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mnacenani

Royal Ballet Summer Season Swan Lake Casting !!

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Copy-paste the above link on browser to hopefully bring up the pdf doc. Osipova will dance Ode/Odi on 28 May and 9/15/19 June partnered by Ball ...... anyone know him ??

(tested link - it works !)

Edited by mnacenani

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Mnacenani

I am not sure whether your question is who is Matthew Ball or whether it is why is Matthew Ball dancing with Osipova .  While I can't tell you with total assurance what was in management's mind when it decided on the casts for this initial run of the Royal Ballet's new Swan Lake I can tell you something about Matthew Ball's career so far.

He joined the company in the 2012-13 season and is now a First Soloist. Although management does not favour partnerships he has been cast quite regularly with Yasmine Naghdi the company's newest principal dancer. His first big role was as Romeo with Naghdi as his Juliet. He made his debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy's cavalier and the prince in Sleeping Beauty dancing with Naghdi during the 2016-17 season and partnered her in Emeralds during the  same season. They got very good reviews for their debuts. They really do seem to bring out the best in each other. 

In early 2016  he made an exceptional debut as the Young Man in the Two Pigeons with Stix- Brunell as the Young Girl. Their performances were pitch perfect and the most idiomatic of the entire run. In early 2017 towards the end of the run of Sleeping Beauty he made his debut as the Bluebird, not a role that I would have expected to see him perform as he is not a dancer  who I would classify as a technical virtuoso, but he gave a good account of the role. During the latest run of Nutcracker he appeared in the Chinese dance which as revised by Peter Wright is far more technically demanding than it was originally, as well as appearing as the SPF's cavalier.

 

I am not surprised to see Ball's name in the  cast list.  I think that most people had expected to see him make his debut as the prince in Swan Lake dancing with Naghdi making her debut as Odette/Odile. However management seems to be taking a safety first approach to casting as all the dancers making their debuts as Siegfried or Odette /Osile in this run of Swan Lake have been cast with experienced partners. Naghdi making her debut as Odette/Odile is to be partnered by Kish and Hirano who is making his debut as Siegfried is partnering Lamb. As far as the Osipova,Ball pairing is concerned she has appeared with him in Wheeldon's Strapless and presumably is willing to dance with him. She will be appearing with a talented young dancer who has, so far, proved to have impeccable manners as a partner. He shows every sign of being a fine dance actor and partner. The pairing promises to be fascinating.

I don't think that anyone would be that surprised if he were to be promoted to principal at the end of the season. He seems to be a front runner, if not the front runner, for the next promotion to that rank.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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17 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

I am not sure whether your question is who is Matthew Ball or whether it is why is Matthew Ball dancing with Osipova

Sorry - should have said "anyone know him ?". Thank you so much for taking the time to write, I did not know about Ball at all.

Edited by mnacenani

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He has already partnered Osipova at the opening of the New Theatre gala in Hull (I think in the R&J balcony duet).

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Such casting information as the Royal Ballet is prepared to divulge for Swan Lake is now available on the Royal Opera House website. It gives details about who is dancing Odette/Odile and Siegfried and who is conducting each performance. The bulk of the performances are to be conducted by the company's music director Mr Kessels who not only believes that Tchaikovsky was a great composer but that his indications of speed and dynamics should be followed in performance. This gives a strong indication that when he is conducting the various Odette/Odiles will be appearing in the same ballet as the female corps as far as the speed at which the second act is to be danced is concerned. Interestingly Mr Kessels is sharing  conducting duties with Mr Ovsyanikov who has a different view of Tchaikovsky's markings. He seems to take the view that it is the conductor's duty to indulge the ballerina as far as the speed at which she wishes to dance her choreography is concerned which has often made it look as if Odette and the female corps were dancing in two completely different ballets.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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On 1/19/2018 at 3:57 AM, Ashton Fan said:

Mnacenani

I am not sure whether your question is who is Matthew Ball or whether it is why is Matthew Ball dancing with Osipova .  While I can't tell you with total assurance what was in management's mind when it decided on the casts for this initial run of the Royal Ballet's new Swan Lake I can tell you something about Matthew Ball's career so far.

