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Subject: "Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2661
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Nadia

24-04-02, 09:16 AM (GMT)
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"Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
 
   Hi, Nadia here from Australia. I have heard so many wonderful things about Alina Cojocaru and it's wonderful to hear that a new ballet star has now been discovered. Because I live a world away from London, I was wondering whether there were any videos with even a little bit of footage of this remarkable dancer, so I could finally understand why she is so admired. My other question is about where the good dance shops (especially booksand videos) are in London. I going for the first time there this june/july with my family (right when the Royal Ballet are in Australia, how's that for bad luck)and I know that I'm not going to find this information out from a tourist guide so I'm asking the experts. I would be so grateful for any information, thank you.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Bruceadmin 24-04-02 1
     RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 24-04-02 2
         RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? emma 24-04-02 3
             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 24-04-02 5
  RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Nadia 24-04-02 4
     RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 24-04-02 6
         RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 24-04-02 7
             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? EmmaL 24-04-02 8
                 RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 24-04-02 9
                     RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Flight 24-04-02 10
         RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Nadia 25-04-02 11
             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Bruceadmin 25-04-02 12
             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 25-04-02 13
                 RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? katharine kanter 25-04-02 14
                     RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Nadia 25-04-02 15
                 RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Nadia 25-04-02 16
                     RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 25-04-02 17
                         RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Nadia 26-04-02 18
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 26-04-02 19
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Tim Powell 26-04-02 20
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Nadia 27-04-02 21
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? vivian2 29-04-02 22
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Nadia 01-05-02 29
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? vivian2 30-04-02 23
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Bruceadmin 30-04-02 24
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 30-04-02 25
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Nadia 30-04-02 26
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? MAB 30-04-02 27
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? Nadia 01-05-02 28
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? alison 07-05-02 31
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? sylvia 07-05-02 32
                             RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London? alison 09-05-02 33
                     RE: RB in Australia? alison 07-05-02 30

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Bruceadmin

24-04-02, 09:55 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #0
 
  
Hi and thanks for dropping by..

On Cojocaru I good place to start is by raiding our reviews database. Here is a pre-packaged link that will bring up reviews of performances she is in:
http://www.ballet.co.uk/cgi/reviews_database_search/db_search.cgi?dancer_names=cojocaru

You can see in an interview with her with from our January magazine:
http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_01/dec01/interview_cojocaru.htm

But I'm sure others will give some cameo thoughts about what a great season she has had.

Re shops I just did a search for 'Shops' in this forum and came up with the following threads in the last few weeks:
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2642.html
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2517.html

Videos come up many times but I'm sure readers can advise current best places to find them. Hope you enjoy your visit!


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sylvia

24-04-02, 11:07 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #1
 
   As far as I'm aware Alina features in only 1 commercially available DVD, the RB's Nutcracker (no video available) where she dances Clara. It was released last year. I think she's also supposed to be at the front of the corps in the Shades scene snippet of the ROH Opening Gala video but I haven't managed to spot her! Still a video worth having though.

She was also cast as Amour in the televised Don Q which I'm hoping will be released soon. Brendan mentioned that the BBC would televise the RB's productions of Onegin and Manon so I'm sure she'll feature in some way whenever they are broadcast. But I'm afraid at the moment there isn't anything apart from Nutcracker. You might have to wait a year or two.

Best range of reasonably priced dance videos are available in the HMVs on Oxford Street and they can also be purchased at the ROH shop but these are very pricey. I think the best place to get them is online at http://www.dancebooks.co.uk, or even cheaper DVDs at http://www.dvdpopcorn.co.uk.

Hope that helps a little!


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emma

24-04-02, 11:39 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #2
 
   Are there any videos of Alina before she joined the RB?


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sylvia

24-04-02, 02:18 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #3
 
   >Are there any videos of Alina
>before she joined the RB?
>

It's unlikely, at least of what's avalaible to the UK. I've only seen videos of the Kiev Ballet from the early 90s I think, and she was there for only a year.


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Nadia

24-04-02, 12:56 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #0
 
   Thanks so much everyone for your help! You guys are awesome. I can't wait! And feel free to ask me any thing about ballet in Australia, I am a certified expert.


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sylvia

24-04-02, 02:19 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #4
 
   Nadia, I'm definitely hoping to hear about the RB in Australia, especially of Alina's Swan Lake debut. Will you be there for that one?


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sylvia

24-04-02, 02:39 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #6
 
   I've actually thought of another one - Alina's in the Mime Matters video that the RB released. I don't know what or for how long she demonstrates though - maybe someone can post?


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EmmaL

24-04-02, 08:24 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #7
 
   I thought the Mime Matters video was a Royal Academy of Dance video.
Emms


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sylvia

24-04-02, 08:35 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #8
 
   You're probably right. I didn't look at it closely, just at which dancers were involved.


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Flight

24-04-02, 09:04 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #9
 
   It is an RAD one. Sibley used to be President, and she is in it, which might be why there are mostly RB dancers in it.


