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 Post subject: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2002 8:27 am 
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<B>World’s largest production of Swan Lake returns to The Royal Albert Hall from 12-22 June, 2002.<P>Special Guest Artists from The Kirov Ballet join English National Ballet for the dance event of the summer.</B><P>Raymond Gubbay and the Royal Albert Hall present English National Ballet this summer in 12 performances of Derek Deane’s hugely popular arena production of Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall from 12-22 June, 2002.<P>Joining English National Ballet’s international line-up of dancers in the leading roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried for three performances are Guest Artists from The Kirov Ballet, Svetlana Zakharova and Igor Zelenksy. <P>The same roles at other performances will be performed by the popular husband and wife partnership of Principal Guest Artists, Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur and by the Company’s own international line-up of dancers: Daria Klimentova with Dmitri Gruzdyev, Monica Peregro with newly-promoted Principal Dancer, Vladislav Bubnov, and Erica Takahashi with Jan-Erik Wikstrom. Wikstrom, previously with the Royal Swedish Ballet, joined English National Ballet as Principal Dancer in September 2001.<P><B>Casting Information</B><BR>(subject to change)<P>Wed 12 June 7.30 Zakharova/Filin<P>Thurs 13 June 7.30 Oaks/Edur<P>Fri 14 June 7.30 Klimentova/Gruzdyev<P>Sat 15 June 2.30 Long/Wikstrom<BR> 7.30 Zakharova/Filin<P>Mon 17 June 7.30 Oaks/Edur<P>Tues 18 June 7.30 Zakharova/Filin<P>Wed 19 June 2.30 Takahashi/Bubnov<BR> 7.30 Klimentova/Filin<P>Thurs 20 June 7.30 Long/Wikstom<P>Fri 21 June 7.30 Takahashi/Bubnov<P>Sat 22 June 2.30 Klimentova/Gruzdyev<BR> 7.30 Oaks/Edur<P><p>[This message has been edited by Emma Pegler (edited May 30, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 1:30 am 
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Alas, Zelensky is to be replaced by Sergei Filin of the Bolshoi. Here is his biography<BR><A HREF="http://users.skynet.be/ballet-lovers/Filin10.html" TARGET=_blank><B> Sergei Filin</B></A>.<p>[This message has been edited by Emma Pegler (edited May 23, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2002 11:02 pm 
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Interview with Mats Skoog in The Telegraph.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>As Matz Skoog explains his feelings about being director of English National Ballet, I imagine Catherine Parr might have felt rather the same about being Henry VIII's queen: attracted and flattered, no doubt, by the position's high profile, but nervously pondering the fates of one's predecessors in the wee small hours. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2002/05/28/btskoog28.xml&sSheet=/arts/2002/05/28/ixartleft.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2002 7:18 am 
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I have amended my first posting with the casting information to reflect cast changes as at today's date.<P>In particular, Igor Zelensky is, due to injury, being replaced by Bolshoi Principal Sergei Filin (principal since 1989) which means that Bolshoi will fall for Kirov, if you think about it!<P>Also, Kristin Long, Principal Dancer (also since 1989) with the San Francisco Ballet is also joining ENB as Guest Artist for some of the performances. She will be partnered by the excellent ENB dancer, Jan-Erik Wikstrom


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2002 3:05 am 
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Do we know what's wrong with Zelensky and the gravity of his injury?


