Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Ashton Fan

Senior Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Ashton Fan

  1. 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
  2. MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet is a real slog for the dancer playing Romeo as he is on stage for most of the action of the ballet without opportunities for a break. Juliet by comparison gets let off lightly. Donald MacLeary who was very strong and an exceptional partner has said on several occasions that by the time a Romeo begins the balcony pas de deux in the MacMillan version of the ballet he is exhausted. In his account of dancing the role during the ballet's initial run in London, which was filmed for a streamed performance, he gave some insight into what it actually feels like physically t
  3. Yesterday there was an unwelcome development as far as the Autumn season is concerned when it was announced that Ed Watson will not be appearing in the current run of Mayerling. Many people had interpreted the revival of the ballet as Watson's swan song when it appeared in the season's schedule. Watson is to be replaced by Hirano while Hirano is to be replaced by Ball. The role of Rudolf is exceptionally demanding physically and it is to be hoped that Ball, who is in his early twenties, comes through the experience unscathed and does no damage to his career long term, David Wall said that danc
  4. As far as the future of the Ashton repertory is concerned. If you are going to deal with a problem you have to be prepared to admit that it exits which is something which the current Artistic Director resolutely refuses to do. Comparing what Kevin O'Hare says about the Ashton repertory with the ballets he actually programmes is quite revealing. He seems to have convinced himself that he is remarkably even handed as far as the amount of performance time allocated to revivals of Ashton and MacMillan repertory are concerned. If he is unable or unwilling to recognise and admit that the Ashton p
  5. As an outsider I do not intend to comment at length on the behaviour described in the court papers. I am sure that this has all come as a great shock to the loyal followers of NYCB and to the fans of the dancers named in the court papers. I suspect that from now on in the main concern of NYCB and SAB will be to limit the damage as it looks as if neither are likely to escape with their reputation unscathed. Please note I am saying nothing more than mud sticks and most people who are not actively involved in the world of ballet will remember the allegations connected with the trainers and prac
  6. Birdsall how many shades did the company field at the performance ? If it was thirty two then Grigorovich is giving audiences the number of shades who should be seen in that scene rather than the slimmed down number favoured by Markarova in her staging. As you indicate there is something magnificent about four ramps and a stage full of shades.
  7. dAs a complete outsider it seems to me that NYCB management has tried the damage limitation route with its internal investigation and the suspension of two of the three named individuals, no doubt hoping that the whole thing would blow over because the man most deeply implicated had resigned and it had "taken action" against the other two named men. I should be most surprised if the situation for NYCB does not get a whole lot worse whether or not the matter ends up going to a full hearing.The problem it seems to me is that whatever official guidelines the company may have about conduct in the
  8. Oxford University Press has announced that it will publish the first English language biography of Marius Petipa in June 2019. The book's full title is "Marius Petipa; The Emperor's Ballet Master", its author is Dr Nadine Meisner and the publisher's price quoted at present is £22.99 which makes it just under $30.00.
  9. If only that were likely. I think that followers of both Royal Ballet companies would be ecstatic if Webb were to become Birmingham's AD. Unfortunately I don't think that it is very likely that Webb will apply as he seems to be very content where he is. With Webb at Birmingham the artistic directors of both the Royal Ballet Covent Garden and English National Ballet would face real artistic competition. Not only would we have an artistic director who actually cares about the Ashton repertory, knows how to stage his works and will stage them rather than merely paying lip service to his importanc
  10. There are a few people who say that MacMillan blatantly copied scenes from the Cranko version of the ballet but I think that the truth is that once Western choreographers had seen the original Lavrovsky version of the ballet, they tended to stick to a similar sequence of scenes, not that there is really that much leeway for anyone in the English speaking world to depart from the narrative or the characters found in Shakespeare's play. Most of the time the score itself dictates what action should be set to it. The music for the ballroom scene and the balcony scene could hardly be used for anyt
  11. Not so long ago I had a chance to speak to Kevin O'Hare about the neglect of certain elements of the company's repertory. The area which concerned me were the Diaghilev ballets which de Valois and Ashton had secured for the company and the neglect of the major works which Ashton had created for the company. In particular I had in mind the neglect of Daphnis and Chloe which has not been seen since 2004 and Cinderella which was last performed in the 2011-12 season. He said that the problem with Daphnis was the cost of reviving it. As far as Cinderella was concerned his immediate response wa
  12. You ask "why the Royal Ballet does not schedule more Ashton each season" ? I am not sure that there is a single definitive answer to that question. I think that the Royal Ballet's attitude to its Ashton repertory is one of great ambivalence to the choreographer and his works. It is almost as if those closely connected with running the company resent that it is still associated with its Ashton "heritage works" rather than with its MacMillan repertory which strangely never seems to have the word "heritage" attached to it. In many ways its attitude to the Ashton repertory does not seem that dif
  13. British theatrical tradition explains some elements of Ashton's Cinderella but it is far from providing a complete account of its contents. When the monarchy was restored the London theatres were reopened but strict limits were placed on what theatres were permitted to perform. The non patent houses were permitted to perform entertainments which included singing,dancing and spectacular stage effects. elements which all found their way into what became the British pantomime tradition. It was these elements which avoided the effects of theatre licensing legislation which originally permitted on
