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  Choreographers: Lynne Hockney - Reviews

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Glyndebourne Festival
Evening Standard (August 2016)

'...this spirited revival by Lynne Hockney...'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Glyndebourne Festival
MusicOMH (August 2016)

'If you’re old enough to have seen Peter Hall’s original staging in 1981‚ you won’t be disappointed with Lynne Hockney’s faithful‚ snappy revival‚ and if you’re new to it you will be enchanted.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Glyndebourne Festival
The Daily Express (August 2016)

'If there were a prize for the best operatic revival of 2016‚ this delightful production of Peter Hall’s 35-year-old production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream would surely be a major contender.'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Glyndebourne Festival
The Guardian (August 2016)

'It is a measure of The Dream’s greatness that it is open to any number of possibilities. But seeing Lynne Hockney’s revival of Peter Hall’s 1981 production of Benjamin Britten’s opera at Glyndebourne opened my eyes to yet another vision.

Britten’s opera is his response to Shakespeare’s play. A startling realisation was that Britten – who composed the opera in seven months in 1959 – anticipated the Polish critic Jan Kott‚ who in his 1964 book‚ Shakespeare Our Contemporary‚ detected in A Midsummer Night’s Dream the madness of love and a dark eroticism. All of this is perfectly realised in the Hall production.'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Glyndebourne Festival
The Telegraph (August 2016)

'A Midsummer Night’s Dream ‚ staged in Peter Hall’s classic production‚ first seen in 1981 but still freshly enchanting in this its fifth Festival revival‚ crisply directed by its original choreographer Lynne Hockney.'

Eugene Onegin‚ Grange Park Opera
Opera (September 2015)

'...the excellent dance troupe (ably choreographed by Lynne Hockney) performed the Polonaise up there with a necessarily controlled elegance that was slightly - properly- sinister'

Eugene Onegin‚ Grange Park Opera (July 2015)

'Acting‚ props and movement around stage were pin sharp in depicting the subtle gradations of Russian society: every detail of the jam-making scene in the Larina household is carefully crafted‚ the officers at the ball behave exactly the way they would in Tolstoy‚ freeze frame is cleverly used to separate Tatyana and Onegin from the mass of the crowd. Choreographed by Lynne Hockney‚ every dance sequence thrilled‚ each precisely accurate to its social milieu‚ from the wheatsheafs of the peasants in Act I to the considerably more genteel dances of Tatyana’s name day to the grandness of the ball'

Eugene Onegin‚ Grange Park Opera (July 2015)

'The sense of dynamism also exceeds the strict level of movement that there is on stage. The Larin ball begins with everyone in a frozen pose‚ which highlights the wealth of activity to be found at this heady event. It then works through the scene to show how a series of ‘petty’ occurrences escalate out of control to a point where a duel is declared‚ and no-one feels able to back down. Choreographed by Lynne Hockney‚ the Waltz is executed by a handful of professional dancers‚ revealing how eight people in this compact venue can have just as much impact as a far larger troupe in a grander place. The whole company‚ however‚ participates in the Cotillion and other dances‚ which works because couples becoming annoyed as they make mistakes are here written into the staging'

Eugene Onegin‚ Grange Park Opera
Planet (July 2015)

'Dance plays an important role in the production. Tchaikovsky wrote a lot of dance into the opera‚ the peasants in Act One‚ the bourgeois gentry at Madam Larina’s party and the grand ball chez Gremin in Act Three. He uses these to project character and a sense of community‚ and a good production of the opera takes advantage of this. The big advantage of the production at Grange Park was that the dancing involved not just the six dancers but the whole ensemble. I have seen productions where the chorus barely moves‚ but here most people got dancing. This is particularly true in Act Two‚ where the lively ensemble dancing combined with Stephen Medcalf’s detailed direction of the principals and of the smaller characters to create the sort of dance like the embarrassing one described by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth Bennett’s entire family seem set to embarrass her. In this production‚ at one point‚ Brett Polegato’s Onegin retires to the upper level fleeing the sheer chaos below. Dance is used cleverly in the last act too‚ the polonaise is danced by 12 dancers on the upper level whilst the older members promenade and gossip about Onegin below‚ then during the lively second dance the four dancers are suddenly joined by a third pair‚ which includes Princess Gremin (Susan Gritton)‚ displaying a poise and a soignee sense of social danse which was a far cry from Tatyana’s trying to escape her mother’s party. It was a very neat way to introduce Tatyana into the act and made a great deal of sense of Onegin’s comment asking who she is‚ as he looks up at her'

La bohème‚ Malmö Opera
Helsingborgs Dagblad (March 2014)

