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Subject: "Royal Ballet's Swan Lake" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Cathryn

24-07-01, 10:21 AM (GMT)
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"Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
 
   Did anyone else go to the Royal Ballet's Swan Lake last night? I thought it was fabulous - so lovely to see the grace of the RB after the Kirov!! Miyako Yoshida was fabulous - tiny as Odette and just wicked as Odile - arrogant, hauty and just fabulous in her dancing. Loved it.
There was also a great comic moment when a bauble fell from the roof and the baddie threw it off stage in a highly theatrical gesture!! Fabulous stuff.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Fuzzyface 26-07-01 1
     RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Bruce Madmin 26-07-01 2
         RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Helen 26-07-01 3
             RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Eugene Merrett 26-07-01 4
                 RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Fuzzyface 26-07-01 5
                     RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Susy 26-07-01 7
                     RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Helen 26-07-01 10
                 RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Odile 26-07-01 6
                     RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake eugene merrett 26-07-01 8
                     RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Tomoko.A 26-07-01 9
                         RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Kevin Ng 27-07-01 12
             RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Wendy Glavis 26-07-01 11
                 RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Anneliese 27-07-01 13
                     RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Fuzzyface 27-07-01 14
                         RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake b 28-07-01 15
                             RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake eugene merrett 28-07-01 16
                             RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake sylvia 29-07-01 17
                             RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake martinjay 29-07-01 18
                             RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Tomoko.A 29-07-01 19
                             RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake sylvia 29-07-01 20
                             RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake Tomoko.A 29-07-01 21
                             Live relay Amy 29-07-01 22
                             RE: Live relay sylvia 29-07-01 23
                             RE: Live relay Amy 29-07-01 24
                             RE: Live relay Helen 29-07-01 25
     RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake mandi 09-10-01 26

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Fuzzyface

26-07-01, 11:46 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #0
 
   Yesterday afternoon's performance was really exciting. Giuseppe Picone made a favourable impression on me, very good & exciting dancing, and a bit of a playboy prince character. Zenaida Yanowsky is quite simply the best Odette-Odile the Royal have had for years. Technically superb (wonderful fouettes in the Black Swan), I was thrilled by the luxurious way she really filled out the phrases of the choreography, and her ability to move really fast when she has too. And her characterisation was strong and sophisticated. They both looked thrilled after they had brought the house down with the Black Swan Pas de deux. The company danced really well too, with a nice pas de trois from Nunez, Putrov & Rawlins, and a sparky Neapolitan from Tattersall & Cervera (I think).

What a contrast from the night before, which on the whole had been a big disappointment, with the big exception of Johann Kobborg as Siegfried. He was superb, a troubled & brooding Prince of a very different kind from Picone.

Unlike most of you (apparently) I am really sorry that these may be last performances of this production. I love the designs, which I think are beautiful and apt in a painterly kind of way. Anyone who has done some art history will be able to spot Sonnabend's references to the late 19th century symbolist paintings of Gustave Moreau and Knopf, whose fevered imaginings conjured up all kinds of images of bird women & evil temptresses.


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Bruce Madmin

26-07-01, 11:56 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #1
 
   I like the Sonnabend designs as well - quite magical!

Was not there but I heard that some lifts went missing presumably because Picone is not really the type of partner Yanowsky really needs.... but this is second hand view


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Helen

26-07-01, 12:42 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #2
 
   I was beginning to think I was the only person in the world who liked the designs! When I first saw this production it jolted me a bit, but I don't think it does anyone any harm to be made to look at things anew. A lot of it is quite subtle and not, to me, the sort of mess that most people seem to see. I particularly like the mirror in Act 3.

I notice that Debra Craine in her review thinks the long Sylphides-like tutus of the swans are offensive. Well, when I first went to performances of Swan Lake in the 40s and 50s, long tutus were always worn, only Odette being in a short one. To me, it was a surprise when I first saw the swans in the short ones! (Or classical tutus, as we called them, as opposed to the long "romantic" ones.)

I actually think that Dowell's production may be ahead of its time - oh, and I like his Sleeping Beauty too!


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Eugene Merrett

26-07-01, 12:44 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #3
 
   I was a little bit surprised at the unfavorable comparison various critics made regarding the Royal Ballet and the Kirov.

After seeing two wonderful performance of Swan Lake with Tamara Roja and Yoshida I thought their dancing was more impressive the respective Kirov principals. Their performance seem to be tidier, with much more and sensitivity to the role. In contrast I find that the Russian dancers are bland from the neck up and far too extravegant in their movements. Sometimes it looks like a gymnastic performance then a dance one. As for the body language - it seems crude and hammy compared to the RB.

