Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
volcanohunter

Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty

23 posts in this topic

The Royal Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty will be broadcast live to cinemas on Wednesday, March 19, starting at 7:15 pm London time. In Canada screenings will be delayed until 7:00 pm local time, with a repeat screening on Sunday, April 13, at 12:55 pm. In the United States the ballet will be screened on Thursday, March 20, at 7:00 pm.

The Royal Ballet has made a trailer using footage from its last broadcast of The Sleeping Beauty with Lauren Cuthbertson and Sergei Polunin. This next version is to star Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae. The page linked below also includes a search box for finding nearby screenings.

http://www.roh.org.uk/showings/sleeping-beauty-2014

In the U.S.: http://www.fathomevents.com/event/the-sleeping-beauty

In Canada: http://www.cineplex.com/Events/DanceSeries

Fathom Events is giving away four tickets to The Sleeping Beauty daily until March 17.

http://fathomevents.votigo.com/fbsweeps/sweeps/The-Royal-Treatment-Sweepstakes

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the link for the drawing for free tickets!

Share this post


Link to post

In Seattle it's screening on Thursday 20 March -- not sure why the change. Thornton Stadium theater, 7 pm

Share this post


Link to post

Fathom Events, the American distributor, had already scheduled a repeat of the Met's Werther on March 19, which is why Sleeping Beauty is being shown a day later in the U.S.

Share this post


Link to post

Fathom Events, the American distributor, had already scheduled a repeat of the Met's Werther on March 19, which is why Sleeping Beauty is being shown a day later in the U.S.

Oh, that makes sense. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post

Extra thanks to volcanohunter as I won a set of tickets. I recommend entering! I can't imagine there is a huge pool to draw from daily.

They did an encore of Swan Lake that wasn't announced in advance of the screening, so they might decide to do encores in the summer; they did last year or the year before, right?

Share this post


Link to post

The Royal Ballet has made a trailer using footage from its last broadcast of The Sleeping Beauty with Lauren Cuthbertson and Sergei Polunin. This next version is to star Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae. The page linked below also includes a search box for finding nearby screenings.

It seems to be pretty common for ballet theaters to have different casting in advertisement trailers from the real dancers in broadcasting, e.g., Mariinsky's Swan Lake, Bolshoi's Lost Illusion, and again Royal's Sleeping Beauty.

I did feel excited, when I saw Polunin in Royal's ads of Sleeping Beauty during the Royal's Swan Lake show. I am wondering whether or not there is the rule in ballet world, that is, if the dancer(s) left a theater, the official publishing of their performances with the theater would be shut down?

The reason why I am asking this question is that I am still waiting for the DVD of D.Q. from Bolshoi's HD broadcasting, in which N. Osipova & I. Vasiliev danced. If that is the reason for Bolshoi to stop publishing the DVD, I would be very disappointed. I believe that it could be one of the best D.Q.s in history. Three years ago, they both were very young & energetic, unsophisticated, and in love; they matched the roles in D.Q. naturally; although they are more experienced dancers now.

innocent.gif

Share this post


Link to post

I shouldn't have made a big deal about the difference in cast. Obviously, a company can't make a trailer using footage from a performance that has not yet taken place.

Polunin did return to the Royal Ballet as a guest to dance in Marguerite and Armand, and it was released on DVD. I think the Cuthbertson/Polunin Sleeping Beauty is unlikely to be released because it had a "not ready for prime time" feel to it. Neither of them looked particularly confident, and both struggled technically. These shortcomings are fairly easy to hide in the quick edits of a trailer.

But I agree with you about the Bolshoi broadcasts. Most of my favorites are sitting in the vault, and I do wonder whether the participation of "ex-"dancers like Tsiskaridze, Osipova, Lunkina and Dmitrichenko has something to do with it.

Share this post


Link to post

Polunin did return to the Royal Ballet as a guest to dance in Marguerite and Armand, and it was released on DVD. I think the Cuthbertson/Polunin Sleeping Beauty is unlikely to be released because it had a "not ready for prime time" feel to it. Neither of them looked particularly confident, and both struggled technically. These shortcomings are fairly easy to hide in the quick edits of a trailer.

But I agree with you about the Bolshoi broadcasts. Most of my favorites are sitting in the vault, and I do wonder whether the participation of "ex-"dancers like Tsiskaridze, Osipova, Lunkina and Dmitrichenko has something to do with it.

