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Thursday November 23, 2017

Rambert - A Linha Curva

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Another visit to Sadlers Wells with ballet Rambert showing off their spectacular abilities in modern dance.

A Linha Curva was probably my favourite of the pieces - "the spirit of Brazilian carnival" recreated by choreographer Itzik Galili, with 28 dancers, four samba percussionists and wonderful lighting. According to the dancers, the latter cued the dancing as there was no lighting operator, and the dance included ad lib exuberant chatter from the dancers.

The second piece was Symbiosis, a showcase for the Rambert dancers' skills applied to a new score by Ilan Eshkeri.
And finally, a kind of darkly humorous piece "Goat". The work is inspired by the music and spirit of Nina Simone, with a selection of songs performed live on stage by jazz singer Nia Lynn. I read the significance of the "goat" thing in the programme but that probably didn't help me much with the piece overall. However even if not all the meaning was apparent to me, it was a very emotional experience.

The sets and lighting were fascinating throughout.

Posted on November 23, 2017 at 11:56 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Thursday October 12, 2017

The Real Thing

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The poster makes this look like some Tennessee Williams play with hot steamy Southern nights filled with passion and longing. The play is rather far from that - and the way I see it is a simplistic view of an intellectual who thought he was above all that love stuff - describing and writing about love with wit and cynicism. During the play we see him made to care.
A nice tale with a moral. However the actual play... words and so on... are of course all wonderful Stoppard - full of wit and cynicism (in a Good Way). The speeches tumble out so fast* that my slow brain needed to be at its sharpest to keep up; in future maybe I need to read the script in advance as one does with Shakespeare!

* Rob was not enjoying it much by the interval and when I asked why said it was the "delivery" which I think was the same problem - but I have also read people complain that the large stage at the Rose give issues with audibility.

Posted on October 12, 2017 at 11:01 AM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Saturday September 23, 2017

Le Grand Mort

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I booked this show with completely neutral expectations as we were up in town for the day (lunch with school friends). And I thought it was totally brilliant. However not for the homophobic, or those with an aversion to the naked male form - nor for Daily Mail readers as the paper predictably gave it a searing review, (being ridiculously rude about Julian Clary, who carries much of the show with great skill in my opinion).
However to my surprise some of the other reviews were less than flattering which must be very disappointing for the cast, even though a lot of the negativity seems to be directed at the script.
Whatever - I thought it was brilliant - and Clary received substantial praise from other esteemed actors - so there we are. I hope we can look forward to his moving forward with his acting career well outside of panto in the future.

Posted on September 23, 2017 at 10:59 AM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Wednesday September 6, 2017

Proms: Revolutionary Music

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I took a notion to got to the Proms so Rob booked us seats in a box - a Grand Evening all round.

  • Igor Stravinsky - Funeral Song (12 mins)
  • Song of the Volga Boatmen (2 mins)
  • Sergei Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major(22 mins)
  • Benjamin Britten - Russian Funeral(7 mins)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No 11 in G minor 'The Year 1905'(65 mins)

Alina Ibragimova joins Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a Russian themed programme. The Proms pays tribute to the centenary of the Russian Revolution with Prokofiev's lyrical First Violin Concerto, composed amid the growing turmoil of 1917. Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11 harks back to another crisis, the failed revolution of 1905; its brooding cinematic landscapes are punctuated by bright flecks of instrumental colour. The concert opens with Stravinsky's youthful Funeral Song, lost for over a century and given its first modern performance only last year.

Posted on September 6, 2017 at 11:28 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Thursday August 17, 2017

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

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I went to this exhibition at the V&A (with my new friend Elaine - from Canada). The only bad thing was that we did not really leave ourselves enough time to see the other exhibits (jewellery) that I think Elaine would have been more interested in. But there is so much to see...! And she had only the one chance to go .. well.. for this trip anyway.

I'm not really very knowledgeable about fashion and it was very interesting to get to understand the shapes he was known for and how he subsequently influenced later designers. I took away the "make your own" leaflet, but can't see my following it through somehow!

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Posted on August 17, 2017 at 11:08 AM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Saturday July 1, 2017

Wind in the Willows

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After the opening chorus I began to think this was a huge mistake. I booked the tickets through a nostalgia for the Wind in the Willows production at the NT in the 1990s and of course it did not bear comparison. However that was my own stupidity as this quickly won me over, being something of a kids pantomime - with the usual clever jokes on two levels for both kids and adults. Rob commented at the interval that it was "utterly charming" - and he was very smitten by the costumes (as was I) since they were not so much dressed as animals but more wearing artistic representations of their characters.

Posted on July 1, 2017 at 10:28 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Their Mortal Remains

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Rob and I spent the day in London. He was keen to see the Pink Floyd exhibition - so we were at the V&A for its grand opening of the new entrance in Exhibition Road (and we duly used it). The exhibition itself demonstrated a fantastic use of multimedia - well the subject rather lends itself to it - and I think it's actually worth spending more time on it than we did (which we could as I joined as a member while we were there). Rob however was strangely less impressed; I think it's perhaps because he has been such a fan through all that time of Pink Floyd's existence, he was somehow expecting "more" - when in fact he probably has seen, heard, and done it all already.

Rather excitingly (!) on the way to our next appointment at the London Palladium, we were able to join in with a protest march. It quite took me back.... and I think the same could be said of a number of the other participants - I felt quite at home with them all.

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you get the idea...

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Posted on July 1, 2017 at 10:15 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)