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 Post subject: Royal Ballet 2005-2006- Previews & News
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 6:49 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
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Season of stars at the opera
by NIGEL REYNOLDS for the Daily Telegraph

The 2005/06 programme may, however, prove to be the swansong of one of the Royal Ballet's favourite stars, Sylvie Guillem, who will only appear in four performances, to give younger dancers more opportunities.

published: April 21, 2005

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:51 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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The Royal Ballet 2005/6 Repertory

A summary of the new season's programme. For full details, click here.

6, 12, 24., 25 October at 7.30 / 7., 9 November at 7.30pm

8 October at 1pm / 15, 29 October at 7pm / 21, 28 October, 7 November at 7.30pm
29 October at 2pm
Music George Delerue
Choreography Flemming Flindt
Staging Flemming Flindt

Music Herman Løvenskjold
Choreography August Bournonville
Production and Staging Johan Kobborg

Music Daniel-François-Esprit Auber
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Staging Christopher Carr

Insight Evening:
Linbury, Monday 26 September, 7.30– 9.30pm

17., 19, 20, 26, 27 October at 7.30pm / 1 November at 7.30pm

Music Gabriel Fauré
Choreography Andrée Howard
Staging Barbara Fewster

Music Arnold Schoenberg
Choreography Glen Tetley
Staging Glen Tetley/Bronwen Curry

Revival Sponsored (2000) by The Dalriada Trust
Music Franz Liszt
Orchestrated by Dudley Simpson
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Staging Grant Coyle

MANON – a ballet in three acts
4, 10, 14., 15, 23, 24 November at 7.30pm
5, 12, 26 November at 7pm / 5, 12, 26 November at 1.30pm

Music Jules Massenet
Orchestration and arrangement Leighton Lucas with the
collaboration of Hilda Gaunt
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Staging Monica Mason and Monica Parker

SYLVIA – a ballet in three acts
19, 22 November at 7pm / 1, 5., 14, 15, 20, 21 December at 7.30pm

Music Léo Delibes
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Staging Christopher Newton

28., 30 November at 7.30pm / 2, 9, 12. December at 7.30pm

Music Maurice Ravel
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Staging Christopher Carr

Music Ned Rorem
Choreography Alastair Marriott

Music Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Staging Monica Parker

Music Francis Poulenc
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Staging Monica Parker and Christopher Saunders

THE NUTCRACKER – a ballet in two acts
6, 8, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29 December at 7.30pm / 10 December at 12.30pm
18 December at 3pm / 22, 23, 27 December at 2.30pm / 31 December at 5.30pm
2 January at 2.30pm / 2, 3, 5 January at 7.30pm

Music Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Choreography Peter Wright after Lev Ivanov
Production and Scenario Peter Wright
Original Scenario Marius Petipa
Staging Christopher Carr

Pre-Performance Talk:
Crush Room – Thursday 22 December, 1.30pm
Free 30-minute talk. Bring the family. This event is sponsored by Travel for the Arts.

GISELLE – a ballet in two acts
10, 13, 23, 25, 26 January at 7.30pm / 21 January at 1pm / 28 January at 7pm
1, 3, 8, 9 February at 7.30pm / 11 February at 2pm and 7pm
15 April at 2.30pm / 15, 19, 20, 28, April at 7.30pm / 29 April at 7pm

Music Adolphe Adam
Choreography Marius Petipa after
Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot
Production Peter Wright
Staging Christopher Carr

4, 25 February at 7pm / 6, 23, 28 February at 7.30pm / 25 February at 2pm

Music Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Choreography George Balanchine
Staging Patricia Neary

Music Claude Debussy
Choreography Jerome Robbins
Staging To be announced

Music Igor Stravinsky
Choreography Mikhail Fokine
Staging Christopher Carr

ROMEO AND JULIET – a ballet in three acts
3, 8, 14, 15, 17, 21, 23, 29, 30 March at 7.30pm / 11, 18 March at 7pm
18 March at 1.30pm / 1 April at 1.30pm and 7pm / 7, 10. April at 7.30pm

