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Royal Ballet 2020-21 Season


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Fine rehearsal performance by Marianela Núñez and Vadim Muntagirov of Balanchine’s “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux” with more of their rehearsal and an interview following. Starting at 1:35:00.

(Thanks to Paco and Sophia at Dansomanie)

Edited by Buddy
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1 hour ago, California said:

The Royal Ballet just announced that several dancers (soloists and first artists) are leaving the company under a "voluntary redundancy" program during COVID. I wonder how many dancers will be leaving other companies around the world:


Wow! And not in a good way.

Wishing the dancers and the company the best. 

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Reading through the names  does not suggest to me that there is any great need to worry about the long term viability of the company. The dancers named are largely performers who have probably come to the conclusion that having reached a certain age and without any realistic possibility of further further promotion or of dancing in the foreseeable future the offer of voluntary redundancy represented an offer they would have been foolish to refuse. As the redundancy is voluntary the  payment that each dancer will receive is likely to be quite generous and very useful for anyone who has been planning what they will do when they stop  dancing. As far as the company as a whole is concerned it may well make things more secure for the apprentice dancers  of 2020 and may, perhaps, make it easier to offer apprenticeships in 2021.

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The ROH announces its revised programme for spring and summer 2021 including a series of socially distanced performances. There are 3 mixed bills

"The first celebrates some of today’s finest international choreographers and includes Christopher Wheeldon’s shimmering ballet Within the Golden Hour, a world premiere from American choreographer Kyle Abraham, as well as two works new to The Royal Ballet from Olivier-Award winning choreographer Crystal Pite comprising The Statement, exploring the shadowy depths of human nature and boardroom politics, and Solo Echo, an atmospheric evocation of winter-inspired by a poem by Mark Strand, accompanied by Brahms’s beautiful sonatas for cello and piano.

The work of 20th century American choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins will be celebrated in a mixed programme of work comprising Balanchine’s Apollo, with accompanying score by Igor Stravinsky; his effervescent and virtuoso Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux; and Jerome Robbins’ 1969 ballet Dances at a Gathering, an ode to pure dance set to music by Chopin.

The Royal Ballet will also present a mixed programme of work including the world premiere of Anemoi by Royal Ballet First Soloist Valentino Zucchetti who develops his ballet Scherzo which was streamed to critical success last autumn. This will be accompanied by divertissements from choreographers who have shaped The Royal Ballet’s history and pushed the boundaries of ballet today. The third act of Petipa’s classic The Sleeping Beauty completes the programme, celebrating both the Company’s 90th anniversary and the production’s 75th anniversary."





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I strongly suspect that Kevin's taste runs to serious dance works rather than anything even daring to hint at fun and frivolity. I have little doubt that this first programme  reflects his personal taste. I think that Within the Golden Hour was almost unavoidable because it was not going to need as much time to be stage ready as a new work would have required. The problem is it is little more than a solid piece of choreography that comes in handy when you are putting together a mixed bill. It is essentially a useful ballet rather than a work with hidden depths which reveals more about itself with repeat viewings and at the moment for me,at least, it is suffering from over exposure.  I do wish Kevin had given more thought to the mood likely to be generated by the juxtaposition of the works selected for this programme. If he had done so we might have been spared quite such a depressing evening. Perhaps he felt that a familiar Wheeldon, a world premiere and two company premieres by living choreographers on a programme packaged as "21st Century Choreographers" with its evidence of creativity and promise of more would be sufficiently inspiring to dispel any sense of gloom. Well it did not work for me.

The all too familiar Within the Golden Hour was followed by a family row for three dancers by Kyle Abraham and two works by Crystal Pite. The first of Pite's offerings was The Statement which struck me as something akin to a cartoon for dancers, the second was Solo Echo in which the choreography seemed  to have little connection with the music which accompanied it. The dancers did their best with the works they had been given to perform. All four works had atmospheric lighting which simply added to the general gloom. Although I am sure that the current crop of earnest critics would not agree with me but I could have done with a large dose of dance fun and frivolity. I am afraid I left the theatre thinking how much better an all Ashton mixed bill of Les Patineurs, A Wedding Bouquet and Facade would have been for all of us. 



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3 hours ago, Ashton Fan said:

IAlthough I am sure that the current crop of earnest critics would not agree with me but I could have done with a large dose of dance fun and frivolity. I am afraid I left the theatre thinking how much better an all Ashton mixed bill of Les Patineurs, A Wedding Bouquet and Facade would have been for all of us. 

I think NYCB's choices for their opening night this September are pitch-perfect: Serenade, After the Rain, Symphony in C. Historic first, surviving tragedy, joyous celebration. I'm surprised Royal did not recognize the historic nature of this moment and the audience's yearning to celebrate.

Edited by California
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I don't want to put people off watching the streamed performance of this mixed bill. It is,I think, one of those programmes you will either love or hate according to your taste and expectations about dance. Those who are curious but unsure about whether they should invest in a ticket to watch the streamed performance of this programme can get a taster on You Tube in the form of rehearsals of the two works by Pite both of which I am pretty certain show the dancers due to appear in the streamed performance. All you have to do is search for "The Royal Ballet rehearses Crystal Pite's The Statement and Solo Echo".


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