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About Sophoife

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer, former student
  • City**
    Hobart, Australia
  1. It was the most beautiful night, @naomikage. Senior Artist of seven years, all but one of the current principals leapfrogged her, and when she retired she had her very long hair cut and donated it for a wig for an ill child. She was partnered by Chris Rodgers-Wilson, and the atmosphere on stage spread to the audience - joyous but a little sad at the same time.
  2. Hi altongrimes, she is dancing Petit's Carmen with Royal New Zealand Ballet, then participating in a "gala des étoiles" in Luxembourg in May. No further info to hand, sorry.
  3. They didn't bring it back because that tour was with the indigenous Australian company Bangarra Dance Theatre, and so it was a double bill: Australian Ballet in Les Presages and Bangarra in Rites. The Murphy Swan Lake has just had 3 performances in Tokyo, followed this weekend by the Murphy Nutcracker. I'd be interested in a Japanese reaction to these. Also, there is now a DVD of the Murphy Swan Lake: Australian Ballet Shop - sadly the photos on the jacket are of Adam Bull and Amber Scott, not the dancers performing (Robert Curran and Madeleine Eastoe).
  4. I would also like to defend this Swan Lake. No, it's not traditional, but yes, the dancing is excellent, the storyline credible, and on the available DVD (recorded live at the Sydney Opera House in April 2006) Madeleine Eastoe (seen in the film Mao's Last Dancer as "Lori") is a superb Odette, and Robert Curran a wonderful Prince. The costumes, particularly Odette's wedding dress and the swans' costumes, are amazing, as is the fantastic set for the lakeside scenes. My mum can't stand Graeme Murphy's work (she says so much of it is "unnecessary" i.e. too sexy), but she liked this, although she said she still prefers a traditional Swan Lake. I would say if you are interested in seeing classical ballet and in opening your mind to a new interpretation, go for it. For example, I recently saw Royal New Zealand Ballet in Christopher Hampson's Romeo and Juliet and didn't like it. But I saw it twice just to see if it was the dancers not the production I didn't like There is also a DVD available from The Australian Ballet (Australian Ballet Shop - scroll down) called On the Wings of a Swan which is a documentary about the creation of the ballet and The Australian Ballet's tour of the UK with the production in 2005.
  5. Glyn Scott is a 2004 graduate of the Australian Ballet School whose first job was with American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company, and who is now at Birmingham Royal Ballet. He competed in the New York international ballet competition in 2005, and the Prix de Lausanne in 2004.
  6. At 42, Steven retained his artistry, but was the first to admit the body wasn't up to the demands of many principal roles any more. He says he's moving in a new direction, which will include character roles (he's learnt Drosselmeyer for the forthcoming "eye-poppingly traditional Nutcracker", for example). He'll also be teaching and coaching. I suggested he join the Dancers' Company tour and do the Headmistress in Graduation Ball and now he thinks I have some weird desire to see him in drag!
  7. New Romantics Melbourne, Saturday 30 June 2007 Apollo Everything we love about Balanchine (beautiful shapes, visual images) and everything we don't really like about Balanchine (ugly shapes, movements styled for a particular body type). Constant Variants Quite clever especially the lighting and the combinations and recombinations of dancers. After the Rain© The second half of this I had tears running down my face. So beautifully controlled that it was languid and limpid, the music (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) was so simple, and the combination had me weeping. Haven't cried at ballet since Miyako Yoshida's guest appearance as Madame Butterfly. I bought a Pärt CD after the performance and re-listened to the music again, and it had the tears flowing again. I'll write something "proper" when I get my thoughts organised!
  8. Thanks all for comments - ppl are reading! Talking about "loyal Russian Ballet followers" - the last time I saw a Russian company in Australia I was appalled - I think it was the Russian National Ballet. Simply dreadful - sloppy, shortcuts, scratchy recorded music...
