Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×


Senior Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by JMcN

  1. I agree with every word Sandik. When Kenny Tindall retired from Northern Ballet his final performance was announced to be Heathcliff in Milton Keynes on a Saturday night. A lot of us went, despite issues with roundabouts! It was a very wonderful night! I will never forget the final Birmingham performance of Ambra Vallo and Vicky Marr of BRB (dancing Giselle and Myrthe respectively). Members of the company who weren't dancing in the performance showered the stage with 200 red roses. Many tears were shed!
  2. Here in the UK they tend to be "end of season" announcements issued just after the season has ended. If a long standing dancer is leaving it may be that that is announced earlier in the season so that people can mark the occasion. However sometimes dancers seem to prefer to slip away quietly and without fanfare. ENB has bucked the trend a little recently by announcing some joiners and a promotion before the end of their season.
  3. I popped over to Paris for the final 2 performances of BNC's run of Giselle at the Salle Pleyel. Coincidentally the last time I had seen their Giselle was also in Paris but in a "pop up" theatre in the Grand Palais. Salle Pleyel has an art deco foyer and a plain, dark interior. It had been a concert hall home to an orchestra which lost its funding and now presents all different types of show. It struck me that the nightlines would be good wherever you sat. I was on the front row of the stalls, which offered a perfect view, except that the wings were obviously so shallow that one could see more than would be usual even from the central block of seats. Nevertheless it was a great place from which to watch the performance! Sadly the company were performing to recorded music and I have to say that even to my uncultured ears it was not a good recording. Occasionally, for example, there seemed to be some overly long gaps in the music. I very much like Alicia Alonso's production of Giselle - it is so very clearly told with excellent mime too. In this production it is very clear that Giselle dies of a broken heart rather than committing suicide with the sword (it is grabbed off her before she can do any harm), The Wilis are very scary. I did, however, find the lighting too bright and harsh, especially in Act 2. I like the way the backcloth of trees is used to hide and reveal the Wilis at the start of Act 2 - it does make them much more mysterious and ghost like. On Tuesday evening Sadaise Arencibia and Raul Abreu led the performance. Sadaise is a lovely Giselle, playful in act 1 and forgiving and loving in Act 2. Raul played Albrecht as someone who genuinely adores Giselle right from the start and is very romantic and ardent. Reading the programme I was shocked to realise that he can't be more than 19 or 20 - he gave such a mature performance. I think he has a great future ahead of him. I thought Ernesto Diaz was excellent as Hilarion - lovelorn and jealous and then horrified by Giselle's death. If I thought I enjoyed Tuesday evening (and I did) I was transported to another plain on Wednesday evening when Anette Delgado and Dani Hernandez led the performance. Dani plays Albrecht as a man who knows his position but is attracted to Giselle and then is broken when he realises what devastation he has caused. What can I say about Anette - she was completely, utterly and totally magnificent. Her technique is so strong and yet she is still so fragile and vulnerable. In reality I was not watching Anette Delgado I was watching Giselle. I was in floods by the end. At the curtain calls Alicia Alonso came on stage and was greeted with rapturous acclaim. What an amazing and gracious lady she is. Of course, 2 people do not a performance make and I must say that I thought the whole company looked excellent. Everyone was engaged in the action in Act 1, making it very believable. The Wilis were exemplary in Act 2. I was very glad I had made the trip to Paris (even though with the current parlous state of sterling it was ruinously expensive!).
  4. Just home from Paris. Will post performance details on the BNC thread.
  5. I absolutely agree with Mashinka about the Khan Giselle. I saw a preview performance, the official world premiere and one other performance - all in Manchester. I was completely blown away by the performances I saw (and I was fortunate to see 3 casts). All three performances I saw earned a standing ovation. However, one friend walked out of a performance at the interval and another refuses to discuss the performance we saw together in case she upsets me! The very brave Tamara Rojo is bringing this Giselle to Liverpool in the Autumn and I can't wait!!! I say brave because the Liverpool audience is notoriously conservative and because Liverpool and Manchester are close together and most people do not go and see a production more than once in a short period of time. I was unable to get to the recent ROH triple bills so can't comment on them but I think the company is looking on wonderful form at the moment. Yanowsky is a very great artist who will be much missed but there is a heck of a lot of young talent coming through.
