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Royal Ballet season 2005/6


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#1 Jane Simpson

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 06:36 AM

The Royal Ballet announced its plans for next season today. Full details can be found from

http://info.royalope...dex.cfm?ccs=739

Highlights

Monica Mason's contract as Artistic Director has been extended to 2010. (She was initially appointed for 4 years)

The company has abandoned Makarova's production of Sleeping Beauty and is marking its 75th anniversary by a new one, produced by Monica Mason and Christopher Newton after Nicolai Sergueev, and with decor based on the Oliver Messel production. First night is May 15 2006.

Johan Kobborg produces La Sylphide - the first time it's been done by the RB. Alina Cojocaru and Ivan Putrov get the first night, Kobborg dances with Cojocaru at some later performances. Flemming Flindt's The Lesson is in the same bill some nights, others have Ashton's Les Rendezvous.

New to the repertoire: Glen Tetley's Pierre Lunaire and new works by Alastair Marriott and Matjash Mrozewski

Returning to the repertoire: La Fete Etrange, Gloria, Ballet Imperial, Afternoon of a Faun (Robbins), Polyphonia, the Rake's Progress

Kenneth Greve returns to dance in Manon with Zenaida Yanowsky

Ashton's Homage to the Queen is to reappear - but only the Air section is recreatable as there was no film and no notated version, so David Bintley, Michael Corder and Christopher Wheeldon are to do a section each to complete the work.

#2 Dale

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 06:43 AM

The company has abandoned Makarova's production of Sleeping Beauty and is marking its 75th anniversary by a new one, produced by Monica Mason and Christopher Newton after Nicolai Sergueev, and with decor based on the Oliver Messel production. First night is May 15 2006.

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This is great news (considering the reviews of Makarova's production). The Royal seems to be going back to its roots. Which Sleeping Beauty will be touring the U.S.?

And another company doing Ballet Imperial... I hope the Royal will bring back its BI rather than the "Ballet Imperial" Colleen Neary has been staging around the world (it's really Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2)

#3 Jane Simpson

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 06:48 AM

This is great news (considering the reviews of Makarova's production).  The Royal seems to be going back to its roots.  Which Sleeping Beauty will be touring the U.S.?

And another company doing Ballet Imperial...  I hope the Royal will bring back its BI rather than the "Ballet Imperial" Colleen Neary has been staging around the world (it's really Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2)

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I assume they'll take the new Beauty to the US (that's summer 2006, right?) - the Makarova one is now history.

Ballet Imperial is to be stage by Patricia Neary and the sets are 'Eugene Berman realised by Anthony Dowell' - I think that's what we had at the last revival in the 1980s but I don't have anything here to check.

#4 Dale

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 06:53 AM

Thank you Jane for clarifying.

I remember when Ballet Imperial was last done by the Royal. There was an interesting article in Dance Now by Stephanie Jordan about how the RB was to put on BI as it is now performed at NYCB (and all the companies who mistakenly call it BI even though it is the 70s production). But the Royal was moved to go back to an old rehearsal film and some notations and brough back, as close as possible, the production from the 50s when it was set (and tweaked) for the Royal by Balanchine. I hope that's the production that the Royal performs.

[Just a note. I have nothing against Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2. I love the production done by NYCB. I just don't like when that production is passed off as Ballet Imperial, which had mime and some different bits of choreography.]

#5 Natalia

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 07:00 AM

The company has abandoned Makarova's production of Sleeping Beauty and is marking its 75th anniversary by a new one....after Nicolai Sergueev, and with decor based on the Oliver Messel production.

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My secret wish has been to see the Petipa-N.Sergeev with the Messell decors. The best of both worlds. There is a Santa Claus! Thank you, powers from on high!!!

Ah...but I see that neither Petipa's nor Ashton's Garland Dance will be shown. Instead, Christopher Wheeldon will choreograph a new one.

On a separate note, it's great to see that Sarah Lamb has been assigned the lead in two full-length early-season ballets. Yes!

#6 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 07:18 AM

What do Londoners think of the season? From afar, it looks like Mason is programming thoughfully. My taste isn't completely hers, but I can see her taste in the programming and I respect it. She's trying to create a balance, and at the same time she is trying to bring back things she personally liked.

#7 Ari

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 07:42 AM

While I'm delighted that the Royal is getting back to its roots in Beauty, I wonder how the Messel designs are going to look today. When ABT used them in the mid-70s, they looked old-fashioned, and this is 30 years later. While they were wonderful for their time, tastes change. The Royal's announcement says that Peter Farmer will adapt the original designs. It should be interesting to see what he'll do.

