Friday, 8 May 2009

Manon Starring Tamara Rojo and Carlos Acosta

Tonight on BBC4 you can catch a special treat - The Royal Ballet's Manon with Tamara Rojo as Manon and Carlos Acosta as Des Grieux.

I was at the recording of this performance and can vouch for it being a great one !

Duration - 120 minutes. 8062392

BBC4 says :

The Royal Ballet perform a production of Manon, starring Tamara Rojo in the title role with the world-famous dancer Carlos Acosta as her lover Des Grieux.

In decadent 18th century Paris, the young, beautiful and naive Manon is torn between a life of privilege and luxury with the wealthy Monsieur GM or love with the poor student Des Grieux.

Manon has become one the Royal Ballet's signature works since its creation by choreographer Kenneth MacMillan in 1974. This typically sumptuous production is designed by Nicholas Georgiadis and staged by Monica Mason and Monica Parker.


  1. I would like to see it from the first to last minutes.
    released on DVD?

  2. Hi Anon, actually I don't think it is available on DVD. It's a tricky one, because Carlos is under contract to Decca, but this was filmed for the BBC and has been shown in cinema's (I understand that Carlos and Tamara were in the front row when it was screened).

    I think, had it been filmed by Decca, you would get a DVD.

    But, on the BBC4 website I think there is the facility to watch again, for a few days at least.

    Personally, I didn't think it was a brilliant recording. They missed some important cue's. I know it's difficult recording ballet for the small screen, especially one where there is something going on in every corner of the stage, but I've seen better productions that this. the snippets of Carlos, Tamara and Monica Mason have been seen before, and the story itself was rather sketchily told. The sets looked dusty brown and didn't have any of the richness that comes across when you are there. I was disappointed which is a shame as it's a great ballet to see Carlos in. Perhaps the final pdd was the best part in terms of filming.

  3. Just to say, the BBC has put Manon on Iplayer until Thursday so you can watch it until then if you don't have Sky or Freeview and missed it last Friday. Here is the link :

  4. Elise, you are very fortunate in your access to the live performance. I'm not a balletomane, although I have attended many ballet performances in this country and abroad over the last 61 years. But access to a live stage performance is now a problem for me and I suspect many others of a similar age. I came across the iPlayer version by accident on Thursday 14th and was bowled over. I have never before been so moved to tears by a ballet performance as I was by the performance of the two stars in their first pdd in this production. Yes the story is sketchily told. A 2 hour staged ballet adaptation cannot possibly convey the full tragedy related by Abbé Prevost (where was Tiberge?), but the sets conveyed to me a realistic representation of the seedy opulence of early eighteenth century Paris. My complaint is that having lauded this experience to my friends and family, the programme was removed from the iPlayer catalogue within minutes of my message, and they cannot share perhaps the best thing I've seen on TV this year. One week of availability is not enough. Will there be a repeat, and can we be given adequate notice please?

  5. Hi, I agree with you about the filming missing some of the cues, especially when a principal or main character would arrive, they seemed to disregard the dancer or corps piece being danced and do a close up. Very annoying when you are trying to watch everything happening on the stage :)

  6. dancerxleah - welcome and thank you for your comments.

    Maddening isn't it ?

    That said, I don't suppose it's an easy job because ballet isn't ideally suited to the small screen.

    I wonder how the quality of the BBC's broadcasts compare with recordings made by the ROH in-house, at, say, rehearsals ?

  7. Is there a list of Acosta dvds? I have 4 but surely there are more. I am an elderly fan & find it hard to get to London unless I bribe someone with a ticket & lunch, which gets expensive.

  8. Hi Annia,

    We are waiting for Romeo & Juliet to be released (under Decca). Acosta is currently filming his life-story so that will be a second.

    I don't think there is a list anywhere but I will work on one and post here once I have all the links etc,.


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