Royal Ballet in CubaJuly 2009
Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:45 AM
From the press release:
The Royal Ballet's Jonathan Cope sensationally stepped out of retirement yesterday for the opening night of the Company's tour of Cuba, to dance with Zenaida Yanowsky in Frederic Ashton's A Month in the Country. Rupert Pennefather, who had been due to dance, unfortunately had to withdraw at the last minute with a back injury.
Jonathan Cope retired as a Principal at The Royal Ballet in January 2006, and was forced to miss his last two scheduled performances after breaking his leg in a motorcycle accident. He has since been a repetiteur with the Company, coaching other Principal dancers in the roles he made his name in.
Speaking about the surprise turn of events Dame Monica Mason, Director of The Royal Ballet said this morning: "Rupert Pennefather was terribly disappointed he had to withdraw from A Month in the Country yesterday as everyone in the Company is so excited about dancing in Cuba. Fortunately, Jonathan has been doing class recently and he was thrilled to be asked to step in at the last minute. He danced the role a number of times in his career and has been coaching it in preparation for Cuba so he knows it inside out. Jonathan epitomises the spirit of The Royal Ballet and on such an historic night for the Company - our first ever performance in Cuba - was the perfect person to be up there on stage with us".
In an amazing piece of timing, The Royal Ballet will tonight (Wednesday 15 July) present a tribute evening to the Director of the Nacional Ballet de Cuba Alicia Alonso, 63 years to the day since she first danced Giselle at Covent Garden with American Ballet Theater.
Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:13 AM
I need a fainting emoticon.
eta -- i just realised this was last night. Ugh!
Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:44 PM
Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:18 PM
Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:35 PM
All those years living in the island, and never got to see an event like that before...now that I'm here, they go there...grrr!!
Well, if anything, I'm TRULY happy for my friends...I know they must be analyzing EVERY SINGLE millimeter of Cojocaru's steps...
Posted 16 July 2009 - 09:18 PM
Don't miss the video here:
Lots of photos here:
I've also seen coverage on bbc.co.uk and from the Associated Press, which I believe is what The Miami Herald ran.
Can we agree that this event has repercussions not only in the ballet world?
Isn't this a perfect example of how dance can build bridges that transcend nationality, politics and language?
Posted 17 July 2009 - 07:22 AM
Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:02 PM
The MSNBC reporter uses the phrase, "the first international company to perform on the island in three decades"? Is this possible? (I assume she is not counting Russian companies.)
The story makes it clear that this is also a big home-coming for Acosta, who is said to have "brokered the deal." Mason's comments that going back to Cuba with Acosta is like what it WOULD have been like travelling to Russia with Nureyev helped give this event a significance I hadn't thought of before. I'm actually astonished that American television covered such a story .. and that it did such a sensitive and intelligent job.
The photos of the young people watching the big tv screens in the square outside the theater -- AND those of the dancers themselves going outside to make their bows in front of the screens -- were incredibly moving.
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