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Richard LH

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  1. It was another great performance by the whole cast tonight, and it was good to see Bonelli and Takada gelling so well at short notice. James Hay went down very well, and I loved Kay and O'Sullivan in the Neopolitan. I think Indigo sums up Takada pretty well above. If anything I think she improved tonight on her fine performance on Saturday both technically and dramatically, although it may just be that I am getting more familiar with, and appreciative of, the nuances of the choreography and mime now (third time)! Perhaps because of this, and the fact that I had a better view for Act 4 than before - (I even spotted the lake, Indigo !) the ending felt more powerful and logical too this time.
  2. Very lucky to be here again for these three, let alone Takada and Bonelli....plus Heap again in the Spanish... BTW the swan wings have flown....
  3. You should be OK on both fronts with the current RB production, Jan, if you are able to see it (which I hope).
  4. I agree this can be annoying if it completely upsets the dramatic flow, or if it seems the pause is created by the artists simply in order to solicit applause. But there are occasions where it quite fits in dramatically -- for example when a dance is being performed for an on-stage audience of nobles, peasants or whatever (not an uncommon occurence!), then the applause which that on-stage audience would provide in the real world (but don't in the production) can be usefully replaced by the actual audience. I see no problem with that. Also, occasionally audience applause after a wonderful pdd or solo can be so heartfelt and prolonged that we can forgive the artists if they briefly acknowledge it back (even at otherwise inappropriate moments - but as an exception, not as a rule). It has seemed just about OK on a couple of occasions during the current Swan Lake run.
  5. (Sorry the quotes above are MRR's originally - I mistakenly quoted penelopesimpson's re-quote, but I can't find a way to delete or re-attribute quotes when editing)! Interesting - I actually loved her dramatic approach - which I would characterise as subtle and reserved, rather than detached. I don't think her expression in Act II was simply frightened - there was a lot of pathos and also a queenly quality there. The character and the drama is also expressed physically, as you say, coming not just in the face but in the whole body, and (for me at least !)Takada's graceful, and beautifully timed movements were indeed very expressive both as Odette and Odile.
  6. I am struggling to find a suitable way of acknowledging Akane Takada’s outstanding performance as Odette/Odile. She commanded attention on the stage at every point. Technically brilliant (32 fouettés ? no problem...) but also sophisticated, subtle, mesmerising, charismatic, enigmatic, stylish … the list goes on. A vulnerable, moving and regal Odette; an enticing, sexy, wicked Odile. An amazingly controlled, mature and nuanced display from the young Principal. William Bracewell as her fitting, assured partner, well portrayed a naive young prince awe struck by his encounters with both Odette and Odile. It was always going to be difficult to follow the first night, but to my mind, and judging by the prolonged and heartfelt applause, these two pulled it off brilliantly.
  7. OK 15 mins. to go. Wishing all the cast a fantastic performance!
  8. It's strange how sometimes people see things differently. The NY Times reviewer, Roslyn Sulcas, is generally positive (if a little cool) about the opening night , but includes two particular reservations, one being the "peculiarly unbelievable" character of the Queen's advisor/ Von Rothbart; the second being the corps, which "often looked ragged" (?!) For me, those elements were two of the best features of this great performance. It makes perfect sense (as much as any fairy story makes sense) to show the evil character behind all the spell-casting having a presence throughout the performance, and trying to manipulate everyone to his ends. We can see V R's motivation in this production, getting Siegfried tied up with his daughter Odile to assist his power grab on the Kingdom. As for the corps, I (and every other commentator I have heard or read) saw only beautiful precise formations and movement, danced perfectly together - it must take tremendous planning and dedicated practice. The production could not be a success without them, as Scarlett acknowledged at the end.
  9. Great review, thank you Alice...I love your Manon review too..☺️
  10. There is another 5 star review by Mark Pullinger at Bachtrack.
  11. Shame that more of the gentlemen could not be squeezed in...!
  12. and we are invited to post our own reactions here.... http://www.roh.org.uk/news/your-reaction-what-did-you-think-of-swan-lake
  13. I cannot compete with MRR's earlier cool technical analysis; all I know that the opening night of Liam Scarlett's new Swan Lake was one of the loveliest things I have ever seen. Some of the lasting impressions of a really special evening… A wonderfully lit brief prologue, dramatically setting the scene for what was to follow. Revelation of the castle grounds scene – transfixing, and then throughout Act 1 the whole staging, the movement, and the music - so beautiful I just sat there with a stupid grin on my face. My first live Nunez performance – so controlled and consummate, with Muntagirov such a great partner for her. Super bonus – watching the three amigos (Campbell, Takada and Hayward), all given prominent roles, dancing to perfection. Exquisite skill, warmth, and joy in dancing from all three, and more great characterisation throughout the production from Campbell. Opening of Act 3 – the spontaneous thrilled applause, for the fantastic set. Then the equally fantastic costumes for the whole cast. The applause after the challenging solo dancing – not the done thing, of course, but when Nunez knocked out the fouettés with such apparent ease, sort of saying "there you go !" I don’t think the audience could help itself, and the same with Muntagoriv’s brilliant turns straight after ( - a sort of “anything you can do” moment). The corps of swans in Acts II and IV – such beautiful perfection in synchronised movement and posture. The curtain calls, to a lengthy standing ovation, and framed by a seemingly endless rain of flowers from on high…. a mixture of shared exhilaration, grateful thanks and no doubt relief all round. Hayward glancing across at Nunez, looking so pleased for her. And the lovely hugs between Nunez and Muntagirov …
  14. Something I don't understand about Swan Lake in general....if Siegfried swears his loyal and undying love to Odette here, how come the spell isn't broken? She stills turns back into a swan at dawn at the end of Act II.