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'Sleeping Beauty' live in cinemas, Dec 15, 2011Cuthbertson & Polunin


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#16 annamicro

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:50 AM


If Cojocaru "doesn't have the style to dance this production", they could have given it to Nunez, at least from a technical point of view she is perfection.


Interesting to hear that RB management feels that "Cojocaru doesn't have the style to dance this production". That's a point of view that I hadn't heard before. But then, I don't follow RB reports very closely.

I saw this production of SB at the Kennedy Center in DC just a couple of years after it debuted. Cojocaru led it off and danced Aurora twice to great acclaim. I also recall seeing Nunez, Lamb and Marquez as Aurora and Cojocaru was my favorite by a mile.

I wonder what the RB considers to be stylistically correct at this point in time...


It was put in writing when Cojocaru was not cast as Aurora, so somebody in the company thinks so and probably her idea of Sleeping Beauty is what she showed all over the world two days ago.
Anyway the important thing is that the future Royal ballet director, Kevin O'Hare, was in Hamburg for the premiere Neumeier's Liliom, the first full length ballet created on Alina Cojocaru, and this gives hope for the future.

#17 annamicro

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:51 AM

The Rose Adagio (the main Suitor is Nehemia Kish)



#18 Natalia

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 05:30 AM

Thanks, Annamicro. I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE the Messel costumes! Now we can finally see the gorgeous, full Messel designs, both sets & costumes.

#19 FauxPas

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:38 AM

Okay, I didn't see this HD transmission but I will put forth a few observations: 1) The original, not recreated, Messel costumes and sets can be seen for Act III in the "Royal Ballet" movie danced by Fonteyn and David Blair. 2) I love Alina Cojocaru as much as anyone but she already was filmed in this production several years ago (in the pale, generic non-Messel costumes). That filming is even available in Blu-Ray format. Do we need two filmings of Cojocaru in the same role and same basic production? 3) I wish Lauren Cuthbertson the best and generally approve of giving young, emerging dancers major opportunities. That way a company builds towards its future. That is, if the young dancer can do justice to the part. Marianela Nunez would have been a safer choice. 4) "Buy British" - There have been complaints since Antony Dowell took over that the Royal Ballet is less and less "English". The dancers are all Italians, Spaniards, Roumanians, Russians, Americans, Brazilians, Argentines, you name it. You see the English names down in the smaller soloist and corps listings. Darcey Bussell seems to be the last major British ballerina and she has been retired for several years now. Maybe the Royal is trying to change its image. I frankly wonder about their training and school - maybe Dame Ninette needs to be channeled through a medium and start teaching class and coaching again. 5) It is something that I have noticed in opera these days - the technology is better than ever for transmitting live performances and they are being done all the time. But are these the performers and productions we want preserved for posterity? Some of the opera performances in particular are really horrible productions with miscast singers. The ballet casting and productions are better. However, if this technology was available sixty or seventy years ago we could be comparing Margot Fonteyn and Moira Shearer as Ashton's "Cinderella" in HD color and multi-channel surround sound.

#20 Natalia

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:52 AM

..... Some of the opera performances in particular are really horrible productions with miscast singers. The ballet casting and productions are better. .....


Last week's podcast discussion among experts on 'live in cinemas' arts included an interesting revelation that explains why opera broadcasts, in particular, have lesser-known singers in leading roles. Short answer: cost. The head of Emerging Pictures (the company that does most of the opera & ballet 'live in cinemas' events in the USA) spoke about the trend towards casting lesser known 'house performers' as the major stars' fees for telecasts are prohibitive.

re. Cuthbertson vs Cojocaru for the latest transmission - Nobody is saying that Cojo should have been cast instead of Cuth. It's just that the RB has several more -- how to state it diplomatically? - more 'telegenic' faces and dancers. I'll leave it at that.

Speaking of being 'telegenic,' a podcast speaker also mentioned that opera legend Marilyn Horne recently voiced concern that looks (body types and FACES) of opera singers were now being considered when casting 'cinema nights" and not just the ability to sing.

#21 Natalia

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:02 AM

Here's a British (born in Northern Ireland) soloist who is absolutely gorgeous and who, IMO, is a better prospect than Cuthbertson for the 'Next Great Fonteyn-Bussell' title.

http://www.dailymail...htest-hope.html

Does anyone know if Melissa Hamilton has essayed Aurora yet? According to this, she recentlydebuted Sugarplum in the ROH's Nutcracker.

Below is a link to a beautiful set of photos of Melissa, by S. Fowler:

http://photosbysimon...al-opera-house/

#22 annamicro

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:39 AM

Thinking to a career of international interest and relevance, I think there is only one really outstanding young dancer in the company: Akane Takada. Of course she is not British, but Japanese.

#23 Natalia

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:54 AM

Annamicro, didn't Akane Takada study for a year or two at the Moscow Academy of Ballet (the Bolshoi's school)? I think that she's the wondrous young lady who wowed us in Washington, DC, in the Paquita Grand Pas during one of the 'Proteges' galas at the Kennedy Center...she danced a spectacular 'jete variation,' outshining the Russian soloists, even the Paquita. YES, she is fantastic...but not British.

I also admire Melissa Hamilton.

