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 Post subject: Re: The new RB Sleeping Beauty
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2003 4:21 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I'd treat Frank Johnson's views with a pinch of salt. Those I have spoken to who are familaiar with both productions and their history emphasise that both versions are valid and to talk of one being more "authentic" then the other is empty rhetoric.

However a Society To Banish Cupid could soon be formed to exorcise this useless addition from the Makarova production.

<small>[ 24 March 2003, 05:22 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The new RB Sleeping Beauty
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2003 12:04 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
WHY RYAN (12) AND HIS BIG BROTHER ARE DANCING FOR JOY AT THE ROYAL BALLET
From This Is Lincolnshire


Ryan Woolleycor is following in his big brother's dance steps and appearing in professional ballet. Ryan (12) from Gainsborough is in The Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Opera House, in Covent Garden until Easter Monday.

His brother, Kyle (13), corwas in a production of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House late last year.

Both are pupils at the Royal Ballet School in London and got their roles through the school.

Mum Jo Woolleycor is very proud of both of her sons.

She said: "When Kyle got into the school, it was like winning the lottery and with Ryan at the school as well, it is like winning twice.

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 Post subject: Re: The new RB Sleeping Beauty
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 3:56 pm 
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<img src="http://www.dancing-times.co.uk/Pics/dancingtimes/200304/cover.jpg" alt="" />

The Sleeping Beauty - No Longer Royal
By Mary Clarke for the Dancing Times

The verdict on the new Sleeping Beauty, first shown by The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden on March 8, was best summed up by a remark I overhead in the first interval, namely “it’s not them”. Producer Natalia Makarova, drawing on her own experience of the ballet and acknowledging choreography by Konstantin Sergeev, Fydor Lopukhov and herself, has taken the company part way towards the Kirov’s reading of the text but it’s impossible to take dancers who have grown up in a very different school and production all the way. What we have is a Royal Ballet staging which jettisons much of a choreographic text, owing so much to the last de Valois production, which I have always maintained to be the best extant (infinitely preferable to the new/old version which the Kirov now offers) and put nothing memorable in its place.

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 Post subject: Re: The new RB Sleeping Beauty
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 1:40 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Sleeping Beauty? It's enough to make you snore
Why do new British productions of ballet and opera have to be so dreary, asks Janet Street-Porter in The Independent on Sunday, when the French get it so effortlessly right?

From green-garbed 21st-century nuns to Red Riding Hood, and a vision of the god Apollo descending from the heavens, I've had a diverse week of culture – two cities, two operas and a ballet, all new productions. The results – an old favourite lamentably redesigned, a new opera, brilliant to look at but torture on the ears, and finally a rare baroque masterpiece given a 21st-century makeover.

First up, the ballet Sleeping Beauty at Covent Garden, has new choreography by Natalia Makarova, and is designed by Luisa Spinatelli set in the style of Louis XIV's lavish French court. Am I alone in finding this production as dreary as they come?

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 Post subject: Re: The new RB Sleeping Beauty
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 1:04 am 
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Sleeping Beauty
By Debra Craine
The Times



Quote:
HAVING invested a fortune in a new Sleeping Beauty, the Royal Ballet is determined to get it right. So tweaks have been made to Natalia Makarova’s staging, and you can be sure there will be more tweaking still when it returns to Covent Garden next season. Already Beauty looks better than it did on opening night in March, and some of its problems have been dealt with. But it’s still not the Beauty that the Royal Ballet deserves.
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 Post subject: Re: The new RB Sleeping Beauty
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 9:27 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Katherine Kanter posted this interesting review in another forum and I have move it here. Thanks a lot for this Katherine:

****************************************

AURORA – LEGS DOWN !

SLEEPING BEAUTY
Royal Opera House, April 21st 2003
(matinée and evening performances)

In respect of Natalia Makarova’s new “Beauty” for the Royal, there are already several hundred printed and Internet pages available to readers worldwide, so I shall be brief. The question, to someone who has only seen one or two other “Beauties” at the Royal, is, does this one work, as theatre ? In a nutshell, no.

But first, the Good: Miss Makarova, or perhaps her répétiteurs, have effected a great change in the corps de ballet, or rather in its feminine side, as little was seen of the men from start to finish (I’m beginning to understand why someone did an all-male Swan Lake). The “Royal Ballet clod-hoppers”, that ghastly shuffling footwork, was gone, lines were tense and neat, the upper body had definition. That, alone, was a relief.

