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Posts posted by JMcN

  1. 15 hours ago, dirac said:

    At the risk of going off thread, and with all due respect, the English clergy were up to the slavery traffic to their eyeballs. Others did preach and campaign against it. The abolitionists in the US were regarded as dangerous cranks, and talked of secession.


    I hate to be a pedant but British clergy is a more accurate phrase.

    19 hours ago, pherank said:


    My apologies if this sound like I'm trying to educate anyone. I don't have the answers, and I'm trying to gain some understanding of the world around me, just like everyone else.

    I thought your words were very reasoned.

    I do not know how Liam Scarlett did or didn't behave but it was stated at the time the news first came out that no students under the age of 18 were involved so there was no criminality.

    I've seen a number of loving and heartfelt tributes to Liam Scarlett on social media.  If the people who made those tributes had positive experiences and memories with Liam Scarlett then surely they are entitled to grieve for their friend?

    The vast majority of articles I have read (and believe me I have read loads as I am doing the Links on the British forum this week) are basically identical as the media sources have just used the same AP release.  They all mention his dismissal from the Royal Ballet so it is not as though this aspect of his life has been ignored/swept under the carpet.

  2. 10 hours ago, Drew said:


    In thinking about Scarlett's death, I keep thinking about finding a middle way through these issues. In my eyes, Scarlett was young enough that it should have been possible for him to have a second act--he might have been given (or taken) the chance to grow up and act differently. Certainly, his death is extremely shocking and saddening to me.


    Thank you Drew for your reasoned words.

  3. 1 hour ago, canbelto said:

    Just because there weren't criminal charges doesn't mean there wasn't behavior that merited dismissal.

    I think the trouble is that for most people if these types of allegations were made they would have been dealt with in house and perhaps go as far as an Industrial Tribunal.  Most people wouldn't face being hung out to dry by the press and social media.

  4. It really is so sad.  I send my deepest condolences to Liam Scarlett's family and friends.

    I've seen some rather touching tributes from a couple of dancers I know on FB.

    NY Times obit:  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/17/arts/dance/liam-scarlett-dead.html

    Published in the Australian magazine Limelight:  https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/tributes-flow-for-liam-scarlett/

    Most of the articles on the internet just use the AP release.


    In respect of the ROH investigation I believe it was found that there were no criminal charges to answer as no students were under the age of 18.  The timing of the RDB announcement is most peculiar - I understand it relates the incidents that were alleged to have happened in 2018/19 when Liam Scarlett was working there so why wait so long for this?

    Of course, Ashton Fan is absolutely correct about the Murdoch press.  The original headline after news of his death came out was vile.


  5. 13 hours ago, dirac said:

    Thank you for the reminder, JMcN. Plainly, the last twelve months slipped my mind. :)

    Even if he hadn't wanted one, I expect he'd get something on the more substantial side under normal circumstances even if not a fully-fledged state funeral. There is supposed to be a ceremonial procession that I assume will be televised - the service itself will be private.

    We've just seen some of the details on the news.  There will be a small ceremonial procession within Windsor Castle, not on public view, but that will be part of the broadcast.  None of the Royal Family will be wearing military uniforms; everyone will be wearing masks and there will be no singing of hymns.  Due to UK bubbling arrangements the Queen may be sitting on her own but Prince Philip's Private Secretary may sit with her as he was part of the Windsor bubble.

    I'm sure I heard that the funeral will be broadcast in the USA as well as here in the UK (and probably other countries too).

    I think our lockdown arrangements for the past 13 months have been somewhat different to anything implemented in the USA.  Most people I know (including myself) talk about events that happened "last year" but actually mean 2019 as 2020 was basically lost!




    On 4/10/2021 at 2:38 AM, canbelto said:

    Apparently Prince Philip didn't want a big state funeral, so he's not going to get one.


    RIP to Prince Philip. He sure did inspire great episodes on The Crown. I always felt like their Philip episodes were the best.

    Given that the UK is still in lockdown, albeit starting to ease slightly today, a full state funeral would not have been legal whether one was wanted or not.

  7. Hello California,

    I would say that the lack of specific dates and safety measures at this time is due to the ongoing uncertainty about what stage we will be at in terms of release of lockdown and when various requirements have been assessed.