#24 annamicro

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:47 AM

Yes, I think she is the girl you saw. Esthetically and technically Akane Takada is similar to Yuhui Choe, but more brilliant and, especially, with personality, the instinct to act and the desire to communicate: all things that, in my opinion and taste, make the difference between a good dancer and a relevant artist.

She is not British, yes, but she is a Ballerina.Posted Image

Her Florestan pdt with Polunin (much more "present" than in this Sleeping beauty) and Choe was one of the highlights of my Royal Ballet views two years ago. The past year she was an excellent Olga in Onegin, her first major role, I think. This year she missed her Aurora debut due to an injury, but had, according to many friends reports, an outstanding debut as Sugar Plum Fairy few days ago: the fact she was wearing the tutu usually worn by Yoshida and Cojocaru is just a matter of waist size, but I'm confident that is also a sign of destiny. Posted Image

Hamilton has a strong personality and stage presence and I enjoyed some of her performances in modern or not classical works. I have a bad feeling about her in classical things, but honestly I'm not sure whether I've really seen her or it's just an extrapolation of her characteristics made by my imagination. I should check the cast sheets.
Anyway, since I'm not British, at the moment she is not a dancer I'd travel for, even though I'd book for anything with her if already in London (infact I have a ticket for her Nutcracker matinee on the 28th)

#25 Natalia

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 03:50 AM

Thank you so much, annamicro, for sharing your thoughts on the up-and-coming stars of the RB!

#26 valentina11

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 02:39 PM

I agree it's maybe a pity they chose this cast for the cinema show. Lauren Cuthbertson in my opinion, she's good on the 20th century classics (like Manon or Juliet) but not so much in Petipa... She seems stressed in her technique and then quite withdrawn from the character because of it.
For whatever reasons that Alina Cojocaru didn't dance it this season, it wouldn't make a lot of sense to have another recorded performance of her on the same role! Plus it's good to see Polunin who is so impressive (although as a partner he still learns... maybe Cuthbertson needed someone stronger in partnering like Kish or even Pennefather..) But I agree, why to choose a dancer who is NOT at her best in 19th c work? Record her in R&J, yes it would do justice to the work and to her also. But not in Beauty!! Hikaru Kobayashi, 1st soloist, was a beautiful Aurora this run (Akane Takada should have had her debut but sadly did not because of the injury). Sarah Lamb was nice so I heard, Rojo is probably amazing in this role as most others, Nunez apparently had some lovely performance. I'm not such a Nunez fan as many (in London it seems like she can do no wrong) and I found her Aurora too flashy but she is a technical genius and has a lot of personality on the stage, also she can do adagio with the proper emphasis and understand English style. Or Rojo with her amazing Rose Adagio! Why not to record one of these two to share with the world? Nunez especially is as much a Royal dancer as Cuthbertson, she did after all spent her whole adult career in this company and she hardly guests much.
I agree on Akane Takada, apparently her SPF a few nights ago has been gorgeous. Melissa Hamilton also did it. I don't find her so great in classical roles, but in contemporary she is surely great and I think as Juliet she will do good things..

#27 valentina11

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 02:43 PM

Hamilton has a strong personality and stage presence and I enjoyed some of her performances in modern or not classical works. I have a bad feeling about her in classical things, but honestly I'm not sure whether I've really seen her or it's just an extrapolation of her characteristics made by my imagination. I should check the cast sheets.
Anyway, since I'm not British, at the moment she is not a dancer I'd travel for, even though I'd book for anything with her if already in London (infact I have a ticket for her Nutcracker matinee on the 28th)


As I know it, she didn't do a lot in classical solos. She did "summer" in Cinderella, the huntresses in Sylvia, she might did Moyna or Zulme in Giselle. This season only she danced Florestan pd3 and Bluebird pdd, as well as the 2nd fairy variation and maybe 1st? And apparently her Arabian in Nutcracker is very good.

#28 Jayne

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:55 PM

Nunez especially is as much a Royal dancer as Cuthbertson, she did after all spent her whole adult career in this company and she hardly guests much.

I wish she would guest with ABT.

#29 kfw

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 06:24 AM


If Cojocaru "doesn't have the style to dance this production", they could have given it to Nunez, at least from a technical point of view she is perfection.


Interesting to hear that RB management feels that "Cojocaru doesn't have the style to dance this production". That's a point of view that I hadn't heard before. But then, I don't follow RB reports very closely.

I saw this production of SB at the Kennedy Center in DC just a couple of years after it debuted. Cojocaru led it off and danced Aurora twice to great acclaim. I also recall seeing Nunez, Lamb and Marquez as Aurora and Cojocaru was my favorite by a mile.

I wonder what the RB considers to be stylistically correct at this point in time...


I saw both of Cojocaru's performances plus Lamb's, and Marquez's in rehearsal, and likewise loved Cojocaru's best. If she doesn't have the style, why did she alone get two performances in D.C., plus the DVD appearance? Is she a diminished dancer since she came back from the neck injury? Someone must think so.

#30 valentina11

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:30 PM

Nunez especially is as much a Royal dancer as Cuthbertson, she did after all spent her whole adult career in this company and she hardly guests much.

I wish she would guest with ABT.


I would suppose her schedule at the RB hardly leave time for it...she dances almost every productions because she does much on the triple bills also which some dancers doesn't. She's beautiful in Glen Tetley's choreography I think.

RE: Cojocaru, I saw her only one time since her return of injury, it was my impression that technically she lost a bit but the artist remains!


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