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Reviews of Raven Girl and Symphony in C
Reviews of Hansel and Gretel
Ballets Russes Collection at the Museum of London
ROH exhibition tour - Nadia Nerina, Isabel Rawsthorne
Reviews of Mayerling
RB 2013/14 period 1 casting
Natalia Osipova joins the RB
Reviews of La Bayadère
Leanne Benjamin retiring
Jane Pritchard & Anya Sainsbury talk Pavlova
Alex Beard appointed Chief Executive of ROH
Reviews of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
RB 2013/2014 schedule
Young British Dancer of the Year 2013
Tamara Rojo's farewell to Covent Garden
Reviews of Apollo / 24 Preludes / Aeternum
Mara Galeazzi & Jonathan Watkins leave The Royal Ballet

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news: Feb - May 2013



May 25, 2013

RB reviews: Raven Girl, Symphony in C (May 2013)
Clement Crisp, Financial Times
Ismene Brown, The Arts Desk
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph; Louise Levene, The Telegraph
Jann Parry, DanceTabs
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian; Luke Jennings, The Observer
Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times
Zoë Anderson, The Independent; Jenny Gilbert, The Independent
Graham Watts, Londondance
Gerald Dowler, Classicalsource
Gianandrea Poesio, The Spectator
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide
Neil Norman, The Stage
Lyndsey Winship, Evening Standard
Keith Watson, Metro

Photos:
Johan Persson, ROH
in the studio, Johan Persson, ROH
Dave Morgan, DanceTabs

May 9, 2013
RB reviews: Hansel and Gretel (May 2013)
Clement Crisp, The Financial Times
Zoë Anderson, The Independent; Jenny Gilbert, The Independent
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian
Luke Jennings, The Observer
Mark Monahan, The Telegraph
Lynette Halewood, DanceTabs
Graham Watts, Londondance
Katie Colombus, The Stage
Neil Norman, Daily Express
Photos: Tristram Kenton, ROH; Dave Morgan, DanceTabs

May 2, 2013
Visit to the Museum of London Ballets Russes Collection, May 28

Following the very successful outing to the Museum of London late last year to see items from their Anna Pavlova collection, we have arranged another outing for members to see some of the collection of Ballet Russes costumes that they hold in storage. The visit will be on Tuesday 28 May at 2.30pm and the cost will be £7.50.

The Museum’s Fashion and Textile collection holds a unique selection of costmues from the Ballet Russes and contains six costumes from The Sleeping Princess, including the Spanish Prince and the wicked fairy Carabosse once worn by Enrico Cecchetti. The Sleeping Princess was premiered in London and its extravagant sets and costumes bankrupt the company. The collection also holds Vaslav Nijinsky’s costume from Les Sylphides, Lubov Tchernicheva’s costume from Le Tricorne and an intriguing costume from Firebird that remained unidentified until 2010. Again Caroline Hamilton, a ballet costume historian, will talk to us about the items in concert with the department curator.

Please email Annette Fraser if you would like to join the outing.

May 2, 2013
Tour of ROH exhibitions: Nadia Nerina, Isabel Rawsthorne, June 5
We have arranged a guided tour of the current ballet exhibitions at the Opera House on Wednesday June 5 at 10.30am. We will be led round by Cristina Franchi, the curator of the exhibitions.

The first part of the tour will focus on the exhibition on Nadia Nerina marking the 60th anniversary of her becoming a Principal with Sadler's Wells Ballet. The displays feature items collected by her and donated to the Royal Opera House as well as a short film that has been commissioned of Nerina dancing, along with memories by her contemporaries. The second part of the tour will look at the sketches and paintings of Isabel Rawsthorne, the artist married to Constance Lambert, featuring Royal Ballet dancers in rehearsal from the 1950s and 1960s.

The outing will last about 2 hours and will cost £7.50. This tour is for members only and non-members who wish to attend should join in advance. If you are interested in attending, please email Annette Fraser.

