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Ashton Fan

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Everything posted by Ashton Fan

  1. There is no easy solution to the problem of the Moor in Petrushka . Is it enough to say, as I believe, was the case at Sarasota where it was recently staged, that it is an historical staging ? Does that make it acceptable? Does it help to point out that the ballet's staging and design was influenced by a Russophile artistic movement which showed great interest in indigenous popular art and in particular in peasant art and prints of the early nineteenth century or that this is probably the most place and time specific ballet which the Diaghilev company ever staged ? I am not sure that it does
  2. I make no comment about whether or not Corrales is showing insufficient gratitude for the development opportunities which ENB gave him. I am merely reporting the latest development at ENB and the possible impact of Corrales' move to the RB next season on the career paths of dancers like First Soloists Hay and Ball, and Soloists Clarke and Bracewell. However Rojo may be more concerned about the possibility of another company principal Laurretta Summerscales not returning to ENB after her year in Munich than the loss of Corrales . Summerscales may find the temptation of the wide repertory which
  3. Another change at ENB. Cesar Corrales has announced his resignation from the company saying that his performances at the Coliseum in January 2018 will be some of his last as a company member. Kevin O'Hare has announced that Corrales will be joining the RB as a First Soloist from the beginning of next season. Tamara Rojo has issued a rather terse statement in connection with his departure which does not mention him by name.The RB announcement makes it clear that the sequence of events was Corrales' resignation followed by him approaching the RB and being offered a job. There is no indication wh
  4. To be pedantic the 1876 ballet for which Delibes wrote the music and Merante created the choreography was not actually based on a Roman source, Its libretto was a reworking of a narrative which first appeared in a sixteenth century poem by Torquato Tasso . According to Ivor Guest the libretto's revisions made Sylvia a far more resourceful character than she was in the original poem and reduced Aminta to passivity. Strangely the previous year when he created his version of Daphnis and Chloe Ahton had made another ballet with a passive male character at its centre. If you are looking for clues a
  5. I will just say that both Muntagirov and Clarke make the role of Aminta one which is really worth watching. While they can do little to make a character who is rewarded for his devotion to Eros an action hero because it is not in the script that Ashton was following they make Aminta's choreography a real feast of wonderfully elegant dancing transforming the simple shepherd of the first act into a prince in the third act. On Monday night Muntagirov brought the house down with his solo in the grand pas de deux.
  6. A few comments about Ashton's Sylvia. Much as he did in 1951 with his version of Daphnis and Chloe, Ashton seems to have set out to rehabilitate a great ballet score which did not have a great choreographic text attached to it. In both cases Ashton chose to follow the original narrative which the music had been written to accompany rather than adopting a new story line. It is almost as if he was setting himself a choreographic examination. Sylvia is both a display piece for the ballerina and an affectionate, if somewhat tongue in cheek, tribute to the ballet conventions of the French ball
  7. I take it as read that, if only to ensure that the company breaks even financially each year, we will see a number of nineteenth century ballets each season and that unfortunately one of them will almost inevitably be Nutcracker. What I take issue with is management's failure to ensure that the company's twentieth century masterpieces are given a regular airing. I specifically referred to the company's twentieth century masterpieces because I was thinking about the totality of its twentieth century repertory and not just the works created for it by Ashton and MacMillan. The imbalance between
  8. Dear Mashinka I don't criticise O'Hare for commissioning new works. I do not criticise him because quite a few of his new commissions have proved to be turkeys but I can see no reason for reviving those that prove to be duds. It is almost as if Kevin hopes that if the audience sees works like Raven Girl, Strapless and Untouchable enough times we will be persuaded that they have been transformed into swans. Commissioning new works is always a bit of a gamble but you can improve the odds if you exercise a degree of control over your commissions. In an Insight event held in Australia
