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 Post subject: The Royal Ballet - Boston June 2006
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:49 pm 
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We are giving away two free tickets for the Royal Ballet in Boston - Please goto www.britsinamerica.com for more information.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:06 am 
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From Debra Cash in the Boston Phoenix:
Quote:
New Orleans story
The Royal Ballet’s Manon

When the Royal Ballet touches down at the Wang Theatre this month, quash any visions you might have of tea-and-crumpets decorum..... for its four Boston performances ... this huge, world-class company has chosen a real bodice ripper: the revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s 1974 Manon.
....
The title role is a juicy diva role that a dewy ingenue just can’t pull off. Manon’s mix of hauteur and desperation calls for a ballerina with acting chops and some life experience in her pointe shoes.
More...


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:05 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I just got an email from the Wang Theater mailing list that says there will be a free master class given by the Royal Ballet at Boston Ballet's downtown studio on June 13:

Quote:
Where: Boston Ballet
19 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
Click for directions. ( http://wangcenter.pmailus.com/pmailweb/ ... AACjAAC2RA )

Who: Adult Ballet Students (18 years and older)

Cost: Free

Class Description: Intermediate Level Master Class for Adults

Students are expected to be familiar with all barre exercises; exercises on rélevé; balances -in various poses. Center exercises consist of extended combinations of movement including a variety of turns, adagio, and small and large jumps, with emphasis on building proficiency, strength and speed.

How To Register:
-Class Capacity - 50 Participants
-Sign-up is based on a first-come, first-served basis.
-Registration will begin at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, June 13th at Boston Ballet.
-Participants must be present to reserve their space in the class.
-Participants will be required to complete a liability and photo release form.

This is a closed master class and individuals will not be able to observe the event.

Questions: Please call 617-532-1263 for additional information


You lucky people! If it's for 50 people, I imagine it must be using the large studio on the top floor, which must make for a gorgeous setting with its panoramic windows and class ending around sunset. I'm so green with envy. I hope someone can go and report back.

Does anyone know if the Royal does this on its tours, or perhaps someone at BB pulled some strings to put this together?

--Andre


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:01 am 
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From Karen Campbell in the Boston Globe:
Quote:
Dancer’s leap of faith has put her in Royal company
The last time Sarah Lamb danced on the Wang Theatre stage two years ago, she was soaring in the starring role of Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake.” It was a pinnacle of achievement with the company she had grown up with since the age of 6, Boston Ballet.

Just four months later, however, the ambitious young dancer had leapt across the Atlantic, leaving her family and the safety of the only artistic home she’d ever known to join England’s Royal Ballet.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:33 am 
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From Theodore Bale in the Boston Herald:
Quote:
Star returns to give Hub Royal treatment
....
[Sarah] Lamb has flourished in London, and she’s dancing a lot more than she did in Boston: 150 performances just this season. “In Boston, we usually got only two classical ballets each season,” she said. “It’s such a short career, so right now it’s important for me to do as much dancing as possible.”

More...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:33 am 
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From the Bale article on Sarah Lamb:

Quote:
Her interpretation of Aurora in ‘‘The Sleeping Beauty” two weeks ago earned her a promotion to the rank of principal dancer.


I had heard this through the grapevine, but couldn't post it because there weren't any official articles or announcements. Anyway, this must be a great accomplishment for Lamb and her school: I believe she came up through the Boston Ballet school system. Her fans in Boston must be happy about this, too. Congratulations to her!

Also, I'm very glad to be able to see her Aurora in Washington in less than two weeks.

--Andre


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:04 am 
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And now for some reviews...

From Theodore Bale in the Boston Herald:
Quote:
Acosta stars, ‘Manon’ shines
The late Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet “Manon” is characterized by polarities. There is the erotic and the romantic, wealth and poverty, material concerns vs. spiritual ones. It’s a perplexing, if not shocking, adult ballet.

