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Jane Simpson

RB season 2010/2011

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The RB has just announced next season's programme, which includes the company premiere of Ballo della Regina, and two new pieces - one by Wayne McGregor, the other Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's a very 'home-grown' season. Dates are the opening night of each run - no further dates or casting yet available.

Onegin (Cranko) (Sept 30 2010)

La Valse (Ashton)/new Brandstrup/Winter Dreams (MacMillan)/Theme & Variations (Balanchine) (Oct 15 2010)

Sylvia (Ashton) (Nov 3 2010)

Cinderella (Ashton) (Nov 30 2010)

Peter and the Wolf (Hart)/Tales from Beatrix Potter (Ashton)

Les Patineurs (Ashton)/Tales from Beatrix Potter (Ashton)

Giselle (Jan 11 2011)

Swan Lake (Jan 22 2011)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (new Wheeldon) (Feb 2011)

Rhapsody (Ashton)/Sensorium(Marriott)/Rite of Spring (MacMillan) (Mar 16 2011)

Manon (MacMillan) (Apr 21 2011)

Ballo Della Regina (Balanchine)/new McGregor/DGV (Wheeldon) (May 13 2011)

Scenes de Ballet(Ashton) /Voluntaries(Tetley)/Still Life at the Penguin Cafe(Bintley) (May 28 2011)

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Ballo Della Regina? Isn't that the one with the fiendish passage danced almost entirely en pointe?

Wonder who in the RB will get to dance that, though I can think of a few that shouldn't even attempt it.

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Ballo Della Regina? Isn't that the one with the fiendish passage danced almost entirely en pointe?

Wonder who in the RB will get to dance that, though I can think of a few that shouldn't even attempt it.

Probably Rojo and Lamb, Mashinka? and there may be a new dancer or two with dynamite jumps and footwork whom we know not of...would be a good thing to put a dazzling young corps member in--

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The RB has just announced next season's programme, which includes the company premiere of Ballo della Regina, and two new pieces - one by Wayne McGregor, the other Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's a very 'home-grown' season. Dates are the opening night of each run - no further dates or casting yet available.

La Valse (Ashton)/new Brandstrup/Winter Dreams (MacMillan)/Theme & Variations (Balanchine) (Oct 15 2010)

Rhapsody (Ashton)/Sensorium(Marriott)/Rite of Spring (MacMillan) (Mar 16 2011)

Ballo Della Regina (Balanchine)/new McGregor/DGV (Wheeldon) (May 13 2011)

Scenes de Ballet(Ashton) /Voluntaries(Tetley)/Still Life at the Penguin Cafe(Bintley) (May 28 2011)

This is why Mason is such a canny operator when it comes to programming triple bills - I'd love to see Scenes de Ballet, La Valse, Rhapsody - the pieces they're on with, not so much. But she knows that the Ashton lovers will risk the other pieces, maybe... though the Royal's treament of Ashton isn't exactly wonderful in the execution. Though it is great that Mason has programmed so much of it.

T&V, Ballo - you'll get a very Royal reading on Balanchine, especially if they give Cuthbertson the Suzanne Farrell second movement. This is bizarre, the way Mason programmes her in Romantic or lyrical ballerina roles, she has all the lyricism and mystique of an Arnold Schwarzenegger film.

The Ballo one is a tricky one, I'd really love to see what they do with it, for curiosity if nothing else. They deffo will give Nunez the Ashley part - I can't think of anyone else who could dance it properly at the Royal. (Maybe Rojo or Lamb could give it a good go? If they gave it to Cojocaru I reckon her body would finally give up altogether and break down) but the thought of paying to sit through DGV or another bloody MacGregor makes my teeth ache.

I know I go on about having to see something to be able to properly criticise it and I've seen Random Dance Co. several times, the pieces he did for Rambert & Chroma, Limenal & Infra - so I think I've done my time.

