JMcN

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About JMcN

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
  • City**
    Liverpool
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    UK

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  1. I never count the number of fouettes (it seems impolite to me) and I have discovered I prefer well executed singles to multiples which never seem to fit the music (unless danced (in my experience) by Momoko Hirata of BRB who does them so fast the orchestra has trouble keeping up with her! Thanks for linking the clip Christian - I love the tutu!
  2. It is not the roundabouts per se it is the lack of directions on them! A number of "new towns" built up here in the 1950s/60s, designed to be efficient and pedestrian friendly. They all seem to be surrounded by roundabouts with very little in the way of telling you which exit you need. And please don't get me started on the masterpiece outside High Wycombe!! I think special celebrations for retiring dancers is comparatively recent outside of the London-based companies. The first I was aware of was Jeremy Kerridge at Northern Ballet when he came back a couple of months after he had actually retired for a valedictory performance as Scrooge in Christmas Carol. Apart from announcing this in advance it was marked by David Nixon coming on stage for the curtain calls and making a speech. A couple of years later when leading lady Chiaki Nagao retired there was a speech followed by all the dancers presenting her with flowers. At BRB they have made a couple of announcements in recent years for Robert Parker and for Ambra Vallo and Vicky Marr.
  3. I agree with every word Sandik. When Kenny Tindall retired from Northern Ballet his final performance was announced to be Heathcliff in Milton Keynes on a Saturday night. A lot of us went, despite issues with roundabouts! It was a very wonderful night! I will never forget the final Birmingham performance of Ambra Vallo and Vicky Marr of BRB (dancing Giselle and Myrthe respectively). Members of the company who weren't dancing in the performance showered the stage with 200 red roses. Many tears were shed!
  4. Here in the UK they tend to be "end of season" announcements issued just after the season has ended. If a long standing dancer is leaving it may be that that is announced earlier in the season so that people can mark the occasion. However sometimes dancers seem to prefer to slip away quietly and without fanfare. ENB has bucked the trend a little recently by announcing some joiners and a promotion before the end of their season.
  5. I popped over to Paris for the final 2 performances of BNC's run of Giselle at the Salle Pleyel. Coincidentally the last time I had seen their Giselle was also in Paris but in a "pop up" theatre in the Grand Palais. Salle Pleyel has an art deco foyer and a plain, dark interior. It had been a concert hall home to an orchestra which lost its funding and now presents all different types of show. It struck me that the nightlines would be good wherever you sat. I was on the front row of the stalls, which offered a perfect view, except that the wings were obviously so shallow that one could see more than would be usual even from the central block of seats. Nevertheless it was a great place from which to watch the performance! Sadly the company were performing to recorded music and I have to say that even to my uncultured ears it was not a good recording. Occasionally, for example, there seemed to be some overly long gaps in the music. I very much like Alicia Alonso's production of Giselle - it is so very clearly told with excellent mime too. In this production it is very clear that Giselle dies of a broken heart rather than committing suicide with the sword (it is grabbed off her before she can do any harm), The Wilis are very scary. I did, however, find the lighting too bright and harsh, especially in Act 2. I like the way the backcloth of trees is used to hide and reveal the Wilis at the start of Act 2 - it does make them much more mysterious and ghost like. On Tuesday evening Sadaise Arencibia and Raul Abreu led the performance. Sadaise is a lovely Giselle, playful in act 1 and forgiving and loving in Act 2. Raul played Albrecht as someone who genuinely adores Giselle right from the start and is very romantic and ardent. Reading the programme I was shocked to realise that he can't be more than 19 or 20 - he gave such a mature performance. I think he has a great future ahead of him. I thought Ernesto Diaz was excellent as Hilarion - lovelorn and jealous and then horrified by Giselle's death. If I thought I enjoyed Tuesday evening (and I did) I was transported to another plain on Wednesday evening