The Kirov soloist who did the opening night was downright bad ( I shall not name!) and had no business dancing a major role.

I would say however that sometimes the Royal Ballet performances are too pre-occuppied with naturalism - ie too much mock conversation amoung the corp and too much detail. Everyone seems to be a soloist in the RB Swan Lake!. This is not a bad thing but perhaps the rather limited rehearsal time should be giving over to drilling the corp better.

Undoubtedly the Kirov have the edge in the Corp. They have the advantage of more rehearsal time as they are far bigger and do a more limited repertoire. This explains why there Jewels and Symphony in C was better then in even the NYCB.

I truly hope that this will be the very last time we will see the currect production of Swan Lake. This production is to Antony Dowell what the Dome is to the current government. I shall be happy to put a match to the sets!

Incidently my female companion (first time at the ballet) cried after the end of Swan Lake - maybe I should have taken her to the Kirov version!!!


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Fuzzyface

26-07-01, 12:55 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #4
 
   Dear Bruce and Helen,

I'm glad you like the designs too! (although I am not an admirer of Bjornson's "Beauty"). Picone did substitute some of the very high lifts with Yanowsky in the white swan pdd, but it didn't really bother me. Helen, am I right in thinking that those high lifts are a later addition? I don't remember them from the old film of Fonteyn.


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Susy

26-07-01, 01:47 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #5
 
   I noticed the missing lifts also at the dance marathon in Spoleto, where the white swan pdd was danced by Dvorovenko and Belotserkovsky. Maybe this is the version danced by ABT...


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Helen

26-07-01, 07:56 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #5
 
   Fuzzyface, I think the very high lifts are fairly recent, but I really don't know when they started - others may know. I think dancers tend to do what suits them! I remember dancers doing developpes (sorry, no accents on my laptop) instead of lifts, though I couldn't tell you who. I have to add that I was a very small child in the 1940s!


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Odile

26-07-01, 01:29 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #4
 
  
>
>The Kirov soloist who did the
>opening night was downright bad
>( I shall not name!)
>and had no busininess dancing
>a major role.
>
Eugene, I hope you are kidding. The Kirov Swan Lake opening night on Thursday 28/06/01 was danced by Lopatkina and her performance was magical.
Is it possible you confused her with Gumerova who I have to agree was no pleasure to watch?


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eugene merrett

26-07-01, 03:15 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #6
 
   I meant S Beauty. I have not seen Lopokina except in Dying Swan - at first I was really impressed (the audience was exstatic). But once again I found it wildly over the top - but I do not really like the work. The trick of great acting is be very emotianal without striving for it.


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Tomoko.A

26-07-01, 06:31 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #6
 
   Well, I liked Gumerova in Swan Lake...


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Kevin Ng

27-07-01, 00:52 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #9
 
   I liked Sofia Gumerova's Swan Lake as well.


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Wendy Glavis

26-07-01, 10:17 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #3
 
   So pleased to hear you say that, Helen and Bruce. After reading the reviews, I was wondering sadly if I'd ever have the chance to see Dowell's Swan Lake again. And I, too, like his Sleeping Beauty.


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Anneliese

27-07-01, 12:52 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #11
 
   What I don't understand is why everyone blames Dowell for the designs!!! I quite like Swan Lake and also Beauty, though I think that some of the sets overcrowd the stage (eg giant dining table doesn't leave much room for dancing!)


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Fuzzyface

27-07-01, 01:51 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #13
 
   He gets the blame because he commissioned the designers, and it is down to him to say "no" to the designer when he feels they have come up with something which isn't appropriate.


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b

28-07-01, 01:36 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #14
 
   I just cant understand how you all go on about the designs (personally i liked them, I like the tulle skirts for the swans and the act three costumes and mirror is brilliant.) When Dowell recks the whole ballet is in act four when he thinks he has the write to cut and paste Tchaikovsky. Leave something if it isnt broken, and the act four music is the best thing about swan lake, I was really appalled and what they had done to it.

I would also like to make a comment about the unprofessionalism of the stage crew, walking on stage as the curtains coming down, surely a few seconds as it finally closes can be allowed and then at the end of act two when we have just be at a lake they turn the working lights on , on stage before the curtains close, That is appalling and is highly unprofessional. I thought the opera house was state of the art, this should never of happened.


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eugene merrett

28-07-01, 10:00 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #15
 
   I think that the Dowell Swan Lake is a monstrosity.