    It must be a total nightmare for the theatres trying to plan ahead and I applaud the ROH for issuing some plans that will hopefully become more detailed at each phase of our unlocking.  There are a number of items in the British press that would indicate more will be known by 1st June and that public booking opens towards the end of August.

    I, for one, am glad that each phase of unlocking is being assessed before we move on to the next phase.  We have lost far too many people to this dreadful virus.

  8. This radio feature has just shown up in my Facebook feed:



    10 hours ago, seattle_dancer said:


    I'm just so glad for dance, or any type of arts, to get air time.  So much time is spent on sports and whining when they can't play their games.  


    Absolutely agree with this sentiment Seattle_dancer.

  9. 11 minutes ago, NinaFan said:

    JMcN - Thank you so much for all of the background information on this ballet.  My husband and I are going to see it on Saturday.  After reading your post, I'll be going with a different frame of mind (and reference!).  Thanks again for weighing in on this.

    I hope you enjoy it.

  10. 2 hours ago, abatt said:
    2 hours ago, abatt said:

    I think that if you go into this expecting to see ballet because, you know, it's called American Ballet Theatre, you will be disappointed.  If you are willing to accept the "modern dance" aspects of this choreography (push me, pull me, roll on the floor) you are more likely to enjoy the performance.  I'm wondering what the expectations are when people go to see Northern Ballet of England, as opposed to their expectations when they go see ABT.

    For me, trying to dismiss the poor choreography by calling it a psychological ballet or "expressionistic" is not a valid pass. As pointed out in the NYTimes, there are many psychological ballets that are great (A Month in The Country, Lilac Garden).  They use the classical idiom as their mode of expression.



    We didn't really know what to expect from this work but most of the audiences really seemed to enjoy it.

    This was created for a Northern Ballet mini-tour to smaller theatres and premiered in Doncaster in May 2016 (I was there).  It was such a successful tour that it was a main scale tour last year, when it was also very well received.

    At the premiere a friend told me that Jane Eyre was her favourite book and that she was disappointed in how the story was told.  As the tour last year continued she changed her opinion quite a lot.  Other friends, who teach literature to university standards think it is a very fine interpretation of the novel.

    Fans of Northern Ballet are used to seeing interpretations of literature and perhaps not conventional classical ballet.  The company is chock full of dance actors.  Javier Torres created the role of Rochester and was, basically, born to dance the role.  We all loved the foot motif that he used so very expressively and which is almost pastiched by Jane in the final duet (we would refer to them as duets rather than pdd).

    Of course, with any piece it takes time to bed down and by the end of last summer we were seeing intensely emotional and moving performances.  In respect of Bertha, she was created by Victoria Sibson (now retired) who was an incredible dance actress with an amazing stage presence - she certainly presented a demented but rounded characterisation.

    In its first run due to injury problems the role of adult Jane was dually created by Hannah Bateman and Dread Blow.  Abigail Prudames also danced the role of Jane.  Rochester was danced by Javier Torres and Mlindi Kulashe.

    Although I love this production I can see why it may not be a good fit with ABT because it was created for (very) small stages and a half-sized company.  There were only 19 dancers in each performance.  I would almost have described it as a chamber ballet.  I was surprised that the production had not been expanded for the main scale tour last year.

    I suppose the dance content/choreography depends on what you are used to seeing and NB specialise in this type of production rather than full-on classical works - which does not mean to say that the company does not have the classical chops to do a more conventional classical production.  Yoko Ichino produced a glorious, traditional production of Giselle several years ago (sadly only seen in Leeds) and, having seen many traditional productions from the Royal Ballet to the Mariinsly, Bolshoi, ENB, BRB and beyond Northern Ballet did the production proud.  They also won great acclaim for their recent MacMillan tribute programme, particularly for Gloria.

    I suppose it's horses for courses.

  11. 13 hours ago, Deflope said:


    If you register for The Times you can read 2 articles per week.  I think something similar exists for Telegraph premium articles.  Try using a different browser for the Stage if you have reached your monthly limit.

