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Simon G

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Everything posted by Simon G

  1. Perhaps I was being a tad facetious regarding writing to Dupont? Actually, as long as a smoker does not light up in your house, or in an enclosed space where you are it's none of your business where or when a smoker lights up, nor is it mine or anyone else's. Yes, a non smoker has the right to protect themself so they can either move, request the smoker leave their house (though most will indeed ask or not light up in someone's house at all.) It would never be appropriate to speak to Dupont on the subject as it isn't your business, again Dupont is NOT a role model to anyone. Indeed I find peo
  2. Well Le Riche clearly declines as he had just finished one of his own and is fearing the wrath of the stage manager for putting out another one on the stage flooring. That stuff isn't cheap! Maybe Jeune Homme is actually an allegory on the perils of smoking, with La Morte being death by smoking-related causes? The ballet is indeed way existential.
  3. Oh, my. Just curious: did you actually start smoking then? (When still a grade-schooler I remember drawing red circles with a felt-pen around the middle of my dad's cigarettes in an attmept to get him to stop. The anti-smoking ads of the late sixties showed someone doing that, so my little bros and I did it, too. Dad was furious. But, being a medical doctor, he finally decided he could not also be a hypocrit. So he quit.) -d- No, it wasn't quite that bad, I did go to dance school, first White Lodge, then London Contemporary Dance School where I started smoking at around 16/17, LCDS wa
  4. In order to bring this convo full circle, here's a video of Marie Agnes Gillot puffing away like a chimney whilst onstage no less, albeit in Le Jeune homme et La Morte. It comes at the 8:20 mark, I looked closely and YES unlike Clinton she's inhaling. Impressively, unlike Aurelie Dupont, Nicolas Le Riche declines to join her.
  5. Bart, On the question of health costs it's actually a non brainer, the costs to the health services of smoking related ailments is actually a fraction of the revenue taken by the treasury from tax on tabacco, Government makes a lot from people dropping dead, far far far more than it does from caring for them, indeed if the treasury was to lose the income from tabacco tax they'd be in trouble. On the question of public approval, this is where I have a real problem, even though I'm no longer a smoker, smoking is a personal choice and the notion that the public must be so censorious or didactic
  6. For kids smoking will always be associated with louche coolness, anti establishmentarianism and belonging to the in clique, which let's face it every kid wants, long term health isn't an issue. I'll never forget my terror on my very first day of kindergarten. Sensing my fear my mother pressed her pack of Marlboro reds and her zippo lighter into my chubby little hand and told me to wait until break and then share them out amongst all my new friends, she was right, I soon became the most popular pre schooler in juvenile detention. Her heart was in the right place, if nothing else, my dear mama.
  7. The thing is Drew Dupont, Gillot etc didn't ask to be role models, nor would they claim to be them. Sure one can say that they are de facto role models, but this is nothing more than an outside or third party reading. For these two Gallic luvverlies they probably thought no more of lighting up in that casual Frech sexy way than they would do walking down the Champs Elysees eating a croissant, singing Chanson D'Amour and pouting their lips sounding out "boff" to signal their disapproval of foreigners not sporting the latest haute couture. Not that I'm making a grossly contrived, vaguely xenopho
  8. Richard, Are you secretly Rob Reiner? The thing is cigs will never be illegal as long as tax revenue is there to be garnered and indeed why should it, people have been enjoying a tab for millennia in one form or another. Though if it were to be made illegal it'd just push it underground, it'd be just like the days of prohibition with Emphysema Speakeasys, with a troupe of wheezing hoofing iron lung flapper girls. What gets me is that sure the odd stray whiff can be annoying, but think of all those sleights small and large, petty infractions, annoyances and irritants that happen to one over
  9. I used to smoke for years and I stopped, but by far my favourite holiday destination of choice remains Marlboro Country, with it's verdant rolling plains and snowy-topped mountain peaks, how I loved to wrangle cattle my Marlboro light glued with spit to my lower lip, a scaramouche trail of exhaled smoke filtering through the cracks of my careworn straw stetson - My beloved Marlboro country, I miss it all the more for being so long parted. In truth I think it's important not to be too precious regarding "my freedom stops etc etc", I mean it's estimated over 50% of methane gasses destroying the
  10. Surely if Aurelie Dupont, Marie Agnes Gillot or any other dancer or indeed person wishes to smoke it's their business and theirs alone. But if you truly feel so strongly about it why not write to the POB and take it up with Dupont? I'm sure she'd be delighted. www.operadeparis.fr
  11. Seats in the Gods/amphi for Manon, Swan Lake, Alice centre were £70, £64 is still very much in the £70 region, this is what's now considered a "good" seat. At that height, that far from the stage I would call that a cheap seat. Once you get down into stalls or grand tier, to sit in a restricted view is upwards of £60, for one of the best seats for a three acter you are are looking at £100+. Yes, indeed mixed bills are cheaper, that's why there are fewer of them, you will never sit in front, centre stalls, grand tier for £36. The only time that ever happened in recent history is for McGregor's
  12. Hey Bart, J has it slightly wrong, the candidates whose names were confirmed are Bruce Sansom, the duo of Michael Nunn & William Trevitt, Alastair Marriott, Ashley Page, Wayne Eagling. Ashley Wheater says he was approached, and rumoured to be on the list were Kobborg, Rojo and possibly Guillem. O'Hare was the rank outsider. Alexander Campbell is a very nice dancer with a solid technique who is a first soloist with Birmingham Royal Ballet who's decided to take his chances with a demotion and move to the RB at Covent Garden, which is brave within the smaller, parochial BRB he's really shon
  13. Well, from the shortlisted candidates, if you wanted to go down the "traditional" route of one AD I agree with Mashinka that Bruce Sansom would have been a very good decision, bringing to the RB much of what Hubbe is bringing to RDB. He has all the attributes of O'Hare only better. One of the best male principals of the RB from the past 25 years and a product of the RBS, he has an innate understanding of the rep and the company and a great knowledge of the Ashton rep which is the cornerstone of the Royal Ballet's greatness. Once his dance career ended he interned at SFB, Rambert as trainee AD
  14. How on earth should I know I wasn't there? You like O'Hare, fine, well he's got the job. And I'm sure ten years down the line under him the company will be pretty much as it is now, which is why they hired him. I don't think that's anything to look forward to or be proud of, though he'd better start casting his net to attract or find ready-made star principals because those in the RB are coming to the end of their shelf lives and the RB seems adamant in its policy to not promote talent within the ranks or from the school. And the company will be foreign principals, homogenised generic ballet,
  15. I was suggesting nothing of the sort. I was saying that a board and panel comprised of professionals to find an artistic director for one of the major world companies should have had more than one dance professional on it. Moreover, since as you say Wright and O'Hare have such a long history perhaps it would have been better to include a wider ballet demographic to avoid the suggestion of favouritism and bias against other better qualified candidates.