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2002 11:12 am 
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In response to Emma's request in another thread for information about SFB's Kristin Long, here's link to a previous thread about Ms. Long.<P><A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum17/HTML/000389.html" TARGET=_blank><B>ABOUT KRISTIN LONG</B></A><P>By the way, Kristin Long has only been a principal since 1999, not 1989.<p>[This message has been edited by djb (edited June 02, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2002 4:38 am 
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Derek Deane is not amused by Matz Skoog's comments about the period when was in charge of ENB. <P><B>It's tutus at dawn at the English Ballet</B><BR>By Catherine Milner for The Daily Telegraph<P><BR>The English National Ballet has never staged a drama like this. The company, which is more normally associated with the serene spectacle of ballerinas floating across the stage, has been transfixed by a bitter row over whether it should stage "dumbed-down"classics or "arty-farty" avant-garde productions.<P>Matz Skoog, the ENB's new Swedish director, has publicly accused the company of dumbing-down for a decade to the point where its dancers just have to "kick up their legs and look cute".<P>His illustrious predecessor Derek Deane is enraged by the criticism and yesterday told The Telegraph that Mr Skoog is endangering the ENB's future with his "naive and foolish" dreams of artistic freedom.<P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/06/09/ntutu09.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/06/09/ixhome.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2002 11:25 am 
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<B>Swans lost in space</B><BR>by Judith Flanders in The Evening Standard<P><BR>As I was sitting in the vast wasteland that is the Albert Hall, I began to think of polar exploration, as you do. In the days when the land was terra incognita, explorers had a purpose. But once it was mapped, they had to think up gimmicks - the first to get to the Pole without dogs, the first women, the first to go while turning cartwheels and singing the Hallelujah Chorus. All very difficult, but why would you want to do it? <P>Derek Deane's production of Swan Lake takes the most architecturally specific ballet in the classical repertoire, wrenches it out of context, and puts it into theatre in the round. Like modern-day polar exploration, it is physically draining, but why would you want to do it? <P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/dance_review.html?in_review_id=604282&in_review_text_id=581392" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P><B>Stuart adds</B>: Ms Flanders continues to surprise me. I can understand her not enjoying this version of 'Swan Lake', but '... the vast wasteland that is the Albert Hall'!!! I sometimes take groups of overseas visitors to the RAH and they are always impresssed. <P>As to, '... but why would you want to do it?' I would have thought that was clear - it's one of the ways that the thinly funded ENB makes ends meet and it does bring new audiences in to see ballet. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited June 13, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2002 11:44 am 
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I will preface my comments with the warning that I will need to go to see the production a further time in order to properly gather my thoughts. This is principally because it was the first time I had seen ballet at the Royal Albert Hall and a performance in the round takes some getting used to. There are numerous occasions when the principals have their backs to your part of the audience and the constant stream of traffic up and down the aisles between the rows of seats, as dancers arrive on stage and exit, is distracting.<P>Svetlana Zakharova, on loan from the Mariinsky Theatre/Kirov, is pretty much technically perfect and performs with grace and elegance. She is a very convincing swan with subtly pulsating wings rather than the dramatic waving and shaking that I have seen in other Odettes. Over-the-top swan maidens look just what they are – ballerinas pretending to be swans. Her Prince, the Bolshoi’s Sergei Filin was technically good again, and elegant. I was not at all moved by the performance though. However manz times I see "Swan Lake", the beauty of the music and the pathos of the story normally move me. Although the Stanislavsky Ballet`s version performed at the Royal Festival Hall earlier this year received mediocre reviews and the principal dancers were not, in general, appreciated, I was very moved by the performance I saw and the drama and spectacle seemed more important than the technicalities. Derek Deane`s version, designed especially to be performed in the round, compromises on emotion.<P>Without doubt the fact that the performance takes place in the round affects my perception. The orchestra is at the back of the hall and mostly obscured. I prefer the orchestra at the front so that the music is more immediate and I can let it wash over me like the waters of the lake. There is also a practical point in issue here: ballet is affected by the orchestra being at the back – the noise of the blocks of point shoes thumping on the stage is not attractive and detracts wholly from the credibility of the story. Especially when you have an enlarged company of swans. The orchestra would normally drown out the sound. Sixty swans, however svelte, thumping across the stage, gives the impression more of a flock of geese fighting than of ethereal creatures gliding across a lake.