'Till det som fascinerar hör också andra aktens folkvimmel. Barn och föräldrar‚ tungt sminkade lycksökerskor‚ ordningsvakter‚ en tomte i permobil – alla sorter syns på den där gatan i ett så detalj- och händelserikt utsnitt av verkligheten att två personer i publiken knappast ser samma sak. För rörelseregi har teamet haft en egen ansvarig‚ koreografen Lynne Hockney‚ och ned i minsta statistroll är det besatt och instruerat på ett sätt som mer påminner om filmregi /// The second act crowds are fascinating. Children and parents‚ heavily made up Gold-diggers‚ security guards‚ an elf in a wheelchair - all varieties seen on that street in such a detailed and eventful framing of reality that two people in the audience hardly looks the same. For movement direction the team has had its own choreographer Lynne Hockney‚ down to the smallest statistically role is obsessed and instructed in a manner more reminiscent of film directing'

La bohème‚ Malmö Opera
Skånska Dagbladet (March 2014)

'Andra aktens torgscen är en ren fest för ögat och dessutom en uppvisning i perfekt regi: att mitt i detta folkmyller skapa fokus precis där det ska vara /// Act II in the square is a pure feast for the eyes as well as a display of perfect movement direction; that in the midst of this throng of people focus is exactly where it should be'

Cenerentola‚ Theater Erfurt (January 2014)

'Lynne Hockney‚ trained choreographer ‚ proves much feeling for the music and creates a quite unromantic comedy on the stage‚ more socially critical stage in the Rococo period - garb as a classic fairy tale. Your Cinderella is a confident and determined young woman who uses her chance to escape the miserable existence as a dirty Cinderella . It is their noble disposition that wins at the end over trivial machinations . But her Prince Ramiro is a noble man who wants to be loved for his own ‚ not because of title and fortune . Hockney staged this work as " Metamelodramma " ‚ the opera about opera . Guide is the utterance Alidoros ‚ the wise teacher Ramiro : "Il mondo è un gran teatro - Siam commedianti tutti " - The world is a big theatre - We’re all comedians . In the style of Mozart’s The Impresario Hockney paints a picture of the world as a stage. It is supported brilliantly by Benoit Dugardyn and Giovanna Fiorentini . Dugardyn begins his set with the house of Don Magnifico that resembles a run-down theatre with side boxes . But then the image into a colourful ‚ fairy-tale palace with a magnificent baroque scenes that are lowered from the flies transformed . World of illusion ‚ illusion ‚ fairytale magic ‚ all radiate from the scenes ‚ and you feel suddenly in 1817 set back ‚ the year of the first performance . Dugardyn has a knack for detail and originality. The former means and opportunities to be revived ‚ even a balloon à la Montgolfier is presented. And with such a baroque comedy may natural events such as earthquakes‚ rain ‚ thunder and lightning not fail to wind machine and thunder sheet be brought by the lackeys of the orchestra on the stage‚ and all that is illuminated appropriately. In addition to this loving stage time like the costumes of Giovanna Fiorentini ‚ convey the colourful‚ opulent and a bit crazy the illusion of the great Baroque theatre'

Otello‚ Castleton Festival USA
IonArts (August 2013)

'...the two-story staging (directed by Lynne Hockney) helped create that grand opera feel...'

Eugene Onegin‚ Grange Park Opera (June 2013)

'And the choreography is wonderful. The straw characters brought in by the peasants in Act I are fun‚ and the country ball in Act II is full of buzz and delightfully fast footwork by some of the girls...I loved Lynn Hockney’s choreography. Knocks other productions into a cocked hat'

Eugene Onegin‚ Grange Park Opera
Opera (June 2013)

'Unlike some set designs which restrict the stage space and militate against dance‚ the tiny Grange stage accommodates plenty. We get the jolly peasant chorus in Act I‚ inexplicably cut in some productions (which makes a mockery of Olga immediately taking it up as a reprise) but vigorously danced here as a celebration of the harvest‚ complete with human corn dollies‚ courtesy of Lynne Hockney’s choreography. Waltz‚ cotillon‚ polonaise and écossaise duly followed'

Eugene Onegin‚ Grange Park Opera
Planet (June 2013)

'For me‚ one of the essentials of a production of Eugene Onegin is the dancing. Though the production used six dancers‚ the chorus also contributed in both Madame Larina’s dance and the ball scene‚ as well as the peasants in act 1‚ thus ensuring that the dances were a true reflection of community. And Lynne Hockney’s choreography made clever use of the space available. The chorus were on fine form in both their singing and dancing'

Eugene Onegin‚ Grange Park Opera
Times (June 2013)

'...energetically choreographed (Lynne Hockney)'

Yevgeny Onegin‚ Grange Park Opera‚ Cadogan Hall
Opera (November 2012)

'...ample space for the chorus dancing: exuberant harvesters‚ gossipy country neighbours‚ and supercilious guests at the St Petersburg ball‚ where six couples gyrated elegantly round Tatyana - distinctively cherographed by Lynne Hockney'

La Cenerentola‚ Glyndebourne
Whats On (June 2012)

