Dream Triple Bill

I love short ballets and think they can be just as magical as full-evening ones. After one of the most recent Royal Ballet triple bills, a discussion about dream triple bills started on the Guardian review’s thread. This discussion was again picked up o the most recent (and biggest) thread.

I have many dream triple bills actually, but this is the one I have been thinking about the most:

La Valse

Choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton, with music by Ravel, I saw La Valse for the first time last October. I thought it was incredibly dreamy, romantic, and somehow dark…. as if we were watching ghosts, eternally dancing in a haunted ballroom…. Judith Mackrell at the Guardian called it “ a whirl of demonic romanticism“, Luke Jennings mentioned its “edge-the-abyss atmosphere” and Ismene Brown thought it was “privately erotic” and compared it to old Hollywood glamour and Fred & Ginger. I must say I do not fully understand it yet, but I know I really like it. Must see it again I think 🙂

 

Ballo della Regina

Lovely, lovely, lovely. I saw it for the first time this May with Marianela Nunez and Sergei Pollunin. It was actually the Royal Ballet’s premiere of Balanchine’s Ballo. It was lovely ( I have said that before, haven’t I?).  It is supposed to be an abstract ballet, with music from Verdi’s Don Carlos. But I couldn’t help but see a story in it. I thought it was fairy court, with Nunez and Polunin as the Queen and King, celebrating the beginning of Spring….

 

 

Elite Syncopations

One of my all time absolute favourites! I actually have this on DVD and watched it ten minutes ago.  If you don’t have the MacMillan RB Triple Bill DVD, please buy it when you can. I am not sure how I feel about The Judas Tree, but I ADORE Elite Syncopations, and love Concerto.  I don’t know if it is the crazy costumes, Joplin’s music  how all the corps participate, or the sheer joy in the dancing, this is a spectacular ballet, and a fantastic way to end this Dream Triple Bill!

 

 

For me, this would be an evening purely about the joy and  celebration of dance… I hope you have a good evening too!

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So what is your dream triple bill? Please share! I would love to hear about it 🙂

A summer without ballet

So yes… The Royal ballet season is over, and they are off on their tour soon. I cannot afford to see the Mariinsky and there is a pressing need for me to find money to pay the PhD fees. This means I will have no ballet until September. October to be precise since I am not sure I will be able to see Jewels…

Major ballet withdrawal!

But yes,  I will just have to rely on my vast library of ballet DVDs to get me through! Thanks to all the amazing friends and family who contributed to this collection

 

 

There are a few more over here:

And a few more lying around the place.

My wonderful hubby got me this as one of our anniversary presents:

Still in packaging. Will hopefully have time to watch it very soon! you know, when my kitchen ceiling stops linking,

I know this sounds lame beyond belief, but ballet means a lot to me, and I miss it.

OK, I can prove to you that I am not entirely lame: I can quote every West Wing episode. No? Still think I am lame? That is probably true, but also nerdtastic!

The Great Con

I don’t know if anybody has seen the BBC videos about the Royal Ballet. If not, please follow the link below. These videos really bug me, especially this one:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13734258

Ok, where to start? First of all, since when ballet is about seeing the expression on the dancers’ faces? For me it is about dancing, and portraying emotion through dance. Where I sit, high atop the amphitheatre, it is often difficult to see the detail on the dancers’ faces, and that does not subtract from the experience for me.

Second, and most irritating for me, is the claim that people have been enticed to see R & J at the O2 because of the prices: “£11 a head”. Well, you can also get tickets at Covent Garden for that price. All Royal Ballet triple bills have great seats in the amphitheatre for £13 and even better ones for £18. And you are much closer to the action than at the O2.

And this journalist even goes further saying that “they better not get used to these ticket prices, as tickets at the opera house cost as average of £100”. That is just bad journalism and a disgusting misuse of statistic. Having sat through countless statistics exams, this bothers me on so many levels.

This video report is actually encouraging the view that ballet is elitist and incredibly expensive. Technically yes, perhaps averaging out the price of tickets at ROH, from the incredibly expensive boxes to the £7 standing tickets does equal £100. But saying that an average ticket costs £100 implies that you would be hard pressed to find a decent ticket costing less that £100. Which is so not true.

Here is a selection of my Royal Ballet tickets covering the last 12 months or so:

As you can see, they are not even close to costing £100.

(actually, the image is not so great, so you can probably not see. The tickets are, from left to right, from the top: Scenes de Ballet/Voluntaries/The Rite of Spring: £18; La Fille mal Gardee: £28; Cinderella: £20; Ballo della regina/Live Fire Exercise: £10.20; Chroma/Tryst/Symphony in C:£11; La Valse/Invitus Invitam/ Winter dreams/ Theme and Variations: £18)

In fact, the most I have ever paid for a ticket is £51, for Alina Cojocaru’s Giselle. Actually, I did not even pay for them, as they were a graduation present from my parents (thank you).

Great seats. Actually, the best seats I have ever had at ROH. An amazing night. Still not £100.

And this is the great con, this idea that ballet is expensive. It is not that expensive. I mean, it can be very expensive, but it does not have to be.

Are you ready for a shocking revelation? It is more expensive to watch a football game than to go to the ballet. And I have proof:

The lovely husband and I are huge Tottenham Hotspurs fans. These seats are the second cheapest at White Hart Lane. And yet, they are still more expensive than all those 6 tickets picture above.

I do not mean to rant. But this really upsets me. It is a great con that has to be stopped. Ballet does not cost a fortune. Please do some research people, and do not be fooled by urban legend and bad journalism. The Royal Opera House is a wonderful place, that is open to everybody.

I hope you give it a try one day.