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About Lenore

  • Birthday 07/04/94

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  1. Yes, that moment in act 3 was electric. You could have heard a pin drop... even now, a few days afterwards, I still get goosebumps thinking of that moment & the entire final act. I only saw the 1 cast unfortunately (due to dates); the first & final performance of the Ed Watson/Natalia Osipova cast. Others have already expressed their views wonderfully & so I don't think I have anything else to add (she says, continuing to type). I would have loved to have seen the other casts, including Akane's debut, & Federico's Rudolf... Till next time I guess. The final performance on the 11th May felt much more stronger than the first (on the 28th April). I'm not sure if that's down to me, & how I was feeling on the night, or something else. Compared with opening night the final performance was much smoother, perhaps more assured, and ultimately felt much more emotional. I was much more involved with the characters. The entire Ballet flew by. I do really like Mayerling. It was one of the first ballet's I saw (on DVD, with Mukhamedov/Durante) & it still remains one of my favourites. Ed & Natalia's partnership was something special. No words really. Just glad to have witnessed it (their act 2 & 3 pas de deux will remain etched in my memory for a long time, I'm sure). The entire cast were on fine form throughout; Francesca's fearless performance as Stephanie (could easily see her as Mary in the future), Alexander's impeccable Bratfisch, Marianela's charming Mitzi Casper, Zenaida bringing so much character to the role of the Empress so that I viewed her (the character) with new eyes... as well as everyone else on stage. Sarah Lamb was just perfect as Larisch & hopefully she recovers soon. Olivia gave a great performance after undoubtedly short notice... Sad it's over, but looking forward to the upcoming mixed bill.
  2. Allegra Kent had 3 children in a relatively short space of time all in her 20's. Although she had already been promoted to Principal before that, when she was 19. That's the only example I can really think of & it's probably a rare case. Also, mostly going by memory here (her autobiography was an interesting read, but it's been a while since I read it!), but I believe Balanchines interest in her waned the more children she had, leading to less & then eventually no new role creations (although she did continue to dance with the company as a principal until her forced retirement in the 1980's).
  3. Throwing the trains, particularly GWR, in here (although I'm sure they've been added before!). Regrettably had to return my matinee Mayerling ticket as I needed to be home earlier. Got on the 13:30 train at Paddington. Now, 5, nearly 6, hours delayed am still on the same train & have yet to reach my destination looking unlikely that I'll make my last connecting train at 22:11 as well. Should have arrived around 3pm. We were thrown off at Didcot Parkway & told to get a coach to Swindon. Told by the guy at the coach station to 'go back to platform 1, there's a train in 40 mins'. That train then sat there for nearly 2 hours, in which time we were advised there'd be no replacement bus services & that their 'official' advise was to not travel (bit late for that). We were then told that we could catch the train to Oxford & then change to get the Birmingham - Bristol train. Then they announced 15 minutes later that actually, that wouldn't be a good idea, as by the time you reached Birmingham there'd be no connection to Bristol Brilliant. I have so many issues with GWR trains being delayed during my morning rush hour journey, but funnily enough, never longer than the 1 hour compensation cut off. Guess the silver lining here is that a 5/6 hour delay should get me my ticket cost back. Annoyingly though, I could have seen the matinee & got home not much later than I'm going to... grr
  4. I’ve been mulling over the new season since it was announced. I don’t think I ever get excited until casting is released, but having said that, I’m definitely disappointed at the repetition and dates/timings of certain performances – there’s a lot I haven’t seen before but looking at when they’re on, it looks like I’ll have to miss a lot of them… I haven’t seen either Alice or the Winter’s Tale live before so will may end up seeing 1 performance of them both (in particular the Winter’s Tale which I skipped last time and, unless I’m misremembering, was received really well on here). I am happy to see Manon and Giselle even if they’re back so soon. I’m getting carried away imagining the different casts I’d like to watch, but I’ll wait and see... Sylvia is another ballet I haven’t seen before, although I remember the DVD vaguely and enjoyed it, so am pleased to see it’ll be performed next season. I would probably say these are the main ones I’m interested in. The Nutcracker, weirdly, is still something I’ve never seen. I suppose it’s a good opportunity for younger dancers and pairings to debut, and I would have liked to have seen Lauren/Reece last time, but I’m not particularly fussed on it. If I don’t see it I won’t be too annoyed. I’m also not fussed on the Bernstein tribute triple bill or the modern triple bill and will probably give both of those a miss. The other triple bill for next year is disappointing for me – so many repeats (why when there’s so much to choose from!?). I may end up going if the casting is good – and it would have to be really good – but at the moment I’m thinking I might give that a miss as well. I’m surprised at the repetition of Elite Syncopations in particular, mostly due to personal taste (M&A could potentially give some interesting pairings besides the 3 this season but it is still possible fatigue could have set in by then). The MacMillan celebration looks really interesting and features a lot of works I’ve never seen, but the dates they’re being performed on are so frustrating. So many mid-week evening shows! it's just not possible for me to take 2 days off work to see 1 performance and it’s just not possible to get back on the same day: the last train back from London might be 10:45PM for me, but my last connecting train 1hr 35 mins away is at 10:20PM! (Grumble). Only one performance is on a Friday evening which will probably be the only one I will see. Nothing on the weekends and no matinees: definitely the biggest disappointment of the new season for me. Oh well. That only leaves the new Swan Lake which I have my reservations about, but will definitely be seeing. Who knows, it may become a firm favourite. Of my own wishlist, I would definitely like to see La Bayadere and Cinderella performed by the RB, as others have mentioned. Perhaps some more/any Balanchine as well (unless NYCB happen to tour to the UK… unlikely). And I wouldn’t have been too annoyed to see Onegin again despite it last being performed not too long ago. There’s simply too much I’d like to see that I can’t list them all. Maybe the season afterwards will be more interesting.
