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 Post subject: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2000 2:43 am 
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<P>The biggest news is that Marienela Nunez, previously an Artist (the Corps) has been promoted to First Soloist, jumping two categories in the process. I can't remember when this last happened. I'm delighted for her, but I do wonder what outstanding Soloists, like Mara Galeazzi and Jamie Tapper, feel about it.<P>Other young dancers making their mark are Ivan Putrov (Artist) and Edward Watson (First Artist) who are both given the lead role in Tudor's 'Shadowplay' together with the wonderful Carlos Acosta. Putrov looked very good if a little untidy in the recent 'Sirens' and Watson looks like a Star every time he steps on stage. He has wonderful technique and grace and brought great energy to Wayne McGregor's 'Symbiot'. The pdd extract from this work, which he performed with Deborah Bull, was one of the two big hits in the recent 'New Works' programme.<P>The Autumn season features Dowell's 'Swan Lake', which has few admirers I'm afraid. However, we shall see some first time combinations - Darcey Bussell with guest Roberto Bolle (more women swooning!!); new Principal Tamara Rojo (from ENB and a great catch) with Johan Persson (new First Soloist); Leanne Benjamin and Johan Kobborg, two delightful dancers who deserve to be better known outside of the narrow world of ardent ballet fans.<P>Also on show in the Autumn is 'Ondine' with Sarah Wildor, Miyako Yoshida and Tamara Rojo sharing the lead role. Not worth mentioning the chaps as they get so little to do in the piece. The only new work is from Michael Corder. I'm still hoping to really enjoy one of his pieces, but many thought his recent 'Masquerade' a fine addition to the Royal rep. The new Corder is part of a triple bill with 'Shadowplay' and Ashton's 'Marguerite and Armand'<P>Sadly, between now and the end of May 2001 there is only one other new work in the main Auditorium, which will be from Ashley Page. Many people do not enjoy his work and claim that he is obsessed with sex. Surprisingly, I usually do enjoy his work. There will be a number of MacMillan revivals and Nijinska's 'Les Noces', one of the signpost works of the 20th Century. <P>Oh yes - and 30 odd 'Nutcrackers' over Christmas.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 04, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2000 8:54 am 
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A footnote to the above. The Autumn timetable booklet also covers the 400 seater Linbury Studio Theatre, which will be getting much more use now. But, shock, horror, probe, I see that there are 17 opera or music events and only 5 dance.


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2000 3:58 pm 
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Stuart, which works are you really looking forward to on the RB Autumn Schedule?


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2000 9:05 pm 
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Are you talking about Ashley Page, grace? Are all his works like that?


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2000 3:45 am 
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Francis, I guess it has to be 'Shadowlands'. We see very little of Tudor's work here in the UK. The situation is probably not helped by the shenanigans when the Tudor Trust tried to stop Rambert Dance Company reviving the original version of 'Dark Elegies' as opposed to the later US version. <P>In the end a deal with a restricted number of showings over a 25 year period was thrashed out, but you can't help thinking that it must have made others think twice about Tudor revivals. A case of a Trust getting in the way of the legacy in my view.<P>The other highlight will be the first performances of Tamara Rojo with the Royal. She is quite something with great technique, elan, lithe movement and acting ability. All these attributes were brought together in a remarkable performance in MacMillan's 'Rite of Spring' in January. Oh, and she is beautiful as well. <P>What are you sorry to be missing Francis?<P>I guess the thing is Grace that since MacMillan there is so little modern UK ballet that I'm usually keen to see Page's work. 'Fearful Symmetries' is one of the best new works from the 90's in the Royal's rep. Two works from Dance Bites, the dark and mysterious 'Room of Cooks' and the fast and sparky 'Soft Underbelly' seemed like good work to me. But as we have said there are a lot who don't like him at all. <P> <p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited July 12, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2000 8:46 am 
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Now I'm intrigued with hearing more about Michael Corder. Do his works resemble anyone in particular? Were I in London, I would definitely enjoy seeing the triple bill with the Corder work, Shadowplay and Marguerite & Armand; Ondine; and Les Noces, none of which are we likely to see hereabouts. PNB has done Dark Elegies and Jardin aux Lilas within recent memory, but not within the past five years or so. Ashton is also a rara avis in these parts. I enjoyed a performance of The Dream several years ago in Vancouver, BC with Royal Winnipeg, as well as an excerpt (the Nocturne pas de deux) with a touring group billed as "Stars of the Royal Ballet" some years before that. I understand that RB will tour to the Kennedy Center in 2001? Any chance for an slight expansion of that tour to the West Coast of the U.S.?