  14. I admired Acosta as a dancer in some ballet but being a great dancer does not make him a great stager of ballets or even a competent one. Nureyev staged the Kingdom of the Shades for the company before he was let loose on anything bigger and more costly and at the time that he was working with the company it had three choreographers on hand one of whom at least would have been prepared to intervene whether or not she was asked. I am afraid that I think that O'Hare seems much better at managing his dancers' careers and giving them the opportunities they need than he is when it comes to decisio
  15. Amnacenani. I have no idea what Osipova's contractual obligations with the Royal Ballet are but I assume that she is meeting them by dancing in the ballets in which she has been scheduled to appear during the course of the entire season. I would not be inclined to read much, if anything, into the fact that she is only due to dance two performances of Kitri during the run of seventeen performances of Don Q scheduled for the 2018-19 season. The fact that the two performances are only five days apart and towards the end of the run suggests that the dates have been selected to accommodate her per
  16. One fact that seems to get overlooked in any discussion about why no exemption from conscription was ever requested for British male ballet dancers during the Second World War or after the war when the country was no longer in immediate danger is de Valois' own family background. She was certainly Irish by birth but although she was born in County Wicklow, her family were part of the ascendancy class from whose ranks a significant proportion of the British Army's officer corps were drawn. Her father Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Stannus DSO of the Leinster Regiment died of wounds received in acti
  17. I am not entirely surprised that there was a lower turn out than usual for London Ballet Circle meetings. While Wimbledon and the World Cup may have had an impact on the size of the audience I suspect that the heat was what put the majority of people off attending. In addition to these obvious factors affecting the turn out I can think of several people who usually attend LBC meetings who decided that what could probably prove to be Felicity Palmer's last Wigmore Hall recital was far too important to miss. As has already been said at some point the authorised account of the meeting will appear
  18. Naghdi is certainly going to show her range in the Japanese programme and with any luck the fact that she is dancing the reconciliation pas de deux from Pigeons means that there is a good chance of seeing her dance the Young Girl when the ballet is next performed in London. I should like to see her dance both female leads in that ballet as Margaret Barbieri did most successfully. The speculation in London is that Ball is next in line for promotion to Principal which might improve the chances of London audiences seeing even more of the Naghdi, Ball partnership.
  19. nanushka I suspect that in referring to Petipa's "multi personality disorder" Macaulay is suggesting that of the ballets attributed to Petipa which are in ABT's repertory some are considerably closer in their text to choreography which Petipa might be able to recognise as having some connection with his own creations than others. Of course Petipa's style developed over time but not to the extent that some productions of ballets attributed to him would suggest. Petipa's "multiple personality disorder" is a problem which has to be faced by any company whose repertory includes both seri
  20. The debuts, planned and unplanned, which took place during the initial run of Scarlett's Swan Lake showed considerable promise for the future. Management made the sensible decision that dancers making their debuts in the lead roles would do so with seasoned and experienced partners supporting them. This prompted a great deal of wailing from a number of dance fans who bemoaned the fact that management had not arranged for Naghdi and Ball to make a joint debut in the new production. They seemed to be blissfully unaware that unlike the prince in Sleeping Beauty who only turns up in the second ac
  21. Mariangela. I forgot to say that if you could give people who post on this site a clue about your specific areas of balletic interest we might be able to give you some more specific suggestions about ballets which you might like. Here is a suggestion. ICA issued a DVD of Fokine's Les Sylphides in glorious black and white. The recording dates from the early 1950's and the cast includes Markova, Beriosova and Elvin. It is an extraordinary account of the ballet danced idiomatically by a cast who understood deep in their bones how the ballet should go and the performance is introduced by Ka
  22. There must be a way of squaring the Musicians Union because they have not prevented the Beeb issuing rafts of major recordings of classical music not all of which were more than fifty years old. Somehow it would seem that all the standard objections about copyright, performers rights and being unable to find things fade away when the marketing department realizes that there is money to be made from the tapes. I think that the problem with ballet recordings is that ballet is perceived to be an incredibly elitist art form and such a small market that it is not worth the effort of issuing them
  23. Mariangela. I would also add the old recording of Napoli with Villumsen and Hindberg for the same reason. it is charming, danced idiomatically by all on stage and has not fallen victim to the current director's idea that anything that is old has to be made accessible to a modern audience by updating the setting and scenario. In this recording it is treasured for what it is a fascinating nineteenth century gem of a ballet with what the choreographer deemed to be the appropriate balance between mime and dance. In addition it was filmed sympathetically so that you see what you would want to
  24. sandik, I sympathise with the view that any recording of a major work by company whose dancers know how it goes is better than no recording at all, or one by a company who cannot dance it idiomatically. I feel like that about Bussell's farewell performance not because of Bussell herself but because of two of the ballets programmed that evening and the casts appearing in them. The programme began with Checkmate with a cast led by Yanowsky as the Black Queen, followed by Symphonic Variations with a pretty good cast which included Belinda Hatley who also retired that evening, ending with The
  25. I wondered about that myself. I will simply say that it is unclear to me whether any film of the performances of Symphonic or Façade which were danced at Fonteyn's farewell performance exist. I find it difficult to believe that the BBC sent a camera crew to Covent Garden and it only filmed Salut d' Amour. The performances of Symphonic I mentioned in my earlier post are ones which I know were filmed and broadcast on British television. One was filmed for Granada Television's arts programme Parade in 1973. The cast for Symphonic on that occasion was led by Sibley and Dowell with Jenner, Sherwo
  • Create New...