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About mjbelkin

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Avid balletgoer
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  1. I'd always assumed that the black swans in the final act were a sign of Seigfried's betrayal.
  2. Thanks for the heads up - it shall be on my Christmas present wish list.
  3. I saw this at the cinema when it first came out - we're lucky enough to have an arts cinema near us - and its a really good, understated film. Its really touching when Pierrepoint says that he likes to treat them as people once the deed is done.
  4. Can I add The Italian Job and The Ladykillers to the list of pointless remakes - the originals are such classics.
  5. I think that Prokofiev's score for Cinderella is a lot harsher, and I'm no fan of the Royal Ballet's production with male dancers playing the ugly sisters. I found the recording by POB with Sylvie Guillem was a better production, but still not one I'd go to see often.
  6. It saddens me to see that a number of people find Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet boring - I get so absorbed in what's happening, I can't watch it without ending up in tears. I love everything about it, from the beautiful score by Prokofiev, the wonderful fight scenes and set pieces, the humour in Mercutio's dancing, and the beautiful pas de deux. And the way Juliet's dancing matures from the innocent child at the beginning to a woman facing the biggest decision in her life at the end, when she sits motionless on the bed. I love it, and I'm not ashamed to say so.
  7. Deborah Bull, former principal with the Royal Ballet, now artistic director of ROH2 is one of the most articulate dancers I've heard. She also has the rather impressive accolade of winning a debate at the Oxford University Union Debate on why the arts in the UK should receive funding.
  8. I'm now reading "A History of the World in 6 Glasses" by Tom Standage. Its quite an interesting take on world history, starting off with beer in the neolithic, then moving on to how wine became important in the classical period. I'm now on the section on spirits, and the part rum played in the slave trade. Very interesting. My only criticism so far is the use of BCE/CE for dating rather than the traditional BC/AD dating scheme.
  9. Me too, and I'm usually a huge fan of MacMillan's ballets - his Romeo and Juliet, and Manon usually have me in tears by the end. I think that Mayerling is trying to tell too convoluted a story, with too many people having too many affairs, and what is it with the opera singer in the middle?
  10. Hi all, I saw the Bolshoi's production of La Bayadere at the Coliseum, and although far from an expert in these things, I thought I'd let you know how I found the production. To start with, this is another ballet that has been 'revived' from its original staging, with costume and set designs inspired by the original 1877 designs. Now while I don't have a problem with reconstructions, there was at least one dance/character that should not have been revived in the old style - a group of 6 children wearing black tights and long black gloves, dancing in a very non-pc style. Drop the gloves and t
  11. Thanks for that I saw Mukhamedov dance it when the Bolshoi first toured the UK in the '80s, and now I want to see Carlos Acosta - he looks like he has the same fight in him
  12. I think when I finish reading it, I shall be heading towards something a bit lighter.
  13. I'm currently reading "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins - fascinating.
  14. Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite ballets - I love the crowd scenes, I love the sword fights, I love the ensemble dances. Can you tell I'm a fan of it? And the part in Act 3 where Juliet just sits motionless on the bed while the music roars around her - the stillness is so expressive.
  15. I saw Miss Guillem in every role she essayed with the Royal Ballet and IMHO she never met the interpretative standards met by her predecessors and often distorted the choreography. Then we should just agree to disagree, after all, the world would be a pretty dull place if we all liked the same thing
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