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  1. Apologies for commenting on a rehearsal (and only part of one at that as unfortunately had to miss second half of La Sylphide) but I thought Tamara was absolulutely wonderful in Song. Despite having seen her dance time after time over the years, she still somehow manages to surprise with just how incredibly expressive her dancing is. She is one of those dancers who make you see things in the choreography that you hadn't noticed before. I thought it was a terrific performance all round. Looking forward to full Sylphide but the reel with the swirling kilts is irresistible!
  2. I think Vivienne Leigh was a ballet dancer in Waterloo Bridge - a favourite film of my dear, long departed, Mum - and a good old fashioned black and white tear jerker if you're in the mood for that sort of thing on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Hated Black Swan!
  3. Agree - would be wonderful to see both Les Noces and Les Biches again (Zenaida would be a very hard act to follow as the Hostess). And apologies to Fonty for not noticing mention of Fearful Symmetries first but somehow reassuring to know that someone else feels the same - it really was very enjoyable, actually exhilarating if my memory hadn't gone completely haywire!
  4. My top five: Onegin Two Pigeons Symphony in C (much pleasure to be had with fantasy casting) Coppelia - it seems an absolute age since the a Royal Ballet did this Tombeaux (David Bintley) - can't remember too much about this except (shallowness alert!) the absolutely beautiful tutus but can recall enough to know I would really like to see it again Plus: a blast from the past - Fearful Symmetries. Again can't remember too much about it except loving Irek Mukhemedov and Deborah Bull dancing up a storm. It may look really old hat now as it was a long time ago but I would be intrigued to see if it could hold its own, both without that amazing original cast and just generally in terms of how things have moved on
  5. Yes, she was a lovely Rose Fairy this afternoon - and an all round lovely performance by everyone. I took my brother for a Christmas gift - he hadn't been to the ballet for over 10 years but having seen the Nutcracker documentary last year, he was interested to see Francesca who more than lived up to his expectations. In the interval he turned and said 'I know nothing about ballet but the dancer in red really stands out as being really classy and elegant' - a very discerning comment about a James Hay IMHO!
  6. Tony - I was right at the top which I don't suppose helped matters but I have always struggled with ballet at the Albert Hall. I think it must be personal as I can never remember enjoying any ballet there despite seeing quite a few performances with ENB and now BRB. It's a shame but you win some, you lose some and I suspect I was in a tiny minority (perhaps a minority of one) in not having a good time today.
  7. Just got back from today's matinee at the Albert Hall. I has been really looking forward to seeing the BRB Nutcracker again after quite a while - I remember really loving it and feeling it was at least on a par with the Royal Ballet production, if not slightly superior. After several years, I can still remember the Christmas tree growing and filling the stage. Having said that, I do have real reservations about ballet at the Albert Hall and really wish I had acted on my instincts and booked a trip to Birmingham. I don't know whether anyone else feels the same but wherever I sit, I feel completely disengaged from what is happening on stage (in a way that never happens when I sit in the back row of the amphi at Covent Garden or the Coliseum, from where I can easily get totally lost in a production). Added to that, the venue also meant another of my pet hates - dancers speaking, in this case Drosselmeyer narrating the story (fortunately quite briefly). I was all ready for things to pick up in the transformation scene but the normal sized tree was wheeled off while we simply watched fir tree branches growing on a screen. I am really sorry to be so negative as I always enjoy watching BRB whenever I get the opportunity and my gripes have absolutely nothing to do with the dancers - Celine Gittens was a beautiful Sugar Plum. I think I have now learned my lesson that whatever the temptation, don't book for the Albert Hall for ballet (particularly for ballets where the sets are an integral part - a bare stage, mirrors and lighting just aren't the same). It's definitely the train to Brum next year!
