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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. I've seen Strauss' Arabella and Le Sacre to no effect of shifting the ear worm. Even fighting fire with fire by adding more Tchaikovsky into the mix with a concert performance of Undine and Swan Lake didn't help. I now have hope that the Tristan I saw today has finally broken the spell since I'm still having bits of Liebestod playing in my head. Fingers crossed.
  7. What type of 'feeder' company will produce those ready made principals for otherwise ailing companies to import? Or should each company invest heavily into young dancers and then send them off as ready made principals elsewhere? It's also interesting to note that there are at least 4 male principals at the RB who have been brought in as the ready made article, thus the male ranks should be the ones that should be meeting your requirement for a healthy company but you still feel that they need 'tidying up'. There is always room for improvement in any company, but simply buying in additional talent is not necessarily the answer.
  8. I'm seeing this on Friday - if it turns out that my seat is miserable, at least I can watch the screening to find out what happened
  9. It really was deafening last night. I started fantasising about whistling loudly and then shouting 'Quiet, orchestra playing'. I wonder whether I'd be thrown out if I did that. Restrained myself to a shush when the curtain went up.
  10. Ah, watches - even the analogue ones can be a ticking nuisance when the wearer's wrist rests near their face and way to close to your ear. Tic toc tic toc tic toc....adds some unwanted urgency to Sleeping Beauty.
  11. How do people feel about pantomime booing at the ballet? There seemed to be a fair amount of it for Carabosse this run. I usually roll my eyes a little and keep clapping, though another part of me thinks it's oddly charming, especially when there are a large number of children in the house. I remember reading somewhere that at least one of the visiting Bolshoi Evil Genius enjoyed getting pantomime booed.
  12. Thanks for the update - with only one short comment on Twitter and silence on here, I started to wonder whether Reece forgot to turn up or ran away with the lilac fairy instead of waking up Aurora. Like pretty much everyone else, I thought the Hayward and Naghdi debuts were special. Hayward brings such warmth and joy to her performance, it's a pure delight to watch. There is a generosity in her stage personality that reminds me a little of Nunez. Naghdi is poetry in motion and on occasion I was overwhelmed by the pure beauty of her dancing. I didn't quite get a sense of who her Aurora was, but expect that will be there in spades in the next run. I'm rather thrilled that I have another ticket to see her On Sat I'm a little disappointed with some (most) of the group scenes. Some of that might be choreography (looking at you, Garlands), but some of the dancing remains a bit ragged around the edges which I wouldn't expect based on what the RB can achieve normally. I've wondered whether some of the cavaliers had enough time to rehearse with each other.
  13. I asked at Sadler's yesterday if the ENB Giselle is actually sold out or if some tickets have been held back, and the guy at the box office said that it really is sold out. Still worth checking for returns though
  14. And as you might infer from balloons and burning cigarettes, there is a fair amount of popping going on. I thought this one took a little while to get going, but left with the usual 'Isn't Pina Bausch's brain delightful' smile. There is something about her (non) story telling that allows me to just go with the flow, enjoying each vignette for its own sake without trying to piece it all together. It's oddly relaxing.
  15. Really? I've seen a fair amount of operas at the ROH, and practically no standing. First nights tend to bring out the booers, but that tends to be reserved for the production team.