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 Post subject: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:56 pm 
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Ashton's "Romeo and Juliet," performed by the Peter Schaufuss Ballet, is reviewed by Richard Amey for the Midhurst and Petworth Observer.

Midhurst and Petworth Observer


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:52 am 
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Peter Schaufuss Ballet presents Tchaikovsky Trilogy

Peter Schaufuss Ballet returns to London this July, presenting The Tchaikovsky Trilogy, Schaufuss' take on three classics: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. Schaufuss likens the Trilogy to “a nightmare, a sensual awakening and a happy dream” wherein the underlying theme is the human journey from pain and cruelty to joyful redemption.

The entire trilogy will be danced on one day on Saturday 28 July, starting at 1pm.

Alban Lendorf will dance every performance of Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. He will be joined on stage by Irek Mukhamedov who will play the roles of Rothbart in Swan Lake, the Queen’s husband and Aurora’s and Carabosses’s father in Sleeping Beauty, and Clara’s Father and Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cavalier in The Nutcracker, in all performances of all three ballets.

Dates: 23 - 28 July 2012
Swan Lake: Mon and Wed at 7.30pm, Sat at 1pm
Sleeping Beauty: Tue and Thu at 7.30pm, Sat at 4.30pm
The Nutcracker: Wed at 3pm Fri at 7.30pm and Sat at 8pm
Website: www.eno.org
Box office: 0871 911 0200


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Irek Mukhamedov joins the Schaufuss Ballet’s Award Winning Tchaikovsky Trilogy at the London Coliseum-hurrah!


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:44 am 
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Reviews of the Monday, July 23, 2012 performance of "Swan Lake" at the Coliseum.

Sarah Frater for The Stage.

Stage

Lyndsey Winship for the Evening Standard.

Evening Standard

Clement Crisp for the Financial Times.

Financial Times

Judith Mackrell for the Guardian.

Guardian

Mark Monahan for the Telegraph.

Telegraph


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:44 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Reviews of the Monday, July 23, 2012 performance of "Swan Lake" at the Coliseum.

Sarah Frater for The Stage.

Stage

Lyndsey Winship for the Evening Standard.

Evening Standard

Clement Crisp for the Financial Times.

Financial Times

Judith Mackrell for the Guardian.

Guardian

Mark Monahan for the Telegraph.

Telegraph


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:25 am 
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Tchaikovsky Trilogy
Peter Schaufuss Ballet
London Coliseum; July 24, 2012

Part II - Sleeping Beauty

Charlotte Kasner

Attachment:
The King and Queen in Sleeping Beauty. Photo Peter Schaufuss Ballet.jpg
The King and Queen in Sleeping Beauty. Photo Peter Schaufuss Ballet.jpg [ 31.16 KiB | Viewed 3879 times ]

London has become spoiled by regular visits from major international companies in the summer. However, probably sensibly avoiding the Olympics, The Bolshoi and Kirov are elsewhere and have left the field clear for the Schaufuss Ballet's Tchaikovsky Trilogy.

The appearance in London after several years absence of Irek Mukhamedov has been at the forefront of their publicity. Indeed, he is pictured (bizarrely) as Spartacus on the front of the programme. Well, both he and Tchaikovsky have right to feel affronted and the audience probably have a case under the Trade Descriptions Act.

Understandably alas, economics prevent the appearance of a live orchestra, but did the recording of Sleeping Beauty have to be so utterly dreadful? Tempi were all over the place and it became suddenly and uncomfortably loud towards the end of Act I and remained there for the rest of the evening. Louder did not mean better. It sounded at times as if the orchestra were playing at the bottom of a swimming pool.

Stefan Wise is wasted as the Dream Master/Lilac Fairy. He had little dancing on which to be judged but he has a strong stage presence and did his best in spite of the embarrassing frilly lilac shirt. The King (Mukhamedov) manages to be the father of both Carabosse and Aurora. Some conflict of interest there surely? He at least has a little dancing but he spends a long time looking bravely noble at the side of the stage or comforting his Queen who wafts around but never gets the chance of establishing a believable character.

The amended fairy variations have no variety whatsoever, each dancer flapping and hopping through each with not even a nod to individual characteristics. Carabosse (Yoko Takahashi) is an odd little minx with a weirdly stiff pony tail and a costume that makes her look like a streetwalker (as do the rather inadequate fairies). At one stage, she tries to corrupt her little sister with a pair of sparkly black shoes in an inexplicable parody of "The Red Shoes". She has a later battle with the Dream Master/Lilac Fairy but never epitomises evil. Oh yes, she is also the Black Swan. So is the King Rothbart??

