CriticalDance Forum

Scottish Ballet's 'Carmen'
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon May 07, 2001 12:56 am ]
Post subject:  Scottish Ballet's 'Carmen'

Image <P><B>Carmen</B> <P>Rating ***(out of 5) <P>by Alice Bain in The Guardian <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>This is a soft-shoe Carmen, a Carmen without heels, a Carmen without Bizet. It's a folksy Carmen, and a newish one (originally performed by the Gyor Ballet in Hungary in 1997) by Robert North, artistic director of Scottish Ballet. Sadly, it's also a provincial Carmen - too clean by half and lacking in lust. Flashing eyes tried for size don't light the fire and flamenco flare-ups break the story politely, while the love affair that causes a man to kill three times and finally face execution himself fails to deliver the emotional goosebumps. <P>It is a shame because this production is pretty and competent, and even clever in parts.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF=",3604,487028,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A><P>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun May 13, 2001 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's 'Carmen'

<B>It's the same old song</B> <P>'Carmen gets fresh moves and a new score, but David Dougill in The Sunday Times wants even more'<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Mention Carmen and most of us would instantly think of Bizet. Many a choreographer of ballets on this subject - and there have indeed been many - has used the opera music in one form or another. Even such "modern" versions of the story as Didy Veldman's production for Northern Ballet and Matthew Bourne's radical rewrite The Car Man, for Adventures in Motion Pictures, drew on the Frenchman's seductive tunes. <P>But not so Robert North in his attractive staging of Carmen, which Scottish Ballet danced for the first time at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre last weekend and now goes on tour. The composer of the commissioned score is an Englishman, Christopher Benstead, whose name is not so well known to the public at large as Bizet's.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Also reviewed is Ramberts's Linbury programme.<P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 13, 2001).]

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun May 13, 2001 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's 'Carmen'

<B>End of the road may be nigh - Bell tolls for change</B><P>'Robert North's repertoire is attacked by critics but applauded by audiences.'<P>Phil Miller interviews Robert North in The Observer. <P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Robert North is unfailingly polite and speaks softly in a mid-Atlantic purr. One wonders how such a quiet, articulate man could attract such consistent scorn, ridicule and virulent criticism. <P>But since his appointment as artistic director of Scottish Ballet two years ago, he has continually been accused of bringing the national company's artistic output to the brink of humiliating ruin. <P>Yet while the Scottish critics loathe him, North's ballets have been largely popular with audiences: Aladdin, the ballet's Christmas show and Romeo and Juliet were seen by 62,000 people. At a performance of Carmen last week, the audience at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre greeted the finale with cries of encore and bravo, summoning the lead dancers for several curtain calls.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A>

Author:  Emma Pegler [ Fri Mar 01, 2002 3:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's 'Carmen'

Robert North has choreographed for the opera Carmen (sung in English) brought to the Royal Albert Hall by Raymond Gubbay:<P><BR><B>The power of obsessive love </B><BR>The Independent - United Kingdom; Mar 1, 2002<BR>BY ROBERT MAYCOCK<P>CARMEN<BR>ROYAL ALBERT HALL<BR>LONDON<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>YOU'VE HEARD of double casting, but two Carmens in the first 80 minutes of Bizet's opera must be a record. There they were, though: Claire Bradshaw went sick the moment she escaped from her arrest, and Imelda Drumm showed up for the cafe scene as though she'd been singing the role all week. Which she had, in a way. Raymond Gubbay's in-the-round production is on every day and all the main roles are shared out. It's meant to preserve voices, but it does come in handy for a crisis.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A>

Author:  Joanne [ Sat Jun 15, 2002 11:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's 'Carmen'

Review in the Observer. (please scroll down article).<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Scottish Ballet came south on a brief tour with Robert North's Carmen, a compact account of Merimee's story for 28 dancers. Set to a commissioned score from Christopher Benstead instead of the usual Bizet suite, the piece is easy on the eye and ear. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF=",6903,738177,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And article on Scottish Ballet in the Sunday Times <P><A HREF=",,1-1506-326474,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A> <p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited June 16, 2002).]

Author:  Joanne [ Mon Jun 17, 2002 11:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scottish Ballet's 'Carmen'

Review in The Independent.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>When Ashley Page leaves the Royal Ballet to become Scottish Ballet's director, he'd do well to hold on to his predecessor's Carmen in case of a box office slump. Woking's theatre was not only packed, because Carmen is that kind of title; but the audience was also rapturous, because Carmen is that kind of ballet – accessible without being cheap. Robert North's production returns to Méri-mée original novella and opts out of Bizet's music, which is an interestingly fresh angle. And it tells its story in flashback, through deftly compressed, lean scenes that use simple, semi-abstract means imaginatively. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>

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