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Ashton Fan

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  1. A new recording of de Valois' production of the ballet is due to be issued on the 23rd October 2020. The cast in the recording is headed by Nunez and Muntagirov with Avis as Dr. Coppelius. Although Coppelia was the first nineteenth century ballet the Vic Wells company ever danced it has had a somewhat patchy performance history since the company acquired its royal charter and became the Royal Ballet with lengthy periods of neglect followed by enthusiastic rediscovery for relatively short periods. Last Christmas gave audiences the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the work and once agai
  2. The event held in October 2019 has been placed on the Foundation's website. It is of interest because a large part of the afternoon was devoted to coaching a section of Foyer de Danse which dates from the early 1930's when Markova was working in London and appeared at Rambert's Ballet Club. There is a film of this early Ashton work made by a ballet enthusiast which has tantalised people for years because it is clearly incomplete and many have thought it was too fragmentary to work on. On the basis of what was shown last October it seems that Ursula Hageli has solved many of the problems with t
  3. While I am not a great Cathy Marston fan the Cellist may be of interest as it was made on Cuthbertson, Ball and Sambe all of whom are on top form in their created roles. My problem with it in the theatre was that I thought it could have done with some serious editing and that Marston had wasted a large number of talented dancers who seemed to have little reason to be on stage except to populate it as moving scenery and occasionally to act as props. My main interest in this DVD will be in Dances at a Gathering which again provides an opportunity to see a lot of the company's dancers but this ti
  4. While I am not a great Cathy Marston fan the Cellist may be of interest as it was made on Cuthbertson, Ball and Sambe all of whom are on top form in their created roles. My problem with it in the theatre was that I thought it could have done with some serious editing and that Marston had wasted a large number of talented dancers who seemed to have little reason to be on stage except to populate it as moving scenery and occasionally to act as props. My main interest in this DVD will be in Dances at a Gathering which again provides an opportunity to see a lot of the company's dancers but this ti
  5. These are the latest Royal Ballet performances to be made available to a worldwide audience during shutdown. Romeo and Juliet is being shown today at 7pm London time and will be available for a further fortnight. Now I know that I often feel that MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet is in danger of being done to death and that I would appreciate it much more if it were rested for several seasons and replaced, say by Ashton's version, but this is a performance that I shall be watching as the leading roles are taken by Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball. It was a revival of this ballet a couple o
  6. The latest Royal Ballet DVD will be issued on the 17th July 2020. It contains performances of three ballets which entered the company's repertory towards the end of the 1960's. Concerto has an interesting cast which includes Hay and O'Sullivan in the opening section and Naghdi and Hirano in the central section of the work. The performance of Ashton's Enigma Variations has the best cast that the company has mustered in years with Saunders as Elgar, Morera as Lady Elgar, Gartside as Jaegar and Hayward as Dorabella. In fact this revival was exceptionally well cast and coached with only one dance
  7. I don't see how anyone can do anything other than guess about when companies might be able to perform again. I believe that the experience from 1919 in Minneapolis and Saint Paul makes it clear that shutting down early means you come out of a pandemic much quicker and with much less. economic damage than you do if you delay shutdown. As both the US and the UK were slow to lock down we are likely to be stuck with the virus for much longer than say Germany which acted very promptly. Until we know what the real extent of the infection is and its rate of reproduction in our respective countries we
  8. Having pulled stumps on the ballet season some weeks ago I am surprised that the ROH has taken so long to officially abandon the remnants of the opera season. It will be interesting to find out when the management anticipates being able to open the doors again and what form the opera and ballet seasons actually take. At the moment i can't see much happening before Christmas. Given the number of dancers who were prevented from making major debuts in Swan Lake by the shutdown or made unscheduled debuts but never had the opportunity to dance with their advertised partners I suspect that "Lac" wil
  9. I wholeheartedly agree with your concerns about the wisdom of donating ticket money to the ROH. I suspect that it will be more than a handful of regulars who are faced with the problem you described. There are quite a lot of regulars who seem to be just hanging on at present. The economic landscape is likely to be very different when the lock down is eased . Jobs in some sectors will be lost while those like teachers who work for the state could easily find that the government decides that the aftermath of the lock down presents a wonderful opportunity for salary and wage cuts. Such actio
  10. A cursory glance at the Royal Opera House website makes it pretty clear that the opera and ballet seasons have been brought to a premature close. I don't expect any early announcement of what the 2020-21 season will look like for either company as I imagine that both companies are currently revising their original plans and devising seasons which will sell without any effort on the part of the marketing department as its objective will be to deal with the losses which the truncation of the season has caused. The ROH has been trying to persuade people to donate the money that they have spent on
  11. I am not sure that I gained a lot from seeing Bathilde and the Duke of Courland arrive on horse however authentic that may be theatrically and socially. It was interesting to encounter a sympathetic Bathilde rather than the cold and aloof creature one is used to seeing in Bow Street. I know that this is an attempt to capture something of the flavour of the ballet as a nineteenth century creation and it is almost certainly authentic but I am not sure that Hans/ Hilarion's characterisation as a peasant clod adds much to the mixture. However I suppose that if Bathilde is to be played more natural
  12. It is pretty clear that there are more potential candidates for promotion among the ranks of the First Soloists than there are likely to be vacancies for Principals at the end of the season. The company seems to have largely lost its dead wood through retirement. It is going to be very interesting to see which dancers the management has decided have gone as far as their talents can take them. As the company does not seem to be touring abroad this summer perhaps Mr O'Hare will decide that he has no need to promote anyone at this time and that he can afford to defer what is likely to be a diffi
  13. On what I hope proves to be a happier note. The Royal Ballet is increasingly becoming Kevin O'Hare's company rather than the one he inherited from his predecessor. It is usual for appointments to follow on from departures and retirement but some unusual things have been happening in the company as far as long serving personnel are concerned. It is almost unheard of for dancers to leave early in a new season but that is what both Alistair Marriott, Principal Character Dancer,and Jonathan Howells, Ballet Master and Character Artist, chose to do making it necessary to modify the casting for Copp
  14. AB's Mom,Thank you for posting the link to the Guardian newspaper article about this. There are some posts on this topic in the section devoted to news from the Royal Ballet which may be of interest to you and others.
