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Royal Ballet 2013-2014 season


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#16 dirac

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:27 AM

Winter's Tale is much more subtle and mysterious – how do you transcribe it into mime and dance – it's all words, it'll fall apart.


Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I guess, but it is hard to see this working out successfully. You also have a striking difference in tone between the first and second halves of the play that will have to be resolved in dance, probably mostly dance, given the modern low tolerance for mime.

#17 mussel

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:57 AM

A movie with the same title starring Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, and Will Smith... will be released this fall, if it becomes a hit, it may give the ballet a publicity boost.

#18 sandik

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:44 AM

A movie with the same title starring Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, and Will Smith... will be released this fall, if it becomes a hit, it may give the ballet a publicity boost.


But it's not anything to do with the original play (even though it includes Eva Marie Saint!)

#19 JMcN

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:16 PM

Is this going to be RB's first DQ, ever? I don't recall RB ever performed DQ.


The RB had Baryshnikov's production some years ago. In the 90s I saw THE most wonderful performance with Miyako Yoshida (then still with BRB) and Tetsuya Kumakawa. It was also shown in the early noughties.

#20 Jane Simpson

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:41 PM

The version shown in 2001 was a version of Nureyev's production - Ross Stretton opened his one and only RB season with it.

#21 volcanohunter

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:41 PM

At this link you'll find photos of rehearsals for The Winter's Tale.

http://www.roh.org.u...he-winters-tale



#22 California

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:43 AM

Osipova has now cancelled her third and final performance of Sleeping Beauty, to be replaced again by Choe:

 

http://www.roh.org.u...n-27-march-2014

 

One thing odd in the official announcements: they said she suffered soft tissue injury, but no broken bones, but not a hint of how this happened. As it was in a rehearsal (unlike the concussion she sustained during a performance earlier in the season), no one really knows, except those in the room. If anyone sees published press reports, please share the link

 

Another disappointment: the Friends' open rehearsal for the day of the Winter's Tale premiere has also been cancelled. The "scale and complexity" of the production is the stated reason in the e-mail they sent out today:

 

Due to the timing of the General Rehearsal on the morning of the premiere, the cast who are dancing the performance on the evening of 10 April will dance the pre-General Rehearsal on the previous day. Due to the scale and complexity of this new production, and the amount of rehearsal time available, it will not be possible to run the General Rehearsal with the alternate cast as is usually the case.


#23 volcanohunter

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:06 PM

By citing "scale and complexity" I wonder whether they're suggesting there are still technical problems with the sets, the choreography or both.



#24 sandik

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 04:15 PM

By citing "scale and complexity" I wonder whether they're suggesting there are still technical problems with the sets, the choreography or both.

 

The scale models they showed in the promo trailer (screened with Sleeping Beauty) were pretty complex.



#25 California

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:03 AM

Some brief comments on the final two Sleeping Beauty performances: I was disappointed by Roberta Marquez' Aurora on Tuesday, April 8. She certainly performed all the steps, but I didn't see anything special. It was disappointing that her balances were so uneven -- she faltered/shortened many in the Rose Adagio and would then show off an unusually long balance, as if to say: I can do this! Am I missing something others see in her?

 

Ryoichi Hirano substituted for Nehemiah Kish as Marquez' Prince Florimund. I felt badly for him at his entrance in Act II, which seems designed to give the audience applause time to acknowledge his presence for the first time -- dead silence. Very awkward! I was impressed that in his many double turns and multiple entrechats, his landings seemed so secure -- none of the little baubles and shakiness that are so common, especially with soloists. (I noticed the same thing the next night when he was the Lilac Fairy's Cavalier in the Prologue.) I have no idea what experience he has in this role or partnering Marquez, but the partnering seemed solid. During the bows, she seemed especially gracious, giving him a flower with genuine warmth.

 

In the final performance April 9, Yuhui Choe was quite special. She has an elegant, silken movement quality that is never rushed, never seems like she's just anxious to get something over with. I've been struggling with metaphors to describe it -- pulled taffy, perhaps? Everything is drawn out, appreciated to the fullest. The partnering was fine this time and she was more gracious to Golding during the bows -- giving him a flower, e.g., which she skipped Saturday night.

 

I think it's odd at both Royal and ENB that the corps members are not named in the cast list distributed before the program, just "Artists of the Royal Ballet." I suppose that makes it easier when subs are necessary, but it's too bad they don't get even that named acknowledgement. I also appreciate the absence of crying babies and late seating, but was surprised at two flash pictures taken during the performance Wednesday from a side box in the balcony. I assumed an usher would scurry over after the first one; apparently not.



#26 California

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:51 AM

I saw the premiere of Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale Thursday night. So much to discuss - I hope others see it. For now, just some highlights.

