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Culture and films (Read 122916 times)
Reply #15 - 06/11/12 at 23:17:49  

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Cinderella


Main House / Oslo Opera House


Cinderella had season premiere 5th May 2012. I was watching the opening night, the rehearsal 4th May as well as 7th and 8th May – which I think is new personal record. Reason for this is that I like to see the different casts (and I was rather busy in May).

The performance is choreographed by Ben Stevenson, the man that offered the Chinese dancer Li Cunxin (Mao's last dancer) a six-week scholarship to America, and later a position with the Houston Ballet. Sergei Prokofiev wrote the symphonic masterpiece to this performance (Cinderella) that last approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. Dancers from the Norwegian National Ballet and the Norwegian National Ballet School danced to the music conducted by John Helmer Fiore and played by the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra.

This classic fairytale ballet is about love, and good versus evil. Many have seen the classical animated film from Walt Disney (1950), and much of the fairytale story is used in Ben Stevenson's ballet version. Cinderella is plagued by her stepmother and her two daughters, but with help from her Fairy Godmother, she gets to the ball. Instead of the glass shoes, obviously, Cinderella uses very small Pointe shoes. The ballet version tells the story as classical ballet with comical episodes – sometimes too many – and magnificent costumes and scenography.

I also watched the performance 30th May, because I wanted to see Yolanda Correa and Joel Carreño just one more time. The problem was that tens of thousands screaming teenagers wanted a glimpse of Justin Bieber at the Opera's roof – the same day.
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Reply #16 - 09/29/12 at 01:32:47  

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Kon-Tiki


Colosseum 22/9 2012 - Drama from 2012 (1 hr 58 min)


Kon-Tiki is the most expensive Norwegian film ever made, with a budget of $ 16 million. People in post war were intrigued by the balsa raft Kon-Tiki, which crossed the Pacific. Thor Heyerdahl had trouble publishing his theories, which in brief was build upon the fact that natives from Polynesia followed the Ocean currents as well as the sunset to the west. Kon-Tiki was named after the Incas Sun-King. Immigration from Asia to Peru would be too heavy, because the Ocean current goes in opposite direction. The balsa raft sailed downstream toward the sunset for almost 8000 km. Kon-Tiki sailed from Peru on 28 April 1947 and stranded on a coral reef at Raroia in Polynesia August 7 of that year (101 days).


I love the drama in the film. It’s interesting to se the “true” story of how Thor Heyerdahl struggled to get published his theory in New York (Little Norway). The same with the drama and the group dynamics on the balsa raft Kon-Tiki as well as Heyerdahl’s marriage (which was the only thing that was wrecked in the film). Although the plot is well known, the film still manages to offer surprises. It surprises because of good editing which are miles ahead of films like Max Manus (2008). Kon-Tiki film from 1951 won Oscar for best documentary. It remains to be seen whether the Kon-Tiki 2012 wins an Oscar for best foreign film or drama.

Casting The «Kon-Tiki» crew
Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen Thor Heyerdahl
Anders Baasmo Christiansen Herman Watzinger
Odd Magnus Williamson Erik Hesselberg
Tobias Santelmann Knut Haugland
Jakob Oftebro Torstein Raaby
Gustaf Skarsgård Bengt Danielsson


Directors: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
 

 
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Reply #17 - 01/18/13 at 00:49:15  

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Les Misérables


Colosseum 14/1 2013 (Gala premiere) – Drama, Musical, Romance (157 min)



Finally, the famous musical Les Misérables has been filmed. Les Misérables was composed in 1980 by the French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg, and the text is a libretto by Alain Boublil. The musical is based on the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. In the 19th-century France, Jean Valjean has for decades been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert, after he breaks parole. He takes care of factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever.


I saw this film at the gala premiere at the world’s largest THX cinema (Colosseum in Oslo). As expected, this was a great movie experience with hits like I Dreamed a Dream, One Day More, A Heart Full of Love, Stars, Bring Him Home, Do You Hear the People Sing?, Master of the House and On My Own. This is an Oscar favorite that I recommend everyone to see.

