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  1. Before each Prom at the Royal Albert Hall last summer, they played a very loud cacophony of ringing phones before the announcement to remember to turn them off. It was a big shock!
  2. Golly, there are dancers popping up out of nowhere! - I just checked the list and Cindy Jourdain is down as an Artist, Christina Salerno is a First Artist and now Anton Pankevitch! He danced in Nut but I had assumed he was here just for that. I don't know when the others joined but I presume it is very recently.
  3. Yes, Becks is David and Posh is Victoria Beckham. Tabloid newspapers and things like "Hello" are big here so that is why the fact that they were at the ballet was more important than the ballet itself. It is a strange world! (Or maybe it is just strange here - I am not sure!) I don't think ROH is elitist. It is only expensive if you sit in the expensive seats! People don't really dress up anymore (I mean obviously dress up - they could all be in outrageously expensive jeans or something) and that has changed from a couple of years ago when it was a lot dressier I think. But the writer painted a funny picture of the audience! I suppose quite accurate though. Sadler's Wells has a much younger and trendier audience. I am glad that the writer seemed to appreciate that ballet is really hard work and that he thought the end product was perfect. But I think people are more likely to go and watch Becks in a football match as a consequence of him going to the ballet, than going to the ballet themselves.
  4. I am getting behind on my reviews! I saw the second performance too (Thursday) - and was at the PPT. Monica Mason was a fascinating speaker and I hope she felt supported by the huge amount of applause she received. I remember her talking about the need for a small and compact dancer for Scenes, but I thought she meant the principal man as well as the girl. She said it was because of the type of movement required by the choreography - quick and precise - so I assume longer legs means it takes longer to complete the movement. That is what I understood from what she said. I was interested when she talked about the choice of works to be danced too. The person who asked the question seemed a bit critical that we only had one new work last season (Tryst) but Monica calmly explained the situation with the opera and the need for balance with revivals and new works. She said the dancers want to be here because of the Ashton and Macmillan works in our heritage so the company has a duty to dance them. I felt that she was really considerate of the dancers wishes as well as the audience - she wanted the dancers to have good things to dance. She said she went to a planning meeting not long after she became director, and the opera had a big stack of paper as their planning and she has a single sheet of paper! So she felt pressured to come up with plans further in advance, I think she said she has sketchy plans until 2005. She talked about the need for adequate rehearsal time for each type of ballet, for example a new work would need an extra orchestra rehearsal, she said how many rehearsals each type needed, so many piano, so many orchestra and a general but I can't remember numbers I am afraid. I too wish I had taken notes - it was a very informative talk. I have to say too that Monica is absolutely beautiful. The performance was great. I still am fascinated by Scenes de Ballet and wished that I had seen it from higher in the theatre this time. I am pleased it is back in one of the other triple bills later in the season - the one with the new Bintley, so I must make sure I have a seat with a different view for that. There were so many little things in the choreography that made me think, "I must remember that" but I didn't write them down and so have forgotten them now. It is so intricate, there is so much to look at. Winter Dreams is lovely but seeing it twice in a few days is probably a bad plan - this time I thought it was too long, I got very fidgety. Sinfonietta is so exciting and joyful, I love it. Has there been another cast yet? As wonderful as the cast I have seen is, I would love to see some of the other dancers get a go. It looks such fun, but completely exhausting. Bennet Gartside really stood out, he had such a clarity in his movements. And Ricardo Cervera was again the one to watch - he is so involved in whatever he is doing. The finale is great, it looks like there are a lot of (intended) near misses as the dancers dart around the stage! I don't have another ticket for this bill. I am sad to say this but if Winter Dreams was the last ballet I would probably go again and leave before it began. I really want to see Scenes and Sinfonietta again and am slightly mollified with the knowledge that I will see Scenes in another bill, but not Sinfonietta, and I am quite sorry about that. This term I am having a hard time reconciling the classes I need to go to, with the performances I want to see. I have to miss one to do the other. Because I went to the opening night of this bill, I missed learning a dance myself. On the other hand I do feel terribly lucky to be able to see such great ballets danced by such great dancers, practically whenever I like. It's a happy time.
  5. Alymer, that is interesting about the two short men and two tall men in Scenes de Ballet. I am not sure there are very many tall men in the company at the moment though - they all seem to be about 5'10" except for Darcey and Sylvie's partners. I read the programme notes last night and it said the four men represent the seasons and the twelve women represent the months - fascinating juxtaposition having the natural world shown in this way next to the mathematical inspiration of Euclid. And the months are arbitrary anyway, I think? They don't have four seasons everywhere either. (Out of my depth here! )
  6. I am not saying that as I haven't seen it! And I am not American either. I just read the review and thought it was relevant. The ballet was not well received here though. I think the critics thought it too American to appeal to British tastes.:confused:
  7. I thought this excerpt from a review of PNB's Silver Lining, from the Autumn 2002 Dance Now, mght be interesting/relevant here. "The temptation for ballet - especially American ballet - to borrow from Broadway is considerable. At first sight that whole bitter-sweet Manhattan thing looks so easy. The orchestra strikes up, the skyscraper backdrop illuminates, and there are the cast, all sass and knife-sharp pleats. And, for the doubters, those who wonder if the lemon-peel in that particular cocktail might just have been sucked dry, there is the validating example of Balanchine. The fact is, however, that this material lends itself best to classical ballet when it is stripped to the raw. Balanchine, for all that he refused to draw a line between ballet and more demotic styles, was well aware of this. Who Cares?, his 1970 setting of a Gershwin song-cycle, was first performed (to rapturous reviews) on a bare stage to a single piano. The trap into which productions like Silver Lining fall is that they succumb to a kind of cross-disciplinary envy. Avid for the glamorous refulgence of Broadway, but locked at the same time into ballet's instinctive puritanism, they shake down into a mutant form which plays to the strengths of neither."
