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Everything posted by Riva

  1. I’ve now finished a Swan Lake-tastic week and the 2017/8 season 😪 having seen three performances - Osipova/Ball, Nunez/ Muntagirov (big screen) and Takada/Bracewell. I came away from my first experience of the new production quite disappointed - whilst it LOOKED beautiful it didn’t move me emotionally, which I think I really look for in ballet. Enjoyed the second performance at the big screen more, and by curtain down yesterday evening I was properly engaged and rooting for Siegfried and Odette. I’m not quite sure what made the difference, why my appreciation grew with each performance, perhaps being glued to the binoculars last night so that I could see more of the dancer’s expressions. Overall, I’ve been really impressed with the whole company and orchestra. Thought the corps during acts II and IV were in sync, delicate but also powerful. My biggest gripe is that I felt the musicality was a little off in each of the Neapolitan dances I saw. The set of act III really is stunning - every time I saw the reveal I gasped at it’s beauty!
  2. Excited is an understatement. No confirmation on which dates Matthew Ball will be performing - Sadlers Wells said they aren’t given principal casting until the day of the performance (or sometimes the day before), New Adventures said they would expect to release confirmation of dates in Autumn.
  3. I agree with you that it seems highly unlikely that Yuhui Choe would now be promoted to principal based on so many years as First Soloist, but with regards to these two points - I try to book specifically for her casting dates (I’m gutted she isn’t cast as Nikiya or Gamzatti this Autumn), and in my humble, technically useless but nonetheless ballet-mad and passionate opinion, in the performances I’ve seen she’s always had complete authority over the stage. I note that Ms Choe generally performs in a particular type of role (the happy/girly/princessy ones!) so perhaps doesn’t have the variety that an AD is looking for in a Principal. Having said that, another of my favourite dancers is Ed Watson and I can’t imagine we’ll ever see him as Sugar Plum Fairy’s Prince in The Nutcracker but to me at least he excels in the roles he does perform. We are blessed with a very fine ‘pipeline’ of First Soloists, Soloists, First Artists and Artists at RB, not least Matthew Ball, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, James Hay, William Bracewell, Reece Clarke and Fumi Kaneko all of whom I’ve loved watching this year (and prior) in many fine performances.
  4. I have two tickets for sale for Elizabeth at the Barbican on Friday 7.45pm Stalls Right D7 & D8 £75 for the pair Can meet you there to hand them over Please get in touch if interested
  5. Just getting in the car on the way home from work and heard the last few minutes of Front Row on Radio 4 which included Marianela Nunez, Liam Scarlett and John MacFarlane. It will shortly be available on the iPlayer radio website https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b2gsdb
  6. Great thread! Agreed Marguerite’s red dress is gorgeous. I also love The Young Girl’s dress in RB’s The Two Pigeons - simple but very pretty.
  7. I was deeply moved by today’s Manon and agree with Sim above that this is surely to be Francesca Hayward’s signature role - she was absolutely captivating and really embodied the young woman discovering her allure and sexuality, and using it to her advantage. She is a very fine actress - I really felt I understood Manon’s predicament choosing between her lover and the opportunity for a comfortable life. Plenty of earnest ardour from Federico Bonelli. As others have noted previously we (the audience) don’t get to know much of Des Grieux’s character, but he was clearly enraptured the moment he laid eyes on Manon in Act I, and I felt the heartache in Act II as he watched her, still and silent, patiently waiting for a chance to be near her again. The pas de deux by Hayward and Bonelli were stunning - emotionally charged, full of drama, but at the same time made them look effortless. All fingers crossed that Onegin is revived again soon and we get to see Hayward as Tatiana, I think she’d be phenomenal. Alexander Campbell an absolute star as Lescaut, for me he gave just the right balance of brotherly affection, opportunist rogue and awful boyfriend. I really enjoyed seeing Yuhui Choe’s Mistress a few weeks ago (I felt she portrayed a well-rounded character with a personality) and would love to see them dance these roles together in a future run - they have always been dynamite together. Bennet Gartside an utterly repulsive (and therefore brilliant) Gaoler. Notable mentions for Thomas Whitehead, Choe and Beatriz Stix-Brunell and also Fumi Kaneko who my eye kept being drawn to in the corps. A performance I won’t be forgetting any time soon!
  8. Very keen to purchase a stalls circle standing ticket for the Royal Ballet’s evening performance of Swan Lake on Friday 15th June (Takada/Bracewell). Please do get in touch if you have a spare. Thank you!
  9. Sorry that Steven McRae has been out injured for so long but what an opportunity for William Bracewell!
  10. I fear I may be losing my memory (or marbles!) but I could have sworn that when I booked for the Obsidian Tear/ Marguerite & Armand/ Elite Syncopations triple bill for 2nd May, William Bracewell was listed as a principal performer in Obsidian Tear alongside Lukas Bjorneboe Braendsrod. Looking at the production page now it seems as though Benjamin Ella is cast instead. I don’t recall seeing any notice about a change to the casting - is anyone aware if it was always Benjamin Ella cast and I was mistaken thinking otherwise?
  11. Hi Anna I’ve sent you a message re 28th!
  12. There is now a short video ‘trailer’ on the production page showing some lovely detail of what look to be stunning costumes http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/swan-lake-by-liam-scarlett
  13. I’m surprised not to see Yuhui Choe cast in La Bayadere but I suppose that is what happens when our cup runneth over with such incredible riches of talent throughout the company!
  14. Thanks BBB. I remember it being earlier in the morning than I had anticipated!
  15. I think last year’s was early, just after 9.30am (resulting in me being remarkably unproductive at work that morning!).
  16. There was an announcement made at the beginning of the week on the ROH website and social media http://www.roh.org.uk/news/cast-change-matthew-ball-to-dance-in-giselle-on-9-march-2018
  17. Would love to hear thoughts from attendees, I raced home from work with the incorrect assumption that I could watch a live stream on YouTube and was then bitterly disappointed!
  18. Not ballet... but a few years ago I went to see Les Mis with my mum and sister. Without spoiling it for anyone who doesn’t know the story, it gets a bit emotional towards the end and I certainly felt a tear beginning to silently well in my eye. Unfortunately the performance was overwhelming for a patron a few rows in front of us, who burst into tears and started sobbing quite loudly. I did feel for her, but it definitely broke the spell for much of the audience who promptly burst into giggles.
  19. I think Claire Calvert is cast as Myrtha for the Hayward/Campbell performances (she mentioned on Instagram).
  20. 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!
  21. 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!