Casting
Hugh Jackman Jean Valjean
Russell Crowe Javert
Anne Hathaway Fantine
Amanda Seyfried Cosette
Sacha Baron Cohen Thénardier
Helena Bonham Carter Madame Thénardier
Eddie Redmayne Marius
Aaron Tveit Enjolras
Samantha Barks Éponine


Director: Tom Hooper

 
 
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Reply #18 - 02/25/13 at 00:31:39  

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85th Academy Awards


This year, the Norwegian feature film Kon-Tiki can get an Oscar for best foreign language film.


The following 15 films received multiple nominations:
  • 12 nominations: Lincoln
  • 11 nominations: Life of Pi
  • 8 nominations: Les Misérables and Silver Linings Playbook
  • 7 nominations: Argo
  • 5 nominations: Amour, Django Unchained, Skyfall, and Zero Dark Thirty
  • 4 nominations: Anna Karenina and Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • 3 nominations: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Master
  • 2 nominations: Flight and Snow White and the Huntsman



The results of the 85 Oscars can be found here (LiavaagWiki).  Cool
 

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Reply #19 - 06/09/13 at 23:04:48  

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Sleeping Beauty at the Opera

The premiere the 6th June 2013


The Opera House in Oslo celebrates fifth birthday this year. On the white marble outdoor, it is exhibited pictures of the highlights of the five years that have passed. If you have any favourite, you can vote on those by SMS. Without being biased to the National Ballet, I found my favourites easily!


Indoor they showed the ballet Sleeping Beauty. This ballet is truly one of the great classics of the ballet repertory. Ever since its premiere in 1890 in St. Petersburg, this classic ballet accompanied by Tchaikovsky's music, captivated audiences worldwide. It is now in the Norwegian Opera's repertory again, with the Norwegian National Ballet and the superstar dancers Yoël Carreño and Yolanda Correa. The opening night more than fulfilled all of my expectations. It is worth mentioning that Natasha Jones and Philip Currell had its Sleeping Beauty debut on Saturday 8 June! They both got star-review. Other couples dancing are Miharu Maki and Gakuro Matsui as well as Chihiro Nomura and Dirk Weyershausen. Choreography: Marius Petipa, some elements of Cynthia Harvey and Janek Schergen.


In short: Sleeping Beauty is highly recommended for everything from novices to experts on ballet!
 

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Reply #20 - 09/17/13 at 01:24:24  

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Havana Rakatan in Oslo Opera House


26th and 28th June 2013

As last summer, this year’s Summer at the Opera in Oslo was opened with spectacular dance. Last year it was the break/street dance group King Wings which battled against the Norwegian National Ballet. This summer it was the Cuban firework dance group Havana Rakatan that took the main stage at The Norwegian Opera & Ballet. Ballet Rakatan is considered to as one of the most talented dance groups from Cuba. The show, which is choreographed by Nilda Guerra, includes salsa, mambo, jazz, bolero, cha-cha-cha and rumba. A live band managed to recreate the warmth and soul that Havana is so famous for. Ballet Rakatan has also danced in London's West End. The press wrote:


The Independent
- A stunning slice of Havana Life

Sunday Express
- The hottest, the coolest, the sexiest dancers in town. Irresistible!


I agree with the press!
 

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Reply #21 - 09/24/13 at 01:57:09  

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Le grand macabre at The Norwegian Opera & Ballet


23, September 2013


The opera Le grand macabre is György Ligeti's only opera. It is the first time it is put up in Norway, and at the same time, this is Per Boye Hansen's first performance as opera manager. The story, which depicts a society on the brink of apocalypse, makes fun of the human body and the fear of dying. While we wait for death (a comet is on its way), unclear moral and history becomes more and more complex. The mood swings from the humorous to the burlesque – from the grotesque to the lyrical. Both the music and the story challenges the audience's preconceived ideas of what theater should be.


