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  1. Personally, I love Don Q. It's one of those joyful, just-sit-back-and-enjoy sort of ballets, and I thoroughly enjoy Acosta's production. I think it's great that we have a version here in the UK, without having to wait for one of the Russian companies to bring it on tour. I feel very sorry for poor Cesar Corrales, who is having a such bad luck with injuries. Hopefully he will make a full recovery and be back on stage soon. With regard to the various cast changes, I'm really happy with all of them. I'm sure Takada/Campbell will be wonderful, and it's nice to have a slightly different cast for the cinema relay. No-one could ever object to Vadim as a replacement, and as for William Bracewell (who has become a firm favourite), if his and Fumi's "White Couple" and their Nutcracker are anything to go by, they will be terrific. I have so much faith that I've just bought a ticket for their second performance (I already had the first!).
  2. Ballets I would love to see next season are as follows, in no particular order. I realise I have listed far too many, but I would be happy with any of them (with the slight caveat that the six or seven full-lengths MUST include Onegin and Cinderella! J) Full Lengths Onegin Cinderella (I'm at the stage that I really don't care whether it is re-designed or not – I just want it BACK). Coppelia Swan Lake Giselle Ondine La Fille Mal Gardée Manon One-Act Ballets Theme and Variations Ballet Imperial (preferably without the wigs!) Serenade Les Rendezvous (without the spotty designs) Rhapsody Symphonic Variations Façade ** Jazz Calendar** (** I've not seen any of these but would very much like to) Macmillan's Four Seasons ** Requiem Concerto Sweet Violets Symphonic Dances 24 Preludes (Can't understand why this has never been brought back) DGV Dances at a gathering In the Night
  3. Agreed, Sim - with O'Sullivan and Bracewell more than holding their own in the alternative cast. Personally I find Unknown Soldier a moving piece which, as Xandra mentions, certainly makes you reflect on the huge loss of (young) life and the great heartache suffered by those left behind. The wonderful dancing and dramatic abilities of both main couples leave me very pleased to be seeing both casts again next week. Personally, I will never love Infra but can appreciate the amazing versatility of the dancers. Symphony in C is pure bliss!
  4. Thanks very much, RichardLH. Sounds to be very much what I was hoping for! 😊
  5. Anyone able to comment on Takada and Bracewell last night? I can't wait to hear as I'm very much looking forward to seeing this partnership on the 31st, and the rehearsal photos, as well KO'H's rehearsal of William at last week's insight evening, looked stunning!
  6. Actually, Yasmine was cast as the Rose Fairy last time around - and I know because I vividly remember seeing her and thinking that she was one of the best, if not THE best, Rose Fairy I'd seen - executing the steps with both clarity and lyricism as if she had all the time in the world. Having seen her again twice in this run, I still feel the same. She is a really beautiful dancer and, like others, I'm hoping she will soon be given more lading roles in some of the full length ballets (preferably, of course, with Matthew Ball).
  7. ElleC

    Two Pigeons photos

    I'm pretty sure Kevin O'Hare said at the Insight Evening that there would be a DVD of the cinema broadcast. Does anyone else recall that? (I'm asking because none of my friends remember him saying that - but I'm sure I heard it!).
  8. I thought Tierney was fantastic – smouldering, in fact, which I think is a real achievement from a young dancer in her first major role. Both Vadim Muntagirov and Matthew Ball also made very impressive debuts. I particularly loved the pas de deux between Tierney and Matthew which had a real intensity about it. Matthew certainly delivered in the show-stopping solo for Escamillo (he really has a wonderful dramatic presence in any role, it seems), and I really enjoyed the moment when Vadim could finally let rip with his flawless dancing in his final solo. I’m very much looking forward to see them again on 9th November.
  9. And then there were two (or maybe even three now that we seem to have a half apiece from Dave and Capybara!). Me too, Margaret! Maybe it’s not perfect with one or two bits I wouldn’t mind seeing “snipped” but I really enjoyed all the main pas de deux, as well as the big corps de ballet numbers. I loved Marianela as Carmen (I think she does “sultry” amazingly well for someone who in reality has such a warm, open, sunny nature). And then tonight’s cast … WOW is all I can say. Laura was simply superb, as were both Federico and Carlos in the reversed roles of Don Jose and Escamillo – they got a great reception from the crowd (as did Monday’s performance actually from where I was sitting). I also love the sets – simple but very dramatic. I can’t wait to see it again on Saturday with the third cast (with whom I was very impressed at the general rehearsal). I would say to anyone who has a ticket for this and maybe having second thoughts following the rather negative reaction expressed on this forum and by the critics – don’t be put off. Give it a go – you can only judge something by seeing it yourself, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Not to mention, of course, the other three fantastic ballets in this mixed bill all with exciting casting – to see Marianela and Vadim soaring through the Tchaikovsky pdd tonight would have been worth the price of the ticket alone.