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La Valse (Ashton)/new Brandstrup/Winter Dreams (MacMillan)/Theme & Variations (Balanchine) (Oct 15 2010)

Rhapsody (Ashton)/Sensorium(Marriott)/Rite of Spring (MacMillan) (Mar 16 2011)

Ballo Della Regina (Balanchine)/new McGregor/DGV (Wheeldon) (May 13 2011)

Scenes de Ballet(Ashton) /Voluntaries(Tetley)/Still Life at the Penguin Cafe(Bintley) (May 28 2011)

This is why Mason is such a canny operator when it comes to programming triple bills - I'd love to see Scenes de Ballet, La Valse, Rhapsody - the pieces they're on with, not so much. But she knows that the Ashton lovers will risk the other pieces, maybe... though the Royal's treament of Ashton isn't exactly wonderful in the execution. Though it is great that Mason has programmed so much of it.

Ah, but she programmed them first, so that unless you're dying to see "Theme" or Macmillan's "Rite of Spring", you can show up for the first ballet and then head out for dinner. (Or after "Voluntaries".)

It's kind of a win/win: she gets the cash for the ticket, and you get to vote with your feet.

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Even imagining Cojocaru in Ballo is cruel. As much as I like her dancing, were she to attempt it I think she might spontaneously combust.

Nunez has the turns and the can-do demeanor; and I'm betting the speed. Rojo and Balanchine in my experience haven't been a good match; she's very ladylike in it but maybe Ballo would provoke her. In Symphony in C, why not give Yanowsky a crack at second movement? She made herself work in Sylvia with the "wrong" physique, here she's the right physical type.

Volcanoes permitting, I'm penciling mid-October and mid-March into my calendar.

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In Symphony in C, why not give Yanowsky a crack at second movement? She made herself work in Sylvia with the "wrong" physique, here she's the right physical type.

RB has never cast Yanowsky in 2nd Movement? She's the first dancer I thought of. I would think she'd own the role.

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In Symphony in C, why not give Yanowsky a crack at second movement? She made herself work in Sylvia with the "wrong" physique, here she's the right physical type.

RB has never cast Yanowsky in 2nd Movement? She's the first dancer I thought of. I would think she'd own the role.

The problem with Yanowsky is that they don't have anyone to partner her. They occasionally bring Bolle in when they want her in a tutu, and seeing that Bolle is indeed listed as a guest artist perhaps that's what's happening.

Bolle is a funny one isn't he, a worldwide classical principal with guesting in the major classical companies continually and yet he finds three pirouettes a challenge. But then at the RB he has our homegrown principals Watson and Pennefather who are pretty much in the same boat, technique-wise.

As to voting with one's feet, the problem is that more often than not I vote not to go at all. The RB is so expensive that paying £60 for a 25 minute ballet is a bit ridiculous. But the ROH operates at 90% capacity so I doubt Mason is worried about what I think.

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T&V, Ballo - you'll get a very Royal reading on Balanchine, especially if they give Cuthbertson the Suzanne Farrell second movement. This is bizarre, the way Mason programmes her in Romantic or lyrical ballerina roles, she has all the lyricism and mystique of an Arnold Schwarzenegger film.

Am I missing something here, Simon? Do you mean the 2nd movement of Symphony in C? Neither Ballo nor T&V have more than one movement; neither is associated with Farrell.

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The problem with Yanowsky is that they don't have anyone to partner her. They occasionally bring Bolle in when they want her in a tutu, and seeing that Bolle is indeed listed as a guest artist perhaps that's what's happening.

They should borrow Oleg Gorboulev, who's still dancing and is tall enough.

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T&V, Ballo - you'll get a very Royal reading on Balanchine, especially if they give Cuthbertson the Suzanne Farrell second movement. This is bizarre, the way Mason programmes her in Romantic or lyrical ballerina roles, she has all the lyricism and mystique of an Arnold Schwarzenegger film.

