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ENB Manon rehearsalAntoinette Sibley & Wayne Eagling talking


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#1 leonid17

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 05:59 AM

If you visit the English National Ballet website http://www.ballet.org.uk/ here you will find the Director of ENB Wayne Eagling and Dame Antoinette Sibley discussing Manon as a rehearsal of the ballet is taking place. Click on highlighted Telegraph TV.

I vividly remember both of these artists debut in their roles. Antoinette with Dowell and Wayne with Jennifer Penney.

#2 whetherwax

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 04:39 PM

Thanks so much for posting this Leonid. I have recently fallen in love with Manon after seeing the Australian ballet do it. I couldnt believe that we had such a powerful story so beautifully choreographed. I find myself in total agreement - from my very inexperienced position!!! - with Dame Antoinette that this ballet is on a par with Swan Lake. I'm sure there will be many who will disagree, but its nice to know that others love this ballet.

#3 bart

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 05:14 PM

We've been discussing Manon on another thread, here:
http://ballettalk.in...p...=28000&st=0

Sibley's exact words are:

One of the truly great classics of all time ... absolutely on a par with the Swan Lakes and the Petipa ballets of the centur before, the 19th century.

Frankly, this seems a bit over the top to me. But I do believe it's a good choice for ENB and a better investment (artistically and financially) than many works that Eagling could have chosen.

#4 richard53dog

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 05:38 AM

Sibley's exact words are:

One of the truly great classics of all time ... absolutely on a par with the Swan Lakes and the Petipa ballets of the centur before, the 19th century.

Frankly, this seems a bit over the top to me. But I do believe it's a good choice for ENB and a better investment (artistically and financially) than many works that Eagling could have chosen.



Wow, yes, she does take her appreciation for the Manon pretty far , doesn't she?

But then one of the defining characteristics of Sibley is her enthusiasm and her ability to project such joy in her dancing, so I guess that puts her statement in context.

#5 leonid17

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 01:09 PM

Sibley's exact words are:

One of the truly great classics of all time ... absolutely on a par with the Swan Lakes and the Petipa ballets of the centur before, the 19th century.

Frankly, this seems a bit over the top to me. But I do believe it's a good choice for ENB and a better investment (artistically and financially) than many works that Eagling could have chosen.



Wow, yes, she does take her appreciation for the Manon pretty far , doesn't she?

But then one of the defining characteristics of Sibley is her enthusiasm and her ability to project such joy in her dancing, so I guess that puts her statement in context.


As the only full length role she was to create, it is no surprise that she should wax so enthusiastically. The ballet is history and it is her history. At the premier both she and Anthony Dowell were a revelation. Already a most respected and very popular partnership, it was in a way a crowning glory to their career and a personal success only to be compared with their earlier creation of the leading roles in Ashton's "The Dream".
For me I only like Manon in parts and would prefer to see a "Scenes from Manon" rather than the full ballet.

#6 EAW

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 03:49 PM

As the only full length role she was to create, it is no surprise that she should wax so enthusiastically. The ballet is history and it is her history. At the premier both she and Anthony Dowell were a revelation. Already a most respected and very popular partnership, it was in a way a crowning glory to their career and a personal success only to be compared with their earlier creation of the leading roles in Ashton's "The Dream"

The thing is, much of the role was actually choreographed on Penney. Sibley was either ill or injured during the creation of Manon, and MacMillan seemed to view Penney as the Royal's rising ballerina. (She inspired quite a bit of his work.) Penney has spoken of her dismay and disappointment when the premier was given to Sibley, but think back to Romeo & Juliet, danced first by Fonteyn and Nureyev though it "belonged" to Seymour and Gable - another example of the formerly rigid pecking order at the Royal Ballet.

#7 leonid17

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 10:33 PM

As the only full length role she was to create, it is no surprise that she should wax so enthusiastically. The ballet is history and it is her history. At the premier both she and Anthony Dowell

The thing is, much of the role was actually choreographed on Penney. Sibley was either ill or injured during the creation of Manon, and MacMillan seemed to view Penney as the Royal's rising ballerina. (She inspired quite a bit of his work.) Penney has spoken of her dismay and disappointment when the premier was given to Sibley, but think back to[i] Romeo & Juliet
, danced first by Fonteyn and Nureyev though it "belonged" to Seymour and Gable - another example of the formerly rigid pecking order at the Royal Ballet.


I would be interested to know where Jennifer Penney stated her disappointment of losing the premiere as I cannot recall this as a fact.
When she and Wayne Eagling got to perform Manon I it thought a powerful and moving event. Perhaps that is because I had watched their progress from the moment they both joined the company and I had admired their work in a number of roles.
In London the story goes that the reason Fonteyn and Nureyev took the premiere of Romeo and Juliet, was because of a forthcoming tour to New York organised by Sol Hurok was to be sold on the stellar stardom of the senior couple for publicity purposes. This meant it was essential that they created the roles and prerssure by Sol Hurok was brought to bear on MacMillan and the board of the Royal Ballet. Nothing to do with seniority per se, just money in the bank marketing which set a precedent.

#8 Mashinka

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 02:16 AM

Jennifer Penney 'stated her disappointment' at a talk she gave about her career to the Ballet Association at the Swedenborg Hall. I was in the audience and remember quite vividly what she said. Although I can't quote her verbatim, it was the along the lines that Sibley wasn't happy with the role, didn't feel it was suited to her and backed out of rehearsals. Penney took over and claims that most of the role was created on her. According to Ms Penney's account Sibley changed her mind about Manon when she saw how well it was progressing and went on to dance the premiere, leaving Penney, quite understandably, rather unhappy about the whole thing.

I agree with what Leonid says regarding R & J though, it was box office takings in the US that influenced the decision to give the first night to Fonteyn and Nureyev.

#9 whetherwax

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 09:16 PM

Nice to know then, that it is Penney who has been beautifully immortalised on the DVD

#10 volcanohunter

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 08:25 AM

The Royal Ballet has posted an excerpt from its Manon program which indicates which sections were choreographed on Sibley, and which on Penney.

http://www.roh.org.u...yle-in-one-role




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