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  1. I really disliked the first piece. As in REALLY disliked. The never ending slowness set against a soundtrack that made my ears want to emigrate...not for me.
  2. You can pre-order as Varnatus described and get tickets assigned, or buy direct about 2 month before the performance, apart from when their rules become very arcane. "Bookings usually open 2 months ahead of the date of the performance (for instance on 1 September for 1 November, on 30 September for 30 November, but note that performances from 1 to 30 September can only be booked from 1 to 30 May, and performances from 1 to 31 October from 1 to 30 June respectively)."
  3. Hmm, same cast on consecutive nights is a tad annoying - one of the few things one can usually rely when trying to not get the same cast twice when booking blind.
  4. Well done to those who emailed Exeunt. Bad writing is one thing, quoting private conversations is at best ethically ambiguous and attempts of creating some sort of class war over ballet audiences is just beyond tiresome.
  5. Rereading my previous post, it really should have had a thorough edit. It should have said that Soares didn't enter the bed immediately and not imply that he didn't do so at all. It'll teach me to type up something quickly before being chucked out at closing time...
  6. I should probably have said "didn't climb onto Stephanie" since it looked to me that he was leaning / sitting on the end of the bed - or perhaps I lost some view from the angle I sat at (And now that I typed that sentence about climbing I realise why I didn't type it before...)
  7. I find it endlessly fascinating how each Mayerling in this run felt different so far, yet each performance works in its own parameters (or more precicely, as interpreted by me) Ed Watson is the angst-ridden Hamlet of Rudolphs, nearly nihilistic Bonelli is deeply hurt, slowly succumbing to darkness Soares is brooding, threatening in his misery, a bit of a bruiser and, err, surprisingly raunchy You can see how the various woman are attracted to each Rudolph (apart from his status) but one thing that I found particularly interesting was the way each dancer handled the end of the pdd with Stephanie. Watson didn't climb on the bed at the end of the dance, letting the scene end in a less graphic manner, but also indicating a lack of interest in any type of relationship with his wife. Bonelli rejects but also wants some connections, and when he enters the bed he has a degree of tenderness towards his bride beneath the disregard he has for her and the world as a whole. Soares comes across as a prince who revels in the earthy side of life and uses it as a means to flee from his miserable reality. He doesn't enter the bed, but starts to undo his buttons in what has to be the most tense and foreboding stage unbuttoning I can think right now and somehow turns the scene into a threatening but oddly sensual ending that forshadows his relationship with Mary. I don't have anything to add about the first 2 performances that James hasn't mentioned yet. I liked the Soares / Cuthberson performance in yet another way than the previous 2. There were some weaknesses in the dancing that were a bit too noticable at times, but characterwise I bought into Soares interpretation and felt that anything that was lost in the odd off colour solo was made up for in partnering and slinging Cuthbertson around like a precious feather or ragdoll depending on what mood took the prince. I couldn't quite read what type of Mary Cuthbertson played, but I think that is more connected to exhaustion setting in on my part watching 3 Mayerlings in a row - no idea how people actual dance them. Luckily I have another ticket for this cast so I can watch it when not half asleep with hurty feet. Choe's reactions as Stephanie were a bit too strong to work for me, it didn't make sense for her character to show abject shivering terror at one moment, only to shortly afterwards run after Rudolph and encircle him. If you'd just experienced that level of utter terror, you'd either be catatonic, banging on the bedroom door for help or grab the nearest weapon - you would not voluntarily touch your source of terror unless you were trying to kill him.
  8. Small number of seats? I haven't bothered counting, but I wouldn't call the number of seats sold small. It's far from sold out yet, but it's also not on for another 3.5 months and non-balletnuts don't tend to book ages in advance. The prices are too high for my liking, though I'd be surprised it they don't end up with a fairly full house eventually.
  9. The length is perfect, James. Thank you for your wonderfully articulate write-ups, all I can add it that I very much agree with your perceptions.
  10. I think Watson has definitely learned that he needs to pace himself to survive a Mayerling, perhaps even holding a bit too much back at the beginning. It was a wonderful cast, though I'm not sure that all the fantastic individual performances added up to a transcending whole yet.