  10. A truly mind-blowingly emotional debut performance by both Yasmine and Matthew this afternoon – performed with a naturalness and sincerity that was quite heart-breaking. I can only echo Sim’s plea that this be a partnership that is nutured and allowed to develop – it already feels pretty special.
  11. I was there, and the only comment I'm going to make is that anyone who has a ticket for 3rd October is in for a real treat ...
  12. I am utterly miserable about this. Having “woken up” to Rupert in the Tsunami Gala over 10 years ago, I then booked to see him with Tamara in La Sylphide. From that time on, I made a point of seeing him in everything he danced. As others have mentioned, his particular stand-out roles were Des Grieux, Crown Prince Rudolph and Beliaev with Sarah, Melissa and Zenaida respectively. Unforgettably thrilling, and these casts will take some beating for me (if ever there were cases of missed opportunities where casts were crying out to be filmed …). He was my favourite Romeo, and a prince without equal in such things as Swan Lake and Giselle – regal, elegant, and intensely romantic but always with enough nuanced characterisation to make whatever noble he was playing a credible human being. He was a strong, careful, caring partner, always ready to help his ballerinas shine and to take a step back from the limelight. Then there were his wonderful performances in abstract ballets such as Requiem, Concerto, Voluntaries, Serenade, Symphony in C, as well as the goose-bump inducing Diamonds with Alina which, again, will probably never be topped for me (together with the single performance of Cinderella he danced with Alina, safely tucked away and cherished in my memory bank – totally heart-warming). So many wonderful performances. I wish Rupert every happiness and success in whatever he does next. I will miss him terribly.
  13. I saw Woolf Works for the first time last night and, having had one foot in the “I’m not sure if I can take a whole evening of Wayne McGregor” camp, I must put my hands up and say that I really, really enjoyed it. For me, definitely his best yet. I loved “I Now, I Then” and I think it helped that I’d read Mrs Dalloway (the only one of the three books I managed in time). It really does capture the essence of the book, I think, and of that time, aided by some lovely, subtle costumes with a 20’s flavour. It was engrossing and moving. Every single member of the cast (1st cast) was wonderful. "Becomings", although I could see the obvious references with the cross-dressing and androgynous look, felt more like standard McGregor and less Virginia Woolf. That said, as a piece, I still enjoyed it – such energy – and I particularly loved Osipova, Lamb, McRae and Matthew Ball! This was the only piece that felt slightly too long for me. I thought "Tuesday" was simply gorgeous – intelligent, mesmerising and definitely moving. The pdd between Ferri and Bonelli was stunning, but so too was the corps, swirling and flowing, surging and receding, beautiful but always powerful, just like waves. It feels like a real privilege to be seeing Alessandra Ferri at this stage in her career. She has huge stage presence and gives off so much emotion even (as others have said) when she’s still. Obviously, at the same time of course, she’s still a fabulous dancer. This work, to me, seems like a huge step forward for Wayne McGregor in his journey with the Royal Ballet. I feel as though, little by little, whilst they are taking his challenging style/choreography on board, they are also rubbing off on him so that it is becoming more classical and (dare I say it) lyrical, and, of course, he only needs to give them a hint of a storyline for them to grab it, run with it, and turn it into something amazing - it’s in the company’s blood after all, to tell stories! Personally, I think this process started with “Raven Girl” which I know has its critics but, whilst not perfect, certainly (for me) had some beautiful parts – e.g. the ravens in flight, the final pdd, as well as a wonderful score – and WMcG was stepping outside his comfort zone to try to create something new and different (for him), and I’m rather looking forward to seeing it come back in its new, “tweaked” form. (Sorry – I’ve gone a bit waffly and rather off topic, but I think I’m trying to say that, as a collaborative process, these things can take time and, if Woolf Works is anything to go by, the WMcG/RB relationship is progressing and really starting to benefit both sides. I hope this makes sense …)
  14. For me, the new season is disappointing - very little Macmillan, no full length Ashton, and as much I'm really looking forward to seeing Two Pigeons, I think 14 performances is too many when there are so many other lovely Ashton pieces that could have been shown (the two Ashton double bills will also be rather short in length , I would have thought). I'm disappointed that Carmen is only to be a one act ballet, and I can't say I'm too enthusiastic about a whole evening of Wheeldon works. Even the new Scarlett is beginning to fill me with dread - I usually love his work, but Viscera is my least favourite because I don't much care for the music, and now I hear that it will be this composer who will write the score for Frankenstein. The last programme of the season doesn't thrill me much either - not really being much of a McGregor fan, the Invitation is going to be challenging for me, I think, and then we have another repeat work, so the season will go out on a whimper again (I feel the same about the end of this season too). In fact, the more I think about it, the more depressed I feel. Thank heaven for R&J, Giselle and the 25 Nutcrackers. I'm normally a pretty upbeat person, but I feel quite grumpy. I suppose the only saving grace is that I'll probably save quite a lot of money. :-(