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2015 US Tour


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There is a fourth Puck Michael Stojko. Of the four potential Pucks. Zucchetti, in my opinion, is all technique and little else he tends to skip the little bits of mime that are physically incorporated into the dance about mowing apes and so on, or rather he does not make sure that they register. He does not draw a character in the way that the other three do He has been off injured and so unable to dance his performances in Fille. .It would have been interesting to see if he reduced Colas to technical display or whether he managed to create a character.

Paul Kay is the company's best Ashton dancer in the roles created by Alexander Grant but he is also good as Puck. Stojko is good and so is Hay. Kay, Hay and Stojko get the balance right and dance the character rather than merely reproducing the steps and displaying their technique.

Bottom will be either Jonathan Howells or Bennet Gartside.

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I imagine that the official version will be that they are bringing Carousel pas de deux because it is the last choreography that MacMillan created and its inclusion means that both programmes contain works by the company's two greatest choreographers.But the choice of this piece and the Beau Gosse solo may not be entirely unconnected with the fact that they were both recently performed at an Opera House gala. So it cuts down on rehearsal time which is probably at a premium at present.The revised Age of Anxiety programme will give you even more opportunity to see a lot of the company than the original programme would have done

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Like MacMillan with his "holy palmer's kiss" in Romeo and Juliet Ashton introduced at least one direct and one indirect reference to the spoken Shakespeare text In his ballet the Dream. The direct reference is to Puck's boast about putting a circle about the earth the indirect reference is to Puck's ability to transform himself. There is a short sequence and I am trying to remember precisely where. I think it is before Puck is sent to fetch the flower Love in Idleness when Puck is downstage and moves like an ape dancing. It is not always clear. It very much depends on the dancer. Wayne Sleep did not make much of it, too involved in showing off his technique,Brian Bertcher made it very clear.

I imagine that even Ashton was stumped when it came to portraying Puck's boast about his ability to transform himself. How do you impersonate a joint stool? So he settled for something that would do just as well and would be picked up by those who knew their Shakespeare or at least knew A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest. Caliban describes the activities of the spirits on the island on which the action of the Tempest takes place and says "...Sometimes like Apes that mow and chatter at me And after bite me..." Not quite as funny as impersonating a joint stool "then slip I from her bum and down topples she." but in the same area of supernatural activity.

Well Zucchetti does not make much of this section of the choreography as Stojko and Kay certainly do. It's another one of those areas where Ashton puts in detail that builds the character for the audience but which a dancer who approaches ballet performances as being simply about technique will tend to gloss over as not being that important. I suspect that Hay will fall into the choreographic detail style of performer but on the basis of the single that I saw him in I can not say with absolute certainty.

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Isn't this the bit in the ballet when Puck comes back with the magic flower and Oberon is explaining how it works? I've always assumed it was a dance version of:

The next thing then she waking looks upon,

Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,

On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,

She shall pursue it with the soul of love

But I agree some Pucks do the monkey/ape bit with more conviction than others!

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Did the Kennedy Center in DC ever explain why the originally-announced mixed bill (which included the complete Wheeldon AETERNUM) was ditched to add more DON Qs (which we can enjoy on DVD, so not a novelty to fans)? This is the first time that the RB comes to DC that I will not be attending. Furthermore, the NYC offerings are not compelling enough to warrant spending $ on travel. At least it will balance-off my expenditures on ABT, NYCB and NYTB. :)

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Thanks, Alymer. But that still doesn't explain why the entire concept of a mixed bill was scrapped in favor of additional DON Qs. So many nice single-act Ashtons, DeValois, Nijinskas and MacMillans in the RB's rep - many requiring simple set and costumes - and all that they could come up with was adding a couple of DON Qs?!

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I suspect that the choice of tour repertory at each theatre is, on the company's part, a mixture of unshakable faith in Acosta's Don Q, an almost obsessive drive to renew the company's repertory, the need to cover the cost of the tour and lack of rehearsal time to prepare anything else .Perhaps the management of the Kennedy Centre said that they wanted Don Q or said that they did not think that a mixed bill would shift enough tickets. The programme alteration is just as likely to have been initiated by the theatre as by the company.

In 2013 Kevin O'Hare gave an interview to Sarah Crompton of the Daily Telegraph in connection with the 2013-2014 season in which he said that it would be fantastic if by 2020 every full length ballet that the company presented was "new in the last ten years" .In the 2013-2014 season the only Ashton works we got were Rhapsody and the Dream.Rhapsody was probably programmed more because it was planned to take it on the Moscow tour in 2014 than any great enthusiasm for Ashton's choreography on O'Hare's part. The Dream , in hindsight, seems to have been revived and cast with the US tour in mind. Rhapsody was memorable for a stunning debut by James Hay and Francesca Hayward the Dream was memorable for all the wrong reasons. I think it is kindest to say that casting Matthew Golding as Oberon did him no favours at all .Casting him with Osipova made little sense as it put two dancers together neither of whom had any prior involvement with the work. If it was intended to show them off and create an instant partnership then it failed on both counts. Osipova would have benefited from a more experienced Oberon who was actually suited to the role.It seemed to me that casting Golding was an object lesson in how difficult the role of Oberon is, as if we needed that, and drew attention to what Golding could not do, rather than what he could.It is perhaps not the best way to introduce a newly acquired principal dancer to an audience by showing him off in a work to which he is unsuited particularly if it is one that has been regularly revived with fine casts since its premier.