Music Sergey Prokofiev
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Staging Monica Mason

25 March at 7pm / 28, 31, March at 7.30pm / 4, 11, 12 April at 7.30pm

Music György Ligeti
Choreography Christopher Wheeldon
Staging To be announced

Production details to be announced

Music Gabriel Fauré
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Staging Monica Mason

LA FILLE MAL GARDÉE (The Wayward Daughter)– a ballet in two acts
21, 25, 26 April at 7.30pm / 1., 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 20 May at 7.30pm

Music Ferdinand Hérold
Arranged by John Lanchbery
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Scenario Jean Dauberval
Staging Alexander Grant
Assisted by Christopher Carr

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY- a ballet in three acts
New Production
15, 18, 19, 22., 23, 25, 29., 31 May at 7.30pm / 29 May at 2pm
1 June at 7.30pm / 3 June at 7pm

Music Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Choreography Marius Petipa
Staging/Production Monica Mason and Christopher Newton
after Nicolai Sergueev
Designs after Oliver Messel with additional
designs by Peter Farmer
Lighting Mark Jonathan
1st Royal Ballet performance of this production Royal Opera House 15 May 2006

The Sleeping Beauty has been performed at many key moments in The Royal Ballet’s history. To coincide with the Company’s 75th Anniversary, Monica Mason and Christopher Newton will create a new production based on the Sergueev/De Valois/Messel production that was first performed by the Company in 1946. Peter Farmer will recreate and augment Oliver Messel’s designs and Christopher Wheeldon will choreograph a new ‘Garland Dance’ for this production.

5, 6, 7, 8, 9 June at 7.30pm

Music and Libretto Gavin Gordon
Choreography Ninette de Valois
Staging Christopher Carr

Production details to be announced

Music Malcolm Arnold
Choreography Frederick Ashton and to be announced

Royal Ballet Company News
The Board of Trustees of the Royal Opera House are delighted to announce that Monica Mason will have her tenure as Director of The Royal Ballet extended until 2010.
Chief Executive, Tony Hall says, ‘It has been a great privilege to work with Monica over the last three years and to witness at first hand how the Company has flourished under her directorship.

We are thrilled that she has agreed to continue as Director of this world class company.’
Monica Mason says, ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to continue to lead the Company as Director for the next five years.’

The Royal Ballet would like to take this opportunity to welcome Ursula Hageli who has joined as Ballet Mistress. She replaces Gail Taphouse, who, following the birth of her twins in May 2004, has decided not to return to work.

Soloist Vanessa Palmer has been appointed Assistant Ballet Mistress.

The following dancers will join the Company from the Royal Ballet School in September 2005 as
Liam Scarlet: aged 19 was born in Ipswich and began dancing at the Royal Ballet Lower School, White Lodge in 1997. He gained 2nd prize for the Kenneth MacMillan Choreographic Award (2001), joint 3rd and 1st prize for the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award (2003 and 2004 respectively), was jointly awarded with four others the Irene Newton Choreographic Award (2004) and was the winner of the De Valois Trust Fund Choreographers’ Award (2005).

Xander Parish: aged 18 was born in North Ferriby, Yorkshire and began dancing at the Skelton Hooper School in Hull and then in 1997 joined the Royal Ballet Lower School, White Lodge. He gained joint 1st and 2nd prize for the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Award (2003 and 2004 respectively), was jointly awarded with four others the Irene Newton Choreographic Award (2004) and was the winner of the Cyril Beaumont Award (2004). He also gained 2nd prize in The Young British Dancer of the Year Award (2004) and received the Silver medal in the RAD Genee International Ballet Competition (Greece).

After a career spanning over 40 years with The Royal Ballet, Philip Gammon will officially retire as Principal Pianist in June 2005. He will return as a Guest Artists next Season.

Artist Marie Doutrepont will be leaving The Royal Ballet to join The Royal Ballet of Flanders at the end of the Season, at her own request.

Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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A summary of the dance highlights. For full details click here

A Royal Opera House Production

September 2005

A new commission from choreographer Cathy Marston and the culmination of her work as an Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House. Her first full-length work, Ghosts is based on Ibsen’s play and is a creative collaboration between Marston and her team of composer
Dave Maric, designer Jon Bausor, video artist Peter Anderson and dramaturg Edward
Kemp. In Ghosts, they create ‘a world of living shadows, where ghosts have more vitality
than the living’. A cast of fine dance artists includes Matthew Hart and Jenny Tattersall.

October 2005
A mixed programme from this developing company of black classical dancers. This is Ballet
Black’s first appearance in the Linbury and will form part of the celebrations marking Black
History Month.

November 2005 and March 2006
Evenings of choreographic experiment in the Clore, created by members of The Royal

A Royal Opera House Production

December 2005 – January 2006
A brand new family show from Will Tuckett, whose The Wind in the Willows has filled the Linbury for two Christmases past. Pinocchio brings together the team which collaborated so successfully on The Wind in the Willows, director and choreographer Will Tuckett, composer Martin Ward and designers Nicky Gillibrand and the Quay Brothers. Dance, song and theatre combine to tell the familiar tale of the poor carpenter, Geppetto, and his puppet, carved from wood, which can nevertheless sing, dance, turn somersaults and create mischief. The musical score has been created from an eclectic range of gypsy and traditional folk music drawn from the Caucasus, Southern Italy and Sicily. A programme of family events will complement the performances, which continue into the New Year.


March 2006
Finals of the annual competition hosted by The Royal Ballet School.

May 2006
The students, aged eight and nine, taking part in the ROH Education scholarship based
project in the London Borough’s of Lambeth, Southwark and Hammersmith and Fulham
perform in a special celebration to honour The Royal Ballet’s 75th Anniversary. The
programme will include a specially devised version of Frederick Ashton’s Birthday Offering.

May 2006
To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of The Royal Ballet, ROH2 has invited companies
founded by Ninette de Valois The Australian Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Birmingham
Royal Ballet and Canadian National Ballet – to join together to perform a mixed bill of
work new to the UK. A second programme will include new work from Turkey, where
Dame Ninette established classical ballet, curated by the current director of Istanbul State
Ballet Company, Beyhan Murphy.


July 2006
The Royal Ballet School returns for its annual summer performances at the Royal Opera
House – the traditional main-stage matinee as well as a short season in the Linbury. The
varied programmes feature the whole school, and showcase the talents and versatility of the
year’s graduating students

July 2006
London’s largest small dance space, the Clore, plays host to a season of innovative
contemporary dance from a diverse range of creative artists, devised by guest curators for


ROH2 continues to present this occasional series that gives groups of young people the
opportunity to perform in the Linbury at the Royal Opera House. Regular visitors include
Ballet Central, Rambert School, the Orpheus Trust and Diamohk children’s dance


Outstanding stage designs from The Royal Ballet’s 75 years
October 2005 – July 2006
The exhibition will include designs and artwork by some of the extraordinary artists and
theatre designers who have worked with The Royal Ballet since 1931. These include
Edward Burra, John Piper, Sophie Fedorovitch, Graham Sutherland, Rex Whistler,
Oliver Messel, Leslie Hurry, Cecil Beaton, Isabel Lambert, Sidney Nolan, Derek
Jarman, Kenneth Rowell, Martial Raysse, Julia Trevelyan Oman, Barry Kay, Nicholas
Georgiadis, Yolanda Sonnabend and Ian Spurling.

January 2006 – July 2006
The Royal Ballet has had seven Directors during its 75 year history. This exhibition traces
the important artistic and creative partnerships in choreography, music and design which
have characterized each of the directorships.
Exhibitions can be viewed during normal daytime opening Monday - Saturday 10.00am-
3.30pm as well as by ticket holders during performances.


