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  1. I think Claire Calvert is cast as Myrtha for the Hayward/Campbell performances (she mentioned on Instagram).
  2. How disappointing for Steven McRae, I do hope he recovers quickly. And what an exciting opportunity for Benjamin Ella. On the subject of which, I’m really interested to hear if anyone knows what the ‘contingency plans’ are when an artist is injured - assume they rehearse at least one or two understudies for each role of a production? I noticed a significant number of cast changes at The Nutcracker on Monday and was impressed that the quality was still of such a high standard when I anticipate they wouldn’t have had much if any time to rehearse with the rest of the cast. I’d assume that first choice in the case of injury in a leading role would be another principal/dancer already due to perform the same role eg Bonelli replacing McRae as Prince in The Nutcracker. But would understudies rehearsing for principal roles generally come from the first soloists/soloists? If my memory serves me correctly (which it may not!), am I right in recalling that Akane Takada replaced someone as the titular role in Giselle when she was a first soloist a few years abo? Please excuse my ignorance. Eager to learn and understand more about how things work!
  3. I’d been thinking about a wish list season for a while, fun to see everyone else’s too! Ideally I’d love to see any of these included next season: La Bayadere The Concert Cinderella Ondine La Sylphide Les Patineurs And although they have been on relatively recently, I don’t think I could ever get tired of The Two Pigeons, Afternoon of a Faun, After The Rain, Symphonic Variations, Onegin, La Fille Mal Gardee or Mayerling!
  4. More of a whimper than a howl! I was online in advance of 9am ready to book immediately, but wasn’t able to get tickets for any of the insights, I think in 5 years of being a friend I’ve been able to get tickets for 2 insights events. I note a previous post saying to check back repeatedly to see if seats become available later on, which I will try in the future.
  5. First time I cried at the ballet was Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson in Romeo & Juliet. Since then I think just two more occasions where I’ve really had the tears coming thick and fast - Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares in Onegin, and Yuhui Choe and Alexander Campbell in The Two Pigeons. I was also very moved the last time I saw Symphonic Variations (Marianela Nuñez, Vadim Muntagirov, Yuhui Choe, James Hay, Yasmine Naghdi, Tristan Dyer) and watching Zenaida Yanowsky and Reece Clarke in After the Rain. Since then, I can’t listen to Spiegel im Spiegel without finding myself getting emotional! I was surprised to feel moved by the beautiful choreography watching William Bracewell and Anna Rose O’Sullivan rehearse Le Rossignol at the recent Ashton foundation masterclass - something about the arms was just so tender it really took my breath away.
  6. So is it then the case that ALL the ‘seats’ are made available to the top level of friends when that tier of membership has access to performances/insights? I assumed that a certain percentage would be held back and released as each level went on sale, that I was just too slow and someone else won the ‘fastest finger first’ battle!
  7. My first time too. Perhaps controversially, I loved the scenery, I thought it looked brilliant. Howeverwhen Sylvia came out in her ‘seduction’ outfit in Act II, for some reason it reminded me of Princess Leia’s slave costume in Return of the Jedi, and I wondered if that made Orion ‘Jabba’? ! I digress. I agree I felt the storyline a bit odd, and perhaps unnecessarily complicated in Act I, and needed a thorough reading of the synopsis to have a grasp of what was going on and why. However my friend and I really enjoyed what we felt was a very sweet, frothy ballet and brilliant score. I agree that the role of Aminta could benefit from additional choreography to perform, Vadim Muntagirov was an absolute dream last night, I wish we’d seen more of him. And it would be good to understand more of the character of both of the lovers, they didn’t feel as developed as other leading roles, which I thought made it harder to form a connection with them. Some gorgeous moments in the PDD in particular, and also loved the larger set pieces and Sylvia’s attendants. I’d happily watch it again in future runs.
  8. *privilege - can’t seem to edit previous post!
  9. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed yesterday afternoon. I had extremely limited knowledge of Le Rossignol before attending, but found both the solo and PDD beautiful. What a privelige!
  10. I was really impressed by the triple bill last night - I hadn't seen any of the pieces before and, having read all of the above comments, was a little apprehensive about certain aspects, but I appreciated all three dances. I felt Lauren Cuthbertson to be dangerous and provocative, having not seen it danced before, perhaps others have emphasised this more, but my novice eyes were certainly shocked. Thought Thiago Soares and Ed Watson both deeply moving. Always love watching Lauren and Ed together, they have such a special dynamic. Reece Clarke is a lovely dancer but I didn't really connect with his role in the way I did the others, although perhaps that is to be expected. I really felt for Paul Kay and Valentino Zuchetti going from Judas Tree to Elite Syncopations in the space of 30 minutes, that can't be easy! I sat in the second row of the stalls and felt that I possibly missed out on Elite Syncopations footwork, but enjoyed it nonetheless, with Laura Morera and Yuhui Choe, Paul Kay and James Hay catching my eye in particular. Agree with a previous poster re Gloria perhaps looking not particularly polished, but what a beautiful pas de deux, and exceptional vocals!
  11. Ballet Radio 4

    Programme on Radio 4 tomorrow at 11.30am following artist Fiona Graham-Mackay whilst she works on a portrait of Ed Watson, during which he talks about life as a ballet dancer. Available on iPlayer afterwards (thank goodness)! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09b0shf
  12. Nooooooo! Too many amazing casts, I'll never be able to choose between the Manon dates! Am thrilled however to see Matthew Ball cast as Armand - think it's a role that will really suit him. I dont understand the casting for Elite Syncopations. I've never seen the piece before, but notice that only one male and female dancer are listed, but didn't we see three female performers rehearse during World Ballet Day? I understand why, but do get a bit frustrated that we only know limited casting before turning up on the day to see a detailed cast sheet. When given the choice between one principal cast and another, I might like to book a particular date becasuse Yuhui Choe/Matthew Ball/Reece Clarke/a.n.other are performing a supporting role. Ah well. I should be grateful for what info I can get!
  13. Really enjoyed the performance last night. I was unsure of what to expect but although there was some novelty in being in such an unusual venue, for me the real joy was in being so intimately close to the dancers, and also in being able to walk around the room to decide which dancers to watch, and which angle to see it from. I too entered during the second cycle and stayed until the end. It was only later on that I appreciated the interaction between the three 'stages' which added an extra element to appreciate. Managed to keep calm and not 'fangirl' when Francesca Hayward touched me and Alex Campbell was inches from me, but it took all of my self control!
  14. I managed to watch it on the 'All 4' app, Ed's appearance is at approx 20mins 45secs. It's promo for the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland cinema relay but he talks about his career and what the future might hold too.