Deeply rooted in classical technique, it’s also a lengthy work filled with enormous technical challenges. Last night ... The Royal Ballet [presented] a stirring performance of this strangely mesmerizing ballet, which continues through tomorrow with different casting

More...

and from Sally Cragin in the Boston Globe:
Quote:
Plenty of action, romance in Royal Ballet’s ‘Manon’
Make no mistake -- there’s heart and soul in the Royal Ballet’s sumptuous and emotionally complicated “Manon.” Choreographed in 1974 by Kenneth MacMillan, this three-act story ballet may have stripped the words from the 1884 Massenet opera, but it offers psychological complexity.

More...


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 Post subject: Manon in Boston
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:48 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
For Boston, it is a special treat to have the Royal Ballet in town to give us a taste of their exquisite craft. In a cultural scene that recently had a local modern dance company’s attempt to show a bare-breasted female performer curtailed by the police (http://blogs.wbur.org/arts/index.php/20 ... -take-two/), the effusive sexuality of MacMillan’s rendition of femme fatale tragedy must have come as quite a surprise to many theater-goers. Even for those of us who know the work and know when to inform our counterparts to refrain from drifting off, the vulgarity of certain gestures seemed a bit much.

I am thankful that McMillan attempted to capture in this ballet some of the gruesome realities of sexual fetish and assault, however I kept thinking about what the 8 year-old girl at the end of my row was thinking. Since in ballet we adore tradition, we need to continue to work with our dance companies and arts venues to better contextualize misogynist material so that young (and old) patrons can maintain their rightful rage in viewing such acts while still enjoying the work.

As for the dancing – bravo to Carlos Acosta and an even bigger brava to Tamara Rojo. Ms. Rojo’s Manon is hungry, deep, and utterly breathtaking.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 4:37 am 
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Interesting - the laws on nudity must be different by city, because there were certainly bare breasts when I saw Julia Bocca's company performing in Brooklyn, NY.

Frankly though I prefer the more relaxed European attitude when it comes to the human body. I think the UK tends to be a little more conservative than continental Europe, but in general nudity doesn't create such a fuss here. For instance the Royal Danish Ballet's special 2005 Bournonville calendar showed some of the female dancers topless (albeit in body paint) and I never heard or read any objections. Can you imagine a company doing that in the US?

I did find it interesting that Flindt's "The Lesson", which created quite a fuss in London, - special warnings, no matinee performances - is considered par for the course in Denmark. In fact it was shown live on one of the major Danish TV channels as part of a national cultural show. And after seeing it, I didn't find the ballet and more erotic or shocking then say "Prodigal Son" (and that's taken from a biblical story...).

However, I would have to question bringing an 8 year old to "Manon". I've never seen the ballet, but certainly know the storyline. It sounds like either the company or promoter did not do a good job of making clear the adult nature of the ballet, or the parents ignored the warning. (Looking at the Wang Theatre website, there is only a very brief description - the ROH website starts with the same text but goes into more detail.)

With the exception of discouraging parents from bringing very young (<5) children to most ballets, I think that in most cases, the decision should be left up to the parents, with companies providing adequate information about subject material to allow parents to make an educated decision. And I think many companies are now providing suggestions as to appropriate ballets for children. Some children are ready at a younger age than others, and some parents are more comfortable with certain themes than others.

Kate


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 4:44 am 
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Thanks for alerting us to this, Karl. But it's just as well that the RB are not bringing "Herman Schmerman" with its naked breasts under the thinnest gauze, otherwise the boys in blue would be knocking on the door of the UK company. Are the nipples on the paintings and statues in Boston's museums covered up, Karl? 150 years ago in the UK, we used to paint gauze over nipples and other naughty bits for fear of totally ruining young lives.

I remember the shock of some US tourists in Copenhagen with topless sunbathing a common sight in the parks. Somehow the young people of Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia manage to grow up into their societies with crime levels far lower than the US.

It also reminds me of a nice anecdote from the 1920's that I heard from Jane Dudley: Martha Graham used to do spots in vaudeville shows. In general she was resented by the show dancers and this came to a head when the local police in one city came in to check that the dancers were wearing knickers. All had to be revealed, but Graham was ignored. "What about her?" said one dancer pointing at Graham. The policeman replied: "That's OK - she's Art." Progress, what progress?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 4:52 am 
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John Rockwell reviews the Royal Ballet's "Manon"...