I mentioned lack of rehearsal time as a factor in the programming decisions.The company must have lavished hours of rehearsal time on the new Shechter piece which had an unfortunate effect on the corps in Song of the Earth.The new McGregor will have eaten up a great deal of rehearsal time as well.The reality is that many of the works to which passing reference has been made as ballets that could have been included in a mixed bill have not been danced for some time and would require considerable time allocated to rehearsal to make them stage ready.

The 2004 tour gave the impression that a great deal of the Ashton repertory was readily available for revival at any time but it needs to be remembered that 2004 was the centenary of Ashton's birth. The 2006 London season which celebrated the seventy fifth anniversary of the company's foundation was, understandably, heavily dependent on repertory that was of significance to the history of the company. But the revivals in those years did not result in regular performances of the revived works in subsequent years. Les Biches was last revived in 2005, The Rake's Progress in 2006 and Checkmate in 2007. Mason was criticised in some quarters for spending too much time on reviving "heritage works" but she did at least restore them to the living repertory and company memory. O'Hare seems to be moving towards the way in which Bintley programmes works which involves new works every year and in most years a limited number of revivals of works by Ashton and MacMillan.

I think that many people here are curious about how the 2015 tour will go as far as repertory,casting and performances are concer.I do not think that it should be assumed that the revival of Fille this year and the revival of The Two Pigeons next season,which has taken everyone by surprise, is evidence that O'Hare has suddenly changed his mind about the direction in which he wishes to take the company. It could be that the cuts in government support for the arts and lack of apparent enthusiasm for Woolf Works despite the popular prices may force a review of his plans for the repertory.Woolf Works is unique in my experience as a new work which has not sold well.I can not recall a new three act ballet by a well known choreographer that has required advertisements on Tube stations, newspaper articles and mentions on serious radio news which usually deal with politics and genuine news items, to shift unsold tickets.,

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The website doesn't allow you to pick your seats though. I'm stuck in a middle seat (I like aisle seats).

This sounds like the old system NYCB used a few years back. The work-around for that was to keep adding seats to the same performance, then pick the one you want from a seating chart, and delete all the others. You have to do the add process on the same transaction. If you go back to pick the same performance a second time it will give you the same seat it assigned the first time. I don't know if that still works, but it's worth trying.

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This sounds like the old system NYCB used a few years back. The work-around for that was to keep adding seats to the same performance, then pick the one you want from a seating chart, and delete all the others. You have to do the add process on the same transaction. If you go back to pick the same performance a second time it will give you the same seat it assigned the first time. I don't know if that still works, but it's worth trying.

Thank you for the advice. But after deleting the seat and trying to reorder so many times, I finally just purchased it. But I'll keep what you recommended in mind the next time I order.

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Nice of the RB to provide this info as soon as possible. Wonder when Osipova will give KM her final word on whether she will come for her ABT Juliet, and, in turn, when KM would convey that info to ABT ticket holders.

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$35 orchestra ticket offer for Tues. 6/9 & Weds. 6/10.

Good news!

The Kennedy Center is offering tickets at the special price of $35.00 for orchestra seating for the June 9th and June 10th performances of Royal Ballets Don Quixote.

You can click the link below and your discount will appear automatically. If you call or stop by the Box Office for the discount, be sure to mention Offer Number "203667." See you at the Kennedy Center!


Kevin O'Hare, Director


Don Quixote

Production and Choreography by Carlos Acosta, after Marius Petipa

Music by Ludwig Minkus, arranged by Martin Yates

"Astonishingtheatrical vitality"

--The New York Times

"Enjoyable and exuberant fantastical folly!"

--London Evening Standard

PRINCIPAL CASTING (Kitri and Basilio) subject to change

Marianela Nunez, Carlos Acosta Tue., June 9 & Fri., June 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Sarah Lamb, Federico Bonelli Wed., June 10 at 7:30 p.m.

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There's an open Yahoo group called kc-scotty. It's run by one of the managers in the subscriptions deparment. Knowledge about it is spread by word of mouth. All you need to join is a Yahoo account.

They never know when they'll have something available and the offers are usually made the day of or the day before via email. Very rarely they will offer comp tickets (usually for the symphony).

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Kind of sad that one of the top ballet companies in the world can't sell tickets to a warhorse ballet iafter an absence from the US for so many years.

Yes, but when I think of the Royal Ballet, Don Q is not what comes to mind. The cinema broadcast/DVD didn't persuade me otherwise either.

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Kind of sad that one of the top ballet companies in the world can't sell tickets to a warhorse ballet iafter an absence from the US for so many years.

Don Quixote is hardly a novelty in DC, this being the 3rd production of it since 2013. With 7 performances and high ticket prices, it shouldn't be surprising that they can't sell it out.

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