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Subject: "Nutcracker on T.V" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1176
Reading Topic #1176
Sara

30-12-00, 08:16 PM (GMT)
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"Nutcracker on T.V"
 
   I'm sure many of you had the delight of staying in all cosy and warm to watch a beautiful production of the Nutcracker by the Royal Ballet on television, instead of risking travelling in these icy conditions.
I thoroughly enjoyed the performance which in my opinion had almost perfect casting.I thought Cojocaru was enchanting, beautiful dancing with delightful expressions and full of energy, youth and charm.
Yoshida looked doll-like as the Sugar Plum Fairy with her tiny,delicate features,her precise dancing and neat foot work.
Johnathan Cope looked a little too tall to partner her but he was stepping in at the last minute and they managed very well together.
Anthony Dowell gave a wonderful performance as Drosselmyer with his mysterious manner and masterful command of the stage.
Zenaida Yanowsky looked lovely as the Rose Queen with her soaring grand jetes and graceful charm.
I thought Ivan Putrov made an excellent Nutcracker and matched Alina Cojocaru very well indeed. I would love to see them partnered together in the future!
It maybe rather old fashioned but I still love the angels (though I'm sure the students from the Royal Ballet School hate their costumes as they look rather awkward to move around in!)
the costumes do look very effective with the smoke that they really do look as if they are floating in the clouds.
It was interesting seeing it so close up because if you are sitting quite far up in the Opera House, as I did last year, there are many little details you miss which I enjoyed noting this time.
Even though it wasn't quite the same as actually being in the Royal Opera House I still was enchanted and it took me a little while to come back to reality as the cast took their well deserved curtains calls.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Nutcracker on T.V Dave A 30-12-00 1
     RE: Nutcracker on T.V Chris 31-12-00 2
         RE: Nutcracker on T.V Tomoko.A 31-12-00 3
             RE: Nutcracker on T.V Claire S 31-12-00 4
                 RE: Nutcracker on T.V Ann Williams 31-12-00 5
                     RE: Nutcracker on T.V Helen 31-12-00 6
                         RE: Nutcracker on T.V Tomoko.A 31-12-00 7
                             RE: Nutcracker on T.V Anneliese 01-01-01 8
                             RE: Nutcracker on T.V Tomoko.A 01-01-01 9
                             RE: Nutcracker on T.V Shirley 01-01-01 10
                             RE: Nutcracker on T.V cf 02-01-01 11
                             RE: Nutcracker on T.V Anneliese 02-01-01 12
                             RE: Nutcracker on T.V Richard J 02-01-01 13
                             RE: Nutcracker on T.V Helen 02-01-01 14
                             BRB Nut Bruce Madmin 02-01-01 15
                             RE: BRB Nut James 04-01-01 16
                             RE: Nutcracker on T.V alison 08-01-01 17
                     RE: Nutcracker on T.V Claire S 23-01-01 18
                         RE: Nutcracker on T.V eugene 24-01-01 19
  RE: Nutcracker on T.V sugar plum fairy 25-01-01 20

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Dave A

30-12-00, 11:18 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #0
 
   I am writing on behalf of my wife Tomoko who is extremely depressed due to the fact that we have just returned from a 3-day trip to Paris and found that 2 seperate people who had promised beforehand to record "The Nutcracker" taped programmes on other channels instead. Our prerecording facility isn't working hence the reason why we had asked these individuals. If there is anyone who can help us, (and particularly my wife who is devastated over this) it will be very much appreciated. I have already phoned the BBC Repeats department. The news is not encouraging.


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Chris

31-12-00, 01:01 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #1
 
   If you can bear waiting a couple of months they may be releasing it on DVD like they did after they broadcast Coppélia last February.

Otherwise if you are really desperate to see it, I taped it, but in widescreen format, so everyone looks tall and thin unless you have a widescreen TV or a normal TV with an anamorphic squeeze function.


