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Edward II


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#16 felursus

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Posted 26 September 2000 - 03:54 PM

Ah, so you missed that magic moment...my husband, not a regular ballet-goer, poked me in the ribs and asked "- and what did he just do?" Just think, I can remember when the RB carefully did not schedule "The Invitation" for matinees.

I think if the second act had gone on one minute more I would have lost my lunch on the person sitting in front of me. I found the whole thing tasteless, badly conceived, mostly badly choreographed (although it did have its moments) badly costumed (except for those gorgeous dresses for Isabella - I want one of those) and far, far, far ... too long. I am so glad I no longer live in England so I know that nary a penny of my tax money has gone to help pay for what gets my vote for the worst ballet - and certainly the most nauseating ballet - ever.

The auditorium was quite empty when I saw it. They should have promoted it heavily in gay interest publications, then they might have had a much bigger audience. Bintley seems determined to portray Edward as a poor, oppressed, misunderstood gay king who was persecuted for his sexual preferences and was martyred - and thus portrayed as Christlike! In actual fact, he got into trouble because he was a bad king and didn't know how to manage the barons. He reigned for over 20 years, by the way. Also, the barons tried to get him to die by more natural means - like getting pneumonia, but Edward had a strong physical constitution and hung on. [edit; sorry, but this was a bit too graphic for a board read by children] How's that for gruesome? The dungeon at Berkeley Castle is still there...

The other thing (well one of the other things) that bothered me, is that I found much of the choreography derivative. Did anyone else recognize bits from Spartacus, amongst other Soviet-era works?

[This message has been edited by alexandra (edited September 26, 2000).]

#17 cargill

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Posted 26 September 2000 - 04:32 PM

Oh yes, I recognized Spartacus and the Green Table, and Job (the Death figure was made up a lot like pictures I have seen of Dolin), and Petrushka and Checkmate, and several Macmillan ballets (Juliet and her nurse and the nasty gaoler from Manon), and quite a few others.
During the intermission, someone did say "Well it's very popular in Birmingham", which reminded me of the bit of dialogue from Sullivan's Travels about a movie the hero had made.

"What do they know in Pittsburg?"

"They know what they like in Pittsburg."

"If they knew what they liked, they wouldn't live in Pittsburg."

And what makes the whole thing even more galling is that BRB has done such interesting things. Why not bring The Prospect Before Us , or some of their Ashton, instead of some black leather rehash of stuff we have all seen so much of before.

#18 Nanatchka

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Posted 26 September 2000 - 10:52 PM

And there you have it: These days one goes to the ballet and guys come out in black leather and boots, one thinks,"Oh, this again

#19 colwill

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Posted 01 October 2000 - 01:06 PM

I was a great fan of the BRB and was a Friend of the BRB for many years. However when Bintley took over from Peter Wright as artistic director the repertoire has gone steadily downhill. I now no longer go to watch the BRB and from the posting on this topic you will understand why!

#20 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 02 October 2000 - 07:32 PM

Thank God, I have a Masters' Degree in European History (and also taught social stuides for twenty years), and knowing full well how Edward II died, I didn't want to see it on stage. It's hard to believe that anyone knowing the history of Edward II would actually choose to create a ballet about it. The jazz program, though weak in spots, sounds a million percent better than "Edward II".

#21 Kevin Ng

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Posted 07 October 2000 - 11:04 PM

Originally posted by felursus:
The other thing (well one of the other things) that bothered me, is that I found much of the choreography derivative. Did anyone else recognize bits from Spartacus, amongst other Soviet-era works?


From what I remember of the ballet when I saw it 7 months ago, the various pas de deux seemed to have been derived from MacMillan's style, but I couldn't detect any Soviet influence at all. To be fair, there are some good bits in this work, which however don't quite cohere. But overall there is a gripping intensity in Bintley's storytelling.

And the cast made a difference too. I was also impressed by Robert Parker's Edward, but I don't know if he danced the title role in New York.



[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited October 08, 2000).]

#22 Manhattnik

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Posted 08 October 2000 - 03:58 PM

I thought the in-character curtain call by Death was entertaining. He stalked out from behind the curtain, glared expressionlessly at the audience then slowly pointed to someone up in the balcony, as if to say, "You're next, buddy!"

It left me wondering where where he'd been an hour earlier when I really could've used him.

[This message has been edited by Manhattnik (edited October 08, 2000).]

#23 felursus

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 12:46 AM

I don't have a Master's degree in European History, but I was married in the parish of Berkeley (yes, THAT one). The Castle and its association with the death of Edward II is the top item of interest in the area. No one, however, has had the poor taste to open "Ye Hotte Poker Inne" - at least not yet. It's a subject best left in the history books. Even Shakespeare knew better. Edward II's greatest moment in history was when, as an infant, he was presented to the Welsh as their "Prince who speaks no English".

I agree completely with Manhattnik on the subject of "Death". I had an almost irresistible urge to take a flying leap onto the stage, (quite a feat from above), grab that scythe and use it on Bintley. I promise you, fellow listers, that I seldom feel this violently - or violated.

#24 Ann

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 04:05 AM

Oh Felursus, how I love that "Ye Hotte Poker Inne" idea! Why no-one so far has had the 'poor taste' to open one I can't imagine..

#25 Alexandra

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 06:48 AM

Shish-kebobs our specialty Posted Image

#26 Guest_Bill Mulkern_*

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 10:15 PM

When I first read about E2, the first thing that came to my mind was the manner of his death, and I thought to myself, "They wouldn't...they couldn't!" Guess again.

I'm glad this one hasn't made it to Boston (where "Dracula" is still the talk of the town).

What will they think of next? How about a dance version of "Alien Autopsy"?

#27 salzberg

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 07:06 AM

Originally posted by cargill:
There is a very funny book of potted English history called 1066 And All That, a brief summary of what the average student might remember after leaving school, which divided things into Good Things and Bad Things, and I have to say that Edward II is a Very Bad Thing.


That book was written, of course, when England was Top Nation.

My Gawd, I thought I was the only person in America who'd read that book.

#28 dirac

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 04:37 PM

Richard Armour has written several little books on American history, literature, etc., that carry on in much the same vein.


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