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Nadia

25-04-02, 04:41 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #6
 
   Dear Sylvia,

Unfortunately, I live in Brisbane and we are only getting 4 performances. The dancers we have been told are dancing are: Darcey Bussell (opening night), Rojo, Benjamin and Yoshida. I hate to admit it but I almost hoping that one of them gets injured so Alina has to quickly fill in for them! The performances are on Friday Evening, Sat matinee, sat evening and sun matinee. Darcey has Friday for sure, Leannne will probably get Sat evening because she is from Queensland so this is where most of her family is, and I don't know which shows rojo and yoshida are doing but am going to the sat matinee and I'm hoping to see rojo. I'd like to know how you guys feel about Alina making her debut in Swan Lake in Australia. Ross Stretton hasn't appeared to make too many mistakes so far, but to premiere his newest star in the greatest of all Classical ballets in his old haunt seems a bit of an abuse of power. Not to mention that my friends in Sydney and Melbourne are more interested in seeing Darcey and Sylvie because they are the stars they know. Her debut could be one of the greatest performances this country has seem and very few people here have any real understanding of how a great a dancer she actually is. What do you think?


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Bruceadmin

25-04-02, 07:29 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #11
 
   >The performances are
>on Friday Evening, Sat matinee,
>sat evening and sun matinee.
>Darcey has Friday for sure,
>Leannne will probably get Sat
>evening because she is from
>Queensland so this is where
>most of her family is,
>and I don't know which
>shows rojo and yoshida are
>doing but am going to
>the sat matinee and I'm
>hoping to see rojo.

We did a posting on Aus casting:
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/news/1193.html

Also there is a link to the Edgley site that will hopefully get updated sometime. At the moment its showing Tamara for the matinee so you are in luck. Rojo is of course the other ballerina that has been applauded much this season. Of all the Royal ballerina's this is the one I most book for.


>I'd
>like to know how you
>guys feel about Alina making
>her debut in Swan Lake
>in Australia.

No problems with Cojocaru doing her Swan in Aus - its something companies have always done I think. The only thing that really hurt in recent times was The Sleeping Beauty premiere being in Washington rather then at Covent Garden. RB signature piece and must have cost us all fabulous amounts (in subsidy) and yet we were denied its first seeing. Not cool.


>Ross Stretton hasn't
>appeared to make too many
>mistakes so far,

That's a mute point I think. If you were to look at the totality of (British) critics reviews I don't think you could say that. In this forum views are perhaps a little more mixed but you'll find some very trenchant thoughts - there's one in this months magazne (+ some brighter pieces!). For what its worth I still think its too soon to say - you need to give a director 3 years to understand what they have and lay down at least part of their vision (unless they are complete idiots of course and that's patently not the case here).



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sylvia

25-04-02, 08:28 AM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #11
 
   LAST EDITED ON 25-04-02 AT 09:05 AM (GMT)

Hiya Nadia

I agree that Tamara's Swan Lake is an absolute must-see. When I saw it last summer I must have had one of the worst seats in the house, but she projected so much emotion to the back of the amphi I count it as one of the most moving performances I've ever seen. Still, you can't really go wrong with the other dancers.

I wasn't around for the new Sleeping Beauty but I have to admit it hurts more than a little not to see Alina's Swan Lake debut. I had to miss her first Giselle and R&J and they were events in themselves. I've seen her in everything this year and if I wasn't such a poor student I'd certainly wouldn't wait and jet over to see it for myself! But I agree, it's nothing new. I think I remember reading Lynn Seymour made her Swan Lake debut in Australia as well (what about the more recent dancers? I'd love to hear details!) Plus it's such a long, difficult and important ballet, London loves Alina and there'd be huge expectations and pressures attached. So grudgingly I'll admit it's probably better to take the pressure off and debut where there are no expectations.

As for Ross Stretton, I haven't been in the UK long and haven't watched the RB for as many years others. So it's hard for me to be upset about the lack of Ashton and heritage work when almost everything has been new to me. I'm really pleased about some of the ballets new to the RB this season (Onegin, Leaves, Carmen), and a little sceptical of others. I haven't seen much of the MacMillan planned for next season so I can't really criticise. I'm actually pretty happy with the way things are at the moment (still basking in Carmen's glow! ) and really am excited about next year.


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katharine kanter

25-04-02, 09:19 AM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #13
 
   Posting from Nadia: "I hate to admit it but I almost hoping that one of them gets injured so Alina has to quickly fill in for them!"

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Injured ? How badly ? Cervical vertebrae ? Ruptured Achilles Tendon ? Or would a sprained ankle do nicely ?


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Nadia

25-04-02, 09:41 AM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #14
 
   Dear Katharine,

Sorry to have caused offense, in Australia we take ourselves and our dance injuries a little less seriously. But thanks for pointing out to me how things can be taken out of context. I will be more careful next time.


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Nadia

25-04-02, 10:04 AM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #13
 
   Dear sylvia,

Thanks for telling me about the time you saw Tamara, she sounds absolutely wonderful.
I get the poor student thing, because I wouldn't be going to London if it wasn't for my family! And it's so hard finding the money to go see the few ballet performances they actually put on in Brisbane, without already knowing that I may miss things anyway because I can't afford them. The last time the Royal Ballet came to Australia was 1988 (significant because it was he 200 year celebration since the landing of the First Fleet) and I was too young to have gone. But I do remember reading an advertisement for the tour in an old 'Dance Australia' issue that had a picture of the corps with Darcey and Leanne in the front row. This doesn't answer your question but I thought you might find it interesting.
I also had a check of the casting list and saw that Alina was only doing one performance of Swan Lake in Sydney which would totally validate your comment that it's a good opportunity for her to perform the ballet without as much pressure as she would have in London, because when she does perform it in London it will still be new to her.