The Royal Opera House Heritage Series
The Royal Opera House Heritage Series of books celebrates some of the legendary figures
from the world of ballet and opera who have been associated with the Royal Opera House
and its resident companies, The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera. A further two books
will appear during the 2005/6 Season. We are delighted to announce that the first opera
book in the series will celebrate Plácido Domingo. Domingo has had an extraordinary
relationship with The Royal Opera, appearing in a remarkable range of roles over more than
30 years. The book will include images of Domingo in all his roles with The Royal Opera as
well as photographs taken in rehearsal and back stage and some personal photographs from
the Domingo family.
The fourth ballet book in the series celebrates the great choreographer Kenneth
MacMillan. Published in June 2006, Kenneth MacMillan Principal Choreographer of The Royal
Ballet continues the Heritage Series from the Royal Opera House. The series is edited by
Cristina Franchi, Exhibitions Curator at the Royal Opera House, and published by Oberon
Books. The book traces his career as both dancer and choreographer with The Royal Ballet
Companies. There are images of the young dancer, the choreographer at work, photographs
of all his ballets and some personal photographs from the MacMillan family.

Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Fri Apr 22, 2005 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 6:12 am 

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Cassandra will be reporting on the Press Briefing for the 2005-6 season, but we are very keen to have your views.

My first thoughts:

Overall, a welcome increase with 13 different programmes (2 or 3 more than usual), so there should be something for everyone. An immediate revival of Ashton's "Sylvia" is a good idea, given its success this season. However, much as I love them, I'm not sure that we need to see MacMillan's "Manon" and "Romeo and Juliet" again so soon.

New commissions and productions are an important guide to a Company's priorities. The Jury is out on how well Monica Mason has done this time. The big money will be spent on a new production of "The Sleeping Beauty", only a few years after Makarova was invited to stage this classic. While Makarova's Kirov-based production was criticised for its divergence from the English tradition, one wonders whether a new production is justified so soon, especially as the expense of a new production such as this is comparable with a sizeable chunk of the total annual spend on contemporary dance in the UK. Cassandra (see below) has reminded me of Johan Kobborg's setting of "La Sylphide", which is very welcome as Bournonville is so rarely seen in the UK.

Glen Tetley's "Pierrot Lunaire" is a fine work, but many will have seen Rambert's production which was revived a few years ago and I would have preferred to see another work to celebrate the choreogrpher's 80th Birthday. Alistair Marriott impressed many, including me, with his "Being and Having Been" as part of last Season’s Inspired by Diaghilev Programme in the Linbury. Nevertheless, it is a bold move to give this fledgling choreographer a commission on the main stage. Also bold is the invitation to the Canadian choreographer Matjash Mrozewski who made his first work for the Company, "A World of Art", for the same Diaghilev programme. I found it a witty hommage with some athletic steps for Joshua Tuifea as Diaghilev. Let's hope that both these innovatory commissions bear fruit.

Flemming Flindt's "The Lesson" formed part of Johan Kobborg's Danish ballet programme at the Queen Elizabeth Hall a couple of years ago. Many people were very impressed and I was told at the time that Monica Mason was one of these. Not me, I'm afraid; this depiction of child abuse in a ballet class setting seemed over-dramatic rather than insightful and gratuitous use of such a subject for purely theatrical purposes seemed unacceptable to me.

Elsewhere, I look forward to the revivals of Andrée Howard’s "La Fête étrange" and Jerome Robbins’s "Afternoon of a Faun".

Overall, a variety of things to look forward to, but an unexciting programme compared with Paris Opera Ballet's innovative commissioning and even compared to the Kirov who have recently brought in David Dawson and an unfamiliar work by William Forsythe.

What do you think?


Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Fri Apr 22, 2005 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:46 am 

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The one announcement that most pleased the gathered ranks of the press on Wednesday morning’s briefing to herald the Royal Ballet’s plans for the forthcoming season, was the news that Monica Mason is now confirmed as the Royal Ballet’s director up to 2010. This was a surprise, as I’ve always understood that the ROH operates a strict policy of waving goodbye to even the most essential members of staff when they reach the age of 65. It says a great deal for the respect in which Mason is held by the organization, that they have waived the rules in her case. She is, I believe, perceived as a safe pair of hands and certainly she has started to introduce more balanced programming together with a noticeable improvement in performance standards within the Royal Ballet; not a great improvement it’s true, but it’s there and others have noticed it too. The warm applause from everyone present proved this was a highly popular move, as this thoughtful and articulate woman is held in great esteem by audience and professionals alike.

To go through the next season’s repertoire as announced, I was delighted at the prospect of Bournonville’s “La Sylphide” as I’ve always found it a serious omission in the Royal Ballet’s repertoire. That it will be staged by Johan Kobborg is undoubtedly a big plus, and I’ve heard on the grapevine that Kobborg is also a very good coach too. Of course Kobborg himself will be the big draw in the role of James, but Ivan Putrov is also experienced in this role and should also prove very popular casting.

Mason is pairing Sylphide with both Flemming Flindt’s “The Lesson” and Ashton’s charming “Les Rendezvous”. The latter will probably be scheduled for matinees as Mason concedes that “The Lesson”, may not be quite suitable for younger audiences. Casting for both these ballets is interesting, with Edward Watson alternating with Kobborg as the murderous dance teacher in “The Lesson” and Nunez and Yoshida (possibly the two dancers most in tune with the ‘Ashton style’), taking the leads in “Les Rendezvous”.

The first triple bill of the season imaginatively includes the long neglected and highly regarded “La Fete Etrange”, which Mason has fond memories of, as she danced in the ballet when she was a very young dancer. The haunting “Pierrot Lunaire” is being mounted to (very rightly) celebrate the 80th birthday of choreographer Glen Tetley. Unfortunately this bill concludes with “Marguerite and Armand”, the ballet Ashton intended for Fonteyn and Nureyev alone. What a slap in the face to his memory to even think of giving this work to other dancers against his wishes.

Two full-length works follow: “Manon” (yet again) and Ashton’s “Sylvia”. Unfortunately ill health prevented me from seeing “Sylvia” last year, so I’m delighted to get the chance to finally catch up with it in the autumn.

The second mixed bill consists of Ashton’s “La Valse”, a new work by Alistair Marriott, “My brother, My Sister’s” (very minor MacMillan in my opinion) and the beautiful “Gloria”, which is very major MacMillan.

December brings us “The Nutcracker”, perhaps I should say inevitably, but with some interesting debuts: most notably Lamb and Marquez.

The New Year begins with a revival of “Giselle”. Now here’s an interesting thought: If the two act “la Sylphide” can be staged with an accompanying work, why can’t “Giselle”? In the past it has been part of a double bill, why not again?

The most attractive looking of the 2006 triple bills comes next, made up of Balanchine’s “Ballet Imperial”, Afternoon of a Faun” (the Robbins version) and “The Firebird”. It will be very interesting to compare the RB’s performances of “Ballet Imperial” to the Kirov’s, which we will be seeing this summer. It is a ballet that the Royal has a history of struggling with whereas the Kirov are actually rather good in their new acquisition. From the point of view of the music, this is a wonderful programme.

Next comes “Romeo and Juliet”, a ballet that is looking increasingly tired, the last time I saw it was a very unhappy experience. The work needs a total overhaul before it is seen again. I am bitterly disappointed that for two seasons we are denied MacMillan’s fascinating “Prince of the Pagoda’s” that ill-fated former director Ross Stretton scheduled a couple of years back but which was hastily replaced. Surely the ballet is more worthy of a revival than yet more Manons and Romeos?

The second new work of the season forms the centrepiece of the next triple, an as yet unnamed piece by the Canadian chorographer Matjash Mrozewski. This is preceded by Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia” with MacMillan’s “Requiem” as the final Ballet.

The ever-popular “la Fille Mal Gardee” is revived in April.

