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Beryl H

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Everything posted by Beryl H

  1. After seeing the perfect Cojocaru/Caley first night I was prepared to be less enthralled yesterday although I cheered up after reading Isaac Hernandez would be dancing, in the event I agree with bridiem that it was strange, although I thought Maria Alexandrova was just as I remembered her, warm and gracious in both her dancing and acting (although like most Russian ballerina's she doesn't let go of the Princes' hands to balance, just quickly shifts to the next hand), but she suffered from the completely wrong partner again. Isaac Hernandez only really looked happy dancing the Act 3 solo, nothing went wrong but it just looked uncomfortable at times like the fish dives, it was still a huge pleasure to see her again and they both did well in the circumstances. I was lucky to see Rina Kanehara and Daniel McCormick dance the Bluebirds again, and Junor Souza looked so happy dancing in the Rose Adagio with Maria, hint ?
  2. Beryl H

    Audience Behaviour

    I've always found this to be true, especially in the Dress and Upper Circles, and booking for the Balcony is always subject to it being shut down on the night, love the theatre but not the sightlines! Last night and last week I paid more than was sensible just to see the ballet without the hassle for a change and found row A of the Upper Circle right on the side to give a good view, and it had more leg room those than in the centre which can feel crippling.
  3. Bruce Wall has said it much better than I could, a marvellous evening indeed, so glad I splashed out on a better seat for a change, more than worth it, Alina Cojocaru gave a superb musical and technical Rose Adagio with absolutely perfect balances, wonderful dancing and partnering from Joseph Caley, and then what joyous dancing from Rina Kanehara and Daniel McCormick in the Bluebird pdd, so well matched, both adorable! Liked James Streeter's Carabosse too, like a crazy Queen Elizabeth the First. Really looking forward to Maria Alexandrova next week!
  4. Got my first sight of this production last night, lovely to see Akane Takada dancing so beautifully again with William Bracewell as Siegfried, and a wonderful pas de trois from Marcelino Sambe, Fumi Kaneko and Anna Rose O'Sullivan. Benno doesn't really seem to count as an important character though, likewise the sisters, liked their period costumes which surprisingly looked okay with the classical choreography. In fact Act 1 was superb with such rich realistic designs, very military feel though and I thought the Rothbart character looked a bit OTT. Act 3 also has a fabulous set and costumes although I didn't like the quartet of Princesses at the beginning in short tutu's. Very good new choreography for the Spanish and Czardas dances in particular, they were more exciting than the usual ones, but Ashton's Neapolitan was still the best of them all, danced by Isabella Gasparini and James Hay! I didn't like the swan acts designs so much, rather gloomy, and I wasn't keen on the opening corps scene of the last act, it looked "dancing by numbers", I am very biased on this though, I did like the new pas de deux, but afraid the final scene had an unfortunate effect from row S of the amphi in that I only saw a pair of legs dangling from above, this really does need adjusting, I'd like to see a photo of how it should look! One image stays with me in particular, the ending of the second act pdd, Odette's position as she leans across looked exquisite with Takada and Bracewell, much prefer this to the arabesque.
  5. There's a very good review of Margarita Shrainer's debut in April as Swanhilda in the new Dance Europe, I was going to give the cinema a miss but not sure now!
  6. I like soft tutu's too in any ballet but particularly Swan Lake, in fact I was fond of the soft long ones in the old production, I will also miss Ivanov's fourth act very much so I wonder what I'll make of this one, the first and third act costumes certainly look very stylish, I'm looking forward to seeing it for myself next week, and seeing Akane Takada!
  7. I noticed this in today's Times, there's another photo, looks very interesting, have we had a Victoria and Albert pas de deux yet?
  8. It all sounds wonderful, looking forward to seeing photos of the scenery in detail, can't see any mention of this but there's so much to read, does Siegfried have a solo in Act 1, or the new Act 4 ?
  9. A great performance of the last act pdd last night, after already seeing Alexander Campbell, last night Reece Clarke acted his heart out too, as well as partnering faultlessly, they took Des Grieux to new heights for me! Although Reece Clarke is not as experienced as Lauren Cuthbertson, there's no doubt there is something special and exciting about them as a couple, it was a lovely way to end this run!
