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  1. Max Westwell was superb so don't want to take anything away from his performance but it's always slightly disappointing when you don't get to see the reason you booked. I'm taking a friend at the end of the run so am praying Ball will be better by then!
  2. Hi capybara I went last night and Matthew Ball didn't dance. Max Westwell did instead.
  3. Sorry moderators, my post seems to have posted twice not sure why. Would you mind please deleting the first one? Thank you
  4. A few scribbles on a couple nutcrackers seen on 7 December where I took a friend who had never seen it before (but has been getting into ballet over the last 5 years) and last night with my mother who has been going to Covent Garden since the 1970s and enjoys the odd Nutcracker every now and again, with the following casts: 7 December Clara: Emma maguire Nutcracker / Hans Peter: Luca Acri SGP fairy: Yasmine Naghdi SGP prince: Riochi Hirano 21 December: Clara: Meghan Grace Hinkis Nutcracker/ Hans Peter: Luca Acri SGP fairy: Fumi Kaneko SGP prince: William Bracewell On both evenings, Christopher Saunders was Drosselmeyer, Leo Dixon Clara's friend, and Yuhui Choe the Rose Fairy. Barry wordsworth conducted on the 7th, and Kassels on the 21st. I was a bit worried I'd be a bit jaded by the time I saw the second show, but the waterworks came on like clockwork in the tree and toy transformation scene and continued until the climax of the snowflake waltz. I always ponder what is it about the first act that is so moving time and time again aside from the glorious music, and my friend summed it up really well by saying the story made him believe that "there is good in the world" and feel a sense of wonder and possibility. Luca Acri had lovely elevation and told his story with boyish charm. Maguire and Hinkis were both lovely as Clara, I'd say I preferred Maguire's characterisation, and Hinkis' technique which meant that the pas de deux with acri / Hinkis flowed more. As much as I like Saunders, I wish I'd been able to see Avis as Drosselmeyer once this season. I find Saunders plays Drosselmeyer as fun loving and mischievous, and doesn't seem too sad that his nephew has been turned into a wooden nutcracker. It could be that he knows that the spell will be broken, and as the puppet master that he is, he knows that all will be well since he is controlling the story! Last night he moonwalked out during his red run and puffed out lots of glitter from his mouth which brought a great cheer and he seems like a fun loving and unflappable sort of person in real life! On the 7th, his levitation trick didn't work and you would never have noticed as he just walked down the steps as if it was the most normal thing in the world. What I adore about Avis is the inner world that he brings to Drosselmeyer, his complexity and occasional darkness, and how he pines for his nephew, the last scene when he is slumped over his table and his nephew returns and how you feel his heart explode with joy and relief is so moving. It never fails to make me burst into tears! Saunders is all jollity, but to me less moving in comparison. In the Spanish on both nights, Calvin Richardson stood out, all smiles and haughty snaps of the wrists and heels. In the Arabian on both nights, Izmendiar Mendizabal gave a great side eye and displayed a fierceness that to me just about succeeds in countering the naffness of the pink pantaloons and the stylised territorialness of the men which I find a bit cringe. One side eye from her and you realise who is really running the show. Yes girl! In the Chinese, on 7.12 I was lucky to see Joseph Sissens and Marcelino Sambe together. What a pair they made, you could just tell they were having so much fun together and it was contagious! The audience lapped it up and roared and when they did their red run during the applause they came out with grands jetés to more cheers. What unaffected showmen they are! They have such stage presence and for me have the chops to be principals just on pure technique. I really wish I'd be been able to see Sambe as nutcracker this run but dates wise it wasn't to be. In the Russian on 7.12, Leo Dixon and David Yudes (?) were technically brilliant and just brought the house down. Yuhui choe was a very musical Rose fairy on both evenings, never rushed and serene, taking the tricky and fast choreography in her stride. You never worry that she will hit those counts, and can let yourself breathe and relax in the safety of that knowledge! Yasmine naghdi and Riochi Hirano, and Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell as the SGPF and P... I had seen Hirano last year with Akane Takada and they had really wowed my socks off with their energy and brio, they made the GPDD feel thrilling, and I was always on the edge of my seat as they were both really going for it! I didn't have that same feeling with Naghdi / Hirano, or Kaneko / Bracewell. I liked both GPDDs and they both felt very stately but didn't have that same feeling of breathlessness, and maybe controlled danger? Both men were good partners, but I feel that Hirano was more assured and in control and you knew that Naghdi was in safe hands. Naghdi was a musical SGPF, and is so technically assured, her SGPF was very crisp and precise, and she played the SGPF as serene and queen like. In comparison, Kaneko, also very musical, was more lyrical and soft, and her SGPF seemed very gentle and benevolent. Both to me were different takes on the SGPF, and I liked both. Bracewell nearly came a cropper in his solo doing a saut de basque but just about saved himself which was quite thrilling, but it did mean I couldn't watch the rest of his solo too closely as i was too nervous for the rest of it! He was brilliant in Winter Dreams earlier this week, and to me is possibly one of the best actors amongst the RB men. I feel that his partnering and strength will continue to grow as he continues to get plum roles. Even though both my casts were very similar, seeing both shoes did make me think quite how rich and diverse the RB is, and sent me off full of Christmas cheer. Happy holidays to all!
