Scenes de Ballet/Winter Dreams/Sinfonietta
Posted 10 January 2003 - 03:34 AM
Posted 10 January 2003 - 05:09 AM
I'm looking forward to seeing Dowell in Winter Dreams - I think it's arguably one of the three best roles he ever had made for him - but very different from what you might expect, if you've never seen it before!
It's ironic that Ross Stretton saw Kylian's Sinfonietta as the highlight of the whole season - I wonder how many of the audience will agree with him? - but since he left it's had almost no publicity at all. (Kylian and the RB fell out sometime in the 1980s and this is the first time since then he's allowed them to do one of his pieces.)
(Actually ANYTHING would be interesting, after a straight run of something like 40 performances of Swan Lake and Nutcracker!)
Posted 10 January 2003 - 09:53 AM
I can't believe Stretton thought that would be the highlight of a season that included Scenes de Ballet and I've never seen Ashton's ballet. Unfortunately, I've only seen photos of the work (and the costumes look gorgeous, very chic).
Posted 10 January 2003 - 09:17 PM
The choreography is definitely contemporary not classical or even neo-classical, and I mostly remember the repeating series of big, simple, but in my opinion very effective, grand jetes that punctuate the entire work. But though the choreography is in an athletic, contemporary style, I find that it manages to seem easy and joyful rather than merely driven and acrobatic. If the company captures that quality it could be a hit. So, as a contemporary-style repertory acquisition for the company I don't think this a bad choice at all -- unless one thinks the company should not be doing any contemporary ballets and I wouldn't go quite that far.
Posted 11 January 2003 - 10:22 AM
Jonathan Cope is injured - I quite gutted but I hope he can still make the last performance of Winter Dreams.
Posted 12 January 2003 - 02:04 AM
i am amazed to discover that ashton rated it so highly (scenes)...that's one thing new i've learned today.
Posted 12 January 2003 - 02:25 AM
I am very excited about Monday now, it sounds like an interesting conbination of ballets. And it feels like I haven't been to ROH for ages!
Posted 12 January 2003 - 04:58 AM
Conductor - Charles Barker
Scenes de ballet
Music - Igor Stravinsky
Choreography - Frederick Ashton
Designs - Andre Beaurepaire
Lighting - John B. Read
Staging - Christopher Carr
Ballet Mistress - Gail Taphouse
Principal Coaching - Lesley Collier, Antoinette Sibley
Alina Cojocaru, Johan Kobborg
Ricardo Cervera, Yohei Sasaki, Joshua Tuifa, Edward Watson
Dierdre Chapman, Emily Low, Isabel McMeekan, Vanessa Palmer, Jane Burn, Mara Galeazzi, Laura Morera, Samathan Raine, Victoria Hewitt, Bethany Keating, Sian Murphy, Natasha Oughtred
Music - Tchaikovsky, arranged by Philip Gammon, Thomas Hartman
Choreography - MacMillan
Designs - Peter Farmer
Lighting - John B. Read
Staging - Grant Coyle, Monica Mason
Piano - Philip Gammon
Olga - Nicola Tranah
Masha - Darcey Bussell
Irina - Tamara Rojo
Andrey Prozorov their brother - Edward Watson
Natasha his wife - Genesia Rosato
Kulygin Masha's husband - Anthony Dowell
Lt. Colonel Vershinin - Inaki Urlezaga
Lt. the Baron Tusenbach - Alistair Marriot
Captain Solyony - Martin Harvey
Dr Chebutykin - Chistopher Saunders
Anisa the family nanny - Sandra Conley
Maid - Vanessa Palmer
Soldiers - Kenta Kura, Ernst Meisner, Richard Ramsey, Johannes Stepanek
Music - Leos Janacek
Choreography - Jiri Kylian
Designs - Walter Nobbe
Lighting - Kees Tjebbes
Staging - Jiri Kylian, Roslyn Anderson
Ivan Putrov, Jonathan Howells, Ricardo Cervera, Jose Martin, Thomas Whitehead, Bennet Gartside, Martin Harvey
Marianela Nunez, Tamara Rojo, Emma Maguire, Jane Burn, Dierdre Chapman, Vanessa Palmer, Zenaida Yanowsky
Posted 12 January 2003 - 05:14 AM
Posted 12 January 2003 - 06:38 AM
Posted 12 January 2003 - 07:39 AM
Thanks Sylvia. Castings look great - aren't we lucky!
Posted 12 January 2003 - 06:39 PM
I'm excited about Sylvie Guillem and Nicholas Le Riche's RB debut in Winter Dreams - wondering who's cast as her sisters. Anthony Dowell was great to watch btw - it's the first time I've ever seen him dance on stage!