April 20, 2013
RB reviews: Mayerling
(April 2013)
Clement Crisp, Financial Times
Ismene Brown, The Arts Desk
Judith Flanders, The Arts Desk (Leanne Benjamin's final performance)
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph, Louise Levene, The Telegraph
Jann Parry, DanceTabs
Zoë Anderson, The Independent
Neil Norman, The Stage, Express
Graham Watts, Londondance
Gerald Dowler, Classical Source
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian (Leanne Benjamin's last)
Hannah Weibye, One Stop Arts
Lise Smith, Londonist
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide

Royal Ballet 2013-2014 Period 1 casting
(m = matinée)

Don Quixote September 30 - November 6 REVIEWS
Nuñez, Acosta (Sept 30 gala; Oct 11, 16*, 26)
Marquez, Campbell (Oct 5m)
**Salenko, McRae (Oct 5, 8)
Lamb, Bonelli (Oct 6m, Nov 2, 6)
Takada, Campbell (Oct 15)
Takada, McRae (Oct 18)
Kaneko, Soares (Oct 25, Nov 2m)

Romeo and Juliet - October 19 - December 7 REVIEWS
Cuthbertson, Bonelli (Oct 19, 23)
‡Obraztsova, McRae (Oct 22; Nov 14)
Hamilton, Watson (Oct 30; Nov 16m)
Lamb, Pennefather (Nov 16, 26)
Osipova, Acosta (Nov 21; Dec 7)
Nuñez, Soares (Nov 22, 28)
Marquez, Hristov (Nov 26m; Dec 3)

Chroma, The Human Seasons (NEW David Dawson), The Rite of Spring - November 9 - 23 REVIEWS
Chroma
Hamilton, Choe, Lamb, Cuthbertson, Watson, McRae, Bonelli, Ondiviela, Underwood, Trzensimiech (Nov 9, 19, 23)
Cowley, Takada, Stix-Brunell, Morera, Maloney, Kay, Cervera, Dyer, Stepanek, Montaño (Nov 13, 20, 23m)

The Human Seasons
Cowley, Nuñez. Mendizabal, Lamb, Hamilton, Cuthbertson, Stix-Brunell, Bonelli, Watson, Underwood, Trzensimiech, Stepanek, McRae (all performances)

Rite of Spring
Yanowsky (Nov 9, 19, 23)
Dean (Nov 13, 20, 23m)

The Nutcracker - December 4 - January 16 REVIEWS
Sugar Plum Fairy, Prince, Drosselmeyer, Clara, Hans-Peter
Morera, Bonelli, Avis, Hayward, Campbell (Dec 4, 12)
Cuthbertson, ‡‡Stearns, Saunders, Hinkis, Cervera (Dec 6)
Lamb, Pennefather, Gartside, Hayward, Dyer (Dec 9, 14m)
Cuthbertson, Stearns, Marriott, Loots, Cervera (Dec 10)
Marquez, McRae, Saunders, Hinkis, Cervera (Dec 14, 20)
Kobayashi, Hristov, Marriott, Harrod, Zucchetti (Dec 20m)
Nuñez, Soares, Avis, Hinkis, Dyer (Dec 23m, Jan 2)
Lamb, Pennefather, Saunders, Hinkis, Dyer (Dec 24m)
Hamilton, Trzensimiech, Gartside, Harrod, Zucchetti (Dec 27m)
Osipova, Bonelli, Avis, Hayward, Campbell (Dec 27; Jan 4m)
Kobayashi, Hristov, Gartside, Harrod, Zucchetti (Dec 31m)
Osipova, Bonelli, Saunders, Cope, Kay (Dec 31)
Takada, Campbell, Marriott, Westcombe, Kay (Jan 2m, 10)
Choe, Hirano, Saunders, Hayward, Dyer (Jan 8)
Hamilton, Trzensimiech, Saunders, Hayward, Dyer (Jan 11)
Choe, Hirano, Marriott, Cope, Kay (Jan 13, 16)
Hamilton, Trzensimiech, Gartside, Westcombe, Kay (Jan 15)