I thought I might also make some comments about Stretton when he ran the Aust Ballet. The company had come out of the Gielgud Era and were very much the Classical company. After a year it seemed that the company had seemed to lose some of its classical base as Stretton seemed to be pushing a more comtemporary approach. I know that when I saw the company they seemed to have lost some of the drive in their dancing (but I stress that the passion and energy was still amazing). When I saw the company dance Merry Widow in '99 the corp seemed more clinical than I'd remembered them, but that could have been the ballet itself or just that performance. When I saw the company perform Manon in Melbourne with Sylvie last year (now under David McAllister) they seemed to have more joy in their dancing (but that may have been from dancing alongside one of the greatest dancers of all time).
I think Stretton's greatest strength is in marketing a company to appeal to a wider audience. He seemed to get more young people along to the ballet (myslef included)and the company seemed to appear more in the media as themselves, not just ballet dancers. Nicole Rhodes was in an issue of Cosmo, Geon appeared on Daytime TV interviews. But McAllister took this one step further. Did you hear in the UK about the four Aust ballet dancers who appear in FHM (For Him Magazine). It was quite the scandal over here. Anyway, whatever Ross does, I just hope he does it right, because you have a great company there.


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sylvia

25-04-02, 12:41 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #16
 
   LAST EDITED ON 25-04-02 AT 12:53 PM (GMT)

Hiya Nadia

You musn't get me started on my favourite dancers or performances. I think the regular posters here are more than aware of my inclination to babble on and on and on about them.

We're sorta lucky here with the ROH in that there price structure is really wide and the standing seats are very cheap. What's draining my bank account is the transport into London and back. I do wish the RB would tour, though to be truthful it wouldn't keep me from tripping into the city every week! Does Australian Ballet ever have the opportunity to tour Australia? What kind of ballet do you see in Brisbane - are there many regional companies?

I like your anecdote about Darcey and Leanne. I think it's great fun seeing or hearing about established dancers when they were back in the corps. I love the idea of all that potential yet to be seen, of whether at the time of the picture they had any idea of all the great performances and accomplishments yet to come.

I appreciate your insights into Ross Stretton. It does have me a little worried about what will happen after the next couple seasons. Picking up on Bruce's point, I think it may take more than 3 years to really evaluate Stretton's success because the MacMillan anniversary and Ashton centennary may skew things a little. I enjoy some of the modern work but personally I only wish for it in small doses. It sort of comes back to the "what makes you go time and time again" poll on this board. I like to see as many casts as I can of a production but when it comes to work like Beyond Bach, In the middle, Remanso and Por Vos Muero, they seem to have much less scope for interpretation and I don't have any pressing need to watch multiple casts.

I'm not sure how much success Stretton will have in luring in a younger audience with modern work. I haven't seen any marketing strategies yet unless you count the usual ballerina spreads in Hello! magazine. The only publicity of the triple bills I've seen is through the press, and they aren't exactly throwing their weight behind him or his ideas. We did hear about the FHM spread/scandal (thanks to ballet.co for managing the links) and had a similar stunt with the English National Ballet dancers (Tamara included!) not so long ago. I thought it was a bit of a cheap stunt at the time but a harmless one.

My feeling is that Stretton should find more innovative ways to market the more traditional ballets to the young. I would have thought it would be easier to market narrative ballets anyway. Some peers of mine did a presentation on marketing Giselle to students Baz Luhrmann style using themes like "Love", "Deceit" and "Betrayal" on postcards to be distributed at universities. I thought it was a great idea because there isn't one person I've met here in uni who has even considered going to London specifically to see ballet or opera. I think they're surprised that it can even be done.


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Nadia

26-04-02, 01:16 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #17
 
   Dear Sylvia,

Sorry about the time it took me to reply.

There are two regional companies in Australia. The West Australian Ballet (who are very good and who have Errol Pickford and Benazir Hussein who you might remember from their RB days) and Queensland Ballet (based in Brisbane where I live). The WAB have really flourished in recent years under Ted Bransen, but now he's leaving so who knows what will happen (no replacement has been announced as yet). The Queensland Ballet is a strange case. Some of my favourite dancers are in QB, especially a young girl called Hayley Farr who has the most beautiful line, and Jens Weber from Europe who is young but with a fantastic jump. But Francois Klaus (director)seems to have marketed the company all wrong (weird shots taken in the Botanic Gardens adorned this year's season brochure) as well as replacing successful productions of the Classics with his own interpretations (I won't even begin to explain the ridiculous remake he did of Don Q, something about everything being in Don Q's imagination? Too scary for words). So, for this reason, the poor souls in Brisbane spend most of their time waiting each year for the Australian Ballet to come. They do at least once a year because they always do well at the box office (probably why Stretton is taking the RB here as well). The problem is that they rarely brought the classics here under Stretton's reign (whereas we had Swan Lakes and Don Qs regularly under Gielgud)and I think the only true classic we saw at all was about three performances of La Bayadere(another problem with Stretton's directorship). Thankfully, McAllister has promised to take more classics to Brisbane, and there will be two tours of Brisbane this year for the first time in . . . I don't know, forever?
The main problem with Stretton is that he loves to contradict. At the beginning of his directorship, he promised the dancers that he would not do anymore Coppelias. Then in 2000 he shceduled some Coppelias anyway, and said he'd tour to Brisbane, then canceled it and replaced it with the Merry Widow. Not that I can't appreciate difficulties in scheduling, but it still seems strange to keep changing his mind like that. The other thing was his choice of dancers for promotions. All I can say is thank God Anthony Dowell got Alina Cojocaru's career on the way before Stretton came in. When Damien Welch left (now returning to AB) there was an obvious vacancy for Male Principal and despite the fact that he had recently suffered a bad hip injury, there was only one true choice: Geon Van de Wyst. Blessed with a fantastic technigue and Apollonic good looks he was the obvious choice. So you can imagine how most people felt when Matthew Trent got the promotion. Trent's great but doesn't have great turns or the magnetism that Geon does. Now Canada has a new Principal artist and I hear Geon's a huge hit over there. Well done, Ross. He did promote Nicole Rhodes though, and she's fantastic, especially in modern works like Gemini.
The Ballet's that he commissioned during his time weren't hugely successful either (well the contemporary ones were, and I went to them, just not full length ballets like 1914).

