Tag Archives: Koen Kessels

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LIVE: SWAN LAKE – A GLORIOUS NEW PRODUCTION

This is a glorious new production, the first new version of SWAN LAKE for 30 years for the Royal Ballet, replacing the 1987 Antony Dowell/ Yolanda Sonnabend production.  It is visually spectacular and magnificently danced – an enthralling, gripping production by Liam Scarlett that transfers wonderfully from stage to screen .

The Royal Ballet’s new production sticks to the traditional story of this much loved ballet classic with its central themes of love and betrayal: of Prince Siegfried falling in love with Odette, a Princess transformed into a swan by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart, before being tricked into swearing to marry Rothbart’s daughter, Odile.

Like most productions today, it also reverentially references the Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s 1895 version.  But that 1895 version has been reworked and reconstructed in many different ways, so much so that any idea of complete authenticity to the ‘original’ are  rather immaterial. The expected ‘set pieces’ ( eg the Black Swan pas de deux) have been retained. Here, the lakeside Act 2 has mostly been left untouched, while Acts I and IV have been deftly reworked with a new waltz for Act 1 and three new national dances in Act 3 where Ashton’s Neapolitan dance has been kept.  Continue reading ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LIVE: SWAN LAKE – A GLORIOUS NEW PRODUCTION

PALACE OPERA AND BALLET PRESENTS THE ROYAL BALLET IN ROMEO AND JULIET

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This glorious, glittering production marks the 50th anniversary of this landmark work, choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, now regarded as a classic by the Royal Ballet. It gets the 2015/2016 Palace Opera and Ballet season off to a tremendous start.

With its sumptuous sets,including a portcullis for the outside of the Capulet mansion, looming scary angels for the crypt scene and Byzantine like paintings for the church scenes,  very detailed and ornate costumes, wonderful lighting and the lush, lyrical, achingly passionate Prokofiev music, the Royal Opera House orchestra under the enthusiastic energetic baton of Koen Kessells were sensational, this is a splendid version. This ballet feels as fresh as if it was created yesterday, and MacMillan’s extraordinary, very detailed and at times extremely difficult choreography dazzles.                          Continue reading PALACE OPERA AND BALLET PRESENTS THE ROYAL BALLET IN ROMEO AND JULIET