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 Post subject: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 4:42 am 
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It looks like yet another success for the Royal Ballet as Anthony Dowell's long service moves into its final stage.

Anthony Dowell says his goodbyes

Royal Ballet double bill ****(out of 5)

by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian

Quote:
The giant talents of Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan have been brought together for the final programme of the Royal Ballet's official season, in a masterly pairing of The Dream and Song of the Earth. The programme also marks Anthony Dowell's last official contribution as director and as such it has an elegiac feel. In twinning these two remarkable ballets Dowell is bidding farewell to choreographers who not only shaped his company but his own career.
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The Dream, Song Of The Earth

by Luke Jennings for The Evening Standard

Quote:
It is impossible to watch this superb double bill without seeing the principal male roles of Oberon and The Messenger of Death shadowed by their original creator, Anthony Dowell.

His influence was present in every gesture, and his example clearly informed the excellence of last night's interpreters, Johann Kobborg and Carlos Acosta. Kobborg's Oberon is a creature of lethal softness, his precise footwork and beautifully controlled pirouettes an object lesson in ballet science. There is the requisite wildness too, and we see the flash of savage pleasure in his eyes at his consort's upcoming sexual humiliation.
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[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 04, 2002).]

<small>[ 24 November 2003, 02:58 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2001 11:31 pm 
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<B>RB Winsome, lose some</B><P>'Mixed success as the Royal Ballet celebrates its two greats,' reports DEBRA CRAINE in The Times. <P><BR><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-205174,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Review</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2001 11:27 pm 
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<B>Profound emotions from an ideal cast</B> <P>by CLEMENT CRISP in The Financial Times <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The return of Kenneth MacMillan's Song of the Earth to the Royal Ballet repertory on Saturday night was, in itself, cause for rejoicing. It is a work profoundly serious, profoundly moving, profoundly thoughtful in its choreography. That it has been revived with distinction, with what is clearly love, is a matter for gratitude to the Royal Ballet's coaches and dancers: there is not a moment, not a nuance, which diminishes this astonishing work's power or integrity. That it has been given a cast well-nigh ideal is a matter for further gratitude.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/articles.html?id=010523001231&query=ballet" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2001 1:50 am 
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More superlatives for Dowell's final programme at the Royal Opera House:<P><BR><B>Leaving with a dream and a song</B> <P>Ismene Brown reviews The Dream/Song of the Earth performed by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden<P><BR><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=qK9eKsJ9&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/01/5/24/btisme24.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Review</B></A><P><BR>John Percival reviews The Dream/Song of the Earth in The Independent:<P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/dance/reviews/story.jsp?story=74195" TARGET=_blank><B>Review</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2001 3:25 am 
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Review in The Stage<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>The Dream/ Song of the Earth <BR>Royal Opera House <BR>Critics often bemoan the current lack of choreographic talent, and when you see the latest Royal Ballet double bill it is not difficult to see why. The two-piece programme captures the character of the company’s two great choreographers, Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan, and shows how poorly most living dance makers compare. Critics often bemoan the current lack of choreographic talent, and when you see the latest Royal Ballet double bill it is not difficult to see why. The two-piece programme captures the character of the company’s two great choreographers, Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan, and shows how poorly most living dance makers compare.<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thestage.co.uk/paper/0121/0206.shtml" TARGET=_blank> More </A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2001 6:38 am 
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Did anyone go? Stuart? This is one program I would very much have liked to see...one of my favorite Ashton works paired with what sounds like a MacMillan of genuine greatness. Both well-cast and wonderfully realized....


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2001 7:32 am 
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I have not seen it yet but I am going to attend the last scheduled performance on 31/05/01. I have never seen either work before but from what I gather they are both real masterpieces. I can't wait.