Thanks for telling me about the ENB controversy, it's good to know that it was not the first time dancers did the sultry thing (and one would suspect not the last either).

I thought the suggestions of your friends for the advertisemnt of classics was really fantastic and it reminded my of what Ross did with the AB as the Mission statement: Energy,Passion, and there was another word I can't remember. Has he done something like that with the RB yet? Because that was a big hit in Australia.

I think the only real problem at the AB now is that Principals have dropped off like flys in the last twelve months. Miranda Coney left to have her child, David McAllister left to become Director, Justine Summers had to retire because of Arthritis in her feet (she will be missed, she was a truly beautiful artist), Lisa Bolte has just announced she's pregnant too and is leaving in June, and Steven Heathcote has a program called Ballet Blokes dedicated to him in this year's program which means he's probably leaving soon as well. The male ranks should be fine though: Nigel Burley, Campbell McKenzie and Welsh are back and Matthew Trent and Robert Curran (really excellent partner) are newly promoted. But right now it looks like Nicole Rhodes and Lucinda Dunn (newly promoted) are the only Females! Word has it that that won't be the case for long. A soloist by the name of Olivia Bell (who did the FHM Shoot) has speculated much talk of fast promotion through the ranks over the coming year. There is also speculation over Lynette Wills being promoted (she's one of my favourite AB dancers, but Ross always seemed to pass her up) and there is a fantastic yound dancer coming through the corps called Amber Scott. I was fortunate enough to see Amber dance when she was younger because she did her initial training in Brisbane, she was the youngest person admitted in the ABS and has the most beautiful lyricism I have seem in any dancer in the company. Definitely one to watch.

I have to ask you about something that I have seen some press about recently and that is the partnership of Alina Cojocaru and Angel Corella. At the moment the Royal has the most phenomenal line up of Principal dancers one could hope to imagine (only rivalled by that of ABT) but what is not talked about is great partnerships. Certainly there must have been several memorable performances, but I haven't read much in the way of great partnerships until I read abou the pairing of the two mentioned above in Don Q and La Bayadere. Did you see them perform together and if so, is it all that and a bag of chips?(aussie for: really that good?).

I'd love to hear from you.

Nadia


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sylvia

26-04-02, 03:03 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #18
 
   LAST EDITED ON 26-04-02 AT 03:49 PM (GMT)

Hiya Nadia

Wow, thanks for posting! Don't apologise, it must have taken some time to type out all that! We only get the occasional post from Australia here and it's great fun hearing your opinions about AB. Where do all the Australian ballet fans go on the net? I'm not familiar with many of the AB dancers apart from Steven Heathcote and Justine Summers from the videos available here. There are a lot of recordings - is that due to Stretton as well? If so I'm very encouraged. The RB video output from the 90s is miserable - can't be more than 5 or 6.

I remember reading about the Energy-Passion marketing thing, and I remember he used those words to try to inspire the ROH marketing department and again in his first interviews but nothing since. He got a bit of schtick for the gimmicky titles he gave to the triple bills and didn't bother with them for next season. Your story about the Coppelias is kinda funny because we got some unscheduled ones too this summer (not his fault there, but again!). And what was wrong with Coppelia btw? Haven't really seen any Stretton flip-flops yet but I think he's hampered by all the upset he might cause. Or maybe this season is going exactly as planned. I haven't really kept up but is McAllister's first season shaping up to be a success?

As for Alina I actually think regardless of her rank Stretton probably would have noticed her anyway, though her progress might be a year or so behind. If she were still languishing as a soloist at the start of this season, then Reid Andersen choosing her as Tatiana for Onegin surely could have jettisoned her into more principal roles. Did Stretton ever do any on the spot promotions the way Dowell did? I see your point though. I'll be really curious about the promotions at the end of this season. Anyway it's obvious Alina's become a favourite of his as she's cast in almost everything. As much as I love seeing her dance, I was getting a bit worried because she was taking on so much - in January she was dancing both Tatiana and Olga in Onegin, Beyond Bach, Leaves are Fading, rehearsing for La Bayadere and probably preparing for Giselle as well. And of course apart from Giselle all these roles are new to her.

