Leigh Witchel

Ballet Talk on Tour!

46 posts in this topic

I hope that BT on Tour will be able to send someone for Alexandra Ansanelli's Juliet on June 12th. Given her proclivity for drama and abandonment, she can be expected to go right to the edge with this role. I just hope Watson is ready for it!

I hope so too Haglund! In spite of my dislike for this ballet I would love to see Ansanelli's Juliet.

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Well, I won't be on tour, but I'm hoping to see a series of RB Juliet debuts in June (Ansanelli, Lamb, and Nunez).

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I'm on a different schedule, and since my traveling companion is a musician and lover of modern dance, the itinerary is an interdisciplinary compromise. Though I couldn't talk my sister into going to see Sleeping Beauty more than once, given the price of tickets at Covent Garden, I did convince her that ordering the POB twice was prudent just in case of a strike at the Opéra. :sweatingbullets:

4/09 - London - Carlos in Cuba (Carlos Acosta & Danza Contemporanea de Cuba)

4/10 - London - R.Strauss, Beethoven (Philharmonia Orchestra)

4/11 - London - Sleeping Beauty (Royal Ballet)

4/12 - Brussels - Medée (La Monnaie)

4/13 - Ghent - Dialogues des Carmélites (Vlaamse Opera)

4/14 - Paris - École de danse

4/15 - Paris - POB triple bill

4/16 - Paris - Death in Venice (Hamburg Ballet)

4/17 - Paris - POB triple bill

4/18 - Paris - Sylvie Guillem & Akram Khan

Planes, trains and hotels are set. My only complaint is having to stand in line to pick up our London show tickets, while the Belgian and French tickets came by mail. Much more convenient.

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I'm on a different schedule, and since my traveling companion is a musician and lover of modern dance, the itinerary is an interdisciplinary compromise. Though I couldn't talk my sister into going to see Sleeping Beauty more than once, given the price of tickets at Covent Garden, I did convince her that ordering the POB twice was prudent just in case of a strike at the Opéra. :sweatingbullets:

LOL :D I sincerely there won't be any strickes when you're in !

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Would the Londoners and the Parisians like to get together for dinner or lunch while Helene and I are there?

We'd love to. Just PM or email me and I'll try to set something up. The locals get to help decide where to eat!

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Have a great time - I'm so jealous! I busted my ballet budget this year so I'll just have to stay home and read your posts. I'm looking forward to them!

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Updating -

Volcanohunter - if you have net access, I hope you'll report in on what you're seeing!

Dinners - given the intersection of schedules, it looks like the best days to meet are Wednesday April 23 in London and Monday April 28 in Paris. In both cases Helene and I are going to a 7:30 pm performance and I could eat before or after depending on restaurant hours. Helene? In the infinite wisdom and cooperative spirit of the press office of the Paris Opera Ballet :dry: they have given me exactly one out of three requests I made. Because it is "not possible" to see the Ek program at the premiere on the 26th, I will see it on the 28th and miss a second viewing of the triple bill. Thank you, press office. So, on the 28th I'll be at the Garnier for the Ek program while Helene will be at the Bastille. I'm going to delegate here - Ami, would you care to help arrange a place to eat in London and suggest a time - Cygneblanc, would you do the same for Paris?

Hotel and stuff: Yes, it's more expensive than it was, but there are still lucky bargains out there, especially in London if your nerves can take using Priceline or Hotwire. Amazingly enough, for April 21-25, Hotwire had a 3* hotel in their Kensington area (which is larger than the actual area) for $62 a night. Dollars. Not pounds. I was torn about accepting it (you don't know what hotel you have until you pay for it, and it's non-refundable) but the need to economize on all the travel won out and I steeled myself for four nights in an aging flophouse. Happy ending - it was the Holiday Inn Express Earls Court which is a new hotel and gets good ratings on Tripadvisor. Basic and a bit farther out than I prefer, but for $62 a night, I am not complaining.

Helene and I both booked our Belgium and France hotels on Booking.com, which has very competitive rates and the bookings are fully cancelable (a nice change from Priceline). I'd rather stay at a more modest hotel in the Marais than farther out in a nicer place. Another good trick is that shopathome.com gives a 12% cash rebate on Booking.com bookings - that just about offsets the drop in the dollar. Almost. :clapping:

Neither Hotwire nor Priceline are giving me any bargain of that kind for April 29 in London. I would rather stay closer in, so I am still bidding.

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Yes, I'll organise, not a problem! I guess it would be best if folks pm-d me to confirm they'd like to come? And... I'm thinking if we choose somewhere close (last time I made Leigh walk a marathon in the heat!), 6pm should be okay?

I'll post a few suggestions here by the end of the week to see if folks have thoughts, but if not, I'll decide by veto. :clapping:

Regarding the 26th, Leigh (and others): I have been assigned to covering a student workshop that day, and thus my two RB/Sleeping Beauty tickets (Lamb and Putrov) are up for grabs. They are up in the Heavens, but in good view (Amphi P45 and 46). £15 each, if anyone is interested just drop me a PM.

Looking forward to it!

P.S. Haglund's: I'll be at Ansanelli's Juliet!