<P>The ballroom scene was, however, quite marvelous. At first the lack of scenery (it is very hard to hang scenery in the round and there are only some drapes, hardly noticeable, at the back of the hall under the orchestra and a few token chandeliers hanging from the very tall ceiling) grated on me but as the scene unfolded I forgot that there was no scenery and just enjoyed the wonderful celebratory dancing. The fact of looking down on to the stage gives a great perspective on the execution of steps. As Filin jumps, you are looking down on to him and so see a wonderful new perspective on the shape he creates. At other times, you could be enjoying a dress rehearsal in a gymnasium especially hired for the occasion – you can just imagine how good it will look on the real stage. (In Argentina gymnasia are used for tango salons in the suburbs of Buenos Aires at weekends and there is something rehearsal-like about the evening).<P> Gary Avis’ Rothbart was well received. Ghoulish acrobats accompany him in an impressive entrance. Zakharova danced like a goddess and the audience enjoyed Filin. Mostly the choreography works well in this enlarged setting, particularly when you remember that economies of scale do not operate in ballet – it is impossible just to add more swans to existing choreography, rather you have to create new shapes and patterns. Except the pas de quatre dances in Act II are performed as usual but by two pairs of four swans so that all parts of the audience get a good view. The character/national dances do not work very well, though. In particular, the Spanish dances show a complete lack of regard for Spanish dance. <P>The corps danced well throughout and the ensemble of the company looked very strong. Apart from the thudding shoes, the swans are a joy to behold as they pour on to the stage. The mist covering the stage to produce the lake from which Rothbart suddenly appears in Act II (through a trap door in the stage) is gimmicky but nonetheless impressive. If only those wretched shoes had not sounded so loud, I would have been lost in a dream world as the lithe beautiful swans drifted on, performing their choreography in perfect unison.<P>And the ending. Weak. I will no spoil it for you with further details. When the performances end, I will write something for those who did not see, but it will not go down in history as one of ballet’s great endings.<P>Two stars out of five.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Emma Pegler (edited June 15, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2002 11:36 pm 
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Review in The FT.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>And there it is, for a third return season at the Royal Albert Hall: Swan Lake or, as managements worldwide know it, Money in the Bank. There is a great deal to be sai d in favour of this staging by Derek Deane for English National Ballet. It makes skilled use of the traditional text, spreading it into its arena setting with notable finesse.<P>It is, whatever purists (among whom I might be counted) say, still Swan Lake, still truthful in manner, in response to that score, in offering a masterwork to its vast public. It looks better than we might hope because of Peter Farmer's handsome costuming and evocative (if inevitably sparse) setting. And it has real theatrical verve - a sea of swans; bold national dances; the flash of lightning and clever lighting (save the up-chucky mauve glow that turns the swans into something from a bilious nightmare).<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1023858984580&p=1016625900929" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And in The Times.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>ON PAPER it sounds fine: Swan Lake as an in-the-round spectacle at the Albert Hall, featuring 60 swans. Plus, as opening night guest stars, the Kirov ballerina Svetlana Zakharova partnered by the Bolshoi dancer Sergei Filin. <BR>The reality is something else. The former English National Ballet director Derek Deane’s 1997 arena staging, back for a third run (until June 22), demonstrates again that size is no guarantee of greatness. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,685-326004,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And in The Guardian.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>English National Ballet's Swan Lake, returning once more to the Albert Hall, is one of those events where critics resign themselves to being killjoys. First-time viewers of this huge production are given every reason to hold their breath. Demons and acrobats race across the vast, oval stage. Sixty swans, flocking in mass formation in a blue-white mist, are a magical sight. If ballet were simply a high-class, superbly drilled spectacle, then this Swan Lake would be a winner. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,737035,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And The Independent.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>English National Ballet's new artistic director Matz Skoog may have all kinds of adventurous, high-art objectives for his repertoire, but he also knows an audience-widening money-spinner when he sees it. Premiered in 1997, the first and best of the company's arena ballets, Derek Deane's Swan Lake has played instadium-sized venues in the UK, Australia and Hong Kong.<P>It returns to the 5,000-seat Albert Hall for its sixth consecutive year and to garland the occasion ENB has brought over a couple of big Russian guns for some performances in the stylish and technically superlative persons of Svetlana Zakharova from the Kirov and Sergei Filin from the Bolshoi. The Bolshoi is noted for a broader, more heroic manner than the Kirov, tuned to the vast dimensions of their Moscow opera house, not so far off those of the Albert Hall.<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/reviews/story.jsp?story=304762" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited June 14, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2002 12:43 am 
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It's fascinating the way the critics divide on this production. I'm intrigued that the more 'hip' critics dislike it and arch classicist Clement Crisp enjoys the experience.