I fail to see what is so problematic about two companies performing the same ballets in the same city, especially when it won't be at the same time. SFB does not start until July 25, by which time ABT will be done with their season - hardly dueling ballets. And for that matter, NYCB and ABT sometimes overlap in repertory, and that never seems to bother Rockwell.

He might also do well to remember that most people don't get paid to see the ballet, so for Bostonians a chance to see "Manon" in their home city - by no less than the Royal Ballet - is rare treat and considerably more affordable than going to NYC.

Quote:
In Boston, the Royal Ballet Performs 'Manon'

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: June 17, 2006

BOSTON, June 16 — Those who plan our cultural life are either very clever or very clumsy. Either they wish to hone our comparative skills or they pay no attention to one another.

American Ballet Theater and the San Francisco Ballet will offer dueling versions of "Sylvia" in New York this summer, although by different choreographers.

More immediately, the Royal Ballet — which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, but with no New York engagement — opened a three-day run on Thursday night at the Wang Theater here with Kenneth MacMillan's "Manon" (1974). On Monday, American Ballet Theater will begin a week-long run of that same production with the same Nicholas Georgiadis décor at the Metropolitan Opera House. At least Carlos Acosta, who dances with both companies and who was Des Grieux on Thursday, will not be doing that role in New York.


Click here for more.


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 Post subject: Links re: Royal Ballet's Manon engagement in Boston
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:03 pm 
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I hope this isn't too commercial a post, but I have some information to add on the Royal Ballet's short stop in Boston this past week and on some ballet to come.

More reviews of the Royal Ballet's Manon can be found here (they include some reviews already posted, plus Debra Cash for WBUR.org, Iris Fanger for The Patriot Ledger and Sue Katz for EDGENewYork.com, this is where forthcoming reviews of the engagement will be posted as well):

http://cseries.typepad.com/celebrityser ... views.html

Also, former Boston Globe dance critic Christine Temin's article on The Royal (commissioned by Celebrity Series) can be found here (for a limited time):

http://www.celebrityseries.org/RoyalBallet_Temin_1.htm

And a couple of photos of The Royal Ballet master class with ballet mistress Ursula Hageli at Boston Ballet can be found here:

http://cseries.typepad.com/celebrityser ... et_mi.html

Many of these links (newspapers as well as Celebrity Series) will only be available for a limited time.

The Celebrity Series and Wang Center were partners for The Royal and much other touring dance still to come in Boston. You will be able to find information on other engagements on either web site (www.celebrityseries.org or www.wangcenter.org) including Kirov Ballet in November 2006.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:32 pm 
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Hi Jack and thanks for the links - very welcome. It's not only interesting for our US readers, but also for UK members, like me.

Theodore Bale wrote: "Acosta stars, ‘Manon’ shines"

Sally Cragin in the Boston Globe wrote:

Quote:
What's remarkable about this ballet is its emphatic and even cheerful (until act three) amorality. In the 18th century, you paid for your sins, but you could go down swinging.


Actually, I don't think it's amoral at all. It's clear that MacMillan despises most of the men, with the exception of Des Grieux, and even he is corrupted by a bribe not to go after Manon. He takes a much softer line with the women and is clearly critical of the system that heaps all the punishment on their shoulders.

It's good to see positive reviews for MacMillan's work after the roasting he has received from some US critics in the past, and no doubt currently as well from those who want all UK choreography to look like Ashton.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:40 am 
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'Beauty' Reawakened
Royal Ballet Hopes Its New Production Will Bring Back the Old Magic

By Philip Kennicott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 21, 2006; Page C01

Quote:
BOSTON

It must have been a pleasure, on that February evening in 1946, to watch a ballet in postwar London without nervous glances at the little red light that told audiences an air raid was in progress. Not that, during the raids, the hard-core ballet lovers ever left. If the dancers kept dancing, why should the audience leave?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/20/AR2006062001645.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:24 am 
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I think there's a difference between calling the story & characters amoral and calling the ballet amoral.

I've not seen the ballet, but have read a detailed synopsis of the story. MacMillan may well (and I would guess is) trying to show how awful the situation/society that allowed it to occur was, but what goes on - prostitution, 'selling' of woman, murder, Manon, putting wealth before human deceny & love - can certainly be called amoral.

Kate


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