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Everything posted by volcanohunter

  1. A rehearsal of Liam Scarlett's forthcoming ballet Symphonic Dances will be livestreamed today by the Royal Ballet, starting at 7:15 pm BST; that's 2:15 pm Eastern, 11:15 am Pacific. If you're unable to watch live, the ROH techs are great at putting up an archived video almost as soon as the live event has ended. http://www.roh.org.uk/news/watch-rehearsals-for-the-royal-ballets-symphonic-dances
  2. I'll revive an old topic. Opening night of John Neumeier's Death in Venice at the Chatelet in Paris, ca. 2008. Lloyd Riggins as Aschenbach was wearing a pair of pants that began to split apart at the back. Honestly, I don't know how long the agony lasted--15 minutes, 20 minutes, maybe longer--but since his character didn't leave the stage, he was forced to continue dancing with his backside exposed. Naturally the audience spent the entire time in a state of heightened anxiety about what would happen next, and those split pants overshadowed everything else. It wasn't until a scene during which his character is gussied up and given a new set of clothes--on stage, of course--that everyone finally breathed a sigh of relief. I didn't actually see the next two incidents for myself, but they were described to me in great detail by people who saw them from the wings, so I hope you'll indulge me. Galina Stepanenko was dancing Nikiya at the Bolshoi, and the ribbons of her pointe shoes began to come undone during the scarf variation. By the time she finished the last pirouette in arabesque, the ribbons had flown apart completely. Everyone's heart stopped as they wondered how she could possibly finish the variation, since it involves lots of releves and fifth positions, but apparently she did it without a hitch, at which point the audience errupted in deafening cheers. Incidentally, in the latter stages of her career, Stepanenko didn't use ribbons at all. Another Bolshoi incident involved Sergei Filin in Don Quixote during the grand pas de deux. A straight pin had been forgotten in the underskirt of his partner's tutu, and as he lowered her from a lift, a thin streak of blood appeared along the side of his nose, narrowly missing his eye. Eerily prophetic.
  3. Incidentally, Davit Karapetyan is scheduled to perform at the Dance Open gala in St. Petersburg on April 24, presumably opposite Maria Kochetkova or Yuan Yuan Tan. http://www.danceopen.com/en/2017-en/stars-2017
  4. Unfortunately, how Onegin is cast isn't Tomasson's decision to make, and Feijoo wouldn't be the first illustrious ballerina to be denied by the Cranky Boys. R&J is another matter, of course.
  5. A performance of the Rambert company performing Mark Baldwin's staging of Haydn's The Creation, here sung in English translation, is available for viewing on demand until 15 October. The production was mounted in 2016 to mark the company's 90th anniversary. http://www.theoperaplatform.eu/en/opera/haydn-creation
  6. The National Ballet of Canada announced its 2016-17 season today. This is the main season at the Four Seasons Centre. November 12, 13, 16-20 Kudelka/Prokofiev: Cinderella November 15 12th Erik Bruhn Prize competition November 23-27 Cranko/Tchaikovsky: Onegin December 10, 11, 13-18, 20-24, 27-31 Kudleka/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker March 11, 12, 15-19, 23, 24 Tuckett/Englishby: Pinocchio (world premiere) March 29-April 2 McGregor/Talbot, Deru: Genus Robbins/Chopin: The Concert June 3, 4, 7-10 Neumeier/Prokofiev, Schnittke: A Streetcar Named Desire June 6 Mad Hot Ballet gala June 15-18, 21-15 Kudelka, after Petipa, Ivanov/Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Robert Binet will present a work inspired by the paintings of Lawren Harris to music by Lubomyr Melnyk at the Art Gallery on Ontario on August 31-September 10. World Ballet Day will return on October 4 with the usual participants: Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet. The annual visit to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa will take place on January 19-21 with Onegin. http://national.ballet.ca/Media-Room/News/The-National-Ballet-of-Canada-Celebrates-65th-Anni
