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Everything posted by Mashinka

  1. The Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis has died at the age of ninety six. An iconic figure in his native Greece he fought with the partisans in WWII and was imprisoned in the 1960's for his opposition to the military junta. Perhaps he is most famous for his score for the film Zorba the Greek. The scene in which the two leading actors dance the sirtaki on the beach is for me one of the most memorable dance sequences on film, encapsulating the life affirming and healing qualities of dance. May he rest in peace.
  2. Mashinka

    Natalia Osipova

    Should add very difficult to fly to Russia at the moment due to the ban on flying across Belarus. All countries have different entry rules right now. The current stress of travelling makes you wonder if it's worth the bother.
  3. Mashinka

    Natalia Osipova

    With Covid raging out of control in Russia mainly due to low vaccine take up., she's right to stay put. Also if she went almost anywhere abroad right now she faces ten days of quarantine on return. He should show more understanding.
  4. Saw the opening programme on Tuesday. A dismal affair, I would have thought a more upbeat selection of works would have been more appropriate.
  5. I notice it was Holten, not Hubbe who delivered the killer blow. The former opera supremo in London who would have been aware of Scarlett's RB troubles. As someone else has pointed out, Danes as a rule are not subject to sexual hysteria and didn't Mr Hubbe himself experience problems with young dancers? Not sexual I hasten to add. It would be a double tragedy were Scarlett's ballets to die with him. I very much hope there is a chance of a couple of the best ones such as Asphodel Meadows and Symphonic Dances finding an appreciative audience elsewhere. His Hansel and Gretel was superb in my view though very much tailored to the acting skills of the original RB dancers.
  6. As someone who's been watching ballet for over 60 years I miss waists. Compare the figures of Fonteyn and Shearer to the dancers of today and you'll see what I mean. I wonder if they wore corsets off stage? I seem to remember nearly all British women doing so up until the 1960's. I'm afraid I find most female ballet bodies of today ugly in the extreme. If, as Volcanohunter points out, they had stamina and musicality I'm sure I could tolerate them, but far too many haven't. I doubt there is a dancer anywhere in the world to compare with Lynn Seymour. She had a body that would mean rejection today, but such artistry comes once in a generation. The thought that there may be gifted dancers out there discarded because they don't conform to the current fad for emaciation troubles me greatly.
  7. Domingo is currently fully employed in Europe, his most recent performance was in Florence.
  8. Nudity is viewed differently by different societies. I think English speaking people are less happy about it than some others. Continental Europe has a very different view. Like the time I was delighted to discover I had a huge top floor terrace in a hotel in Greece, less than thrilled to discover a naked man stretched out next door. In Britain that is indecent exposure and a criminal offence. We didn't stay long in a room where we were forced to keep both doors and curtains closed. I have occasionally seen nudity in dance, but usually fail to appreciate the choreographers point. I'm strictly in the same camp as Robert Helpmann when it comes to dance nudity.
  9. Some information about Montes here: http://www.roh.org.uk/people/erico-montes I believe he teaches and choreographs outside the company, perhaps he sees that as his future.
  10. Andrew Lloyd Webber has volunteered to test the vaccine being developed at Oxford University. Picture of him being injected on Facebook yesterday. As the owner of seven London theatres be must be feeling desperate, There is also a vaccine being developed at Imperial College in London. The hope is that one or the other will be ready next spring.
  11. One of my favourite cold war ballet books is The Bolshoi Ballet by Yuri Slonimsky (1960). In the chapter Our Point of View he states the following. "the absence of heroes in capitalist society has become an almost insurmountable obstacle on the path of choreographic development. Many French, British and American ballets of today simply do without a hero, The characters of such ballets are deprived of moral ideals since the authors cannot find any in the morals of the ruling classes." That's telling us!
  12. What is this lady's actual link to the ballet world? A google search brought up nothing.
