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 Post subject: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 11:51 pm 
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Quote:
Royal Ballet brings in Stravinsky work as choreographer falls ill

by the soundgenerator.com

The Royal Ballet has announced its regret that Christopher Wheeldon is unable to complete his new one act ballet for the Company.
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<small>[ 14 March 2005, 01:01 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 11:32 pm 
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Quote:
Royal Ballet mixed programme

by JUDITH MACKRELL
the Guardian

... a late re-jigging of material has created a very different evening - with three of its four ballets adding up to an object lesson in bad staging.
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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:32 am 
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Royal Ballet
By Debra Craine for The Times


THIS was to have been the night they raised the curtain on Christopher Wheeldon’s new ballet for Covent Garden. But with the choreographer unfortunately indisposed during rehearsals, the premiere had to be called off. So instead, the talking point of this Royal Ballet bill, which featured nine principal dancers and a night of pure dance, was the redesign of Ashton’s Rhapsody.

Made in 1980 as a tribute to the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday, Rhapsody hasn’t been seen at the Royal Opera House since 1996.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:13 am 
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Quote:
They think, they love - therefore they dance

by ISMENE BROWN
the Daily Telegraph

If I've seen a greater couple in this than Alina Cojocaru and Johann Kobborg, I can't remember. In their debut performance, Cojocaru and Kobborg looked like instinctive Balanchineans - they think, they love, therefore they dance.
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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:06 am 
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Quote:
Reinventing the Wheeldon

by ZOE ANDERSON
the Independent

In one group dance, each of those women steps forward for a short solo. The last two dance together, while a third zig-zags her way back to the group. That's three dances, three floor patterns, at once. The whole stage seems to glow with dancing.
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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:06 am 
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Carlos Acosta was injured at the beginning of the performance last night (March 18th)... he was able to dance the pas de deuxs, but Ivan Putrov had to recruited out of the audience to do the solos.

Quote:
Ankle injury to dancer halts ballet
By Helen Johnstone
(Filed: 19/03/2005)

The dancer Carlos Acosta suffered a suspected twisted ankle last night just after the start of a production at the Royal Ballet in London's Covent Garden. Acosta signalled to the conductor that he had injured himself almost as soon as he had taken to the stage and the performance of the 30-minute Rhapsody came to a halt.
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<small>[ 19 March 2005, 09:06 AM: Message edited by: ksneds ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 8:19 am 
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Rhapsody/Pavane pour une Infante Defunte/Duo Concertant/Symphony in C
By Gavin Roebuck for The Stage


Ashton’s plotless ballet to Rachmaninov’s well-known Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini was an 80th birthday tribute to the Queen Mother. Newly designed by Jessica Curtis with a Turneresque backdrop and dim lighting, the brilliance of the choreography and the dancers’ technique shone through.

click formore

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

Ah, the joy of a neatly turned ankle
By Jann Parry for The Observer

The Royal Ballet's latest programme opens with dancers silhouetted against a turbulent cloudscape and ends with a clear blue sky and a phalanx of white tutus. In between come two duets which replace the scheduled new work from Christopher Wheeldon, which a bout of flu prevented him from completing.

The result is a series of showpieces glorifying the ballerina as the choreographer's muse.

click formore

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

The Royal Ballet: Let there be light
The Royal Ballet’s Ashton bill lacks sparkle, says David Dougill for The Sunday Times.


The latest big revival in the Royal Ballet’s Ashton centenary celebrations is Rhapsody, his last significant work, created in 1980 and not seen at Covent Garden since 1996. Choreographically, it is a dazzling response to Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, but it has not had a happy history with the visuals. The original designs were overgilded pretty-pretty; later came a strident new look; and now, we get the worst of all worlds — flimsy dresses and mimsy jerkins so colour-drained that they might have been left in the washing machine for a month. Jessica Curtis has perpetrated these, as well as a lowering Tur-neresque sky, and almost everything is lit dim.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:07 am 
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Location: London, England
Royal Ballet Mixed Bill
Rhapsody - Pavane Pour Une Infant Defunte - Duo Concertante - Symphony
In C
Royal Opera House
14/03/05

Jessica Curtis’s new designs for Ashton's Rhapsody paint this as a pretty, pastel ballet. But she dreamily washes over the fact that its choreographic palette reflects a much bolder range of colour, decorated with fiendishly difficult tricks, brisk petit allegros and some quirky eccentricities.