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2000 9:01 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I understand that RB will tour to the Kennedy Center in 2001? Any chance for an slight expansion of that tour to the West Coast of the U.S.?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Leave it with me, Francis I'll have a word with Michael Kaiser. No promises, mind.<P>You're right about 'Les Noces' - I was concentrating on the first part of the season. The Royal will also perform 'Jardin aux Lilas' later in the year.<P>You're right grace, Corder does little for me. Works like his 'Cinderella' for ENB and 'Masquerade' could have been made at any time over the past 100 years, in my view. Just as current day artists working in an impressionist style are rather dull, so I find with Mr Corder.<P>In 'Masquerade' I saw Viviana Durante and Johan Kobborg, two of my favourites, but it still did nothing for me. Many in the UK do love it, however. But then, in general, many UK people have great difficulty with a lot of 20th century art in a variety of fields.<P>As you can see Francis, I'm not the best person to ask about Mr Corder. But for an overall impression I would say - think pre-Diaghalev ie classical rather than neo-classical. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 12, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2000 9:16 am 
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An interview with Nicholas Le Riche who will be guesting with the Royal Ballet later this month.<P> <A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=aqu66XuJ&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/7/15/btrich15.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000148269364269<BR>&rtmo=aqu66XuJ&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/7/15/btrich15.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 15, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2000 1:25 pm 
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<BR> <BR> An article in The Sunday Times about the Royal Opera House, including a discussion about Kaiser's successor. We are told that, 'The job is that of a chief executive, not, as it was in the past, of artistic director of an opera company that happens to have the Royal Ballet attached. It means that the board is going to have to find a very rare creature indeed: a financially competent, politically astute, thick-skinned arts manager with no aspirations to run the shows himself.' <P><BR> <A HREF="http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/00/07/16/sticulopa01003.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/00/07/16/sticulopa01003.html</A> <P><BR>Re. Corder, as I said grace, a lot of people like Corder, including Clement Crisp and most reviewers felt that 'Masquerade' was by far the best work in the first 'New Works' programme.<P>But, of course, I have to tell it as <u>I</u> see it. I hope I enjoy his forthcoming work for the RB more than its predecesors. But I'm afraid I'm not going to get excited looking forward to it. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 04, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2000 10:48 am 
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grace, I saw the same rumour about Alina Cojocaru and I have to say that the source is usually reliable and not prone to idle speculation.<P>However, in answerto a direct question, the RB Press Dept. e-mailed me that they are only aware that there will be an announcement about all the company changes at the end of the season.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 18, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2000 7:56 am 
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My "insider trading" antennae tell me that this latest ascension has been carefully plotted and scripted and the datestamp reads some time before Mr. Kaiser ever left for Covent Garden. He had no intention of staying there any longer than he needed to stay in order to acquire another layer of patina to impress either the Kennedy Center or the Lincoln Center selection committee. The salaries noted for the outgoing incumbents in each of these positions far outstrip anything that registers on my graph of reality.... <P>I have subsequently been contacted via e-mail by a source who is personally acquainted with Mr. Kaiser who indicates that my hypothesis regarding Mr. Kaiser's motivations are bogus and that his unhappiness in London was the genuine reason for his departure. Also, that Mr. Kaiser took a salary cut from his private sector position prior to assuming the ABT position and that he is genuinely not in the business of arts management for the money.<p>[This message has been edited by Francis Timlin (edited July 19, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2000 3:31 am 
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Norman Lebrecht vents his spleen about the arts and the ROH. I think he has missed<BR>the point a bit - the Lottery money can’t be used for on-going funding of companies as<BR>I remember. Further, while its right to compare the Royal Ballet with the Kirov, one<BR>must remember that the Kirov, with POB, are the best in the world. And I do have to<BR>say that having a flunky in the full gear give the ballerinas their flowers is not high on<BR>my list of the priorities.<BR>However, I share his concern that Richard Shaw is leaving the job of Marketing<BR>Director as he is one of the best and is highly respected in the dance world.<P><BR> <A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=aquqWChJ&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/7/19/bmnorm19.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000148269364269<BR>&rtmo=aquqWChJ&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/7/19/bmnorm19.html</A> <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 22, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2000 12:42 am 