  9. How sad that the performance you saw contained so many disappointing elements. I went over to Melbourne on the following weekend, Saturday 16th June, and saw both the matinée and the evening performance. Valetta actually reminded me quite a lot of chunks of Paquita and I think you'll probably see it brought out at least once more, Knobloch is Very Well Thought Of as far as I can tell so it will be given another chance. Matinée Amber Scott/Adam Bull/Remi Wörtmeyer/Kevin Jackson, evening Madeleine Eastoe/Remi Wörtmeyer/Daniel Gaudiello/Tzu-Chao Chou. Evening was much more enjoyable, seemed to have more life to it. Tzu-Chao I first noticed in Le Spectre de la Rose last year in Sydney, and I was blown away, he was so good. Daniel has also been getting more solo/featured roles over the last 12 months and he's one I'm keeping my eye on. Le Corsaire: matinée Madeleine Eastoe/Nobuo Fujino, evening Leanne Stojmenov/Marc Cassidy. I have to agree with you about Fujino's performance in this, such a disappointment although not nearly so much fluffing as you saw, especially after (again) last year's Golden Idol in Schéhérazade. Evening was OK but basically forgettable, I like Leanne Stojmenov but I always have to work hard to focus on her, even when she's the only woman on stage. Madeleine Eastoe tried, though. Black Swan: matinée Stephanie Williams/Ty King-Wall, evening the same pair you saw, Lisa Bolte/Adam Thurlow. The first pair showed some promise but she was seriously not in character. Bolte IMHO was either a radically different dancer from the one you saw, or had had a bad shock the day you saw her. She didn't stumble once, didn't fall out of or over anything, and in the coda she did the fouettés. In a circle but have you ever noticed how relatively shallow the stage in Melbourne is? Yes it's bigger than the Opera House, but there is no room to do 32 fouettés across the stage. Thurlow was there. That's all Spring Waters: matinée Reiko Hombo/Andrew Killian, evening Madeleine Eastoe/Robert Curran. Again, Reiko is really something to watch, but Eastoe/Curran were simply dazzling. Easily comparable with Lucette Aldous/Kelvin Coe (as per the photo in the programme - I saw it to remember all these years later). Curran is just better and better as a partner, any girl would feel rock-solid with him waiting to catch her! Best performance of either session. La Favorita: I don't really like it, never did even watching Liz Toohey and David McAllister. That said, Rachel Rawlins/Remi Wörtmeyer just had no pizazz/pizzaz/pizzazz (how does one spell that!) but I totally agree with you about Reiko Hombo/Tzu-Chao Chou. We had them in the evening and they were truly a feast for the eyes. Diana and Acteon: matinée Lucinda Dunn/Robert Curran, evening Rachel Rawlins/Kevin Jackson. I always enjoy Dunn and Curran together (opening night of Melbourne season of Don Quixote this year!) but the pas de deux as a whole left me yawning. Both sessions. Rachel Rawlins as I say has no however-you-spell-it. My worst spend this year was on 2 performances of Don Q in Sydney at Easter (naturally) just to see Ethan Stiefel. Rawlins' Kitri was boring. Petulant. And their partnership (yes OK I know they didn't have a lot of time to work together) was basically IMHO not a partnership at all. Paquita: matinée Olivia Bell/Adam Bull, evening Lucinda Dunn/Robert Curran. No, the corps were not together, but the variations were enjoyable. Yes it was a very short programme, but the more recent New Romantics was shorter still. Bell/Bull were very pretty together, you already know my favourable opinion of Dunn/Curran. I felt the night should have finished on a dazzle - take Spring Waters out of the first half, stick it at the end - after the Paquita grand pas. If I can think coherently (still dazzled) I'll write something about the New Romantics programme in the next day or so.
