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Bryony Brind, a veteran of the Royal Ballet, claims that the ballet troupe needs to hire more British talent that is home grown if it hopes to preserve its long standing heritage. Brind stated that the traditions of the British are being lost because the company has been overrun by foreigners.
52 year old Brind stated that it is not enough to have just three British dancers in the top dance company of the nation. At the moment only one British woman and two men in the dance company are from Britain.
Brind was a principal for the Royal Ballet for 14 years and is now stating that more British dancers need to be chosen because they have an easier time adapting and learning the traditional dance styles. She went on to say that the Royal Ballet is a tradition in the country and in order for it to remain a tradition it needs to have more dancers with English backgrounds.
She explained that all dance companies have foreign talent, but while this can be a great thing more English dancers need to come forward because it can be hard for foreign dancers to grasp that very British style because of the quirks.
Brind went on to say that right now in England there is a lot of talent and it’s a matter of dancers breaking through the line and getting discovered by the larger companies. As a result, she said that the ballets of Sir Frederick Ashton are losing their British touch because the foreigners just do not know how to handle the cultural quirks.
Lauren Cuthbertson is the only British woman with the troupe and Rupert Pennefather and Edward Watson are the only men with the Royal Ballet right now. Brind would like to see the home grown numbers increase so that more talent is encouraged in the future.
Every audience member hates to see a manager come out onto the stage before the performance because it usually means that the star performer most likely is not going to appear due to the fact that they are ill or something similar. This past Wednesday, the Don Carlo performance by Verdi went ahead once again without Anja Harteros in the role of Elizabeth. In fact, the only time that she has appeared as part of the cast was during the press night.
Harteros also pulled out of Othell,o making her an actress that is becoming rather unreliable to her audience. It is rough on audiences that are already splurging on a ticket without worrying whether they need to get a ticket to the first night to actually see the top billed cast. The good news is that her stand, Lianna Haroutounian, was obviously very prepared for the role and she was able to carry the opera along quite well.
Don Carlo is based on the 16th century set Spanish play of Schiller The opera first opened in 1867 in Paris and since then has been revamped multiple times to match librettos of the Italian and French. The Italian version is over four hours long but its length does not get tedious because the scenes are packed full of terrifying and awe inspiring action.
Jonas Kaufman is quite impressive as Don Carlos who opens the play wandering alone in the French woods until he comes across Princess Elizabeth, who has been betrothed to him. It’s a gentle opening but of course there is a twist because as the duo fall in love Princess Elizabeth’s father decides that she should marry Carlos’ father instead, which leads to a war over private happiness versus public duty.
The Great Gatsby is a novel many have read when they were young, a staple of what type of book was presented through schools, and promoted through plays. But now, the story is going to once again hit the big screen, and the Northern Ballet is going to be the backdrop for it. As an all-star film, written by Baz Luhrmann, it will hit British cinemas next month.
This American classic plot line is about to hit the mainstream cinemas, bringing the story from F Scott Fitzgerald to millions of people. Directed by David Nixon, he says that they will be touring cinemas to celebrate the launch of this iconic film. He also admits being aware that this is perfect timing for the production, adding that he knows the Gatsby craze is sweeping the nation.
Right now, there is a surge of popularity for titles like this, Gatsby in particular, and a lot of modern novels and productions dig back into the 1920s, along with what made them great and so intriguing. It may well be a sense of austerity, with people wanting to remember a time where people were more grounded, and celebrate that time, according to him.
He also said that when he got the job, he had to choose between The Great Gatsby and Chaplin, both having been very iconic choices. Chaplin would have been a major production in his schedule, but he simply preferred the traditional play, with no time to do both at once.
He says that the story is everything a good ballet would want to be, including a love triangle, desperation, decadence and of course the heart break. The 20s was a time of indulgence, fashion, exuberance and dancing according to Nixon, and he says that the movie fully represents these facts throughout the production.
There are far too many still who still don’t know I Am Kloot is, and those who are staunch fans will find this quite baffling. To be honest they really shouldn’t as research clearly shows that every year, most of us buy the same 6 albums as everyone else does, they probably buy them from a supermarket, and I Am Kloot will not be amongst them. These facts have not changed one iota, despite their breakthrough album in 2010, Sky at Night, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
12 years on from Natural History, their debut album, the Manchester band bed by John Bramwell seem destined to stay in the shadows and be forever thought of as a cult group, when in all honesty they should be up there with their fellow luminaries from the north west; Morrissey and Guy Garvey from Elbow, who has been the co-producer of the Kloots’ last 2 albums.