  10. A beautiful performance from Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov, such elegance and emotion combined, no wonder they looked overjoyed at the curtain calls, lots of hugs and kisses! Ryoichi Hirano was surprisingly funny as Lescaut, fantastic timing too, I enjoyed the drunken pdd with Itziar Mendizabal much more than usual. Hope a DVD will be issued soon. Funny how quickly the intervals pass when there are interviews which I thought were interesting, although I'm not sure I like all the musical changes, the new interlude before the gaoler scene is very sad though.
  11. So pleased I made it to Manon last night, I was expecting Akane Takada to be marvellous after her incredible Mayerling debut, but was still amazed by her performance, what a star, Manon suits her delicacy to perfection, she looked like a frail broken bird in the final act but made such beautiful shapes, aided of course by Alexander Campbell, who also surpassed any expectations I had that he might be good! He danced beautifully and put so much emotion into it, the final desperate pdd was one of the best I have ever seen from them both, great performance too from James Hay! Akane Takada's performances in Giselle, Mayerling and Manon may well be my highlights of this Season.
  12. Very much enjoyed most of last night's triple bill, part of the pleasure was seeing Alina Cojocaru dancing again, also Junor Souza who I haven't seen for a long time, Approximate Sonata was easily the best ballet for me and the one I wish I could see again, all 4 couples were marvellous and the music was mesmeric. Fantastic Beings had some great moments too but suffered from being too dark, both lighting and costumes, Isaac Hernandez was superb and I could certainly pick him out by his dancing! I have always wanted to see The Cage and was looking forward to it, but strangely I found it dated and lacking in drama, I thought The Queen would be the main role but it was Jurgita Dronina as The Novice who made the biggest impression, didn't find the music very powerful either, and it was rather short, so a disappointment all round, but the evening ended with Playlist which was joyous, especially the second half. Nice not to have the evening dragged out by long intervals for a change, much appreciated!
  13. I'm always surprised too when watching even the best Russian companies at how bored the "onlookers" seem.
  14. I enjoyed this triple bill more at the cinema than I did at the ROH, probably because there was something to watch during the long intervals, picture and sound quality was better than usual too ,and I did get some insights about Bernstein's music lending itself to dance. There was some wonderful choreography for Calvin Richardson in Yugen, also Joseph Sissens, which were the best parts, I don't like McGregor's work for the ensemble so much, where everyone is doing something different. The Age of Anxiety looked better on screen but there isn't enough dancing for me. The costumes for Corybantic Games did look odder closer up but this is my favourite of the three, shame the dance for Mayara Magri and Marcelino Sambe is so short, was able to see the ending properly last night, not seen by people sitting on the left. I generally prefer Wheeldon's abstract ballets, the choreography always seems more inventive than his narrative ones, glad to hear Within the Golden Hour will be back soon.
  15. I was also disappointed to find Anxiety in the middle, had been hoping to leave early, quite a struggle to keep going actually, especially with 30 minute intervals, even after a 19 minute ballet. Nice to see some colour in the Yugen costumes, although red does seem to crop up a lot these days, lyrical slow dancing, but not sure what is was about (programme not helpful, more about the music than the dance). Anxiety looks fabulous and that's it, no real dancing until Tristan Dyer's solo at the end. Glad I stayed because I loved Corybantic Games, whatever it means, there was an Ancient Greek feel to it evoking the Olympic Games, Tierney Heap had a marvellous solo, costumes look both ancient and modern, except for the black ribbons flying about, lighting evocative, look forward to seeing this one again but it's quite a boring evening overall!
  16. Great pictures, apart from the first curtain call, I had to dash out to catch the 10.30pm train and then spent 20 minutes fuming as it was delayed! All 3 performances I saw of Giselle were very special ones, the Albrecht's were new and the only Giselle I had seen before was Natalia Osipova, I thought we had seen enough of Giselle recently but how wrong I was! Friday had the best pas de six of them all too, especially Yuhui Choe and James Hay.