The story of Le grand macabre is taken from Michel de Ghelderode's play of the same name. The actors and the orchestra were interoperable. Anyway, there are plenty scenography (human body) that takes a lot of attention with great scenic effects and the creative use of video. All in all this is a macabre and amusing opera!


Music: György Ligeti
Libretto: György Ligeti and Michael Meschke

Music director: John Helmer Fiore, conductor
Direction and concept: Alex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus) and Valentina Carrasco

Scenography: Alfons Flores
Video: Franc Aleu
Lighting design: Peter van Praet

Contributors: Thor Inge Falch, Tone Kummervold, Amelie Alden Heim, Ketil Hugaas, Hege Høisæter, David Hansen et al
Opera Chorus and Opera Orchestra
 

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Reply #22 - 10/01/13 at 02:02:55  

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In the World of Fokine


30th September 2013 (first performance was on 28 October 2013)


I have lately seen two outstanding performances in The Norwegian Opera & Ballet, Le Grand Macabre and In the World of Fokine. The ballet fans (and the critics) are very happy with the National Ballet's interpretation In the World of Fokine. The Russian dancer and choreographer Michel Fokine (1880-1942) is considered the founder of modern ballet. This was Ingrid Lorentzen's ordeal as ballet boss, and she started this with no less than five world premieres of Fokine:

World premiere Refurbished choreography
Petrusjka Alan Lucien Øyen
Cygne Daniel Proietto
Daphnis et Chloé          Ingun Bjørnsgaard
Scheherazade Ina Christel Johannessen
Firebird Liam Scarlett


3 hours and 15 minutes with Fokine could be a long night! But it turned out to be a fantastic night thanks to the Opera Orchestra that gave a tremendous effort under Music Director John Helmer Fiore. Incredibly great music that alone gives full value for money. National Ballet was also outstanding and playful. It actually looks like they think it is fun to dance! The Cuban dancer Osiel Gouneo tonight was a really big surprise. He danced the Moor in Petrushka, and he is undoubtedly a world class dancer. I might say that Cygne, that showing the last moments of a swan lives, is my favourite among the three short ballets. Firebird was one of the best - at least among the two longest (Petrushka and Firebird). Liam Scarlett has been fascinated by people who must fight for their love. But all humans have good and bad sides, so she did not wanted to tell a story as a simple fable about good and evil. The result was strong, dark and successful.


The ordeal is passed!
 

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Reply #23 - 10/28/13 at 22:45:10  

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London trip 2013


16th to 21 October

This fall it was time for another trip to London with the ballet gang. In this forum, which is about culture and films, I find it suitable to tell about the events – which also has been filmed (or broadcasted live).


Top Hat

17th October

The musical Top Hat is based on the movie of the same name from 1935, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. We saw the musical in Aldwych Theatre in London's West End. We were nine ballet friends who saw the show, and we all agree that this was a dance/stepping show in world class. Add the evergreen music, and you find a classic musical that we all recommend. Too bad it was taken off the Aldwych Theatre 26 October. Gavin Lee danced the role of Jerry Travers, and Kristen Beth Williams danced Dale Tremont.


Don Quixote

18th October

Carlos Acosta's Don Quixote was broadcast live to cinemas 16 October. Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez were dancing this evening. Two days later, we were 18 ballet enthusiasts who saw the same ballet. This evening Steve McRae danced as Basilio, and Akane Takada as Kitri. I assume that the men were most satisfied with the Royal Ballet this evening. Steve McRae had some amazing combinations - BRAVO! This is one of the best Don Quixote ever!


