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JohnS

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About JohnS

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  1. A very welcome visitor - a barn owl most mornings is quartering the field at the back, sometimes for a couple of hours and as late as 10:30. Makes for a very leisurely breakfast occasionally merging into coffee.
  2. I very much enjoyed the cinema relay in Keswick if it didn’t quite have the exuberance of opening night (I’m not sure what could). Lovely to see Akane and Alex having the cinema opportunity. Mayara and Valentino were good but having seen a little of Matthew Ball I very much wish I were going to see his Espada and Basilio performances. I thought the Dryads scene the highlight of the evening with Anna-Rose, Fumi and Akane. I also enjoyed the extras, particularly the interview with Tim Hatly and his picture book analogy for what he was wanting from the sets. In illustrating the point, it was very good to see the whole stage which yet again underlines the need for some wider perspectives in the filming. And I was very pleased to see the preview for Flight Pattern and hope audiences have had their appetites whetted - very different and will be great to have Kristen on stage in the principal role, although I do very much appreciate her as a presenter.
  3. I’d been meaning to return to the point I’d queried about Liam Scarlett ‘s ‘flawed judgement’ but had difficulties accessing the thread the other day. Having now re-read the thread, what strikes me most as regards Scarlett is the almost universal praise for Asphodel Meadows and people’s surprise at how impressive they found the work. There has also been a fair bit of praise for Vixen, particularly in one or two reflective posts where people had seen more than one performance. At one point in the thread people were musing on what might be included in a Scarlett Triple Bill, with some enthusiasm. There was perhaps one critical post highlighting a concern that Scarlett has been given too many opportunities and expensive productions. When I first read Bridie’s post I did think it a little strong and unsubstantiated in the context of this thread and drafted a brief response. I ended up deciding to include that response when adding my thoughts about Saturday’s matinee, the deciding factor being a conversation I had where my neighbour spoke eloquently and passionately about Scarlett’s ballets. I’m very grateful to Bridie for providing her response and elaborating on what she sees as ‘flawed judgement’. Bridie in her initial post reserved judgement on Frankenstein and, as we will soon see what tweaks are made in the restaging, I wasn’t going to add anything about Frankenstein other than to say I’m looking forward to the second run and hope very much ticket sales will accelerate. I appreciate the points made about design, plot, complexity etc. But I have to say I found Sweet Violets gripping, in part because I thought the plot, choreography and music were so well integrated, and I would be very pleased to see it performed again. I was not as moved by Age of Anxiety because I found the characters less interesting/sympathetic but I thought it certainly worked as a piece of theatre, and particularly in the cinema. It certainly worked for me much better than Strapless, The Wind and The Unkonwn Soldier. As regards Swan Lake, I appreciate people have different expectations for the ending but I wonder if it’s fair to say that because a choreographer takes a different view to an audience member (or even a large number of audience members) that is evidence of ‘flawed judgement’? Taken to an extreme, that’s almost suggesting that anyone who disagrees with a particular interpretation has ‘flawed judgement’. It strikes me many interpretations are valid and may well be worth presenting and whilst I might have preferences, I wouldn’t presume people who don’t share my preferences have ‘flawed judgement’, let alone the choreographer. As regards Sim’s comment, I’d just highlight that I was making the point that the criticism of Scarlett’s judgement to me came out of the blue on this thread. The vast majority of comment to that point had been positive (if surprised) and I do think if a strong statement is being made, it really helps the debate if some argumentation is presented.
  4. And I very much enjoyed reading Jann Parry’s review of The Cunning Little Vixen. I look back on the one performance I saw with great affection and Jann Parry certainly captures that overall sense of joy, with the unexpected happy ending, as well as the darker aspects. I’m rather hoping Vixen might be included in the Royal Ballet School Holland Park performances - and the Annual Performance (if I can get a ticket).
  5. Whilst I’m sure Bridiem has reasons for what she says and might well have voiced those reasons in posts over the years, this statement to me comes a bit out of the blue on this thread. I’d welcome some examples of ‘flawed judgement’ as I find it a little difficult to respond to such a statement which seems pretty damning. But onto this afternoon’s matinee. I very much enjoyed the Royal Ballet School in Liam Scarlett’s Cunning Little Vixen. A colourful back projection, fabulous costumes, and lovely characterisation of all the woodland creatures. A super frog with fantastical jumps but a real ensemble piece and one I would be very pleased to see again. The orchestral arrangement worked well and I thought made for an entertaining, complementary partner to Two Pigeons. And another happy ending. In Two Pigeons, James Hay, Fumi Kaneko and David Yudes were stand outs for me. Yasmine Naghdi was wonderful at the end of Act 1 and Act 2, perhaps a shade too irritating at the outset where I sometimes feel less is more. An extraordinary 24 hours with the truncated General Rehearsal, opening night Don Q and bringing the curtain down on Two Pigeons. Thank you Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School.
  6. I agree a fabulous opening night with great performances from the entire cast. Yes Vadim and Marianela were sensational but so were Laura/Ryoichi and all roles were sumptuously cast. Scintillating, effervescent dancing from Anna-Rose as Armour and I very much agree with Bruce Wall and others above. Anna-Rose was truly MC for the Act 2 Dryads, seemingly conjuring Fumi and Marianela to dance. I know a lot if people are not sold on the production but I find it very appealing (although I’d prefer to dispense with the shouting). I rather like how Don Q and Sancho Panza are very sympathetically portrayed and how the world is a better place for Don Q’s dreams and Sancho Panza’s concerns with more bread and butter (or meat and wine) matters. Remarkable that David Yudes dances Sancho Panza one day and the Gypsy Boy the next. And I love the horse, the bed post lance and the makeshift armour. An evening that simply fizzes when danced so exuberantly by the entire Royal Ballet. The applause at the end was tremendous: it reminded me of the opening night of the new Swan Lake - all that was missing was a flower throw.
  7. I should just add that Runner was not prefaced by ‘It’s Gonna Rain’ and have rather enjoyed the first part of the concert.
  8. I see there’s a Steve Reich live broadcast on Radio 3 tonight, including Runner (commissioned for Wayne McGregor’s Multiverse). Also Clapping Music and Music for 18 Musicians. Apologies - only 30 minutes notice but on iPlayer.
  9. From my pretty limited experience, there tends to be a fair bit of activity, people going in and out, perhaps chance to see the conductor/Kevin O’Hare/other coaches, some dancers are pretty quick and may not have been involved in curtain calls etc. And there’s opportunity to chat to others waiting. There is of course always the chance that the dancers your daughter most wishes to see may be last out/toolate.
  10. I see a few more posts have been published - but sadly no answers to what I think are very fair questions: https://www.roh.org.uk/news/la-forza-del-destino-the-royal-opera-houses-position-on-viagogo
  11. Many thanks Alison - the Royal Opera House website also gets a lot of critical coverage in ‘The “new” Royal Opera House’ thread. I think this is the link - apologies if my IT skills have failed again: http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/18463-the-new-royal-opera-house-covent-garden/
  12. And with Don Q in the cinema, the programme will most probably be available for free download.
  13. I see the Royal Opera House describes the refurbishment of the Linbury as follows: “There will be a variety of ticket prices available for both standing room and seated. The number of standing places is slightly reduced, but the comfort of the seating and quality of the sight-lines and acoustics will be improved dramatically, providing an all-round better experience for visitors.” [My bold emphasis] It’s very disappointing to read of some people’s experiences but is anyone able to comment whether, overall, sight lines have been improved dramatically?
  14. Absolutely Beryl - so why are audiences denied a helpful synopsis?
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