  8. Oh my goodness, what a GREAT evening! I was enthralled from start to finish. Casting was the same as the rehearsal Sylvia posted. Scenes de Ballet is beautiful. When it started it made me hold my breath, it was a lovely moment. The dancing is so quick and neat, I loved the regimented feel and the definite positions. The boys' costumes were nice, lilac tights and black velvet tunic with geometric shapes. But I bet they got very hot! The girls were in pale blue tutus and bizarre little black hats - and all the pearls were a bit odd! Alina Cojocaru wore a yellow tutu and was as aparkling and happy as ever, and Johan Kobborg looked deservedly pleased with his tours en l'air. I really need to see this again - maybe there is a video of it? Winter Dreams was wonderful. It was so emotional - the characters were so vividly portrayed you couldn't help but feel their sorrow and pain. And of course I was incredibly excited to see Anthony Dowell.... I really liked Sinfonietta. I had been afraid it would be dull, but it was really lively! Now I can see why my ballet teacher insists I take a contemporary class too - the whole thing was just like what I do in that class - there were loads of movements and stuff I recognised - it was great! The speed and the jumps - I loved it. I will have renewed interest in my class now. Everyone was right when they said it was a piece for the boys, but it was great to see Marianela Nunez and Zenaida Yanowsky in it. The boys were superb, they had such energy. I liked Martin Harvey and Bennet Gartside dancing together, and of course Ricardo Cervera shone all the way through - he is such a performer, you always feel that he really wants to be there and everything he does is the best he can do - nothing is done by halves! I liked the costumes too - pale greys and blues and browns - although the skin-toned one was slightly unnerving! After all those Nutcrackers it was good to see the dancers in this, being kind of natural and looking like themselves. I can't wait to go again. This triple bill is unmissable I think - if you don't have a ticket, get one quick! I am off to read the programme notes...
  9. Ricardo is definitely charming. A candidate for Fancy Free perhaps?;) Thanks Sylvia. Castings look great - aren't we lucky!
  10. How exciting Sylvia! Do name some names - who was coaching, and who danced? I am very excited about Monday now, it sounds like an interesting conbination of ballets. And it feels like I haven't been to ROH for ages!
  11. Thank you everyone for your tidbits about the ballets - it sounds like it is a good bill. I am going twice, but sadly I am sitting in the same seat! So I won't get to experience the "all angles" thing of Scenes de Ballet. Mr Johnson, by "workmanlike" do you mean that it is dull? I don't live in London either, I sometimes think it is a good job I don't or I would go to ROH every day. Not that it would be a bad thing - actually I can't think of anything I would like more!
  12. I'm feeling left out because of all the discussions about POB - I am sure there must be some others who see RB! Then everyone won't have to just read about me talking about my favourite dancers all the time.;) So... anyone going to the Triple Bill which opens next week? It is Winter Dreams, Sinfonietta and Scenes de Ballet. I am very excited about seeing Anthony Dowell in Winter Dreams... and dying to know who is in Sinfonietta (and wondering why it is a big secret!). Is there anyone who has seen it and can tell us what to expect? I haven't seen any Kylian at all. Scenes de Ballet looks interesting from the snippet of rehearsal I saw on the screen in the ROH foyer.
  13. I have to say that as a teenager I turned down an offer of seeing Fille because on the flyer it was described as "pantomime". Pantomime just wasn't cool enough for me, so I said no... what a mistake, both on my part and that of the people who marketed the ballet.
  14. I found this on the BBC site too, it explains the significance of the Honours in general - helpful if you are not British! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2616057.stm
  15. Isn't it great news! This is from the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/a...rts/2616063.stm "French dancer Sylvie Guillem, described as the world's most feted ballerina, is made an honorary CBE, 13 years after she joined the Royal Ballet as its principal guest artist. The 37-year-old once said: "I just know that when I go on stage, I give everything I have, not only my legs, not only my feet, not only my body. I try to tell a story. Sometimes I'm able to cry because I feel like it. Sometimes I'm able to love because I feel like it." Her award partners the CBE given to Jonathan Cope, principal dancer at the Royal Ballet for 16 years. His repertory includes Siegfried, Romeo, Florimund and many others. He also created the Illusionist in Sawdust and Tinsel." The Queen must have enjoyed the Jubilee gala after all!;)
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