The costumes are so dark and complex it hides the dancer underneath it all. It also look rather serious and grim. And the absurdity of the Prince hunting in the woods with a ceremonial dress uniform - he looked as if he was dressed up to open parliament then go hunting. Even "backward" Russia had guns in the 19th century so why the crossbows. Act 1 and Act 2 (esp the character dancing look particularly bad)

Whilst I welcome the scholarly research into the original choreography - I regret the considerable elimination of so much music (the entire pas de six). Moreover so much of Ashton's wonderful choreography has also been sacrificed.

The Dowell Swan Lake looks particulary bad when compared to the previous production with its delightful costumes and Ashston choreography. This has been forever preserved on a video done in 1980 with Dowell and Marakova.

Dowell seems to be obsessed with overpowering sets and costumes - this has permeated all his new productions during his tenure at Covent Garden.


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sylvia

29-07-01, 10:00 AM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #16
 
   I saw both Benjamin and Urlezaga (replacing Kobborg who's injured - I can't tell you haow gutted I was when they made the announcement) and Rojo and Acosta yesterday. My first Swan Lakes live, so I really have no other basis for comparison. But I really loved the production and will be sorry to see it go. I agree the sets looked a bit cluttered, but were still so rich and beautiful, and 'a feast for the eyes'.

Rojo was heartbreaking, Acosta tender. What can I say that hasn't been said before? Their black pdd had me jumping about in my seat, I was so excited.


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martinjay

29-07-01, 01:30 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #17
 
   Thanks for the information on this topic, which will be of assistance as I'm booked in to the 30 July performance.

Does anyone have a view on Inaki Urlezaga's dancing as I understand he's scheduled to appear?


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Tomoko.A

29-07-01, 02:10 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #17
 
   Sylvia, I was there too both at the matinee and the evening performances and enjoyed the both. Rojo's Swan Queen was the simply the best I've seen for a long time. Were you surprised to see Alina Cojocaru in pas de trois ? I wasn't expecting to see her dancing this role as a Principal Dancer. So I felt I had a bonus ! She was also one of the Cygnets last October, which seems to be unbelievable now.


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sylvia

29-07-01, 03:08 PM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #19
 
   Tomoko, I was very excited to see Cojocaru in the pas detrois. I agree, she's like icing on the cake! I hope it's not too long before she progresses to Odile/Odette herself.

Martinjay, I liked Urlezaga very much. He danced beautifully in the matinee, and cut a very noble, loving and anguished figure. I thought some of the lifts with Benjamin didn't look very secure - they didn't look as effortless as they should. But I put it down to the fact that he's just come back from injury. As a very last-minute replacement for Kobborg, he probably hadn't had any time to rehearse with Benjamin.

Is anyone going for the live relay?


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Tomoko.A

29-07-01, 07:20 PM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #20
 
   I wish I could be there tomorrow. It would be wouderful, especially the weather like this.....


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Amy

29-07-01, 07:47 PM (GMT)
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22. "Live relay"
In response to message #20
 
   I'm going, anyone else?


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sylvia

29-07-01, 08:01 PM (GMT)
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23. "RE: Live relay"
In response to message #22
 
   Thinking about it. What time do you think it would be best to get there? Do we actually have to stand for the whole 3 hours, or can we sit on the ground? I can't imagine standing for 3 hours straight without any support. In the Swan Lake on Wednesday, a girl in the stalls circle standing actually collapsed near the end of Act II.


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Amy

29-07-01, 08:12 PM (GMT)
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24. "RE: Live relay"
In response to message #23
 
   I went to Tosca last year and everyone sat down, thank goodness, I don't think I could stand for that long either! I think it depends on whether the people at the front who arrive first stand or sit but at Tosca many people turned up with picnic blankets (and baskets, food, plates, wine, glasses........) so they were obviously expecting to sit.

We got to Tosca about 45 mins before curtain up and were sitting about half-way back but I suppose it could turn out completely different for ballet.


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Helen

29-07-01, 09:20 PM (GMT)
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25. "RE: Live relay"
In response to message #24
 
   My sister-in-law went to the opera live relay. She said she wished she had taken a cushion, but the atmosphere was wonderful.


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mandi

09-10-01, 10:50 PM (GMT)
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26. "RE: Royal Ballet's Swan Lake"
In response to message #1
 
   hey i was wondering if u could tell me a detailed story of the ballet swan lake, i have to do a report for school and i cant seem to find the story on any websites write me and email beachbumm41@aol.com


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