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 Post subject: English National Ballet News 2005-6
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:24 am 
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Pas de quatre heralds exhibition of French and British painters
From The Times

The four English National Ballet dancers at Tate Britain could almost have stepped out of a painting by Edgar Degas. The connection was intentional: Jennie Harrington, Amy Hollins, Miranda Lee and Rachel Fox, right, pirouetted in front of the artist’s Two Dancers on the Stage...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:16 am 
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A high-flyer takes on the lame duck of dance
The new boss of English National Ballet is not afraid of breaking the mould, he tells our reviewer: by Debra Craine for The Times

All dance companies go through ups and downs, but English National Ballet seems to have spent more time at the bottom of the seesaw than fate or fortune should decree.Things haven’t been going well for Britain’s second largest ballet company for almost a decade as accusations of dumbing down have been matched by threats of bankruptcy.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:45 am 
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"Lame duck of Dance" seems harsh, as many people, including me, get a lot of enjoyment from ENB. I believe I see the hand of a Sub-Editor keen to work in a play on words, rather than Debra Craine.

You certainly get the impression of a Eaging as a forceful personality keen to get on with the job. ENB clearly has problems: touring ballet is expensive, that's one of the reasons whay the Royal Ballet doesn't tour - it would need more money, and the finances of a permanently touring company like ENB are horrendous. Forty years ago, a 30-strong touring company like Ballet Rambert became impossible to manage, with endless performances of the same classics to make ends meet, and transformed itself into a smaller, contemporary company. The next five years will see whether ENB has a future in its present incarnation.

Looking at some of Eagling's comments:

Quote:
We need more performances, and in bigger theatres outside London. I don’t want to do lots of small tours with 20 dancers. A big company should act like a big company.


Actually I rather liked the "Tour de force" events, especially as it took top quality performers to venues and towns that would normally never see this art form. More large scale touring sounds like more of the same going to the same theatres as BRB.

Quote:
I expect the board and the managing director to make it possible for me to carry out the artistic goals that I set. If I’m told that there is no money I will accept that, but it’s not about coming to the end of the year and finding that you’ve done nothing but the books look good. I’m not interested in that.


I'd rather see him talking about an iterative process of co-operation with the Managing Director. An AD these days needs to work closely with the MD to formaulate a programme, rather than: "This is what I want - yes or no?"


Quote:
David Dawson, resident choreographer at Dutch National Ballet (and a former ENB dancer), is on his wish list; so too are Johan Inger and Paul Lightfoot, from Netherlands Dance Theatre. Eagling has no plans to choreograph himself, at least not yet.


That is an exciting prospect for me as these are three choreogrphers that I would love to see in the rep of UK companies. Lightfoot and Dawson are Englishmen who have made virtually all their choreography in The Netherlands and, as two of the leading UK dance makers of their generation, that is an anomoly. However Lightfoot and Inger are from the NDT school which many UK critics hate with burning intensity and Dawson, whose work I have never seen, is I understand a cousin of this form. Whether ENB audiences away from London are ready for this style is another point. But I hope Eagling gets at least one or two of these three over here.

In any event, very best wishes for the years ahead to Wayne Eagling and ENB from all at CriticalDance.

Further thoughts anyone?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:30 am 
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Quote:
ENB clearly has problems: touring ballet is expensive, that's one of the reasons whay the Royal Ballet doesn't tour - it would need more money, and the finances of a permanently touring company like ENB are horrendous. Forty years ago, a 30-strong touring company like Ballet Rambert became impossible to manage, with endless performances of the same classics to make ends meet, and transformed itself into a smaller, contemporary company.


An extra problem for the company that the old Ballet Rambert didn't have, is the proliferation of touring companies from the former Soviet Union. Although some of these companies are quite frankly atrocious, and enough to put anyone off ballet for life, their touring expenses are probably a fraction of ENB's making it even more difficult for a British touring company to be competitive.

Quote:
Actually I rather liked the "Tour de force" events, especially as it took top quality performers to venues and towns that would normally never see this art form. More large scale touring sounds like more of the same going to the same theatres as BRB.


I enjoyed it too, but this kind of scaling down makes the corps de ballet redundant eventually. Knowing Wayne Eagling's track record from when he was the RB's union rep, I can't see him happily considering downsizing. I imagine the welfare of the dancers will be very high on his agenda.