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If the group seems as if it will be large, can I put in a request for 5:30 for a comfort margin? (Better to have time to talk, get lost, be late, etc)

If it's just a few of us, 6pm close by should be fine.

And thank you!

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OK, I can try to arrange something. If we settle for Monday 28th, I'm afraid we'll have to go after your performances, because I won't be able to leave my work before 7 PM, unless we can go for lunch. And it's not easy to find a restaurant where you can have diner before 7 PM.

For the ones who are interested, please PM me with what you wish to eat or not, when you're available, and the area you're staying in.

Otherwise, maybe sunday for a late lunch ?

See you soon!

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Just a reminder for folks to contact me, via PM, if they'd like to meet for dinner in London next Weds, 23 April, around 5:30 pm in Covent Garden!

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It seems we have a small group, and thanks for the suggestions. I'll list a few below. If no one voices a preference, I'll pick a place! I'll try to have everything sorted by Friday evening (GMT), so that those travelling have the information to hand.

One place I always enjoy is Sapori - it's somewhat zany, quite busy usually, with an eclectic Italian staff... I've always enjoyed my food there as well (but I'm vegetarian, so I won't speak for the larger menu)

http://www.toptable.co.uk/venues/restaurants/?id=38

A place that has just recently opened is Masala Zone. I've not eaten there, but I've eaten at the 'nicer' restaurants (when my parents visit!) associated with it - Chutney Mary's and Veeraswamy.

http://www.masalazone.com

And there's a Wagamama's - again, I love it for its veggie food - but I won't speak to the rest of the menu!

http://www.masalazone.com/

As has been recommended:

Johnston's in the Strand Palace hotel:

http://www.strandpalacehotel.co.uk/restaurants.asp

And the Real Greek, which apparently is real good, but without super-comfy seating.

http://www.therealgreek.com/therealgreek/m...Spring_2007.pdf

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I'm game for anything on the list, and I'm happy with vegetarian.

For Paris, our performance starts at 2:30, and I'm guessing we'll be out between 4:45-5:15. I have an 8pm opera on Sunday night, but I'd be happy to have a meal after the afternoon performance on the 27th (Sunday), or after the performance on the 28th. (I'm sure Leigh and I can find a way to graze to tide us over.) As long as there's a Metro stop near the restaurant, both Leigh and I should be able to convene.

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OK, I checked things out, and it looks like the best thing would be to meet on sunday after the triple bill performance and before Helene's evening in Garnier.

I suggest we meet at either the Clément (http://www.chezclement.com) or the Hyppo restaurant (shttp://www.hippopotamus.fr) on sunday 27 th at about 5.30 PM. It's not easy to find a restaurant where you can eat a late lunch or an early dinner in Paris, and much less on a sunday.

Both are near Garnier, near from a metro station and easy to find. Otherwise, there are also a lot restaurants in the Bastille area for a late diner on Monday.

If the majority can't choose, I think I will pick the Clement ! It would be great if things could be sorted tonight !

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I'd be happy to do either. If I had a preference, it would be whichever would be the more relaxed and interfere less with family and/or work plans.

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Helene, it will be definively more relaxed on Sunday. For the ones who plan to attend, please send me a PM so I can give you my details if they're needed. See you soon!

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Friends, apologies for posting this late, as I didn't have computer access earlier this weekend. I've decided on Sapori for dinner on Weds, booking is for 5:30, in my name (Ami). If I'm late, please start! One thing I've learned is that when you really want the trains to be on time, things will work against you!

Sapori is at 43 Drury Lane. If you know where the ballerina statue is across from the ROH, Sapori is at the other end of that pedestrian walkway. 2 minutes from ROH. If you need better directions, let me know!

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Many thanks cygneblanc and ami!

Leigh flies today, and I on Tuesday. I can't believe this is here already!

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Having just returned from my travels, my brain is still too foggy to deal with choreography.

Sticking for now with the Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty, I generally liked the production, though I still think it's a mistake to combine the sixth fairy and the Lilac Fairy. IMO Rudolf Nureyev and Peter Wright were correct in keeping them separate. I disliked Christopher Wheeldon's Garland Dance intensely. In my head I could hear my non-dancer mother expressing her frequent frustration with choreographic treatments of 3/4 time: "Why can't they just waltz?" Wheeldon's choreography is too clever by half, and his attempts at maneuvering dancers into complex floor patterns struck me as extremely laboured. I'm also not sure what to do about Ashton's Act 2 solo for the Prince. I've now seen a number of dancers attempt it, and no one's come remotely close to matching the phenomenal control, line and phrasing of Anthony Dowell, captured on film some 40 years ago. Comparing that film with performances of the solo nowadays, I question the standard belief in ever-rising technical standards among male dancers.

On the performance side, the dancers who most impressed me were Yuhui Choe, Gillian Revie, Myriam Ould-Braham, Alessio Carbone, Wilfried Romoli, Delphine Moussin, Stéphane Phavorin, Hélène Bouchet, Alexandre Riabko and Ivan Urban.

Most disappointing: Alexandra Ansanelli and Emilie Cozette.

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