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 Post subject: Royal Ballet: 2008-09 Season
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:45 pm 
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In The Times, Debra Craine talks to Monica Mason about the 2008-09 season:

The Times


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:49 pm 
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Mark Monahan reviews the season opening "Swan Lake" at Covent Garden with Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta in The Telegraph:

The Telegraph

Clement Crisp in The Financial Times:

Financial Times


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:21 pm 
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Mark Monahan reviews "Manon" in The Telegraph:

The Telegraph

Clement Crisp reviews "Manon" in The Financial Times:

Financial Times


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:22 am 
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Sarah Frater reviews a mixed bill of "Theme and Variations," "Serenade," and Michael Corder's "L'invitation au voyage" in The Evening Standard:

Evening Standard

Gavin Roebuck reviews the program in The Stage:

The Stage

Sarah Crompton reviews this program for The Telegraph:

The Telegraph

Debra Craine in The Times:

The Times


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:16 am 
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A couple of very churlish reviews towards the revival of Michael Corder's beautiful L'Invitation au voyage I thought, though I enjoyed reading a couple of the readers' replies to Sarah Frater's critique. However today's reviews are far more positive.

The Guardian's Judith Mackrell seemed to like it with reservations

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2008/oct/31/dance

But over at the F.T. Clement Crisp was full of praise:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/887f15a8-a6a0 ... 07658.html

I have cherished fond memories of this work for over twenty years and was thrilled that this revival retained all the atmosphere and delicacy I remember. Led by Marianela Nuñez, Leanne Benjamin and a name completely new to me, Melissa Hamilton, the entire cast danced admirably catching every nuance of the haunting Duparc songs.

I agree with Clement Crisp that:

Quote:
Here is a work perfect in the harmony of its elements: score, choreography, design speak with one voice.


Yes, and that is now so very rare. The cast caught completely the mood of the Belle Époque that Corder so brilliantly evokes and the singer, Harriet Williams, not only sung beautifully, she moved among the dancers with unselfconscious ease, playing perhaps, the role of narrator of their joys and sorrows. The Art Nouveau designs have come in for some unwarranted criticism in my view, but they actually capture the period exactly, very much Alphonse Mucha looking over his shoulder towards Watteau, whose famous L'Embarquement pour l'Île de Cythère surely echoes in image the words of Baudelaire's poem. I hope very much that this ballet retains a place in the repertoire.

The rest of the evening was mostly enjoyable, though the memory of NYCB in Serenade earlier this year, colours my view of the ballet. Nuñez was near perfect in it and is making this ballet her own, but from my seat in the amphi, it was worrying to note that lines were not straight nor the danced circles completely round, so A+ for Nuñez and B- for the corps de ballet.

Theme and variations gave Tamara Rojo the chance to show off her miraculous balances and perfect turns but her partner Bonelli wasn't up to scratch with very untidy footwork.

A nice programme over all, but with some harder work/cast changes it would look a lot better.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:48 pm 
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The Royal Ballet presents a triple bill of Glen Tetley's "Voluntaries," Flemming Flindt's "The Lesson" and a new work by Wayne McGregor, "Infra."

Sarah Frater does not appear to have liked the programme very well from her review in The Evening Standard:

Evening Standard

Sarah Crompton appears to have liked the programme rather better in The Telegraph:

The Telegraph


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:08 pm 
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Jenny Gilbert expands upon the new McGregor work, "Infra," in her review in The Independent:

Jenny Gilbert Review

Zoe Anderson does the same in *her* review in The Independent:

Zoe Anderson Review


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:30 pm 
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Reviews of Ashton's "Ondine."

Mark Monahan in The Telegraph:

The Telegraph

Sarah Frater in The Evening Standard:

The Evening Standard

Debra Crane in The Times:

The Times


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Sanjoy Roy writes about Wayne McGregor's "Infra" in The New Statesman:

The New Statesman


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:39 pm 
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Roslyn Sulcas reviews "Ondine" in the New York Times:

NY Times


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Reviews of the January 2009 Covent Garden performances of "La Bayadere."