* Live cinema screening
**Iana Salenko is a guest artist from Staatsoper Ballet Berlin
‡Evgenia Obraztsova is a guest artist from the Bolshoi Ballet
‡‡Cory Stearns is a guest artist from American Ballet Theatre
†Casting is subject to change so please check on the Royal Opera House website

April 8, 2013
Natalia Osipova to Join The Royal Ballet as a Principal Dancer
(ROH press release)

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet today announced that the Russian ballerina Natalia Osipova will join the Company as a Principal Dancer from the 2013/14 Season. Her first performances will be as Juliet in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, partnered by Principal Guest Artist Carlos Acosta.

Osipova
Natalia Osipova with Carlos Acosta in Swan Lake. Photo ©ROH/Alice Pennefather 2012

Kevin O’Hare said “I’m delighted that Natalia will be joining us next Season and look forward to seeing her take on a full range of the Company’s heritage and modern repertory. She greatly enjoyed her guest performances with the Company as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake with Carlos earlier this Season and she is looking forward to becoming a full member of the Company in the autumn. She is a wonderful addition to our world class roster of Principals.”

Natalia Osipova was born in Moscow and started her ballet training at the age of five. At the age of eight she entered the Mikhail Lavrosvky Ballet School and then studied at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography from 1995-2004 with Marina Kotova and Marina Leonova. After graduating, she entered the Bolshoi Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet and only a year later was asked to dance the lead role of Kitri in Alexei Fadeyechev’s production of Don Quixote for which she was highly acclaimed. In 2010 Osipova was promoted to Principal Dancer with the Bolshoi. The following year she joined the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company as a Principal.

Osipova is currently a Principal with both the Mikhailovsky Ballet Company and American Ballet Theatre.

Natalia Osipova’s professional awards include Grand Prix of the International Ballet Competition in Luxembourg (2003), 3rd prize in the tenth International Ballet Competition in Moscow (2005), the Rising Star prize from the Ballet magazine (Moscow, 2007), the Golden Mask Award as Best Female Dancer for her performance of Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room.

She was also selected “Female Dancer of the Year” by the German magazine Ballet-Tanz (Berlin). In 2008 and 2011, she received UK National Dance Awards as Best Female Dancer. In 2008, Natalia was awarded the Positano Dance Award Leonide Massine (Italy). She was also awarded the Special Prize of the Golden Mask jury as well as the Benois de la danse International Dance Association prize for her interpretation of the roles of Sylphide, Giselle, Medora (Le Corsaire), Jeanne (The Flames of Paris). She received Grand Prix of the International Dance Open Festival (2011).

Interview with Osipova, April 9.

April 6, 2013
RB reviews: La Bayadère (
April 2013)
Clement Crisp, The Financial Times
Bruce Marriott, DanceTabs
Ismene Brown, The Arts Desk
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian
Mark Monahan, The Telegraph; Louise Levene, The Telegraph
Graham Watts, Londondance
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide

April 4, 2013
Leanne Benjamin retiring from the Royal Ballet
(Royal Opera House press release ©ROH)

Royal Ballet Principal Leanne Benjamin is to retire at the end of the 2012/13 after 21 years with The Royal Ballet.

Leanne’s final performance with the Company will be in Tokyo on 10 July as part of The Royal Ballet’s summer tour of Japan. Her final performance at the Royal Opera House will be as Mary Vetsera in the Season finale of Mayerling on 15 June, the role she marked her debut at Covent Garden with.

