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Royal Ballet in Philadelphia


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41 replies to this topic

#16 ajg

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 03:57 PM

Thank-you for all your suggestions! I bought tickets for Friday night after all. My husband and I are going to stay at the Hampton Inn near the conference center (thanks to a good IBM rate) and take the Mann shuttle. I just have to figure out where the nearest stop is - as someone mentioned the shuttle map is not very visitor friendly.

Not quite a dance question but what is the "dress code" for these kinds of events at the Mann?

#17 dufay

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 09:13 AM

I am going Tuesday and Thursday nights. I live right outside Philly (and about 5 minutes from Mann). I could offer transportation back to 30th St train station for a few attendees- PM me.

#18 Ray

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:58 AM

Not quite a dance question but what is the "dress code" for these kinds of events at the Mann?



Well, because it's Philadelphia High Culture, some in the audience will be terribly overdressed for the venue/season. But ignore them: the Mann Center can be HOT HOT HOT so wear as little as you can get away with!

#19 nysusan

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 02:04 PM

Thanks for the wardrobe advice Ray, and thanks to dufay for that very generous transportation offer. I envy you getting to see the Royal in R&J and am especially sorry to miss Tamara Rojo's Swan Lake - but it just didn't make sense for me to travel in from NY mid week. I'm going to come in for the Friday night SL and stay at a hotel near Rittenhouse square. I'll rely on the special shuttle to get me there & back - so I'll be wearing my running shoes...

#20 Natalia

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 02:35 PM

Here's another lodging option for the die-hard balletomane on a budget:

http://www.philahostel.org/

Chamounix Mansion Hostel, in Fairmount Park, is a mere 7-minute drive from Mann Center. Cost for dorm-room bed: $20/night members; $23/night non-members. Price includes sheets/pillows/etc. No age limit (not just 'youth'). Plenty of 'bunks' left for every night of the RB run! :)

#21 Ray

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 07:01 AM

Here's another lodging option for the die-hard balletomane on a budget:

http://www.philahostel.org/

Chamounix Mansion Hostel, in Fairmount Park, is a mere 7-minute drive from Mann Center. Cost for dorm-room bed: $20/night members; $23/night non-members. Price includes sheets/pillows/etc. No age limit (not just 'youth'). Plenty of 'bunks' left for every night of the RB run! :flowers:


Ah, Fairmount Park, Philly's untapped and neglected urban woodland--lots of, ahem, shabby gentility. I don't mean to be too cynical, but just be ready for an adventure: FP is no Central Park or even Prospect Park. (And notice how the hostel is very close to an extremely busy freeway, not to mention railroad tracks.)
Actually I'm impressed by the website, and I never knew that Chamounix Mansion was a hostel--the mysteries of Philly! (Though it's annoying that the FP map they link to doesn't show where the Mann Center is.) Those who stay should report back to us!

#22 Natalia

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 10:30 AM

Actually, I've stayed at Chamounix House before, Ray, and it's up on a hill in an idyllic woodland setting, far above any freeway or railroad. Quite a lovely house; the common areas (living room, etc.) are full of antiques & furnished elegantly. The 'dorms' are spartan but clean and pleasant. I've stayed at hostels all over the world & this is one of the most beautiful and non-hostelish-looking. It's like staying at a big old family manse.

The one negative, IMO: a midnight curfew. No problem if the ballet ends at 11pm and it takes so little time to drive back.

I ran a 'mapquest' between the mansion and Mann Center - it's absolutely close. You just drive down the hill from the mansion on Chamounix Drive, continue round a circle, then you're practically at the doorstep of the Mann Center.

#23 Ray

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 08:14 PM

I wonder how the dancers will do tonight (Tuesday)--it's supposed to be super hot again. (Not easy for the viewer either!) I'd hate to be the nurse. Anyone who goes, please report.

#24 dufay

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 03:49 AM

Yes, R and J is NOT the ballet to be doing when it's 100 degrees. I don't think it affected the company too much, except, perhaps, some of the men's dancing. I loved the production- and comparing it to ABT- the RB sure knows how to do crowd scenes. I was disappointed that Alina C was injured, but was impressed with Leanne Benjamin. I didn't realize she was so tiny-she looked quite young, and her acting was refreshing. I thought Johann Kobborg was a bit too understated, but the heat and humidity might have wilted him. The poor orchestra probably had to tune constantly thruout due to the weather, and except for a couple of understandable oops, did a wonderful job.
Unfortunately, being Philly (and I live there, so I can say this), some treat the occasion as a night out at the ball park.
SL on Thursday. with Rojo.

#25 kfw

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 06:08 AM

I was disappointed that Alina C was injured, but was impressed with Leanne Benjamin. I didn't realize she was so tiny-she looked quite young, and her acting was refreshing.

