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Royal Ballet 2019/20 Season

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Hallberg is due to partner Osipova in Onegin, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake and I would not be at all surprised to see them in Dances at a Gathering as well. As far as the role of Onegin is concerned I had understood that the Cranko Trust had a far firmer hand when it came to questions of casting the right type of dancers in leading roles than the decision to cast Hallberg in the title role suggests is the case. it is certainly casting against type and it makes the decision to casting Muntagirov as Onegin appear almost uncontroversial. Although I shall be happy to be proved wrong I don't see either man as ideally suited to the role and in Hallberg's case it is not just the challenge of being cast against type that is the problem there are also some pretty tricky lifts which he will need to master. If he can't make them l look effortlessly expressive he is unlikely to make much of an impact as Onegin. As far as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are concerned  Osipova is not an obvious choice to dance classical roles, she is a one off, whom you either accept on her terms or you don't.  It is strange to see her choose to appear with a partner who even in his current physical state will show up her lack of purely classical credentials but then perhaps it is as a friend suggested to me, she simply likes the idea of working with a totally unobtrusive partner.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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22 minutes ago, Ashton Fan said:

perhaps it is as a friend suggested to me, she simply likes the idea of working with a totally unobtrusive partner.

Really?  I wouldn't describe former partners Carlos Acosta, Ivan Vasiliev or Sergei Polunin as unobtrusive.  I've always admired Osipova best when she's been paired with dancers that match her emotional intensity on stage.

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When they initially danced together at ABT—I saw them pre-Hallberg-injury—Hallberg and Osipova had great chemistry and their contrasting styles also created a rather wonderful spark. Audiences went pretty wild and to me it was understandable.  Hallberg himself came to life in a new way when dancing with her, and has said he joined the Bolshoi partly to pursue that partnership. (She departed the company very shortly after he joined.) Maybe their chemistry is no longer happening and she is merely loyal to the old connection; maybe it will happen again. But at one time, Osipova-Hallberg was a ‘real’ and quite exciting partnership.

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7 hours ago, Ashton Fan said:

Hallberg is due to partner Osipova in Onegin, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake and I would not be at all surprised to see them in Dances at a Gathering as well. As far as the role of Onegin is concerned I had understood that the Cranko Trust had a far firmer hand when it came to questions of casting the right type of dancers in leading roles than the decision to cast Hallberg in the title role suggests is the case. it is certainly casting against type and it makes the decision to casting Muntagirov as Onegin appear almost uncontroversial. Although I shall be happy to be proved wrong I don't see either man as ideally suited to the role and in Hallberg's case it is not just the challenge of being cast against type that is the problem there are also some pretty tricky lifts which he will need to master. If he can't make them l look effortlessly expressive he is unlikely to make much of an impact as Onegin. As far as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are concerned  Osipova is not an obvious choice to dance classical roles, she is a one off, whom you either accept on her terms or you don't.  It is strange to see her choose to appear with a partner who even in his current physical state will show up her lack of purely classical credentials but then perhaps it is as a friend suggested to me, she simply likes the idea of working with a totally unobtrusive partner.

Hallberg is not partnering Osipova in Onegin at the RB this season ? Osipova is cast with Muntagirov in Onegin, with Hallberg in Manon, SB And SL. 

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Posted (edited)

It has just been announced that Reece Clarke has been promoted to First Soloist. This is unusual as promotions are generally announced at the end of the ballet season rather than half way through them. However I don't think that many people will be surprised that he has been promoted or that anyone will think that his promotion is undeserved given the range of works in which he has danced principal roles to considerable acclaim beginning with the  Michael Somes role in Symphonic Variations very soon after he joined the company. Although no reason has been given it seems that the promotion is not entirely unconnected with the cast changes announced for the forthcoming performances of Onegin. Clarke replaces Muntagirov as Onegin and dances with Osipova as his Tatiana, while Mendizabel dances Tatiana opposite Soares in his final performances with the company, Mendizabel replaces Cuthbertson who was previously announced. There are other cast changes but these are the most significant.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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Thank you for the news @Ashton Fan.  A big congratulations to Reece Clark on his promotion!!!

It makes me happy to see Mendizabel getting a shot at the role of Titiana as I have always admired her dancing and acting abilities.  Last Spring I saw the Royal Ballet in LA do Mayerling and she was Empress Elizabeth.  She was fantastic!

 

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On 9/25/2019 at 12:09 AM, Mashinka said:

That is quite extraordinary, there should be an explanation for such radical changes.  Not happy about this at all, anyone know what's happening?

 

On 10/13/2019 at 7:59 PM, Ashton Fan said:

Dropping a new ballet is unusual to say the least. As the revival of Scarlett's  less than satisfactory Swan Lake takes place at roughly the same time as his new work  was due to be premiered perhaps the problem is that he does not have enough time to create the new  ballet and undertake remedial work on his Swan Lake production. 

Who would have guessed that the reason would turn out to be so sordid. 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0f10a62a-42e1-11ea-a083-1ec392b38124?shareToken=0ac6371331824d78c40e8954466ea253

Edited by volcanohunter

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On what I hope proves to be a happier note. The Royal Ballet is increasingly becoming Kevin O'Hare's company rather than the one he inherited from his predecessor. It is usual for appointments to follow on from departures and retirement but some unusual things have been happening in the company as far as long serving personnel are concerned. It is almost unheard of for dancers to leave early in a new season but that is what both  Alistair Marriott, Principal Character Dancer,and Jonathan Howells, Ballet Master and Character Artist, chose to do making it necessary to modify the casting for Coppelia which had already been announced. With their early depart it is just possible that Kevin may find that he has enough money to fund more than one new Principal dancer at the end of the season.Here I am assuming that Hallberg's appointment as Guest Artist is not going to be a permanent feature in the life of the company.

Kevin will almost certainly appoint someone to replace Soares who announced that his appearances as Onegin were to be his last with the company.The question is whether he will appoint a second Principal, even if he has no immediate need to do so? There are several dancers who in  recent months have been given the opportunity to reveal their potential for promotion to the company's top rank. While Clarke has consolidated his position as an extremely useful and adaptable dancer which explains his recent promotion to First Artist, dancers like Magri and O'Sullivan have been cast in roles which have not only expanded their personal repertory and range but have seen them performing key roles in ballets which are central to the company's core repertory.  It seems to me that the revival of the long neglected Coppelia has expanded the group of potential candidates for promotion. It is going to be interesting to see who will have proved to be successful when the promotions are announced at the end of the season. 

 

Edited by Ashton Fan

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If a new principal male dancer is to be appointed I would have thought the obvious choice would be Cesar Corrales.  Personally I would like to see Fumi Kaneko and Breatrix Stix-Brunell promoted at some point.

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It is pretty clear that there are more potential candidates for promotion among the ranks of the First Soloists than there are likely to be vacancies for Principals at the end of the season. The company seems to have largely lost its dead wood through retirement. It is going  to be very interesting to see which dancers the management has decided have gone as far as their talents can take them. As the company does not seem to be touring abroad this summer perhaps Mr O'Hare will decide that he has no need to promote anyone at this time and that he can afford to defer what is likely to be a difficult decision for another season while he tries people out in a wider range of the core repertory than has happened so far. He is under far less pressure to make appointments than he would be if the company were visiting somewhere such as Japan, where the promoters demand principal dancers must be cast in leading roles as a contractual term.

 

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