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Everything posted by JMcN

  1. Congratulations to Kizzy Matiakis on her her promotion. Fantastic news!
  2. I hope Mr Bigonzetti recovers well from his serious back problem that has caused his withdrawal from the job.
  3. As far as I am aware, press tickets can be allocated to accredited organisations (and hence their reviewers) in the UK. Having spent a fair amount of time reading reviews I would have to say that most of the reviews seem remarkably unbiased. Having said that, reviewers are also human beings and any review is the personal opinion of its writer. I am a fan and I tend to buy tickets for things I think I will enjoy (who wants to pay for something that they know they will dislike?). People could therefore infer that I am biased because of my positive reactions. I don't write reviews, I may post my thoughts but I would not consider myself "a reviewer". In my opinion there is definitely a need for professional critics (whether I agree with them or not).
  4. She was my first, and never forgotten Sylph in 1985, with Peter Schaufuss as her James. I only saw her do Sylph and Tatiana in Onegin a couple of years later but she was absolutely lustrous and I feel privileged to have seen her.
  5. Just to point out that Celine Gittens dances for Birmingham Royal Ballet - not ENB. And, of course, the wonderful Tyrone Singleton is a principal at BRB.
  6. In my experience as a ballet-watcher, the height of a dancer can make the choreography look completely different. I think it is good to see dancers of all heights! Vive la difference!
  7. Has Hubbe done a new production of Don Q? I have fond memories of seeing them in a performance of Alicia Alonso's production a few years ago (with Anette Delgado and Joel Carreno guesting as Kitri and Basilio).
  8. Although I only saw Ospiova/McRae at the cinema, my preference stylistically was very much for the Hayward/Hay cast. Francesca Hayward is really very special indeed and her performance was so beautiful it moved me to tears.
  9. I've seen: (my first) - Peter Darrell's for Scottish Ballet where the white act is Siegfried's opium induced dream (I was totally bored by it but, if it was ever staged again would go to see it in case my opinion has changed). Natalia Makarova's for London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) - loved it. Raisa Strukhova's for ENB - loathed it. Derek Dean's proscenium version for ENB - liked it. Robert de Warren's for Northern Ballet - liked it. Christopher Gable/?/Michael Pink's for Northern Ballet - loved it. David Nixon's for Northern Ballet - love, love, love it - very different. (Currently touring the UK again) Matthew Bourne's production - love it. Bolshoi Swan Lake in late 1980s - bored rigid - just a technical exercise and no emotion. Anthony Dowell's for Royal Ballet - loathed it. I saw it in 1989 and have never had any desire to see it again. And the granddaddy of them all - Sir Peter Wright's for Birmingham Royal Ballet - absolutely love it - from the first time I saw it to date. And for something completely different ... Australian Dance Theatre's Bird Brain was terrific! Looking forward to seeing ... David Dawson's new production for Scottish Ballet
  10. Northern Ballet (UK) toured Maillot's R&J last Spring and will be doing some upcoming dates in the Autumn. The set looks deceptively simple but I suspect it is devilish difficult to assemble and disassemble, particularly when the stages that NB tour to are all different sizes!
  11. I agree with Katherine that this thread is not in the most appropriate of places! Dance Europe magazine has just posted on FB: "Johan Kobborg and Opera National Bucharest Great news coming from Bucharest - it transpires that a new position of artistic director of the ballet company is to be created and that Johan Kobborg will be given the power to direct the ballet company of Opera National Bucharest." https://www.facebook.com/DanceEurope/?fref=ts
  12. The outdoor scenes were shot in Liverpool, pretending to be New York! http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/florence-foster-jenkins-filming-transforms-11021794
  13. 1. Onegin: The performance I saw at the London Coliseum on 26 May 1984 - London Festival Ballet (now ENB) with Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun guesting - is what converted me to watching ballet. 2. Romeo and Juliet: Sir Frederick Ashton, as performed by London Festival Ballet 3. The Dream: Sir Frederick Ashton and still perfection in my eyes 4. Carmen: Roland Petit - a Saturday afternoon at the London Coliseum with London Festival Ballet and guest starring Dominique Khalfouni and Denis Ganio. That is the only time I have seen this ballet and it is still seared on my mind. 5. La Sylphide: Peter Schaufuss production for London Festival Ballet. The first performance I saw, in August 1985, was danced by Eva Evdokimova and Peter Schaufuss and is another performance that is seared into my mind. With this performance and his TV series Dancer, Peter Schaufuss gave me my love of the Bournonville style that abides to this day. Just looking at my list, I started my ballet watching with LFB, now known as English National Ballet but then, for me, some time in the early 1990s they went into a doldrums which they have started to come out of under the directorship of Tamara Rojo. I now follow Birmingham Royal Ballet and Northern Ballet and do see the other British-based ballet companies (RB, ENB and SB) when I can, as well as other visiting companies. I still class Onegin as my favourite ballet and I have seen a number of other companies performing it over the years.
