Jane Simpson

Royal Ballet season 2008/9

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The Royal Ballet's plans for next season were announced today.

Briefly, this is what we get:

Swan Lake

Manon

Serenade/L'Invitation au Voyage (Corder)/Theme and Variations

Voluntaries/The Lesson/new Wayne McGregor

Ondine

Nutcracker

Bayadere

Seven Deadly Sins (Tuckett)/Carmen(Mats Ek)/DGV (Wheeldon)

Isadora/Dances at a Gathering

Giselle

Les Sylphides/new Alastair Marriott/Firebird

Jewels

Isadora is a one-act, 50 minute reduction of MacMillan's 1981 3-acter, devised and produced by Deborah MacMillan.

You can see the full press release on the RB site

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The Royal Ballet's plans for next season were announced today.

Briefly, this is what we get:

Swan Lake

Manon

Serenade/L'Invitation au Voyage (Corder)/Theme and Variations

Voluntaries/The Lesson/new Wayne McGregor

Ondine

Nutcracker

Bayadere

Seven Deadly Sins (Tuckett)/Carmen(Mats Ek)/DGV (Wheeldon)

Isadora/Dances at a Gathering

Giselle

Les Sylphides/new Alastair Marriott/Firebird

Jewels

Isadora is a one-act, 50 minute reduction of MacMillan's 1981 3-acter, devised and produced by Deborah MacMillan.

You can see the full press release on the RB site

yummy!!. I wonder how involved Carlitos Acosta will be...

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Wow, just one Ashton ballet. :lightbulb:

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Three Balanchines and only one Ashton? I don't get it.

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Yup- an appalling lack of Ashton, I think....

But *loads and loads* of debuts already announced, on the full release....

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Yeah - for me, this season is going to hinge on casting. I'm watching the Giselle casting in particular. If Ansanelli gets a Giselle, I'd like to go.

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Some of her best parts at NYCB were fantastical (the novice in The Cage and The Firebird) so I think Ondine might work for her in the same way.

Ondine and Giselle casting are not listed in the main release - have they been circulated at all?

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No - Monica Mason just happened to mention a couple of the casts for Ondine when she was going through the programme at the press conference. (Rojo/Watson and Ansanelli/Hristov)

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Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse but the almost total absence of Ashton baffles me. The longer and longer they go without committing to Ashton in a big way the harder and harder it will become to perform the works in the proper style. (Something of the sort has already happened in the US w/ ABT and the Tudor repertory.)

I would like to pose a question to those of you participating in this thread. When you see this repertory for 2008-09, what does it tell you about Monica Mason's vision for what the company will be in the 21st century?

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I would like to pose a question to those of you participating in this thread. When you see this repertory for 2008-09, what does it tell you about Monica Mason's vision for what the company will be in the 21st century?

An article published by Ismene Brown recently suggested strongly that Mason is just keeping the seat warm for a year or two until Johan Kobborg, a Man with Vision, takes over.

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I would like to pose a question to those of you participating in this thread. When you see this repertory for 2008-09, what does it tell you about Monica Mason's vision for what the company will be in the 21st century?

I'd be quite surprised to learn that Mason has 'a vision' at all - she strikes me as a pragmatist rather than a visionary.

Why isn't there more Ashton? Partly because there's not that much space left for anyone when so much of the season is given over to endless runs of the 19th century classics; partly because I'd guess Mason sees MacMillan as at least Ashton's equal and someone to whom she personally feels more connected; and partly because Balanchine seems to be the in thing at the moment and is taking up a lot of space in that section of the repertory. Should there be more? Of course: not because of the danger of losing the style or because it's the company's duty to preserve his work, but because he made great ballets which they should be proud to dance.

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Thanks for the responses.

Perhaps a better way to have put my question is this: What does this announcement tell us about the present state of things? I look it at and see two negative trends: A growing homogenization of the ballet repertory at the international level and a certain "crowding out" effect wherein certain choreographers and repertories are displacing others, perhaps permanently.

Am I being paranoid? Maybe. But then you know the old saying: Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean it isn't happening. :sweatingbullets:

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Nothing new about the homogenization of rep. It's been well underway for the past 25-30 years, or maybe dating as far back as the Diaghilev diaspora. A mixed blessing of globalization.

Worse than the companies' loss of identity through repertoire, IMO, is the increasing blurring of their distinctive styles.

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Only one work by Ashton yet the company is reviving MacMillan's Isadora, the biggest turkey of all time, albeit in a cut down version. Note also the revival of Manon to coincide with ENB's production of the work that will be seen this autumn.

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