  5. Any takers on the SCS ticket? If not I'll be returning it soon.
  6. Don't know if this has always been the case & I've simply missed it, but there are names showing on the ROH website for Don Q, Swan Lake & Anna Karenina (only the 2 leads mentioned). Nothing for La Bayadere & the contrasts mixed bill though.
  7. I've just got back after seeing the matinee & have some thoughts. Curiously, for a show entitled 'Project Polunin' there was very little dancing for Polunin himself. That struck me as rather peculiar. And I'm still struggling to see why the middle piece was included at all. I unfortunately never saw Sergei when he was still at the RB (he left just before I started going more frequently), so I'm unable to comment on how his technique has changed (although I don't doubt the general consensus that it has worsened; after all, he hasn't really been focussing on dancing for the past few years). I will say that his dancing was very clean (in particular his turns) but felt his jumps lacked elevation. At times I found my eyes straying whilst he was on stage, particularly to Natalia, who struck me as significantly stronger, both technically and emotionally (with a limited character to bring life to in both pieces). In fact, I probably wouldn't hesitate to say that, for me, she was the saving grace of the entire thing. I had actually seen the first piece (Icarus: it's available on one of the 'Great Stars of the Russian Ballet' DVDs with Vasiliev and Maximova if anyone is interested). However, the difference in sets rendered it practically unrecognisable as the same piece. I wasn't sure if I was enjoying at first, but it definitely grew on me. I wasn't a particular fan of the music (Sergei Slonimsky) but liked the dancing - I am a big fan of Spartacus & am wondering, judging by previous comments, if that was linked to my enjoyment of it. I did think Sergei fell at one point (can someone confirm I didn't imagine it?) but it was cleverly disguised. The partnering seemed smooth enough, no doubt having benefitted from more rehearsal time. I didn't think the curtain call was too long. I've seen worse anyway. And I abhor curtain calls which overstay their welcome. During the curtain calls I rather optimistically thought the rest wouldn't actually be as bad as the reviews might have suggested. How wrong I was! To sum up the second piece (Tea or Coffee) in one word: dire. Absolute drivel. I don't think I've ever disliked a piece this much actually. And just when I thought (hoped) it was over it kept going. It started with the exchange of words/phrases in different languages. I did understand some words but missed what was so funny to some people. Anyone know what might have been so hilarious? I did wonder if it was the movements on stage rather than the actual words that people were laughing at... After that followed some floor writhing, some arguing, & then the lights went out. When they came back on, someone was lying on the floor (dead?). This happened several times. But then they got up near the end, so not sure if I missed something (I definitely closed my eyes at one point). It dragged. This is definitely a contender for worst piece I've ever seen. It also put me in a more pessimistic mood for the final piece (with some optimism still clinging on though - I do always try to keep an open mind). This seemed wildly out of place for a show entitled Project Polunin. Perhaps it's for the best he didn't include himself in it. The last piece was Narcissus and Echo. This was the piece that cemented the thought that his technique probably wasn't as good as it once was. Low jumps (in particular the leaps off stage were disappointing) but to his credit everything was very clean. That being said, for half of the piece he was sat on the planet not doing much, & then at the end appeared to just be running around a lot. I still can't get over just how little he did in a show with his name in the title. I was instantly dazzled by Sergei's crotch when he came on stage. Who knew it would be that sparkly in person? Certainly not me. In fact, the person sitting next to me got the giggles. I don't think she was expecting the costumes to look the way they did. She also left before the end... Also, another curiosity on the underwear front (or should that be y front?): the dancer with the red cape appeared to just be wearing a jock strap? Without binoculars I couldn't confirm this. All joking aside, I liked that there was a live orchestra. The music itself was okay but a little repetitive after a while. I won't be rushing out to buy the CD but it did go with the feel of the piece. I don't know what else to say. I didn't like it. Lots of frolicking from the Nymphs and not much dancing at all towards the end. There was some lovely dancing from Natalia although that tinsel costume was awful. Not as bad as Sergei's though. I did idly wonder if his costumes had been purposely chosen to show off his many tattoos. One of the other male dancers was very good (not sure who it was looking at the program), although they all danced well. I just didn't think Sergei stood out when dancing with them. I don't want to be too harsh, & I'm definitely willing to blame the terrible choreography to a point, but I didn't think his dancing was anything special. Also, what was with those star cushions? For a split second I thought they were sea creatures (jellyfish). But then they laid down & used them as pillows. Certain things in retrospect seem so bizarre (the set, the video footage which included a close up of an eye... I could go on). I am interested to see what Sergei's next projects might be. I understand he has a few acting gigs coming up so do wonder if he intends to step away from dancing altogether? Of course one of the problems with Sergei is that his reputation precedes him (the constant comparisons to Nureyev don't help). I came away rather disappointed. Luckily my seat was not too expensive.