  8. Now feeling a little bit bereft having just completed my run of Sylvias at this morning's very lovely matinee. I have been lucky enough to see all three casts (sadly not Bonelli this time round) and, thanks to earlier postings, realise I have been lucky to see every cast since the ballet's revival several years ago. This is going to sound extremely bland but, looking back, I've loved every performance I've seen. Yes, there are standouts (Muntagirov of course, for example) but I do agree with the person above who commented that this ballet is almost dancer proof. Given it's demands it shouldn't be - but there is so much to enjoy time after time: the music, the costumes, the sets, yes, the silliness of the story but above all the wonderful choreography - there is so much in there that you see new things every performance. I am surprised every time that a second act of only 20 minutes makes you feel you've seen an amazing amount of dancing. Do hope that we don't have to wait too long to see it again but hope the gap is long enough to fall in love with the ballet all over again. And thank you to three lovely Sylvias, two fantastic Amintas and assorted goats, Dianas etc. I've loved every minute! Finally had to pop into the box office after the performance only to see Bonelli in there. No idea what his injury is but no outward sign of anything major. I shouldn't really make personal comments but no-one will be surprised that he was his usual extremely courteous self in a very busy box office!
  9. I think I am with those who are moved to tears by 'the beauty' - and trying to find any rationale as to what moves me and what doesn't is a hiding to nothing. Sometimes there is an obvious reason - for example seeing Requiem soon after my father died left me a sobbing wreck. But other times I find my reactions inexplicable. Manon is one of my all time favourite ballets and I have seen many fantastic casts over the years but have never cried at it. However, despite being a bit ho-hum about Romeo and Juliet, every time she wakes up in the tomb - whoever is dancing it - brings a lump to my throat. Many posters have mentioned Cojacaru in Giselle and I totally agree with that. Even in her recent performances with ENB where it seemed to me her technique wasn't as good (particularly in Act 1) she is second to none in loosening those tear ducts in the second act! Other crying memories: Hay and Takada in Two Pigeons - made me cry properly ie tears rolling down cheeks. Francesca Hayward's debut in Rhapsody - beautiful and a star was born. Muntagirov in Sylvia on opening night - the sheer beauty of his dancing made me feel really emotional. Jenna Roberts and Tyrone Singleton in the Concerto pas de deux - again sheer beauty and sheer simplicity: unbeatable. Watching students at the Royal Ballet School and thinking of all the years of blood, sweat and tears that goes into making a beautiful movement - and wondering how many will actually make it. It also really moves me when a dancer pulls something totally unexpected (to me at least) out of the bag eg Bonelli in Mayerling, Matthew Golding with Osipova in Onegin. Could go on and on but enough already!
  10. Muntagirov on wonderful form. I've seen him many times now but each time, and despite being a huge fan, he always amazes me with just how beautiful his dancing is. Makes me sigh - happily!
  11. I'm afraid the start for the programme did for me - the monologue was absolutely excruciating (I'm not sure who the joke was on, but even it was me being not bring cool enough to get it, it was still dreadful ). Always happy to cut people some slack as it's not easy to mount a programme (and all credit to those such as Putrov who can pull together such an illustrious group of dancers) but surely there must have been a rehearsal process where someone watched and listened to that speech and realised it was like a 15 year old thinking he was being clever. It put me in such a bad mood that I couldn't get going again afterwards. Not for repeating IMHO!
  12. Sadly I am no longer able to use a stalls seat I bought for BRB Sleeping Beauty matinee at 2pm on Thursday, 1 Feb at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton. Anyone who can use it is more than welcome - just pm me with your address and I'll pop it in the post.
  13. Dance on Sky Arts

    Me too - got that 'cat that got the cream' feeling ...
  14. I've always been a bit reticent about stage doors but I did once see a Irek Mukhamedov on a very crowded Piccadilly Line tube during rush hour. For once I had a seat but willingly jumped up to very hesitatingly approach him. He could not have been more charming or friendly and we had the most interesting conversation about some of his roles. Needless to say it remains my best commute ever by a country mile!
  15. The ushers showed them in - it was literally at 'curtain up'. Really felt for them as clearly not intended and they could have taken their seats with minimal disruption if allowed!