  11. I didn't hear the shushing (seriously, why would anyone DO that in this situation), but got a little annoyed at the person sitting in front of me desperately trying to rubber neck. It's horrible enough for the person who fainted without having someone stare at them in the hope to get tittilated.
  12. Last night's performance was a hat-trick for me, the first time that I truly enjoyed all 3 pieces in the same performance. I'd seen three other performances in this run which were great, though usually one of the pieces left me a little underwhelmed. My expectations for Wed night were fairly high, but I was dead tired when I arrived which usually means I don't end up truly engaged so I thought I was in for a good evening, but didn't expect to be transported into the realms of balletic bliss. Within 5 minutes of Emeralds starting, I realised that I was in for something special, and by the time Naghdi was dancing her solo I thought of her as a dancer who now securely inhabits a generous stage persona to go with the innate talent and technique. She and Ball manage to give a flavour to Emeralds that defined the whole piece, not just their sections. None of this would come off without excellent dancing from the corps and supporting cast, and I really think the RB did itself proud all round. Even the soft hum of ushers and medical people taking care of a collapsed standee did not distract from the beauty of Naghdi and Balls Emeralds, they had been wonderful before, but somehow they were even more mesmerising on Wednesday night. McRae is the undisputed King of Rubies, I'm just going to leave that here. Sambe has taken up the mantle of crown prince in previous performances, but for the time being I don't think anyone can touch McRae's performance. If McRae is King and Sambe Crown Prince, Tierney Heap is its sensual Goddess. A poster earlier on mentioned some issues with her dancing other roles in Jewels, and I noticed that too, but she hits her stride so fabulously as Girl in Rubies, it makes your eyes water. Lamb came across as more sassy and relaxed than when I previously saw her, and that added to taking the whole performance up yet another notch. And then Diamonds. All I can say is that I feel privileged to be in a position to regularly watch the RB whilst Vadim Muntagirov is part of the Company. As with the rest of Jewels, the marvel that is Vadim would look a bit more tarnished if not set against the polished support of the RB at its best. Cuthbertson was lovely, I'd not seen her in many classical roles previously and always get a pleasant surprise when I see her dancing with a very appealing mix of grace, lightness and warmth. This Jewels is up there with the Jaho Butterfly in my collection of 'Truly beautiful memories', and all of this within the space of days really makes me want to hug the Royal. I suspect that if they ever cast Muntagirov and Nunez in a Diamonds, I'll experience some sort of meltdown.
  13. Somewhat underwhelmed. Two full length Wheeldons is definitely too much for one season. On the other hand, it's going to be cheap. I've just booked more Songs than I'm likely to enjoy at ENB because they are mixing it up with two different pieces, so the last thing I expected was for it to pop up in the ROH programme as well.
  14. The only place where leaning forward is acceptable is the upper slips IMHO, where you'd be watching a bannister otherwise if you're short, or a sliver of stage if you're above 5'5. Row A leaners are quite common in theatres other than the ROH, so I'm not sure whether it's spatial awareness, or simply a bit of entitlement attitude but it's always worth trying to explain about sight lines in the hope that the message gets through... Shame it ruined your experience. I recently had someone telling me to shut up somewhat aggressively when I looked at him unimpressed for loudly chewing his peanuts during a quiet bit of Hamlet. Seeing that I hadn't actually said anything yet, the comment seemed a bit premature, though I suspect I used my ex-nanny expression of utter disapproval. I chose to interpret his reaction as embarrassment for being called out on something he was aware as being inconsiderate, but still - if you know it's not good form, why do it? There was also a formidable rant in front of Sadler's Wells this week by a woman effing and blinding about someone daring to shush her. Haven't heard that many swear word repeated so often since possibly ever. She was going on about 'My rights', 'I payed as much as they', 'I'm showing my appreciation', and my favourite 'How dare &£#%# to ask me to be quiet when I'm WHISPERING'. Judging by her volume outside, I assume that her whisper is on the very audible side.
  15. I felt the Dawson piece was a waste of talented dancers, rather than the other way around, but then we all have our own opinions. Personally, I found the dragging and manhandling unpleasant to watch and very negative towards the female body. I doubt that there is a dancer out there that could make me think differently. The ballet is now known as 'Pass the Parcel' in my house. There are bits of Human Season I like, I think the opening display of 4 couple is gorgeous.