Actually, it is very difficult to muster enough interest in this dreadul production to care. The choreography is dull throughout and greatly at odds with the music. The set is stark and costumes unflattering and cheap-looking. The Dream Master/Lilac Fairy acts as pander and literally pushes Aurora and Florimund (oh for the chance to see Alban Lendorf really dance, he is so wasted in this) onto the bed to consummate their liaison. Aurora has donned the red costume of adulthood, mirroring her mother, but sported little girl ribbons in two pony tails: combined with her pint-sized stature, this made their congress faintly offensive as Takahashi looked about 12 years old.

It is however mercifully short.

Footnote: I know I am seeing part II first. Reviews of parts one and three will follow.


Last edited by David on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:27 am 
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Having glanced at the reviews of Swan Lake, and read Charlotte's comments on Sleeping Beauty, have I ever been so glad I'm not seeing something?

...and to think some 'lucky' people are seeing all three in one day.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:56 pm 
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If your reviewer doesn't like the concept and choreography why go to see the other shows?

I suspect that good or bad your reviews have no influence as this seems to be just a board for wannabees to vent their fustrated opinions.

I am sure all the dancers and those involved in this show have more talent and work harder than your reviewers.

Writing a review when you are not paid to do so is of course vanity publishing.

More nice people would be good.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:49 pm 
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Tchaikovsky Trilogy
Schaufuss Ballet
London Coliseum; July 25, 2012

Part I - Swan Lake
(or Real Men Don't Bouree)

Charlotte Kasner

Attachment:
Swan Lake. Photo Peter Schaufuss Ballet.jpg
Swan Lake. Photo Peter Schaufuss Ballet.jpg [ 34.21 KiB | Viewed 3880 times ]

"Swan Lake" is a pretty robust creation and has survived much mauling over the last century and a half. There have been "Swan Lakes" without the swans (Northern Ballet), with a male corps de ballet and Odette/Odile (AMP), set in an asylum (Australian) and as a version of Hamlet (Bolshoi) etc etc. They have been with and without Benno and with and without the jester. Mostly they work because the inner core and integrity are preserved.

But if Petipa and Ivanov suddenly materialised in the London Coliseum they would conclude from this production that we are living in some sort of balletic Dark Ages. The same sound problems that afflicted "Sleeping Beauty" were apparent here. Perhaps worst of all, I couldn't help thinking how painfully dated it all felt. It is as if it were created in the 1960's, thumbing its nose at ballet and saying "yah, boo sucks, we can show lots of nipples and simulated sex on stage". Siegfried and the Swan Girl dive on each other as soon as they meet, all hands and see-through costumes. And the dreary, monotone pallete makes the work look washed out.

Irek Mukhamedov's Rothart in leather trousers and coat with a ruff of green cock feathers is one of the few highlights of the evening. Mind you, pretty much anything is an improvement on the owl. The man is still a star. The look of cunning and lust on his face as he turns to the audience having decided to seduce the Queen was priceless. In comparison, Zoe Ash-Brown's Queen was a feeble Martha Graham look alike. She lacked presence, resorting to scowling and pouting to convey malevolence. She tugs at Siegfreid's arms looking for all the world like a petulant older sister rather than a regal mother. She also seemed to struggle with some of the double work, although she could hardly have asked for a better partner.

Alban Lendorf is allowed precious little dancing as Siegfried. Why oh why? Even so, he manages to establish a credible character with a fresh innocence despite spending a lot of time writhing around on the bed or the floor. If I'm being picky, he fails to get his heels down in allegro and can be messy in fifth but perhaps this is due to the pressure of keeping up with the recorded music.

The jester is not popular with London audiences and has often been seen as a boring Soviet-era intrusion, although it does at least usually offer the chance for some virtuoso dancing. This production compounds the felony with two jesters, neither of them worthwhile. They also both wear scary executioner hoods, barely lightened by weird, bouncing ibex horns. Again, why, oh why?

The second act is much better than the first, with more dancing, and more of an effort at telling the story. But it is too little too late: no context has been created beforehand so there is nothing other than personal loss at the end when Siegfried doesn't get his girl. We don't know why it is such a tragedy that he has been tricked by the Black Swan, or perhaps we are expected to wait until Nutcracker? Someone seems to have shot a swan in the flies so Siegfried is left to wallow in feathers as the tabs come down. The audience meanwhile are left to wallow.


