Gransnet forums



(44 Posts)
AlisonMA Wed 09-May-12 11:09:54

Is anyone else interested in ballet and other forms of dance? I would love to chat with those who share my interest.

Last night we saw the amazing Cuban contemporary company and were blown away. I hope they come back soon.

Mamie Wed 09-May-12 12:32:49

Yes I am Alison. I did ballet until into my forties and I do miss it; if I lived in the UK I would certainly do an adult class. My daughter took me to see the classical Cuban company in London a couple of years ago and they were wonderful. Apart from that I go to the UK to watch my DGDs in their annual show; the elder is a very promising dancer.

AlisonMA Wed 09-May-12 12:39:06

Mamie where do you live now? Do they have ballet? I didn't see the classical company but I heard they were very good but the choreography was not so great. Apparently the Cuban training is second to none. Did you ever see Fernando Bujones dance? He was amazing.

We go to see Birmingham Royal Ballet all the time. It is about an hour away but we used to go and see them even when we lived inSurrey, much more than the Covent Garden Company as they are always good but we were often dissappointed at CG.

Where do your DGDs dance? How old are they? Will they go to ballet vocational schools?

I would love to do adult ballet but there is none here and I go to pilates instead which I love.

Would love to hear more from you.

Mamie Wed 09-May-12 13:07:35

We live deep in the Normandy countryside so the nearest live performances are always an hour or more away and don't start until 8.30, so we haven't made it to one yet. There is a TV channel, Arte, which has quite a lot of ballet and documentaries in French so that helps. I visit the UK (south-east) quite often so tend to go to London with my daughter who loves ballet as well. The girls are nine and six, the elder may try and get into a secondary school specialising in performing arts, but I don't think they would go for a ballet school. I love the fact that they enjoy dancing, but I am not sure about the life of a ballet dancer really, I think it must be very hard.
Yes the Cuban ballet were wonderful dancers, but the choreography was very strict and old-fashioned, still in the style of Alicia Alonso when we saw them.

AlisonMA Wed 09-May-12 13:20:42

Yes, the life of a ballet dancer is hard but much more rewarding than a 'normal' job. The competition is great so they really need to go to vocational school at 11 if they really want to dance as a career. When their careers are over they often go on to be really successful at something else as the discipline and training stay with them forever.

Do you read any dance magazines? We take Dancing Times and Dance Europe and find a lot of really interesting articles and reviews.

AlisonMA Wed 09-May-12 13:22:14

We are going to see Sylvie Guillem and Russel Maliphant on Friday then off to Truro to watch Birmingham Royal Ballet's split tour. Sunday will be the Eden Project so no dance!

Mamie Wed 09-May-12 16:10:41

Goodness - I hadn't realised Sylvie Guillem was still dancing!
Just seen on another thread that your son(s?) are dancers; that must be very exciting. For the moment I am happy that my GD loves dancing and gains all the poise and confidence that it brings. I think if she wants to take it further then she will be the one that chooses to do it, I remember quite a few people who went on to the RBS and they were all absolutely sure when they were very young that it was what they wanted to do with their lives.

AlisonMA Wed 09-May-12 16:24:52

I'll let you know what SG is like, I haven't seen her dance for a few years but she was still amazing at over 40.

It soon becomes clear which children are at vocational schools because they want to be and which are there because their parent or ballet teacher wanted them to. At the RBS they assess children out each year and it is sometimes those who were not so motivated to go who have to leave. Having said that, one of my son's good friends never wanted to be a dancer but failed to get into the school in Italy his parents wanted him to go to. He went all the way through the RBS and got into BRB but carried on studying through correspondence and then when he had enough A levels he went off and became a doctor! They are still good friends.

Mamie Wed 09-May-12 16:43:25

Yes. my daughter took my GD to a half-term open RBS class. She said the weight of expectation in the room from the Mums was amazing!

AlisonMA Thu 10-May-12 10:38:53

Pushy mums (and Dads) are a feature of ballet schools. I was accused of that because all 3 of my sons danced but it was not true and eventually they could see that it came from the boy himself. My 2 younger sons hero worshipped their big brother and when he had a lot of success in ballet they wanted to do the same! Big age gaps meant each looked up to the older one rather than sibling rivalry.

susiecb Fri 11-May-12 12:24:30

Love the ballet and some modern dance if the music is good. Thanks for the tip about Birmingham I am an hour away too so will give it a go - too expensive to go to London any more although the best thing I ever saw was Swan Lake at Covent Garden ( a special Xmas present one year).

AlisonMA Fri 11-May-12 12:32:51

susiecb Brimingham Royal Ballet are brilliant and if you go a lot they do a subscription scheme which you can pay for by direct debit and spread the cost. We prefer them to the Coven Garden company and one of the dance mags has just said that they do Ashton better then CG!

I'll post my views on Sylvie Guillem, can she reallys still be good?

Also going to to see Breakin' Convention on Monday, should be an 'interesting' experience.

