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VickyPage

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  1. None of my younger relatives have even the slightest interest in ballet, so I have yet to attempt to take children myself, but speaking as someone who was once taken to the ballet/opera as a very young child, I would thoroughly recommend it. My parents took my to The Magic Flute and two Nutcrackers when I was 4/5, and although I think I fell asleep in The Magic Flute, I remember being enchanted by all performances. If you can do this as gently as possible, I remember my parents went to a great deal of trouble to impress on me the idea that I must stay absolutely quiet during the performance, and be on my best behaviour the entire time, and in my opinion that probably helped keep me from being too wriggly. I think I was scared the ushers would kick me out for being too little! Anyway, my family's willingness to involve me in their cultural outings has definitely shaped me as a person, and I hope I can manage to do the same for my kids in the future.
  2. Have returned this to the box office!
  3. I don't think there's much to add, when there are such lovely reviews already! Even when I've been to a performance myself, I always feel like I get a better perspective from reading everyone else's thoughts. So thank you! One thing I would comment on is that while I found Kim's acting otherwise pretty poor, I did really like the way he did not smile even once during his pas de deux with Gamzatti in Act II. Anyway, Bayadere is a perfect ballet to showcase the Mariinsky's strong points, so of course the evening was enjoyable!
  4. Putting this in my calendar!! Hope the player works better than last time; taking it off YouTube was a mistake, in my opinion, so if they bring it back to livestream there, along with the helpful livechat, things should run a bit more smoothly.
  5. Due to a family event (among other things), it would now be very hard for me to get to this performance. It's Upper Slips, AA-7 on Friday 11th August for La Bayadere (Matvienko, Shkylarov) and £20. PM me if interested.
  6. I was really sad on Wednesday night when I was looking forward to seeing what Osmolkina would do with the fouettes, having read such lovely things about her performance on Saturday. Poor lamb; I knew things were going badly when she started travelling side to side (I normally have a very good view of travelling fouettes from the Upper Slips). Even the best dancers normally travel forwards and backwards quite a lot, but side to side is usually a bad sign. It is important to remember that fouettes are a bit of a party trick and that they come very naturally to some people and not at all to others. But they are now rather a crucial party trick for certain classical ballets, so it was unfortunate to see things fall apart like that from such a well-respected company on tour.
  7. In the light of casting changes I'd understand if you wanted to hold on to this one, but I'd quite like the Thursday night one please! Have pmed you.
  8. Oh my god. I have no idea about Matvienko's abilities and I will, of course, go anyway and give her the benefit of the doubt, but I only booked one ticket for La Bayadere this year and it was my hope of a 'perfect' performance with Tereshkina and Shklyarov and now they've shuffled everything around. I wish they had put a bit more thought into these changes of cast and reshuffles a bit sooner. Mildly devastated at this revelation.
  9. I agree, for the most part, about the coldness of certain Mariinsky dancers' characterisation, but I did not think all of them were completely technically perfect. Kim, who I actually quite like, has made some minor, but obvious technical errors, Parrish similarly, and poor Osmolkina wobbled right out of her fouettes on Wednesday night, having had a slightly wobbly Act III anyway, and she had to improvise a few pirouettes to fill the rest of the music. Since we're criticising the Bolshoi as well here, and since so many of the Bolshoi's intake at the moment are the top graduates of the Vaganova Academy, rather than Bolshoi's own school, I think it's worth remembering all the disappointment and censure over the casting of Margarita Shrainer in Don Quixote last summer when she was so clearly technically unprepared. I think the audience can mostly forgive and forget all these technical wobbles and imperfections when the characterisation is good enough, but that clearly isn't the case for quite a few of these dancers. Anyone with access to YouTube can also see other, more established and well respected dancers of the Russian school, such as Skorik, Somova and even Tikhomirova (who I adore), being thrown into situations in their younger days where they clearly weren't sufficiently prepared emotionally or technically for the roles and thus made varying levels of mistakes. My point in all of this meandering is that I'm not sure it boils down to the simple idea that Russians have beautiful technique, but not enough characterisation or storytelling. It seems like there's been a more noticeable general decline in standards on this tour, and possibly the Bolshoi's one last year. I've been feeling more of a fond and mildly disappointed reminiscence towards 2011's tour this year than anything else.
  10. Haha, glad we got that sorted!! No worries. It's hard to tell how much someone is joking on the Internet, isn't it?
  11. And one I acknowledged was irrational! I have no problem with having other people point out the flaws to me, and I can often see them myself, but that does not hinder my enjoyment. I'm sure we have all seen ballets, or read books or watched movies that make us feel this way. Guilty pleasures perhaps. I only listed flaws relevant to this particular performance, rather than the production as a whole, unless you are saying that 'squeaky pointe shoes' are in the production notes. The curtain calls are also specific to the company as a whole, not to the production. Sorry if I offended anyone! I was mostly joking at my own expense in my last post.
  12. Audience Behaviour

