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  1. Wanted: RB Quad bill Wed 31st SCS

    I have a seat in the amphitheatre (V58) that I can't use if you are interested in that? £6
  2. So am I correct in my understanding that this role was created on both Yanowsky and Morera, rather than on Yanowsky, with Morera also learning it? So glad to read the posts above that it was such a great performance last night, although it makes me all the sadder that I am not able to see the Morera cast.
  3. Delayed posting, but I saw the opening night of this bill. Had never seen the Forsythe before - really enjoyed it, felt exhausted just watching by the end! Nunez and Muntagirov dance so well together, makes me lament that they weren't paired for 'Diamonds' even more. Also a great joy to watch McRae and Muntagirov dancing side by side - it seems to me that it's rare we get to watch two male principals do so, but I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Like others, I thought Sambe and Hayward were just a joy to behold in Tarantella, and I'm sure they will get even more brilliant with more performances. Strapless, for me, just doesn't work. The beginning is promising and sets up tension, which promptly falls flat during the pas de deux between Amelie and Pozzi. I'll lay a significant chunk of the blame at the door of music, which is just not 'sexy' and seems at odds with the choreography. No chemistry, for which I will not blame Bonelli and Osipova since (as the recent Mayerling run has showed) they are both exceptional actors. And it's basically downhill from there until the final unveiling and Amelie's solo. It seems to me that Wheeldon has tried to tackle this from too many perspectives - either it is about Gautreau trying to make a name for herself in society and being undone by the portrait, ultimately achieving notoriety, or it is about the inner workings of Sargent and his perspective of this society woman. As it stands, it is does not focus on either, and thus becomes an oddly emotionally detached experience as an audience member... Symphonic Dances I really loved. For the lion's share of the 40 minutes, I felt like I was watching the music, or the character of the music, which for me is a thing of true joy - when I can barely separate/distinguish the music from the movement. I thought Scarlett made such clever use of stillness, of that held moment with movement suddenly bursting forth - who knows from where next. I thought the staging was very striking (although i'm inclined to agree with other posters about the projections, thankfully mostly obscured from my amphitheatre perch!). I found the duet (for it was not really a pas de deux) between Yanowsky and Hay profoundly moving, for reasons I cannot quite articulate...the yearning beauty of Hay, the initial haughtiness/stillness softening to an almost maternal interaction (or at least that was my reading of it). As others have commented, the pas de deux with Reece Clarke was also wonderful, although for me the unconventional beauty of the first duet was the highlight. I wasn't mad keen on the ending, but I'd like to give it a second chance, since I mostly just found it rather unexpected!
  4. I am so pleased to read so much enthusiasm for the Morera/Bonelli partnership on Twitter - I saw their debut not 14 hours after being blown away by Watson/Osipova, and it more than compared (perhaps bettered?). I think they are such a fantastic partnership - they are physically so secure dancing together that they can push themselves right to the limit without it feeling overly reckless or becoming untidy. Morera's acting ability is long established (and IMO among the best in the company), but I feel that Bonelli has really come into his own in this regard in the last two to three years
  5. What a delightfully impossible question! Upon much reflection: I now, I then (Woolf Works pt I) Concerto Symphony in C It quite simply has to include Symphony in C, because I cannot remember a single triple bill featuring it that I've seen in which it hasn't blown all the others out of the water. All Balanchine's majestic skill in most joyful display - definitely the way to end an evening at the ballet.
  6. The line up for tomorrow's opening night has just had me shell out more than I've ever spent on a ticket (the clue is probably in my username)...I have every confidence it will be worth every penny and am so excited!
  7. Have to agree about Hay. Kept finding my eyes drawn to him. Makes me all the sadder I missed his Florimund! I have always struggled with Emeralds, but last night Stix-Brunell and Morera both brought such musicality and warmth, which together with a lovely pas de trois and Hay stealing the show, meant I was riveted! Something different here from the naghdi /ball/mendizibal cast last week (although Hay was also sublime in that cast) Takada and Campbell seemed more confident and zingy second time round - a joy to behold. As was Nunez, who truly is the diamond in the crown of the evening. Interestingly I missed the warmth of the partnering between muntagirov and cuthbertson, but in providing more of a 'supporting' partner I wonder if Soares actually accentuated Nunez's brilliance even more. Sad to have missed Hayward and Sambe this time round, but glad they have acquitted themselves well from reading above!