Leanne
Leanne in Balanchine's Emeralds (Jewels). Photo by Johan Persson ©ROH/Johan Persson 2007

Leanne joined The Royal Ballet as a First Soloist in 1992 after dancing with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, Deutsche Oper Ballet and London Festival Ballet. She was promoted to the rank of Principal in 1993 and since then has danced all the leading classical roles as well as having a number of roles created on her by choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon, Kim Brandstrup and Alexei Ratmansky. Excelling in the MacMillan repertory, Leanne also worked with Frederick Ashton and Ninette De Valois. She was awarded the OBE in 2005 for services to dance.

‘I am incredibly fortunate to have had such a long and exciting life as a ballerina,’ says Leanne, ‘I feel, with Mayerling at the end of the Season, that there would be no better way for me to draw my career as a dancer at the Royal Opera House to a close. I realize how blessed I am to have had such a unique and expansive career, spanning many companies and working with a multitude of extraordinary people. I owe a great debt of gratitude to so many people who nurtured me in the early part of my career and, of course, having made The Royal Ballet my home for the last twenty years, I want to thank everyone there who has worked tirelessly to support me personally and professionally. I will always remain grateful and thankful for the opportunities I have enjoyed as a result of that support.’

Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare said: ‘Leanne has been such a huge part of The Royal Ballet for the last 21 years. It is hard to imagine the Company without her. But, I am sure the memory of her unique and very special talent will remain with us through the many roles she created during her long career. Leanne will be much missed and we wish her well with all her future plans.’

March 25, 2013
Chalke Valley History Festival, Anna Pavlova: 20th Century Ballerina
Talk and discussion by Jane Pritchard and Anya Sainsbury, June 30 2013.

Anna Pavlova was one of the finest classical ballet dancers in history.The daughter of a laundress, she rose to become the principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. With a style that paid little heed to academic rules, she is perhaps most renowned for creating the role of The Dying Swan. To discuss why Pavlova was important for the development of ballet in the west, her pioneering role and impact on the progress of dance in Britain, we are delighted to welcome Jane Pritchard, Curator of Dance at the V & A and Anya Sainsbury, a former principal ballerina (as Anya Linden) at the Royal Ballet. This enthralling discussion will be vividly illustrated with photographs and archive footage of Pavlova dancing.
(Details from Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival website)

This week-long festival was set up in 2011 "to further the enjoyment and understanding of our rich and varied history"and is set in rural Wiltshire. The week-long programme has 87 scheduled talks and events, plus an air show and 'living history' re-enactments.

March 19, 2013
Alex Beard appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House
(ROH press release 19.3.13)

Simon Robey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, today announced the appointment of Alex Beard to the position of Chief Executive.

Alex Beard comes to the Royal Opera House from Tate where he is currently Deputy Director. He will take up his post in readiness for the 2013/14 Season and be available for consultation on key strategic matters prior to his arrival.Alex Beard
Alex Beard. Photo ©ROH 2013

Commenting on the appointment, Simon Robey said “Alex Beard has a passion for the work we do at the Royal Opera House. He also brings a wealth of managerial experience from his very successful partnership with Nick Serota at Tate, as well as the insights and perspectives that this role has given him. I am confident he will forge excellent partnerships with our artistic leadership and our executive team, and that they will, together, lead the Opera House to still greater heights.”

Alex Beard, aged 49, has been at Tate since 1994 and has been Deputy Director since 2002. With a lifelong interest in music, Alex has been on the board of Glyndebourne since 2008 and recently been awarded CBE for services to the arts.

During his 19 years at Tate, Alex has played a key role in its transformation, working closely with Nicholas Serota. He set the business plan for the creations of Tate Modern, led the Tate’s subsequent capital development programme at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Tate St Ives including the launch of The Tanks in the summer of 2012 and has overseen all the business operations of the Tate family of galleries since 2000.

He said ‘I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House. To have the opportunity to build on Tony Hall’s achievements and strengthen the Royal Opera House’s reputation as one of the world’s leading artistic and creative forces is hugely exciting.’