Romeo and Juliet

19th October

The next day the tour was going to Romeo and Juliet. Romeo was danced by Federico Bonelli, Julie of Lauren Cuthbertson. We were 18 ballet enthusiasts (?!) who saw the show. First we had a delicious dinner (lamb) at the Royal Opera House, and then it was time for the performance. In the break we had a delicious dessert. This evening it were the ladies evening. They were particularly pleased with the performance and this love drama of Shakespeare. And the ladies had a good reason for being satisfied, because there was some tremendous good pas de deux in this classical ballet.


No London trip without Shakespeare!
 
 
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Reply #24 - 12/07/13 at 02:10:34  

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Gravity

British/American film from 2013 that last 90 minutes


The film Gravity is a British/American drama/thriller from 2013, directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Gravity had a production budget of $100 million. Live elements were shot at Pinewood and Shepperton Studios in the UK. Furthermore, it was created with stereo computer graphics (CG) and 3D.


Set in space, where there is zero gravity and sound, NASA performs repairs on the Hubble telescope. The Russians shoots down one of its spy satellites, but the project went wrong. Unfortunately, the wreckage (via a chain reaction), fall into the same orbit as the Hubble and the ISS. Commander Kowalski, played by George Clooney, and Dr. Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, must make drastic choices to have a chance to survive and get back to Earth. This will be difficult without gravity and oxygen, because debris hit Hubble every 90 minutes (one earth rotation).


I mention the movie here in this blog because it brings something new in to movies. This is not a science fiction movie, but more a drama set in the present space. All the technology in the film is well-known space technology. Moreover, further conveys a fun way how it is in space without gravity, oxygen, and sound. The astronauts are totally dependent on their spacesuits and communication via control rooms. Amidst this scenario, further conveys the humanity, and thanks to Sandra Bullock, including human error. This film should be nominated for AMPAS-award!


Will this be a new aerospace classic? Undecided
 
 
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Reply #25 - 07/24/14 at 03:25:23  

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Frozen 2013



As a true optimist Anna turns up with Kristoff in an epic journey. Together they meet Norwegian conditions, and a funny snowman named Olaf, in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa. She has icy powers and also captured the kingdom Arendell in eternal winter.


Frost was released 10 November 2013. The film is based on H.C. Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen. Because the film is inspired by Norway, Walt Disney Animation Studios' filmmakers went to Norway: Akershus Fortress in Oslo, Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, and Bryggen in Bergen. The main characters have received Norwegian names: Sven, Anna and Olaf. The film is incredibly beautiful - a true Disney classic! And it's really fun among Norwegians, that the film is inspired by Norway as well as Norwegian culture? Several travel companies now offer Frozen-tours in Norway. One of these is the company Adventures by Disney. Besides is the old Norwegian promotion movie in Epcot Center at Disney World in Florida replaced with the two-time Oscar-winning animated film Frost. I'm so proud!


Sources:
Frozen at LiavaagWiki
 
 
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Reply #26 - 10/31/14 at 04:04:47  

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London trip 2014

24th to 29th October

This fall I was again visiting London together with my ballet friends. In this forum, which is about culture and films, I find it suitable to tell about the events – which also has been streamed live.


Thriller Live at Lyric Theatre
24th September

Thriller  Live is a two and a half hour concert that celebrates the early years of  Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5. The musical was conceived by Jackson family friend and author, Adrian Grant, and had already been performed in the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, as well as Scandinavia before the opening at the Lyric Theatre on 2 January 2009.


Phantom of the Opera at Her Mayesty’s Theatre
25th September

The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Lloyd Webber that opened in London's West End in 1986 (Broadway in 1988). The musical is the longest running show in Broadway history, and the second longest-running West End musical (after Les Misérables). Which is understandable, because this is one of the best musicals (and scenography) I’ve ever seen.


Manon at the Royal Opera House
26th September

This was the premiere of the classic ballet Manon. Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet in three acts was originally created for the Royal Ballet and therefore it is an experience to be at the premiere in Covent Garden to see this ballet. The story follows the young woman Manon who is standing between the bark and the wood: Her love for the student Des Grieux and her desire for comfort and wealth of a rich man. Manon was danced by Marianela Nuñez, while Des Grieux was danced by Federico Bonelli. The show has since been streamed to cinemas around the world!


