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Scheherezade

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  1. I saw this too and loved it as much as everyone else. I was very impressed with Ivenko, who made a tremendous job of evoking the dedication, defiance, volatility and thirst for knowledge that characterised Nureyev. And what an attractive and charming young man he was, looking very different indeed during the Q and A. As ever, Ralph Fiennes was totally convincing in his portrayal of Pushkin, gentle, wise and inspiring in his role as mentor to the young and hungry Nureyev, Polunin, as Soloviev, showed flashes of his extraordinary and sadly neglected talent and Louis Hofmann made much of a relatively minor but hugely important role as Teja Kremke, Nureyev's paramour and the man who believed that he should show his talent to the world. The childhood scenes were evocative and beautifully shot, with flashbacks informing the man that Nureyev was to become, the euphoria following his triumph in Paris was at once both thought-provoking and touching and the drama of the defection at Le Bourget was nail-bitingly reproduced, despite the fact that the outcome would, I imagine, have been known to everyone watching last night. Nureyev was a force of nature, the like of which we are unlikely to witness again. As I watched the film I couldn't help wondering why, during the recent and uninspiring BBC 20th Century Icons series, he wasn't centre-screen, changing and challenging our perceptions with his rebelliousness, passion and quite singular charisma. And on a somewhat different note, did anyone else notice that David Hare seems to have morphed into Melvyn Bragg?
  2. Thank you, Sim, for sharing your memories of someone who was undoubtedly a very special human being. Those memories will always keep him close.
  3. That would seem to be a big ask these days, _emeralds
  4. What a pity, Annamk, that your high expectations were not fully realised but thank you for such a full and informative review and for the valid points that you have highlighted concerning guest principals.
  5. Yes, Alison, and James Hay did the same last night, possibly even more than Campbell, although each of them brought their own special magic to the role.
  6. Whilst I am sure that the previous criticisms of this work will be revived this time round, I enjoyed last night as did everyone who was with me and we covered a comprehensive age range from late sixties down to early twenties. My daughter and her boyfriend, who filled out the lower end of the age range, were very impressed both with the dancing and the dramatic impact, not to mention the sets and special effects. Whilst, apart from a brief Prokofiev-like interlude, I still find the music forgettable, I will concede that it added to the overall atmosphere but more in the manner of a background film score than a stand-alone work memorable in its own right. Perhaps this was the intention. As Ninamargaret says, Morera and Bonelli were very much at the top of their game and they do, indeed, have a special and totally convincing connection which continues to grow each time they dance together and elicited spontaneous applause following more than one of their pas de deux. James Hay made for a riveting Henry and then some. Was Henry's role expanded or did it just seem that way due to Hay's impressive performance? He certainly commanded the entire stage and drew a well-deserved and enthusiastic response from the audience. And Romany Pajdak gave a very sympathetic portrayal of the hapless Justine. I was particularly interested to see Wei Wang as this is the first time that I have seen him dance and he didn't disappoint. I found his interpretation very different from that of Steven McRae's in the earlier run. From memory, McRae's Creature came across to me more as a lost being, tossed by the fates and driven entirely by his need to connect with his creator. I felt a greater sense of malevolence in Wei Wang's Creature, who seemed driven more by obsession than neediness. He was more manipulative, taking a twisted satisfaction as he came to recognise the fear and distress that his actions and, indeed, his presence could invoke. The audience as a whole seemed very receptive to this performance with lots of whoops and cheers from the amphitheatre. Was it tweaked a lot? It seemed more together to me but that might have been down to a degree of familiarity on second viewing; I really couldn't say. The 'spare parts' section of the reanimation scene seemed as brief as before and was the source of some considerable amusement in my part of the auditorium and no attempt was made to resolve the obvious question of why a blindfolded William was left alone during the game of blind man's buff at his birthday party to be murdered by the Creature (wouldn't have been more convincing to have him wander off into the woods?). Overall, however, I felt that the narrative moved better than before, switching from happiness to tragedy without too much of a stretch given the suspension of disbelief essential to any viewing of this horror story. And to anyone put off by criticisms that the choreography is too derivative of Macmillan, it was aesthetically pleasing and character-appropriate, something that can't be said of many recent works, and, after all, every choreographer's work is influenced by someone or something that has gone before.
  7. Apart from the music, which was instantly forgettable, I didn’t dislike Frankenstein although I do agree that there was insufficient focus on the relationship between Victor and the Creature and the Macmillan references were undeniably derivative. Hopefully these issues will have been addressed to some extent at the very least.
  8. I would have thought it obvious that anyone visiting the website is actively in pursuit of information regarding performances and other events at the ROH, which is not the case with social media. Many people that my family and I know have the ROH social media boxes ticked but never bother to check the content. Friends of my age check their social media accounts occasionally at best. Many younger family members and their friends have moved on from Facebook and Instagram and those that haven't use them either to promote their own ventures or to interact with their friends, not to obtain information about the ROH, for which they would revert to the currently underpowered website.
  9. What an interesting man he sounds. I look forward to reading Sim's interview.
  10. I loved it, Travelling Ballerina. Colourful and quirky, enjoyable choreography, catchy music, everything that a contemporary ballet should be. Last time round we had the charismatic pairing of Tamara Rojo and Irek Mukhamedov as Frida and Diego, not sure about the latest castings, or what anyone else thought, but I am certainly looking forward to seeing it again.
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