He joined the company in the 2012-13 season and is now a First Soloist. Although management does not favour partnerships he has been cast quite regularly with Yasmine Naghdi the company's newest principal dancer. His first big role was as Romeo with Naghdi as his Juliet. He made his debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy's cavalier and the prince in Sleeping Beauty dancing with Naghdi during the 2016-17 season and partnered her in Emeralds during the  same season. They got very good reviews for their debuts. They really do seem to bring out the best in each other. 

In early 2016  he made an exceptional debut as the Young Man in the Two Pigeons with Stix- Brunell as the Young Girl. Their performances were pitch perfect and the most idiomatic of the entire run. In early 2017 towards the end of the run of Sleeping Beauty he made his debut as the Bluebird, not a role that I would have expected to see him perform as he is not a dancer  who I would classify as a technical virtuoso, but he gave a good account of the role. During the latest run of Nutcracker he appeared in the Chinese dance which as revised by Peter Wright is far more technically demanding than it was originally, as well as appearing as the SPF's cavalier.

 

I am not surprised to see Ball's name in the  cast list.  I think that most people had expected to see him make his debut as the prince in Swan Lake dancing with Naghdi making her debut as Odette/Odile. However management seems to be taking a safety first approach to casting as all the dancers making their debuts as Siegfried or Odette /Osile in this run of Swan Lake have been cast with experienced partners. Naghdi making her debut as Odette/Odile is to be partnered by Kish and Hirano who is making his debut as Siegfried is partnering Lamb. As far as the Osipova,Ball pairing is concerned she has appeared with him in Wheeldon's Strapless and presumably is willing to dance with him. She will be appearing with a talented young dancer who has, so far, proved to have impeccable manners as a partner. He shows every sign of being a fine dance actor and partner. The pairing promises to be fascinating.

I don't think that anyone would be that surprised if he were to be promoted to principal at the end of the season. He seems to be a front runner, if not the front runner, for the next promotion to that rank.

Was not Ball's first major outing with Naghdi as Lensky?  They were supreme in that PDD I remember and I have rarely seen those tricky over the shoulder lifts managed more sensitively.  I agree he is a wonderful actor as well ... and will give Osipova much to feed off of.  Certainly I'm looking forward to these performances very much indeed.  

Edited by meunier fan

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Meunier fan,

I was not intending to give a complete account of Ball's career in my earlier post but you are quite right Naghdi and he made a wonderful pairing as Olga and Lensky cast with Osipova as Tatiana and Golding as Onegin. Most inexperienced dancers would have been pleased to hold their own against that sort of cast but their performances were outstandingly effective and affecting .Here are some more basic facts about Ball's career. He joined the company in the 2012/13 season. He was promoted to First Artist in 2015, to Soloist in 2016 and to First Soloist at the end of the 2016-17 season. Such regular promotion is far from usual, although Clarke seems to be following a similar trajectory. 

As Mashinka said in an earlier post the Royal Ballet is looking very good at present with real talent at every level of the company. Two male principals  were absent through injury during last season but I am not sure that anyone noticed their absence as far as the quality of the performances which the company gave are concerned. The number of talented dancers in its ranks at present means that no one is surprised if a junior dancer is paired with a far more senior dancer, as happened when Clarke was cast with Cuthbertson in Sleeping Beauty last season, if a very  junior dancer is cast as a replacement for a senior one as happened when Clarke replaced Golding in Symphonic Variations a couple of seasons ago or a very junior dancer is simply cast in Symphonic Variations as happened last season when Joseph Sissens was cast in the Brian Shaw role. It seems that the company is finally benefiting from Gailene Stock's directorship of the Royal Ballet School.