Thank you for the info! I found the DVD Ashton Celebration (2013) on AMAZON. I guess this is the right one and have ordered it. I would keep on hoping that the DVD of Osipovs & Vasiliev's D.Q. could soon be released by Bolshoi. Even if I were thinking with my bottom, I could see that publishing this DVD must be a huge commercial success. What is the Bolshoi theater calculating?

beg.gif

Share this post


Link to post

The Royal Ballet has posted programs for the screening in six languages. They include some additional casting, though not much.

Aurora: Sarah Lamb

Florimund: Steven McRae

King: Christopher Saunders

Queen: Elizabeth McGorian

Carabosse: Kristen McNally

Lilac Fairy: Laura McCulloch

Florine: Yuhui Choe

Bluebird: Valentino Zucchetti

http://www.roh.org.uk/showings/sleeping-beauty-2014

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the link -- I'm looking forward to the film.

Share this post


Link to post

Some additional casting.

Prologue Fairies: Yuhui Choe, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Hikaru Kobayashi, Francesca Hayward, Elizabeth Harrod

Suitors: Ryoichi Hirano, Johannes Stepanek, Eric Underwood, Gary Avis

Florestan and His Sisters: James Hay, Harrod, Stix-Brunell

White Cat and Puss-in-Boots: Elsa Godard, Paul Kay

Red Riding Hood and Wolf: Leanne Cope, Underwood

Cattalabutte: Alastair Marriott

Gallison: Philip Mosley

Countess: Sian Murphy

Highly recommended, especially for Sarah Lamb's Aurora, and especially in the first act.

Introduction:

Intermission feature with Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae

Share this post


Link to post

"Highly recommended, especially for Sarah Lamb's Aurora, and especially in the first act."

Rather than in the prologue, where she's played by a doll.

Thanks so much for the additional casting -- I'm seeing the film this evening.

Share this post


Link to post

Rather than in the prologue, where she's played by a doll.

Speaking of which, when these performances are shown in high definition on large screens, this does present a certain challenge. I'm certainly not suggesting animatronics, which would just be creepy, but papier-mâché props don't cut it anymore.

Share this post


Link to post

"Highly recommended, especially for Sarah Lamb's Aurora, and especially in the first act."

Rather than in the prologue, where she's played by a doll.

Totally off topic from ballet, but I recently read a wonderful artilce about a production of A Doll's House in which they decded to use actual infants instead of a doll in the production. I've linked the article. I saw the production of A Doll's House a few weeks ago (great acting, especially by the actress playing Nora) and the baby was incredibly well behaved and adorable. Maybe they should start using real infants in the prologue of SB?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/theater/using-an-infant-in-a-dolls-house.html?hpw&rref=arts&action=click&module=Search&region=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DHomepage%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3DHomepage%26t%3Dqry787%23%2FLiam%2BHouse%2Fsince1851%2Fallresults%2F1%2Fallauthors%2Fnewest%2F

Share this post


Link to post

The babies in that play are incredibly well behaved. I saw the production in London and didn't even notice anything out of the ordinary. No doubt the infants had been present in the rehearsal process from an early stage, so they became used to being handled by Hattie Morahan. I wonder how they would have reacted on stage to an understudy. I suspect the Sleeping Beauty prologue is too long and too noisy for most infants' sleep cycles, which is too bad, because with real babies the adorable factor would go through the roof.

Share this post


Link to post

I heard an NPR report about this, and apparently the baby (well, one of them -- there are two cast for the run) had an incredible meltdown just before her cue at some point -- they have a 'fake' baby for emergencies, and in that case the fake went on.

When I was a kid we used to refer to the Jesus in some illuminated Nativity displays as the holy light bulb.

Share this post


Link to post

I saw this yesterday evening at the cinema. First, they should really rethink Darcey Busselll for announcing gigs; she may have some allure to British audiences who "know" her, but she is not a very good on air host and her interview with Kevin O'Hare was bizarre. As always though, the interval features are well done and add a lot to the broadcast.

Again, I was incredibly impressed with Yuhui Choe (doing double duty as Fairy of the Crystal Vine and Bluebird). She seems as if she's been in every cinema broadcast and she is completely radiant, at ease, assured, and lovely to watch. Londoners who saw her Aurora were incredible lucky and I wish (though understand why it's not possible) we would have been treated to it via the broadcast. She would have been an ideal Lilac Fairy, as Laura McCulloch seemed very miscast. She lacks the strong technique and radiance that is required of the Lilac Fairy. Beatrix Stix Brunell (as the Fairy of the Enchanted Garden and Florestan's sister) seemed to be having a real off night; she is usually a highlight (last broadcast of SB and in DQ) but she seemed very uncharacteristically messy and nervous. Kristen McNally as Carabosse was an absolute delight--what a stage presence; I got excited every time I saw her onstage and missed her when she was gone. Her comment about hoping to pass on her insights in the future is a harbinger of good things to come when she (though she's very young) decides to no longer perform the role.