  9. The RB's season ended several months ago. Before I say anything about the Ashton mixed bill I will say that it seems to me that the most significant events this season have been Yanowsky's retirement as a company member and the appointment of four character principals. Yanowsky is the last of Dowell's Principal dancers and her retirement as a company member marks the end of an era. She had an extraordinary wide range of repertory and it is difficult to imagine anyone will have the opportunity to emulate her because of the artistic choices being made by management which ignore major works in fa
  10. I think that one of the main problems with the MacMillan repertory is that we only ever get to see a limited range of his work. We get to see the three full length money spinners on a triennial basis but apart from them we are more likely to see a work such as Judas Tree than we are to see much of his classical choreography.I am not sure whether this one sided approach to his choreographic output is solely attributable to Lady M's views as to where MacMillan's greatness lies.She seems to believe that his most significant contribution to the development of ballet was his desire to achieve a s
  11. At the last count there were, I think, four recordings of Royal Ballet casts in the ballet. The first recording dates from 1966 it has Fonteyn and Nureyev in the lead roles,Blair as Mercutio,a very young Dowell as Benvolio and a young Mason as head Harlot. Many regret that there is no recording of the ballet with Seymour and Gable the dancers on whom it was created. Technically the company is still said to be performing the same production today as it did at its premiere however even a cursory glance at these recordings shows that the costume designs which originally were famousl
  12. I hope to get to see this film, if only to see Simon Russell Beale as Beria. It sounds as if his performance is a cross between his Richard III and his Kenneth Widmerpool which, if true ,I should count as worth the price of admission in itself. A great deal of what sounds highly improbable in the film's story line is not that far removed from what happened in the period immediately following Stalin's death when Russia was ruled by a gang of three. His death prevented the next great purge which was to be precipitated by the "discovery" of the doctor's plot. The doctors had already been arrest
  13. Perhaps I am being naive but I had assumed that Vaziev was appointed because of his experience running other companies and his lack of connection with the Bolshoi and its factions. I suspect that his main management strength, as far as those who summoned him back to Russia are concerned, is the time that he spent at La Scala which established that he had the management skills to deal with a company with an entrenched working culture. Perhaps they think that those skills are needed to address the factionalism in the Bolshoi which culminated in the acid throwing incident in which Filin was inju
  14. Mashinka, There is an article on the RAD website about MacMillan and Benesch notation which suggests that all but seven or eight of MacMillan's earliest ballets were recorded in Benesch notation and are capable of revival. The first MacMillan ballet to be notated was Solitaire in 1956 everything he created after that was recorded in Benesch notation much of it by Monica Parker. Both House of Birds and Danses Concertantes dating from 1955 were notated when they were revived in 1963. The existence of a physical record means that a ballet like House of Birds could be revived if a
  15. Until now MacMillan has generally been the preserve of the RB and to a lesser extent the BRB as far as UK companies are concerned. As the Royal Opera House Board refused to agree to MacMillan making a ballet using a major orchestral score he was forced to create The Song of the Earth in Stuttgart. Although the work was almost immediately staged by the RB and acknowledged as a masterpiece he encountered problems from the same source when he wanted to create a ballet to Faure's Requiem, this time because of the work's supposed religious content. As a result the works were created in Stuttgart an
  16. I am not sure whether I would describe the bulk of the works to be performed during the MacMillan fest as rarities, although Sea of Troubles certainly is one.It was made for a small company that was run by a dancer called Susan Crow who danced with SWRB/BRB before branching out on her own. I wonder what Baiser will look like after all these years? Unfortunately I don't recall much about it except being slightly disappointed by it when the RB danced it years ago. It would be nice to think that it turns to be a piece of real interest, if not a masterpiece, but as someone pointed out to me a sign
  17. From what little I have read about the way things are done in Putin's Russia the possibility of being arrested and charged with embezzlement is a fate which many run, including those who receive state funding for the arts. It is of course serious for the individual concerned. The prospect of being imprisoned in Russia is not something which anyone would want to face. However such allegations seem to have become a commonplace way of removing those who are rivals and those who are perceived as causing the regime difficulties and as such, are not that different from the allegations of high treaso