It's Zenaida Yanowsky who concerns me more. She's such a beautiful, talented and very tall dancer and was promoted to principal right before Anthony Dowell left, so I get the feeling sometimes that Stretton doesn't know what to do with her and still allocates roles to her like a soloist. She probably isn't most suited to stuff like Giselle and Juliet, but she's been taking on many soloist roles like the Street Dancer in Don Q, one of the three shades in La Bayadere and now she's dancing the main harlot in R&J, and I guess I think she deserves more. She's wonderful in them of course and is more prominent in the more modern work and I'd hate to lose her. Did any of the furore over Sarah Wildor's departure reach you in Brisbane? And some of the senior principals like Miyako Yoshida and Leanne Benjamin seem to have had nothing to do at all this season and that bothers me a great deal about Stretton's choices.

I think our line-up of ballerinas is very strong but of the guys it's a bit weak. We only have 4 male principals at the moment, 2 of whom are kinda injury prone, Jonathan Cope is 40ish and won't be around forever. We're lucky though that the Rb has snagged the very talented principal Robert Tewsley who's joining next season. But outside that there is only one male first soloist (I don't know where he is at the moment). From the way the RB casts ballets and fills in for injury they don't seem to think the male soloists are ready to dance the big principal roles, and import a lot of guest artists instead. Ivan Putrov seems to be the exception. I don't mind much - how else will I get the opportunity to see Corella, Stiefel etc, etc. But it makes me a bit sad because there's a lot of talent for sure in the male soloist ranks and we don't get to see enough of it in the more traditional ballets.

And yep, Alina's partnership with Angel Corella was a 'all that and a bag of chips!' - a really successful one I thought. In Don Q they both brought across such joy in their dancing. Technically Alina's really strong and she's dances on stage so beautifully and with no effort at all. Angel I'm sure you've seen is all smiles, pure energy and dazzling tricks, and the two really spark each other off and were so youthful and exhuberant and gave a lot of life to Don Q. I'm not a huge fan of Bayadere but again it was beautiful and it worked. (The costumes for the guys were awful though and actually made Angel look dumpy enough to dwarf Alina more than I ever thought possible!). Similarly Angel's partnership with Tamara Rojo in Giselle a few weeks ago was very touching and came second to only Alina and Johan Kobborg. If you want to hear about phenomenal partnerships, then I think we have one already. Some enthusiasts have touted Alina and Johan's Giselle as one of THE defining performances. You probably know it was Alina's debut in it last year that caused Dowell to promote her to principal. And personally I think Kobborg is the best dance-actor I've ever seen. It's hard to think of what to say because I've used up all my words gushing about them this season, but they seem to bring a great deal of sensitivity and depth to their dancing, like there's much much more going on beyond what you see. In Onegin last year the starriest cast Tamara Rojo and Adam Cooper seemed to wear their emotions on their sleeve, and it was very powerful. But Alina and Johan seemed to give a much more detailed, more intelligent, more nuanced performance, like you could see not just emotions on their faces but the thoughts running through their brains. And it wasn't any less passionate either. It was just fascinating and I'd go home turning it over and over in my mind, and was delighted to see that critics picked up on it too and it wasn't just my imagination working overtime. Their central pdd in The Leaves are Fading was breathtaking, another defining performance for me. I think their R&J on Tuesday is much anticipated - only 1 performance scheduled! They're very special and Stretton must recognize this, solidifying their partnership in Swan Lake (Sydney is so lucky!) and doing a bit of partner swapping in Don Q and putting Alina and Johan together. If you have the time you should do a search for their posted reviews. I don't think they've ever had a bad one.

Didn't I'd say I'd go off a tangent? Hope to hear from you soon!

Sylvia


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Tim Powell

26-04-02, 05:42 PM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #19
 
   My sympathies for Nadia that Alina will not be doing a Swan Lake in Brisbane, I had hoped to visit Melbourne to see her there but she is not doing the role there either. She and Johann are doing Giselle and I have told my contacts there that they are a must but they are doing the matinee and Sylvie is the evening Giselle so I have not convinced all. Nadia is right they Alina is not suffiiently known out there,yet, but those who miss them will regret it.
I hope that the triple bill turns out to be better than it looks and in particular that the Wheeldon number is a winner.The programme is being marketed as rarely seen British choreographic masterpieces although one has yet to be produced and another has only just slipped into the UK repertory with a few performance.
Nadia reders to the RB strong list of principals but in truth on the male side they have only two true principals in Johny and Johan although the list will be much enhanced by the arrival of Robert Tewsley in a few weeks. The rest have been guests, two of whom are in fact ABT principals, most of whom have been superb.


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Nadia

27-04-02, 04:04 AM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #19
 
   Dear Sylvia,

Bad news about the videos. You may note that most of these are from before 1995, so it is Maina Gielgud who has been responsible for these releases. She understood that Australia is a wide country (you have to drive for at least 2 days to get between most major cities) and in order to ensure that more aussies got to see the performances of its star Company (in fact, Sleeping Beauty was from the London tour) she preserved them on film. I don't think Stretton released any videos during his directorship, expect maybe Graeme Murphy's Nutcracker (if I'm wrong anyone, feel free to correct me). Gielgud also had Lisa Pavane, who appears in Coppelia, Spartacus and the Merry Widow and was one of the greatest ballerinas Australia ever produced. As she left to go to England in '94 with her husband Greg Horseman, people like me who had been too young to go see her when she was dancing finally had the opportunity through film. That was another mistake Stretton made, because when the ENB toured Australia with their Swan Lake a couple of years ago, Lisa made noises about coming back to the AB which were ignored. Even though she would not have been dancing for long as she is now retired, the ballet going public still loved her and many saw this as the perfect opportunity for her to return. But that's history I guess. McAllister has already released a video of the Beyond 40 Gala in the first 3 months of his first season, which is shaping up very well. So it looks like we may finally get more ballet videos while he's director. What videos of the company have you seen?

