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Jane Simpson

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    balletgoer and writer
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  1. Eagling said at the Ashton Foundation event that his most favourite of the entire ballet repertoire is Symphonic Variations - though he didn't much enjoy dancing it. He also recalled being told by Michael Somes one day to go into the studio as Ashton was rehearsing and wanted him to stand in for Nureyev - with Fonteyn - so I guess Ashton did like him!
  2. Kaas is recovering from an injury and has not been on stage for some months.
  3. Robert Cohan actually is given a knighthood, isn't he?
  4. All the casting for the first part of the season is now on the RB site. The Sleeping Beauty run starts with four 'young' Auroras but Nunez and Cuthbertson as well as Ospiova and Lamb, each get at least 2 performances later on!
  5. It was the production, entirely - Schaufuss had made a cut-down version to tour in small theatres round the country and he brought it to the Coliseum, one of London's largest theatres - I think he had about 12 dancers in all so he'd cut the mandolin dance completely and some nights he didn't have anyone to play the nurse's page and so on.... I though it was a travesty of a lovely ballet. The good bits were that it showed Alban Lendorf (as Mercutio) in London for the first time and Osipova's Juliet came good in the second half and was really touching. But there must be hundreds of people who saw it and think that's what Ashton's like. I should think it might look really good on the Sarasota company - though I do wish they could use Prokofiev's lighter version of the score - the one Mark Morris used: it would suit this version very well, I think. It does need looking after, though - when Schaufuss acquired it for English National Ballet in the 1980s the first cast, coached by Ashton himself, was lovely but later casts quickly lost much of the detail and at a revival a few years later I actually left after the first act as I couldn't bear to watch what they had let it become.
  6. August 14th, I think. By the way I see there's a week in April when you can see 3 of the programmes in 4 days - Blixen, Ballet de Luxe and Mahler 3.
  7. It was announced in Denmark this morning as part of the Royal Danish Theatre's plans for next season, but I also saw it here earlier in the week.
  8. Also SFB is taking Romeo and Juliet to the Opera House in Copenhagen for 4 performances Oct 30/31 and Nov 1/2 2019. Nice hometown opportunity for Birkkjaer perhaps?
  9. Next season's repertoire for the RDB was announced this morning: Queen of Spades (Scarlett) Blixen (new full length by Gregory Dean) Nutcracker (Balanchine) Ballet de Luxe - Act 3 of Raymonda/Ballo della Regina-/August 2.0 ("a respectful nod to August Bournonville, bringing the master's choreography into the 21st century" - arranged by Dinna Bjørn and Nikolaj Hubbe) Mahler's 3rd Symphony (Neumeier) Come fly away (Twyla Tharp) A Folk Tale (Bournonville) ... plus a number of smaller scale works and collaborations Full programme
  10. Dutch National Ballet has just announced an expanded version of this piece for next season https://www.operaballet.nl/en/ballet/2019-2020/show/frida
  11. I happened to see Sibley as Lise a couple of weeks after her debut, and I noted at the time that 'at the beginning of the ballet, though her dancing was exquisite, occasionally she seemed to be forcing the humour, and she smiled too brightly and too often... but in the last act she was marvellous... she danced the lovely pas de deux with melting lyricism and a touching sense of quiet rapture'. It does sound rather like Naghdi's problems with Pigeons. (Though shouldn't a coach be pointing a debutante in the right direction?)
  12. Wishful thinking, Mary - it was nearer 45 years ago!
  13. Just announced - he will take up his new job in January 2020. Press release: CARLOS ACOSTA CBE APPOINTED AS NEW DIRECTOR OF BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET Birmingham Royal Ballet is delighted to announce that internationally renowned Carlos Acosta CBE has been appointed as its new Director. He will take up his appointment in January 2020. The appointment follows an open competition and extensive international search by Birmingham Royal Ballet Board, supported by an expert panel of leading figures in the dance world. It follows the news that David Bintley CBE, the current Director, will be standing down as Director in July 2019 at the end of the current season. The new Director will work alongside the company’s Chief Executive, Caroline Miller OBE who was appointed on a permanent basis just before Christmas. Carlos Acosta CBE, said: “It is a tremendous honour and privilege to have been appointed to lead Birmingham Royal Ballet. I am a great admirer of its heritage and of what David Bintley has done to establish it as one of the country’s leading classical ballet companies, following on from the wonderful foundations laid down by Sir Peter Wright. My ambition is to build on its classical traditions, to expand its repertoire and to reach out to new and more diverse audiences. I want to define what it is to be a world leading classical ballet company in the 21st century.” Chair of Birmingham Royal Ballet Sir David Normington GCB, said: “This is a great moment for Birmingham Royal Ballet. We have secured the greatest male dancer of his generation to be our new Director. I know he will bring us his legendary artistry, energy and charisma, and enable us to connect with new audiences, particularly in Birmingham. It is a statement to the whole dance world that, building on David Bintley’s great legacy, Birmingham Royal Ballet intends to remain a major force for classical ballet in the UK and beyond.” Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Carlos Acosta CBE as the new Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, with his wealth of experience and knowledge from the international world of dance. Birmingham Royal Ballet is an exceptional company, with an international reputation for the artistic quality of its work, and as Carlos takes to the helm, we’d like to pay tribute to the commitment, contribution and charisma of David Bintley, who leaves behind him an extraordinary legacy. We look forward to seeing Carlos build on this legacy, and to the company continuing to delight audiences with their array of classical and ground-breaking ballets.” Born in Havana, the youngest of 11 children in an impoverished family, Acosta went on to train at the National Ballet School of Cuba, winning the prestigious Prix de Lausanne at the age of 16, before enjoying a celebrated 30-year career in dance with many of the world’s leading ballet companies. He was a Principal with the Royal Ballet for 17 years and danced all the major classical, and many contemporary roles. He is the greatest male dancer of his generation and, in many people’s eyes, one of the greatest dancers of all time. Since retiring from the Royal Ballet he has founded his Cuban dance company Acosta Danza and established his own dance academy in Havana which opened its doors to its first students in September 2017. His 2007 autobiography No Way Home told the extraordinary story of his progress from the poorest of beginnings in Cuba to world ballet star and became a UK bestseller. His many awards include an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, a Prix Benois de la Danse, an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award from the Royal Academy of Dance in recognition of his standing as one of the most influential figures in dance today.
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