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  1. I was 'only' at the rehearsal so know I shouldn't comment but what a treat for £4 to see Muntagirov, Nunez and Osipiva - and all the others too numerous to mention - at the top of their game. Luxury casting indeed. Despite sitting quite high in the amphi, I don't think I will forget in quite a while some of the looks Natalia gave Marienela. Her 'for goodness sake get on with it' during the dance with the basket of flowers was priceless, as was her nod to Muntagirov as they went off at the end of that scene as though to say 'good boy, you're doing the right thing being with me'. It will be SO interesting to see the role switch on Monday night (assuming I've got my dates and casts right!).
  2. I suppose as well as trying to keep all his talented dancers happy, KOH is on a bit of a hiding to nothing trying to keep audiences happy too! I think he has done an excellent job of giving people opportunities and roles but, just occasionally, I go into 'furrowed brow' mode and think his generosity might be spread just slightly more widely - Ball with 6 Romeos and Campbell none, and Bennett Gartside with Winter's Tale are a couple of examples of this for me. But I appreciate casting decisions must be a total nightmare - I also have no idea about any economic aspects of rehearsal times with multiple casts etc, let alone the logistical, but when there are long runs (as in the ballets mentioned above) surely it can't be beyond the whit of man! Will nevertheless be going bankrupt in the R&J run - despite being heartily sick of its regularity!!
  3. That was one of the many reasons Irek was so wonderful! You could watch all the flinging and throwing in the knowledge that the ballerinas were totally safe. A bit of stage danger without real danger so to speak!
  4. Well, two very contrasting evenings at the ballet on Friday and Saturday. Much as I'm a fan of a lot of the dancers who get most of the attention on this site, it's one of the pleasures of ballet going when one of the less starry gets their chance and really seizes it. So, I was genuinely hoping that Hirano was going to do that - as he did in Winter's Tale where the emotion was displayed forcefully in the unforgiving close-ups of the cinema. But, like many above, I felt Rudolf - so far at least - just wasn't for him. But what was most odd, I found, was that his Act 3 really was excellent - but rather than that slow warming-up you get sometimes, as dancers overcome their nerves and settle in, this felt as though a different dancer had appeared! Having said that, I do agree with Varnatus that his panic attack in Act 2 was very convincing. It was such a shame because you had all these amazing ballerinas, Osipova, Lamb, Hayward (all brilliant in their roles) who looked as though they were dancing in a vacuum. My favourite scene was between Mary and Larisch with the cards because both the women played off each other so well. I hope Hirano is like Cope - the first time I saw him it felt exactly like this performance - somehow without a centre - but when Mayerling was next revived he was sensational. As for Matthew, nothing really to add - it was just for me a genuine triumph. As well as the acting feeling so real, he danced so beautifully (and you don't always get that combination!). I'm sure this will only be one amazing highlight in what must surely be an incredible career. He really does have it all. The whole cast gelled so well around him and I really liked Natalie Harrison as the Empress. Do hope Elizabeth Harrod has no after effects - I hear myself blithely saying in the interval that dropping her didn't matter in the context if what was happening in the scene, while managing to forget completely that there was a person on the receiving end who might have a few sore bruises this morning! Congratulations to everyone for a wonderful night.
  5. Agree it was very interesting but just wanted to post my slight discomfiture about comparing interviewers etc. We're all obviously entitled to our opinions but assuming I'm right in thinking both BA and LBC are 'staffed' totally by volunteers (and happy to be corrected if I'm wrong) I'd instead to thank all concerned for putting on many a happy evening and say how much I enjoy the programmes of both organisations.
  6. Ticket: Amphi, D37, £15 - would have to post as 'hard' ticket. Pls let me know if interested.
  7. I think the Trocks should be available on the NHS - I would defy anyone not to feel better after watching them. What I love about them is that they never overdo the humour so you get that wonderful mix of watching some quite wonderful dancing and then suddenly bursting into laughter, either at the more slapstick moments or their more subtle send-ups of ballet mannerisms, like the 'girls' in the Bournonville holding their skirts and standing at the sides, gesturing to the dancers who are doing their solos. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the matinee performance yesterday but was particularly taken by the blank faced poet in Les Sylphides - and then his wonderful wig in Raymonda. It brought back many a memory of Bolshoi productions from a few years back. The very decent sized audience appeared to lap it up, as did I - what a great antidote to the outside world at the moment.
