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Everything posted by Mashinka

  1. Mashinka

    Is Bournonville Still Alive?

    Holten's tenure at the Royal Opera in London was controversial because of the unpopular, inappropriate productions he commissioned, paradoxically his own productions (my favourite was King Roger) were nowhere near as bad. I personally feel there is far too much MacMillan in London, his 'overwrought' melodramas become tedious and we are force fed them at the expense of Ashton's inventive classicism.
  2. Mashinka

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Quite possibly, but of late I've not seen the dull parade of sullen stick insects the Vaganova used to produce pre-Tsiskaridze
  3. Mashinka

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Not just healthier but happier too, look at the videos, there's real joy in their dancing.
  4. Mashinka

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Absolutely, and add to that his efforts to raise the profile of the school by allowing them to appear abroad. The 2017 Russian Icons gala in London was much enhanced by the performances of his young dancers.
  5. Mashinka

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Even his detractors admit Tsiskaridze is doing a good job at the Vaganova Academy, what more is he expected to do?
  6. I saw him the corps on Wednesday, perhaps he wants to settle in before attempting bigger things?
  7. Mashinka

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    Sorry, I meant national dances, the princesses seem now to identify with the specific nationalities in a way they previously did not. In the past there wasn't differentiation.
  8. Mashinka

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    No, it's Ashton, the tambourines were always thrown to bystanders to play, though I'm not sure if they did it in Dowell's version, I saw it too few times to remember.
  9. Mashinka

    New Royal Ballet Swan Lake

    I'm out on a limb over this. I saw the production for the first time last night and totally loathed it, in fact I intend to return the remaining tickets I have. Dowell's production was an eyesore but the choreographic text was admirable, what I saw last night was the reverse, beautiful appropriate sets and okay costumes but a disregard of the original/RB traditional choreography. There were changes throughout but the re-working of the fourth act was to me simply an act of hubris and although Ashton also created new chorography for the fourth act, Scarlett is no Ashton. Only act two remains un-mauled, strange that after the critical disdain of Grigorovich for putting the princesses of Act III on point in his version, Scarlett does the same thing compounding the offence by putting them in tutus also but to little comment. The dancing was okay with Francesca Hayward giving the best dancing of the night as Siegfried's sister but after years of watching Russian swans I found the RB corps severely lacking, very sad when I remember the stellar corps that existed under Michael Somes. It seems that only a martinet such as Somes (or Vaziev) can get the girls in shape, but a ragged corps is the least of this productions problems. Bitterly disappointed.
  10. Certainly, I saw more opera at the Bastille today and am going to San Carlo in Naples on Tuesday. On a sour note, poster Gnossie was concerned about my safety in Paris after a recent terror attack, I'm fine but this morning my travelling companion was attacked by a gang of women outside the Opera Garnier and although unhurt was robbed of a substantial sum of money. The most troubling aspect was that the police are aware of these people and say that they operate from the same spot everyday, but as the justice system is overloaded, they let them off with a caution. I keep valuables in a concealed body belt when abroad and in over forty years of travelling to Paris haven't had a problem, but as it seems these robbers are a a constant threat in that location, take care my fellow travelling ballet watchers.
  11. I saw the modern quad bill this afternoon, very mixed feelings about what I saw. On a rather prosaic level I have to say that unlike the Royal Ballet, the Paris Opera does give you value for money. With two intervals of twenty minutes, the programme started at about two twenty five and finished around twenty five to six. At Covent garden the interminable intervals are frequently longer than the ballets. The opener, Frolons by James Thierree, took place in the public spaces of the Opera, primarily the grand staircase. What is was about I haven't a clue because although there was a narrator, the acoustic in the area used was such that it was difficult to understand against the barrage of sounds, at one point a song was sung in English and I could barely catch any words so trying to understand the French was doubly difficult. The dancers descended the stairs, sometimes walking, sometimes crawling, dressed in sequinned body suits and mostly carrying orbs of light that they peered into, whilst others peered into the faces of the spectators. They wore masks over their entire faces lit from within, there were also a couple of spectacular lizard type creatures that I really liked. You couldn't fault the designs they were superb, but it was not about dance. After we were eventually allowed into the auditorium, the performers made their way through the stalls onto the stage. fini After the pause came the Schechter, The Art of not Looking Back, again this was narrated but in English. A man tells how his mother walked out when he was two and the ballet was punctuated by "I hate her", presumably referring to the absconding mother. Awful soundtrack at times breaking into Bach, broken up by sounds of retching. The low point of the afternoon. Next came The Male Dancer by Ivan Perez and this I really liked. The only work with a decent soundtrack, it was danced to a recording of Stabat Mater by Arvo Part. This blended classical steps with modern and the all male cast wore bright eclectic costumes suggesting different eras, some wore frocks. Mostly ensemble with a few solos, there were also duets where they made the lifts look easy. This was the only work of the afternoon that I would happily see again. Crystal Pite's The Season's Canon had a massive cast that moved across the stage in an undulating block for a lot of the time and it did indeed look impressive though it reminded me of Akram Khan's work and even of Busby Berkeley, so for me a bit less original than it appeared. The soloists were led by Gillot who gets the most out of these modern works and for me a great treat to see her one more time before the POB's ageist policy puts her out to grass. The music was a version of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi and it does strike me that baroque music can work better with modern dance than to ballet. The audience really loved this one and they particularly loved seeing Gillot, as did I. There, I have reported back, can I add the Garnier was like a furnace today, after last night's storm, the temperature here has soared. The Gluck last night was superb and now looking forward to Puccini and Ravel tomorrow
  12. Although the dress was indeed from the house of Givenchy, the designer Clare Waight Keller is actually British. Read about her here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-44188750/royal-wedding-2018-meghan-s-dress-designer-clare-waight-keller-from-givenchy
  13. Mashinka

