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  1. I don't see how the Opera House can possibly be used in the same way as the South Bank. The various venues are designed completely differently, with a huge amount of space for large numbers to walk about, sit, grab a drink or a snack, without having to attend anything. The ROH wasn't. Mr Taylor says his charity funds school matinee programmes. I may be reading this with a jaundiced eye, but it makes it sound as though he was the first person to set this up. But the ROH has always had done this sort of thing, hasn't it? I know when I was at school in Surrey, there was the opportunity to buy seats at reduced prices for regular performances. I certainly took advantage of it. I remember my neighbours at the time telling me that when they had been school children, they had been to see the ballet on the same deal. They saw a couple called Fonteyn and Nureyev in some ballet called Marguerite and Armand.
  2. Regarding this very important question on how the Shades change to the alternate leg, there is a lovely clip on the ROH website which shows them rehearsing this. They all start on the ramp on the right leg, taking 2 steps and into the arabesque. Once they come off the ramp, as they are turning the lady swapping to the left leg for arabesque does 1 extra step, so that she does 3 steps into the arabesque. The one remaining on the right leg does the normal 2 steps. When each dancer gets to the end of a row, they put in 3 steps as they are turning to swap legs. Glad I have sorted that out! 🙂
  3. If it was, I would have sent it back! I assumed the portrait was meant to be Solor, but my practical mind was wondering when a noble warrior would have found the time to sit for a portrait. Wouldn't he be too busy "warrioring"? Thanks for the names of the ladies in pink. I can see why Anna Rose O'Sullivan's name is being mentioned so often. She really did stand out.
  4. An interesting audience at my Odeon in North London. This is in what used to be a rather poor area of London, although recently it is starting to get trendy and fashionable. There were about 25 of us in total, and all bar 3 of us looked like OAPs. Ballet obviously doesn't appeal to the younger generation round here. It has been many years since I have seen it live on stage. I think Cojocaru played Nikiya the last time I saw it. After seeing this at the cinema, I have a few questions which I am sure all the knowledgeable people on here will be able to answer. 1. Who were the chaps with the dreadlocks and the streaks on their bodies supposed to be? And who played the lead "savage" (for want of a better term)? 2. Does anyone know the names of the 4 ladies in pink in the first act? My eye was caught by the one second from the left as we looked at them. She was so musical. 3. Who was in the portrait that the two ladies kept pointing at? I just didn't get who that was supposed to be. 4. In the Shades scene, when the dancers come down the ramp, they all do the arabesque on the right leg.(I think?) But when they get on the flat, each alternate girl is on the opposite leg. I was trying to see how they adjusted, but the camera angle wouldn't let me. How do they manage the swap without it jarring visually? 5, And finally: Did the tiger die of terminal moth?
  5. I don't really like it when cast members applaud each other, because I think curtain calls are part of the performance. I want them to continue looking out at the audience, not turning to applaud each other. Nunez and Osipova are seasoned performers, they don't need to congratulate each other on a job well done. And supposing one of the principals felt their own performance wasn't as good as they wanted it to be? Another cast member applauding them might make them feel rather annoyed! I think the only time I wouldn't mind seeing it is if they are applauding someone inexperienced, who has had to perform a role for the first time at extremely short notice.
  6. 😄 Yes, it is fascinating to watch the dancers doing their last minute stretches, adjusting their costumes or whatever. Adds to the sense of occasion.
  7. Actually, I really enjoyed the commentary last night. I thought the pairing of Petroc Trelawyny with Bussell worked well. I don't think Darcey is ever going to be that relaxed in front of an auto cue, but I am getting used to that by now, and on this occasion her relating her own experiences didn't jar as much as it has in the past. It seemed relevant to the topics of conversation. One thing struck me. I know she wears glasses in real life. Does she also wear contact lenses? Because at times she did seem to be squinting a bit, so I wondered if part of the problem was that she couldn't actually see clearly. I think they might need to rethink the "interview in the Floral Hall" bit, thought. When they were talking to Kevin O'Hare I was distracted by all the people walking past in the background, turning and staring into the camera. I hope the chap who took a picture on his phone got a good photo. I would rather they stayed backstage. It was lovely to see Makarova coaching. I was struck by how small she was, especially when standing next to Nunez.
  8. I agree, at a couple of points the dancers vanished in to the gloom. The temple destruction was very disappointing, a real anti climax. We were suddenly looking at a blank, light brown screen with some vague smudges moving about. If I hadn't known that is what was supposed to be happening, I might have thought something had gone wrong with the transmission.
  9. I would just like to clarify something here. When I used the term "PC Brigade" in my post, I certainly wasn't mocking or belittling anyone on this forum who has expressed reservations about LB. I respect everyone's right to state their views, and I enjoy it when they are different to mine. It provides a good basis for thought and discussion. I don't know how others use it, but for me the term covers people, usually in a position of authority, who attempt to speak on behalf of others, without actually asking those people what they think themselves. And I have no idea who Richard Littlejohn is, but judging by the posts on here I don't think I want to find out.
  10. While I found these latest posts interesting to read, I don't think classical ballet can or should be subject to this kind of scrutiny. A note in the programme about the fictitious setting explains why the girls are wearing harem pants and the men have turbans on their heads. But I never put LB into any historical context, I simply enjoyed the fact that it was set somewhere exotic, which has led to some gorgeous costumes and scenery that look wonderful in stage lighting. Leaving aside my previous remarks about bare ribs, I do think the costumes are lovely. It would be a bit boring if every classical ballet was inspected by the PC brigade. I can just imagine it. Get rid of all that royalty, it is offensive to republicans, represents a time when the masses were repressed and starving, and those palace settings only serve to show the complete waste of money. Get rid of tutus, it is sexist to have the girls flashing their thighs and showing their gussets to the audience, and objectifies women. Get rid of all those ballets that show the female succumbing to the evil charms of a male, and requiring another man to rescue her. It presents the wrong image when women these days should be strong and independent. Bye bye the traditional Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, .......... 🙂
  11. Personally, I don't find lots of bony rib cages an attractive thing to look at. Perhaps lascivious Easterners are a bit more fleshy? 🙂
  12. On a different tack...the lovely photos reinforce my view that the bare midriff, see through baggy trousered costumes are deeply unflattering on a lot of the dancers. I remember seeing this production years ago, and I couldn't take my eyes off the ribs of the female lead. I almost expected Solor to lay her down and start picking out a tune on them with a set of wooden mallets. .
  13. Possibly. Presumably they had to sing for their audition. Did I see somewhere that Idris Elba is also in it? In that case, I will definitely go and see it. 👍
  14. I know someone who performed in the stage show. There, the casting directors were looking for singers who could dance. While it is a wonderful opportunity for those that have been cast, it seems odd to me that the film is casting dancers who are not exactly famous for their singing talents. I would have thought people who specialised in musical theatre would be more appropriate. People such as the Strallen sisters, who seem to pop up all over the place in these sorts of shows. I only mention them because they are the nieces of Bonnie Langford. Who was, of course, in the original show. 🙂
  15. This is one of my major gripes at the moment, the assumption that everyone carries a smartphone around with them, and is permanently plugged in to the internet. Some time ago, TFL replaced several bus stops and didn't put back the indicator saying when the next bus would arrive. Their argument was that "Everyone" has a smartphone and can access that info on line. I think there must have been quite a few complaints, my own included, because they did eventually come back.