were few cast sheets and on the Wednesday evening some of those available were those for the matinee. But by far the worst problem was that at the end of the first ballet on Wednesday night, Delia Mathews had a nasty fall, causing serious injury, and resulting in the cancellation of the middle piece, Kin, in which she was scheduled to take the lead, as Elisha Willis, who had taken that role at the first performance, had already left York and so could not take over. Marion Tait came on stage to explain and apologise and the audience reacted sympathetically.

 

The programme is well balanced, opening with Ashton's Les Rendezvous, still in the garish designs that are at total variance with Ashton's intention. In two performances the leads were reprised by Elisha Willis and Chi Cao but at the final performance Delia Mathews and Brandon Lawrence took over. Until her fall Delia tackled the tricky choreography fairly confidently and with more Ashtonian style than most of the other dancers. Brandon also impressed with good control and charismatic stage presence.

 

The middle piece is Alex Whitley's Kin, premiered last year and still impressing with its choreographic ingenuity, testing the dancers both technically and emotionally. Although Whitley was at one time a dancer with the company, before moving to Rambert, it is more contemporary than the other pieces in their rep and the dancers respond energetically. The leads at the two performances were Elisha Willis and Joe Caley, and Delia Mathews and William Bracewell. They performed it differently but well but there was regret that Jenna Roberts's injury has prevented her from reprising it.

 

The final piece is that audience favourite, Elite Syncopations. The audience applauded at the start, when the curtain lifts to reveal the band on stage and in costume. Across the three performances many soloists strutted their stuff but the star has to be James Barton, deploying his dramatic flair to the full, and in role at all times, even when other dancers are featured.

 

One innovation this year is a pre-performance talk. Marion Tait, at her most eloquent, and Dominic Antonucci, were clear and enthusiastic, explaining the purpose of the mid-season tour, describing the daily routine of the dancers and talking about their own experience and describing the bill. Everyone found it a fascinating and informative talk.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wishing Delia Mathews a very speedy and full recovery. She's still listed on the cast sheet for tomorrow night but we will see. 

 

To all the North Tour members, I'm ready to give them a warm welcome to my home town of Nottingham tomorrow night and again on Saturday matinee. I know Feargus Campbell & Samara Downs were on Radio Nottingham this afternoon to talk about the show, so I need to try to locate that on 'listen again' or whatever they call it!

 

I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the company class on Saturday morning. Such a great opportunity to be able to experience this in my local theatre with such a fantastic company.

 

I will report back in due course!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well tonight was fabulous in Nottingham, utterly fab performance by BRB.

 

I just typed up a mega detailed review of the show tonight (taking about an hour) but my computer just lost it. Gone, non retrievable. Very annoying. I don't want to spoil my special buzz having come home from such a fantastic performance by BRB. 

 

I will now summarize what I said in thousands of words that my computer just lost: BRB North show utterly fabulous. Superb dancing. Kin is an amazing piece. EliteSync is just amazing. Mind blowing show - makes you feel happy.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at the midscale matinee in Nottingham too.

 

The programme opened with Elisha Willis and Chi Cao in fine fettle leading a sparkling cast in Les Rendezvous.  Chi's solos were superlative yesterday afternoon.  It was glorious to watch the synchronicity of Reina Fuchigama, Tzu-Chao Chou and Lachlan Monaghan in the pdt.

 

KIN. is one of those ballets that is multi-layered and bears repeated viewings.  I greatly admired it last year and that most definitely has not changed!  I thought Elisha Willis was just magnificent.  Lachlan Monaghan also dazzled in his solo. 

 

The afternoon finished with the always fun Elite Syncopations.  It is a joyous sight indeed to watch Brandon Lawrence in Friday Night!

 

It was a super performance all round and nice to bump into so many Forum members too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with everything Janet said above about the Saturday matinee show. Kin really grows on me the more times I see it so and it is a very powerful piece. I love the sparkle of Les Rendezvous, with the whole cast on joyful sparkling form. And wow, Brandon Lawrence in Elite/Friday Night solo was just dazzling!

 

I had the privilege of being able to watch the whole company class on stage. There were only about 30 people in the audience and we were able to sit right up in the front few rows of the stalls. I've never watched a whole class in this way before - I've only seen it on TV. It was really insightful to watch the BRB dancers do their class and I was mesmerized throughout. The class was taken by Marion Tait, who came into the stalls to introduce the class; what an amazing lady! She explained that a lot of their class today would be to get the dancers used to the rake of Nottingham's theatre (which is particularly steep) and about doing balances and turns on the rake. She also also seemed to give a lot of fast footwork steps (I have no idea what these are called!) which when you see Les Rendezvous, makes perfect sense! It was just a fantastic experience to watch the class and would highly recommend it to anyone on either the north or south tour, if it's on offer. The ticket for class was only £7.50 and it was 75 minutes well spent which really helped me better connect the dancers' preparation and the actual performance.

 

A brilliant Saturday day out!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just typed up a mega detailed review of the show tonight (taking about an hour) but my computer just lost it. Gone, non retrievable. Very annoying. I don't want to spoil my special buzz having come home from such a fantastic performance by BRB. 

 

It's at this point that Bruce usually comes on and says that you should always type these things in Word or another WP program (and save them, of course), and never rely on the board software :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw this triple in the Severn Theatre, Shrewsbury last night

The opener, Les Rendezvous, is a ballet that I am fairly indifferent too. I like the colourful costumes but I think the choreography is very dull (a typical Ashton piece). Still with Elisha Willis and William Bracewell as the principal couple, it was enjoyable enough. If Elisha simply walked across the stage, that would more than satisfy me. Her radiance is unquestioned.

Next came Kin. When the curtain rose, my immediate reaction was "Oh joy, another of the ballets performed in the dark where you can't see anything." After a short while, they found 10p to put in the meter and it was a little brighter, but generally this is a very dark piece with dim lighting and all black costumes. That is my one gripe with this otherwise brilliant piece. It's very angular and very fast moving. Yijing Zhang, gave us a star turn and it was impossible to take your eyes off her. So much so, that I missed a lot of what the other dancers were doing. I hope to see this again very soon.

As a finisher, it's hard to beat Elite Syncopations. The audience applauded as the curtain rose and continued throughout at the end of each number. For me the stand out was The Alaskan Rag by Yijang Zhang and Tzu-Chao Chou. They turned the hamminess up to 11 and the audience loved it!  I wonder why the company omitted "Ragtime Nightingale" from this outing? It has been included in previous years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The opener, Les Rendezvous, is a ballet that I am fairly indifferent too. I like the colourful costumes but I think the choreography is very dull (a typical Ashton piece).

 

Well, that's damning, isn't it? :)

  • Like 1
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...