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This review is from: The Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty - Tchaikovsky [DVD]  [All Regions] [NTSC]  (DVD)
I have always considered this ballet to be cluttered, and had hoped that Anthony Dowell would have "uncluttered" it somewhat. In the event it seems even more so. The sets are, to my jaundiced eye, rather garish, and far too large, thereby reducing, drastically, the dancing area. The choreography, particularly for the leading dancers, lacks inspiration and is, at times, rather tedious. Viviana Durante, while endowed with exceptional suppleness, flexibility, balance and strength, does not impress, in the main, with her leaps. An excellent Corps de Ballet saves the day, so to speak, in Act III, but my overall impression is of a cluttered, over-elaborate, cumbersome and mundane perfomance.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Mar 2013 09:44:35 GMT
H. A. Weedon says:
Thankyou! This is a very helpful review.
Posted on 12 Jul 2013 01:05:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Jul 2013 01:07:44 BDT
Can I just point out that Anthony Dowell had nothing to do with the choreography of this production of Beauty,apart from dancing in it.
The biggest proportion of the choreography is still that for the 1890 production by Marius Petipa.In the 1920's it was tweaked and some new dances added by the Bolshoi choregrapher Fyodor Lopukhov.
In the 1950's it was again adapted by Fred Ashton.The final tweaking(for this production at least) was in the 1980's by Kenneth Macmaillan.The last two for the Royal Ballet.
However,it still remains mainly Petipas work, and as the ballet premiered in 1890 I CAN understand that you find the dancing lacking in inspiration.I suppose I am so used to it that I don't notice the uninspiring choreography.
There ARE other,and newer,versions of Beauty available,it's just a matter of choosing one.If you find one,Google the production to make sure you are not going to come up against our old friend Petipa again!
Have fun and Good Luck with your search.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jul 2013 22:55:38 BDT
Anthony Dowell (the best British male dancer to my mind) was artistic director at the time I believe, so had significant power over productions so it's hard not to assume Anthony Dowell wanted something bold and new. This ballet is an acquired taste for that reason I suppose, the costumes are like something from Tim Burton's imagination (not a bad thing for me) and the stage does seem dwarfed by the set but I quickly got used to it and love this ballet, because the dancing and acting are superb, and the strong visual style of the production does set it apart. Anthony Dowell's Carabosse is second to none, at times comical and sinister, and the other lead dancers are mesmerising.
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