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Jane Simpson

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Everything posted by Jane Simpson

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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?)
  4. Wishful thinking, Mary - it was nearer 45 years ago!
  5. 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.
  6. Which review was this, please? I've read most of those with online links and don't remember anyone putting Symphony in C down like this!
  7. For Nureyev's production in 1963 the Royal Ballet used girls from the school to make up the numbers and could presumably do so again if Makarova so wished. When the company first did her production and people asked why there were only 24 Shades I seem to remember we were given some vague excuse about there not being enough room on the stage for 32.
  8. Sorry - was writing in a hurry and didn't follow the link. It would be wonderful if it could be seen more easily!
  9. I think the NYPL film is probably the only one in existence, or at least in a public collection - a piece I wrote about it when it was shown here (at the Fonteyn Conference in 1999) mentioned 'the film going back to New York' so something to that effect must have been said at the showing. We didn't get Act 2, for some reason.
  10. But they don't know that Odile IS his daughter, do they? He just produces this glamorous girl, who has been magically made to resemble Odette and presumably the rest ot the time looks quite different - she could just have sent in some excuse for her non-appearance at the ball. Thinking about the plot makes my head spin - what is the point of the whole Swan thing, actually? And whyever, having captured Odette, did he give her the get-out clause of being saved by the love of some passing man? Was there some sort of Lilac Fairy intervention? Etc etc - I end up really believing that perhaps Rothbart wasn't actually very bright and hadn't thought it through properly.
  11. FLOSS, could you say which RB directors you know did anything more than that?
  12. The crucial player in the survival of Bournonville's works will be Hubbe's successor - possibly, from that point of view, the most important appoinment ever. The other important player is the Copenhagen audience . I understand what Hubbe is trying to do with Bournonville but I don't understand why, having made over the productions according to his own ideas, he doesn't programme them. One point of interest is that the incoming Theatre Director - Hubbe's boss - is Kasper Holten: his own career of course has been in opera but he is also ballet-aware - his own brother was the RDB school, for instance. The company was given a huge amount of money a few years ago to put on a new full-evening production each season - personally I think it would be much better for the company if someone were to guarantee the box-office for a strong triple bill every year, perhaps with lower ticket prices.
  13. No. That's what happened in the Dowell production, apparently, but I and others remember the attendants playing the tambourines in earlier versions. When I raised this point on balletcoforum someone said that his wife had actually asked Scarlett, who confirmed that he was reinstating Ashton's original and the only change he'd made was to slightly alter the rhythm.
  14. RNZB welcomes Veronika Part as a guest artist for their forthcoming tour: http://rnzb.org.nz/news/rnzb-welcomes-international-guest-artist-veronika-part-for-dancing-with-mozart-season/
  15. Footnote to the AfteRite discussion above: the Royal Danish Ballet has just announced next season's programme, which includes AfteRite and lists it as a co-production with ABT. (And they're doing it on a double bill with Etudes!)
  16. Chase Johnsey is joining English National Ballet and will appear with them in Sleeping Beauty this summer.
  17. No, I haven't seen anything in Copenhagen this season (yet ). The Danish reviews have been very good, I believe.
  18. For those who don't know her and may be a little confused by this, Naghdi has a Belgian mother and an Iranian father. She was born and brought up in London, where her outstanding talent has been recognised for quite some time.
  19. Scarlett's latest ballet opens in Copenhagen tomorrow - while we wait, the Danish paper Politiken has published an interview with Kizzy Matiakis, who dances the Countess - the photographs are wonderful! Google translate works quite well on the words.
  20. I saw her Giselle in February and and watching her in Act 2 there came a moment when I suddenly felt that little, and so rare, shiver of recognition; she's The Real Thing. Impossible to describe, unmistakeable when you see it.
  21. 1955 - the link in the first post links to a short clip from that visit, with Mona Vangsaa and Stanley Williams dancing a snippet from Konservatoriet.
  22. The RB's Within the Golden Hour is getting new designsby Jasper Conran, who has done some lovely work in the past - his tutus for David Bintley's Tombeaux are on many British ballet goers' 'best ever' list.
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