  8. Ah, I see. Typical. I had issues with the last package booking as well. Hoping there won't be issues when general booking opens on the 28th (but am not entirely hopeful).
  9. I've just noticed you can add tickets via the 'select best available' option. Unfortunately it won't select the seat I want doing it that way, but it may be an option if you're not after a particular seat?
  10. Same here. Says there's a 'connectivity' issue at the top of the website now... hopefully it's resolved soon.
  11. Hi all, A change of plan for myself: I will now be attending the Jewels matinee on the 1st April. I've decided to keep my Amphi ticket and instead have a SCS ticket spare: Standing place D49 (stalls circle right). Cost is £8. I'm up in London the next 3 weekends in a row so would be able to hand it over before the performance.
  12. She has just posted a picture on Instagram with the caption 'flying to London' so chances of seeing her are pretty high I reckon
  13. Does anyone know (from previous years) if the line up is officially confirmed a day or so before the performance? Or is it literally a case of wait & see who turns up on the night, so to speak?
  14. I was lucky enough to see four, very different casts. I went in not particular enamoured with this ballet & came away entranced. I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to add anything onto what has already been written, but thought I might as well start writing things out again (I’m a bit rusty I’m afraid). Some thoughts before I talk about individual performances: - I disliked the garland dance, finding the choreography to be a bit insipid. - My viewing this time was improved by the music, which was noticeably faster paced compared to the last run. Meant I wasn't nodding off on the 4th performance. I think this massively influenced my opinions of the performances I saw. - Am I the only one who doesn't particularly enjoy the Rose Adagio balances? Especially when they're drawn out. I prefer them to be over with quickly. - I do seem to favour shorter dancers in roles like this, which may be obvious with my opinions below... The main casts I saw, in order, were Francesca Hayward & Alexander Campbell, Akane Takada & James Hay, Yasmine Naghdi & Matthew Ball and Natalia Osipova & Ryoichi Hirano. In all of the performances I've seen (both this time & in previous runs), none of the Prince Florimund's have really resonated with me. I felt the Ball/Naghdi pairing came closest, but I just find the prince role fairly limited in this production, with little chance to establish a firm character. All were fine partners though, which I think is mostly what counts here. After the first performance, I left the theatre completely besotted, amazed at the realisation that this was a debut for Frankie (& a debut performed whilst not feeling 100% at that). My opinion on this ballet changed in an instant. It wasn't completely polished in the first act, which I liked (it gave it a 'real' edge - as though her Aurora was a real person with real emotions), but was still pretty perfect. The change in her character from the 1st act to the last was palpable – her 1st act was a fairly shy teenager; her 3rd act much more mature. I also felt the tell tale sting of tears in my eyes at the end of act I, which was due to the culmination of the music & just generally being swept up in the performance. I have to say that this will be something I remember for a long time. Act III was stunning. The partnering was smooth and those fish dives looked like a breeze. I don’t really have much else to add that wouldn’t be gushing, but it was a beautiful performance overall. I will keep all my fingers crossed for a future DVD (not necessarily for this particular ballet) with Frankie in the lead role… Second cast was Akane & James. Perhaps unfairly, this performance has been pushed to the back of my mind, possibly due to my aforementioned preference for shorter ballerinas in this role. Akane was rock solid in the first act, perhaps a bit too assured for act I, I felt. I didn’t really get the essence of a young girl celebrating her birthday, but it was perfect for the final act. That being said, I really do like Akane (she is a lovely dancer) & this performance won’t change my opinion of her; it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I also didn’t really feel a connection between Akane and James, more so than the other casts (this might just be me). The second to last performance was Yasmine & Matthew. An extremely confident performance by both, especially Yasmine. Absolutely flawless & technically brilliant: a performance worthy of principal status. But, and it almost pains me to write this, I just did not get drawn into the performance at all. I felt that, at times it was just too perfect from the start to the finish; similar to my reservations