Last edited by David on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:22 am 
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Sarah Frater in the Stage reckons Sleeping Beauty is even more confused that Swan Lake...

The Stage


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:00 pm 
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Tchaikovsky Trilogy
Peter Schaufuss Ballet
London Coliseum; July 25, 2012

Part III - Nutcracker

Charlotte Kasner

Attachment:
The Nut Sky Cracker. Photo Peter Schaufuss Ballet.jpg
The Nut Sky Cracker. Photo Peter Schaufuss Ballet.jpg [ 32.14 KiB | Viewed 3881 times ]

The evening opened with a reprise of the end of "Sleeping Beauty": Aurora and Florimund are on the bed, having consummated their union. The Dream Master then engineers a dream where Aurora inexplicably becomes Clara, well, inexplicable to anyone who didn’t see the first two ballets, which is part of the problem with the trilogy. You need to see all three to make anything of it at all. Thereon, the plot progresses as one might expect.

Clara dreams of receiving a "Nut Sky Cracker" toy and he is duly delivered by the Dream Master/Drosselmeyer. Clara's television watching is not immediately clear and it is also confusing that the Nut Sky Cracker appears as a life-size automaton and as a doll simultaneously. I know all is possible in the weird world of dreams, but it’s confusing to the audience nonetheless.

The ubiquitous German nutcracker toy can become cloying to say the least; try going to the United States at Christmas. ENB produced a Michael Jackson and a Barbie, which at least was topical, but there seems to be no logical reason to replace him with The Stig. His cheap motorbike helmet in no way made him look like a spaceman, and it didn’t exactly help matters when it fell off as Johan Christensen embarked upon a particularly ambitious breakdancing head spin. He spent much of the evening reverting to type before suddenly becoming human again. The problem continued when he (officially) took his helmet off as he became the “Prince” (surely the logic of the trilogy would lead one to expect Lendorf to dance the role?), his shock of blonde hair making him look like a child from "Village of the Damned". The ballet then hit another recurring issue, why was Christiansen then given such little opportunity to show off his skills?

I am sure there are those prepared to forgive Schaufuss for replacing many of the traditional aspects of these three ballets, after all, the classics are not sacrosanct, but replacing snow with what looked like dandruff? Yes, really! The “snowflakes” scurried on in hideous cycling shorts and skirts topped by white fright wigs shedding flakes in which they proceeded to paddle.
Attachment:
Snowflakes. Photo Peter Schaufuss Ballet.jpg
Snowflakes. Photo Peter Schaufuss Ballet.jpg [ 26.37 KiB | Viewed 3881 times ]

The second act became even more bizarre as poor Irek Mukhamedov found himself dressed in a lime green bolero topped by an unspeakably awful lime green wig. The hideousness was only matched by the Sugar Plum Fairy who was wearing a shocking pink tutu with matching shocking pink shoes, the former apparently made of crimplene. She doesn’t even get to dance her variation. Instead the pas de deux is danced by Clara (not the same character even if danced by different people as in some productions) and the Nut Sky Cracker, Megumi Oki making more than a decent stab at the fiendish gargouillades, which Schafuss had the decency to leave in.

As expected, the recording was bowdlerised and much too loud.

Looking back, each of the ballets had some ideas of merit and there is conceivable justification for the Freudian-links made between them. But what I find difficult to condone are the tasteless designs, the largely inane choreography, the underusing of excellent dancers, and the appalling music. It seemed such a terrible waste of everyone’s talent, and a week that will stick in the memory for the wrong reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Laura Thomson on "Sleeping Beauty" for the Daily Telegraph...
Daily Telegraph


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:03 am 
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David Ladds reviews "Swan Lake" for the Hornsey, Crouch End & Muswell Hill Journal.

Journal


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:11 am 
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beauty wrote:
If your reviewer doesn't like the concept and choreography why go to see the other shows?

I suspect that good or bad your reviews have no influence as this seems to be just a board for wannabees to vent their fustrated opinions.

I am sure all the dancers and those involved in this show have more talent and work harder than your reviewers.

Writing a review when you are not paid to do so is of course vanity publishing.

More nice people would be good.



It's called expressing an opinion and anyone is entitled to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Peter Schaufuss Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:41 am 
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It's called expressing an opinion and anyone is entitled to do it.

Indeed - but what's it worth? In our capitalist world the value of nil must be the answer - as your reviewers are undistinguished and unpaid and no one will pay to read them and hardly anyone looks at them unlike established press. Vanity it is and without influence or importance.


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