  8. I wondered this too - I definitely saw a small slip from Sambe in his early solo, and feel sure I saw a couple of others early on. After that it seemed to stop - maybe people were being more cautious after Sarah Lamb's slip? I have to say I thought it was an excellent evening that only got better as it went on. I wasn't completely drawn in by The Human Seasons, but definitely appreciated some very beautiful moments and enjoyed the partnership of Lamb/Sambe very much. I also thought Clare Calvert was brilliant in her section with all the men. She is such a strong stage presence. I have never been treated to the Nunez/Soares PDD in After the Rain before, so to those who are feeling a bit of fatigue for this peace, just a reminder that there are plenty of people for whom this is still a new treat From overheard discussions on the way down from the amphi afterwards, plenty of people felt this was the highlight of the evening. Flight Pattern - well I was so utterly absorbed that I genuinely didn't believe it could be over when it was over. Very powerful, and amazing use of the corps to create shape, atmosphere, emotion, with little individual accents here and there - so subtle yet striking. Kristen McNally is so expressive with her whole body. What a talent. Sambe continues to astound, and great to see him in a more dramatic role here. Can't wait to see it again.
  9. I very much enjoyed Osipova's account of Aurora, in particular her Act II and III. I love being able to be at the edge of my seat in anticipation, but at the same time completely relaxed in the knowledge of her brilliance. Her Act I was maybe just a little too bold or 'ebullient' as FLOSS say, but I suppose this is my taste. For my end, I preferred Hayward's account of Act I from last week, which I found just so light and so musical (feel very lucky I got to see her one performance) I was particularly delighted to get the opportunity to see O'Sullivan and Sambe's Bluebird/Princess Florine. They were fantastic. So much character and musicality in their performance, and perfect timing to boot. Great to hear them getting such a loud cheer at the curtain call. (Disclaimer - I'll confess to being a little biased on the basis of having done the occasional ballet class with the 9 year old Anna Rose when I was a teenager (my ballet teacher taught her privately before she went to White Lodge - she was already astoundingly good at 9), but it is so exciting to see her doing so well and I'm just waiting to see where she goes next!)
  10. The Royal Ballet: Woolf Works, Winter 2017

    The music is also available on Spotify if you have it/haven't managed to buy the CD
  11. The Royal Ballet: Woolf Works, Winter 2017

    I am just back from this evening's performance, which was my first time to Woolf Works since I was on the other side of the world for the whole of its premiere run. I was completely blown away. I thought that 'I now, I then' was beautiful- the section with Watson, Dyer and Takada particularly so. I'm not sure I blinked I was so drawn in. I was not familiar with the story of Mrs Dalloway, but was able to follow the emotional narrative of the piece and was quite gratified to surmise from the excerpts in the programme and from a little googling, that I was not far off. I appreciated 'Becomings', but more in the way that I generally experience McGregor, which tends to be more intrigue/wonder at the human body/slightly overwhelmed by how many people are doing different things on the stage! That said, I enjoyed the gradual morphing of all the dancers into eventually indeterminate figures. Osipova was outstanding in this though I have to say - and I thought that before I put my binoculars to my eyes and realised it was her. As for 'Tuesday' well it left me in tears, and I can safely say that no McGregor work has ever had that effect on me before. I will definitely attribute some of that to Max Richter's incredible score, but the performance of Ferri together with the poignancy of the theme, and the clever construction of this number and the use of the corps (even if it wasn't actually corps dancers) were collectively just so beautiful. What an evening. Incidentally, my relatively ballet naive friend also absolutely loved it
  12. Unless I am mistaken, I don't think Naghdi and Hay were on stage for the company bows at the end, so could not have had a curtain call. I very much enjoyed Naghdi's performance (even if, on age alone, it felt a little implausible that she could have had an affair with the Tsar BEFORE his marriage!) I thought Morera's Act III was stunning. She has such a talent for story-telling and brought out a number details and nuances that I had not appreciated at my first two viewings (Osipova cast both times by accident rather than design!). I was very glad that she got such a loud cheer for her solo bow.
  13. Thanks MargaretN7 and zxDaveM - I thought maybe this might have been the case. As for the slide en pointe, I thought it was there in the first act, the first time that sequence is there, but not in the subsequent reprisals of that motif. There was one in the trial scene, but I didn't see any others... However, possible I just missed them!!