The one good thing to come out of it all is that Kloot are now at least playing the size of venue that Bramwell’s songs deserve. This latest tour is a rare one in that they are all sit down shows, to tie in with the kind of songs that are on their latest, and 6th studio album, Let It All In. The studio line up of 3 swells to 6 when they go on stage as they are supplemented by an accordian, keyboards,trumpet and assorted woodwind instruments.
Whether you are a long standing fan of I Am Kloot, or have only just discovered their unique northern blues sound, try and catch them live. This is a show you will talk about for a very long time to come and, if justice is prevalent, you will all be buying 7 albums next year.
Peter Schaufuss wrote within the programme for his own show the Midnight Express that the ballet is not meant to only be about psychological and physical torture, but also to bring out the torture that comes from being imprisoned and trapped in one place without any love or freedom.
However for the audience the entire 110 minute show might feel a bit like jail as well and most members are going to emerge feeling as if they need a large hug as well. For the moment at least, it looks as if the sudden departure of Sergei Polunin from the cast might have been a brilliant move, because the ballet is not likely to be winning any accolades.
Midnight Express was originally adapted by Schaufuss about 13 years ago and is the tale of Billy Hayes’s time in a Turkish jail back in 1977 when he was caught attempting to smuggle hashish. It does clearly take a few cues also from the superlative film of the movie that came out in 1978 and was done by Alan parker. However, when you compare the film to the ballet, the ballet is a big letdown.
The arrest scene that kicks off the ballet is a mess, and the young dancer that is taking on the role Polunin left behind, Johan Christensen, is not very good at the role. Instead we watch him smoking a cigarette completely unnaturally before a swarm of guards show up that look like they would be better placed in a variety act in Soho.
From here tings do not get much better and it is very odd that half of the company is female and yet they still picked a play that is set in side of a men’s prison. The reality is simply shattered from the start.
Young ballet fans are in for a real treat when the duck ballet comes to the Milton Keynes theatre next week for a special short ballet performance designed just for children. The company is going to stay at the theater for a total of five days during which they will perform two shows.
The Ugly Duckling is the children’s ballet that they have chosen to perform and the performances will be held on April 19th at 11am and 1pm. The shows have been choreographed by Sebastian Loe and Dreda Blow.
The ballet is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name and tells the story of the lonely duckling that is not able to get along with her friends because she is different. Throughout the ballet the duckling leans more about who she is and who others are around her and by the end of the play she is stunned to turn into a beautiful swan.
Grown-ups are also going to be offered a treat while the Northern Ballet is in town as they will perform two full length productions of The Great Gatsby on April 16th and on April 20th. The night shows start at 7:30pm and on Saturday there will be a special matinee at 2:30pm.
The ballet is an adaptation of the Fitzgerald novel of the same name and takes place on Long Island in New York during the twenties.
Tickets to the Ugly Duckling will cost £5 apiece and the tickets for the Great Gatsby range in price from £15 to £30 depending on the night that one chooses to attend. They are available from the box office, by calling 08448717652 or by visiting www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes with a credit card.
KONGA (PG) was one of the very first monster films to be produced in colour and now the cult classic is available for your entertainment at home. This unusual twist on the traditional King Kong story will be available from Network Distributing starting May 13 2013 for the low RRP of just£9.99.
Michael Gough is Dr Decker – a botanist and university professor – but also the sole survivor of a plane crash in Africa. When he returns from the jungle he brings with him a baby chimpanzee, ‘Konga’. During the course of his experiments, Decker discovers a serum that causes Konga to grow to the size of a gorilla – and, eventually, to obey his will. Encountering both opposition to his experiments and following a love affair thwarted by a rival, he decides to put the supersized ape to terrifying use that terrorises London…
This entertaining film directed by Canadian John Lemont and shot at Merton Park Studios for Anglo-Amalgamated is finally available in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements in its as-exhibited cinema aspect ratio.
DVD Special Features:
Original theatrical trailer
Press material PDFs.
Sergei Polunin, the Ukrainian dance sensation, suddenly choose to leave the cast of Midnight Express, a new large scale ballet show just days before the show was scheduled to debut in the UK. Production director and choreographer, Peter Schaufuss, stated that Polunin did not come into rehearsals last Wednesday and then later it was found that he had quit all together.