  12. On 2/15/2019 at 9:13 PM, Dreamer said:

    The principal cast for the Chicago tour of Akram Khan’s Giselle has been posted at ENB website:


    Giselle: Alina Cojocaru (February 28),  Erina Takahashi (March 1), Tamara Rojo (March 2, mat),  Crystal Costa (March 2, eve)

    Albrecht: Isaac Hernández (February 28 and March 2, mat),  James Streeter (March 1),  Sarah Kundi (March 2, eve)

    Hilarion:  Jeffrey Cirio (February 28 and March 2, mat),  Ken Saruhashi (March 1),  Erik Woolhouse (March 2, eve)

    Myrtha: Stina Quagebeur (February 28 and March 2, mat),  Sarah Kundi (March 1),  Isabelle Brouwers (March 2,eve)

    On 2nd March evening I think Aitor Arieta is a more likely Albrecht than Sarah Kundi (although that could be a very interesting cast!).

    For me, James Streeter is THE definitive Albrecht in this production.



  13. Here's the official press release.  The US release date is 22nd March.

    As an aside I happened to be at both of the filmed performances in Liverpool.


    English National Ballet / Akram Khan’s Giselle to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray


    Hailed as ‘a masterpiece of 21st century dance' [The Mail on Sunday] Akram Khan’s Giselle is released for sale on DVD for the first time from 1 March 2019, giving ballet fans worldwide the opportunity to enjoy this award-winning production. 

    Recognised as one of the greatest romantic ballets, Giselle has been re-imagined by celebrated choreographer Akram Khan. His first full length ballet, Khan’s Giselle features set and costume designs from Academy Award-winning designer Tim Yip, known for his work on the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and an adaptation of the original Adolphe Adam score by composer Vincenzo Lamagna, orchestrated by Music Director, Gavin Sutherland and performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Giselle also features dramaturgy from Ruth Little and lighting design from Mark Henderson.

    Directed for the screen by Ross MacGibbon. the film was commissioned by The Space and recorded live at the Liverpool Empire in October 2017.

    English National Ballet Artistic Director and Lead Principal Tamara Rojo dances the role of Giselle, one of a community of migrant workers cast out of their jobs in a condemned garment factory. First Soloist James Streeter performs in the role of Albrecht, Lead Principal Jeffrey Cirio performs as Hilarion, and First Artist of the Company, Stina Quagebeur performs in the role of Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis. 

    The critically acclaimed production has toured to eight cities in the UK and internationally, and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance, Tanz Magazine Award for Production of the Year, Manchester Theatre Award for Dance, Critics Circle National Dance Award for Best Classical Choreography for Akram Khan. The ballet also helped English National Ballet earn an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

    Akram Khan’s Giselle was co-produced by Manchester International Festival and Sadler’s Wells, London, and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.  The film was commissioned by The Space, the digital agency which supports UK arts organisations to grow their audiences across digital, cinema and broadcast platforms.  

    The DVD is distributed by Opus Arte and will be available internationally on Amazon, and is available for pre-order in the UK now. Release dates and stockists for the DVD in the UK, US and Germany are listed below, and further release dates (including for France and Japan) will be added.

    UK release – 1 March 2019

    Available to purchase at:


    Presto Music



    US release – 22 March 2019

    Available to purchase at:

    Arkiv Music

    Germany – 29 March 2019

    Available to purchase at:


    Notes to Editors

    About English National Ballet 

    English National Ballet has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1950 as London Festival Ballet by the great English Dancers Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, it has played a major role in the growth and history of ballet in the UK. Today, English National Ballet is renowned for taking world-class ballet to the widest possible audience through its national and international tour programme, offsite performances at festivals including Glastonbury and Latitude, its distinguished orchestra English National Ballet Philharmonic, and being a UK leader in creative learning and engagement practice and delivery, building innovative partnerships to deliver flagship programmes such as English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s. Under the artistic directorship of Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet has gained new acclaim as it introduces innovative new works to the Company’s repertoire while continuing to honour and reinvigorate traditional ballet.