  14. I also saw the Hayward/Muntagirov performance on the 15th. It was my first time seeing Muntagirov dance, so that was a treat. I thought Hayward really brought the stubborn child to her portayal of Alice in a way that some of the others I've seen in this role over the years (Cuthbertson, Lamb, Nunez, Stix-Brunell) have not - she stubbornly shrugs off some of the more traumatising incidents (the butcher's scene for example) and gets on with it, without losing the depth in the more reflective moments (e.g. the act II (I think) solo where she dances with her sisters). I can't wait to see her dancing some more roles! I thought she and James Hay also danced very well in their scenes together. I quite like Alice, even if my initial enthusiasm for it has waned a bit with each revival (maybe because the clever effects are no longer a surprise - all those around me who were seeing it for the first time still seemed pretty entranced by them!). That said, it is now a very different production from the one I saw on it's first night a couple of years back. I think there is actually much more dance content than there was back then. For example, I'm pretty sure that Alice dances much more in the scene with the doors than in the initial version, and I'm pretty sure that several other bits have been bulked out too. Sadly though, one move that I really liked (the slide en pointe in the repeated motif that Alice and Jack dance throughout) seems to have been edited out. What I originally liked about the choreography of 'Alice' was the combination of classical and more contemporary steps...that is still true, but the contemporary steps seems to have been watered down somewhat in the two subsequent revivals. I agree with others who say that some bits could do with pruning - the trial scene for instance is just a bit chaotic for a bit too long. The caucus race no longer bothers me as much, but it is a bit 'meh'. The bit that really confused me last night was the tree painters. This pas de trois seems to have got longer, but lost its humour. I'm sure in the original version, the flowers flipped back from red to white again, and there was far less of this pointless shuffling of the trees around the stage. I really was quite bored by the end of this dance! The butcher's scene could also be shorter. However, unlike others, I would leave the Queen of Hearts well alone! This is a brilliant role! I still think this is a really wonderful overall production, with plenty going for it, but just not settled down yet. I wonder what it will be like at the next revival!
  15. I've seen three Manons so far this run (Nunez, Hayward and Osipova) and it never ceases to amaze me how differently people can interpret the role. Nunez plays a very knowing Manon, right from the start. This can works, but how well depends (for me at least) on a very intense and heartbreaking Des Grieux, or else the tragedy of Act 3 is somehow lost. I'm not sure Bonelli quite got there...I remember seeing Pennefather and Lamb the last run of Manon and thinking that the ballet could almost be renamed Des Grieux, off the back of Pennefather's acting and performance. His Acts 2+3 were devastating! Sad I'm not seeing them this run. Hayward blew me away completely. She will only get better technically, but the characterisation was already so full and cleverly nuanced! I can't remember seeing the Act 1 pas de deux outside the pub danced that well since my very first Manon (with Guillem and Cope in 2005 - I've probably seen it at least 20 times since then!). I was particularly impressed with her musicality. Osipova - it sounds like I was lucky to have seen her second performance rather than her first, but that Act 3 will stay with me for a very long time. I remember when I watched Guillem back in 2005, willing her not to die simply so that the pas de deux would carry on - I felt exactly the same on Saturday. It looked as though she was absolutely spent but somehow managing to keep moving, and beautifully, which is of course exactly as it should be. I did think that Osipova's characterisation for the bedroom pas de deux in Act 2 needs a bit of work - she seemed to take the taunting of Des Grieux too far, and I didn't really feel her devastation when Lescaut died - which was a shame, since I thought that she and Soares had built a really detailed relationship between their two characters. However, given that was only her second performance I think I can let her off!! Very excited to see her again in the future. I've waffled on for too long already, but one more thing I noted when reading this forum was the critique of Morera's interpretation as being too simplistically naive, but with a very tragic finale. Interestingly, my memory of Guillem's interpretation of the role is that she played Manon very much like this - as the young naive who was manipulated by Lescaut and GM but was truly in love with Des Grieux. Maybe I was just too young, but that remains the best Manon I have ever seen and so I wonder whether I don't prefer that interpretation. I certainly think Osipova tended more towards that version (with a bit of mischievious enjoyment at the discovery of how beguiling she could be in Act 2) Seeing Yanowsky and Bolle next weekend and then I'm all done with Manon for this run (sadly)!