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Subject: "ENB Sleeping Beauty at RAH" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #758
Reading Topic #758
Bruce Madmin

15-06-00, 11:26 PM (GMT)
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"ENB Sleeping Beauty at RAH"
 
   I forgot to put this up earlier - what an idiot! I also decided to tackle it differently....

In short...
The best classical ballet ever devised had been recut to fit the Albert Hall. Unfortunately it's lost something and does not seem so involving as their earlier in-the-round productions. However SB is still a 'big' spectacle and the last act wedding is sweet.

Background
Third year of ENB doing in-the-round ballet at the Albert Hall and earlier years - of Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet - have sold well. Some critics were a little hound dog about them: the arena style does force change and is not to everybody's liking. True to form this production is by Derek Deane (the NEB Artistic Director) and is all new.


Plot
Oh come on!

The classic Fairy tale with a happy ending - prince gets princess. Along the way there is an evil villain type figure, Carabosse, that you can go boo to (but privately please). All to a marvellous Tchaikovsky score.


Sets and Costumes
If you like My Little Pony colours you will be in seventh heaven. Yes it's all kitsch candy colours, complete with large white wigs. By Roberta Guidi di Bagno they have a slightly off the wall feel, not dissimilar to the Bjornson deigns for the Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty.

All that said, the designs for Carabosse's attendants were marvellously horrid and the wedding (last act) costumes looked smarter.


Choreography
The lack of a proscenium arch and backdrop means that costumes/choreography have to work harder in these productions....

So much is changed compared to the productions many know - very brave. In Swan Lake many things were doubled or quadrupled up and that worked pretty well. Here there seemed to be lots of processing and not so much choreographic meat: the result is just not so involving.


Dancers
Erina Takahashi, only recently made up to Senior Soloist, unusually got the premiere. Many have noticed her this last year or two, but this is one hell of a stretch. She did very well in what is a technical nightmare for a classical dancer. And her attitude is all princess. However the dramatic side remains to be filled out some yet.

Her Prince was Dmitri Gruzdyev - as calm and dignified a pair of arms as you could wish. Lovely jumps.

Anastasia Volochkova - a most beautiful, young dancer, ex Kirov and Bolshoi, was the pretty Carabosse. She was expressive and her arms seemed to go on forever and be capable of doing anything. But a pretty Carabosse somehow feels wrong.

Monica Perego and Yat Sen Chang injected much vitality and panache as the Blue Birds.


Does it work?
It's all a bit slow and unauthoratative at first and the short acts seemed to stop it developing and gaining pace. It will sharpen but on a first viewing I preferred the ENB R&J and Swan Lake rather more on first viewing.



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  RE: ENB Sleeping Beauty at RAH alison 16-06-00 1

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alison

16-06-00, 12:57 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: ENB Sleeping Beauty at RAH"
In response to message #0
 
   > Sets and Costumes If you like
>My Little Pony colours you will
>be in seventh heaven. Yes it's
>all kitsch candy colours, complete with
>large white wigs.

So that's what they reminded me of!

>All that said, the designs for Carabosse's
>attendants were marvellously horrid and the
>wedding (last act) costumes looked smarter.
>
But note to the designer: isn't it considered the height of bad form for the guests, and particularly the bride's mother, to outshine (or in this case out-glitter) the bride on her wedding day?

>
> Choreography The lack of a proscenium
>arch and backdrop means that costumes/choreography
>have to work harder in these
>productions....
>So much is changed compared to the
>productions many know - very brave.
>In Swan Lake many things were
>doubled or quadrupled up and that
>worked pretty well. Here there seemed
>to be lots of processing and
>not so much choreographic meat: the
>result is just not so involving.
>
Yes, I agree. One thing I did find fascinating not being seen from the traditional proscenium-arch view, was watching Gruzdyev's partnering in the grand pas de deux. Three times he has to lift Aurora above his head with her in "stag-leap" position, and he seemed to almost nonchalantly toss her up there, yet seemingly perfectly securely. Not sure I'd have liked to be in Takahashi's shoes, though. BTW, when watching the Kirov production, I noticed that the fish-dives were missing, and I couldn't remember noticing them in the ENB version. Is my memory going, or were they omitted there to?

>Her Prince was Dmitri Gruzdyev - as
>calm and dignified a pair of
>arms as you could wish. Lovely
>jumps.

Definitely

>Anastasia Volochkova - a most beautiful, young
>dancer, ex Kirov and Bolshoi, was
>the pretty Carabosse.

I can't remember precisely the words I used about her the other night, but if you try inputting "crass", "flashy" and "insensitive" into Word's thesaurus they'll probably turn up. If I do go again, I'm going to try my utmost to miss her Lilac Fairy.

>It will sharpen but on a
>first viewing I preferred the ENB
>R&J and Swan Lake rather more
>on first viewing.

Me too. I said this time last year that I thought they should actually repeat Romeo & Juliet this year (a shame they didn't, since Rojo is leaving, as it turns out), especially since they'd got so many relatively unfamiliar ballets to learn the rest of the year, and this production has done nothing to make me change my mind.


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