towards Akane’s performance (again, height might be a factor here as well). I wouldn't hesitate to class Yasmine as one of my favourite dancers and I'm inclined to mention that my viewing was possibly effected by the people sitting around me (the person next to me kept tapping their foot in time with the music which was very annoying). That being said, act III was beautiful & I really enjoyed the performance for the dancing, just didn’t get as drawn in to the characterisation as other performances. Matthews act II solo had shades of his Lensky & he really continues to impress me. I'm sure like most I'm excited to see this partnership flourish & both dancers continue to progress. The final performance was Natalia & Ryoichi. This was the first time I'd seen Hirano in a full length ballet & I decided to not form too much of an opinion on him due to my reservations of the role, but I thought he was a fine partner. I was sitting very close to the stage for this performance. A very restricted view (happily did not miss much of the dancing due to the set arrangement), but easily taken after having seen 2 of the previous performances from the Amphi. Something that has really stuck with me is seeing Natalia's hands visibly trembling in the first act and Koen Kessels applauding after the rose adagio (if I remember rightly). I didn't expect to like Natalia as Aurora. Was her Act I typical – no (although I do think most of this was down to the first part – her act I solo was very sweet). I do wonder if it will be tamed down for future performances, but whether or not it was performed correctly or incorrectly I did really enjoy it. I fear I watched most of the performance with a silly smile on my face. I do feel that, as an artist, she has really grown over the past few years & continues to do so. I can see how some might not have enjoyed her interpretation in this role and don’t think anyone should worry about not liking a particular performance or dancer (or, perhaps more accurately, a particular dancer in a particular role); after all, it would be boring if we all liked the same things. The reason I enjoyed the performance was the characterisation; again, I felt like the character was a living, breathing person. Act I didn’t have the same sentimental feeling as Frankie’s performance did for me, but it was a close second favourite. I thought that Natalia’s Aurora was more of a typical teenager; a bit cheeky and excited on her birthday, perhaps a bit of a handful for her family, but still mindful of the formal setting. And like others have mentioned, her awakening scene was the most realistic I’ve seen – she looked like she had really just been waken up from a deep sleep & was initially confused at what was going on. What I didn't expect to enjoy most was her act II, which in comparison to the first act was very elegant & much truer to style. I liked her use of epaulement, which really shone here, something I wouldn't necessarily have said several years ago & something that surprised me (I would have liked to have seen this develop in further performances). Act III was much more mature & assured, but there was a degree of shyness towards Ryoichi. I do like it when I can easily see the character arc in ballet’s like this. In regards to other dancers, I didn’t go much on any of the bluebird castings, with the exception of Marcelino Sambe and Anna Rose-O’Sullivan. Gina Storm-Jensen was my favourite Lilac Fairy, which was a pleasant surprise (unfortunately she did fluff some of the pirouettes, but her overall performance/characterisation was strong). The others Lilac’s I saw were a bit of let down unfortunately, some more than others. I didn’t see Calvert in this role though & I’m led to believe she is the strongest. Carabosse was a favourite no matter who was cast, although each time I was sitting too high up for the trap door stage exit to look anything but mildly amusing. Something I had forgotten was how much I love the music in this ballet – I still have half of it stuck in my head (like others have mentioned plenty of earworms in the score)… I do feel incredibly lucky to have witnessed 4 different casts, and lucky that all Aurora’s brought something different to the role. I never thought I would be this excited about Sleeping Beauty, but I was (and am!). I'm also excited for upcoming meatier performances. (And, hopefully, this really long write up isn’t as convoluted as I think it might be!)
  15. I have 1 ticket for the 2PM matinee of Jewels on Saturday the 1st April. Unfortunately I am no longer able to attend on that date. Seat is A74, Amphitheatre right. Cost is £39.60. Current cast is: Emeralds: Yasmine Naghdi, Itziar Mendizabal, Matthew Ball & Nicol Edmonds Rubies:Tierney Heap, Akane Takada & Alexander Campbell Diamonds: Lauren Cuthbertson & Vadim Muntagirov Any questions let me know! :-)