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 Post subject: Royal Ballet's "Castle Nowhere" Triple Bill (2006)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:55 am 
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Quote:
The dancer who captured the Castle
by DEBRA CRAINE for the Times

Mrozewski doesn’t have much of a track record in Britain, so I can’t predict how successful Castle Nowhere is going to be. But I think I can safely say that Gary Avis, one of the eight dancers who have been rehearsing with Mrozewski on its creation, will be compelling.

...

His Royal Ballet biography lists Avis as a principal character artist, a noble profession that is usually taken up when your dancing days are over. The remarkable thing about Avis is that he’s still dancing so well and so much.

published: March 20, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:10 am 
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Quote:
On the road to Nowhere
by CHARLOTTE CRIPPS for the Independent

The Canadian choreographer Matjash Mrozewski, 30, is to have a ballet staged at the Royal Opera House for the first time. His Castle Nowhere is set to music by Arvo Pärt. You might expect him to feel daunted, but he's taking it in his stride. "As much as I feel the pressure of the premiere - obviously, I do think about how the work will be received - I'm not that stressed out," he says.

published: March 20, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:55 am 
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Wit plus imagination equals beauty
by ISMENE BROWN for the Daily Telegraph

The Royal Ballet's sombre new triple bill, with two chamber works by today's young choreographers alongside a large-scale old master, illustrates the difference between a genuinely robust, superbly structured and passionately detailed creation and a thinly built lean-to stuffed with taffeta and knick-knacks.

published: March 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:22 am 
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Quote:
Royal Ballet mixed bill
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

Christopher Wheeldon is a textbook example of why companies should gamble on young choreographers. In 1996, when his work first appeared at Covent Garden, Wheeldon seemed a clever and decorative talent, but very, very safe. Five years later he had produced Polyphonia, a ballet so densely imagined that even now its strategies appear breathtakingly daring, and its imagery shockingly beautiful

published: March 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:46 am 
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Quote:
Royal Ballet
by DEBRA CRAINE for the Times

But this ballet [Castle Nowhere] about people going round in circles is caught in its own circle. Advancing and retreating as desire and self-preservation compete, its pursuit of ambiguity condemns it to sink into irrelevance. Zenaida Yanowsky is superb as the woman who yearns for Edward Watson’s reluctant man. And though I never figured out their motives, the six other dancers are a pleasure to watch.

published: March 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:23 am 
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Castle Nowhere, Royal Opera House, London
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

We are presented with four women in hideous Edwardian dresses, hugely bustled. (Subsidiary question: “Does my bum look big in this?”. “Yes. Vast!”) With them four men who have been forced to make their own evening suits, and look like disaffected undertaker’s mutes. (Clothes by Caroline O’Brien). Skied over them a hail-shower of throw-outs from a failing antique shop – a candelabrum, busts, picture frames, and
assorted junk. (Design by Yannick Larivée)

published: March 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:27 am 
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Quote:
Polyphonia, Covent Garden, London
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

The Lesson scared the wits out of us. And performances of Polyphonia have reasserted the richness of the company in dancers who respond with aptness to those choreographic haikus with which Christopher Wheeldon has so handsomely invested Ligeti’s piano writing. Watson’s linear power, his limbs burning vivid shapes on the air, young Steven McRae’s speed and clarity, his buoyant virtuosity, Avis’s darkly dramatic presence and his impeccable partnering – all are part of the excitement of this work.

published: March 29, 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:51 pm 
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Back in the USSR
by LUKE JENNINGS for the Observer

Kenneth MacMillan's 1976 Requiem contains curious parallels to Spartacus. Both stress ideas of ascent and verticality, with protagonists repeatedly borne aloft or floated on a sea of hands. Both have a sense of offertory, in which human love is sublimated to a great abstraction: freedom in the one case, salvation in the other. The difference is that you watch Requiem without a sense of ironic distance.

published: April 2, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:37 pm 
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Cocktails and chit-chat on the road to nowhere
by JENNY GILBERT for the Independent

Beneath it Edward Watson and Zenaida Yanowsky - a fashion-plate beauty in a bustle - stalk and prowl and wrestle, all angry self-loathing on his side and tortured yearning on hers. Three other couples in evening dress suggest a vague context of gossip, flirtation and treachery.

published: April 2, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:55 am 
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Quote:
On the road to nowhere?
by DAVID DOUGVILLE for the Sunday Times

Leanne Benjamin, delicate and affecting in Pie Jesu, and beatifically delivering the final blessing for In Paradisum, gives a marvellously sensitive performance.

published: April, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 9:41 am 
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Wednesday 12th April, 2006.

The Royal Ballet continued their annual season with a Triple Bill that included a World Premiere and two revivals.

“Polyphonia” was created by Christopher Wheeldon for New York City Ballet and London saw this work for the first time when a touring group from NYCB presented the work at Sadler’s Wells a few years ago. “Polyphonia” is Wheeldon at his most inventive in a post-Balanchinean way. Echoes to the great choreographer can be found in this work very easily and yet, there is a freshness and directness of approach to the material Wheeldon uses and revisits that makes the work interesting to watch. Royal Ballet dancers seemed to enjoy the challenges posed by Wheeldon in his choreography, and yet there was something lacking in their interpretation, a sense of purpose, a sense of fun at times. Still, “Polyphonia” still looks inventive and fresh and, to this day, remains as Wheeldon’s best work. One could only wish that he revisited Ashton’s approach to choreography in the same way as he did with Balanchine’s.

The second ballet of the evening was a premiere, “Castle Nowhere”, by Matjash Mrozewski. Using Avo Pärt’s atmospheric music, Mroszewski’s choreography showed what looked as a ball in which a main couple –Laura Morera and Ricardo Cervera- meet and develop some sort of relationship among other couples. The ballet was very reminiscing of Tudor’s “Lilac Garden” in terms of vocabulary and atmosphere, but as with Wheeldon’s piece, this was not detrimental to the work, but rather a bonus. The choreographic language was fluid and restrained at the same time and it looked extremely musical. Though there was no story as such, there were obvious echoes and hints at characters and it is interesting to see choreographers revisiting their choreographic heritage in search of new means of expression. Hardly ever does the Royal Ballet produce such a successful premiere of a piece that both manages to capture the company’s strengths and yet challenges them in new ways.

The final ballet of the evening was Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s “Requiem”. A most welcome revival, it was beautifully danced by the whole company that grasped the depth and beauty of the work. Tamara Rojo as the Pie Jesu dancer was simply glorious. Her sense of otherworldliness was outstanding. She managed to suspend herself in time and space and her performance seemed to act as a catalyst for the rest of the company, that seemed to respond to MacMillan’s choreography with the same sense of purpose.

A very good evening that seemed to explore choreographic connections between the past and the present repertoire. The company seemed to enjoy the challenge and it offered very good performances that highlighted the importance of preserving a heritage in order to move forwards into the future.


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 10:06 am 
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Location: London UK
I thought the revival of Requiem was the best thing I'd seen the company dance in a long time, it is such a beautiful work and so moving to watch. I saw a different cast to Ana, with Leanne Benjamin and Carlos Acosta and I was very struck by the almost uncanny resemblence to Richard Cragun that Acosta seemed to have in the role. I've never seen this danced so closely to the original cast. Benjamin really looked as if she had stepped down from paradise to dance for us. An incredible performance.


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