  7. To mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa has commissioned three Canadian choreographers to create ballets to scores commissioned from three Canadian composers. The results will be presented in a program titled Encount3rs / Rencontr3s on April 20-22. Here's what's listed in the program notes. http://naccnaca-eventfiles.s3.amazonaws.com/13831/encounter_hp_final_web.pdf Caelestis choreography: Jean Grand-Maître music: Andrew Staniland Alberta Ballet Leiland Charles, Jennifer Gibson, Garrett Groat, Hayna Gutierrez, Mariko Kondo, Alan Ma, Kelley McKinlay, Reilley McKinlay, Nicholas Pelletier, Luna Sasaki Keep Driving, I'm Dreaming choreography: Emily Molnar music: Nicole Lizée Ballet BC Brandon Alley, Andrew Bartee, Emily Chessa, Alexis Fletcher, Scott Fowler, Gilbert Small, Christoph von Riedemann, Kirsten Wicklund Dark Angels choreography: Guillaume Côté music: Kevin Lau National Ballet of Canada Skylar Campbell, Greta Hodgkinson, Harrison James, Elena Lobsanova, Svetlana Lunkina, Evan McKie, Félix Paquet, Sonia Rodriguez, Dylan Tedaldi, Xiao Nan Yu https://nac-cna.ca/en/event/13831
  8. One more pay-per-view webstream from the Vienna State Ballet remains this season--Swan Lake on June 12--but next season's streams have been announced. Thursday, September 28 - Giselle http://www.staatsoperlive.com/en/live/491/giselle-2017-09-28/#tab_0 Saturday, January 6 - Rudolf Nureyev's The Nutcracker http://www.staatsoperlive.com/en/live/511/der-nussknacker-2018-01-06/#tab_0 Thursday, February 1 - Edward Klug's Peer Gynt http://www.staatsoperlive.com/en/live/515/peer-gynt-2018-02-01/#tab_0 Tuesday, March 13 - Raymonda http://www.staatsoperlive.com/en/live/519/raymonda-2018-03-13/#tab_0
  9. The Vienna State Opera streams performances online, albeit for a fee. This season it is planning a mind-boggling 45 streams, including a complete Ring cycle. This being Vienna, ballet is the poor relation. But if you've got the spare cash, there will be three ballet streams. Sunday, December 7 - MacMillan/Liszt: Mayerling Friday, December 26 - Nureyev/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Saturday, February 14 - Neumeier/R. Strauss: Verklungene Feste and The Legend of Joseph The pricing options are €14 per stream, €88 for any eight streams, or €320 for the whole kit and caboodle. The streams can be watched live or at one of three (I think) time-delayed start times. http://www.staatsoperlive.com/en/live/
  10. A couple of behind-the-scenes videos about Jewels
  11. The Royal Ballet announced its 2016-17 season today. http://www.roh.org.uk/news/ballet-and-dance-201617 There will be six live-to-cinema transmissions. 2 November: Anastasia 8 December: The Nutcracker 8 February: Woolf Works 28 February: The Sleeping Beauty 11 April: Jewels 7 June: The Dream / Symphonic Variations ( ) / Marguerite & Armand But y'all know how this works. If you want your cinema to carry Symphonic Variations, you've got to go see Anastasia and The Nutcracker, otherwise cinema owners may give up on the season long before June 2017. I will be curious to see what American movie theaters do with The Sleeping Beauty, given that this season's broadcast of Frankenstein has been embargoed in the U.S. and replaced with an older recording of Beauty.
  12. A film of Alonzo King's Biophony and Sand.
  13. Oh yes, the Stanton Welch Bayadère is horrendous.
  14. If it's any consolation, the Ballet du Rhin pops up on Culturebox from time to time. Perhaps you'll still be able to watch Rogers on film. Granted, I don't know exactly what sort of future awaits that company now that AD Ivan Cavallari is taking over in Montreal. Hopefully the telecasts from Alsace will continue.
