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 Post subject: Royal Ballet's Triple Bill: Ashton/Howard/Tetley
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:24 am 
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Triple bill
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

The logic of what makes a good revival is never straightforward and the Royal Ballet's latest programme, which takes all three of its works from the back catalogue, is a lesson in the risks and issues involved.

published: October 19, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:33 am 
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Darcey still the one to watch
by MARK MONAHAN for the Daily Telegraph

And this set the tone for an evening - of romance by turns thwarted, muddled and doomed - in which individual performances proved more memorable than overall impact.

published: October 19, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:57 am 
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Royal Ballet
By Debra Craine for The Times

Monica Mason clearly has fond memories of Andrée Howard’s La Fête étrange, which is why she decided to programme its revival as the opening attraction in the first triple bill of the Royal Ballet season.

Created in 1940 for the London Ballet, it was danced for many years by Sadler’s Wells Theatre Ballet and at Covent Garden (1958-64), where Mason, then 17, danced in it. Seeing La Fête étrange for the first time, I must admit to a certain fascination with its haunting period resonance. In style and manner it resembles Tudor’s Lilac Garden and strives for the same kind of quiet gravitas of the heart (although with far less success).

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:21 am 
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Pierrot Lunaire/La Fete Étrange/Marguerite and Armand
By John Perciavl for The Stage

Sylvie Guillem’s presence in Marguerite and Armand explained the packed house for this mixed bill. She has really grown into it - such charm, such detail, such conviction in spite of a somewhat faceless substitute partner, Massimo Murru.

With this were two unfamiliar productions. The Royal Ballet has never before given Pierrot Lunaire. The Covent Garden stage and auditorium are overlarge for it...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:35 am 
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A brief mention for the Royal Ballet at the end of this piece:

Pierrot Lunaire triple bill
By Jann Parry for The Observer

The Royal Ballet's revival of Andrée Howard's almost-forgotten La Fête Étrange (1940), appears to come from an era so remote that its fabled charm can only be guessed at. There's no vitality in the staging. Sets and lighting are murky, the wistful sighs of the dancing dull.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:42 am 
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Performers at the top of their game
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

The heroine of the past weeks has been Tamara Rojo. Like Lynn Seymour, whom she more than passingly resembles in style, her every action is part of a human story, exquisitely and truthfully told.

published: October 31, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:58 am 
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La Fete Etrange Triple Bill
By A C Greyling for Online Review London

The beautiful and elegant Darcy Bussell - who looks as if she is nine feet tall when she unfolds, with infinite grace, one of her legs or arms, though she is in fact not much taller than any other ballerina in the company - is an exquisitely feeling Bride in this strange and pessimistic tale loosely based on Alain-Fournier's 'Les Grandes Meaulnes'.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:28 am 
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This triple bill was one of the worst constructed I’ve ever seen at Covent Garden: “La Fête Étrange” by almost forgotten choreographer Andree Howard, rumoured to be a work of great beauty looked dated and meandering. Without a programme I hadn’t a clue what was going on and could only guess at the plot from the characters descriptions in the cast sheet, ‘Bride’, ‘Country boy’ and so on. It seemed uncannily similar to Tudor’s “Lilac Garden”, in fact at one point I could swear I spotted an identical gesture that may or may not have been a conscious quote. As the critics have pointed out, the choreography suited Darcey Bussell unusually well and to some extent she carried the ballet on her own, but looking at the date of the ballet’s creation I guess this work was first seen at Sadlers Wells and I imagine it’s more intimate qualities simply dissolve in the vast spaces of the opera house

Some time ago, I was reluctantly persuaded to view “Marguerite and Armand” with it’s new interpreter, Ms Guillem. I instantly regretted my decision: not so much because of the leading dancer’s shortcomings (after all Guillem has very few) but because it was so blindingly obvious from the very start that the special blend of romance and sensuality that the ballet used to possess had vanished without the almost supernatural gifts of Fonteyn and Nureyev. Frederick Ashton never intended this singular work to be performed by other dancers and I’m disgusted that the Royal Ballet holds Ashton’s memory in such low esteem that they would disregard his stated wishes. The inclusion of M&A made it an early night for me: I left after the second work.

That second work, the strangely beautiful “Pierrot Lunaire” had never been performed by the Royal Ballet before, and it’s to the Royal Ballet’s credit that they managed to find such an outstanding cast that didn’t compare at all badly with the many illustrious interpreters of the past. As Columbine Deirdre Chapman was pert and tricky, teasing and beguiling the hapless Pierrot in equal measure. Pierrot was danced by Ivan Putrov, still a little too classical in his movements to be ideal, but in his acting he clearly showed he knew exactly what the role is about. He is one of life’s all time losers, a first cousin of that other balletic no-hoper, Petrushka. Carlos Acosta as Brighella is, on the other hand, a natural winner, a man who has everything sussed, the king of the block absolutely guaranteed to get the girl. These two dancers made an exciting contrast and hopefully this ballet will maintain a permanent place in the repertoire.

Glen Tetley has been out of favour with the RB for a number of years now, goodness knows why. His previous creations for the RB have all been masterly and all three: “Field Figures”, “Laborintus” and “Dances of Albion” are long overdue for revival, so what about a Glen Tetley triple bill? Though judging from some of the responses to Schoenberg’s music, how present day audiences and critics would react to scores by Stockhausen or Berio, I really don’t know. Were we really that much more musically sophisticated back in the 1970’s?


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