‘I’m very proud to be joining a world class team led by Antonio Pappano, Kasper Holten and Kevin O’Hare, together with a superb executive and committed staff across the organisation.’

Sally O’Neill, Finance Director, will act as Interim Chief Executive until Alex Beard takes up his position. The remuneration for the new Chief Executive will be £250,000 per annum. In the financial year 2010/11 the Royal Opera House had a turnover of £109.5 million of which the Arts Council subsidy was £27.9 million, box office £37.7 million, donations, legacies and sponsorships £20.7 million, commercial trading, touring and other income was £23.2million.

March 16, 2013
RB reviews: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (March 2013)
Matthew Paluch, The Arts Desk
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph
Zoë Anderson, The Independent
Sarah Frater, The Stage
Jane Simpson, DanceTabs
Laura Dodge, Londonist
Keith Watson, Metro
Josephine Leask, Londondance
Neil Norman, Daily Express

March 13, 2013
Royal Ballet schedule for the 2013/2014 season
11 main stage programmes (126 performances†), m = matinée, ‡ = live cinema relay

Don Quixote (NEW staging of Petipa classic by Carlos Acosta) x14 performances
Sept 30 (gala); Oct 5m, 5, 6m, 8, 11, 15, 16‡, 18, 25, 26; Nov 2m, 2, 6 CASTING
Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan) x14
Oct 19, 22, 23, 30; Nov 14, 16m, 16, 21, 22, 26m, 26, 28; Dec 3, 7 CASTING
Chroma (McGregor) / NEW The Human Seasons (David Dawson) The Rite of Spring (MacMillan) x6
Nov 9, 13, 19, 20, 23m 23 CASTING
The Nutcracker (Peter Wright after Lev Ivanov) x24
Dec 4, 6, 9, 10, 12‡, 14m, 14, 20m, 20, 23, 24m, 27m, 27, 31m, 31; Jan 2m, 2, 4m, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16 CASTING
The Wind in the Willows (Tuckett) 65 performances at the Duchess Theatre
Dec 11 - Feb 1
Jewels (Balanchine) x7
Dec 17, 21m, 28m, 28, 30m 30; Jan 7 CASTING
Giselle x13
Jan 18, 20, 22, 23, 25m, 25, 27‡, 30m, 30; Feb 1m, 5, 6, 10 CASTING
Hansel and Gretel (Liam Scarlett) x4
(Linbury Sudio Theatre)
Jan 25m, 25, 27, 28 CASTING
Rhapsody (Ashton) / NEW Tetractys - The Art of Fugue (McGregor) / Gloria (MacMillan) x6
Feb 7, 8m, 8, 11, 13, 15m CASTING
The Sleeping Beauty x18
Feb 22m, 22, 26, 27; Mar 13, 15m, 19‡, 21, 22m, 22, 25, 27, 28, 31; Apr 1, 5, 8, 9 CASTING
NEW The Winter’s Tale (Wheeldon) x11
Apr 10, 12, 15, 16, 22m, 23, 26m, 28‡, 29; May 1, 8 CASTING
Serenade (Balanchine) / Sweet Violets (Scarlett) / Danse à Grande Vitesse (Wheeldon) x7
May 14, 17m, 21, 23, 24, 26m, 26 CASTING
The Dream (Ashton) / NEW Connectome (Marriott) / The Concert (Robbins) x6
May 31; June 5, 6, 10, 12, 13 CASTING
Draft Works
Linbury Studio Theatre
June, dates tba

†Schedules may change during the season so you should double check dates with the ROH website.
Press release with further details about the season.

March 10, 2013
Young British Dancer of the Year 2013
The YBDY Awards were launched in 2000 and this year's final was held in the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House on March 9. Each of the 16 finalists performed two variations.