  17. I noticed Alexander Campbell discarded the skirt before his solo, good idea, liked his punchy dancing, I was really disappointed not to see Akane Takada though, as I had seen Francesca Hayward last time, wished I had gone looking for a cast change sheet so I was prepared! Fumi Kaneko danced beautifully, she has such a fluid style, Federico Bonelli was a little muted at first but much more expressive from then on, the final act was moving, good partnership too. Lukas BB was Polixenes, yet another exciting young male dancer, and was glad to see Tierney Heap for the first time as Paulina, Beatriz Stix- Brunell and Benjamin Ella danced the other couple, so another good night and cast!
  18. The Sunday Times has a review of the Naghdi/Ball and Hayward/Campbell Giselle today, plus the first night of Winter's Tale, all very favourable to Matthew Ball
  19. Enjoyed last night's Winter's Tale more than I did last time round, although it's not my favourite ballet, possibly due to the music, but it seemed tighter last night and had a marvellous cast, Ryoichi Hirano's less overtly expressive Leontes worked for me, and Claire Calvert was serene as Hermione. The second Act was a real joy, Francesca Hayward and James Hay, and Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Benjamin Ella were thrilling couples, and good to see Reece Clarke as Polixenes but he did seem a bit young for the role. Sitting high up made me appreciate the scenery and the special effects more, which probably is the reason the ballet is so popular. Looking forward to Fumi Kaneko and Federico Bonelli, and I think I'll book for the cinema now, the chance to see Ryoichi Hirano again and Vadim Muntagirov is enticing!
  20. Agree with all comments, thought I was seeing Alina again, Giselle suits Francesca Hayward perfectly, and have never seen such an emotional Alexander Campbell who looked close to tears throughout Act 2, also sensational Myrtha from Mayara Magri, such strong footwork and huge jetes yet all her dancing was soundless and soft, I applauded 3 times during her opening solo, my new favourite Myrtha! Nice to see the very fluid Fumi Kaneko in the peasant pdd too. Looking forward to seeing the photo's now.
  21. Yes, I was always slightly on the left and never did see the Sylphide disappear up the chimney or from the chair! I thought of upgrading but decided to stick with my £12 seats, the front row of the Balcony gives an amazing view, compared to the ROH amphi ticket which cost £35 and felt much further away from the stage!
  22. I was at the Saturday matinee and there appeared to be more ballet fans about, good atmosphere and more applause than at some of the other performances I had been to, nice way to end this mini season, I saw 5 La Sylphides in total, the McWhinney/Arrieta cast twice, thought they were slightly better on Saturday. My favourite cast was the Takahashi/Tamayo/Kloborg one, it seemed more in the Danish spirit somehow, probably due to Eva Kloborg, I found the other Madges not quite as dramatic Cesar Corrales was as amazing and intense as Ivan Vasiliev in Jeunne Homme, whereas Isaac Hernandez was softer, but just as anguished, not a bad thing, missed seeing Joseph Caley. Although I always sat high up and missed some of the scenery, The Times review confirmed that the flashing Citreon sign was missing, wonder why. Shame there were so many empty seats, out of the 5 performances I was able to sit in the seat I had booked three times, the other 2 times I was moved to the Upper Circle, ENB don't seem to have a regular audience for the cheaper seats although the Stalls and Dress Circle always seemed full.
  23. The Bolshoi website has put up some really fascinating photos of the new Nureyev ballet, via Theatre/Press Office/Photos.
  24. An absolutely beautiful performance last night from Akane Takada and Benjamin Ella, a perfect partnership in every way, couldn't believe it was his debut, plus finally got to see Claire Calvert's Myrtha, one of those very special Covent Garden nights!!!
  25. Just a brief word because I'm going again tomorrow, thrilled by Tamara Rojo and Ivan Vasiliev in the Petit, although obviously slightly less high-powered, the Begona Cao and Isaac Hernandez debuts were exciting too, looking forward to Cesar Corrales tomorrow ! Lovely performances in La Sylphide both nights especially by Rina Kanehara who was enchanting, Henry Dowden is looking very good, saw him both nights as Gurn, will say more after seeing tomorrow's, a little confused by all the different names at the moment whilst juggling cast sheets, especially as one of them says Song of the Earth when it was Jeunne Homme!