  13. I think she's right. As an asthmatic I once had to seek emergency treatment in Spain after catching a mere cold, as a consequence I'm obsessive about hand washing but it's never prevented me from catching things. If someone coughs or sneezes close to you, particularly if they don't put a hand in front their face, you will catch all manner of things. Masks are definitely the way to go.
  14. Moe than forty thousand people in Britain have died of the virus, what do you expect the media to do? Brush the story under the carpet? There is no stigma attached to illness. In the beginning it was bad luck if you caught it, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now it can be avoided by social distancing and wearing PPE - to catch it now is an own goal. Frankly right now I'm more concerned about the consequences of the national debt and mass unemployment than when or even if I can watch ballet again.
  15. Although I would swap MacMillan's R&J for Ashton's version any day, I have to say that the present crop of RB dancers seem to have resuscitated the old warhorse. I am however bitterly disappointed that the performance by Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales wasn't recorded for posterity. In my opinion it was the best interpretation of the ballet that I've seen in decades and as Ms Hayward actually won the Critic's Circle award for 2019 for her Juliet I'm clearly not the only one to have been awestruck by her.
  16. There is no explanation given. I have asked a ballet researcher who knew a former company member and it seems a powerful personality in the ballet world opposed the grant. After all the years that have passed it would be difficult to prove if that is true or not, but what I was told left a very bad taste.
  17. Ballet in the Blitz: The Story of a Ballet Company by Mona Inglesby with Kay Hunter. Published in 2008 by Groundnut Publishing. ISBN No.978-0-9527141-7-0 Apart from oblique references to the International Ballet, I knew little about it before reading this book, Quite a few famous names among former teachers and dancers, including Moira Shearer and Maurice Bejart. Of great significance was Ms Inglesby's close collaboration with Nikolai Sergeyev, in fact it was she who passed his notations on to Harvard. That such a successful company was refused even a modest request for public funds remains inexplicable
  18. Two of London's landmark buildings, the Royal Albert Hall and the south bank Globe were in serious risk of closure so the money came just in time, the weekend before theatres throughout the country staged a demonstration by way of decking the facades with ribbons. The last great disaster to hit was the second world war and in Britain at that time there was a surge of artistic activity in the ballet world despite conscription taking out a generation of male dancers. Having done a lot of reading during lockdown I can't help thinking that if someone of the calibre of Mona Inglesby was around today, a way would be found to get those dancers stuck at home onto some sort of stage. Theatres bombed? No problem. Dance in cinemas, dance in factories, dance in holiday camps. There has to be a way to get people back on a stage. No danger in dancing a solo. Or a pas de deux with a co-habiting partner. A challenge for clever choreographers to keep dancers apart? Open air seems the solution, the restrictions on theatres opening on the continent wouldn't tempt me into a theatre, only single tickets sold, no interval, no refreshments, no toilets and an orderly departure strictly supervised by ushers. Then there is the question how much will this cost? Prices will have to surge to make up the loss from all the empty seats. Not sure audiences will embrace that particular aspect of 'new normal'.
  19. Right now money to keep venues open is the priority. We are told there is no possibility of theatres opening this year. However with outdoor activities being approved of I'm surprised no one has shown any initiative to stage outside performances. Not ideal of course but with stewards to maintain social distancing it is actually a possibility. Might even bring in the so badly needed fresh audiences.
  20. We may have to wait for a viable vaccine before theatres re-open, 6-18 months is the general opinion.
  21. The Opera House has now notified patrons that the entire season is now cancelled.
  22. Can't speak for middle America but they definitely noticed in Britain. Quite a lot of detail on this libel case on line, but here are the bare bones. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberace_v_Daily_Mirror
  23. Asking to keep ticket money is one thing but not sure that in the current circumstances it's wise for some patrons to do so. One of the regulars I know is likely to find himself unemployed after all this and perhaps the world in the aftermath is a more frightening prospect than the actual virus.
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