Am I missing something here, Simon? Do you mean the 2nd movement of Symphony in C? Neither Ballo nor T&V have more than one movement; neither is associated with Farrell.

Sorry yes, you're right, I got symphony & T&V mixed up.

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We already know the casting for T&V: Rojo/Polunin, Cojocaru/McRae and Nunez/Kish.

Yanowsky is doing Sylvia with Makhateli - they have danced it together before. Kish may also be tall enough for her. Bolle isn't listed for next season, so far as I can see. Yanowsky has done Symphony in C in the past, but not recently I think - in any case she wouldn't be cast in this season's run, as she's currently on leave after the birth of her second child. (Cojocaru and Nunez are doing it.)

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We already know the casting for T&V: Rojo/Polunin, Cojocaru/McRae and Nunez/Kish.

Yanowsky is doing Sylvia with Makhateli - they have danced it together before. Kish may also be tall enough for her. Bolle isn't listed for next season, so far as I can see. Yanowsky has done Symphony in C in the past, but not recently I think - in any case she wouldn't be cast in this season's run, as she's currently on leave after the birth of her second child. (Cojocaru and Nunez are doing it.)

How do you think Cojocaru will hold up in Theme? The ballerina part is wickedly difficult, though not as fast or fleet as Ballo, more and more I think her injuries are holding her back in non lyrical classical roles. I think she's opted out of MacGregor works altogether, which can only be a good thing, he's a real backbreaker for ballerinas.

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Bolle is a funny one isn't he, a worldwide classical principal with guesting in the major classical companies continually and yet he finds three pirouettes a challenge. But then at the RB he has our homegrown principals Watson and Pennefather who are pretty much in the same boat, technique-wise.

People are always telling me how wonderful he is, but I don't see it either. Amazing how far some dancers get on looks these days.

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Bolle is a funny one isn't he, a worldwide classical principal with guesting in the major classical companies continually and yet he finds three pirouettes a challenge. But then at the RB he has our homegrown principals Watson and Pennefather who are pretty much in the same boat, technique-wise.

I don't agree. When Bolle is in a good shape his basic technique is clean. His acting is basic and clean too: you can see every "step" the face is supposed to make. Very basic and very clean.

He also shares with his preferred partner Bussell the unique ability to change dramatic moments in comical ones: their Manon was unmissable.

In Italy he has a huge fan club and a number of sponsors, but I've never meet (nor in London nor in Milan) a regular ballet.goer nor a professional in ballet world who admits to like him, but this is a different point.

According to his press office he had an huge success in New York and they adore him. Could it be something like the huge success of La Scala Sleeping beauty in London, a triumph, according to Italian news?

I don't know, but I'm happy that ABT is keeping him busy and probably away from the Royal Ballet, even if he remains Etoile of La Scala Ballet.

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Bolle is a funny one isn't he, a worldwide classical principal with guesting in the major classical companies continually and yet he finds three pirouettes a challenge. But then at the RB he has our homegrown principals Watson and Pennefather who are pretty much in the same boat, technique-wise.

I don't agree. When Bolle is in a good shape his basic technique is clean. His acting is basic and clean too: you can see every "step" the face is supposed to make. Very basic and very clean.

He also shares with his preferred partner Bussell the unique ability to change dramatic moments in comical ones: their Manon was unmissable.

In Italy he has a huge fan club and a number of sponsors, but I've never meet (nor in London nor in Milan) a regular ballet.goer nor a professional in ballet world who admits to like him, but this is a different point.

According to his press office he had an huge success in New York and they adore him. Could it be something like the huge success of La Scala Sleeping beauty in London, a triumph, according to Italian news?

I don't know, but I'm happy that ABT is keeping him busy and probably away from the Royal Ballet, even if he remains Etoile of La Scala Ballet.

Anna,

We're seriously going to have to agree to disagree on Bolle, ditto Bussell, especially on their dramatic abilities.

