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  1. Can't wait for the Bolshoi. Forgot how much I dislike this busybee, crammed, frilly and overstuffed production.
  2. I rather liked the Cunning Vixen. I loved the opera when I saw it a couple of years ago and was a bit surprised at the happy ending, but it does make it more accessible to a younger audience without traumatising them a la Bambi (I knew a kid with Bambi trauma - he insisted on watching it again and again, and cried his little heart out each time when the mother was shot). Seeing it the first time, I thought it'll make a charming starter ballet, with a bit of interest for the more mature audience and anyone who loves a good bug costume or czech fairy tales (Me! Me again!). The music worked beautifully for the ballet and the story really captured the character and escapades of the Vixen. One of the beauties of czech fairy tales / children films is that the characters tend to be multifaceted and 'realistic for a fairy tale', having good as well as bad sides and behaviours and are never in danger of being mistaken for a Disney Princess. Anyway, I digress. Seeing it for a second time, I fell in love with the ballet. What I thought initially were some longueurs, eg the chicken house disturbance, looked a lot more together, or perhaps being familiar with the ballet overall allowed looking at the detail that made these scenes interesting. But the real revelation to me were the young lead dancers, whose character interpretations were the star of the show for me. The utter delight of the Vixen after biting the dog, the cunning manipulation of chickens, taking gleeful revenge on badger - it was all there. I thought Madison Bailey was a fantastic young dancer, beautifully paired by Liam Boswell and the rest of the students. I like the combination of student performance followed by RB and hope to see that again one day, and I hope that Vixen gets more performances available / advertised to the wider public - perhaps something similar to ENBs performances for young children, or as part of a child friendly bill on the main stage. I'm always interested in the criticism of Scarlett using movement that another choreographer has previously used as the worst indictment of his 'failures'. Seeing that the ballet vocabulary is fairly restricted, isn't it a given that this will happen if you stay within the confines of neo-classical ballet? Wheeldon veers towards dance theatre and the aesthetics of musicals, McGregor is modern bendy dance with pointe shoes, Scarlett does emotions and the swirly stuff - does that really make him a mere derivative of Macmillan? Is Macmillan just a derivative of every choreographer before him?
  3. I saw the performance on the 1st (and met Sabine for some nice interval chats) and was quite taken with the Cranko version. The scene where Juliet is lowered into the crypt is particularly stunning, I thought its staging was a masterpiece of theatricality. The Carnival King and his slightly bonkers entourage was fun, and I might prefer that to the Macmillan version (would need to see the Cranko another 8 times to decide ). Murilo Gabriel made it all look easy and high octane at the same time. I guess I'm a little spoiled with excellent casts from RB and BRB, but I didn't really get engaged with the performance and characters like Tybalt barely registered for me. I do love Gary Avis eating the scenery as Tybalt and accept that not all Tybalts will be that fulsome, but I expect a little more drama than I got that night. Polina Semionova and Alejandro Virelles were not an ideal match in my opinion, starting with him being too short for her which made some of the lifts look very earthbound and a little clumsy to me. When I saw Virelles in his last performances at the ENB, he seemed very disengaged on stage. Thankfully he appears more switched on with Staatsballet Berlin, but I still couldn't connect to his Romeo. There was some fine dancing, and I'd like to see a bit more or Semionova one day, but I won't race back to Berlin to see more R&Js in a hurry. (I'll be saving up my pennies to see their fantastic Bayadere again instead) @squadron I think Mercutio takes a bit too long to die in most (all?) productions partially due to the music that no one seems keen to cut for that scene, but for the R&J death scene it depends on the cast whether it's breathtaking drama or flopping about with additional stabbing.
  4. My eyes, my eyes. It burns. I can't believe anyone would design a page that image heavy and content light in terms of screen space. The new layout shows the grand total of one (1) event per 'horizontal iPad' screen vs six (6) events on the old layout, meaning I have to scroll 6 times as much to see the same amount of information. That's just daft. DAFT.
  5. There's an interesting New York Times article from 1978 about Baryshnikov's Don Q and how he chopped and changed the ballet. His changes might have been more drastic that the average new production, but it gives a nice flavour of how ballet develops over the years https://www.nytimes.com/1978/05/21/archives/dance-view-ballet-theaters-new-don-quixote.html There's also an excerpt from the Don Q program on the ROH site https://www.roh.org.uk/news/the-spirit-of-don-quixote-a-history-of-the-ballet The Petipa society also has a fair bit on Don Q history https://petipasociety.com/don-quixote/
  6. I think we might need to qualify what 'not sold well' means. There are currently 111 tickets out of 2256 available for the last performance, or just under 5% of tickets. That is a very very good number of tickets sold and nothing that requires papering. Yes, the RB can sell out a Nut 4 month before the performance, but that doesn't mean that 2 Pigeons is selling badly if it's scraping in near capacity 9 days before a performance.
  7. As long as there is strictly no Acosta choreography, this could be good. I hope they put a clause in the contract.
  8. I hate the urge of some spanish speaking people to communicate at decibels slightly louder than a freight train. Especially great when they surround you in a last minute reseating manoeuvre and then succeed in entirely drowning out the second act overture at ENB's swan lake, merry shouting across 2 rows.
  9. Shale Wagman danced a very nice neapolitan this evening - at least I think it was him, since Ken Surahashi was listed as doing the Pd3, but we had McCormick instead. He was very elegant, and combined zest with beautifully controlled landings. The ENB really has some beautiful young dancers coming up
  10. The giant beetles etc are part of the Hansel and Gretel production, which is cute when you have seen the production, but likely to leave people baffled when they haven't.
  11. It would be very useful if the ROH could put up a well sized notice board showing either the full cast or just changes, or put up some easily detectable signs in more than one location with the changes. The current method of small notices on (some) busy desks or showing something on screens that is not seen by all attendees is the main problem for me. There are no screens when coming in via bow street and then going to stalls or stalls circle. Not everyone has the time to wander the halls at the off-chance that they might find some information. I'm perfectly happy to not have change slips as long as the information is easily available elsewhere. In terms of environmentally friendly, it would be much more beneficial if the ROH stopped printing cast lists, programmes and magazines on glossy paper. And stopped sending random appeal letters that could just as well be emails.
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