  6. I've seen advice that says to keep checking the website for returns. This worked a couple of years ago for me, last time the company performed Jewels, and I managed to get a return on the front row of the stalls!
  7. I suppose we are back to the age old issue of what a dancer may want to dance and what the dancer wants to dance. I was under the (probably mistaken) impression that she joined the RB to expand her repertoire beyond the classics she is known for. Certainly her own shows give the impression that she is interested in different dance styles. I think the role of Mary Vetsara is much coveted amongst dancers. I know many people who are not very keen on Mayerling for the same reasons that you have stated. I wouldn't say it was a favourite of mine either but I was totally bound up in the performance I saw with Edward Watson last time around. I haven't felt there was anything "evil" about Rudolf's character more that he suffers from the weight of expectation and being brought up in such a rigid society. For me that goes a long way to explaining his actions. For what it's worth I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Mayerling.
  8. The most exciting thing for me would have been seeing Edward Watson as Rudolf. I had the good fortune to see him at the last revival and he was truly exceptional. This time I am going to a convenient matinee (combining a few days in London for American in Paris (mainly to watch some favourite ex-BRB dancers) and Northern Ballet's awesome new Casanova. I will be seeing Thiago Soares' cast. If I had had the opportunity to choose a cast to see I would choose the dancer performing Rudolf rather than any of the ladies (although they are also important). I chose to see Soares this time because he got such wonderful reviews last time.
  9. On the whole, I think the more important character is Rudolf!
  10. The Slovak schedule has (to me) some interesting items on it. The new theatre is fab and Bratislava is a lovely but nicely compact city to wander around. If you are travelling from Europe, especially the UK, it may be cheaper to fly into Bratislava and get the train to Vienna. Several of my friends have done this recently.
  11. Ashton (London Festival Ballet - now ENB) MacMillan (both RB & BRB) Morricone/Gable (Northern Ballet - my favourite) Cranko (Scottish Ballet) Robert North (Scottish Ballet) Pastor (Scottish Ballet) Derek Deane (ENB - both "in the round" and proscenium) Nureyev Neumeier (RDB) Maillot (Geneva Ballet and Northern Ballet) Van Dantzig (?) Dutch National Ballet in late 1980s Royal New Zealand Ballet early 2000s - sorry can't remember choreographer
  12. The extra week this coming September at Sadler's Wells, which was announced ages ago, is apparently already sold out. Sadly I can't see that happening in the barn known as the Liverpool Empire but I expect the hoteliers will be rubbing their hands with glee as I am sure people who can't get tickets to the Wells will be travelling to Liverpool!
  13. I believe Scenes de Ballet was Ashton's Homage to Sleeping Beauty. I absolutely adore this work and wish we had more opportunity to see it. I think with Ashton he makes characters you end up caring deeply about even though the story may be silly and the characters not initially likeable. I adore Two Pigeons and have fortunately been able to see many memorable performances in recent years thanks to Birmingham Royal Ballet. I believe it is a piece about redemption in a way - the young girl realises how silly and flighty she has been and the young man realises that he behaved badly towards her by walking out. The final, reconciliation duet is incredibly beautiful and poignant and a masterpiece in how to make such a quiet and gently dance. I don't think I've ever seen a performance where I have not cried during this final section. There are several performances where I have sobbed out loud from the moment the young man has been thrown out of the encampment. These performances were by Chi Cao and Ambra Vallo (BRB) and last year by Alexander Campbell and Yuhui Choe (RB). One performance that will live with me forever occurred on a Saturday afternoon in Birmingham when danced by Robert Parker and Nao Sakuma. Not only was I sobbing out loud but so was everyone around me. My friends and I couldn't speak for ages afterwards we were all so overcome!
