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Naoko S

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  1. Cygneblanc, this is a very interesting development. But is POB in the scope as well? If you have seen a newspaper article or two on the topic recently on the net, I'd be so grateful if you could give links to them... I very much hope the troupe would not be in a position where one has loads of catching-up to do by the time the new boss arrives. Next season will see a lot of reprises of 21st century neo-classical masterpieces which is not a bad thing at all. But only one 19th century gland classics - it'd be easy to forget how to do classics in a proper manner
  2. Yes, that's what I meant - the TOTAL subsidy for both theatres, ROH and NNT. (I didn't compare oranges to apples...) However there's one thing I should have mentioned on a special (or rather peculiar) arrangement at NNT. There, opera and ballet have to share the pie with one more contender, 'play/drama' section (although it appears they almost always use medium/small theatres within the complex). Ah well perhaps I've taken it wrong for so long; NTT may not be seen as a 'lyric theatre', in strict sense... naomikage, I agree with your views that in Japan arts in general don't attract public money. But about the lack of support from wealthy individuals - if there's less financial support from rich people, compared to for instance U.S., isn't it partly because Japan is not a country of 'super rich', in the first place? (How many Japanese individuals have made it to Forbes's Rich List? Given the country's size of economy there's so few billionaires there... in modern-day Japan it's corporations that tend to have the accumulation of wealth...) Your point on the capacity of NNT's 'Opera Theatre' was interesting....I'm a complete novice on administrative side of performing arts, but.... Perhaps it may be too small to make a profit for visiting foreign opera companies, but what about NTT's giving their own performances? Do they lose out if throw more shows? (That they put on only 46 performances for opera and 36 performances for ballet in a season looks so wrong - overwhelmingly underused infrastructure! And I'm thinking of renowned lyric theatres with even smaller capacities, for instance, Brussel's La Monnaie...) I just had a look at NNT's website to find out the rental rate for Opera Theatre, but couldn't locate any info. Then a further digging led me to the page where they announced that currently Opera Theatre is not rentable due (mainly) to their own use ('for putting on NNT's performances, etc'). This is bizarre, as there seems to be no one who'll occupy the theatre during NNT's off-months: July, August & September. It's simply incredible if this heavily subsidised theatre (the main one) stands empty for the entire three months....
  3. What a fascinating, thought-provoking discussion! (Thanks also from me Natalia for having started the thread, and naomikage and ruteyo for the insight!) Being away from home for a long while and losing touch with Japanese ballet scene, I myself couldn't give any material, 'insider's views' ..... but thought perhaps I could contribute a bit too, sharing some objective info. - hard facts dept. Ah no, not everything is private - far from it! In fact, New National Ballet Theatre (NNBT) for instance is one of high-profile government-subsidised institutions. But precisely how much is being spent on them from Japanese taxpayers' money, I had no idea, so have done a quick research - here follows what I've discovered: * NNBT, alongside 6 other performing arts institutions carrying 'national' status, is run by Japan Arts Council, and grant come through its sub-org. Japan Arts Fund. (Approx. 83% of Japan Arts Fund's capital came from the government; the rest from Corporate/Private donors) The seven national institutions are: - National Theatre (for traditional Japanese performing arts: Kabuki, Bunraku, Buyo, Hougaku - traditional Japanese music, etc) - National Engei Hall (for traditional Japanese spoken entertainment: Rakugo, Koudan, Rokyoku) - National Noh Theatre (for Noh and Kyogen) - National Bunraku Theatre (for Bunraku - puppet theatre) - National Theatre Okinawa (for traditional 'Ryukyu' dance/music) - New National Theatre Tokyo (for 'modern/contemporary' performing arts: Opera, ballet, modern dance, drama/play) - Traditional Performing Arts Information Centre * According to the disclosure report, the subsidy for the above 7 national institutions totalled JPY11.6bn (equivalent to approx. US$112mn) in FY2006 (Apr06/Mar07). New National Theatre, the home to NNTB, had the biggest shares - JPY5.1bn (approx. US$49mn). This accounted for 60% of their total revenue for the period, JPY8.4bn (approx. US$81mn). * Japan Arts Fund also provides grant to medium/small scale performing arts organisations/groups, as well as more general cultural activities. In FY2007 JPY2bn (approx. US$20mn) was granted to 911 applicants located across the country. Beneficiaries included numerous ballet/dance/opera companies/groups, orchestras, drama/play groups, film creators, traditional performing arts groups, museums, preservers of cultural heritage - the list goes on and on! (I have a feeling that on top of this there should be other sources of subsidies as well, from local governments, private cultural foundations, etc.) Going back to New National Theatre.... the government subsidy of US$49mn - is this good enough or not? Surely not a small number, but again I had no clue so took rough measures and compared it with that of Covent Garden's (now my 'home' theatre). This has led me to a revelatory (or rather shocking) discovery... The state subsidy given to NNT, US$49mn, is roughly the same level ROH currently receives from Arts Council England! According to what the national daily The Independent reported in December 2007, ROH gets c.GBP25.5m (approx. US$51m) from Arts Council, and that makes up c.30% of their total revenue. A further 40% comes from Box Office, and c.15% each from fundraising and commercial activities. (That brings annual revenue of ROH to c. US$169m) Why the surprise? I certainly don't want to step in the danger zone being too simplistic to compare the two very different institutions, however, the contrast between London and Tokyo is a bit too stark. One very obvious difference is its scale; compared to Covent Garden, Japan's NNT is seemingly a lot smaller operation. They do not have their own orchestra, nor Music Director. Their ballet troupe, excluding ones on 'registered-base' contract, consist of just under 60 dancers. Then the biggest difference, the number of performances at the two theatres. In Tokyo it looks like the main auditorium at the theatre remains dormant most of the time, as there are about (or less than) 1/3 of the performances that takes place at ROH. (During 2006/2007 Season the number of performances given at NNT were: Ballet - 7 works/36 performances; Opera - 10 works 46 performances). All along, I thought it's lack of public money that caused the small-scale operation at NNT, but the state subsidy given to them doesn't particularly look 'disrespectful' level. (The findings leave me much to ponder....)