Next comes a shock: Yet another new version of “The Sleeping Beauty”, incredibly close on the heels of the last two productions. To me this is a profligate waste of money. True, it was a mistake to jettison the familiar “Royal Ballet” version, but the Markarova version was not without merit and with a few alterations it would have served the company well enough for the next decade at least. The Royal has had no fewer than six productions in the past forty years, the new version will be the seventh and I am amazed to discover that this will incorporate “additional designs” by Peter Farmer. Farmer was the designer responsible for the extremely short lived MacMillan production of the ballet in the 1970’s and one of the reason’s it was so disliked (more by critics than audience) was precisely because of Farmer’s designs. Some decisions are inexplicable.

The final programme of the season is made up of De Valois’s “The Rakes Progress”, some “to be announced” divertissements and the remains of Ashton’s “Homage to the Queen” with additional choreography from three other British choreographers. A device that may or may not work, I suppose. This work is chosen for revival to mark the Queen’s 80th birthday.

I am very uneasy about another “Sleeping Beauty” so soon after the last. The priority should be to replace the hideous production of “Swan Lake” that has been inflicted on us for far too long. And where is the promised new work by Angelin Prelocaj? I seem to remember that after Ross Stretton had announced an RB production of “Le Parc”, it was promptly cancelled by the new director, but with the sweetener that Prelocaj would create a new work for the company in due course. I’m still waiting.

Like Stuart I look forward to hearing other views on the choices for next season.

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I was very surprised to hear that there will be a new production of Sleeping Beauty next season. The Makarvoa production is only a couple of years old and I think they only danced it during 2 consecutive seasons.
Is this really a smart use of resources? Given the choice of a new production for any of the major classics I would have opted for Swan Lake the same as Cassandra.

The Mixed Bills look interesting and I am very pleased to get another chance of seeing Sylvia which I unfortunately missed last autumn.
I am especially looking forward to La Sylphide. I have not seen any of Bournonville live yet and so this will make an excellent start.
There is a feeling of inevitablility about the Nutcracker but it is a lovely production so I will just wait and see if I am in the mood or not.
Though as much as I adore Romeo and Juliet unless there is very tempting casting available I will probably give it a miss. I guess I kind of overdosed over the past few years.

All in all a good season with something for everyone I would say.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:23 am 

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Yeha Nutcracker is back,don't get me wrong i love Cinderella but at christmas time it has to be Nutcracker. :D :D
Only problem i have with the list is The Sleeping Beauty is back,except i cannot stand this version. :cry: To be honest they should have kept Sir Anthony Dowells version :D ,much better than the high priced fare that we have now!

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Only problem i have with the list is The Sleeping Beauty is back,except i cannot stand this version.

You won't have to stand it much longer as a totally new production is scheduled for next season.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:48 am 

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Once again I think it is proper to thank Monica Mason for what promises to be an, at least!, varied season. There are works by many different choreographers, she has managed to retain heritage works, retrieve some ballets from oblivion and, though not much, there is some new commissioned work too.

I think I am alone in not thinking that a production of La Sylphide was really needed, especially as later on during the season we will be seeing another romantic ballet, Giselle. I have to admit though that the prospect of seeing Johan Kobborg dancing the whole role of James, after a glimpse in the Nureyev programme a couple of seasons ago, will make me get some tickets. I am glad about the addition of both The Lesson and Les Rendevous to the programme.

As for the suggestions of having additional short ballets “filling in” the programmes, I remember a hot debate during Dowell’s time, when he included a divertissement that Nureyev had created for the company based on Vakhtan Chabukiani’s Laurencia. The critics condemned the decision as unnecessary… to be honest, I quite enjoyed the piece!

Most welcome for me is the revival of La Fete Etrange by Andree Howard. I have spoken to several people about it and everybody said it was a beautiful, delicate piece. As it is –I believe- the only remaining work of the choreographer, I think credit must go to Mason for having the courage to revive it before it is too late. Let’s hope it is done properly, as the concepts of delicacy and frailty are rare nowadays.