I can see why Bolle has a career, he's tall, matinee Idol good looks, strong like a weightlifter so a tall ballerina will be ably supported - but boy oh boy, watching him dance is for me, the equivalent of having teeth pulled. His plasticity is non existant, and it shouldn't be given how flexible he is - there's no enchainement or cantilena, merely a collection of poses and when he jumps he has that tall-guy problem of flailing legs and heavy landings.

Bussell is another one whose reputation vastly dwarfed her actual talent and technique. And I don't think that was entirely her fault, from the get go she was touted as the British Sylvie Guillem - and for too long we had a mess of legs and extensions, her use of turnout until very late in her career was poor and the basic armoury of technique that one expects in a ballerina of that level of experience and position was just never there.

I know Bolle is very popular in Italy, being a homeboy, but at ABT & RB all he is is a dope, albeit a handsome one for tall girls. His Solor in Bayadere was particularly painful as it ruthlessly exposed his very basic technique, actually his Arminta was a real teeth-grinder too, he made what has to be a burly shepherd effete and simpering - just wrong.

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Bolle is a funny one isn't he, a worldwide classical principal with guesting in the major classical companies continually and yet he finds three pirouettes a challenge. But then at the RB he has our homegrown principals Watson and Pennefather who are pretty much in the same boat, technique-wise.

I don't agree. When Bolle is in a good shape his basic technique is clean. His acting is basic and clean too: you can see every "step" the face is supposed to make. Very basic and very clean.

He also shares with his preferred partner Bussell the unique ability to change dramatic moments in comical ones: their Manon was unmissable.

In Italy he has a huge fan club and a number of sponsors, but I've never meet (nor in London nor in Milan) a regular ballet.goer nor a professional in ballet world who admits to like him, but this is a different point.

According to his press office he had an huge success in New York and they adore him. Could it be something like the huge success of La Scala Sleeping beauty in London, a triumph, according to Italian news?

I don't know, but I'm happy that ABT is keeping him busy and probably away from the Royal Ballet, even if he remains Etoile of La Scala Ballet.

Anna,

We're seriously going to have to agree to disagree on Bolle, ditto Bussell, especially on their dramatic abilities.

I can see why Bolle has a career, he's tall, matinee Idol good looks, strong like a weightlifter so a tall ballerina will be ably supported - but boy oh boy, watching him dance is for me, the equivalent of having teeth pulled. His plasticity is non existant, and it shouldn't be given how flexible he is - there's no enchainement or cantilena, merely a collection of poses and when he jumps he has that tall-guy problem of flailing legs and heavy landings.

I know Bolle is very popular in Italy, being a homeboy, but at ABT & RB all he is is a dope, albeit a handsome one for tall girls. His Solor in Bayadere was particularly painful as it ruthlessly exposed his very basic technique, actually his Arminta was a real teeth-grinder too, he made what has to be a burly shepherd effete and simpering - just wrong.

I have to admit I'm not much of a Bolle fan either. I saw him with ABT a couple of seasons ago, it was the last performances here in NY of Ferri.

She loved dancing with him because he's so strong and his back is so wide, she commented that laying on his back is like laying in bed. But I don't see much beyond the good looks, height and weight lifting. He seemed pretty dull to me as Romeo even at Ferri's last Juliette with ABT

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We're dragging this way off topic, but I've seen Bolle be both the dancer annamicro describes, and the one Simon does as well. Recently, his performances at ABT have been stronger than the ones I saw several years ago at the Royal. I'd agree with anna that I found him clean.

I'd agree with everyone that he is very easy on the eyes.

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We're seriously going to have to agree to disagree on Bolle, ditto Bussell, especially on their dramatic abilities.

If with "we" you intend you and me, I don't see where we disagree, a part the cleanliness of his basic technique (excluded troubled double assemble en tournant and cabriole with bended knees - probably not basic enough). To me to be clean doesn't mean to be interesting or worth to watch: we are talking of a ballet dancer, not of a lavatory.

