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More Boston!!!

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I've copied one of dirac's links:

Royal Ballet comes to Boston for the first time since 1981. Temin reports:


The timing is coincidental, but the visit of the Royal to Boston may prove influential in the development of the Boston Ballet. If the visit is successful, it will show that there is a market for classical ballet in Boston. If it does not, then the anti-classical forces that seem to be in the ascendant at Boston Ballet will have support for their plans. (Again, my usual disclaimer. Nothing against contemporary ballet companies; every city should have nine. Just don't call them ballet companies.)

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I find it interesting that FleetBoston (which is the reformed BankBoston) Celebrity Series is sponsoring the RB visit - this is the same organization whose director stated (in the Jan 20th, 2000 Dezell article in the Globe) that she was doubtful whether there was an audience for classical dance (as opposed to dance in general) in Boston.

Furthermore, the RB are bringing Swan Lake. They are performing almost immediately after the BB closes its season with The Sleeping Beauty. The RB production is nothing to write home about - the Boston/Kirov co-production is far, far better. So WHY???? It's at a time when the kiddies will just have seen SB, the colleges will have held graduations, summer sessions will not yet have started, and it's yet another classical, Tchaikovsky ballet in a town whose dance critics and arts writers have openly hinted is bored with classical ballet - esp. of Russian ilk. I wonder why they didn't at LEAST get the Royal to do La Fille Mal Gardee. They are bringing it to DC, so why not Boston - OR why not the mixed bill (it's more "modern")???? ARGHHHHH!!!!

By the way - was anyone elso annoyed/upset by the implication in the title: "First-class ballet finally arrives?" I think Temin is suffering from a case of "keyboard in mouth" syndrome.

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I find the Boston Globe critic Christine Temin to be rabid at times. The *finally quality ballet in Boston* comment seems out of bounds to me. Why don't her editors reel her in, Alexandra? Is there anything a reader can say to an editor, or would complaints be viewed as positive for her since she is controversial?

I was a long time suscriber to ABT and noticed that the NY reviewers were always kind to them, especially Anna K. (can't spell her last name from memory). I thought Boston's Don Q was excellent, maybe even better than than the 4 I've seen ABT perform over the years. I thought Boston's La Bayadere was superb. I bet their upcoming Beauty will be outstanding. The Celebration of Dance program was so good I went twice.

Some recent news: I heard that Berejnoi and Terekhova will be staying on as ballet master/mistress next season.

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Irina, I'm afraid you're right, that editors view controversy as a good thing. A lot of letters, especially from friends and relatives of the company, or board members, would be viewed as biased, although one or two may very well be printed. One thing to remember, though, is that writers do not write the headlines to their articles. I have, several times, tried to write a "shoe drop" review -- start out kindly, saying all the good a choreographer has done in the past, for example, and thus how her new program is just a bit disappointing, and woken up to find the headline: "X Takes Pratfall with New Work," or some such.

Interesting news about Bereznoi and Terekhova.

[This message has been edited by alexandra (edited March 17, 2001).]

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Re: Swan Lake.

'The RB production is nothing to write home about - the Boston/Kirov co-production is far, far better.'

Since they were coming to town, I thought I'd go.

Felursus, could you say a little more about what you think it lacking in RB's Swan Lake?

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It's just that I find it overly-ornate and fussy. I understand it was supposed to try to be close to the original but.... It's set in 19th c Russia and not in the medieval period, not even medieval Russia (which WOULD make sense), so it's a little weird having enchanted swans and magicians hanging out in/near Imperial Petersburg. It feels quite cluttered - lots of extra people trying to emote. I feel this gets in the way of the actual dancing. The sets, esp. the ballroom, are very elaborate. Perhaps better than the "courtroom" set of the NYCB (I kept waiting for an English judge in red robes and a wig to come on and start singing something by Gilbert and Sullivan in THAT production), but not to my taste. By all means go and see it for yourself. I certainly would go if I lived in/near Boston. You may like it. You may LOVE it. I wasn't trying to imply that the RB production is one of the world's worst. (We may have that here in NYC) I just feel that the BB production is excellent, but the Boston critics have been coming down heavily against AM Holmes' emphasis on Russian classics, so why bring more? I wonder whose idea it was?

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I only saw the Royal Ballet production once quite a while ago, so some of the details may be fuzzy, but in addition to the problems mentioned (like having rifles all around and the prince hunt swans with a cross bow), the original production had the swans wearing helmets like, someone wrote, laminated bobby pins. The lake scene is grotesque, a big oval pit. But the worse thing I remember is Siegfried in the 3rd act, when he is supposed to be mooning around thinking of Odette, and he comes bounding out goosing all the guests with Benno. I suppose it was to give the Prince more dancing! And Rothbart comes in wearing a skull with little skeletons accompanying him, as if someone like that would really fool the court. Not to mention that they dropped the Ashton waltz in the first act, and don't do his wonderful pas de quatre. However, as classics go, it is not nearly so awful as the Royal Ballet's current Sleeping Beauty!

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