That's a real tribute. Judging by an article in the Telegraph, she is 42.

#26 dufay

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 06:50 AM

Yes, but I saw Ferri as Juliet a couple of years ago, and she was totally believable too (take that NYCB). The balcony scene was beautifully done, and when she was left alone after refusing to marry Paris, you could see the emotion in her as she sat still.

#27 aurora

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 07:52 AM

Yes, but I saw Ferri as Juliet a couple of years ago, and she was totally believable too (take that NYCB). The balcony scene was beautifully done, and when she was left alone after refusing to marry Paris, you could see the emotion in her as she sat still.


I totally agree, but I have to say I was really thrilled to find a clip of Ferri doing R&J when she was really young (like 20?21?) on the web other day.

I probably prefer her in it now, but on film, where you can see her face so well, its amazing to see her do it while looking that young.

And to keep this from being *totally* OT--she was with the Royal at the time (though not in Philly) ;)

#28 mjbelkin

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:26 AM

Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite ballets - I love the crowd scenes, I love the sword fights, I love the ensemble dances. Can you tell I'm a fan of it?

And the part in Act 3 where Juliet just sits motionless on the bed while the music roars around her - the stillness is so expressive.

#29 Petite_Arabesque

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 09:42 PM

Thursday, July 12 Swan Lake-Tamara Rojo, Federico Bonelli

Well, the first act of Swan Lake has never appealed to me, and unfortunately it didn't tonight either. I sat patiently through it, and the dancing was fine enough.

Act 2 was beautiful for the most part. Corps was mostly together, though I did spot one girl that seemed to forget the choreography/ timing. I did notice that there is a HUGE range of heights in the corps, and one of the four little swans was, in my opinion, too tall. A lot of the corps arm movements were too jerky for my taste, kind of like they were whacking their arms into position with no meaning....definitely NOT wings. Probably not their fault though, I imagine since they all did it they were told to do it that way. I also didn't like how the swans were on half pointe a lot of the time (for bourees, sous-sus, etc.), it looked strange. White Swan pas was beautiful; the only problem was some jerk repeatedly taking flash photos (meanwhile, my camera had been confiscated just because I had it in my purse). Rojo was wonderful; I wouldn't say that White Swan is her strength, because she is such an athletic dancer, but she was quite impressive.

At the end of the 30 minute (!!) intemission, Monica Mason came onstage and announced, to my deep disappointment, that Rojo was injured and would be replaced in Act 3 by Roberta Marquez. She apologized for the long intermission and explained that Marguez and Bonelli had needed time to rehearse as they had never danced together before.

Despite that, I think that they did quite well together; in fact, if I hadn't known that they had never danced together I would have thought nothing of it. Marquez is certainly a different dancer than Rojo--more elongated and certainly taller. There were a couple very very minor glitches in their pas but all in all it was incredible that they danced so well. Marquez couldn't have had that much time to warm up, and she was a little shaky but mostly great to watch. Her arabesque is one of the most beautiful I've seen. Bonelli's solo went well too. I imagine he was feeling some nerves at this quick change of partners but it didn't show; he landed his jumps and turns solidly enough. There was certainly a sense of triumph at the end of the coda! I didn't really care for the national dances, but then I'm not really a fan of character dancing. The Neopolitan couple was impressive and together though. The set bothered me a lot in Act 3...it looked like a whoel bunch of Mardi Gras beads strung across the stage.

In Act 4 Rojo returned; I suppose maybe she hurt a hamstring and couldn't do the quick, acrobatic movements of Odile, although of course I don't know. It is just a theory I have because I didn't see any visible limping. She and Bonelli were emotionally connected in this act; when they weren't onstage I wasn't really interested. Corps work was ok but nothing special for me.


One note that I have to make: WHY is Rothbart an evil, giant owl?? It just seems so bizarre to me...an owl is completely non-threatening, IMO. And the costume was jsut ridiculous, not scary or menacing at all. Weird weird weird. I much prefer the human Rothbart with a mohawk, as he appears in Act 3 :off topic:

-Carmen

#30 dufay

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 04:51 AM

I too was disappointed that Rojo pulled out of Odile, but thought Roberta Marquez did an amazing job, particularly given the circumstances. Her arabesque is high and gorgeous. I thought Rojo looked a bit more remote and uninvolved in Odette than I would have liked. As for the Cygnets- I think it was one girl who was too short, rather than one too tall. Yes, there is a wide range of heights in the RB, with more short dancers than in many US companies. Sets were a bit Tim Burtonish, and rather than the ABT "Swamp Thing" the "Owl Thing" described above.


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