'Peter Hall’s quaintly traditional production (dating from 2005 but feeling much older)‚ is more than ably revived by Lynne Hockney. Playing it straight‚ with a fair degree of truthfulness‚ elevates the flimsy libretto to something grander; it could almost be Beaumarchais much of the time. There are deft comic moments‚ especially Don Magnifico’s thigh-busting sit in mid-air‚ but nothing is overdone or caricatured and it’s a winning approach'

La Cenerentola‚ Glyndebourne
Classical Source (May 2012)

'This is an exceptionally fine revival (by Lynne Hockney) of Peter Hall’s 2005 Glyndebourne production‚ the staging cohesive and with an extremely well-balanced cast of principals. The evening got better and better'

La Cenerentola‚ Glyndebourne
Financial Times (May 2012)

'New in 2005 and revived twice since‚ Peter Hall’s staging has never looked better…the show itself‚ as revived by Lynne Hockney‚ has lightened up this time'

La Cenerentola‚ Glyndebourne
Guardian (May 2012)

'The latest revival is directed by Lynne Hockney‚ who has made a few changes. She retains Hall’s disturbing view of Don Magnifico (Umberto Chiummo) as a venal bully‚ who terrorises Cenerentola (Elizabeth DeShong) both physically and verbally. But there are now plenty of laughs in her redefinition of Cenerentola’s sisters (Elena Xanthoudakis and Victoria Yarovaya) as a pair of competitive social climbers straight out of Jane Austen‚ conned into setting their sights on Armando Noguera’s glamorous Dandini‚ rather than Taylor Stayton’s gauchely sincere Ramiro'

La Cenerentola‚ Glyndebourne Touring Opera
Opera (December 2010)

'Taking comedy seriously‚ in fact‚ is the only way to explore its essential truthfulness and depth. In this revival by Lynne Hockney of (Sir Peter) Hall’s original‚ that approach was absolutely vindicated'

La Cenerentola‚ Glyndebourne Touring Opera
The Telegraph (October 2010)

'Peter Hall’s 2005 staging‚ rehearsed here by Lynne Hockney‚ is one of the best things he’s done in opera.'

Jenufa‚ Glyndebourne Touring Opera
Guardian (November 2009)

'Lynne Hockney’s choreography is so well integrated by the Glyndebourne Chorus into the emotional trajectory of the show that it registers as truthful rather than picturesque.'

Orfeo ed Euridice
Opera (February 2009)

'Stephen Lawless’s direction told the tale clearly and‚ with the help of Lynne Hockney‚ turned the dances into expressive movement pictures...'

Orfeo ed Euridice‚ Theater an der Wien
Opera (October 2008)

'An inspirational Orfeo ed Euridice...
Yet an additional feather in the cap of Vienna’s "new opera house" which has already established itself as indispensable in the capital’s music life. It’s hard to imagine a finer setting than this wonderful house for Gluck’s masterpiece (Vienna version)‚ performed in Italian in this new production by Stephen Lawless and Rene Jacobs...the entire concept compact and pleasing‚ with some superb "still life" moments‚ and clever use of orchestral passages in which chorus and soloists are carefully choreographed...Tumultuous applause left no doubt as to the evening’s success.'

Cenerentola‚ Glyndebourne (as revival director)
The Telegraph (June 2007)

'Glyndebourne has crisply revived Peter Hall’s elegant production...this is a smashing evening‚ even more gorgeous to look at than to listen to.'

Cenerentola‚ Glyndebourne (as revival director)
This is London (June 2007)

'Memory plays tricks but Peter Hall’s 2005 handsome if traditional staging felt radically improved‚ almost a new show. Comedy‚ ensemble and musical energy seemed far sharper though the cast is largely unchanged.'

Semele‚ New York City Opera
New Jersey Star Ledger (September 2006)

'A highlight of the production ... is Lynne Hockney’s witty choreography. She has Futral and others repeatedly break into a slo-mo shimmy that makes Handel’s florid sighs seem almost as sexy as R&B. '

Pirates of Penzance‚ New York City Opera
New York Times (March 2006)

' vivid as Lynne Hockney’s choreography is‚ it is virtually free of camp excess. '

James Cameron’s Titanic (December 1997)

'Etiquette coach and choreographer Lynne Hockney even taught the Core (as they were called) that there was a proper way to laugh. "It was the Gilded Age‚ a time of the grand hostess‚ lavish parties and tireless pleasure-seeking‚" Hockney says in the book. "And each social class was scrambling to reach the one above it. This made proper behavior terribly important.... You cannot slouch in a corset‚ for example. You perch." One wishes there was a frame or two from the Hockney film running on a tape loop in the wardrobe building‚ Titanic Etiquette: A Time-Traveler’s Guide. If it were available for sale‚ people would be buying it.

True Lies
Film Choreographers and Dance Directors (May 1996)

'Hockney supplies a charming tango for Arnold Schwarzenegger and tia Cararre at the start of the film to establish the proper tongue-in-cheek tone. At the finsh‚ Arnold ("I’ll be back!") sweeps wife Jamie Lee Curtis into his arms for a smile-generating reprise.'