  14. Well the 2015/16 season is nearing its end. We are now well into the run of Romeo and Juliet. The Lang work has been titled Wink and is due to be premiered on midscale North in May. On Saturday afternoon at The Lowry (in Salford) Yaoqian Shang made her debut as Juliet with William Bracewell making his second appearance as Romeo (he had debuted with Delia Matthews on Thursday afternoon, which sadly I could not get to). I have to say that it was one of the most remarkable performances I have EVER seen of this production. It really was a very, very special afternoon. I had a lump in my throat from the moment they met in the ballroom, was in tears at the end of the balcony scene and sobbing out loud by the end! These two young dancers were thought to be destined as stars - they have well and truly arrived!!
  15. Re Men Y Men and the Giselle motif. Wayne Eagling created this work for ENB as a starter for performances of Mary Skeaping's beautiful production of Giselle to give the men something to do! I enjoyed reading your reports from Tokyo.
  16. The Akram Khan production of Giselle premieres in Manchester in September. It is already selling well there. I think this is partly because of Khan's reputation and partly because it is a co-commission with the Manchester International Festival, which attracts an audience in its own right. As a matter of interest, last time I saw the Skeaping Giselle in Liverpool and Manchester the audiences were poor to say the least. This was a tragedy because it is a beautiful production and we saw some terrific performances.
  17. Congratulations to Gudrun Bojesen on the birth of her son. I too hope she will be teaching at the RDBS.
  18. Yes, lucky you Syrene! I have loved T&V since the first time I saw it nearly 30 Years ago although I have only ever seen SWRB/BRB do it. I always sit in the front stalls (parquet) and that has never detracted from my enjoyment of Ashton, Balanchine, Petipa etc. I do hope you grow to enjoy it more. I love La Sylphide too.
  19. The Royal Ballet and Nowness have issued a short film featuring Steven McRae. It is part of a series: https://www.nowness.com/series/portrait-of-a-dancer/steven-mcrae-beyond-the-royal-ballet-london
  20. Here are the details about the cinema broadcast. There is a facility to search for cinemas near you. I do hope you can get to see it.
  21. The next live cinema broadcast from the Royal Ballet is this coming Tuesday in the UK. It is of the Ashton double bill Rhapsody/Two Pigeons. The leads in Rhapsody are Osipova and McRae and in Two Pigeons Cuthbertson and Muntagirov. I saw Rhapsody for the first time on Saturday afternoon and it is just breathtakingly beautiful; even in such an abstract work Ashton brings emotion to the fore in the duet. I saw rising stars Francesca Hayward and James Hay and I had a big lump in my throat at the end of the duet, so beautiful was their portrayal. Two Pigeons is a totally silly story but Sir Frederick Ashton creates characters that you care about. It does have a happy ending (this is not a spoiler) but the final reconciliation duet is so full of emotion that you cannot help but be moved to tears. On Saturday afternoon I was privileged to watch Yuhui Choe and Alexander Campbell. I sobbed throughout the final section, and judging by the sniffles around me so did a lot of the audience!
  22. Whoops, I've just posted the link in a thread I found called "Ballet in Iran".
  23. I came across this article via Facebook: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/the-illegal-underground-ballerinas-of-iran?utm_source=broadlytwitterus
  24. I watched the documentary last night on catch-up and enjoyed it very much. If something is being made for TV, it will always be aimed towards a mass audience and will possibly seem "dumbed down" for keen ballet-watchers.
  25. Just be thankful you don't come to theatres in the UK that belong to a particular group (although they are expanding into the US) - before the start and during the intervals they have ushers going up and down the aisles with trays of all sorts of drinks to buy. Many theatres now also offer plastic cups in the bar so you can take your drink inside. I personally think it is disgraceful and dangerous (an elderly friend once slipped on a spilt drink in Sadler's Wells and only stayed upright because another friend caught her).
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