when Anette Delgado and Dani Hernandez led the performance. Dani plays Albrecht as a man who knows his position but is attracted to Giselle and then is broken when he realises what devastation he has caused. What can I say about Anette - she was completely, utterly and totally magnificent. Her technique is so strong and yet she is still so fragile and vulnerable. In reality I was not watching Anette Delgado I was watching Giselle. I was in floods by the end. At the curtain calls Alicia Alonso came on stage and was greeted with rapturous acclaim. What an amazing and gracious lady she is. Of course, 2 people do not a performance make and I must say that I thought the whole company looked excellent. Everyone was engaged in the action in Act 1, making it very believable. The Wilis were exemplary in Act 2. I was very glad I had made the trip to Paris (even though with the current parlous state of sterling it was ruinously expensive!).
  6. Just home from Paris. Will post performance details on the BNC thread.
  7. I absolutely agree with Mashinka about the Khan Giselle. I saw a preview performance, the official world premiere and one other performance - all in Manchester. I was completely blown away by the performances I saw (and I was fortunate to see 3 casts). All three performances I saw earned a standing ovation. However, one friend walked out of a performance at the interval and another refuses to discuss the performance we saw together in case she upsets me! The very brave Tamara Rojo is bringing this Giselle to Liverpool in the Autumn and I can't wait!!! I say brave because the Liverpool audience is notoriously conservative and because Liverpool and Manchester are close together and most people do not go and see a production more than once in a short period of time. I was unable to get to the recent ROH triple bills so can't comment on them but I think the company is looking on wonderful form at the moment. Yanowsky is a very great artist who will be much missed but there is a heck of a lot of young talent coming through.
  8. I've seen advice that says to keep checking the website for returns. This worked a couple of years ago for me, last time the company performed Jewels, and I managed to get a return on the front row of the stalls!
  9. I suppose we are back to the age old issue of what a dancer may want to dance and what the dancer wants to dance. I was under the (probably mistaken) impression that she joined the RB to expand her repertoire beyond the classics she is known for. Certainly her own shows give the impression that she is interested in different dance styles. I think the role of Mary Vetsara is much coveted amongst dancers. I know many people who are not very keen on Mayerling for the same reasons that you have stated. I wouldn't say it was a favourite of mine either but I was totally bound up in the performance I saw with Edward Watson last time around. I haven't felt there was anything "evil" about Rudolf's character more that he suffers from the weight of expectation and being brought up in such a rigid society. For me that goes a long way to explaining his actions. For what it's worth I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Mayerling.
  10. The most exciting thing for me would have been seeing Edward Watson as Rudolf. I had the good fortune to see him at the last revival and he was truly exceptional. This time I am going to a convenient matinee (combining a few days in London for American in Paris (mainly to watch some favourite ex-BRB dancers) and Northern Ballet's awesome new Casanova. I will be seeing Thiago Soares' cast. If I had had the opportunity to choose a cast to see I would choose the dancer performing Rudolf rather than any of the ladies (although they are also important). I chose to see Soares this time because he got such wonderful reviews last time.
  11. PS - Do you mean 28th April 2017?
  12. On the whole, I think the more important character is Rudolf!
  13. The Slovak schedule has (to me) some interesting items on it. The new theatre is fab and Bratislava is a lovely but nicely compact city to wander around. If you are travelling from Europe, especially the UK, it may be cheaper to fly into Bratislava and get the train to Vienna. Several of my friends have done this recently.
  14. Ashton (London Festival Ballet - now ENB) MacMillan (both RB & BRB) Morricone/Gable (Northern Ballet - my favourite) Cranko (Scottish Ballet) Robert North (Scottish Ballet) Pastor (Scottish Ballet) Derek Deane (ENB - both "in the round" and proscenium) Nureyev Neumeier (RDB) Maillot (Geneva Ballet and Northern Ballet) Van Dantzig (?) Dutch National Ballet in late 1980s Royal New Zealand Ballet early 2000s - sorry can't remember choreographer