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Old Sep 21, 2011, 08:50 AM   #1
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Default First Look At Paul McCartney's "Kingdom"

First Look At Paul McCartney's "Kingdom"

By: Stephanie Simon

Link to video

The New York City Ballet is set to open its season this week with a work by former Beatle Paul McCartney and legendary ballet master Peter Martins. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

Sir Paul McCartney has found a new realm. The former Beatle composed the music for the new ballet "Ocean's Kingdom." It will make its world debut Thursday night with the New York City Ballet. At a recent rehearsal, legendary choreographer Peter Martins was still giddy about working with McCartney and meeting him at the Koch Theater last year.

"There was a party and he came to this party and we were introduced to each other and we talked about music and I asked him if he had any interest in maybe doing something for us," Martins said. "I knew he was interested in classical music, so we talked about that and I said to him we have a big orchestra and he said, 'I know.'"

"Ocean's Kingdom" is a fairyale love story about an sea princess who falls in love with a prince from the earthly kingdom. There's Kidnapping, sorcery and swooning. Yes, even in the ballet world, pop music royalty is revered. Martins says this will be the biggest gala in history, not just in fundraising but excitement.

Principal dancer Robert Fairchild says everyone is excited.

"They played Beatles in their garage with like tennis rackets so she was like, 'What was he like?' All that stuff. He enjoyed it, he came up to me and said 'It's cool man' and she just started laughing. But yeah, it's pretty surreal," Fairchild said.

So just how big a deal is it that Paul McCartney is the composer? Well, by taking a look at the publicity poster, it's clear McCartney gets top billing even over the name of the ballet.

"He [McCartney] saw the ballet for the first time last week. Loved it and had some good suggestions and I took them," Martins said.

McCartney is also getting by with a little help from his friends and family: His daughter, Stella McCartney, designed the costumes.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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Paul's affection for ballet and opera is revisited after his 1991 opera. The man is a musical/artistic juggernaut. This is such wonderful news. Paul has proved himself a prolific talent.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 09:21 AM   #3
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Stella McCartney designs costumes for Beatle father's ballet score debut (and there's not a tutu in sight)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...#ixzz1YhPsDZeW
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 09:31 AM   #4
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Sir Paul McCartney ballet premieres in New York.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/m...New-York..html
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 10:58 AM   #5
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McCartney & McCartney
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 02:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy View Post
Stella McCartney designs costumes for Beatle father's ballet score debut (and there's not a tutu in sight)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...#ixzz1YhPsDZeW
and for once, she actually designed something I really like to look at! (I never liked the way most of her clothes look). I'd like to see Paul in a tutu though.
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Old Sep 23, 2011, 04:31 AM   #7
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Stella's clothing line is prohibitively expensive for me. She has a real eye for color, style and design.
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Old Sep 23, 2011, 07:25 AM   #8
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She's ready to take the plunge! Paul McCartney's bride-to-be Nancy steps out in a daring backless sequined dress

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz...#ixzz1YmnJP7U9
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Old Sep 24, 2011, 02:26 PM   #9
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Default Sir Paul McCartney admits to being ballet novice

Sir Paul McCartney admits to being ballet novice

BBC 23 September 2011 Last updated at 05:07 GMT

Sir Paul McCartney: "I don't know much about ballet"

Sir Paul McCartney, who has premiered his debut ballet score in New York, has admitted he has scant knowledge of the art form. The musician, speaking exclusively to BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, said: "I don't know much about ballet... I kind of know Swan Lake and The Nutcracker."

Sir Paul added he was "a bit nervous" ahead of the New York City Ballet's gala premiere of Ocean's Kingdom. "But we put a lot of work into it, so I think we're good. I like it."

Explaining why he'd ventured into ballet at the age of 69, the former Beatle said: "I'm the kind of person who, if I get an offer that's exciting or unusual, I would tend to go 'yes' and then think later about what I'd bitten off."

Peter Martins, master-in-chief of the New York City Ballet, was full of praise for the former Beatle, calling their collaboration "one of the greatest I've ever had. In a funny way, the fact that he was not familiar with the ballet world meant that he was not burdened with the history. So he would have wild ideas and I'd think, 'we haven't done it that way before'. It's been great."

Musical picture

Sir Paul acknowledged he had started to learn more about ballet after accepting the commission, which he called a "fresh challenge".

"I put together some music which I thought would be good to dance to, and explored that trail. I've brought my ideas about what a good night out at the ballet should be. I ask myself what I'd want to see and try to paint that picture musically."

Sir Paul, who also collaborated on Ocean Kingdom's story, added that "there is more to ballet than the average person like me thinks", and praised the dancers' athleticism. The work, which was choreographed by Martins, tells the story of an underwater romance.

Sir Paul's daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney, created the costumes for the production, and said it had been "exciting" to collaborate with her father for the first time.

"There's two sides to it," she explained. "One side is I'm working with my dad for the first time on a really important project, so you have that emotion - feeling very proud. Then there's the other side where you think to yourself, 'I'm working with Paul McCartney'. It's a funny thing."

Sir Paul has struck a deal with record company Decca to release the score for Ocean's Kingdom next month. The label famously turned down the chance to sign the Fab Four in 1962, pronouncing that guitar bands were going out of fashion.

Meanwhile, echoing Sir Mick Jagger's comments last week, Sir Paul said he had not been approached to play the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. "I've not had any official requests but, you know, if someone asked me I'd probably say yes."