  16. Leigh, That's the crux of this issue and one that's been discussed at length in the media regarding this appointment. The RB has been treading water for a decade or more and that this was a chance for several artists who'd spent the intervening years since leaving RB to establish themselves within the wider world of dance to take the reins. Mashinka mentioned Sansom who it would appear was the closest contender to O'Hare. Sansom is a forthright, artistically minded individual with a huge scope and range of ballet from being a great exponent of Ashton at the RB as principal to assistant direc
  17. Why bother going to ballet anymore? A question that is rife among these boards as people passionate about ballet and their home companies, some of whom have been watching the Royal, NYCB, Mariinsky etc for decades continually ask themselves as they've seen the state of ballet and the art they love greatly deteriorate, as companies they love have been shadows of what they once were. I never damned Campbell with faint praise. I think he's a very good dancer, with a great deal of charm, technically able, BUT one thing which has saddened many avid RB goers over the years is the lack of promotion
  18. But this is the problem, it's a company you don't know and given that a cheap seat in the Gods is now in the region of £70, a seat for a 3 acter easily in the £100+ which will be going up given the 15% cut in funding to the ROH would you want to travel to London for a single performance? No one is being harsh, no one is dissing O'Hare or being rude or offensive or derogatory, but this hiring is deeply problematical, not least because you can see the spectre of a boardroom spreadsheet looming behind every decision to come. He was a good basic dancer, then a good administrator a great AD needs
  19. Why? I've said absolutely nothing offensive whatsoever. Kevin O'Hare is a nice man, not an AD. Campbell is a nice dancer, but in the RB where one of the biggest criticisms being that many talented soloist level dancers are never given opportunities is this cross-hiring necessary? There's absolutely nothing to be offended about in passionate arguments.
  20. I really have to disagree. Great ADs aren't administrators. The biggest mistake of the post Stretton era was extending Mason's contract from caretaker, which was necessary in the immediate aftermath, to AD lasting 11 years. In that time RB has lost all sense of direction, not just as a producing theatre, but in terms of its identity and purpose. Under Mason seat prices soared, the onus on three act classics became the dominant force, audiences dwindled in terms of ballet fans and the corporate sector was pursued at every other expense. The style of the RB became a homogenised mulch and the sta
  21. This is another one of those bizarre transitions that the RB likes doing. Alexander Campbell is a nice dancer to be sure, but there's no shortage of nice, functional dancers with a bit of swagger in artist or first artist rank who are ripe for promotion. They'd have been far better off trying to poach Vadim Muntagirov from ENB for first soloist that would have been money well spent as Muntagirov has if nothing else a virtuosity very much lacking in the RB ranks of men.
  22. And so are bad ones. Being a ruthless jackass isn't a mark of artistic genius. It only signifies the intention to wield power. That's true Leigh, but the point is that I'm not talking about a ruthless intention to wield power, nor do I think that being power crazed is the mark of a good or bad AD, nor even the mark of a bastard, moreover being a bastard isn't necessarily a bad thing. But one thing a great AD isn't, and the RB needs a great AD, it hasn't had one in forty years, but great ADs aren't nice men in admin roles who've bizarrely been elevated to top dog position when other bett
  23. Well, actually, I think that's exactly what they do have in O'Hare. A pleasent, unremarkable, efficient administrator who will do exactly what the board made up of executives tell him to do. This isn't artistic direction, this is flaccid status quo being preserved. Kevin O'Hare seems like a nice man. Who is happy to keep the huge onus on three act money spinners danced indifferently, an influx of foreign stars, the odd political promotion of a mediocre RBS product, the egregious wobblings of Mcgregor with a couple of nods to classicism with Wheeldon every other season. The RB hasn't had a
  24. Dirac, I think in this case you can assume that the ROH is catering directly to its core subscribers/individuals. In the UK we have several Dowager Marchionesses, which is a title in itself. So when the current Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury, Bute, Queensbury, Lansdowne etc etc etc books her tickets online (or has some flunky do it for her) she'll get a lil frisson of delight to see that the ROH subscriptions department has catered precisely to her title. Now that's customer service. Thanks. But I believe "Dowager" also applies as a title in itself to others? There's a Dowager Duchess
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