  5. Very envious you saw Sambe as nutcracker /Hans Peter Lizbie! He was a good partner in Fille and the Dream a while ago I thought, and was lined up for Gisele with Hayward which he missed due to injury and didn't seem to get any meaty roles since. I think he has DQ with Naghdi and R&J with O'Sullivan next though? And yes to Joseph Sissens, what a dancer!
  6. The notes on the roh website say that the butterflies are parodying tropes of classical ballet, and the section was first inspired by the programmatic name of the Chopin piece ‘Butterfly’ Etude.
  7. Hello everyone this is my first crack at sharing a few thoughts from my phone on a performance on this forum, have been lurking and reading all your contributions with great interest thus far! The Concert is utterly effervescent and feels so timeless even though created in the 50s, and makes me wish we could get to see more Robbins in London. So many wonderful moments captured through Robbins' eyes: - The temperamental nature of the piano player dusting off his piano before launching into a dreamy recital - the gentle poking fun at the audience, transported by the chopin concert and irritated by any distraction such as a rustle or a bang (that was certainly us when phones went off twice during winter dreams!) - the role of the men in ballet as female mannequin transporters - the references to what seemed to me to be the ballet classics such as swan Lake with Cuthbertson as odette, les sylphide gone wrong, and giselle- my favourite being morera as the Queen of the Willis chasing her adulterous flighty husband down with her Willi butterflies - the flightiness and flirtations of human interaction illustrated by the butterflies - the piano player having enough of all of this flighty nonsense and chasing the cornucopia of butterflies in an absurd finale with his net. Just brilliant! Laura Morera and Lauren Cuthbertson have such fabulous comic timing, and Kish was a great replacement. On les patineurs, it feels like all there is to do is kick back and enjoy the joy of movement and the inventiveness of capturing the feeling of skating and enjoyment of simple wintry pleasures through ballet. Hats off to an elegant Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell as the couple in white (I found their white flouncy hats terribly distracting though) and to Marcelino Sambe as the cheeky blue boy who wowed to the end with his spins and leaps, along with his two ladies in blue yuhui Choe and Anna rose Osullivan. I like the story of the three sisters and winter dreams as a ballet. Nunez, mendizabal and Naghdi were dreamy as the three sisters, all so different in nature and yet bonded as one living in their shadowy wintry world where time seems to stand still in an almost magic realist marquez way (while soares and nunez had great chemistry from where I was sat at the front of the Amphi, I can't help but feel slight envy at those who will be seeing muntagirov later this week). My friend commented at the end that WD didn't feel right sandwiched between les patineurs and the Concert as it didn't feel very cohesive as an evening, though as I love the story i was quite happy, but I see her point in terms of the energy of the evening. All in all, a fabulous triple which I greatly enjoyed.
  8. Ive had a total mare too Rob S trying to get an extra ticket for a friend for this evening. Took me 2 days of refreshing the nutcracker page (while at work!) and having that frustrating thing of not adding the coloured dot fast enough to my basket, to eventually get one and way over budget but I got trigger happy / desperate! I found first thing in the morning and between 12-2 and then again between 4-6 there seemed to be a higher instance of returns. Good luck!
  9. Lucky you 😂😂 it was the first ballet I ever saw, but as a 5 year old I didn't have much of a choice and was furthermore of an age where one is easily pleased. I was further indoctrinated by receiving the VHS with Lesley Collier for Christmas, which I then subsequently watched 100s of time throughout my childhood. Sadly for me, other versions of the Nutcracker just feel wrong, however much I try, which is rather limiting! I do hope you enjoy your BRB treat next week 🙂
  10. Jan, I wonder if this wasn't directed at your sensible comment about being inclusive towards those on this forum who might not know all the RB dancers' full names so well but, rather, to those who thought it wasn't appropriate to use first names from a social norms perspective as they see this as overly or falsely intimate. Apologies if I'm speaking out of turn and for JennyTaylor who of course can speak for herself. I thought I'd jump in as it's Christmas time and we're all so lucky to be enjoying a run of Peter Wright's gorgeous Nutcracker which leaves us all filled with good cheer after having seen it!
  11. Tickets found thanks very much. I am no longer enquiring. Clara
  12. FrankH you're being very gracious about any supposed ballet knowledge - one doesn't necessarily need to have gone to professional ballet school and to know all the technical moves and related terms, or to have seen 100s of performances to know that one instinctively loves a particular dancer and the way they move or breathe with the music, or one connects with a certain performance. You expressed what you felt about the performance as an audience member which is wonderful, and others on this forum can agree or disagree which is also wonderful! Well done for backing out of any potential diplomatic fracas relating to Hayward / Naghdi who are both fabulous principal artists in their own right, and have passionate supporters on either side wishing for their favourite to be spoken of in equal terms 🙂😋
  13. Hi stellar for which day please? I'd like to buy it! Could you pm me your bank details or email me at Claire.fourel@ashurst.com  Thanks very much! 
  14. Hi stellar for which day please? I'd like to buy it! Could you pm me your bank details or email me at Claire.fourel@ashurst.com Thanks very much!
  15. Hello Wanted: 1 ticket for Nutcracker on Fridays 7 and 21 December. Standing or seated. Pm me if available. Thanks! Clara