On to the main couple--I wasn't really taken with Sarah Lamb or Steven McCrae. They both have strong technique (though they each had a bit of a hairy moment in the the Act III coda during some turns). To me, however, she came across as very brittle and stiff with regard to acting (and she is so thin--a look that would be more at home with Mariinsky than the rest of the Royal who tend to be less skin and bones). She was girlish, and in the Act I solo there were some shades of development into her burgeoning womanhood, but overall not my type of dancer, perhaps. He was quite good in the Act II solo and has decent acting chops, but whenever he got to show off you could tell he was REALLY enjoying it.

As for the production, everyone has probably seen it by now but I will add the highlight for me is always Ashton's Vision scene solo for Aurora. I wish this could be incorporated into other companies' productions. The other highlight is, of course, the seriousness with which almost the entire cast/corps commits itself to acting, even in the smallest roles.

Share this post


Link to post

I saw this in the company of a former dancer, current teacher whose parents were actually present at the premiere performance back in 1946. She remembers hearing them often refer to how impressive that was -- the sense of a return to light, hope, a sense of plenty.

It was good to have the chance to see this reconstruction and to try to imagine what it must have seemed like to those who had survived and triumphed after so many years of War.

My friend and I were both in agreement with ksk04's evaluation of the performances.

The Lilac Fairy was not only "very miscast," but -- in my estimation -- astonishingly miscast. Her frequent reappearances were actually ratherjarring in terms of the style and mood of the ballet. Her stiffness (smile, neck, head, shoulders) made her seem uncomfortable, even nervous, when she should be confident and serene.

Since this is a restoration of the 1946 production that starred Margot Fonteyn, I would have thought that the director would have chosen his Aurora with some reference to Fonteyn's stage personality. Sarah Lamb spoke eloquently during the pre-performance video about about the challenges of conveying the character of Aurora, but then proceeded to dance one of the more calculated (i.e.,not conveying spontaneity) performances of this role that I've seen. The camera was not flattering to her fixed smile or to her balances in the Rose Adagio I thought she was best -- and appeared most at ease -- in the Vision Scene, which requires technique without the bother of having to project or sustain a character.

I also agree with ksk04's assessment of McCrae, a plausible and sympathetic Prince. He's a very interesting dancer who I'd definitely like to see again.. I was completely captivated by Yuhui Choe's Princess Florine and, like ksk04, wished that she had been the Lilac Fairy. I'd even go further and wish that she had been the Aurora. Valentino Zucchetti's Bluebird was fascinating, too; what an interesting body type and exotic face. Kristen McNally was, as ksk04 says, an exciting Carabosse, right up there with unforgettable male dancers -- Helpmann, Dowell -- in the same role. She radiated energy and brought life to what was occasionally a rather staid pageant. When, at the end, she was swallowed down into the stage, I found myself regretting that I would not see her again.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree with practically everything written above about this performance. Sarah Lamb is a 'neat and tidy' Aurora but she was, IMO, eclipsed by her Prince and other top male soloists. (Lamb is a beautiful technician but is not the most photogenic ballerina; I've most admired her when seeing her live, e.g., wonderful Odette/Odile ca-2008 in London and a fine Aurora at the Kennedy Center.) As Prince Desire, Steven McCrae soared in his solos and partnered gallantly. Bluebird V. Zucchetti has extraordinary ballon, taking the longer version of the variation (twice as long as that usually performed). James Hay was another great man on the stage, as Florestan in the A3 pas de trois. Balanchine may have stated, 'Ballet is Woman,' but in this performance 'Man' won out.

Among the ladies, I was most impressed by the aristocratic beauty and sharp dancing of Elizabeth Harrod as Fairy Violente (finger variation in Prelude) and as one of the two soloists in the Florestan Pas de 3 in A3. I even noticed her as one of the Ladies in Waiting in A1. Harrod is a stunner. On the other hand....Sorry, I don't 'get' the fuss about Beatrix Stix-Brunell, who seemed dull to me in both of her variations. Worst of all was, as others have pointed out, was the Lilac Fairy. Mama mia! smile.png

The biggest star of all was the production. How great to see the full designs of Messell...not just the scenery, as we saw in Washington during the season when the current production debuted.

Share this post


Link to post
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0