    Kolpakova, Makarova and the Cold War.

    Kolpakova was known to have strong political convictions, Panov's book To Dance makes that abundantly clear. Shortly after Markarova's defection, a play about a Russian ballerina was shown on UK TV that caused a bit of a stir as it suggested this fictional dancer had defected for financial gain rather than for artistic freedom.
  14. A decision has been made and Princes Charles will stand in for her father. Of course not all Brits are euphoric about royalty and it's worth remembering this event will be costing the British taxpayer big time. Some eye watering details. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44154438
  15. I agree. As previously stated there is a precedent in royal marriages for the mother to do this. Strangely no one has put forward the person most appropriate: Earl Spencer. The British public would be ecstatic if their beloved Diana's brother stepped into the breach.
  16. Sounds dysfunctional. Most daughters rush to their father's side in the case of a heart attack. I certainly did.
  17. Scottish title might not go down well with the SNP currently in power at Holyrood, No kilts, Harry will wear regimental dress uniform.
  18. Mashinka

    Petipa Gala

    At least they are paying lip service to Petipa, in Britain - zilch.
  19. The jewels tend to be shared around anyway, at least on state occasions. Princess Anne and Prince Edward hanker towards being private citizens, something Anne's children have more or less achieved. Princess Meaghan will be obliged to wear bright colours in future so that she stands out in a crowd, understated good taste, though not frowned upon, gets trumped in favour of those at the back of the crowd being able to pick out the royal they've come to see.
  20. These terrorist incidents are rife in London too sadly and we've been told by our mayor that we must learn to live with them. I'm away primarily for some opera (Jarousky in Gluck's Orfeo) and then on to Naples for a performance at San Carlo. Perhaps the POB should have heeded RB audience reaction to Shechter, because when they unwisely revived the piece he did for the company it was programmed last and the audience walked out in droves. I'm afraid I'm not a fan of Crystal Pite either, the fact she's using Vivaldi's Four Seasons brings to mind memories of Caligula - and being put on hold when calling UK utilities companies. On the other hand the casting is now up and there is a good spread of performers, on this occasion I'm definitely there for the dancers and not the ballets.
  21. I don't think Princess Stephanie committed suicide.
  22. Might he just simply be homesick? I'm off to Paris in a couple of weeks and have actually booked a ticket for a very unpromising programme, partly out of nostalgia for a company I used to love and partly to catch sight of the younger dancers whose careers I've completely missed, I fear there will be little point in reporting back.
  23. Mashinka

    Who rules today?

    A tragedy he died so young.