  10. Geesh what an active board. Not. Well I never got to the Revolutions triple bill (many reasons) in Melbourne but am going to jolly well get to Sydney. Just back from the usual 2 performances in a day for Raymonda and I have to say that it was very good indeed. The music we all know is beautiful. The costumes were faaaaabulous 1950s gowns - both really long and ballet-length - and it's funny to see men in black tie and white tie-n-tails dancing ballet - but it worked. The dancing was generally of a very high standard although some of the characterisations didn't quite work - the fault of the dancer rather than the choreographer as what worked in the afternoon didn't in the evening in one unfortunate case. There were some cheesy bits but generally the choreography worked really well with the music and nothing stands out as being glaringly out of place. The male trio of the "Rat Pack" did get a bit repetitive at times though. Sadly Kirsty Martin did her ankle (bad twist/sprain) towards the end of act 1 early in the week (Rachel Rawlins got called in to do the second act) so Steven Heathcote got the week off too. Happily got to see Damien Welch dance the Other Man to Rawlins' Raymonda, with Tristan Message as the Prince. Then in the evening Lisa Bolte's Raymonda was a real woman and her Prince was Robert Curran who just gets better and better. Matthew Lawrence's Other Man was good too but he's not Damien Andrew Killian who danced both performances was full of energy, and the Starlet (Gina Brescianini) in the matinée was very good indeed. Excellent characterisation!
  11. Will actually be interested to see Don Q as the last live performance of it I saw was the Royal Ballet's which is the Baryshnikov version. Haven't seen the Nureyev one live for close on 30 years. Lucette Aldous shines in my memory more brightly than Sylvie Guillem, perhaps because I was much much younger? Whatever, Irek Mukhamedov was simply sensational Would've loved to see him again. Last Paquita seen was for the 25th anniversary gala - IIRC it was Liz Toohey and David McAllister. ETC: That was La Favorita. David's really pleased it's being done again, as it was choreographed for himself and Liz. Really like Stephen Baynes' work so looking forward to that! Went to a briefing last Saturday afternoon between the matinée and evening shows. David talked about the ballets and Nicolette Fraillon about the music - in between conducting two performances. David's excited (what a surprise) and so's she. They talked a lot about Nureyev, Balanchine, the Ballets Russes, and Massine. The Destiny programme is Massine's Les Présages and not his Symphonie Fantastique but a new one. Same music. Sounds interesting. They haven't done a Traditional Nutcracker for years so are promising a gob-smacking production.
  12. Hi Helene and thank you for your welcome! Always happy to spout about Performances I Have Seen... Ohhh Lucy Dunn's adage! Saw her in the Murphy Sleeping Beauty last year, and she's just rock solid. Not a wobble in the whole Rose Adage, and you couldn't even see the usual arms gripping like death and shaking with tension thing! Annabel Bronner Reid was the Lilac Fairy in the same cast, and she's one to watch. The same day I saw Lisa Bolte and Steven Heathcote dance the matinée, and Lisa's Aurora was just - not quite right - even before I saw the evening performance. Steven was Steven and still a consummate partner. Technically the dancing was better in the evening but I lurve Steven and Lisa so I still enjoyed the matinée. Annabel BR was Carabosse in the afternoon and that's when I decided she might be one to watch, which opinion was borne out by her Lilac Fairy of the evening. Back to topic and the 2006 season - the Fokine triple bill is part of an ongoing project about the Ballets Russes and Steven will be playing the Shah in Scheherazade - sadly can't see him doing Spectre as (a) he isn't and (b) I know it's probably beyond him now.
  13. No, the AB doesn't come to Tasmania - the biggest reason being that not even the Princess Theatre in Launceston can fit their sets, let alone the Theatre Royal in Hobart. Dancers' Company (AB School) comes to Launceston about every 2 years, and Hobart once in a blue moon. The first time I saw the AB was Fool on the Hill in Sydney in (I think) 1977. I've been travelling to Melbourne 5 times a year since 1980 and it has cost me a lot of money (apart from 1980-81 and 1986-92 when I actually lived there), but I have gained a lot of pleasure from watching the company. I was in the Palais Theatre the night the company went on strike, and I've still never seen Hunchback! I've also seen the company elsewhere, a Butterfly in Sydney with Miyako Yoshida comes to tearful mind, also David McAllister's last performance! I saw Giselle last Saturday in Melbourne, and Lucy Dunn's second act was the best I have seen in probably 20 years. I'm going back on 30th June for the Fokine triple bill, and have managed to weasel tickets to Friday night, Sat matinee, and Sat night. Three casts in 26 hours hey! I've never seen either Scheherazade or Spectre de la Rose!
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