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The ROH has issued a press release (19th July) about Michael Kaiser's appointment in Washington. The main points are:<P>- Welcoming the appointment and the contribution that MK has made to the ROH<P>- A sub-committee of Lord Southgate (the Chair), Vivien Duffield, Lord Eatwell and Peter Hemmings has been appointed to nominate the new Exec. Director. This group will,<BR> * consult with people inside and outside the profession<BR> * advertise etc in conjunction with A.T.Kearney (professional recruitment advisors) <BR> * make recommendations to the board in due course<BR> <BR>- While they hope to make an appointment prior to MK's departure, if necessary they will review the option of an Interim Manager, while the favoured candidate becomes available.<P>- Lord Southgate concludes, 'Contrary to speculation in the press I have no ambitions to become the Executive Director of the Royal Opera House.' <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 23, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2000 9:45 am 
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The Royal Ballet have issued their end of term report which includes promotions, exits and entrances. <P><u>Dancers</u><P>Promotions:<P>-Inaki Urlezaga is promoted to Principal<P>-Luke Heydon is promoted to Principal Character Artist<P>-Jane Burn, Alina Cojocaru, Mara Galeazzi, Marianela Nunez and Jaimie Tapper<BR>are promoted to First Soloists<P>-Edward Watson is promoted to Soloist<P>-Tomoko Furuya, Victoria Hewitt, Emily Low, Sian Murphy, Bennet Gartside,<BR>Martin Harvey and Nicole Ransley are promoted to First Artists.<P>Urlezaga is a fast learner who stepped into the breach a couple of seasons ago when a number of the leading men were injured. With the best will in the world, I think he could have done with another couple of years to build on his earlier rapid passage through the ranks. I can't remember a single outstanding review of his dancing. <P>Heydon is always impressive in a wide range of roles.<P>Cojocaru has made a huge impact in a short space of time and will look good as a First Soloist, as will Galeazzi (her recent Firebird seemed to tip the balance) and Tapper. Nunez I haven't seen and Burn is not one of my favourites.<P>Watson is excellent and brings great style and increasingly power to his dancing.<P>There has been much speculation about some of the dancer promotions. The reason is that Dowell tells them in his end of term chat and then of course they tell their friends or just come out with a big cheesey grin. And then ballet groupies get to know and then rumours are flying round all over the place. You can't help thinking that there ought to be a better way of doing it. <P><BR>Newcomers:<P>- Tamara Rojo from English National Ballet and Johan Persson from the <BR>National Ballet of Canada both join as a Principal in September 2000. Both already known about.<P>- Emma Sandall joins as First Artist from the Béjart Ballet Lausanne. All the women there seem to be wonderful. Mr Bejart seems to have his pick - having Guilleme on the staff must be a great draw, apart from his high reputation in Continental Europe.<P>- Gemma Bond and Natasha Oughtred have joined as Artists from the<BR>Royal Ballet School.<P>- Marie Doutrepoint from Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse, Jose Maria Tirado<BR>from Bavarian National Ballet, Brian Maloney from Jeune Ballet de France,<BR>Johannes Stepanek from Vienna State Opera Ballet and Ernst Meisner from the<BR>Royal Ballet School all join the Company as Artists in September 2000.<P><BR>Exits:<P>- Bruce Sansom leaves to take an Arts Administration course with the San Francisco Ballet, as we already knew.<P>- Principal Carlos Acosta will become a Guest Artist - much gnashing of teeth.<P>- Character Principal Sandra Conley will leave the Company as a full member at<BR>the end of this season, but will return as a Guest Principal Character Artist in the<BR>2000/2001 Season.<P>- Nicola Roberts, Christina McDermott, Shi-Ning Liu, Natalie McCann, Michelle Davis, Josephine Russell and Jerry Douglas have or will leave the Company. Everyone is very sorry about Douglas going, as he and Watson were the brightest hopes in the younger male dancers.<P><BR><u>Other changes</u><P>- Andrea Quinn leaves to go for NY. From what an orchestra member told me it her stay has not gone terribly well from their point of view.<P>- Rosalind Eyre retires as Ballet Mistress. She will be succeeded by Gail<BR>Taphouse, currently Assistant Ballet Mistress.<P>- Lesley Collier joins the Artistic Staff as Répétiteur. This has got to be great news.<P><BR>So, it's out with the buckets and spades, until the start of term at the beginning of September.<P> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 04, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: News from the Royal Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2000 4:48 pm 
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I believe that would be news about J. Persson joining as a principal...he was (sniff sniff) a principal in Canada; the last word I read was that he was to be a first soloist. <P>I will miss his performances a great deal!!! I don't think NBOC has anyone else to "replace" him.<P>That is also very good news about Jamie Tapper! Looks like she made a wise decision to leave NBOC.


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