I hadn't heard that Robert Tewley was coming to the RB (don't know how I missed that one) and that is very good news. I hear that he is fantastic. I get your point about the male soloists. I don't know what Stretton can do about that because he was more preoccupied with promoting great female dancers when he was with AB, but he already has a stella line-up of ballerinas at RB so maybe he will do differently. I liked you point about Zenaida because the similarities between her and Lynette Wills are astounding. Ross really isn't a fan of taller dancers, mind you he didn't have a lot of tall male principals at AB. Mind you, the blokes are improving dramatically under McAllister's direction and I've heard that the male dancers coming from the ABS last year were all very good (and taller that usual) so that's good news indeed. Maybe he's just waiting for the right vehicle for Zenaida but I hope he doesn't take too long. I saw her as the Hostess on the video of the Opening Gala and thought she was fantastic. She deserves exposure and the opportunity to try a variety of different roles because she is one dancer who is in danger of being type cast.

I was glad to hear that Alina and Angel were great, but I was also glad to hear about her partnership with Johan Kobborg. I believe I'm going to see him partner Tamara for Swan Lake, and I have heard a lot about his dramatic abilities. Then again, I might be mixed up and it might actually be Johan Pearrson. What's he like?

Its really sad to hear that Leanne and Miyako are not getting as many performances as they should in London. There both such extrodinary dancers. One could understand it if Stretton was just trying to promote the younger principals, but if he's not giving much to Zenaida then he must be playing favourites. Another thing that I wanted to ask was about Stretton's use of Nureyev's Don Q. It's hugely popular in Australia, how did it go in London?

Thanks for writing back and hope to hear form you soon.

Nadia


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vivian2

29-04-02, 11:35 PM (GMT)
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22. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #21
 
   "Another thing that I wanted to ask was about Stretton's use of Nureyev's Don Q. It's hugely popular in Australia, how did it go in London?"

Dear Nadia,

Critics were nasty about Stretton's Don Q in Britain.They thought it was shallow and comments were made about lack of taste.

Some resentment here about his apparant dislike of artistic dancers (Sarah Wildor soon left). Critics seem to think he prefers the gymnast and spurns the artiste!

Can't agree with that myself.

Mind you, there are differences in outlook I suppose.

He MUST value artistic dancers , otherwise he wouldnt use Tamara Roho. She has never been a kangaroo dancer(no flat high jetes and ankle slapping ears) but she has sooo much else to offer!! After all, we can go to see the French Can Can dancers if all we want is brash high kicks and flat grand jetes.

Tamara is a real art form without the need for slap and whack_--
So he is obviously able to see what British audiences want!

Hope this answers your questions
Best wishes

Viv


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Nadia

01-05-02, 12:47 PM (GMT)
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29. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #22
 
   Dear Viviana,

Thank you so much for your postings, it certianly cleared things up a bit.
I was sad to hear about Sarah Wildor leaving, because she was such a wonderful artist, what is she doing now?

I get your point about the critics bagging Stretton for not liking artists, but even though I think he is impressed by slap and whack,(dancers like Nicole Rhodes and Elissa Willis were popular under Stretton's directorship) he does still have the highest respect for the artist. His preferences are a little hard to fathem, but as long as he is respecting the experience of artists like Leanne, Darcey and Miyako, while still promoting new stars like Tamara and Alina I don't think there will be too many problems. I just hope he can fix the worries about the line up of male principals. Please keep me posted on how he handles that one!

Regards
Nadia


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vivian2

30-04-02, 00:05 AM (GMT)
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23. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #21
 
  
did write back to you answering your questions but it seems to have disappeared . Perhaps there is a queue!


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Bruceadmin

30-04-02, 00:40 AM (GMT)
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24. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #23
 
   >
>did write back to you answering
>your questions but it seems
>to have disappeared .
>Perhaps there is a queue!
>

We run no queue - I suspect what you wrote is the post before the one I'm replying to. And it was there all the time but your broswer was displaying an old copy of the thread.

If you don't see a post that you think you have made it's worth using the Refresh button on your browser - that will often bring up the new complete thread.


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sylvia

30-04-02, 02:19 AM (GMT)
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25. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #21
 
   Hiya Nadia

Sorry it's been a few days but my dissertation, revision etc has been getting on top of me! Oh dear, so much for my hopes about videos, but we do have Onegin and Manon in the works apparently. It's really sad to hear about Lisa Pavane, that such a great and popular ballerina was passed up on. I must have seen her in Coppelia though admittedly it was so long ago I can barely remember. I also saw AB's Giselle and I have a little bit of Manon copied to tape. I remember reading that Gelsey Kirkland lived in Australia for some years, and given that she and Ross Stretton danced along side each other at ABT I wondered why her experience wasn't utilised to coach dancers in AB. I don't suppose you heard anything about her while she was there - I presumed she was teaching or something.