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Tomoko.A

31-12-00, 11:28 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #2
 
   Thank you Chris, but unfortunately I haven't got a widesctreen TV. Has anyone got a spare tape of this broadcast I'm willing to pay for ? I'm really desperate. I'm totally upset. Please help me !!


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Claire S

31-12-00, 12:18 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #3
 
   I taped it yesterday (not widescreen!) and although I want to keep it for myself, I have a colleague who can make copies. I'm not sure of the quality but I'm sure he'll make a copy (for free!). E-mail me to let me know your address and I'll send you the copy. I know I'd have hated to have missed it - it was fantastic!

Claire


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Ann Williams

31-12-00, 12:27 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #4
 
   Claire:
May I jump on the bandwagon here and ask for a copy also? Naturally I will pay for tape, postage and any other costs involved. Although I recorded this show as I was en route from Paris when it was broadcast, my TV took it into its mind to slip all its channels (as it does from time to time)and the video channel disappeared too.
Your e-mail address is not displayed; mine is Ann@sweetpea.screaming.net and I would be so glad if you would contact me.

Thanks in advance.


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Helen

31-12-00, 02:10 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #5
 
   I hope you get your tape, Tomoko.

I really enjoyed this broadcast, even though Nutcracker isn't my favourite ballet. What I like about this production is the sinister element so wonderfully provided by Anthony Dowell's Drosselmeyer - you need something sinister to counteract all that sweetness.

Alina Cojocaru was excellent, I thought, so lively and childlike. I much prefer a real child as Clara, though. I believe Sarah Wildor did it once when she was 12 or so. I suppose there are more opportunities for the choreographer when a mature (!) dancer does it, but it's not quite as touching, somehow. I agree that Putrov looked good with her - maybe another future star?

I liked the Mirlitons - Naomi Reynolds, who was a memorable child Clara in the 1994 TV documentary "The House", was one of the four, but I couldn't tell which. The Arabian Dance looked a bit insecure, I thought, with some doubtful partnering. Yanowsky's Rose Fairy was well danced, though I preferred Christina McDermott, who I saw last year. Yoshida and Cope were all they should be - she is very fairylike, he suitably noble. Thank goodness they didn't wear the whitish wigs! I think natural hair with sparkly bits in it looks much better.

All in all a good way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon.


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Tomoko.A

31-12-00, 03:48 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #6
 
   Claire
Thank you for your kind offer. Fortunately someone has offered me a copy. But I really appreciate your posting. Thank you very much.

Ann
I'm sorry to hear about this. Hope you will get a copy too and we will be smilling soon ! BTW, it was lovely to see you in Paris. (My usual AOL E-mail address is not working at the moment.) I'll talk to you soon.

Helen
Thank you for your kind words and I enjoyed your review very much.


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Anneliese

01-01-01, 09:26 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #7
 
   Tomoko, I sympathise - my husband told me while we were away that "it was a bit tight so the end might be missing, we could only just squeeze everything onto the tape" - BUT WE HAVE ANOTHER VCR!!! AND LOADS OF TAPES!!! Fortunately I watched the broadcast at his parents' house, and I have to say I prefer the BRB version from 1994 (?).

Alina Cojocaru was GORGEOUS (but I felt that sometimes in the first act she was a bit forced - her grands jetes en avant were too big, not fluid enough, but that's a tiny criticism) and I almost preferred her to Sandra Madgwick. Ivan Putrov was sensational, a real star in the making I agree. I couldn't work out who was leading in the Waltz of the Flowers - I was surprised to discover that it was Yanowsky (didn't look like her face to me) but she is a lovely dancer and deserves promotion. Miyako is looking better than ever and Jonathan Cope danced better than I've seen him for years - beautiful execution and not at all wooden.