Also most welcome Robbins’s Faun and Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial. I agree it will be interesting to compare the Royal with the Kirov.

Very happy to see My Brother, My Sisters… can I have a wish list? When could we see revivals of The Burrow and Las Hermanas??

Totally agree with the revivals –yet again!- of Romeo and Juliet and Manon. Could we have other full length ballets? There must be more to life than these two!

Wonderful news about the revival/reconstruction of Homage to the Queen and a well programmed Rake’s Progress to honor Dame Ninette de Valois.

Finally, about the debate on the Sleeping Beauty. I do believe that the production needed to be changed as soon as possible as it really inflicted serious damage to the company’s style. What I don’t quite understand is the need to change the whole production, though I take it must be Makarova’s arrangements, that the production can only be taken as a whole and not just the costumes and scenery. However, the idea of going back to Oliver Messel’s forties designs is a bit frightening too, and I can only hope Peter Farmer does a lot of work on them… The production that Dowell threw away was simply beautiful and elegant and I cannot see the reason why they could not dance this one instead of going back through the tunnel of time. Having said this, YES, a new production of Swan Lake is in need… and this time I would go back through the tunnel of time and go back to Leslie Hurry’s masterful designs… I cannot think of a more beautiful production of this ballet than the one the Royal Ballet used to have before Dowell’s time… choreographically as well as in costumes and designs.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:03 am 

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The Royal Opera House 2005/6 Season
By Mary Clarke for Dancing Times

We gave last month a brief outline of The Royal Ballet’s plans for next season, just one part of the myriad of activities within the house. Here we give a synopsis of other announcements made at the annual press conference which covered not only the two main companies, The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, but also the way in which it is developing its potential as “the national centre for the nurturing, exploring and presenting of our art forms”, in the words of Tony Hall, Chief Executive, which they call ROH2.

click for more

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 7:38 am 

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Jonathon Cope has announced his retirement:


The Royal Ballet has announced that Principal dancer Jonathan Cope has decided to retire from performing this season and is also delighted to announce that he now joins the artistic staff of The Royal Ballet as a Répétiteur. He will give two final performances in The Firebird with Miyako Yoshida on Monday 6 and Thursday 23 February 2006 and has withdrawn from the remainder of his scheduled performances.

The full press release, plus the updated casting for the performances Cope has withdrawn from are available here.

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The woman who rescued the Royal
by SARAH CROMPTON for the Daily Telegraph

"... the more keen you were, the more he would help you."

That comment is revealing not only about Nureyev but also of Mason's own determination. She may sit there immaculate in Issey Miyake, but underneath the black pleats beats a heart that has given its life to ballet - and specifically to the Royal Ballet, a company that she joined as a green 16-year-old from South Africa 47 years ago and has never left.

published: September 10, 2005

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Royal Ballet's latest too shocking for matinees
by CHARLOTTE HIGGINS for the Guardian

Ballet may conjure up ideas of sugarplums, sleeping beauties and frothy white tutus. But the Royal Ballet is about to open its new season with a work about a psychopathic dance teacher who abuses, rapes and kills his pupils which has been deemed too shocking and gruesome to be performed at matinees.

published: September 26, 2005

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:07 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
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Location: Estonia
Making romance real
by LAURA THOMSON for the Daily Telegraph

So, too, did his [Johan Kobborg's] presence. He may lack the swagger of an Acosta but in a role like Eugene Onegin he is about as sexy as it gets. Now he moves with ease through a company so rich with talent that it is one of the glories of London.

published: September 26, 2005

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:13 am 

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Location: Estonia
Johan Kobborg: The 5-Minute Interview
'Stamina is vital in ballet. My daily routine is eight hours of studio time and fitness workout'
by OLIVER DUFF for the Independent

Why stage The Lesson?

Not every ballet can be your traditional happy ending and all to do with love. Graphically and dramatically The Lesson is brilliant - only half an hour long, but fantastically put together.

published: September 27, 2005

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