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  1. Well, I loved this ballet last time around, and love it even more this time. Morera and Bonelli are as wonderful as ever, Morera really revelling in the melting choreography that Scarlett has created for the gorgeous pas de deux for Elizabeth and Frankenstein. Wei Wang makes an excellent Creature, in turn both heart-breaking and menacing – a very powerful dancer. (I would still love to see William Bracewell in this role though – hopefully next time!). And, of course, James Hay is simply fabulous as Henry – so glad he got first cast. I know many think that the ballet needs "pruning" but I don't agree – for me, it conveys the story clearly, and keeps building and building to it's terrifying but heart-wrenching crescendo, aided by the score from which Barry Wordsworth wrings every drop of drama (the music seemed much more nuanced under his direction). Again, the audience on the two occasions I've attended have been very enthusiastic. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what Alexander Campbell and Meagan Hinkis bring to these roles this evening – I have high expectations!
  2. I was (and still am) one of those who was very enthusiastic about Frankenstein last time around. For me (and I realise I seem to be in a tiny minority of one!), of all the new full-lengths that have been created on the Royal Ballet in the last few years (and I've enjoyed them all to a greater or lesser degree), this is by far my favourite due to the musicality of the choreography, some wonderful pdds (one of Liam's real strengths, in my book) the accurate depiction of the novel, and the emotion it stirred up, not to mention the lavish costumes which I love. I'm very much looking forward to re-visiting it this evening. Incidentally, I attended four performances last time, and each time there was a standing ovation from a large section of the audience, which certainly didn't feel like a flop to me. (Just thought I'd give my two-pence worth to counter-balance some of the negativity!!).
  3. So very disappointed not to be seeing William in this (as much as I love both Alexander and James, I have already seen them, and was especially looking forward to the Francesca/William and then Yasmine/William casting). The nature of ballet, I know … I'm now worrying about his Don Q and Frankenstein performances, as I've booked several.
  4. 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!).
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. Thanks very much, RichardLH. Sounds to be very much what I was hoping for! 😊
  8. 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!
  9. 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).
  10. 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!).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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