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  1. Spent €26.50 for a VIP leather seat in one of the half dozen or so cinemas showing it in Berlin. Loved every Sekt-filled second!
  2. Heavens - I wonder if that's why he was having problems the other evening with certain aspects of partnering. I hope he's ok.
  3. Was there last night sitting way up in the gods! Have been waiting ages to see this production...I loved it to pieces! Actually prefer to the RB which alsways seems mimsy and fussy. I really feel MacMillan got SB in a way that totally respected the tradition yet it had his spirit somehow woven in. Loved the designs too. Yes I will draw a slight veil over that second fish dive (...OMG it could have been a disaster), and both big lifts had a dangerous mix of the Two Ronnies and the Trocs, but overall I thought their solos were breathtaking. I also didn’t feel the other soloists were in bad form either. And from the Queen of the Wilis in Akram’s Giselle to Carabosse must have been a fun trip. Would have loved to have seen the production again but now back in Berlin...
  4. Vanartus

    ABT Firebird/AfteRite

    I understand your point. The death is cool, clinical, unseen (in the sense of no writhing body), in the corner of the stage, still, contained in the clinical greenhouse, like mist descending, enveloping. The horror comes from the detachment. And then from the paradoxical numb anger of the final duet. The emotion comes again paradoxically from a non-demonstrative anguish at the end. Loss, waste yet obedience to a scientific imperative. Death is rarely beautiful, and the death of a child horrendous. The subject matter of Rite itself is horrendous. I did have a flashback to Ferri in Valley of Shadows, the MacMillan work which depicted scenes in a concentration camp and again featured Ferri. Then as a child, but now as a mother. In Aferite her role had elements of the film Sophie’s Choice, but an actual choice I think was not quite clear in Afterite. I think the actual choice was made by others. Could he have used another means of death? Could the death have happened off stage? Could a lifeless corpse been carried back on? All pose problems, and yes the use of gas resonates horribly with the past. Perhaps that’s why. The set and sci-Fi feel also links to those tv shows of the 60’s where gassing victims was often used in pods...so there are other links. Should there have been an explicit warning? I don’t think so. If death can be quasi-abstracted on stage then this was done. And there was so much thought put into the choreography that any disturbance felt at the end was part of the resulting shock and emotion from the theme, the music, the performers, and the process itself.
  5. My first experience of ABT in New York. The actual building of the Metropolitan Opera is amazing - the starburst chandeliers were incredible. It is a mid-century Modernist dream come true. The Ratmansky Firebird was a surprise - it was far jokier and humorous than I was expecting. It threw me initially but in the end I embraced the fun, and also appreciated the tenderness in the story too. He’s such an inventive choreographer there’s always something to see, and the pas de deux always surprise, a quirk, a twist or an element of danger. Yes, I sort of prefer the Fokine, but this is a great alternative. But do I prefer MacMillan’s Rite to McGregor’s Afterite? Prefer doesn’t come into it. Rite is a difficult if impossible piece - the music is so much of a challenge. I truly respect MacMillan’s choreography and the amazing Nolan designs, but even his ideas can fall into the obvious world of “tribal” at times. The Tetley leaves me cold, the Royal Danish used to have a strange Rite set at a cocktail party that goes very wrong....but Afterwrite is something else. I’m no critic but I totally agree with the New York Times and Financial Times’ reviews. They nail it far better than me. What I will say is that McGregor is moving into far more emotional territory. The ABT dancers were incredible, and Alessandra Ferri wove her special spell as she did in Woolf Works. His response to the music was incredible. The violence was ugly, the feeling of danger throughout. And yet there was a chill - a feeling of cold bleak scientific inhumanity slicing through the music. The Royal Danish are doing it next season. Worth the trip.
  6. Ah...sorry but I still prefer the original orchestration...
  7. ...interesting that they’ve shared the new Wayne McGregor Afterite with ABT
  8. I watched it online today - so enjoyed it. Really hope it comes back again at the new Linbury.
  9. Vanartus

    Audience Behaviour

    ENB Voices from America...last night...Sadlers Wells...second balcony...the chattiest and flakiest audience ever! My tolerance broke during the pause between The Cage and the New Forsythe. What seemed like total confusion. So many people getting up to go thinking the evening was over, staff trying to convince them to wait and return to seats, some insisting on going, people then quickly sitting down wherever they could or standing as final piece starts. And the three girls in front of me start talking again during the opening minutes. Three words from me - "Just shut up!" said in a roaring whisper of 40 years of pent up frustration. Of course I got the evil eye, and I didn't really enjoy the last piece but for heavens sake! #hadenough #howstupidcanpeoplebe #whydoibotherwhydoicare
  10. I was there last night - as was Queen Margarethe (forgive spelling if I got it wrong) ! I thought he was amazing!
  11. Loved it! I really hope Berlin or ENB acquire it too. Amazing dancing - RDB on top form. Scarlett must have really clicked with the dancers. Excellent plot line and edited story. No excess fat. Pacing pefect - attention grabbing throughout. Set design stunning. It was the best of Sweet Violets, with a feel of Manon meets Onegin - sounds weird but it worked. A terrific evening with the Royal Danish Ballet. Ah well, our Royal got Frankenstein...life and art can be so unfair.
  12. I’m looking forward to see this bill on the 4th. Keep the reviews coming in! One thing re M&A...really think the RB knows how to handle it - a hot mix of ages, home crew, guest artists, familiar faces and new pairings...it’s a great vehicle for all of these!
  13. Slightly disappointed that Hayward didn’t get Mary Vetsera, but I guess that’ll happen in a couple of years when the next cycle of Mayerling happens - 2020/2021 I suppose. Great castings for Bayadère though! And yes I wish the casting for the Balanchine would have been more detailed too.
  14. PS I was initially "worried" about Sambe but I thought he did grow quickly into the role - and he and Osipova worked well together.
  15. Naghdi's big solo in Act 2 was incredible. Technically perfect but it actually meant something. She managed to convey somehow a sad/angry/frustrated complexity to the character I'd never really noticed before. And I thought the animosity between her and Manon was well conveyed by both dancers actors.