  18. Natalia, The following post is one which I hope will answer your questions. I did see the Symphonic Dances mixed bill and I started a separate thread about it which has the unoriginal title "Symphonic Dances Mixed Bill 2016-17 season".. I also saw the mixed bill which included the new Crystal Pite,called "Flight Patterns" which you asked about.It also included Dawson's "The Human Seasons" and Wheldon's "After the Rain". As far as this mixed bill is concerned it proved to be surprisingly controversial not because of the new work but the Dawson piece which was first se
  19. The following may be of interest to those who are unable to access the Royal Ballet's streamed performances but would like to see something of the company's work.Giselle danced by Nunez and Muntagirov, streamed in 2016, was issued on DVD in March 2017. In response to enquiries made by company fans it has been announced that the following steamed performances will be issued on DVD as follows;- 1) Anastasia with Osipova in September 2017 2) Sleeping Beauty with Nunez and Muntagirov in April 2018 3) Nutcracker with Cuthbertson, Bonelli, Hayward and Campbe
  20. I don't believe that the ROH accepts returns by phone. The website says that original tickets have to be returned before they will be put up for resale. There was a time when the opera house did not insist on having the original ticket handed back to the box office and the result was that there were occasions on which there was more than one person claiming the right to occupy a seat each of whom was in possession of a ticket for the seat in question because not only had the original purchaser asked the box office to resell the ticket but they had also sold the ticket on to some innocent purc
  21. The 10th June is an evening when Osipova is due to dance in Marguerite and Armand. Polunin has " decided to withdraw" from the performances he was due to dance so there is a reasonable chance that some tickets will be returned for resale. The news that Polunin has withdrawn is very recent so you are unlikely to see a great deal of activity on the website for a few days at least as you have to return the actual tickets to the box office. Of course the possibility is that the casting for Marguerite and Armand was not what persuaded patrons to buy tickets. My advice is just keep watching the web
  22. While it will be interesting to see who management chooses to replace Polunin Marguerite and Amand is only of real interest in those performances which, for London audiences, mark Yanowsky's retirement as a member of the company. The choreographic substance of this mixed programme lies in the first two ballets on the bill, The Dream and Symphonic Variations. Marguerite and Armand is merely a vehicle. although it is currently said to be the most frequently performed of Ashton's ballets. The management has a number of options as far as casting a replacement Armand is concerned. They could ask if
  23. As someone pointed out to me during the lengthy run of Sleeping Beauty the company has been short of two male Principal dancers during the entire season and yet I don't think that anyone has really noticed their absence as far as the quality of the company's performances is concerned. What the audience probably has noticed is that a number of obviously talented young men have been given their first opportunities to dance the princely roles in Nutcracker and Beauty.and some have had the opportunity to dance in Jewels as well. It will be interesting to discover whether these opportunities were p
  24. Mashinka. You may know considerably more about inadequate performances of Oberon than I do. I prefer to avoid them if at all possible. I know that I spent a great deal of Dowell's directorship being delighted at the prospect of performances of Ashton mixed bills, being appalled by the proposed casts and saving money by staying away from them. The result seemed to be that the Ashton mixed bills with half decent casts at Covent Garden ended up being gatherings of ballet goers who knew and cared what Ashton's ballets should look like in performance which people who I knew from my earliest ballet
  25. The RB only reveals the barest details of casting.It has finally announced the missing details of the Ashton mixed bill which will round off the ballet season.In the Dream Sambe will dance Oberon to Hayward's Titania and Campbell will dance Oberon to Morera's Titania. In addition Polunin will be dancing Armand to Osipova's Marguerite. The ROH has only seen fit to announce the fact that Polunin is to appear in Marguerite and Armand.Personally I think that the details about who is to dance Oberon will be of far greater interest to the regular ballet goer than the fact that Polunin will be appear
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