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Subject: "City Ballet of London - Wimbledon" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #300
Reading Topic #300
jonathan

14-10-99, 11:30 PM (GMT)
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"City Ballet of London - Wimbledon"
 
   Not a review, but just a "go and see it" note. The company are looking just wonderful. For me, this is the one that has everything at the moment - great choreography, great individual dancers, great teamwork on stage. They looked just stunning in everything they did tonight, and the audience thought so too. It's a long time since I heard a London audience whoop and cheer as looudly and spontaneously as they did tonight, and deservedly so too.

Not to be missed, I'd say.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: City Ballet of London - Wimbledon Bruce Madmin 15-10-99 1
     RE: City Ballet of London - Wimbledon Ann W 16-10-99 2
         RE: City Ballet of London - Wimbledon Bruce Madmin 16-10-99 3
         RE: City Ballet of London - Wimbledon alison 18-10-99 6
  Review - City Ballet of London Bruce Madmin 16-10-99 4
     RE: Review - City Ballet of London jonathan 17-10-99 5

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Bruce Madmin

15-10-99, 07:55 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: City Ballet of London - Wimbledon"
In response to message #0
 
   A review to follow, but to say I thought CBL were looking sharper than I've seen in a long time and the selection of pieces made for a good night. The new Hampson is way different to anything from the past and I found myself uncontrollably and spontaneously whooping and cheering loudly! More later...


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Ann W

16-10-99, 05:56 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: City Ballet of London - Wimbledon"
In response to message #1
 
  
Bruce

I agree. It was a very enjoyable evening and, like you, I loved the Hampson piece, which doesn't seem to have suffered by the last-minute change of music. The only thing I felt we could have done without was the singing, which seemed a bit pointless, but perhaps that's just me. Hampson produced some beautiful choreography for the two women, Emma Greenhalgh and the remarkable Oxana Panchenko - where has she been hiding?

I enjoyed Robert North's 'Entre Dos Aguas' too, although it couldn't make up its mind whether it was ballet, tango or contemporary. It was full of sensuous and vigorous choreography which showed the dancers off to their best advantage, as did the simple but gorgeous costumes

I wish I had posted this message earlier to encourage London-based Ballet-coers to go tonight (the final London performance).


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Bruce Madmin

16-10-99, 06:12 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: City Ballet of London - Wimbledon"
In response to message #2
 
   >I wish I had posted this message
>earlier to encourage London-based Ballet-coers to
>go tonight (the final London performance).
>

It's not the final London performance! They are at the Peacock from the 9th - 13th November.

And glad you liked them!


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alison

18-10-99, 01:24 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: City Ballet of London - Wimbledon"
In response to message #2
 
   Panchenko used to be with ENB a while back, but after that I'm not sure where she went.


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Bruce Madmin

16-10-99, 08:17 PM (GMT)
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4. "Review - City Ballet of London"
In response to message #0
 
  
City Ballet of London (CBL) are back on the road, with some new dancers, a new ballet master, funding from Associated Newspapers (still nothing from the ARTS Council) and a nice line in Latin dance pieces.

At just over 20 dancers they remain a compact troupe performing bills by established choreographers while commissioning new works as well. Their latest VIVA bill features works by Hans van Manen, Robert North, and Christopher Hampson who, stretching his wings now that he has left English National Ballet (ENB), is also the new Ballet Master. A nice job he seems to be doing too, with more slickness on display than perhaps one has normally associated with CBL for a while.

As a choreographer Hampson has steadily been getting more adventurous in his shows, and Canciones is the most adventurous to date. The piece is split into several distinct parts and uses a Flamenco singer and dancer - Rosario Serrano - accompanied by two, ballet dancer, couples

The start is gripping with all the dancers clapping in flamenco fashion and eventually bringing forward the steps which slowly take over. The boys in the piece do no conventional steps, though their partners (Emma Greenhalgh and Oxana Panchenko, both excellent) get to do pointe work and the pdd for each couple bears the usual Hampson hallmarks - graceful, smooth, flowing but fast, work with some unusual lifts and couplings.

The work of the four is split by Serrano who is a mature flamenco performer, but as they do, amazes you with the sassiness with which they move. But at first her singing particularly seemed tentative and nervous and they need to dial up the volume some more as well.

The set, by Bruce French, was more adventurous too - featuring a dusty striped wall and hammock - warm, high summer days it said and it usefully added to the atmosphere of a courtyard garden in which people come and go.

The music was by Albinez, arranged for piano, but one can't help but wonder what it would have been like to the Mannuel de Falla which was originally planned. But it remains a pleasure tracking Hampson's choreography and I'm really pleased that he is pushing forward with new ideas all the time. Canciones has a lot going on and he should feel pleased (though as is the way with choreographers he won't of course!).

Five Tangos, the van Manen piece, opened the show and is a classy and thoughtful reflection on different aspects of Tango. BRB have this in their repertoire but if anything it looked smarter here. It was led out by Emma Greenhalgh and Benito Marcelino, he naturally all Latin and she elegant and stately. Its perhaps wrong to compare but I can't resist saying that she has the same feel about her as Darcey Bussell. Shame to say that I never really noticed Greenhalgh at ENB (from whence she springs), but now one sees a marvellous dancer at effectively principal level.

Robert North's Entre Dos Aguas rounded off the evening in the appropriate way - light, fast, easy fun and the most obvious group piece of them all. If the van Manen and Hampson pieces are essentially thoughtful reflections of tango, albeit springing from a ballet base, Entre Dos Aguas is 100% tango flavouring (E499B) added to rich chicken stock dance to create a Spanish version of pot noodle! And it's just great.

Joanne de Souza really enjoyed herself and looked more at home than in the classical pieces I've seen her in before. Peter Ottevanger looked less happy though and in the Don Quixote pas de deux, which was squeezed in mid-show, he seemed to have a thoroughly rotten time with little of the panache and finish there really needs to be.

CBL remain the company that everybody wants to see prosper and a UK ballet world without them would seem wrong. Funding remains problematic, but they seem to be finding their feet and are looking more solid and together than ever. This is a an enjoyable programme and they thoroughly deserve all our support.




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jonathan

17-10-99, 01:42 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Review - City Ballet of London"
In response to message #4
 
   Saw them again tonight, and Canciones looked better than ever. I wasn't entirely convinced on the first night - though nervous dancing was a large part of that - but by Saturday, the piece seemed to have become what it was, and I loved it. For my taste, CBL have the best line up of dancers and repertoire of any company currently around, and it would be a crying shame to miss them. Go!!!!!!!


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