Posted 14 January 2003 - 01:07 PM
Scenes de Ballet is beautiful. When it started it made me hold my breath, it was a lovely moment. The dancing is so quick and neat, I loved the regimented feel and the definite positions. The boys' costumes were nice, lilac tights and black velvet tunic with geometric shapes. But I bet they got very hot! The girls were in pale blue tutus and bizarre little black hats - and all the pearls were a bit odd! Alina Cojocaru wore a yellow tutu and was as aparkling and happy as ever, and Johan Kobborg looked deservedly pleased with his tours en l'air. I really need to see this again - maybe there is a video of it?
Winter Dreams was wonderful. It was so emotional - the characters were so vividly portrayed you couldn't help but feel their sorrow and pain. And of course I was incredibly excited to see Anthony Dowell....
I really liked Sinfonietta. I had been afraid it would be dull, but it was really lively! Now I can see why my ballet teacher insists I take a contemporary class too - the whole thing was just like what I do in that class - there were loads of movements and stuff I recognised - it was great! The speed and the jumps - I loved it. I will have renewed interest in my class now.
Everyone was right when they said it was a piece for the boys, but it was great to see Marianela Nunez and Zenaida Yanowsky in it. The boys were superb, they had such energy. I liked Martin Harvey and Bennet Gartside dancing together, and of course Ricardo Cervera shone all the way through - he is such a performer, you always feel that he really wants to be there and everything he does is the best he can do - nothing is done by halves!
I liked the costumes too - pale greys and blues and browns - although the skin-toned one was slightly unnerving! After all those Nutcrackers it was good to see the dancers in this, being kind of natural and looking like themselves.
I can't wait to go again. This triple bill is unmissable I think - if you don't have a ticket, get one quick! I am off to read the programme notes...
Posted 14 January 2003 - 03:13 PM
The idea of having two tall and two short supporting men seems to have been abandoned. All four were short. Amazingly, they all performed their tours en l'air rather better than Kobborg, who was definitely doing one and a half, and generally seemed to be having an off night. But I think in this piece he is at a disavantage being small and slight. It needs a big man - as was Somes. Cojacaru danced very prettily, but both she and Kobborg were playing to much to the audience and for me this is a piece where the dancers dance and the audience is allowed to watch - you don't throw winsome smiles in every direction. And I think you need a real ballerina to dance the variation and gifted and lovely as she is, I don't think Cojacaru is there yet.
I'm not a fan of Winter Dreams which is essentially a series of solos, pas de deux and dances for small groups of characters from Three Sisters. It's over-long at 52 minutes and I generally find myself in sympathy with Mandelstaum who apparently remarked 'give them three tickets to Moscow and the play would be over at the end of Act I'. It can have moments though, but last night was pretty flat. Tamara Rojo made something of her role as Irina, but Bussell dancing with Inaki Urlezaga was rather muted. Beautiful, big, light jetes though. He I thought totally miscast. Urlezaga was substituting for an injured Jonathon Cope, so this may well have affected Bussell's performance. I shall be interested to see what Guilleme and Nicolas LeRiche make of the roles on Friday.
I always think of Sinfonetta as run, jump and yearn and IMHO it gives everything it's got in the first couple of performances you see. However it's a big crowd pleaser and it should make the dancers move. Rojo and Marianella Nunez in the two principal women's roles were fine and among the men I liked Ivan Putrov and Thomas Whitehead, though it was rather alarming to see that Zenaida Yanowksy actually jumped higher than her partner.
However, to me it seemed as if most of the dancers, men and women, were trying to dance the piece in that nice, neat Royal Ballet style, which just doesn't go with Kylian (who incidentally rated the longest bio I've ever seen in a Royal Ballet programme). If Stretton's idea in bringing in this piece was to make the dancers really move, an aim with which I can sympathise, then so far it hasn't succeeded.
Curiously, Scenes de Ballet, the oldest ballet on the programme, looked by far the most modern. Who says you need to move on from pure classical technique.
Posted 15 January 2003 - 08:45 AM
Scenes de Ballet was lovely to watch, those I was very worried about the girl's pearl hats, which I thought might come off at any moment! The colours worked eally well together, though I would never have thought a yellow tutu (Alina Cojucaru) against the pale blue tutus of the corps would have worked. Johan Kobborg certainly looked very happy to be there, but wow, did those boys look warm! Their little velvet jackets looked superb but must have been a trial to wear!
I adored Winter Dreams-I really felt for the characters, espeically after seeing Anthony Dowell dance. He was excellent, and projected so well on stage. I felt a little in conflict for Darcey Bussell because if it had been me, I would have rathered stay with him, than go off looking for love elsewhere!
Sinfonietta was also superb, it really was an excellent evening. I was very startled to see Ivan Putrov leap out of the far back corner of the stage in a flesh coloured outfit, for one moment my heart stopped! All the boys were great in this, with Martin Harvey and Bennet Gartside providing a great comparison in their blue outfits, to the others.
It was also lovely to see Marianela Nunez and Zenaida Yanowsky, though it was a shame they weren't in it more! In fact as soon as it was over, I wanted it all over again!
I recommend going to see this one, without fail! xx
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