Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Royal Ballet's Sleeping BeautyMarch 19/20


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#16 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,840 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 07:36 AM

"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.



#17 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,158 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 07:46 AM

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.



#18 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,883 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 08:08 AM

"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.c...authors/newest/



#19 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,158 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 08:32 AM

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.



#20 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,840 posts

Posted 20 March 2014 - 03:39 PM

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. 



#21 ksk04

ksk04

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 483 posts

Posted 21 March 2014 - 10:42 AM

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.



#22 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 22 March 2014 - 08:01 AM

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.

#23 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,428 posts

Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:56 AM

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.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):