Midnight Express is based on the 1977 Turkish prison story of Billy Hayes and is supposed to open this week at the London Coliseum. Last year Polunin made headlines for a similar act when he quit the Royal Ballet without any warning.
A statement made Thursday following Polunin’s departure stated that he had to deal with ‘unforeseen circumstances.’ The role of Billy Hayes will be taken over by Johan Christensen of the Peter Schaufuss Ballet who was previously rehearsing along with Polunin.
Schaufuss stated that he is very disappointed with what has happened especially since the day before he disappeared, Polunin had been talking about how much he wanted to dance. Since that Tuesday no one from the cast has seen him and no one has been able to get a response back from him.
Schaufuss added that they think that he is in London somewhere because he has not checked out of his room at the hotel and that they are all very worried for him. He went on to say that artists always have their good and bad moments but lately the rehearsals were proceeding very well and he was really started to carve out a place for himself on stage.
Polunin first made his name at 19 when he became the youngest male principal with the Royal ballet and then quit without warning in 2012 right before he was due to play the lead in The Dream.
Natalia Osipova, the Russian superstar, has announced that she is going to join the Royal Ballet. Before making the transition, the 26 year old dancer performed with the Bolshoi Ballet.
Over the last few weeks Osipova has managed to thrill London audiences with her performances at the Coliseum dancing as a principle with the Mikahilovsky Ballet. Many dance experts were thus thrilled when the news broke that she would be coming to dance for London exclusively during the 2013/2014 Covent Garden season.
Her first scheduled performance with the Royal Ballet will see her in the lead female role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet by Kenneth MacMillan. Dancing opposite of her will be Carlos Acosta. Director of the Royal Ballet, Kevin O’Hare, stated that he highly anticipates seeing her tackle the heritage of the company and the very modern repertory that they have to offer audiences and dancers alike.
In addition, O’Hare stated that he always enjoyed watching her guest performances when she danced in October with the Swan Lake company and that she will be an excellent addition to the many top notch principals of the Royal Ballet.
Osipova is from Moscow and has attended both the Moscow Staet Acadmey of Choreography and the Mikhail Lavrosky Ballet School. Following her graduation she joined the Bolshoi Ballet and soon after had already nailed the principle role of Kitri in the ballet Don Quixote.
In 2010 she became a formally recognized principal dancer with Bolshoi but chose to leave to receive a role as a principal dancer for the Mikhailovsky Ballet. In addition she is also a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. As part of a deal made with Sergei Danilyan from the Mikhailovsky Ballet she will still freelance for him and work with Ivan Vasiliev for Bolshoi who is her former stage partner.
McFly have been announced as the headline act for the opening concert at this year’s Whitehaven Festival on Friday the 21st June and it is already nearly sold out. The Vamps, an indie pop band recently signed by EMI Records will be supporting as will the most recent announcement; ex Busted star James Bourne.
As well as becoming a music extravaganza, visitors to the festival, located around the beautiful Whitehaven Harbour on the weekend of Friday 21 until Sunday 23 June, will enjoy numerous other side shows and spectacles including the returning tall ships such as The Pelican of London, The Ruth, Joanna Lucretia and The Bessie Ellen .Also on the water will be four Naval Patrol craft. The Red Arrows display team will dazzle with their famous air acrobatics putting on another spectacular show at the Festival this year.
‘Flying water power bikes’, also known as Jetovators will thrill water sports lovers. Jetovators can climb to heights of 30ft, dive down to 10ft below the water, and move above the water at speeds of 25mph giving you the experience of flying! All the family will love Titan the Robot, literally ‘the biggest entertainer on the planet’, known to put on an unrivalled show made up of a unique blend of comedy, street theatre and music.
On the foodie front, Whitehaven’s good friend Jean Christophe Novelli will once again be hosting the chef theatre, alongside ‘Corrie’ star turned cheese maker and TV Chef Sean Wilson and ‘I’m a Celebrity’ favourite and talented chef, Rosemary Shrager.
Finally, to bring a touch of the X-Factor, Louis Walsh, one of Gerard Richardson’s and Whitehaven’s biggest fans will be returning to mingle amongst the crowds on Saturday 22nd. Definitely a weekend not to be missed!