By the way I wasn't very happy to read that:

Quote:
as a choreographer he was damned for his two Vangelis ballets, Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus, and Beauty and the Beast.


I was at the premiere of "Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus" and the reception the work received was overwhelming; with the possible exception of Fonteyn/Nureyev performances, I can rarely remember such storms of applause that went on and on and on. True the majority of the critics weren't keen, but later that year when Eagling won a best dancer award, the then General Administrator, John Tooley, remarked in his speech that if "Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus" was a failure, Covent Garden could do with more such failures. In fact the ballet kept a place in the rep for several seasons and was always popular with audiences. "Beauty & the Beast" on the other hand was rather ill starred, with a catastrophic first night with Dowell, in the leading role, suffering an on-stage injury resulting in the curtain coming down five minutes from the start. I always felt the work never recovered from that disastrous premiere.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:35 am 
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Quote:
The Sleeping Beauty, Touring nationwide
Someday my prince will come
by CHARLOTTE CRIPPS for the Independent

In ENB's Sleeping Beauty, the famous husband-and-wife team are reunited for the roles of Princess Aurora and Prince Desire. Oaks - who has three costume-changes, from pink bejewelled tutu to white-and-silver tutu to gold tutu - is thrilled. "I've missed dancing with him!"

published: October 20, 2005
more...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:53 am 
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The Times has gone to town today with a cover story about ENB spread over three pages inside. A lot about the agony of dance but little about the ecstasy of it. Heres the timesonline link:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,266-1876551,00.html


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:45 am 
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Many thanks for posting this here, Cassandra - entirely appropriate.

Given the many issues raised in the article, I have decided to post it in "Issues" as well. May I suggest that any discussions about the themes in the article are posted in the "Issues" topic:

http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/viewt ... 252#170252

Any discussions about ENB to continue here, of course.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:37 pm 
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Quote:
The curse of Sleeping Beauty
How one ballet caused a century of trouble.
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

ENB, for its part, knows what it's like to be cursed by expensive mistakes, since it was its big-budget production of The Nutcracker that helped drive the company into crisis. To minimise expense and risk, outgoing director Matz Skoog opted for a "secondhand production", selecting the version staged by Kenneth MacMillan for American Ballet Theatre in 1987. This was traditionally styled, beautifully designed and has a proved track record at the box office - making it a very smart buy.

published: November 21, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:40 am 
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The most recent DanceBase brochure indicates that ENB will be brining their "Swan Lake" up to Edinburgh in early May (2 -6). First BRB, now ENB - it's shaping up to be a great dance year in Scotland!

Kate


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:06 am 
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Details of casting are now available on the Coliseum web site for the company's Christmas season. On new years day there is a very generous 'kids come free offer' for the matinee performance of The Nutcracker. Details as follows:

http://www.eno.org/whats-on/whats-on.php?id=98&season=current

After the Nutcracker run London gets the chance to see the newly acquired production of Sleeping Beauty in a Kenneth MacMillan production. Casting now available for that too.

http://www.eno.org/whats-on/whats-on.php?id=97&season=current


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:30 am 
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A reminder that Wayne Eagling takes over as Artistic Director at ENB today.

A great animal lover, Mr Eagling is concerned with the logistics of bringing his pets over from Holland.

An interesting article chronicling a week in his life in The Telegraph.


Quote:
I'm also trying to work out what to do with my four parrots - they'll all be coming to London in the car with us, so need to be checked by a vet.

Then there's my aquarium to bring over, and my turtle. When I last lived in London I virtually had a zoo, complete with two monkeys.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jh ... week03.xml


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:34 am 
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Quote:
When I last lived in London I virtually had a zoo, complete with two monkeys.


Yeah, I've worked with ballet companies like that.

_________________
"A man's speech must exceed his vocabulary, or what's a metaphor?"


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:00 am 
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If I remember correctly, Mr Eagling's monkeys were called Clive and Barnes.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 7:03 am 
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Words fail me.

I love it.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 12:34 am 
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Wayne Eagling takes over, but don't tell the UK Immigration Department:


People
From The Guardian

A tricky start for Wayne Eagling, the new artistic director of the embattled English National Ballet, who was due to begin work a month ago but has been frustrated by administrative delays.

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