  4. Well well... My Oxford Dance Dictionary says her birthday is 15th November 1944! Let's just hope this is a genuinely accurate, truthful info. (and rejoice!)
  5. 'nonchalance' - that's exactly the word to describe Filin at the scene, Ostrich! The memo. I wrote after the performance reads: Filin held Alexandrova in the air with a single-hand lift for so long - longer than any body else I saw in years (and certainly much much longer than Matvienko from the previous evening). Particularly, second time he went for so long it's as if Alexandrova could suspend in the air forever! The audience went wild and cheered at them midway...
  6. ami, it was Sergei Filin who did it! He was amazing - after the hard work of doing the most of the first nights in the space of nearly three weeks the guy still maintained the stamina and strength to do that! (Wow!) I remember having cheered wildly at them, like a madwoman!! Thanks also from me to all of you for bringing me back the 'fond' memory of the 'great' summer of '06...
  7. Hi Leigh - I obtained approx. running times info. from ROH today. It appears there's going to be an intermission indeed after mere 34 mins. Prologue! *Evening Performance for The Sleeping Beauty when starting at 7:30pm* Prologue 7:30 (34 mins.) 1st Interval 8:04 (20 mins.) ACT I 8:24 (32 mins.) 2nd Interval 8:56 (20 mins.) ACTS II & III 9:16 (1hr 8 mins.) Curtain Down 10:24 Good luck!!
  8. Thanks hockeyfan228 for clarifications about the policy. ....but I'm not too certain about a rationality of the links I inserted in my recent posts - all Japanese-only websites. In these cases, should brief translations be accompanied??
  9. Wow - at last! Thanks for the info., cygneblanc and Sophia. Actually, having recently acquired a copied dvd of the televised version (that went on-air in Japan in early March - presumably the same version as the commercial dvd), I've been deprived of my sleep - just can't stop watching it over and over again! The more I see it, the more I love it.... The three leads are Dupont/Ganio/Hurel. If my memory serves, all three made "debut in the role" when this was shot? Amazing, just amazing.... Oh and someone kindly sent me this - Mathieu Ganio is featured in the current issue of a Japanese weekly magazine, "AERA"; his photo adorns the cover. http://www3.asahi.com/opendoors/zasshi/aera/
  10. Dear Natalia, As far as I'm aware, you're one of the craziest, most fantastic balletomane! Thanks for your enthusiastic, affectionate, and insightful reports from St. P - can't imagine how I could have managed the last 10 days without them! BRAVO!!
  11. It appears the two gentlemen like it *very* hot! Yet again, right in the midst of tropical summer, Legris and Ganio will be visiting Japan to dance in Tokyo Ballet's Sleeping Beauty. The dates and venue are: -16, 18 August 2005: Manuel Legris/Ryoko Koide (Solo Artist, Tokyo Ballet) -17, 19 August 2005: Mathieu Ganio/Mizuka Ueno (Principal, Tokyo Ballet) *All dates at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan http://www.nbs.or.jp/stages/0508_sleep/index.html Ganio guested with the company as recent as in February, dancing James in La Sylphide. As for Legris, who has a huge fan base in Japan, danced with the troupe countless times before.
  12. Perhaps it's because I myself didn't expect a radical, overnight change in POB's programming policies, I can appreciate certain differences from the current season, albeit small and barely discernible. (Maintaining the status quo is far better than moving forward towards advancements - in this case deteriorations.) Less classics, yes, but to me among them two "Petipa"-Nureyev works included is a good thing (current: just one) - and they are ballet blanc (current: none). As to contemporary works - I may be wrong but the line-up for the coming season looks less experimental; e.g. a new commission for a lesser known choreographer - just one? (current: certainly more than that). And an acquisition of a narrative work, a well-established 20th century ballet (La Dame aux camélias)...... Oh no that's too bad Estelle... I wish you could get to see more performances in the new season.
  13. Ladies - cheer up! A year ago, at the announcement of the current season's repertoire, we all thought things couldn't get any worse - and thank goodness certainly the new season's outlook, in my views, gives us the impressions we were not wrong? Surely they could have used a bit more of imaginations, and I share Estelle's dissappointments at the lack of Lifar and certain neo-classical works (particularly Balanchine!), but at least I can take a pleasure out of the fact that not a great deal of money seems to go to new commissions for ambiguous contemporary works.... I'm afraid you cannot avoid a certain mannerism watching the same company over and over again - so go out and see other companies of different styles and repertoire is a good idea, I think. (...oh that reminds me - isn't Kirov-Mariinsky coming to town in autumn? It should give you a nice change - particularly when they kind of promise Ulyana Lopatkina would take a lead in Swan Lake!)
  14. Thanks cygneblanc for the info.! The line-up looks f-aaaa-r better than the current season - don't you think? I'm particularly pleased to see a couple of ballets are featured in which Laurent Hilaire could appear; Le Parc and Mandarin (and hopefully Bella Figura). (Though I'm saddened by the absence of Raymonda for another season - we can't have everything....) And I spotted in French language forums that their visit to Sadlers Wells this autumn (with Le Parc) was now official? Hooooray!
  15. Thanks cygneblanc for the alert - I could secure a pretty nice place in the parterre on line. Three cheers for M. Legris's website!
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