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Napoli to ABT?

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[Note from Alexandra: I moved these posts from the RDB forum. Joe's post was made in response to an RDB press release that I posted there announcing that a new production of "Napoli" by Tim Rushton (a rechoreographed, updated version) would be presented at the 2005 Bournonville Festival.]

I hope this is NOT the Napoli that ABT is planning to produce w/RDB's F Anderssen.


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I'd certainly look forward to an Ashton "Sylvia" -- what a wonderful way to celebrate THAT birthday!

Tim Rushton was a member of the RDB for awhile (and quite good in small Bournonville mime roles, as I remember from the 1992 festival). He now has his own dance company and is more modern dance than ballet these days, I'm told. He completely redid "Napoli" last spring, with his own company. As I posted with the initial press release, this isn't in place of the Bournonville version, but an addition. I would doubt if that's the production ABT is considering. The current production of "Napoli" (which I saw in 2000 and reviewed for Dance Magazine then) is not the production from 1992. It will be shown in Washington in January.

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I'm sad to say I didn't see Ashton's three act Sylvia. I did however see the truncated version which was given just 12 performances in the 67/68 season. It was essentially Acts I and III run together in a single act and if this is the version the Royal Ballet is proposing, then it's a very poor tribute.

Most of the narrative is missing and what little logic the story had has gone. It wasn't well received at the time and I was told by a friend (now dead) who was close to Ashton at the time, that Sir Frederick was not at all happy with it.

The three act version was given a few years earlier by the touring section of the Royal Ballet and was certainly notated (at least in part) at that time. Among those who danced the leading roles in that revival were Doreen Wells and Christopher Gable and Melissa Hayden partnered by Flemming Flint. How I wish I'd seen it.

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