 

This is an extremely ambitious production. The sets include all sorts of high-tech projections, silk drops and lighting effects to create a sense of boats at sea in a few places. I noticed a lighting tech and panel on the balcony-right level that wasn't there for Sleeping Beauty. I was reminded of the high-tech lighting and simulations used at the opening ceremony for the Sochi Olympics, although I don't know if that was the same technology used in the Opera House.

 

The physical scenery is strangely simple, almost minimalist. Some very tall pillars, several classical statues on large bases, some flights of stairs, and ramps onto boats, e.g., were moved into different locations for different scenes to accomplish set changes. In several scenes, a large square painting would be lowered to center back - a very abstract way of adding a set, but the actual paintings reminded me of Thomas Kinkaide. Throughout, they seemed to want to avoid anything traditional or standard in the way of set design.

 

I'm not familiar with the play, but the synopsis in the print cast list was sufficient to grasp the complicated story. For such an ambitious undertaking, a big question for me (after absorbing the physical details of the production) is whether I'd want to see it again for the choreography and performance. For this one, I'd say, yes. There are several extraordinary PdD for different couples in several acts worth seeing again -- original, complex, and interesting, apparently challenging to the dancers. I also loved the festival dances for the ensemble in Act II.

 

The commissioned score by Joby Talbot was fine -- contemporary but not post-modern, it sometimes felt like a movie score, but it was appropriate for the movement.

 

I only get to see this one more time, Saturday night, with the same cast. Now that I know what to expect, it's easier to grasp the structure and better understand some repetitive movement details. E.g., why do the lead women keep bending their feet at the ankles? It seems gimmicky in isolation, but perhaps that's some kind of theme or linkage between the mother and daughter. I don't know, but want to watch for that.

 

It's now pretty clear why the open rehearsal for Thursday afternoon was cancelled. It's not just the very complicated sets and effects. That rehearsal was for the second cast, which was originally to perform Saturday night but has now been postponed to next week. No hint in the announcement as to why -- injury? struggles mastering the work? I have no idea.

 

The audience was very enthusiastic and Wheeldon seemed to be on Cloud Nine during the bows. I have not yet seen any published reviews, but ROH invited comments on Twitter and they are (predictably) enthusiastic.



#27 abatt

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:00 AM

Alistair M. has posted his review on the NY Times website, and it is very positive.

 

http://www.nytimes.c...t.html?ref=arts#



#28 sandik

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:01 AM

I saw the premiere of Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale Thursday night. So much to discuss - I hope others see it. For now, just some highlights.

 

This is an extremely ambitious production. The sets include all sorts of high-tech projections, silk drops and lighting effects to create a sense of boats at sea in a few places. I noticed a lighting tech and panel on the balcony-right level that wasn't there for Sleeping Beauty. I was reminded of the high-tech lighting and simulations used at the opening ceremony for the Sochi Olympics, although I don't know if that was the same technology used in the Opera House.

 

The physical scenery is strangely simple, almost minimalist. Some very tall pillars, several classical statues on large bases, some flights of stairs, and ramps onto boats, e.g., were moved into different locations for different scenes to accomplish set changes. In several scenes, a large square painting would be lowered to center back - a very abstract way of adding a set, but the actual paintings reminded me of Thomas Kinkaide. Throughout, they seemed to want to avoid anything traditional or standard in the way of set design.

 

You lucky duck -- I'm feeling sad that the cinema broadcast in North America is cancelled.

 

Your description of the physical set reminds me of Ernest Pignon-Ernest's set for Mailliot's Romeo et Juliette -- several white panels that often serve as projection screens, miscellaneous pillars and ramps that do multiple duty depending on the scene involved.  (I can't say that I'm thrilled about the Kinkaide option, but tastes vary.)

 

Any kind of Shakespeare staging, whether it's dance or theater, needs to find a way to deal with the multiple locations that the text presents.  At Pacific Northwest Ballet we've had two productions of the work, one with sets by Ming Cho Lee that have great detail but are remarkably non-specific in terms of location (it's a bedchamber, it's a market square, it's a tomb ...) and then the Pignon-Ernest, which is practically blank in terms of decoration, but equally versatile. 



#29 abatt

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:09 AM

I wish the RB were bringing Winter's Tale to the US next year instead of the over-performed Don Q.



#30 California

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:14 AM

I just got a "Google Alert" that Macaulay's review has been posted:

http://www.nytimes.c...l?hpw&rref=arts

 

This is not the right place to discuss published criticism, but let me note that the Bohemian scene he discusses first is Act II. Seems we both like that one best. It certainly has the most interesting dancing, both for the large ensemble and the lead couple.

 

I wonder if the cinema broadcast was cancelled because the lighting and special effects are so complex that they might not translate to a cinema screen. And that might also make it very difficult to tour. I believe this is a co-production with National Ballet of Canada, so eventually it will be seen in North America.




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