As I wrote, he has a huge fan club in Italy, but it includes the kind of people that consider a great success to hear clapping during the entrechat series in Giselle or during the final manege of L'Arlesienne (when I saw it in Parma, people was clapping as in DQ coda, but in that moment Frederi is devastated and going to kill himself jumping through an open window, a very silly behavior by the audience, but honestly, having not seen the ballet before, it would have been hard to understand what was going on with Bolle as the main character).

I agree that he can be "the equivalent of having teeth pulled", but during a very strong and deep general anesthesia.

Maybe the ability to change dramatic moments in comic has been intended as a compliment, but I don't understand how: I remember Leacault death in a Bussell-Bolle Manon as a truly hilarious moment and absolutely unforgettable. But that doesn't mean that I consider the 8 pounds I spent for that show a good investment.

I've always had the impression that Ferri was using him as a pole for pole dancing, looking through him more than at him.

Leigh, I'm afraid that Simon and I described (or have in mind) exactly the same dancer. I just think that he, when in good physical form, can do a good triple pirouette (or three single pirouettes in suivi, at your choice): wow!

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Yes, I think it's all semantics. When I saw him in '03 in London doing Bayadere, he was clean and handsome, but having a rough time with both Daria Pavlenko and Zenaida Yanowsky. In fairness, I don't know how much rehearsal he had.

At the '04 Ashton Festival partnering Bussell in the Awakening pas de deux, he was much, much better. At ABT he's looked good. Not a pyrotechnician, always clean, always good partnering.

But let's try and drag the topic back to the upcoming season.

Is there anything you're planning to attend (or avoid?)

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When I saw him in '03 in London doing Bayadere, he was clean and handsome, but having a rough time with both Daria Pavlenko and Zenaida Yanowsky. In fairness, I don't know how much rehearsal he had.

You have missed him in '07, partnering Cojocaru. He was not clean nor handsome (returning from an injury), clearly below his "basic". Anyway he saved Cojocaru's show, having the company huge problems with male dancers in that moment and nobody else available to dance with her.

But let's try and drag the topic back to the upcoming season.

Is there anything you're planning to attend (or avoid?)

Returning to the topic, I've already fixed my dates for Onegin (what a shame that Rojo is not dancing Tatjana, she said in an interview she refused to dance it the last time, who knows if she refused again or was not offered at all this time?) and T&V mixed bill.

I love Giselle, Swan Lake and Manon so I think I will not be able to skip them and I'm looking forward Scenes de ballet/Voluntaries mixed bill (hoping to have shows during the week-end)

I'm dubious on Wheeldon new ballet and Rhapsody/Rite of Spring mixed bill.

I'm avoiding for sure Sylvia and Beatrix Potter mixed bill and probably Cinderella.

I have to find strong reasons to see Ballo della Regina, being not interested at all in the rest of the evening.

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Simon G wrote: How do you think Cojocaru will hold up in Theme? The ballerina part is wickedly difficult, though not as fast or fleet as Ballo,

When she did Theme with Kobborg she danced nicely, but it was all too small in scale for my taste. And I think the role needs grandeur rather than sweetness. But what I found really strange in those performances was to see Alexandra Ansanelli confined to a demi-soloist role.

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When she did Theme with Kobborg she danced nicely, but it was all too small in scale for my taste. And I think the role needs grandeur rather than sweetness. But what I found really strange in those performances was to see Alexandra Ansanelli confined to a demi-soloist role.

Alymer,

Sweetness, exactly! I have to admit that's a problem I've always had with Cojocaru and taking her as a "great" ballerina as she's publicised to be.

I saw her very first Giselle, and she is a great Giselle, the one where she was made principal afterwards. But you're right, she falls back on sweetness far too often - in roles where this is perfect she can be perfect, but very often there's little sense of grandeur when the role calls for it.

She can be brilliant, but she's certainly not the whole package for me. And yes there was some odd casting with Ansanelli throughout her time at the Royal.

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