  15. Since his time as a student at the Royal Ballet School Scarlett has been seen as a choreographer of considerable promise and on the basis of his choreographic talent he was able to retire from dancing in his mid twenties and take up an official choreographic post at the Royal Ballet which was created for him. It has now been announced officially that he was suspended from his company post in August last year and that his activities there and at the school are under investigation by an outside organisation. The investigation which concerns allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying are ongo
  16. The closer you get to the performance dates the more likely it is that you will find tickets appearing on the ROH website. In my experience the ROH puts tickets for resale on its site as soon as they come in. So while it may be true that returns are included in the Friday rush the point to note is that they are not held back until the date of the next rush. I see that the performances you want to attend are midweek ones so while I think that tickets can come in at anytime the days when you are most likely to strike it lucky are probably going to be the Monday and Tuesday of the week in which t
  17. It would seem that the ROH no longer uses the services of authorised ticket agents as it once did. Unlike the old one the current version of the website makes no reference to any authorised ticket outlets and states very clearly that tickets can only be obtained from the ROH box office. I shall be very interested to know if you get a more positive response from the Ballet Co Forum website.
  18. As tickets go on sale months in advance of the performance dates to which they relate it is most unusual for the ROH not to receive tickets returned for resale for most performances. The ROH puts returned tickets on its website as soon as they are received. Returns are not held back for the Friday rush for the week in which the performance is scheduled to take place. My advice would be to keep an eye on the ROH website. Although returns, if any, tend to become available during the weeks immediately preceding a performance rather than six weeks before it, someone might return a ticket earlier t
  19. If the fate of the nineteenth century ballet repertory is anything to go by, what survives for future generations is a matter of chance in which prestige and artistic reputation count for very little. One thing that is certain is that nothing in the repertory stands much chance of survival if it is not exposed to public view. In order to survive a choreographer's works at the very least need company managements who are committed to staging a representative range of their output ensuring they receive regular revivals coached by those who understand the individual choreographer's musicality and
  20. The film was given a limited cinema release in the UK and was shown on BBC 2 at Christmas. It is fine if you accept that it is not a film of MacMillan's ballet but an attempt to make a film which emphasises the ballet's narrative and gives priority to its choreographed action over its dance elements although it retains most of the significant set pieces. Its visual elements include an obtrusive bush which someone has identified as a rosemary bush and a fluttering curtain which gets in the way in some of the scenes set in Juliet's bedroom. Perhaps it was intended to be artistic. The film shows
  21. No doubt when they will do that, they will find a wide difference in the effectiveness and outcomes of each of the organisations they study. I don't get the impression that many of the Foundations are undertaking something approaching a last ditch effort to preserve an entire repertory but that is what the Ashton Foundation seems to be engaged in doing. The main problem in the years immediately following Ashton's death was that Dowell, Grant and Somes, who had been left the most valuable ballets in terms of their potential earning power, do not appear to have seen the need to co-operate and m
  22. I think that I need to clarify what I said about the ownership of Les Patiners and Les Rendezvous as the Foundation's website states that it owns them. My understanding is that the Foundation looks after the ballets on behalf of the Royal Ballet School which receives any income the ballets generate through being performed. Wendy Ellis and Antony Dowell both own valuable ballets. It will be interesting to see what they decide to do with the ballets left to them when the time comes to make provision for their subsequent ownership and management.Will they do what Derick Rencher did with his balle
  23. Alexander Grant left Fille to his partner Jean-Pierre Gasquet and Facade to his brother Gary Grant. All the details of who owns what can be found on the Frederick Ashton Foundation website. With the exception of the gift to Tony Dyson Ashton's specific bequests seem to have had more to do with the recipients' association with the ballets left to them than the possibility that they would provide an income for the legatee. Ashton's nephew is the residuary legatee but seems to do very little to exploit the ballets left to him by pushing for their revival.The potential for problems to arise with
  24. It's a bit better than that. We have just had a really exceptional revival of Enigma Variations with three separate casts in which only a couple of dancers, at most, were definitely miscast and really should not have been on stage. This compares very favourably with the last revival of the ballet at Covent Garden when it seemed to me that very few of the dancers involved were suitable for the roles they had been selected to dance. In addition to Valses Nobles et Sentimentales which I believe was thought lost until it was revived and performed in London as part of the celebrations for Ashton'
  25. It has just been announced that Reece Clarke has been promoted to First Soloist. This is unusual as promotions are generally announced at the end of the ballet season rather than half way through them. However I don't think that many people will be surprised that he has been promoted or that anyone will think that his promotion is undeserved given the range of works in which he has danced principal roles to considerable acclaim beginning with the Michael Somes role in Symphonic Variations very soon after he joined the company. Although no reason has been given it seems that the promotion is n
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