Robert Tewsley joining the RB doesn't seem to have made much of a splash. The announcment was sorta sneaked in with the release of next season's productions. I think maybe London hasn't quite caught on to Tewsley yet with all the excitement over Adam Cooper & Tamara Rojo, and Alina & Johan Kobborg in Onegin. But he was so superb I'm sure this will change once he gets his teeth into Manon, Mayerling, etc, etc. All the fantastic things you've heard about him are true! His legs and feet seem to have such a light touch on stage. He's like a human rubber ball the way he bounds across it, but unlike say Corella who has the same bouncy qualities he comes across as very refined and elegant. As for tall male dancers, we can't claim to have many either! It does look like Stretton's pushing some male dancers forward like Ivan Putrov, and interestingly Martin Harvey and Johannes Stepanek who are both in the corps so I'm hopeful. And there are so many new dancers coming in next season so it's comething tolook forward to.

I think Tamara's dancing with Inaki Urlezaga in Swan Lake, but I'll have to check. Inaki's still injured. I saw him dance in just one role this season. He's having to miss his run of Romeos right now and I wonder if he'll be able to make the Australian tour. I thought his Siegfried was ok last year, nice. Johan Persson's interesting. I like him a great deal in specific roles - his Lensky is really impressive. He's also injured so maybe he's in question over Australia as well? I saw on Massiomo Murru's website that he's down for Swan Lake on the tour but I don't know if he's replacing Inaki or Johan or dancing with Leanne who doesn't even have a Siegfried casted yet! You see the problem they have with male principals!

Regarding Nureyev's Don Q, Vivian2's right in that this first and new ballet, of a new season, with a new director, wasn't received well by the critics here. They didn't have a problem with the dancers or the choreography so much as with the costumes and sets which they kept complaining were very dreary. I think there was also a feeling that it wasn't very Spanish, that the RB didn't have the panache to pull off Don Q the way the Kirov can. The first cast with Tamara Rojo and Johan Kobborg I don't think meshed well as a partnership. As dancers and actors I think they're just too different. Very strange because their Giselle was so well reviewed last year. They were the ones who were filmed btw. Personally I thought Don Q was ok, a little tiring after the 3rd or 4th time (though Alina and Angel were so wonderful, I saw them twice at top price!) Stretton said he'd actually intended for Onegin to open the season, and reiterated the value of Don Q in evaluating the strengths of the dancers and it did have a lot of soloist roles so it was really good to see so many dancers featured so prominently. He's rejiggled the casts a bit for this summer and put Tamara with Carlos Acosta (expecting lots of sparks!) and Alina with Johan Kobborg, as well as Darcey with Jonathan Cope - much, much better. So I guess I'll have to go again. It's a brilliant strategy to lure the audience back in after all the bashing it got! Besides I'm willing to bet that after this summer we never see it again. Have you seen this production? I guess you'll be able to see it for yourself if it ever comes out on video which is not bad btw. It's worth watching, not just for Rojo and Kobborg who are wonderful on their own, but all the other dancers right down to the corps. The quality of their acting, their reactions to some of the goings-on are incredibly funny.

I think I better write off since it's 2am in the morning and I have 9 o'clock lectures! Hope to hear from you soon!

Sylvia


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Nadia

30-04-02, 10:12 AM (GMT)
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26. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #25
 
   Dear Sylvia,

Don't take the video thing too seriously because if Manon and Onegin are in the works then it should be good. Kelsey was here in Melbourne teaching at a dance school called DanceWorld301, (hugely popular for jazz but becoming increasingly popular for ballet training as well). And the word is while she was there the students loved her. Why Ross didn't utilise her talent is a bloody mystery to me! But I've already expressed my opinion in some of his decisions. Didn't she do a stint at the RBS as well?

Sad to hear about the problem with male principals and i hope they all heal well, and quickly!

Yes I have seen the Nureyev Don Q, but only the 3rd act live. I have the original staging with Nureyev and Lucette Aldous dancing on video and it's pretty special. I get the costume thing a bit, because the first act costumes are pretty terrible except for Kitri's red dress. But I hear that some of the colours and things were changed from the original act 2 costumes for London (something about tamara having to dance in salmon?) whereas the original costumes were beautiful. Plus Nureyev made that production as a vehicle for him and Lucette so that makes it tough for other dancers, especially tall dancers dancing Kitri because Lucette was so petite and could do such such quick and neat footwork. I think the new castings sound much better.

Dinner time at my place, so I have to go. Hope to hear from you soon!

Regards, Nadia


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MAB

30-04-02, 12:48 PM (GMT)
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27. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #26
 
   The Royal Ballet actually has quite a history of failure with various versions of Don Q. over the years. I wonder if Ross Stretton was aware the ballet was "jinxed" before he opened the season with it? I remember the Australian ballet bringing Don Q to the Coliseum in London in the '70's with Aldous and Nureyev in the leading roles. It was hugely successful with the audience. It is a mystery to me why Don Q and the RB don't seem to get on.

Nadia, I very much enjoyed your assessment of the Australian Ballet scene, but you didn't mention any guest artists, does that mean there is an anti-guest policy operating? Actually I was in Queensland in January and discovered the ballet season had finished for the summer holidays. I did visit the botanical gardens in Brisbane though, but didn't spot any posing dancers.