  

Edited by Ashton Fan

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4 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

As Mashinka said in an earlier post the Royal Ballet is looking very good at present with real talent at every level of the company

So good to hear ...... I will take your words on it !  :)

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I am very much looking forward to seeing the company in London this spring in Swan Lake (providence and the ballet gods willing and . . . having spit to ward off the evil eye [they really should have an icon for that]). But my dates are dictated by Mr. Drew’s work visit to London which means Naghdi, one of the dancers I most want to see is only appearing at a ‘students’ matinee not available to the general public, but sold, as they say on website, only by “invitation.”  Are any of those student matinee tickets ever released at some point to the general public? Or is there any other opportunity to purchase for that performance? I suppose that if she is dancing Odette/Odile that week, then she is highly unlikely to be dancing any featured solo roles the same week, so I am unlikly to see her at all. Happy to be seeing others as Odette/Odile, but I must admit I have been especially keen to see Naghdi as well...notwithstanding I know it's her debut season in the role. (My opportunities to see the Royal are few and far between...)

Edited by Drew
Mis-spelled name/missing apostrophe

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I am afraid that I can't be much help here.Usually student's performances mean that the amphitheatre is allocated to students and the general public can buy seats elsewhere in the house but that does not seem to be the case for this performance as the entire house seems to have been allocated to students . I have no idea what sort of prices they have set for the students' performance but I suspect that they are very cheap much as the tickets for the Welcome Performances are. Ticket prices for the Welcome Performance seem to be set at between £5-£20. It looks as if the Welcome Performances are intended to ensure that they sell out so the company can tick the box for attracting whatever percentage of the audience  the Arts Council has decreed needs to be made up of newcomers.  

 

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I'd explain the situation to the box office - they should at least be able to tell you whether they'll be released to the general public later. I've found them very helpful.

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Thank you both. I would be happy to pay full price to see Naghdi dance a major role. I will ask the box office and hope for the best.

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11 hours ago, Drew said:

Thank you both. I would be happy to pay full price to see Naghdi dance a major role. I will ask the box office and hope for the best.

I just looked at the dates on the website - are you sure that you have the dates straight?  I read that she's cast on May 28th, with Marianela Nunez in the Student performance on May 21st.

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1 hour ago, Liza said:

I just looked at the dates on the website - are you sure that you have the dates straight?  I read that she's cast on May 28th, with Marianela Nunez in the Student performance on May 21st.

Thank you for double checking. I don't live in London and I'm visiting during June--the dates are set by Mr. Drew's work schedule. On the ROH website there is an 'invitation' only matinee the June 6th when I am there -- "Taylor Foundation Schools Matinee" -- and Naghdi appears to be scheduled for that.

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On 19/01/2018 at 4:16 AM, mnacenani said:

Sorry - should have said "anyone know him ?". Thank you so much for taking the time to write, I did not know about Ball at all.

And of course the most important thing about Mr Ball is that he is from Liverpool!

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Posted (edited)

The Royal Ballet has just announced that William Bracewell who transferred from Birmingham Royal Ballet to the Covent Garden company at the beginning of the current season is to dance with Takada in the company's new Swan Lake replacing McRae who is injured. It is sad for McRae to miss out on the opportunity to dance Siegfried in this run of performances but a wonderful opportunity for Bracewell to show the London audience what he can do. Bracewell danced a wide range of roles when he was at BRB and it is interesting to see that management has chosen him rather than Campbell or Hay to dance with Takada. During the course of the season it would seem that Bracewell has been getting used to the house. I have seen him dance Polixenes in The Winter's Tale. in the male pas de trois in Manon act 2 and the Wayne Eagling role in Elite Syncopations and he has made his mark in all of them. I had thought that we might see him as Benno during the initial run of Swan Lake alongside Campbell, Hay and Clarke. Scarlett has expanded the role of Benno and who now dances in the pas de trois so that the role could  become something of a stepping stone to bigger things for junior dancers. The announcement certainly shows that Kevin is prepared to cast junior dancers when he thinks that they are ready for new challenges.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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Sounds like a great opportunity for Bracewell. In many productions Benno dances the pas de trois. At ABT, I remember seeing an absolutely extraordinary Cornejo when he was quite young and knowing nothing else I saw all evening from the Siegfried would be as good. 

