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  1. Typical Bloomsbury snobbery, is my opinion
  2. Grace on ice

    Agreed, and a bit better than Debra Craine, who unless I've misunderstood her seemed to be arguing that dancers aren't really judged on technique and execution outside competitions :/ And on the subject of Cousins, I like his camel spins even more than John Curry's
  3. That might be a little unfair - I think it had more to do with the prevailing view after the war that the arts were good for people and worthy of significant subsidy, combined with the stroke of luck of having in JM Keynes a balletomane as the first chairman of the Arts Council. It would be interesting to see a "family tree" of ballet companies and their influences, for example the Mariinsky leading to Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, leading in turn to the Royal Ballet (and its earlier incarnations), then Cranko setting out for Stuttgart.
  4. First Operas

    TBH I'd leave the Ring until the next time it comes around
  5. I don't know... while there may not be hundreds of aspiring opera singers in the audience, a lot of the people I speak to at the opera have sung at at least an amateur level. I don't want to be gratuitously sexist, but I wonder if part of the explanation isn't that the ballet attracts a higher proportion of women: there's been a lot of talk recently about how women are brought up, above all, to be "nice", and maybe this makes for an environment where strong views are less likely to be volunteered. FWIW, I find the Sutherland/Callas thing pretty baffling after all this time. They were both astonishing in very different ways. On the other hand there are some singers performing today, including at least one Very Big Name, whose popularity I find inexplicable.
  6. I know what Barnes2 means - I heard some remarks around me which made it clear that for many this was only their first or second trip to the ballet and that they weren't familiar with a lot of the conventions that many on the forum have stopped even noticing. I hope this doesn't sound patronising, but I'm really impressed that BRB and the Hippodrome had persuaded so many to dip their toes in.
  7. Moonlights as a ballet critic occasionally. I've seen him in the cheap seats for ballet (i.e.at his own expense) and don't doubt he's a fan if not a specialist, whatever that may be.
  8. Just back from today's matinee. I'm not going to give a full report, but just wanted to say a few things. Firstly, I'm not a regular at Birmingham Hippodrome so can't gauge if this is normal, but I thought that there was a tremendous buzz about the theatre which IMO made up for the annoyances of rustling sweet papers, unmuffled coughing fits and chatting through the prelude to Act 2. We like to sound off on here about such things, but if they are the price to pay for an engaged, excited and above all large audience then I'm happy! I thought Delia Mathews made a very dynamic Aurora, bursting with energy and attitude in her entrance and secure in the Rose Adagio. So I mean no disrespect to her when I say that as soon as Brandon Lawrence appeared, it was near impossible for me to look anywhere else! I'm trying to think of a more charismatic male dancer working today but I'm failing: someone please suggest some names, and while you're at it, give me a list of his weaknesses so that I can make sense of his not being a principal already! One other thing I'd like to mention is Celine Gittens' Fairy of Joy, making light work of the technical challenges. Though in the fairy ensemble number I did spot symptoms of a condition I call "Principal's Leg", identifiable by rather higher extensions and attitudes than the less senior dancers in the line-up
  9. First Operas

    Good luck getting tickets for the forthcoming Rheingold though I agree that Dutchman is probably a better "gateway" Wagner than Lohengrin.
  10. LinMM, I don't think anyone could object to your stories, the way you tell them!
  11. Oh, and without meaning to open this can of worms again: the recurring speculation about whether the ROH marketing department is deliberately pushing Hayward over Naghdi is pretty tedious. Even accepting the premise that one gets more publicity than the other (and I haven't looked into whether this is just perception), I find it hard to believe that this isn't led by the journalists themselves, not least because I've never got the impression that the RB PR machine is exactly hyperactive. If anyone has any actual evidence to the contrary, feel free to share it!
  12. I don't want this to become somewhere where people are afraid to express a fair opinion, or even within reason to have a bit of a bitch about something. I just think there are a few things I'd like to see less of: People being over-ready to take offence either on their own or others' behalf As MAB says, persistent criticism of certain dancers, particularly when it's from the same source Criticism of dancers for something which is outside their control, including casting, costume, appearance and the occasional slip (in the latter case, I guess I just think it's bad form effectively to make it a matter of public record) I'm not all about good things, rainbows and unicorns - people who know me in real life know I can be pretty scathing (you should have heard me on the subject of Satyagraha at ENO) - but on a public forum it's a good idea to take more care IMO.
  13. Not a lot in this announcement for me either: Hobson's Choice (which I've never seen) is the pick of the bunch IMO. (I already knew about Fille, as it's coming to Bristol this summer.) That said I understand the need to balance the books, and if Beauty and the Beast helps with that than I can't really complain. I just wish they'd dug deeper into the back catalogue for the mixed bills.
  14. Ah, I understand now. Thank you! Edited to say: please delete this little exchange if it suits!