RB Mixed bills (Rake, Diverts, Homage) and Gala
Posted 10 June 2006 - 07:25 AM
I had a magnificent time in London (and after two weeks it will be great to be home)
Anyone care to comment on the final mixed bills?
I KNOW YOU WERE THERE!
My big (trivial) question - What is the card game the Rake plays? It involves a die being tossed in a cup, and then card deals.
I'm also curious how much de Valois' choreography owes to Massine - perhaps more properly how much both owe to a predecessor? Rake is a very solid dramatic work.
Royal Watchers for DC and Boston - here are my picks to watch:
Rupert Pennefather - he keeps getting better, especially in Michael Somes' roles - a hard spot to fill.
Steven McRae - only a first artist, but should be promoted again soon. Wheeldon created a virtuoso role on him (The "Spirit of Fire" in Homage to the Queen). He's slightly built, but with line.
There's less room for rising women because the company is top heavy with them right now and older dancers like Miyako Yoshida and Leanne Benjamin are showing no signs of fading. Yoshida did just a lovely Rhapsody last night - Benjamin also did it with lovely touches two days before.
Carlos Acosta gave two major performances - the Corsaire pdd and the Balcony-less Balcony pas de deux from R&J - the first with Bussell and the second with Rojo.
C'mon folks, talk
I'll see you when I land in NYC!
Posted 11 June 2006 - 04:37 AM
My big (trivial) question - What is the card game the Rake plays? It involves a dice being tossed in a cup, and then card deals.
Sounds a lot to me like "lanterloo" or "loo", with its cutthroat system of side bets, oddsmaking, and contingency bets. You could go bust in one quick hurry, even if you won the hand of cards. It was one dangerous game, and didn't long survive the 18th century, although Dolley Madison and others were lifelong addicts.
Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:53 AM
I was too consumed thinking 'whoa' to even comprehend remotely what he did.
I've seen him do Corsaire before, but not with this... am wondering if he added it during his recent stint with ABT? And thus maybe some more people here have seen it? It probably doesn't have a name... but if someone could even just describe it I'd be very appreciative!
Posted 11 June 2006 - 11:12 AM
ah, a possibly correct term just hit me -- maybe it's like a horizontal tour en l'air? Is that what you saw?
Posted 11 June 2006 - 12:06 PM
Posted 11 June 2006 - 12:36 PM
Posted 11 June 2006 - 02:35 PM
Posted 11 June 2006 - 10:53 PM
Gravity? What gravity?
Whoop-de-doo indeed. I tend to call these moments 'WHOA! What the...'
Posted 12 June 2006 - 11:37 AM
The Royal Gala on the 8th and the '75th Anniversary Mixed Bill' on the 9th were indeed evenings to remember. Of course, Acosta was spectacular on both nights -- 'Corsaire pdd' with Bussell on the 8th and, especially, 'Romeo & Juliet pdd' with Tamara Rojo on Friday. The latter was the brightest spot in a rather-lackluster set of divertissements.
De Valois' 'Rakes Progress' commenced the Friday bill. Lovely bit of musical theater, giving Johann Kobborg a real tour de force in 'dance acting.' It's a very English story-ballet based on Hogarth prints that, I suspect, had greater impact in the smaller theater in which it premiered in the 1930s. It certainly would not play in Peoria (or even NYC), with its imphasis on drama and minimal classical dancing but it is a fascinating piece, nonetheless.
The piece-de-resistance on both nights was the 'revival' of Ashton's 'Homage to the Queen,' although only the final 'Queen of the Air' segment and the opening & closing promenades are truly Ashton, from the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The initial three segments are new 'mini ballets' by three contemporary choreographers: Queen of the Earth by David Bintley; Queen of the Waters by Michael Corder; and Queen of Fire by Christopher Wheeldon. The 1953 score by Malcolm Arnold is tuneful, properly regal. The costumes by Peter Farmer pay homage to classicism, with tutus or 'near tutus' in each segment.
Among the newer ballets, the hands-down winner, for me, is Corder's 'Queen of the Waters' segment, with the magnificent Cojocaru and Kobborg as the leads. The choreography & music appear to be the most traditional, Petipa/Pugni-ish of all. Delicate, flowing, peaceful. The segment even includes a modern take on the old Imperial Russian pas de trois 'Ocean and Two Pearls.' The corps of eight girls also added to the beauty of the piece, their arms simulating the ripples of water.
Performance-wise, though, I give top kudos of BOTH evenings to Steven McRae as the Spirit of Fire in the Wheeldon segment. He is the Royal Ballet's Leonid Sarafanov, no doubt.
I now look forward to seeing McRae and the rest of the fabulous RB dancers here in DC, during next week's 'Sleeping Beauties' and mixed bills. The only negative is that 'Homage to the Queen' will not be presented in DC. That's one 'Ashton [et. al.] Rarity' that I wouldn't mind seeing over and over again. Hint-hint to the BBC for future telecast?
Posted 13 June 2006 - 04:41 AM
Opinion is mixed about it here in London but I share Natalia's views and think it might even be good enough to interest other companies.
I would say Steven MacRae is set to be a big star; he has a better proportioned physique than Sarafanov by the way, though he might be shorter.
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