Sarah Frater in The Evening Standard:

The Evening Standard

David Bellan in The Oxford Times:

Oxford Times

Mark Monahan in The Telegraph:

The Telegraph

Debra Craine in The Times:

The Times

Zoe Anderson in The Independent:

The Independent

Clement Crisp in The Financial Times:

Financial Times


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:17 pm 
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In The Guardian, Judith Mackrell reviews debut performances by Sergei Polunin (Solor) and Yuhui Choe (Nikiya) in "La Bayadere."

The Guardian

Clement Crisp also reviews the Wednesday, January 28, 2009 debut performances in the Financial Times:

Financial Times


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:16 pm 
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Reviews of a new triple bill with Will Tuckett's "Seven Deadly Sins," Mats Ek's "Carmen," and Christopher Wheeldon's "DGV: Danse a grande vitesse."

Laura Thompson in The Telegraph:

The Telegraph

Debra Craine in The Times:

The Times

Clement Crisp in The Financial Times:

Financial Times


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 Post subject: Free RB Swan Lake DVD
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:02 am 
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The Daily Telegraph has a free DVD offer today. Send £1.99 for post and packing and they send you Part 1 of the RB's rather hideous Swan Lake. Part 2 can also be purchased for £6.99 or you can buy a set including Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty for £19.99.

Looks like you will have to buy the paper though as I can't find this offer on line.


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 Post subject: Ekaterina Osmolkina's debut in Swan Lake
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:36 am 
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I usually avoid the RB’s hideous Swan Lake like the plague, but a remarkable event saw me at the ROH not once, but twice this week. The remarkable event was the Royal Ballet debut of the Kirov’s Ekaterina Osmolkina in the role of Odette/Odile, a role in which she is relatively inexperienced but already amongst that tiny number of dancers able to understand the ballet and to interpret it to the very highest of standards.

At her first performance on Monday she was displaying nerves in the second act, though the rest of the ballet went fairly well, but at last night’s performance those first-night nerves had evaporated and she showed us a Swan Princess of great nobility combined with warmth and tenderness contrasting with an Odile so beguiling that she made evil look like a virtue. Osmolkina has a pure clean line in arabesque and rarely takes her working leg too high in extensions, there is a timeless beauty in her dancing that links the past to the present. In an otherwise unsatisfactory production of this ballet, its one saving grace is the retention of the traditional mime in the second act: mime that Ms Osmolkina has never been called upon to perform at the Kirov. That she performed it well was expected but that she performed it with such clarity and such emotion was unexpected. Ever experienced a lump in the throat during Odette’s act two mime? No? Well, I did last night.

After the sorrowing Odette of act two, the duplicitous Odile of act three was almost a shock to the system, she is such a contrast to Odette that you feel Siegfried must be a total idiot to be taken in by her for one second, until the moment Odette’s presence is felt in the ballroom; in an instant she transforms Odile’s haughty treachery into Odette’s romantic purity as she bourrées towards her Prince wearing a mask of devoted innocence. Technically Osmolkina was superb and a small error in the fouettés was quickly rectified but it was her acting that impressed the most as she appears to follow the tenets of an earlier generation of ballerinas by regarding technique as a means to an end. Act four was heartbreaking to watch as she wrestled with feelings of love, betrayal and forgiveness before making her ultimate sacrifice.

Osmolkina was sympathetically partnered by Ivan Putov who seemed to develop a natural rapport with her from the word go. The role of Siegfried suits him well as he carries with him an air of romantic melancholy in this ballet and you somehow know that he is doomed from the outset. He partnered his ballerina faultlessly and danced with a soft elegance displaying textbook double tours and admirable ballon. The last time I saw him in this ballet he had the gloomy misfortune to be paired with a pit-pony, how different he is with a thoroughbred like Osmolkina.

Apart from the leading couple there was little to admire, though Brian Maloney in last night’s pas de trois looked good as did the Neapolitan couple at both performances. There was an unexpected treat in store for me though, when I spotted that one of the ballroom guests was no other than Vergie Derman, who had danced a variety of roles at the first Swan Lake I ever saw at Covent Garden some forty-odd years ago. Time appeared to have largely ignored her and she made the same refined and gracious figure that I always remembered.

At the end of the show an avalanche of flowers rained down from the upper reaches of the theatre carpeting the stage with spring blossoms, whilst Katya gazed up at them with genuine amazement and pleasure. It was an auspicious Royal ballet debut; it would be wonderful if she were invited back.


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