    About Akram Khan 

    Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated dance artists today, building his reputation on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and profoundly moving productions such as XENOSUntil the LionsKaashDESHVertical RoadGnosis and zero degrees. Khan’s choreography is the embodiment of shared exploration across multiple disciplines and cultures. His collaborations include world class dance artists such as Sylvie Guillem, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Israel Galván, visual artists Tim Yip, Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor, and music artists Nitin Sawhney, Kylie Minogue and Florence and the Machine. A highlight of his career was the creation of a section for the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim. Khan’s baptism into the ballet world was in 2014, as part of English National Ballet’s triptych Lest We Forget. His award-winning piece Dust pathed the way to making the critically acclaimed reimaging of Giselle.

    About The Space

    The Space is a commissioning and development organisation, established by Arts Council England and the BBC to support greater digital access to the arts. The Space is committed to supporting and facilitating the UK arts sector to realise its digital ambitions. The organisation commissions arts projects, offers online audience and digital skills development, and provides a production and distribution pipeline to ensure that these projects reach a wide and diverse range of audiences. www.thespace.org

    About Opus Arte

    Opus Arte is an award-winning provider of classical music and theatrical content, releasing around twenty-five titles per year on DVD, Blu-ray, CD, TV and online. Opus Arte is proud to be associated with many of the world’s finest arts organisations, including the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Teatro Real, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Founded as an independent label in 1999, Opus Arte is now part of the Naxos group, the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of Classical Music.

    Please visit www.opusarte.com

    About Manchester International Festival

    Manchester International Festival (MIF) is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events, staged every two years in Manchester, UK. The next one takes place 4 – 21 July 2019, including commissions and events from Yoko Ono, Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, Skepta and Janelle Monáe.

    Giselle was commissioned as a Trailblazer for The Factory, the landmark cultural space being developed in Manchester, led by MIF in partnership with Manchester City Council. It was the first in a series of pre-Factory events being presented ahead of the building’s opening in 2021, which illustrate the variety, ambition and scale of work that will be created there. 

    For more information about MIF and The Factory visit the website: mif.co.uk

    About Sadler’s Wells

    Sadler's Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, it is the place where artists come together to create dance, and where people of all backgrounds come to experience it – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired.

    Audiences of over half a million come to its London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world, and accessing its content through digital channels.

    Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 160 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today.

    For further information visit www.sadlerswells.com

  14. 11 hours ago, Mashinka said:

    Might that be because although a fine dancer, he didn't enjoy an international career nor have a second career as a writer of note?  I've finally got around to reading Acosta's novel, Pigs Foot, and it certainly deserved all the plaudits.  Having a high profile personality in charge will do the company no harm at all.

    I agree Mab.  

    Having been doing searches on the internet this morning all the VERY MANY articles I have found are nothing more than rehashes of the official press release (which is very lazy reporting).

    It should be very interesting and exciting days ahead for BRB (as long as he doesn't inflict Carmen on the company!). 


  15. My all-time favourite production is Sir Peter Wright's 1990 production for Birmingham Royal Ballet, which he made as a gift to the city when the company moved there.

    I really like the party scene, which often can feel as though it drags but which just flows in this production.  It took me many years to work out how one of the magic tricks is done (and boy did I feel foolish when I realised!).  And then on to the transformation scene, which is the best bar none.  It still thrills me after all these years and I still get a lump in my throat as the Rat King marches out of the fireplace.  When the Nutcracker comes alive in human form there is the most beautiful duet for him and Clara - so beautiful I never seem to see the scene transforming to the snow kingdom!

    This really is a production to savour.



  16. I saw one preview and the official world premiere as well as a couple of other performances in Manchester and Liverpool.

    I must admit to being a huge fan of Akram Khan and I was totally blown away by this production.  I saw 3 casts and they were all tremendous but, for me, James Streeter was truly outstanding as Albrecht.

    Overall the production was very well received - in Liverpool it got standing ovations at all the performances I saw (a near miracle in Liverpool) but I think it could be a bit marmite.  One friend refuses to even mention it and another walked out at the first interval.  Everyone else I know who saw it had the same reaction as me.

    BTW, it seemed to be only one chain of cinemas (Vue) that showed the cinecast in the UK and I couldn't get to any of them near-ish to me.

    I hope people are able to get to Chicago in February and enjoy the production as much as I did.




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