  14. ENB have announced the Autumn/Winter season today. This is the content of the email I received: Our 2017-18 Autumn/Winter season is revealed We're delighted to announce our new Autumn/Winter 2017-18 season. Highlights include: English National Ballet performs Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Song of the Earth and Frank Anderson's La Sylphide both for the first time, with performances on tour and at the London Coliseum. Roland Petit's Le Jeune Homme et la Mort returns with performances at the London Coliseum. The acclaimed Akram Khan's Giselle returns to Sadler's Wells in London and tours to Liverpool for the first time. Rudolf Nureyev's Romeo & Juliet makes a return to Bristol in its 40th anniversary year. The festive family favourite Nutcracker sees performances in Southampton and at the London Coliseum. Booking opens to our Friends this Friday 10 March at 10am, with general booking opening from 10am on Monday 13 March. I'm very excited that Akram Khan's Giselle is being performed in Liverpool and Song of the Earth/La Sylphide in Manchester. I feel a ticket buying binge will be starting very soon...
  15. I saw An Italian in Madrid (with Chacony and Tangent (Lawrence)) last night at The Lowry in Salford. I thought it was absolutely exquisite. I liked the melding of Kathak and contemporary for the Princess and thought it highlighted the cultural differences between the Princess and the Prince in their beautiful duet. I also very much enjoyed the other 2 pieces. Altogether it was a blissful evening.
  16. Good news! My friend and I are booked to see Giselle on the 11th and 12th of July. Anette is one of my absolute favourite Giselles.
  17. It certainly is Naomi! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  18. As far as I am aware people from many professions can be subjected to drug/alcohol tests.
  19. Don't know if it works outside the UK but you can now register with The Times and read 2 articles per week. I think Nick Allen is correct in that it is an educational issue. We've seen enough reports in the UK over the years about the effects on the body of, for example, long term use of steroids once the taker stops taking them. This message needs to be rammed home.
  20. It was! Perhaps it may not be so easy to get now, judging by this price on Amazon... https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nutcracker-Birmingham-Royal-Ballet-DVD/dp/B00005RHHD Never heard of this company but the prices seem more reasonable! http://www.alibris.co.uk/search/movies/upc/032031149199
  21. Birmingham Royal Ballet's version is magnificent. It was made by Sir Peter Wright, who also made the Royal Ballet's version.
  22. I saw three performances in Manchester (before Madison Keeler made her debut) and was blown away by the production! The scenario places the production in a camp of migrant workers who have lost their jobs in a nearby factory and who dance to entertain The Landlords. Albrecht is of the Landlord class; Hilarion is of the migrant class but seems to be some sort of wheeler dealer known to The Landlords. Act 2 is set in the derelict factory. When you read the scenario it is not far away from a traditional Giselle, apart from the setting. The setting is dark, there is a huge moving wall at the back that separates the migrants from The Landlords. The costumes are in earthy colours - simple dresses for the ladies that show of the swirling movements of the choreography beautifully. The men wear what almost look like salwar kameez. There are some great group dances in Act 1 and plenty of opportunity for Albrecht, Giselle and Hilarion to carve out their characters. There is a beautiful duet for Albrecht and Giselle. You don't really see Giselle's death after her mad scene. The group are swirling around her and as they move gradually off the stage you see Hilarion cradling her body. The Wilis are on point in Act 2, which is quite surreal and scary. At one point you see them telling Hilarion why he is being killed. The performances I saw were tremendous with all the company giving total commitment to the piece. It is not a traditional Giselle by any stretch of the imagination but it is visually stunning with a wonderful new score. I know people who absolutely loathed it and people like me who absolutely loved it.
  23. JMcN

    Miko Fogarty

    She didn't really set the world on fire at BRB although she was a nice dancer.
  • Create New...