  15. From what I remember of London Festival Ballet's revival of the Ashton version, the ballet was clearly tailored to the skills of Danish dancers. It's a little peculiar for this very reason, but I would submit that unless the Joffrey dancers were adept at Bournonville technique (and I really couldn't say), they shouldn't attempt the Ashton. I would also be inclined to vote for a return of the Cranko version, since it is tied to the company's history. (Ditto for the National Ballet of Canada.) But I would be grateful for any attempt to bring back the Tudor.
  16. Let's hope for better North American distribution. http://www.roh.org.uk/cinemas 23 October 2017 Wheeldon/Talbot: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 5 December 2017 Wright/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker 28 February 2018 Wheeldon/Talbot: The Winter's Tale 27 March 2018 new McGregor/The Age of Anxiety/new Wheeldon all-Bernstein program 3 Mary 2018 MacMillan/Massenet: Manon 12 June 2018 Petipa, Ivanov (Scarlett)/Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (new production)
  17. All of the transmissions will be new performances and broadcast live in Europe, even though some of the ballets, namely Alice and Nutcracker, will be filmed for the umpteenth time. I hope the company will at least field new casts. The Bernstein triple bill and the new Swan Lake will be shown for the first time, but everything else has been filmed at least once before.
  18. Never a dancer, actor, singer or instrumentalist, even though I have been sorely tempted a few times. I believe that no one gives a bad performance deliberately, and I respect the great risk each one of them takes by stepping out on stage. If I've really hated a performance, I'll just sit on my hands. However, choreographers, directors and designers are fair game, and also conductors, if they've made life miserable for the performers and/or butchered the score. Booing is quite common at opera performances these days, and indeed I've seen instances when the booing started as soon as the curtain came down, the singers were cheered when they took their bows, and then the director and/or conductor were booed and hissed lustily when they emerged. I think it's a legitimate practice. I remember the late Lorin Maazel writing about contemporary opera productions--and railing against them---but arguing that walking out and lodging a written complaint with the opera company, preferably on public-facing social media, was a better option than booing. (Followed by a refusal to buy any more tickets to the production, and encouraging friends to skip it, too.) However, I can imagine a situation in which someone would wish to stay because the diva is singing beautifully, but the production is simultaneously horrendous, and then booing the guilty parties would be an option. But no, an artistic director or intendant has no business telling audiences how they ought to respond.
  19. I suspect Sarasota Ballet routinely performs more Ashton than the Royal Ballet. There is Marguerite and Armand in addition to Sylvia. However, since the former is being performed this season as well, it might have been better to choose something else when so little Ashton is on offer.
  20. The season has been announced, including a new Swan Lake staged by Liam Scarlett. (No pressure.) There is a major focus on Kenneth MacMillan's ballets to mark the 25th anniversary of his death. (But is a revival of Judas Tree really necessary, ever?) http://www.roh.org.uk/news/ballet-and-dance-at-the-royal-opera-house-201718 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 27 September—28 October 2017 Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Joby Talbot Jeux (part of MacMillan: A National Celebration) 18–24 October 2017 (Clore Studio Upstairs) Choreography: Wayne Eagling after Kenneth MacMillan and Vaslav Nijinsky Music: Claude Debussy As part of Kenneth MacMillan: a National Celebration, The Royal Ballet dances Wayne Eagling’s short ballet inspired by MacMillan’s re-creation of Nijinsky’s lost Debussy work. Concerto / Le Baiser de la fée / Elite Syncopations (part of MacMillan: A National Celebration) 18–19 October 2017 Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Music: Dmitry Shostakovich / Igor Stravinsky / Scott Joplin Performed by: The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet Dancers from the UK’s five leading ballet companies perform two of MacMillan’s sunniest works alongside a new production of his dark, classical fairytale, as part of Kenneth MacMillan: a National Celebration. The Judas Tree / Song of