The ballet was one of Ashton's last, created in 1980, for the virtuosic talents of Mikhail Baryshnikov. In this performance however, it is the female lead, Miyako Yoshida, who steals the show. Beaming up at the gallery, it looks like a breeze to her, as she sprints through her steps, springing into each position with a delighted snap.

Yoshida, who turns 40 this year, is one of the oldest and most experienced principals in the company, but here she is paired with one of the youngest, Ivan Putrov. And while the age gap might have worked for Fonteyn and Nureyev, it doesn't have the same success here. The couple’s climactic pas de deux is clearly the highlight, but Yoshida carries it. While she is confident, animated and rhapsodic in love, Putrov seems blank and boyish in comparison, and a little nervous. He excels on bravura barrel turns and cheeky flourishes, but is uneasy on some simpler landings and can’t always fill the music when he’s not leaping about. Still, there's plenty of time for him.

The real disappointment of the evening is the lack of the planned new Christopher Wheeldon ballet, due to illness. Instead we get two pas de deux: Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte, one of Wheeldon's early pieces, and Balanchine's Duo Concertante. Pavane is a flight of fancy, with a dainty Darcey Bussell emerging from an enormous lily into the manly arms of Jonathan Cope. It’s a slight slice of whimsy, but Bussell dances with wonderful weight and presence and Cope looks so at ease and enraptured by his partner that it's really a pleasure to watch.

Duo Concertante is another oddity. The set up is like peeking in on a rehearsal, as dancers Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg stand by the onstage piano, listening attentively to the opening of Stravinsky’s eponymous piece for piano and violin. Then seemingly inspired, they decide to join in, dancing playful, folky, improvisatory episodes. It is utterly contrived – they stop to listen for a while, before being swept up for another jaunt – but it’s an infectious and endearing turn from Cojocaru and Kobborg. Any supposed dialogue between the dancers and musicians however, must have been playing on mute.

Finally, Balanchine's Symphony in C. I'm sure it's sacrilege to say so, but personally I find this 'masterwork' just a little bit boring. Granted, the finale's great – after all, with 52 dancers on stage it's impossible not to stir up some excitement. And I also enjoyed Jose Martin's huge leaps and precision pirouettes. But ultmately, it's an exhibition piece, in blinding brilliant white, where the dancers' dangling sparkly earrings matching their sparkly smiles. It's the all-American beauty pageant of the ballet repertoire. From my vantage point there was nothing inspiring in this performance, and this time not even Darcey Bussell could come to the rescue.

<small>[ 22 March 2005, 04:09 AM: Message edited by: Lyndsey Winship ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:32 am 
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Quote:
Rhapsody Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London

by CLEMENT CRISP
the Financial Times

The original designs by Ashton and William Chappell (a friend from his earliest dancing days) were modest, and did not interfere with the dance. A subsequent re-design by Patrick Caulfield was Bombastic. Now the piece has been designed again. Lamentably.
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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:51 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
A brief review by Edward Thorpe:

http://www.hamhighbroadway.co.uk/content/camden/broadway/whatson/story.aspx?brand=NorthLondon24&category=whatsonmisc&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=whatson&itemid=WeED24%20Mar%202005%2010%3A38%3A04%3A460


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet's "Rhapsody" Mixed Programme 200
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 12:07 am 
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Thanks for your review, Lyndsey, and it's good to read an alternative perspective on "Symphony in C". I always enjoy it as a hommage to 19th Century symmetry and on one occasion I was interested to see that the construction is sufficiently robust to withstand an under-rehearsed 3rd cast.

Nevertheless, I am minded of Balanchine's revolutionary work from the 1920's and what might have been had he carried on in that direction, rather than putting the avant-garde to one side, only picking it up again 30 years later with "Agon".

<small>[ 26 March 2005, 01:08 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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