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volcanohunter

Copeland/Bolle Romeo & Juliet from La Scala

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I'll be glad to see Copeland in a program-length work, but now I'm wondering how many different productions of the MacMillan are available on disc?

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At the last count  there were, I think, four recordings of Royal Ballet casts in the ballet. The first recording dates from 1966 it has Fonteyn and Nureyev in the lead roles,Blair as Mercutio,a very young Dowell as Benvolio and a young Mason as head Harlot.  Many regret that there is no recording of the ballet with Seymour and Gable the dancers on whom it was created.

 

Technically the company is still said to be performing the same production today as it did at its premiere however even a cursory glance at these recordings shows that the costume designs which originally were famously not standard ballet costumes have over the years morphed into more conventional ballet costumes and that the stage designs have also been altered. The changes to sets and props occurred while the opera house was being redeveloped. The modifications were probably essential if the ballet was to be performed on other London stages such as the one at the Royal Festival Hall.. Strangely however not all of the detail has been restored since the company returned to its home stage.  Birmingham Royal Ballet retains far more of the staging's original detail than the Royal Ballet can boast. 

 

In addition to the initial recording which was filmed at Pinewood studios there are three recordings of performances at Covent Garden, The first was made in 1984 with a cast headed by Ferri and Eagling with Jefferies as Mercutio. The second dating from 2006 has Rojo and Acosta in the leading roles and Jose Martin as Mercutio. The third was made in 2012 and was originally seen as a live streamed performance. The dancers in this latest recording are Cuthbertson, Bonelli with Alexander Campbell as Mercutio. I think that some believe that the issue of the latest DVD was prompted by the ROH's acquisition of its own DVD recording label.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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If you search Amazon for Romeo-Juliet-MacMillan, a 2010 release turns up with Corella-Ferri filmed at La Scala, but it's no longer available. 

https://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Corella-Villanova-Garforth-MacMillan/dp/B01I05NJPY/ref=sr_1_8?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1510408884&sr=1-8&keywords=romeo+juliet+macmillan

Also interesting that there are no other companies on DVD, although several companies have recorded Manon and several perform the MacMillan R&J.

I  still wish La Scala would release a DVD of the reconstructed Swan Lake, but I'm not optimistic.

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Thanks for doing the googling!  When I was teaching dance history I would use the Ferri/Eagling recording in class, in part because my copy of the Fonteyn/Nureyev production was grainy -- it seemed to convey much of what I thought the work was about.  It is curious, though, that there aren't any recordings of other companies in the MacMillan, though I think that's partially because there are so very many other R&Js out there.

And yes, from your lips to the god's ears about the Scala Swan Lake reconstruction!

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RAI films one ballet performance at La Scala each year, nearly always with Roberto Bolle participating. So unless he begins dancing them, we're not likely to see Ratmansky's Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty anytime soon. Perhaps the folks at Swiss television could be persuaded instead.

I like the Ferri/Eagling recording very much. I liked a lot of what Cuthbertson and Bonelli did as well, but the supporting characters were very pale imitations of past performers. I've seen the Copeland/Bolle performance, and I don't see myself rushing out to buy it.

I don't think the geographical reach of MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet is nearly as great as Manon's. The Birmingham version isn't likely to be filmed as long as the Royal Ballet production is being filmed regularly. And ABT's version isn't likely to be filmed. That pretty much leaves La Scala, and there the ballet has been filmed twice. It's as you say, sandik, so many of the companies which perform Manon do other versions of Romeo and Juliet. I'm completely unfamiliar with which R&Js are performed in Asia, but sadly those telecasts don't reach us.

Edited by volcanohunter

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In 1994 the Dance Critics Association held a conference about Romeo and Juliet, alongside what was the new production at San Francisco Ballet -- there was a list in the proceedings of the difference productions of the ballet up to that time -- it was well over 50.

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4 minutes ago, sandik said:

In 1994 the Dance Critics Association held a conference about Romeo and Juliet, alongside what was the new production at San Francisco Ballet -- there was a list in the proceedings of the difference productions of the ballet up to that time -- it was well over 50.

And three different scores, all of which have been choreographed:

Berlioz by Bejart:

And Tchaikovsky's:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pPOZLaJaa8

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I found this on youtube just now Misty and Roberto.  I was lucky to be a supernumerary for Misty Copelands ABT's performance of R&J at Wolf Trap a few years ago.  I was one of the Monks and also carried Roseline Capulet in her sedan chair to the ball.  

 

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On YouTube for now. I can't imagine they welcome people getting for nothing brand new recordings they're trying to sell.

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I wonder if ballet companies should try to issue DVDs with "extras" -- as happens with films. The dancers or choreographer (if the are alive) offering commentary etc. Or special backstage features or ballet history features to be included with DVD. Imagine the Ratmansky Swan Lake with a little featurette on Stepanov notation, interviews with the leads, and maybe a "stager's commentary" that you could turn on or off while watching. Not realistic  I suppose, but...well, I'd be interested. And things like the commentary presumably could not be easily included in a youtube upload...

Edited by Drew

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8 hours ago, cantdance said:

I found this on youtube just now Misty and Roberto.  I was lucky to be a supernumerary for Misty Copelands ABT's performance of R&J at Wolf Trap a few years ago.  I was one of the Monks and also carried Roseline Capulet in her sedan chair to the ball.  

 

I always think that the supers get a really special view of the performance!

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2 hours ago, Gnossie said:

[...]

I think there is (or used to be) a Giselle on YouTube with Vishyovna and Malakhov commenting about it. I don't remember the company but it was quite cool. 

I will look for that!

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I did write "nearly always" and not "always." For example, an Osipova-Sarafanov Don Quixote was also filmed and released on disc. However, since Bolle is now 42 years of age and inching ever closer to retirement, I would expect RAI to focus on filming him in whatever ballets he hasn't yet been filmed. Though I have to say that this Romeo and Juliet does not show him to the best advantage.  In any case, the 2018 season does not inclde either Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty, so there's no possibility of them being filmed in the immediate future. 

The DVD of Neumeier's Illusions like Swan Lake included running commentary by Neumeier, in both English and German, in addition to more standard interviews with him on how the ballet came to be.

Edited by volcanohunter

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