the Earth (part of MacMillan: A National Celebration) 24 October—1 November 2017 Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Music: Gustav Mahler / Brian Elias Performed by: The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet present two of Kenneth MacMillan’s most complex and important works, in the second programme of Kenneth MacMillan: a National Celebration. Sea of Troubles (part of MacMillan: A National Celebration) 26 October—1 November 2017 (Clore Studio Upstairs) Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Music: Anton Webern and Bohuslav Martinů As part of Kenneth MacMillan: a National Celebration, Yorke Dance Project performs Kenneth MacMillan’s powerful short ballet inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Gloria / The Judas Tree / Elite Syncopations (part of MacMillan: A National Celebration) 26–27 October 2017 Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Music: Francis Poulenc / Brian Elias / Scott Joplin Performed by: The Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet Leading UK dance companies perform three ballets that show the range and versatility of MacMillan’s muse, in the third and final programme of Kenneth MacMillan: a National Celebration. The Illustrated 'Farewell' NEW / The Wind NEW / Untouchable 2x WORLD PREMIERES 6–17 November 2017 Choreography: Twyla Tharp / Arthur Pita / Hofesh Shechter Music: Joseph Haydn / Frank Moon and Christopher Austin / Hofesh Shechter and Nell Catchpole Sylvia 23 November—16 December 2017 Choreography: Frederick Ashton Music: Léo Delibes The Nutcracker 5 December 2017—10 January 2018 Choreography: Peter Wright after Lev Ivanov Music: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky Giselle 19 January—9 March 2018 Choreography: Marius Petipa after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot Music: Adolphe Adam revised by Lars Paine The Winter's Tale 13 February—21 March 2018 Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Joby Talbot NEW Wayne McGregor / The Age of Anxiety / NEW Christopher Wheeldon 2x WORLD PREMIERES 15 March—13 April 2018 Choreography: Wayne McGregor / Liam Scarlett / Christopher Wheeldon Music: Leonard Bernstein The Royal Ballet celebrates the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with an all-Bernstein programme from the Company’s three associate choreographers, Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett and Christopher Wheeldon. Manon 29 March—16 May 2018 Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Music: Jules Massenet Obsidian Tear / Marguerite and Armand / Elite Syncopations 14 April—11 May 2018 Choreography: Wayne McGregor / Frederick Ashton / Kenneth MacMillan Music: Esa-Pekka Salonen / Franz Liszt / Scott Joplin Swan Lake NEW PRODUCTION 17 May—21 June 2018 Choreography: Liam Scarlett after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov Music: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky The Royal Ballet presents a new production of Tchaikovsky’s magnificent classical ballet, with additional choreography by Liam Scarlett and designs by John Macfarlane. The Royal Ballet School Summer Performance 2018 8 July 2018
  21. Talking about his own drug use wouldn't be defamatory because it's an admission of something that's true. Polunin gave a spate of interviews about a month ago in connection with his Polunin Project and the Dancer film, and Luke Jennings took issue with Polunin making "wild accusations" about the Royal Ballet, and also with the journalists reporting on the interviews for failing to do fact-checking. http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/35020/1/sergei-polunin-on-dancing-dreams-and-the-dark-side-of-drugs I seriously doubt any of these statements is true. http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/culture/culture-news/news/a40385/sergei-polunin-interview-2017/ I dare say not many people can afford to buy a flat in London these days. (And footballers make in three weeks more than practically everyone else, too.) If the Royal Ballet is so inhuman (present tense), I'm amazed he would want to step foot inside the ROH, or the studios of any ballet company: That's not exactly an accurate reflection of reality either. At least one reporter did ask the Royal Ballet for comment, but apparently it declined to respond. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/26/sergei-polunin-bad-boy-ballet-felt-tricked-jealous-royal-ballet/
  22. I'm a little surprised the Royal Ballet would invite him back in any capacity considering some of the defamatory things he has said about the company in recent interviews.