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Posted (edited)

The choreography of the pas de trois provides a fine classical dancer, whether he is established or on his way up, with the opportunity to show what he can do and his performance can on occasion provide the highlight of the evening as far as the male dancing is concerned. In the days when the Royal Ballet definitely had first, second, third and fourth casts and you could say with absolute certainty who would be dancing the secondary roles in a ballet purely on the basis of who was dancing the leads Michael Coleman invariably appeared in the first cast's pas de trois for years. In those days when the audience barely needed the information  because the company had a fixed system of casting the company told you who would be dancing in all the secondary roles. Today when the casting is far more fluid we are told nothing about the casting of the secondary roles until we arrive at the theatre and pick up the cast sheets. Of course it gives the management greater flexibility and enables it to cast dancers who suddenly show that they are ready for bigger and more challenging roles at the point when it will do them most good as far as their development is concerned rather than leaving them waiting for months for the chance to take the next step in their careers  but it can be frustrating as far as the audience is concerned. I have known people torn between two casts in the past make their decision on which cast to see on the basis of who was dancing in the pas de trois or Neapolitan dance in the case of Swan Lake, who was dancing Myrthe in  Giselle and who was dancing the Bluebird, Florine and Lilac Fairy in the case of Sleeping Beauty.

I imagine that the cast on the first night will be particularly impressive and that the same cast or one which is comparable will appear in the streamed performance. If the last revival of Sleeping Beauty is anything to go by we are likely to see interesting casting in the secondary roles in this ballet  until the end of the run. I can't help wondering what part, if any, Scarlett may play in the casting of the lesser roles in his production. Among the junior ranks of the company, by which I mean those below the rank of Soloist, the men to watch out for who will probably be given something interesting to do at some point during the run are dancers like Sissens, Yudes, Serrano, Dixon, Braendsrod, Richardson and Donnelly  among the women Chisato, Gasparini and Stock seem most likely to be given their chances.

There is an Insight Evening tomorrow at which we should find out quite a bit more about what the production is likely to look like and if it follows the usual format we will see one the casts being coached .

Edited by Ashton Fan

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Posted (edited)

The insight event is well worth  watching and it is difficult to resist Liam Scarlett's obvious enthusiasm for Swan Lake as a ballet and the task he has been given to stage the company's new production of it. Whether or not he has succeeded will be a whole lot clearer next Thursday. Scarlett says that he has created new choreography for sections of the first act but makes no mention of the pas de trois in that context;  that he has retained the Ivanov choreography of the second act; that he has provided new choreography for the  divertissements in the third act  but has retained the Ashton Neapolitan Dance which he enjoyed dancing and thinks is a  perfect combination of steps and music and that he has  restored the original Tchaikovsky score to the fourth act. It  is a section of his choreography for the fourth act which is shown being coached on the recording. 

Anyone who has difficulty accessing the insight event using the link provided above may find that going to the opera house's website clicking on the section headed "what's on" finding the section devoted to performance dates and casts for the new production and scrolling down to the end where the insight event is mentioned and film of the event has been posted gives easier access. I could make that one work whereas  when I used the link posted above the site was more than a little reluctant to respond and give me access to the recording.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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Posted (edited)

Thank you. I had seen the last 30 minutes when it was live-streamed, but wanted to see the rest.

Scarlett says many of the things one wants to hear him say--well, that I do anyway--but I agree that it's impossible to tell how successful he has been until the production premiers.  And indeed maybe not even then as it may need to mature a little in performance...

Edited by Drew

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Watched it ....... I beg forgiveness but "Prince Orlofsky" would probably have said "How booooring !" if he had watched it too  :D

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I can’t speak for fictional characters in operettas, but I wasn’t bored in the least.

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