So why am I not bothered about not having the recording for posterity? Well, I didn't like the musical interpretation - far too slow. I was absolutely bowled over by the BRB production when I first saw it and somehow this one lacked the sparkle and magic of that one, despite all these nice things I've just said (BTW it was Ravenna Tucker in the Waltz of the Flowers with BRB, wasn't it? My video cut out after the first curtain call...). I prefer the BRB sets and costumes and I felt that Sir Tone lacked magic as Drosselmeyer (compared with oh heck what's his name in Brum, sorry, memory lapse) and somehow this production felt more stagey, less spontaneous - apart from Cojocaru and Putrov. She is lovely, I now see what you were all making all the fuss about!

Just my 2p-worth. Baby Tim preferred the BRB version but preferred the two "That's Entertainment" movies we've had on TV lately to either...


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Tomoko.A

01-01-01, 11:08 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #8
 
   Anneliese, I too love the BRB's version and watch the video over and over again. Unfortunately I've never seen it live. But when I saw the new RB version (Viviana danced sugar plum !) last season, I completely fell in love with it. These two Wright versions are definitely my favourite Nutcrakers. I'm really looking forward to watching the Saturday's performance. Thank you, Peter for your kind offer again.


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Shirley

01-01-01, 11:28 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #8
 
   Well, I
>didn't like the musical interpretation
>- far too slow.

The dancers thought so too - in fact I heard that the pdd was 35 secs slower than Quinn was conducting! That is a big difference - no wonder the dancers were complaining!

I you watch it again watch I think you will see Johnny Cope giving the conductor a few strange looks!


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cf

02-01-01, 09:08 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #10
 
   Sorry but BRB's version gets my vote - and I tried very hard to be objective! I found Drosselmeyer's almost constant presence annoying and the costumes seemed either lifeless or cheap (in the case of Drosselmeyers voluminous cloak). I did like the snowflakes costumes in this one, BRB's version has them looking more like fluttery butterballs! The dancing was good but rather than being ageless it seemed aged.

Did anyone notice that the BBC was using footage of BRB's version in it's earlier advertisements


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Anneliese

02-01-01, 01:29 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #11
 
   Yes, I spotted the BRB version in the trailers! I also felt that Drosselmeyer's cloak looked cheap and nasty! And (sorry, don't have the thread in front of me, forgotten who mentioned this) - the Arabian Dance was very shaky indeed, particularly the partnering in the first minute - he nearly dropped her! No, this performance can't compare with the BRB/Wright version for me. But I will make every effort to see more of Cojocaru and Putrov in future!


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Richard J

02-01-01, 02:16 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #11
 
   On balance, I think I would also go for BRB, though I am comparing two viewings of that (one on TV, one in the theatre) with the one viewing of the RB version recently broadast.

With the RB broadcast, you could have thought "there may be trouble ahead" during the overture; the conductor's batteries seemed to be running down, and it all became very pedantic. No doubt Andrea pepped it up when she had the chance.

On a first viewing, my impression was that I preferred the BRB transformation of the Christmas tree and the battle; the soldiers stepping out of.......(sorry, shouldn't give it away if you haven't seen it).

Sir Antonio was rather omnipresent (and I didn't go for his cloak either). I've got two cast lists for BRB, one showing David Justin as Drosselmeyer, the other Samuel Armstrong. However, if the chief is on stage as in the RB version you know that it's a higher profile character; given the appearances of Drosselmeyer at the beginning and end of this version, he does seem to dominate.

I also preferred some of the BRB designs, e.g. their Arabian Dance (which, incidentally looked totally secure in the two performances I've seen) and (a matter of taste) the BRB Prince (no head-gear; the RB style was a bit over-sweet for my liking - more marshmallow than Bendick's of Mayfair).

But of course there was a great deal of delight in this RB broadcast, with some performances to savour, as other posters have already noted.


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Helen

02-01-01, 03:03 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #13
 
   I see what you mean about the cloak on television, but in the theatre I really liked it - close-ups do no favour to stage costumes, or to dancers for that matter. And you have to admit Sir Anthony swirled it magnificently!