YBDY winners
Chisato Katsura flanked by Isabelle Brouwers and Jerome Barnes.
 Image ©Patrick Baldwin/The Royal Ballet School


The winners were:
1st prize Chisato Katsura (Royal Ballet School)
2nd prize Isabelle Brouwers (English National Ballet School)
3rd prize Jerome Barnes (RBS)
Special acknowledgement from the jury: Scott Mackenzie (RBS)
Commendations Joseph Sissons (RBS) and William Beagley (RBS)
Sibley/Dowell Award for a promising student with potential: Barnaby Rook Bishop (RBS)
Summer School scholarships were also awarded to students from non-vocational schools.

YBDY Katsura
Chisato Katsura after receiving her award.
 Image ©Patrick Baldwin/The Royal Ballet School


The members of the jury were: Gary Avis, Deanne Bergsma, Deirdre Eyden, Christopher Hampson, Kevin O'Hare, David Nixon, Marguerite Porter, Tamara Rojo, Aaron S Watkin (Chairman). Elena Glurjidze of ENB was the class teacher for the preliminary rounds and semi-finals. Finalists received coaching from Mara Galeazzi and Johan Kobborg of the Royal Ballet.

February 25, 2013
Tamara Rojo's farewell performance
Tamara Rojo returned to the Opera House for three performances of Marguerite and Armand with Sergei Polunin, the final and memorable farewell being on February 21st. At the end her long-continuing ovation was accompanied by bouquets and a substantial flower throw. (Tamara of course continues to dance with English National Ballet of which she is Artistic Director.)

Tamara
Tamara applauded by Sergei Polunin at the end of Marguerite and Armand. Photo by Alistair Muir ©ROH/Alistair Muir

Tamara
Tamara with Carlos Acosta and Sergei. Photo by Alistair Muir ©ROH/Alistair Muir

Tamara
Photo by Alistair Muir ©ROH/Alistair Muir

February 25, 2013
RB reviews: Apollo / 24 Preludes / Aeternum (February 2013)
Ismene Brown, The Arts Desk
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian; Luke Jennings, The Observer
Debra Craine, The Times
Mark Monahan, The Telegraph; Louise Levene, The Telegraph
Alastair Macaulay, New York Times; Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times
Jann Parry, DanceTabs
Zoë Anderson, The Independent; Jenny Gilbert, Sunday Independent
Graham Watts, Londondance
Clement Crisp, Financial Times
Gerald Dowler, Classical Source

February 6, 2013
Mara Galeazzi & Jonathan Watkins to leave The Royal Ballet
(Royal Opera House press release.)

Principal Mara Galeazzi and First Artist Jonathan Watkins are to leave The Royal Ballet, retiring and pursuing a career as a choreographer respectively.

Mara
Mara Galeazzi as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling, the last role she will perform at the Royal  
 Opera House. Photo ©ROH/Johan Persson 2007

Mara will retire from The Royal Ballet in July 2013, at the end of the current season. Mara, who had her first child last April, will move to Oman to be with her husband. She will focus on new projects, teaching dance and her work for her charity foundation Dancing for The Children, which raises funds for sick children in Africa. Mara’s farewell performance at the Royal Opera House will be as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling on 13 June. Her final performance with The Royal Ballet will be in Monaco where she will perform the title role in Manon on 29 June.

Jonathan will leave the Company on Saturday 23 February to embark on a freelance career as a choreographer/director. Jonathan joined The Royal Ballet in 2003. His interest in choreography began as a student at The Royal Ballet School and continued as a member of the Company. He has choreographed for First Drafts and Draft Works and created As One for the Main Stage of the Royal Opera House. Jonathan also choreographed one of the ballets that made up Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 (Diana and Actaeon) with William Tuckett and Liam Scarlett. His many outside commissions to date include two short films for Channel 4 and the role of movement director for Alan Bennett’s latest play People at the National Theatre. Jonathan has numerous projects lined up including choreographing new works in Russia and America, a full-length adaptation in the UK and a collection of theatre and film projects.