Link to article and video interview with Paul and Stella
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Old Sep 24, 2011, 02:36 PM   #10
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Default Sir Paul McCartney: Ordinary yet extraordinary

Sir Paul McCartney: Ordinary yet extraordinary

Will Gompertz 24 September 2011 Last updated at 00:01 GMT



The New York City Ballet's (NYCB) home in the Lincoln Centre on New York's Upper West Side is one of the most majestic theatre spaces I have ever set foot in.

Designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in 1964, to the specification of George Balanchine, the ballet company's inspirational founder, it is a near-perfect example of Manhattan's knack for mixing modernism and art deco to stunning effect.

I am sitting in the theatre's vast first-floor reception area with Peter Martins, the ballet master in chief of the NYCB. He is the man responsible for commissioning Sir Paul McCartney to write a new ballet for his revered dance company, about which I am interviewing him and ballet in general. The cameras are rolling.

Martins is midway through making an impassioned point explaining why - as Jennifer Homans asserted in her recent book Apollo's Angels - ballet is not dead. He argues that it is, in fact, thriving due to a commitment to take risks such as collaborating with ballet novices like McCartney.

I'm nodding away and thinking that this will make a good clip for my Review Show piece, when some bloke starts flapping his arms about behind Peter Martins' head before gliding across the shot in mock ballet dancer fashion and ruining the whole thing. Tsch.

Half an hour later...

Stella McCartney has agreed to give me a quick interview for the News at Ten before going backstage to help dress the dancers in the costumes she has designed for them to wear in her dad's new ballet. She is in full flow and being insightful and open about working with her father for the first time.

It's good stuff - until it gets ruined by the same joker who sabotaged the Peter Martins interview. This time he walks into shot, holding his hand and faking pain before revealing, with much glee, a bright red light attached to the end of his thumb. Stella smiles sweetly. I smile, and the prankster chuckles as he disappears down the corridor quipping merrily away.

To be frank, all this mucking about is not great preparation for my next interview. It is with Sir Paul McCartney, the 69-year-old living legend, and now composer and librettist of his first ballet, Ocean's Kingdom, which opened on Thursday night. (You can watch the interview here.) Still, I am confident that the jolly saboteur won't hove uninvited into view once again and wreck that particular interview. How could he? He is the interviewee.

Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. McCartney fits into the last category. Which is not to disparage him or his remarkable achievements, but simply to say that after observing him at work and talking to him afterwards, he is not a man who wants to exude greatness - he wears the accolade because he has no choice. I suspect in his own eyes he is an ordinary man to whom an extraordinary thing happened.

Global success

He certainly wasn't born into greatness, nor did he have enough time to labour away attempting to achieve greatness before it was thrust upon him shortly after he took up shaving. When he speaks about being in the Beatles, he does so in such a way as to make it sound like something over which he had little control or influence. He says he was "very happy and privileged to have been there", as if he was the recipient of a lucky invite as opposed to one of the driving forces behind the band's success.

He presents himself more as one of the lads. He reminisces about how all the pop groups back in the day would play short riffs to one another and exchange ideas. Which I am sure is entirely true, except there are the Beatles, who stormed the world, and then there are the others who didn't. And yet, listening to him talk, he seems to genuinely think there wasn't a lot of difference between his band and all the others. It's not false modesty - he knows what he has done and is rightfully proud of it - but an unease about appearing false, being seen as a big-time Charlie, when he is just plain Paul.

Everything about his persona shouts, "I am a normal bloke". He wears the same jeans, shirt and trainers combo that you'd see down the pub or on the terraces. "Peters" become "Petes", "hellos" are "all right, mate", and a never-ending supply of bonhomie is on tap to put people at their ease.

But however normal McCartney might be, his life is not. It is not normal - not even for the vast majority of other successful musicians - to get asked to write a ballet for one of the world's most revered dance companies, having never written one before, or shown any real interest in the art form. It is not normal to receive hundred of requests every week, from across the globe, asking for interviews or comments or endorsements. It is not normal to start out on a career and find you have reached an unrepeatable peak within the first few years.

New challenges

Most other composers and writers have the benefit and motivation of hoping they still have the possibility of topping what they have previously achieved. McCartney readily concedes that he has to be "realistic" in such a regard - it ain't going to happen. Which must be a strange feeling - knowing your best years are way behind you, when you still have the ambition, appetite and energy to want to push on, try something new.

He is sanguine about the situation: "I could have said I've been in the Beatles and that's it. It's about as good as it's going to get. But then it's like 'what are you going to do now', get out of music and do something else? But that didn't appeal to me and I've been lucky enough to be asked to projects like this [Ocean's Kingdom for NYCB]."

He must ask himself why he has been invited to compose for such an illustrious dance company - to follow giants like Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein and John Adams in writing a new piece for the NYCB. Is it because of his previous forays into classical music, or because he is an ex-Beatle? Maybe it is the latter in the knowledge of the former? It is unlikely the Beatle connection played no part in the decision. But if you're going to carry a weight, being an ex-Beatle is not a bad one to lug around, especially if your temperament is geared towards an informal jocularity.

I asked him about joke-shop thumb. "Oh," he said, "I always have a few things in my pocket to amuse the grandchildren."

I should imagine that they think he's great.

Link to article
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