On to the Bad. Miss Makarova’s idea (ideal ?) of the ballet, is, like Balanchine, Woman. It is all very well to speak of bringing something up to date, but to put on a cast of, figuratively speaking, several thousand women and two men, is a little dated, is it not ? Oh-so feminine and fussy, from the first Spinatelli drop curtain, covered in blousy old roses, to that twee business with boy Cupid, of which the less said, the better.

No force, no fire. At the end of the day, this “Beauty” cloys like an over-large blancmange.

A major frustration is how Miss Makarova deals with the score, that is, after all, one of the finest ever written for the ballet. In the Prologue, a distinctly adult and masculine passage in the music, that cries out for WEIGHT from the corps de ballet – we are served up tiny children prancing about in a galop. At every point where the music demands attack, vigour, Miss Makarova has reined in her dancers, or put children dancing where we could finally have got something for the men to do, and so it goes.

To illustrate: Catalabutte should mime, and mince. We do NOT want him doing pas de bourrée. That detracts from the music, draws away its force. At the opening of Act I, the three girls with the spindle should NOT be dancing. They should mime. With all that hopping and skipping about, we are not in the slightest moved when the King has the girls taken off to be executed. And Carabosse should NOT be tossing off grand jeté. Carabossse should either mime - or risk being ludicrous. And Makarova’s Carabosse is ludicrous.

So frivolous, one might almost say, tone-deaf, an attitude to the music, becomes blatant in the way Miss Makarova has coached her étoiles. I never before realised, until I saw Alina Cojocaru carefully wreck all irony, all delicacy, all phrasing in the music, by constantly thwacking that leg onto the ear, the degree to which this business with picking up the leg, flies right in the face of the music. I found myself pining for the lovely Elisabeth Maurin, as Miss Cojocaru shewed us one boring arabesque – high, and one boring arabesque penché – 180 degrees. Musical phrasing is expressed by one’s eyes, one’s facial muscles, one’s épaulement, one’s hands. Throw those legs up there, and it’s gone. Why Miss Makarova has allowed her to get away with it, I do not know. It is not a question of style, it is technique, it is musicality – or it is NOT. Overall, there is little to say of Miss Cojocaru’s portrayal, enjoy as one did her mastery of the connecting step, a point our own étoile Laetitia Pujol might want to ponder.

As Prince Désiré, Mr. Putrov’s actual dancing, if one can disregard a lack of épaulement, was impeccable, although his partnering, at this stage, is still immature and somewhat autistic. Despite the high extensions, and a clumsy Prince Désiré (Thiago Soares), Tamara Rojo, one of the loveliest-looking women imaginable, was on an altogether different level as Aurora. A delightful characterisation, one that would deserve both a stronger Prince, and, above all, a production that makes dramatic sense.

Notable dancing from Laura Morera (excellent footwork), Sian Murphy, and Bethany Keating. As for Zenaida Yanowsky, seen as Carabosse at the matinéee, and as the Lilac Fairy in the evening, what is noteworthy is not her great height, but rather a most refined and intriguing artistic personality.

***


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 Post subject: Re: The new RB Sleeping Beauty
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 2:41 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Rebiew from The FT.

Quote:
After its disastrous first night in early March, when every scene-shift and lighting change seemed fraught with ineptitude, Natalya Makarova's staging of The Sleeping Beauty has settled on to Covent Garden's stage. I have seen three further performances, and improvement (though not enough) in lighting and stagecraft have brought the ballet into sharper focus.

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 Post subject: Re: The new RB Sleeping Beauty
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 7:36 pm 
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Location: Staines UK
Rojo was my favourite of the Auroras, charming, and with style and presence. The gradual removal of some of the stranger aspects of the production bodes well.

I think Yanowksy is the finest Lilac Fairy I have ever seen. She simply radiates goodness and grandeur.

Morera seems to have benefitted greatly from Makarovas coaching, really progressing from soloist to ballerina before our eyes. The precision of her footwork made her an electrifying Temperament Fairy, and she was most delightful Cinderella. She is replacing Yoshida as the lead in Danses Concertantes, and Benjamin in Song of the Earth. Tonight she almost stopped the show dancing the fourth variation in Raymonda, so brilliant was her dancing.


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