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2001 8:53 am 
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I'm planning to go Francis, but I'm not sure when. I tend to buy seats on the day.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 24, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2001 10:44 am 
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I think popping into Convent Garden yesterday will go on 2 lists: Best things I have ever done on impulse, and The most beautiful things I have ever seen. My only regret is that it marked the end of the RB season. If otherwise, I'd be traipsing down to London every other night just to watch it again!<P>It was my first "Dream", and I was absolutely captivated! I literally had chills down my spine when the singing started, which I hadn't known about at all. (I rushed out and bought the cd right after.) Alina Cojocaru at nineteen charms and sparkles, a feisty Titania, and a truely lyrical dancer. She had some great chemistry with her Oberon, Essakow a soloist who did a lovely job. The two of them are so tiny, they did remind me a little of frolicking children, playful and squabbling. I loved the tug of war over the changeling boy..."he's mine!" "No, no, he's mine!". RB did an exceptional job with the comedic touches. It was like physical comedy, but unbelievably balletic at the same time... Lysander's mock anguish when Hermia tells him to find another tree to sleep next to...Oberon giving Puck the boot when he messes up with the herbs...the look on the fairies' faces when they see the object of Titania's affection is...an ass.<P>Luke Heydon was brilliant as Bottom the ass and I marvelled at his galloping on point. First time for me, I kept staring at his feet - is he? he can't be...he is on pointe! It also amazed me how expressive he was from behind his clunky mask. I swear, you could see the light go on in his eyes at the moment he realises he has Titania at his beckoning. <P>And it was lovely how the forest didn't feel static, but looked like it was fresh and alive. The fairies darted on and off between trees on a ramp above the stage, peeking down at the shenanigans that were going on the forest floor.<P>The final pas-de-deux between Titania and Oberon was dreamy. There were so many beautiful moments, I could go on and on and I can't think of a more perfect ballet than this one.<P>I went into Song of the Earth with less than low expectations given some of the reviews I'd read but I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't find the singing a turn off as some did. It was so beautiful that if anything, I think it added to the performance. For me, it would have been more of a distraction if it was sung in English as some people I chatted to there suggested.<P>At first I thought the audience was less than enthusiastic, given the muted applause between some of the dances. In the last and admittedly very long song, this woman next to me kept shifting and looking around, probably wondering why it wasn't over yet. Though some people made a quick exit, the applause afterwards was raptuous. Jonathan Cope stood out among all the others. I have to admit, when he came on stage I couldn't keep my eyes off him, neglecting everyone else. Why isn't there more information available? Why is it he is virtually known outside the ballet world? He's in his late 30s, but still in brilliant condition, very expressive and with soaring jumps, though at at one point, he managed to trip over another dancer. There's a lift where Cope was balancing Tamara Rojo on the back of his head and neck that got my heart that got my heart thumping! I was terrified the weight would break his neck! And at another point Cope lifted Johan Persson (the Messenger), another wonderful principal, as easily as can be, as he would a girl. Mara Galeazzi was another stand out for me, but it in part due to the quality of choreography. Likewise with Tamara Rojo, I wasn't impressed, but probably because I didn't especially like the dance either.<P>I have mixed feelings about this one. The dancing was sort of wierd and wonderful to watch. The themes were of life, death and renewal but I couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on, why one dancer was reaching out to another, why Rojo was in anguish. It was inspired by some chinese poems and the song translation was provided, but I'd read before that it wasn't a literal translation so I skipped it not wanting to confuse myself. It's not something I'd run out and see again, and then only if Cope was cast again. But it was definitely worth watching at least once. Sorry I can't explain it much better. There are far superior reviews of the ballets on the ballet.co message board.<P>Hope that was ok. It's my first review here, and only my 2nd ever for ballet. Image<BR><p>[This message has been edited by sylvia (edited June 01, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2001 6:28 pm 
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As an older RB watcher, this revival of Song of the Earth is one of the best since it was created. Immensely moving. Superb casting throughout, and obviously coached with real loving care - the great Monica Mason of course. Cojocaru was an enchanting Titania, Essakow danced well as Oberon but doesn't yet have the authority. The pas de deux went extremely well - he was much happier here, presuambly thanks to their experience doing this in Ireks group last year. Heydon was gloriously funny and touching, and the four lovers earned great audience reaction, thanks especially to Vanessa Palmer.


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's 'The Dream' double bill - 2001
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2001 1:55 pm 
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Sylvia, what a pleasant surprise to read your full review. Many thanks for sharing these thoughts with us. <P>Looking forward to further reviews in the months to come.


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