Hope you enjoy your trip to London.


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Nadia

01-05-02, 12:41 PM (GMT)
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28. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #27
 
   Dear MAB,

Thanks for your postings.
I had no idea that Don Q was jinxed! It's interesting to hear that London loved Nureyev and Aldous but that it can't work with the RB. Truly perplexing!

Thanks also for noting my lack of acknowledgement of guest artists. The main reason for this is that they NEVER come to BRisbane (if someone knows an instance where they have please let me know. In recent years Sydney and Melbourne have had the good fortune to see stars like Darcey Bussell, Alessandra Ferri, Angel Corella, just to name a few. I Had the good fortune to receive a trip to Melbourne to see the incomparable Sylvie Guillem and Laurent Hilaire in Manon late last year, but if it hadn't been for my fantastic parents and a well-timed birthday I would have missed it completely. It is important to acknowledge the many wonderful guest artists who have worked with the company but unfortunately I just don't know enough about how the performances went and often don't even know they were here until they've already gone again.

As far as Sylvie goes, she was wonderful with Laurent last year and I was very distressed when there was an apparent lack of standing ovations and bravos at the end (mind you, the audience still received it well).

Hope you enjoyed Queensland in January, sorry you missed seeing the dancers in the Gardens!

Regards
Nadia


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alison

07-05-02, 05:45 PM (GMT)
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31. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #18
 
   All I can say
>is thank God Anthony Dowell
>got Alina Cojocaru's career on
>the way before Stretton came
>in.

Oh, I'm sure that, given the number of roles he's cast her in this year, he'd have promoted her to principal if Dowell hadn't already done so.

Interesting what you say about Stretton's promotions policy. I suppose at the end of this season we shall have a better idea of what he's looking for in dancers, and possibly what he thinks a principal dancer is. (I have a feeling I may not totally agree with him, but we shall see ).

>
>I thought the suggestions of your
>friends for the advertisemnt of
>classics was really fantastic and
>it reminded my of what
>Ross did with the AB
>as the Mission statement: Energy,Passion,
>and there was another word
>I can't remember.

Physicality?

>I have to ask you about
>something that I have seen
>some press about recently and
>that is the partnership of
>Alina Cojocaru and Angel Corella.
>At the moment the Royal
>has the most phenomenal line
>up of Principal dancers

Well, in-house, only on the female side.

>Did you see them perform
>together and if so, is
>it all that and a
>bag of chips?(aussie for: really
>that good?).

Bag of chips and a piece of fried cod, I think, Nadia! They were really superb together in Don Q, and in retrospect I wish it'd been that performance which was televised - it'd be something to treasure. Trouble is, I don't think the management likes televising performances starring guest artists. Wasn't as keen on them together in Bayadère, though.


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sylvia

07-05-02, 09:48 PM (GMT)
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32. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #31
 
   >They were really superb together
>in Don Q, and in retrospect I wish
>it'd been that performance which was
>televised - it'd be something to
>treasure. Trouble is, I don't think
>the management likes televising
>performances starring guest artists.

I felt the same way - about Cojocaru & Corella and why they'll never be televised. It makes me wonder then which cast they'll use to televise Onegin - I'm sure it'll be Cooper, Rojo et al but I would have thought the RB would get more out of promoting it's own dancers over guests. To tell you the truth in this case I wouldn't mind either way.


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alison

09-05-02, 01:13 PM (GMT)
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33. "RE: Alina Cojocaru video and shops in London?"
In response to message #32
 
   Yes, I was wondering that, since in my opinion the best of each character tended to be spread across the different casts. That's why I was half-expecting to see some changes in casting when the summer season was announced. I think my ideal (ignoring practical matters such as physiques, etc.) would have been Rojo, Kobborg, a toss-up between Cojocaru and Nunez and (from what I've heard but not yet seen) Stepanek.


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alison

07-05-02, 05:36 PM (GMT)
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30. "RE: RB in Australia?"
In response to message #16
 
   (Sorry not have jumped in on this one before, but I haven't had time to plough through the denser threads recently!)

But I do remember
>reading an advertisement for the
>tour in an old 'Dance
>Australia' issue that had a
>picture of the corps with
>Darcey and Leanne in the
>front row.

I'm not sure if you can be right about that. Wasn't Leanne in either London Festival or Sadler's Wells RB at that time? LFB, I think, actually, as she's in their Swan Lake video. Not sure that Darcey would have been in the RB then, either - I thought it was the period she was in SWRB. Could it have been SWRB who were touring? Either way, I think it unlikely, given their respective heights, that both would have been in the front row of the corps. But anyway, that's a bit by the by ...

>I thought I might also make
>some comments about Stretton when
>he ran the Aust Ballet.
>The company had come out
>of the Gielgud Era and
>were very much the Classical
>company. After a year it
>seemed that the company had
>seemed to lose some of
>its classical base as Stretton
>seemed to be pushing a
>more comtemporary approach.

That seems to be what he's doing here as well.

>I think Stretton's greatest strength is
>in marketing a company to
>appeal to a wider audience.
... and the company
>seemed to appear more in
>the media as themselves, not
>just ballet dancers.

I think they've been doing that okay on their own (I've always assumed they weren't generally put up to it by the management) over here.


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