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Rest in Peace
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  1. Re; New York City Ballet on the Seine; Millepied seems to be unaware that Balanchine came to Paris to rehearse his own ballets as did Robbins. And there are still people around, at the school in particular, who would have worked, albeit briefly, with Balanchine himself which I don't think Millepied can claim. certainly I remember the young Elisabeth Platel dancing in the Ravel programmes staged in Paris after the Ravel Festival.
  2. You certainly used to be able to fire dancers. After the annual examination, once the public had departed, dancers who had failed to attend class, put on weight, generally failed to come up to the expected standard, appeared before the jury which was asked whether the dancer in question should remain a member of the company or be dismissed. No marking, just yes or no. If the majority voted yes, then the next question was whether it should be at the same rank or a lower. And it's worth bearing in mind that the management, that is to say the artistic director and the ballet staff, have a considerable input into making up the final total of marks which decide whether a dancer should be promoted. Doesn't matter how well he or she performs on the day if they've not worked properly since the last concours the total will be marked down. As to the "occidental" remark; Former Etoile Charles Jude is half Vietnamese, Kadar Belarbi now running the company in Toulouse is Berber and soloists Eric Vu An and Jean Marie Didiere were both dark skinned. Don't know what the company is like now but in the past it wasn't a problem.
  3. Yes, if you start off as a beauty and still exercise most days!
  4. It will be shown on the BBC some time during December it seems.
  5. The first post-war production of Sleeping Beauty for the Sadler's Wells/Royal Ballet was by de Valois and based on the version Sergeyev mounted in 1939. Then in 1968 came Peter Wright's Victorian Gothic production. That was superseded in 1973 with a production by Kenneth MacMillan which wasn't much liked. In 1977 Norman Morrice asked de Valois to mount yet another production with designs by David Walker - this is the one Ashton Fan refers to with Merle Park as Aurora and David Wall as Florimund. In 1994 came Anthony Dowell's production with designs by Maria Bjornsen, which premiered in Washington, Then finally Monica Mason's production which is still being given. Both Ashton and MacMillan contributed choreography to the various productions and the current version has a Garland dance by Christopher Wheeldon. But, as I said, Ashton was never asked to produce the ballet.
  6. I'm curious Ashton Fan as to which productions you refer to. There was one by Kenneth MacMillan which didn't last long, but the Dowell production seemed to be with us for an eternity. Can it be that you are thinking of Peter Wright's Victorian Gothic version? But he (Wright) was never a director of the company at Covent Garden, Ashton sadly was never responsible for a production of Beauty, although I know he would have welcomed the opportunity.
  7. Helene, with the greatest respect, I'd disagree with your last comment. It's all there in the choreography for Aurora, but it's not "underlined" as it is with say, Juliet or Manon and certainly not Swan Lake where the ballerina is essentially playing two different characters.
  8. I do live in London, I've watched her since she joined the company and it's been wonderful seeing her grow and mature into the lovely ballerina she is now. I should add that she's as nice off stage as she is on, and if ABT tries to poach her, war will break out between ABT management and Nela's British fans. Kevin MacKenzie beware!
  9. Amy, I'm referring to Nikya's variation in the Shades scene. The other ballerinas chose to do the standard Soviet version.
  10. Just one point about the Vikharev reconstruction in which I saw several casts; to the very best of my recollection Daria Pavlenko did perform the notated version of the Nikiya variation. The others, and as Amy says the Shades, were all in the familiar Soviet staging as I remember.
  11. According to John Warrack's biography of Tchaikovsky the meaning of the fairy names are: Candite (a kind of Phlox symbolising Beauty in the Language of Flowers); Fleur de Farine a kind of Convolulus (symbolising Grace in the Language of Flowers), Miettes qui Tombe - as Amy says; Canari qui Chante, the gift of Eloquence; Violante, the gift of Energy. The Lilac Fairy brings Wisdom; Warrack says placing a child's cradle under lilacs ensures this, according to Russian custom.
  12. Aeternum is not being given because the set can't be hung in the theatre. It's very spectacular (won an award) but heavy and I believe it was felt that the ballet would not be seen to best effect without it.
  13. Don't think duplication like this has happened for a good many years, not since the company opted for fixed triple bills. Certainly in the early seventies various combinations of one-act works used to be programmed, so that with luck you could opt for an evening which consisted of all your favourites.
  14. Then should the women in the Royal Danish Ballet go back to turning on half point in Bournonville ballets, which they did when I first saw the company?
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