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  1. But conflicting views for the more challenging works, with glowing reviews reserved only for some. Don't get me wrong, Richard LH, I am not an indiscriminate critic of the available potential - I feel that the company is in its best shape since the seventies - but perhaps (and I use that word deliberately) the difficulty in performing Ashton's works as they should be performed may dictate that the Linbury may provide a better forum until the required technique has been sharpened.
  2. Didn't K O'H state recently at the Barbican that Ashton's lesser performed works would possibly be revived in the new Linbury? Whether these works will include those mentioned on various wish lists or whether they are likely to be restricted to reconstructions of real curiosities taken from remastered videos - I seem to recall mention of the latter - is another matter. It would seem to indicate that there is unlikely to be an immediate revival of the bulk of Ashton's works on the main stage, perhaps because K O'H feels that the company as a whole cannot currently do these works justice, but it nevertheless represents promise for the future.
  3. Hard to disagree with any of the richly deserved plaudits already expressed in these posts but if I had to choose one stand-out moment from the last year it would have to be Francesca Hayward's ravishing debut in Giselle, a performance that was not only deeply moving and highly accomplished but, in addition, one that made me feel as though I was seeing the ballet for the first time, something that I can't recall having ever felt before with a work that I have seen so often. Truly extraordinary!
  4. Scheherezade

    First Operas

    I do hope that you enjoyed Don Giovanni, Timmie. Putting aside the production - and whilst I'm happy to do that, I've seen far worse - the music is, of course, sublime, the singing uniformly good and Mariusz Kwiezien brings that irresistible hint of danger to his Don. Hope you felt the same. Sorry, our posts crossed. Looking forward to reading your thoughts tomorrow.
  5. Me neither, I thought they were terrific. It was my first time too and I was also pleasantly surprised at the ending. Whether this was because, having read the comments on the forum and the reviews, I was prepared for the worst I can't say but I found that the overarching vision of the swan Odette looking down upon Siegfried cradling her human form really worked, ditto the triumph of the other swans over Von Rothbart in terms of the much needed catharsis. Nunez was wonderful, the soloists superb and as for Muntagirov - Vadream indeed! Is it possible to improve upon his breathtaking performance? I doubt it and, judging by the whoops and cheers both mid-performance and again at the end, the rest of the audience agreed. Plaudits too, uniformly, to the rest of the cast, the fabulous Koen Kessels and the orchestra. No more Swan Lakes until closing night with Takada and Bracewell. I can't wait.
  6. Scheherezade

    Performances in the U.S.A.

    I so agree with the other posters, Ivy Lin. It is a pleasure to read your blogs and I, for one, believe that the continuing success of classical ballet depends upon the reactions of the lay punter every bit as much as, if not more than, those of the seasoned critics and the technically astute. After all, it is they who make up the audiences. It is also illuminating to see at what points these views converge and diverge and, in the reviews shown on this post, interesting to see those of your reactions that are echoed by Alastair Macauley. What, by the way, did you feel with regard to the much-vaunted chemistry between Osipova and Hallberg?
  7. Scheherezade

    BBC Young Musician

    I've just got round to listening to the final and found the result very hard to call, although my inclination was towards the saxophonist.
  8. Scheherezade

    BBC Young Musician

    Echoed. A performance that grabbed and held the attention although, of course,live and recorded performances can sound very different.
  9. Lovely images. I was also struck by the lack of any underarm sweat marks on the men's rehearsal shots. How can this be with all that physical exertion?
  10. Without wanting to put the kibosh on Ball's promotion prospects, can I register my interest in a front row seat, Sim?
  11. I so agree! What a missed opportunity!
  12. Yes the music is wonderful. Each time I hear it I pick up on another lovely theme I hadn't really clocked before. Well done Martin Yates and the whole orchestra ! But you don't like the fabulous music in Mayerling, Richard LH?
  13. I'm pretty sure that this was Sambe's interpretation during the Osipova/Shklyarov performance that I saw but not during the recent Hayward/Bonelli performance with Campbell as Lescaut. I was struck by the incongruity at the time.
  14. I find that my reactions to individual dancers can change as the dancers themselves develop and mature. For a long time, whilst I had nothing but admiration for Nunez' technique and sunny personality, her dramatic interpretation failed to touch me emotionally, then she seemed to move into another gear and I was totally converted. The same, I would say, is true of Takada. I still find Lamb emotionally detached but find her comic timing exceptional. I generally adore Muntagirov but this isn't, and couldn't be, true of every role. He left me cold in Two Pigeons, unlike Campbell, whose chemistry with Choe was so convincing. Campbell does, come to think of it, seem to have the uncanny ability to forge convincing chemistry with pretty much everyone he is partnered with. I won't get drawn into the Hayward/Naghdi debate, Both are utterly superb but whilst for me, at present, Naghdi appeals to the head, Hayward stirs the heart. She really does seem to have it all, which I find quite extraordinary at her tender age. I would add my vote to the 'Ball for principal' campaign as I find that he also has the ability to engage my emotions and I find that Magri draws and holds my eye every time I see her. Hay seldom fails to impress and I look forward to seeing more of Sissens and, from September, of the superb Corrales, who was mooted as a partner for Osipova on a different thread. I can see the logic here since there is something of the Vasiliev firecracker about him, whereas Ball, who is already partnered with Osipova, has that Hallberg danseur noble thing going on. I find the current RB quite exceptional - I haven't felt this kind of buzz since the early 70s - although I wouldn't say no to a Shklyarov or Lantratov.
  15. Well that's after ENB Sleeping Beauty. Does that suggest a more permanent UK commitment?