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 Post subject: Royal Ballet "Gloria" Mixed Bill 2005-6
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:45 am 
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Royal Ballet
By Debra Craine for The Times

It’s hard to know who the Royal Ballet is targeting with its new mixed bill. Four one-act ballets and a meaty lineup that included eight principals on opening night make for a hefty evening. And with a top ticket price of £50 it certainly means good value. But what a curious mixture of moods this programme evokes.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:57 am 
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Royal Ballet mixed bill
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

But, as the cast rather dispiritingly displayed, it is a work that today's dancers find tricky to master. Taller and more linear than those who performed it half a century ago, the dancers' bodies often aren't built for its spinning dynamics.

published: November 30, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:46 am 
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Marriott's elegant gift
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

What was significant then, and what is now significant about Tanglewood, which had its first performance on Monday night, is that we can see where Marriott's dance comes from. He is a child of the house, reared on Ashton and MacMillan.

published: November 30, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 5:09 am 
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Tanglewood, Royal Opera House, London
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

Marriott groups dancers well, with some choreographic echoes. A dance for Bussell and three men suggests Balanchine's Apollo - god and muses - with the genders reversed. Rorem's last movement is jazzy, and Marriott responds with some syncopation - but with not enough thrust to it.

published: November 30, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:45 am 
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My Brother, My Sisters - Covent Garden, London
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Independent

The Royal Opera House's current quadruple bill is a Very Good Thing. A new choreographer (Alastair Marriott, bred in-house) has made a fine debut on the main stage; Frederick Ashton's La Valse is back, not perhaps quite luscious enough in manner but still intoxicating; and two important Kenneth MacMillan pieces have returned.

published: December 9, 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:27 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Catching up after an absence:
"Gloria" Mixed Bill
By David Dougill for The Sunday Times

The Royal Ballet’s latest programme at Covent Garden is a mixed bill, and not the best possible mix. But Monica Mason, the director, has made a declaration of faith, I think, by including the premiere of a new work, Tanglewood, by Alastair Marriott — a company artist who, in the past few years, has made promising pieces for smaller spaces — on the main stage alongside ballets by Ashton and MacMillan.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:37 am 
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The Royal Ballet presented their new programme of short ballets at the Royal Opera House after the runs of “Manon”. The programme consisted of “La Valse”, “Tanglewood”, “My Brother, My Sisters” and “Gloria”.

“La Valse”, as choreographed by Ashton, is usually a good evening opener, but unfortunately on this occasion it looked so unrehearsed that it did not come across as nothing much more than that, an opener. The [i]corps looked unsynchronised and did not manage to get the phrasing of the choreography right, nor did the soloists fare much better. There were too many technical mistakes in a work that does not present major technical difficulties.

“Tanglewood” was a new work commissioned to Alastair Marriott. Though it is good to see the Royal Ballet presenting new choreography, in this instance, the ballet failed to challenge the dancers and seemed to rely too much on the past instead of opening new doors for the future. Leanne Benjamin, Martin Harvey and Marianela Núñez were the soloists in charge of bringing the ballet alive. Only Núñez managed to make something out of her role. She has developed into a mature and beautiful dancer and she showed a command of the stage that is rare among her peers. The choreography was uneven. The opening seemed to echo “Song of the Earth” movement explorations, especially in MacMillan’s wonderful choreography for the leading woman. But unlike MacMillan’s work, Marriot’s does not seem to find a focus. It seems as if the choreographer could not make up his mind on whether there was going to be some sort of subtext or just plain plotless choreography. There was not much adventurousness in the choreographic text and ideas seemed to follow rather than flow.

“My Brother, My Sisters” was a welcome revival of a work that showcased the strength of the Royal Ballet's choreographic past. Though it does not present a narrative as such, there is enough in the work to be narrative through its mood and characterisation. The ballet was inspired by the Brönte’s family and their dysfunctional, yet outstanding characters, gave MacMillan enough material on which to create a most fascinating work. The dancers managed to make their choreographic material utterly believable and created the right dark mood for the ballet to develop. Edward Watson as the Brother gave the best performance I have seen with him. He was totally immersed in his role as a petulant, selfish, heroic sort of character and Mara Galeazzi as the eldest Sister was equally brilliant in her manipulative excesses. Tamara Rojo as the younger Sister was also totally believable. Personally, I thought this ballet was the best part of the evening, as I had high expectations that were more than justified after the performance. It is not very often that one sees a ballet after fifteen years and can feel relieved that it was just as one remembered it. It may not be MacMillan’s masterpiece, but it is an important work worth considering and watching in order to have a broader understanding of the choreographer’s breath of creative output.

The last ballet of the evening was “Gloria”, another MacMillan piece. Unlike “My Brother, My Sisters”, “Gloria” has been presented more often in the repertoire in the last years, so consistency of interpretation has been somehow ensured. The leading roles were danced by Carlos Acosta, Thiago Soares, Alina Cojocaru and Laura Morera. Both Thiago Soares and Alina Cojocaru were wonderful in their interpretation and dancing, however the more dramatic roles of Carlos Acosta and Laura Morera lacked understanding. I missed Wayne Eagling’s interpretation of Acosta’s role… He was the creator after all! But, more than that, I missed the anger, the frustration that he brought to the role, especially in the last moments, when the singer words the final “Miserere Nobis” is sung and he points to Heaven with the “your country needs you” gesture that MacMillan gave his dancers as a leitmotif. I also missed Wendy Ellis’s sense of wonder and happiness in her role. Morera was too one dimensional and did not manage to create the contrast between the suffering main character and her lost childhood. In spite of this, the ballet remains a powerful and inspiring work of art and it still manages to keep the audience enthralled with its depth of feeling.


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