  23. A red flower rather than a daisy had been used in the "he loves me, he loves me not" scene in Act 1. I did not care for the production, which I found to be too peculiar and eccentric. How the choreography was performed seemed to have been driven by a conceptual understanding of the dramaturgy rather than springing from the music, and I found this very unsatisfying. At the same time the mime scenes that would have fully explained the story were truncated. Honestly, Adam, Coralli, Perrot, Petipa et al. have already done all the work. There's no need to re-invent the wheel. After Schandorff and Hübbe got through with the ballet, it became prosaic and lacking in universality or transcendence. Dancers consistently dragged behind the music, so I have to believe they had been coached in that way. I also didn't care for the emphasis on very high extensions. I know the dancers can do them, but for me it's an unwelcome contemporary intrusion into the ballet's style. And who were the two elderly people living across the street? I didn't understand the set designer's pre-occupation with doors, and especially why two symmetrical buildings seemed to be standing in the middle of a bog in Act 2. The curtains hanging at the top of the stage in Act 1 seemed to be there solely so that they could come down one by one at the end of the Act, which was blocked poorly and un-dramatically. I thought the costumes were too self-consciously stylized and that nearly all of the women's costumes were very unflattering, especially the diamond-shaped front inserts in Act 1, and the wilis' long nude inserts, which extended past the navel and gave the dancers the appearance of having excessively long torsos and short legs. I was also sorry that Albrecht's cape had been replaced by a coat, because it came off awkwardly and arbitrarily. I realize that he couldn't have danced in it, but there was no obvious dramatic reason why he suddenly would have taken it off. I haven't seen that much of her, but I think I like Ida Praetorius better as a dramatic dancer than as a classical one. She was very interesting in the first act, but in the second she looked angular and bumpy, although I half expected this on the basis of her somewhat gawky Juliet. I didn't see much of a difference between Andreas Kaas' Albrecht and his Romeo, and I think his manner is better suited to the latter. It was a low-key and naturalistic approach that lacked Romanticism and also heroism; the music of Albrecht's variation does have a heroic quality, although few interpreters pick up on it successfully because they're so busy trying to look exhausted. I thought Kizzy Matiakis was underwhelming as Myrtha, but I enjoyed Sebastian Haynes as Hilarion, even if I didn't agree with the production's a-musical approach to his mime and thought he had been given uninteresting choreography in his death scene, and also Jonathan Chmelensky in the peasant pas de deux and the second wili. (I'm not sure which of the two wilis listed in the credits she was.) Mette Bøtcher was an improbably glamorous Berthe. Having said all that, I was very grateful for the chance to watch this production, even if it didn't persuade me.
  24. Thank you so much for the link! It's working in my part of the world, too.
  25. The Royal Ballet's Jewels will be broadcast live to European cinemas on Tuesday, April 11. U.S. screenings are sparse, but they are scheduled mostly for May. In Canada it's even sparser, but there will be same-day cinemacasts in Montreal and Quebec City. There will also be screenings in New Zealand and Australia in May, and in Japan on June 2. Check the "screening seach" box and then double check your local listings. http://www.roh.org.uk/showings/jewels-live-2017 It's subject to change, but for now the announced cast is: Emeralds Beatriz Stix-Brunell Laura Morera Valeri Hristov Ryoichi Hirano Emma Maguire, Helen Crawford, James Hay Rubies Sarah Lamb Steven McRae Melissa Hamilton Diamonds Marianela Nuñez Thiago Soares Claire Calvert, Tierney Heap, Yasmine Naghdi, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Nicol Edmonds, James Hay, Fernando Montaño, Valentino Zucchetti The digital program is available free of charge with the code FREEJEWELS. Click on the "Do you have a promo code?" link to enter it. http://www.roh.org.uk/publications/jewels-digital-programme