As for the tempi, they reminded me of what Nureyev apparently used to say: "In Russia, always going slower."


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Bruce Madmin

02-01-01, 07:33 PM (GMT)
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15. "BRB Nut"
In response to message #11
 
   Glad that everybody is putting in a vote for the Wright BRB production - I think it's the most magical of all the production too.

The fight scene is particularly brill and was produced by Vincent Redmon (now of Rambert) - I can never understand why we have not seen more from him. (er... choreography not fighting!)

I'm rather sad because this is the first Christmas I have missed the BRB production.


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James

04-01-01, 06:24 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: BRB Nut"
In response to message #15
 
   I agree that the BRB production is quite magical, although I have only seen it on video. The sets and costumes are particularly impressive, and the battle scene is tremendous. However, I am not all that keen on the way in which a different ballerina is substituted at the last minute to dance the final Grand Pas de deux. As the story is told very much from Clara's point of view anyway, why not do what the Russian companies do, and have the same dancer play the Sugar Plum Fairy?

I shall reserve judgment on the respective merits of the productions until after I have seen the RB production live on Saturday evening. I should say that I am old enough to have seen (as a boy) the old Festival Ballet production in the early 1960s with the lovely Alexandre Benois designs - the RB production looks - on TV at any rate - rather drab by comparison. Any other ballet.coers old enough to remember that production?


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alison

08-01-01, 01:25 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #10
 
   I have to admit that I classed the conducting as "slow-bicycle-race", i.e. if you went any slower you'd fall off! It was really awful - completely robbed the music of its movement - and I felt really sorry for some of the poor dancers. Interestingly - was it Svetlanov conducting? - Svetlanov withdrew from the matinee performance last Saturday, and was replaced by, Philip Hesketh, I think his name is, who has conducted for London City Ballet and did perfectly all right.

Agree about Yanowsky as well - facially, she didn't look as she normally does at all - but she danced beautifully. Was she always that good, or has doing her first Odette/Odile given her an extra something?


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Claire S

23-01-01, 11:22 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #5
 
   Many people seemed to have either missed The Nutcracker on BBC because of VCR problems or missed the last few minutes because the BBc issued the wrong info to all the listings magazines and newspapers. I know how disappointed I would have been to have missed it (or missed the end - I love the end!).

I have a tape of the whole performance and can get copies for anyone who is interested. I also have the Firebird Masterclass, though not the Shadowplay one unfortunately.

The BBC will release The nutcracker on DVD but not for several months. Video releases are unlikely to happen now - it's all DVD these days!


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eugene

24-01-01, 01:14 AM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #18
 
   Well nothing pleases me more then the last statement made about the advent of DVD. Ballet was made for DVD - see my article in last months magazine. In fact my video collection is sadly gathering dust. With DVD players sell for sub 150 pounds it time to get one.

In fact carrying from my comments on opera and its greater popularity through CDs - maybe ballet could benefit from wider disemination through DVD As I have said earlier opera reaches more people because of CDS . You can great the best singers in your home! In contrast there has been no suitable media for ballet other then live theatre. That is until now! Who knows just how many more people ballet will reach when DVDs become as common as CDs.

But sadly there are alot of people who still dismiss video as a very poor alternative to the real thing! This view will not help ballet. But in a decade time when big mega TVs are in every homes then even this attitude might time. Ballet could be as widely "heared" as opera is today.

So lets be optimistic - maybe ballet has a golden future!


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sugar plum fairy

25-01-01, 12:31 PM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Nutcracker on T.V"
In response to message #0
 
   i thought the whole production was brilliant, could have watched again if they wanted to repeat it !!Sir Anthony Dowells performance as Dr .Drosselmeyer was great , a little hit of evil creeping in maybe ?? i wonder what he was thinking when sitting at the side watching the others dance ?? something along the lines of " i hope they do it right this time ! " . i wish it was available on video , but according to the Royal Ballet it isn't at the moment .


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