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  1. I am deeply shocked and saddened to read the above posts and would add my thanks to the work of all moderators. I was aware but only vaguely of the heavy workload but I'm afraid I had absolutely no idea that you might be subject to such abuse and that is truly appalling. I can only apologise if posts I've made have contributed in any way to the unpleasantness you have faced. I offer Sim belated congratulations on her wedding anniversary and do hope that at least some of the weekend was a proper celebration. Simon Smith
  2. Having seen a number of Winter's Tales last time, I thought I'd be a bit more restrained this time and probably just go to the General Rehearsal and the cinema relay. I was also a bit disappointed that Bennet Gartside wasn't going to reprise his Leontes which I'd much admired the last time. But I was very impressed with the Winter's Tale Insight relay: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/watch-live-rehearsals-for-the-royal-ballets-the-winters-tale-on-30-january-2018 I'm not sure if this has already been commented on so if this is a repeated link my apologies, although in my opinion very much worth a second viewing. I very much enjoyed the livestream and thought there was a great balance between rehearsal and discussion. Fascinating to hear Christopher Wheeldon give such lucid explanations of aspects of his choreography and Joby Talbot's insight into his musical composition. I thought all three dancers, Fumi Kaneko, Tierney Heap and Akane Takada, gave a real insight into their characters through dance. I've booked for this cast at the end of the run and couldn't resist adding the penultimate night with Francesca Hayward/James Hay given the various reviews above so many thanks for these. I was also interested in Jan Parry's recent review and her question whether Winter's Tale moves audiences compared to Giselle. I have to say I find Winter's Tale profoundly moving, particularly the reconciliation in Act 3 and yes there can be tears. Looking forward very much to the cinema relay and final performances.
  3. I'm not sure how but I can often see Times/FT articles on the Ballet Association news link and a google search for example for a Clement Crisp review of a named ballet often gives a result. I've no idea if this is permissible or if the Forum would prefer not to publicise such access.
  4. I'm delighted bridiem is more than happy to express her opinions: I always read her posts with great interest, admiring her experience, insight, independence and generosity, both in what she posts and in her many ‘likes’. But an issue being raised on this thread is that some posters have expressed a concern that they feel a little constrained when it comes to making more critical comments. Whilst I fully agree that posters should have the courage of their convictions, I do think it is reasonable to ask what more can the Forum do to encourage such expression. Here the Forum is not simply the stated policies but the culture as shaped by everyone posting. I'm sorry if bridiem sees such a question as in effect a slur on the Forum and offensive to regular posters. Part of a plea being made is, I think, for posters to be slow to take offence so it strikes me as a little ironic that inviting reflection on encouraging expression is perhaps considered offensive. I've found this thread thought provoking and in musing about the Forum’s evolving culture and collective responsibility have considered whether my own posts might have been more critically incisive. I mentioned earlier about overuse of 'wonderful' and 'fabulous' and suggesting some self-rationing. The Acceptable Use Policy deals with offensive posts and I don't imagine anyone sets out to be deliberately offensive. But might there be a place for seeking to limit the times offence is taken? For my part I tend to be wary of posts which state I find x offensive. It is the reasoning behind the taking of offence which is much more compelling and can stimulate debate: when that reasoning is set out, stating offence has been taken becomes superfluous.
  5. I recognise this thread has become more than a little fractious. The discussion has also impacted on other threads where some posts suggest comments have been constrained in case of triggering censure. Jamesrhblack's post from this thread captures that concern not to offend. If posters do feel they need to be circumspect to such a degree that is indeed sad and the Forum will be poorer, as highlighted in penelopesimpson's telling post. Sim's post is a clear statement of what should be, although I would not wish to see any diminution of critical comment in response to 'this snowflake world' other than respecting social norms which as far as I'm concerned predate references to snowflakes. But in light of the debate on this thread and concerns expressed on other threads where posters are wary of making critical comment, it seems to me that we should do more to encourage expression of independence of thought. So despite the difficulties of this debate, if the outcome is a healthier, more open debate where people feel more able to express their views, positive and negative, that would be most welcome.
  6. My sympathies lie with penelopesimpson, Fonty and others, and the Forum would be significantly duller without critical comment and caustic remarks. I think as others have suggested perhaps it's easier being effusive in praise than being prepared to pass critical comment knowing that others may take exception - are we just too quick to take offence? Criticism is too easily relegated to what isn't said - dancer a is praised for something that has struck a poster as being particular polished and it may be a lot easier to say nothing about dancer b's performance. But if people wish to make comparisons it would help enormously if reasons were given for those comparative judgements, otherwise they are simply assertions. I do take seriously the protestations that the Forum should not be a fan club and wonder if there should be a self imposed limit on the number of times posters can use 'wonderful' or 'fabulous'. I fear with Nutcracker and Giselle, I've already exhausted my annual allowance. I was going to say 'like the pollution levels in London' but I'm in danger of crafting a sentence which includes Nutcracker/Giselle and pollution. But the pollution comparison may well be apt - overuse of 'wonderful', 'fabulous' etc lessens their impact and the words lose meaning, with language itself a victim of pollution. So thanks for the robust comments, let's sharpen our pencils, be slower to take offence ... and still be richly enthusiastic when performance transports us, which on current form is pretty regularly for me.
  7. My move is from B19 to B17 on 18 April. Must be a bit of a nightmare for the box office. I'm sure there's a 'Puzzle for Today' lurking somewhere - what's the minimum number of seats that have to be reallocated given a different layout for the auditorium? Or perhaps the Barbican are looking for the maximum number of changes?
  8. Interesting - I thought at the General Rehearsal Alondra de la Parra was pretty high on the podium and assumed it was for the rehearsal. I was in the middle of the Stalls Circle. I did like her conducting! I see Tom Seligman is conducting the later performances and he doesn't normally have a raised podium so bangorballetboy may have a better view if sitting in front of Tom.
  9. Flowers in Giselle

    Thanks Lynette. I vaguely recall discussion of the symbolism of flowers in a Giselle programme from way back but haven't as yet found it. The Royal Opera House website includes the following which may be of interest: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/petal-power-some-flowery-moments-in-ballet There's also an article about flowers in the Paris Opera Ballet's Giselle - different flowers: http://michellepotter.org/articles/giselle-and-the-paris-opera-ballet
  10. Thanks Jan - I'd forgotten there was already a thread.
  11. Just had a phone message about the MacMillan programme at the Barbican in April - Thiago Soares is replacing Ed Watson. There are also some seating changes as well so as to accommodate a slightly bigger stage and I need to exchange my ticket beforehand at the box office. I'm sure those affected will be contacted by the box office. https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2018/event/kenneth-macmillan-steps-back-in-time
  12. Many thanks penelopesimpson. I enjoy reading your posts and that you do say it as you see it.
  13. Very pleased to read that Marcelino Sambe was back on stage - was he Brother Clown and who was the Shepherdess please? In the Rehearsal Mayara Magri was dancing with Luca Acri.
  14. Absolutely Coated - I thought there was real rage and anguish in the mad scene which for a moment or two brought to mind Laura's Anastasia. From the front row of the Orchestra Stalls it was spine chilling. I agree there have been more sparkling Pd6s but there have also been weaker performances. Overall I enjoyed the six and as you say Sissons and Yudes were very impressive.
  15. I know we can't comment on Rehearsals but I hope it's in order to say that Luca Acri was back on stage after injury as Brother Clown.