#8 sylvia

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 09:15 AM

As a Londoner, I wasn't enthusiastic on hearing that we'd be getting R&J, Manon, Nutcracker, Giselle all in one season - I feel like I saw them all just yesterday! But the new casts, Zenaida Yanowsky and Kenneth Greve, Mara Galeazzi and Federico Bonelli in Manon, Sarah Lamb, Lauren Cuthbertsen, Rupert Pennefather in Nut (he's presently in the corps de ballet and will be parterning Tamara Rojo no less!), not to mention the possibility of new and younger R&J casts that was mentioned elsewhere, are really something to look forward to and I suppose it allows the company to dance lots of works new to the dancers. The mixed bills look terrific - La Sylphide, Tamara's debut in Marguerite and Armand, La Fete Etrange, Pierrot Lunaire, Afternoon of a Faun, My Brother My Sisters, Rake's Progress stand out for me particularly, and I'm so pleased that Sylvia, La Fille and Requiem are coming back. (I was so hopeful that Rhapsody and Symphony in C would be too, but oh well.) And the new Beauty as well - a bit shocking to have another one so soon! So I'm half a bit "hmmmm..." but almost everything in the mixed bills is new to me so it's all very exciting. :D

#9 Alymer

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 03:08 PM

I saw photographs of ABT's Beauty with the Messel designs - though not alas a live performance. In the pictures the costumes didn't look very much like the Messel originals and I remember thinking at the time that it might be to do with the fabrics used - they seemed too light and filmy. So, it will be interesting to see how they come up. But I should add that I thought the designs for Makarova's production were quite the best thing about it although I'm told that huge compromises had to be made over the decors because ROH couldn't handle them.

I don't think we've seen the Berman designs for Ballet Imperial at the ROH since the original staging. The last revival was, if I recall correctly, one of the managements many vain attempts to encourage visual artists to have a crack at designing for dance. Berman had white white wigs and the double headed eagle on the backdrop.

I gather that the reason for the new garland dance in Beauty is that Monica Mason wants to incorporate children.

All in all I think it's quite an interesting season. Personally I could do without Manon and Romeo - but I guess they're box office. And I'm surprised by the casting of Fete Etrange. I don't see either Bussell or Yanowsky as the Young Chatelaine, (a role created by Maude Lloyd) but who knows...... I hope at least they find a decent singer.

#10 Dale

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 03:21 PM

I saw photographs of ABT's Beauty with the Messel designs - though not alas a I don't think we've seen the Berman designs for Ballet Imperial at the ROH since the original staging.  The last revival was, if I recall correctly, one of the managements many vain attempts to encourage visual artists to have a crack at designing for dance.  Berman had white white wigs and the double headed eagle on the backdrop.

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In the pictures that accompanied the Dance Now article, Bussell and Durante wore white wigs. The tutus were sort of take-offs of the Berman designs (black velvet with those "Berman" star points).

#11 Cygnet

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 03:39 PM

I think its great news that M. Mason's excellent work as A.D. is being
affirmed with an extended contract. She is very deserving.
Its also great news that the Royal is going back to the original Messel/Sergueyev production. I suspect there must be alot of anticipation for this revival,
(much like it was when Madame staged the back to basics 1977 Walker production). Thank you Monica!

#12 Ari

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 04:42 PM

I gather that the reason for the new garland dance in Beauty is that Monica Mason wants to incorporate children.

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Thanks for posting that, Alymer. I was wondering why they weren't using one of Ashton's versions -- he did two, didn't he?

It should be interesting to see what aspects of the Kirov's "historical" Beauty Mason and Newton will use in their new/old version. I can't imagine that they won't be influenced by it. Surely, from now on, all traditional productions of Beauty will have to take this reconstruction into account?

#13 Drew

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 06:21 PM

I interpreted "Sergeyev/Messel" to mean that they (the powers that be at the Royal) really want to go back to their own, Royal Ballet, roots and, for that reason, I would suppose that they will not be looking to the Kirov's 'historical' beauty. Perhaps it is an unavoidable reference point, but I wouldn't be surprized if there were a lot of people who would prefer that it not be.

For so many years, the Royal thought of Sleeping Beauty as a signature work -- a foreign body that had become, as it were, naturalized. I assume Mason's goal is to recapture that naturalized classical heritage. I think this in particular because, although the very ambivalent reviews of Makarova's production suggest much that didn't work, they did not suggest a wholesale disaster or anything that might not have been improved with some reworking -- and the Sleeping Beauty is not cheap to produce. So why go back to Sergeyev/Messel if the aim (realistic or not) is not to return to their own models and keep references to alternative variations out of the picture? (If that isn't the aim, then why not tinker with Makarova's for a season or two more before giving up on it completely?)

#14 Amy Reusch

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 08:56 PM

Would one of you explain to the ignorant among us [me] what the Messel production is?

#15 Ari

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 03:04 AM

So why go back to Sergeyev/Messel if the aim (realistic or not) is not  to return to their own models and keep references to alternative variations out of the picture?

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But isn't the Kirov's "historical" Beauty based on the Sergeyev notations? (Nikolai Sergeyev, not Konstantin, who made the Soviet version.) That's what Natalia was talking about on another thread when, before the announcement of this new production was made and we assumed that the Beauty the Royal would be bringing here next year was the Makarova production (which was based on the Konstantin Sergeyev version), she said how ironic it would be if the Kirov brought the 1890 version -- because for years we associated the Royal with preserving the historical record and the Kirov with going its own way, and this would be the reverse!

Amy, the "Messel version" is the first, famous production of The Sleeping Beauty that Nikolai Sergeyev helped Ninette de Valois and Frederick Ashton stage for the Sadler's Wells Ballet (as it was at the time) and that the company brought to America in 1949.


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