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Ashton Fan

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Everything posted by Ashton Fan

  1. I am sure that some of you are aware that the Frederick Ashton Foundation was established a couple of years ago. I am not sure whether you are aware that the foundation has, for the last three years or so, been running a series of master classes in which sections of rarely performed Ashton ballets and gala pieces have been coached and performed in front of a paying audience. Most of the coaching sessions held from the 2016-17 season onward have been filmed and most of them are now available to view on the foundation's website. Some of the choreography being coached will be familiar to you but
  2. I have to say I am curious about Mr Tissi who was plucked from the obscurity of the corps to dance Siegfried in Ratmansky's reconstruction of Swan Lake at La Scala and then chose to follow the AD when he returned to Russia. However I am far from sure whether that curiosity is sufficient to get me through the doors to endure the company's dreary Swan Lake. As I assume that we are being treated to the dull production of Don Q which the Bolshoi brought to London two years ago I don't feel that tempted by that either. Don Q is far from my favourite ballet but until the Bolshoi's last trip to Londo
  3. Shrainer made her debut as Kitri when the Bolshoi were last in London and it was far from a success. Last year's streamed Coppelia showed the real Shrainer but that London debut did no one any favours, not the company, not its audience and certainly not the dancer. An AD who can give a dancer a prestigious debut she is not ready for is perfectly capable of throwing other dancers on cold in London. Neither the choice of repertory nor the casting make this Bolshoi season seem that tempting. Mashinka, I very much doubt that the Royal Ballet company is more expensive to run than the res
  4. It was noticeable that all the casts were far more at home in The Two Pigeons than they were when it was revived in 2015. Indeed the corps now seem to be enjoying their choreography rather than approaching it with an air of caution. I hope that ticket sales have been good enough to ensure that it is revived in future seasons as it is a gem of a ballet and at these performances it began to look as if it was part of a living performing tradition rather than something which is only half alive and requires more committed performances. Morera still stands head and shoulders above the other Gi
  5. is As far as I am aware Yoshida's entire career has been spent dancing classically based choreography. Her repertory was essentially the Royal Ballet's core repertory of the nineteenth century classics, Ashton and some MacMillan. While she was with BRB she danced in works by David Bintley but he is not a choreographer who rips up the rulebook and devises strange movements without any apparent underpinning anatomical knowledge or understanding of the strains he is placing on a dancer's body. He certainly is not working with a relatively unprepared body. McGregor's choreography seems to be driv
  6. could be used It would appear that the ROH still has not managed to put the limited amount of casting information it has deigned to make available on its website into any semblance of order. At present it is simply a jumble of names with what appear to be the cast for Firebird, in no particular order, plus a few randomly selected names with no indication as to what those dancers might be performing. Anyone who is interested in who is dancing what could do a lot worse than to look on the Ballet Association website where casting for all the performances of the three ballets to be danced is given
  7. I thought it was the Hochhaussers who set the ticket prices for the companies for whom they act as impresarios rather than the ROH whose theatre they hire for the guest season, although it may have increased the cost of the rental. As to the reason for the alteration of seat classification for individual ballets and all round price hikes by the ROH's marketing department, my money is on the need to bail out the opera company financially rather than paying for the bland airport-style extension. I hope that I am wrong about this as Anthony Russel Roberts managed to separate the two resident com
  8. Mashinka I agree with you about the reason for Acosta's appointment as AD being deemed newsworthy. His celebrity will of course raise the profile of the company he will lead ; his presence will ensure that the company's work is given more coverage than it enjoys at present but his popularity does not alter the harsh financial climate in which his company will be operating. His presence may boost goodwill for the company and attract more sponsorship for its work but he will be expanding his company's repertory and reaching out to his new audience in an economic and financial climate which is f
  9. The higher profile has just manifested itself. As I posted my latest contribution Acosta's appointment was announced on the BBC Radio 4's seven o'clock news which only ever mentions the more important news headlines. I don't think that Kevin O'Hare's appointment as Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet was deemed worthy of mention as a headline. In fact I doubt that his appointment made it into any BBC news programme at all, not even on BBC Radio Humberside which serves his home town. It would seem that Acosta has announced that he wishes " to attract a new and more diverse audience to t
  10. Acosta's appointment will certainly give the company a higher profile than it has at present. It might even persuade the critics to make the occasional visit to Brum rather than waiting until the company comes to London to write about its dancers and their performances. It will be interesting to see to what extent this appointment will produce changes in the company's core repertory and its artistic identity. It almost certainly means that fewer Bintley ballets will be performed than at present but will Acosta be tempted to stage more works himself ? His work with the RB does not exactly ins
  11. I have now had an opportunity to watch the entire documentary and while I agree that it is more than a little muddled in its approach I suspect that the emphasis on the Tchaikovsky ballets is simply the result of the fact that it seems to be aimed at a general audience rather than a specialist one. For many people Swan Lake is the only Petipa ballet they have heard of, it is certainly his most popular work. It is unfortunate that the finished product looks in places as if it was cobbled together from pre-existing material available from French and German sources and that the rest of the docume
  12. For those able to access it there is a documentary available on the French Arte channel until the 29th December called Marius Petipa le maitre francais du ballet russe. It includes Alban Lendorf performing the original choreography for the Prince's solo from act 3 Sleeping Beauty; some of the original designs for La Bayadere and coloured posed photographs of some of the original cast of the Sleeping Beauty. The choreography ranges from sections of Ratmansky reconstructions to Nureyev, Duarto and Lacotte's reimaged Fille du Pharon, www/arte.tv/fr/videos/076621-000-A/marius-petipa-lemaitre
  13. ,The sad thing is that lots of school students are attending performances of the current mixed bill to see Infra because it is on the GCSE dance syllabus. They dutifully sit through Unknown Soldier, an earnest and worthy piece by Alistair Marriott, which again reveals his choreographic pretentions and his lack of talent. They then watch Infra and, it appears, have to leave before Symphony in C which is by far the best thing in the programme. The problem with Infra is that it is a marmite ballet you either love it because you believe that Wayne MacGregor is one of the greatest choreographers
  14. Laurent, When Nureyev staged "The Kingdom of the Shades" for the Royal Ballet in 1963 the company danced it with thirty two Shades and, as far as I am aware, continued to do so until 1985 when they last performed it. Now while it is true that during MacMillan's directorship the Covent Garden company was reduced in size because the Board wanted to make economies, and as always it was the the ballet company which was expected to take the cuts, the cuts did not affect the company's ability to perform Nureyev's staging with a full complement of Shades. It was only when the company acquired M
  15. Mashinka, I always understood that the Hochhausers had a large say in what the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky bring to London, The choice of repertory is, to be kind about it, excessively conservative, if not down right dull. I agree about the RB's awful block programming system. Wasn't that a programming innovation introduced by Dowell after his time with ABT ? I seem to recall that we were told, at the time it was introduced, that it made it easier for the company to plan although I have always thought that it was some sort of cost cutting exercise.