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2002 1:21 am 
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<B>Big but not clever</B> <BR>Ismene Brown reviews Swan Lake performed by the ENB at the Royal Albert Hall for The Daily Telegraph<P><BR>A local critic reviewing the Royal Ballet's current Australian tour has opined that Swan Lake no longer has any relevance today, and exists now only for dancers to display their virtuosity in an antique dancing style. No wonder expectations are so low, when many people's only recent experience of the ballet was English National Ballet's in-the-round production by Derek Deane.<BR>Back at the Albert Hall for a third time, this synthetically enhanced, flavour-reduced production - designed for "new audiences" - is all big numbers, and bears as much relation to the real Swan Lake classical ballet experience as processed cheese slices have to Reypenaer VSOP Gouda.<P><B>Sorry folks, the Telegraph's clunky URLs have defeatd us again. You'll have to make do with the ugly version.</B> <P> <A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2002/06/14/btib.xml&sSheet=/arts/2002/06/15/ixstageleft.html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=94048" TARGET=_blank>http://www.telegraph.co.u k/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2002/06/14/btib.xml&sSheet=/arts/2002/06/15/ixstageleft.<BR>html&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=94048</A> <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited June 15, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2002 6:53 am 
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Ismene Brown makes a fair judgement. Clement Crisp seemed to side-step the merits or otherwise of the production and writes more on the history of keeping a ballet company functioning on existing funding. The fact that he lauds Derek Deane for getting ENB out of its deficit almost smacks of: "not bad if you bear in mind it was necessary to produce a crowd pleaser ...."


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2002 11:29 pm 
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Review in the Observer.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The swan queen takes on The Lion King as English National Ballet lures more than 4,000 people a night to the Albert Hall by presenting classical ballet as a modern musical spectacular. Sixty-odd swan maidens swirl around a misty lake; dancers, acrobats and jugglers entertain the court on stage and the crowd-in-the-round, some only inches from the action. <P>As an added attraction, two Russian stars have been flown in from rival companies: Svetlana Zakharova from the Kirov and Sergei Filin from the Bolshoi. They had to be introduced to each other as well as to the revised choreography, adapted by Derek Deane for the circular staging. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,738177,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: ENB's Swan Lake at The Royal Albert Hall
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2002 12:13 am 
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<B>English National Ballet, Royal Albert Hall, London</B><BR>It's a cruel sport, swan-watching<BR>By Jenny Gilbert in The Independent<P>Forget the poster campaign showing a fresh-from-the-shower squad of male dancers swaddled in national flags. That was just a bid to bring in the soccer widows. The focus of English National Ballet's current arena extravaganza isn't boys at all. It's those 60 girl swans.<BR>Of course, the Busby Berkeley effect was the selling point of Derek Deane's Swan Lake when it showed first time round five summers ago. All those white tutus. All those conveyer-belt rows of meringues tessellating into diamonds, whorls and wedges. But ENB has staged other arena ballets since then, learnt confidence in commanding an audience through 360 degrees, even changed its director. And technically – in terms of perfectly angled heads and arms and feet – this revival is streets ahead of its 1997 showing. The magic-mushroom visual buzz of the white acts is intense.<P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/reviews/story.jsp?story=306214" TARGET=_blank><B>clcik for more</B></A><BR>


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