    My family have a running joke that I'm not so much Vicky Page in The Red Shoes as the ballet obsessed young woman who appears with an escort in the opening scene of the movie. But I never hoped to experience something similar to that young woman's outrage when Marius Goring/Julian Craster and his friends push past her to leave the auditorium in the middle of a performance. Sadly, I did experience this last night at Swan Lake. Now, before I launch into a long rant, I would like to say that I do sort of understand why the woman in question did it. We were seated in the Upper Slips, and she had very bad vertigo, so from the moment she sat down she began to feel afraid. I feel very bad for her and sorry for her predicament, but if she felt that awful from the second she arrived, she probably should have gone out before the lights went down. The other thing that was particularly hard to feel sympathetic about was the way that before she left, she and her friend talked to each other in normal level voices (not whispers, no!) and started to point out things in the auditorium to discuss during the performance. I'm sorry to say that I was already in something of a bad mood with her and her friend before the performance even started, as everyone around me had decided they were at a pantomime in Cirencester and had whipped out mints, sweets, crisps and a bottle of Coke which was unceremoniously splashed on me when the lady I've been complaining about failed to open it correctly. If you have such crippling vertigo that you cannot go on escalators, please please do not book seats high up in the Royal Opera House! (Also - to the gentleman in the second or third row of the Amphi on the left - I could see you on your phone during Act III.)
  13. There are a lot of inherent flaws in the Mariinsky's production of Swan Lake, but since it was the first Swan Lake I ever saw, I'm going to irrationally ignore them. The most obvious problems with last night's otherwise flawless performance were perhaps the squeaky pointe shoes of the corps de ballet (which were deafening in Act II) and the curtain calls at the end of every act. I know the curtain calls are a Russian tradition, but they detract so enormously from the audience's involvement in the story. I wish they had toned it down a bit for an English audience. More importantly, here are the positives. The corps de ballet (despite their shoes!) deserve so much praise. The lines of swans were perfect and breathtaking, just as they should be. This is one of the areas where the control of Mariinsky dancers is best put to use. If my various ballet going acquaintances who were there on the 27th were correct in calling Tereshkina 'a bit cold' as Odette, Kondaurova was nothing of the sort. She was nothing if not eloquent and poignant. It's hard to describe in detail quite what was so wonderful about her interpretation of the role and I've found myself at a loss for words already in discussing it with friends. Her arms and back, in particular, were marvellously expressive, whether she was showing sadness and vulnerability as Odette, or revelling in her own evil as Odile. As an English ballet goer, I can sometimes be quite critical of Russian port de bras, but there was nothing to criticise here. Often as she ends a movement, her arms continue to move ever so slowly, as though the swan and the woman cannot stay still even for an instant. I don't have enough superlatives to describe how much I enjoyed her performance! Ivanchenko seems like a lovely partner (despite one little wobbly pirouette in Act III), but I'm sorry to say I couldn't find much to be excited about otherwise. I think it might be the limitations of the role of Siegfried that handicap so many dancers in this ballet. Anyway, I thought it was a lovely, lovely evening! I know quite a lot of other forumers were going to this performance, so I can't wait to hear other interpretations.
  14. Xander Parish - Promotion

    Congratulations to him! Makes me doubly sad that I have ended up without any tickets to see him during this tour.
  15. Glad I wasn't the only one confused by the carpet dance thing! Also, I did have to wonder if something went wrong with Don Q and his windmill moment, because the doll just sort of flopped awkwardly to the ground really quickly, rather than getting stuck on the windmill for longer. Otherwise I thought it was a lovely beginning to the tour. Tereshkina has a lovely ability to prolong the end of a movement, which both adds to the anticipation and gives her dancing a sort of languid feeling. And I was really impressed by Kimin Kim, particularly in Act 3. That said, together they felt more like old friends than lovers and while some of their solo dancing was explosive, I'd say the pas de deuxs felt very controlled and neat. I also really loved the way Tereshkina handled the difference in style in the vision scene with much more smooth and polished port de bras. Yalinich was really enjoyable to watch as the street dancer, and it was such a shame that she knocked over one of the knives, because otherwise her performance was charming. As Mary said Chebykina was gorgeous as the Queen of the Dryads, very graceful and soft. She handled those tough Italian fouettes really well too, and managed to get all the way round without fudging the last quarter which can be tricky.
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