BalletBoyz the TALLENT at Linbury Studio
27th September

Although some critics felt this was not BalletBoyz at its best, it was fun to visit Linbury Studio and see this modern ballet. The TALLENT consisted of 3 ballets:

THE MUMURING
METHUS
MESMERICS
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Reply #27 - 10/29/15 at 23:07:39  

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New York tour in 2015

May 24 to May 31

American Ballet Theatre (ABT) celebrated this year the 75th anniversary of his Metropolitan Opera House. This we could not miss, so the occasion of ABT's 75th anniversary traveled ballet gang to New York. There we saw the following performances:


GISELLE
May 25th

Expectations were sky high when Roberto Bolle and Julia Kent danced lead roles in GISELLE at the Metropolitan Opera House. Roberto Bolle, who is from Milan, joined ABT as a soloist in 2009. Julia Kent is American, a native of Potomac, Maryland, started in ABT in 1986 and became a soloist in 1993. Expectations were met - an experience for life.


THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
May 29th

Friday 29 May we were at the premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s THE SLEEPING BEAUTY. We had a better meal at the Metropolitan Opera House before the experience started with this giant ballet. Magnificent scenography and costumes - a great experience! Gillian Murphy danced the role of Aurora. She is a native of Florence, South Carolina, and joined ABT in 1996 as a soloist in 2002. Brazilian Marcelo Gomes attended the role Désiré. He came from Manaus before joining ABT 1997 – in 2002 as soloist.


It was of course time for other great experiences in New York, and other performances as well!


ALL ROBINS
May 26th

This was a performance by New York City Ballet (NYCB) at David H. Koch Theater. ALL ROBINS had two choreographies by Jerome Robbins: The Goldberg Variations, and West Side Story Suite. Great dancing and music.


AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
May 27th

You cannot have been in the Big Apple without seeing a Broadway musical. Wednesday 27 May we went to see AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at The Palace Theatre.
 
 
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Reply #28 - 10/29/15 at 23:44:44  

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The Wave (2015 film)

Will it get an Oscar nomination?


The Wave is a Norwegian catastrophe drama film from 2015.  Åkneset is a mountain massif in the Norwegian fjord Geiranger. It falls out and creates an 85-meter high wave. A geologist (Kristoffer Joner) tries to warn the population about the mountain massif, but ends up in the middle of the wave. The film is representing Norway for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. It remains to see if the effects are good enough to impress Hollywood. However, many film-enthusiasts will see the film as Norway’s first real catastrophe-film.


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Reply #29 - 11/03/15 at 01:13:13  

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Manon at the Norwegian Opera & Ballet

The dress rehearsal 18 September 2015, as well as performances 25 September and 9 October 2015


Manon is a narrative choreography where the main character Manon stands with the choice between love and a life of prosperity. The plot is from the high society in France in the 1700s, where the protagonist through three acts moves us from love in Paris to misery in Louisiana. Manon premiered in Norway this fall! The ballet’s choreography is by Sir Kenneth MacMillan. Despite that he choreographed it in 1974, Manon are among the classics of classical ballets today. Still, the Norwegian National Ballet made a new scenography.

The reviews were positive. The Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen wrote that John Kristian Alsaker scenography is simple but effective, and Ingrid Nylanders 1700s themed costumes is a sight - at least if one sits far forward in the saddle and see every detail (Kjølstadmyr, 2015). The culture magazine Kulturspeilet believed that Manon was the best classical ballet evening we've seen in Bjørvika, ever (Thorsås, 2015). Daily wrote that Yolanda Correa are standing for the magnificent in this performance (Kjølstadmyr, 2015). I agree! Actually, I saw two performances with Yolanda, who clearly got Manon to emerge as an interesting character. BRAVO!


Sources
 

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