  8. Only four of us in my local cinema - such a pity as it was very enjoyable. Lovely dancing, wonderful costumes, loads of colour and the well known music. Plus it was very short which left me wanting more rather than out staying welcome. It's such a long time since I have seen the Australian Ballet - do wish we got to see them more. The four main roles were: Hanna: Amber Scott Danilo: Adam Bull Valencienne: Leanne Stojmenov Camille: Andrew Killian Always a particular pleasure I find to go and see dancers you don't know at all, therefore have no preconceptions, and just sit back and enjoy.
  9. On R4 Today programme - sometime in the next hour (after 8am)
  10. BMC

    Audience Behaviour

    On the subject of relaxed performances, I inadvertently booked for one recently - to see a romantic musical comedy at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre at the Globe. As someone who likes to sit quietly, gets incredibly irritated by mobile phone lights etc, I didn't know what to expect but it turned out to be one of the loveliest afternoons I have ever had at the theatre. One of the actors came on stage at the beginning and mentioned in a very low key way that the audience could react however they would like to, including going in and out during the performance. That didn't happen so much, except for a lady with a sleeping baby which eventually woke up and was taken out but what was particularly engaging was seeing a lady with Tourette's clearly enjoying every minute, with her carer able to relax and have a good time. We soon got used to her calling out, although very often what she said was pertinent to what was going on on stage and she had the audience in stitches - totally laughing with her, I hasten to add - while the actors didn't react at all so there was nothing to draw attention unnecessarily to anyone. Although it was the ultimate feelgood musical, I can honestly say that it being a relaxed performance made it very special indeed resulting in prolonged applause and cheering. To say a great time was had by all would be an understatement. I was chatting to a colleague about it and she told me about her young brother who has Down syndrome - he absolutely loves musicals and likes to sing along so her family are huge fans of these relaxed performances. I think this is a very long winded way of saying that I think they are a terrific idea as long as it's made clear when you book so that you know what to expect.
  11. Well, like so many others, I found this to be a bit of a so-so event. As an Osipova fan, I am always happy to see her dance and it was lovely to see David Hallberg at last, although I wish I had got to see him pre-injury. He does have a very classy stage presence though and they were wonderful together in Valse Triste. I also enjoyed The Leaves are Fading and, I suspect against my better judgement, Ave Maria. It does make you realise, once again, how difficult it is to get these things right. I was thinking back to the equivalents I have seen over the years with, for example, Acosta, Mukhamedov, Sylvie Guillem, Polunin and others, and it seems very rare that these events match their talents and provide something memorable. If I'm honest, Sylvie was probably my least favourite of these dancers but I can still remember the genuine excitement I felt on first seeing Two and Push, whereas as an adoring fan of Irek, only his Diana and Acteaon pas de deux with Yoshida lives on in my mind (and a bit of a strange Othello). Perhaps it's my conservative taste or subconsciously wanting these superstars to dance show stoppers, or may be it's just a reminder what a tremendous talent it is both to commission and then for the choreographer (and everyone else involved) to create a work that people want to see again. I think the best of these sort of evenings I have seen was Johan Kobborg's at the Queen Elizabeth Hall when he put on a series of Bournonville works which again says it all! I think managing my expectations is the key in future - enjoying seeing whichever dancer it happens to be in something outside the repertoire we usually get to see them in while having no expectation at all that it will produce one of those 'seared in the memory' occasions.
  12. Natalya in Month in the Country - would love to waft around in those beautiful white dresses and bourree across the stage in the arms of a handsome tutor!! Would also love to experience the beautiful lift at the end of the Rhapsody pas de deux but suspect I would need a prop forward from the All Blacks rugby team to be my partner! Fantasies over now - back to reality!
  13. I would cull (while noting this is in my ideal world where economic considerations aren't important!): - Romeo & Juliet, for 5-10 years (and not only the RB production but a worldwide moratorium on all productions, it seems to have been done to death) - Nutcracker, for a couple of years, not least to give the dancers who perform the same roles time after time a bit of a break - Tales of Beatrix Potter - for ever! Sets my teeth on edge! - The Acosta Carmen (which I assume has been quietly killed off as just a mistake) and, if it's still on the rep list, the Mats Ek Carmen which I loathed with a passion. - Corybantic Games - normally I am quite happy to give ballets several chances but have to admit to a slightly sinking heart at the thought of having to sit through this again. Agree about: - Raven Girl - it just doesn't work, despite the re-tweaking; - Strapless - although I still think something could be salvaged from this; - Judas Tree - not because of strong feelings about the ballet, but because I think this is one of those occasions when only the talents of a unique dancer, in this case Mukhamedov, can really do it justice and, as he was a 'one-off', I don't think that is going to happen again. Respectfully but passionately disagree about culling: - Fille - Mayerling - Onegin Just couldn't bear it ....
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