  16. When Nureyev staged the Kingdom of the Shades for the Royal Ballet in 1963 the three Shades were danced by Park, Seymour and Mason. Later both Bergsma and Parkinson as well as Mason danced the variation which Naghdi is shown dancing in the film. The sequence Nureyev chose for the Shades' variations in London enabled him to show a marked stylistic and personal contrast in the way in which each of his chosen dancers presented her variation. Beginning with Park's crystalline, speedy footwork providing a contrast with both Fonteyn and Seymour, the second Shade; the sequence then continued with Se
  17. Amy, Thank you for your detailed account of Ratmansky's La Bayadere. From what you have written it would appear that Ratmansky has staged a work which is recognisably a mid-nineteenth century ballet in the balance which it strikes between narrative and dance content. Whether we shall all like a version of the work which is a genuine attempt to stage a pre-Revolutionary version of the ballet is another matter which will depend on our own personal tastes and preferences and in particular whether we regard the ballets of the nineteenth century as technically demanding works of narrative and mood
  18. I have to say that I understood that Ratmansky's motive in all of this was to try to get closer to the narrative and choreographic texts of Petipa's ballets and what they may have looked like in performance which inevitably involves restoring a text which Petipa might recognise; removing additional characters who were not in the ballet which he created and restoring his musicality by insisting that the text is performed in period appropriate style and at the correct speed. Whether we like the results or not is a different matter.The Golden Idol was an obvious candidate for removal, What I fi
  19. ,Mashinka, Please don't ask such difficult questions. I have no idea about his motive for saying what he did. Perhaps he finds it easier to say that reviving a particular ballet is expensive than to say " I don't want to revive it ".
  20. I agree that you should not have to wait for a significant anniversary in order to see a major work revived but the fact is that is probably what is going to take to get Daphnis and Chloe revived because all I could get out of Kevin when I spoke to him about the neglect of the Ashton repertory was that Daphnis is expensive to stage, The argument that it is a masterpiece cut no ice with him but the Fonteyn centenary might just do the trick. The company should revive it becuase as Ashton said if he had not worked with Fonteyn he would never have developed the lyricism in his choreography.It was
  21. Interested to learn that Anna Rose appeared in Tarantella with Sambe in what must have been her role debut and also in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux which I think must have been a joint debut and that in both cases they were well received. But if the RB's dancers no longer perform Balanchine as they once did with a heavy foreign accent that is in large part the result of no longer having such a pronounced house performance style. The more idiomatic Balanchine is perhaps at the cost of a less sure grasp of Ashton's stylistic obsessions and quirks. I had thought that perhaps the Mariinsky's dancers
  22. The first night cast of Nunez, Muntagirov and Osipova are due to dance in the streamed performance of La Bayadere . If last night is anything to go by it will have an exceptionally strong supporting cast with the Shades danced by Choe, Naghdi and Takada and the First Soloists out in force in the betrothal scene. All of which suggests that a DVD may be in the offing. The cast for the streamed Romeo and Juliet is due to be led by Naghdi and Ball. No other casting for this streamed performance is available at present, Here there are rumours of a studio shot film. The streamed perform
  23. I intend to go later in the run. I can't go earlier as I have rather a lot of tickets for performances closer to home, I shall console myself with the thought that by the time I get to see this production of La Bayadere it will have benefitted from all the intervening performances it has received and that while the dancers appearing in it at that point may be less stellar than at earlier performances they may well be more inclined to follow the party line as far as performance style and musicality are concerned. Meanwhile, closer to home, Mr O'Hare seems to be resolutely refusing to ackno
  24. The Insight evening gives the opportunity to see Naghdi who makes her debut as Gamzatti during this run being coached as actress and dancer. The other dancers involved are Takada as Nikiya and MacNally as the servant. In addition to seeing Naghdi in the Act 1 scene 2 confrontation between Gamzatti and Nikiyal we see her dancing the betrothal scene solo and later some of Gamzatti's choreography from the temple scene in the final act. I shall be interested to know what you think of its contents. The discussion of the work's origins in the nineteenth century obsession with all things exotic and
  25. A friend has told me that he thinks that the Royal Ballet's difficulties with streaming its performances in the US may well be connected to the fact that the Met has a virtual monopoly as far as streaming opera performances in the US is concerned. By the way while you may have missed a great deal in not being able to access the Royal Ballet's performances you have not missed much by not being able to watch the Royal Opera's performances. Nearly all of the Opera's recent offerings have been "Eurotrash" productions. Just to give you an indication of how silly things have become it is said that
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