Where do you live Susie? We are an hour away from B'ham as well, in Malvern.

nightowl Fri 11-May-12 15:00:41

I love ballet, DD and I used to go regularly to Birmingham we also used to have weekends in London and go to Covent garden before DD became a mummy. We also saw SG twice and I agree, she was phenomenal, I would love to see her dance again. We were fortunate enough to see darcey bussell not long before she retired (before she had announced it so pure chance) and DD's comment 'she looks so natural en pointe I think she could do her shopping that way!' summed it up. I have just booked a matinee at Covent garden 26th May and am so excited I feel like a kid again! I would love to do adult ballet but feel too much like a baby elephant at the moment x

Humbertbear Fri 11-May-12 22:05:12

I took my mother to Darcy Bussell farewell at Sadlers Wells and we had a wonderful time. She was still dancing beautifully.
I saw both programmes of Ballet Russes at the Coliseum recently and they were very enjoyable. I went to a a strange performance at Covent Garden recently with music by Marc Ronson and Boy George was very odd for that venue.
I probably love opera more and saw a lovely performance of
Cosi fan Tutti last week in a room over a pub. it was set in Italy in 1944 and worked very well.
We get spoiled in London - but that's why I have refused to move out.

dorsetpennt Fri 11-May-12 22:50:17

My 3 year old GD has just started 'baby ballet' - she isn't very good yet but adorable and hopes that this will help her co-ordination - she can trip over a pin. Like lots of children she loves music and dances away so she really adores baby ballet. If there is any chance of any other parent becoming pushy parents I think my DS and DIL will avoid them like the plague. Haven't been to the ballet in years - last time was at the Festival Hall - loved it.

Faye Fri 11-May-12 23:18:15

I had some lovely conversations with a great grandmother from Gransnet whose daughter was a ballerina. She mentioned the Cuban ballet on a few occasions. Really interesting woman, I have not seen her post on here for a long time though.
Both my daughters attended ballet classes until their late teens and now my seven and four year old granddaughters have lessons. Last year the eldest was put up to a higher class a month before that class had exams but she did well and received a merit in the examination. It is the younger one who really loves ballet though. Their teacher was trained in London. I was always sad that I didn't get the opportunity to have ballet classes myself.
Humbert I can imagine living in London would be fascinating with all the theatres. I have only worked in London but it is my favourite city.

AlisonMA Sat 12-May-12 13:16:13

Hi all I can confirm that Sylvie is still amazing at, must be, late 40s. The choregraphy was a bit mixed and we didn't like the one Russel Maliphant did (not danced!) on his own but the pas de deux which closed the programme was great. I would go and see it again.

Driven down to Truro today for mat and eve performances of BRB so looking forward to that. Will report next time I'm on line.

I hope you will all report on whatever shows you see.

Used to live just inside M25 but went to see BRB more than RB as we far prefer the company. We think they are more consistent and no longer the 'second company' they can hold their own in any group. No, not prejudiced honest! Would like to seeScottish Ballet again as have heard they improved enormously under Ashley Page. Not really interested in ENB but will read about them under new Director and see if they get better.

Have a good weekend

goldengirl Sun 13-May-12 12:36:28

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake is the best ballet I've ever seen! My mother was a dancer and I was brought up to believe that it's all tutus or ballgowns. Bourne's originality was a breath of fresh air and it's one DVD I can watch again and again. Seeing Adam Cooper as the Swan for real was just wonderful. He was excellent too in Cinderella - again an original interpretation by Matthew Bourne. I wasn't so impressed with his Car Men or Nutcracker though.

AlisonMA Mon 14-May-12 13:41:29

goldengirl I loved MB's Swan Lake too but not the Cinderella or others. I thought Carmen was dreaful!

Saw both of BRB's performances in Truro on Saturday with a different cast in each performance. It was great to see so many different little bits, Take 5, Swan Lake pdd, Concerto and Grand Tour. It was also good to be there to see Robert Parker's last every performance beforee he leaves to become Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School. The highlight for me was Celine Gittens' Swan Lake, such talent

crimson Mon 14-May-12 14:40:08

I bought someone the dvd of the Ballet Russes a few years back, wanting to watch it myslelf, but it never worked it's way back to me. I'm fascinated by that period of time, dance wise; Nijinsky, the Rite of Spring and such life. So ahead of it's time. I can't believe that Sylve Guillem is still dancing. I've got a beautiful photo [newspaper cutting] of Margot Fonteyn on my desk; I wish I could show it to you. There was a fascinating series on the telly a year or so back about several weeks/months with a ballet company. Ah yes; the ballet years. Bumped into my daughters ballet teached a few months ago and was suprised that she recognised me; annoyingly she didn't look any older sad.

AlisonMA Mon 14-May-12 15:13:25

crimson some ballet women just go on for ages, think of Ninette de Valois! Although she did look older at least.

BRB reproduced Right of Spring a few years ago to the best of their ability because it was never notated. The best version I ever saw was Maurice Bejart's but then I was a big fan of him.

That TV progamme was about ENB and didn't show the Director, Wayne Eagling, in a very good light and now he has been sacked. I wonder if the 2 things are related? It made much of one of the male soloists who moved to BRB but couldn't keep up so went back to ENB. I think the London press and ballet public don't appreciate how good BRB are.

JessM Mon 14-May-12 16:01:18

Oh - must try to book. Cubans coming here next month.
And in July as part of the festival a French group that translate as "at the wolfs backside" or have I got that wrong? ANyone seen them?

AlisonMA Mon 14-May-12 16:46:36

Yes, *Jess8 you really must and that French group looks like fun although I have never heard of them but they sound like they got their ideas from Stomp which is a brilliant show. Do report back on these and anything else you get to see.

Do you get much dance in MK?

JessM Mon 14-May-12 23:04:32

Tickets booked for Cubans.
Yes MK theatre has a fair amount of dance. Bourne etc. A bit less in recent years maybe. But always well attended.

AlisonMA Tue 15-May-12 11:15:13

West to see Breakin' Convention last night, right outside our usual shows and it was absolutely brilliant! I still don't know what a B Boy is but they were great. There was so much choreography and what a lot of talent. One 'crew' consisted of one able bodied guy and the rest were all damaged or missing limbs but they were fantastic and had the attitude that nothing was beyond them. Makes one think.

No more dance now after this latest burst until the end of June but I will report on that, Swan Lake I think.

Hope to see all your reports as time goes by.