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  1. Yes silly me I don't why I thought it was Wheeldon duh ! I like Don Q but Acosta's version and the RB style don't work for me. I agree re other McGregor.
  2. Anything choreographed by Alastair Marriott Acosta's Don Q, Carmen MacMillan's The Judas Tree, Anastasia Scarlett's Frankenstein, Hansel & Gretel, Sweet Violets, Age of Anxiety Pita's The Wind Dawson's Human Seasons McGregor's Multiverse Wheeldon's Strapless, Raven Girl
  3. I went to the first night and I thought this mixed bill was a terrific showcase for a bunch of incredible contemporary dancers, I'd go so far as to say it was the best contemporary dancing I've seen in London for quite some time. The pieces were varied and mostly enjoyable. My personal stand outs were the two not by the company house choreographers. Woke up Blind by Marco Goecke was a mere 15 minutes choreographed to two Jeff Buckley songs (never heard of him myself). The movement was thrilling and executed with absolute precision by the 7 dancers. The Statement by Crystal Pite was quite unlike anything I've seen before, a kind of choreographed conversation, but at a mere 19 minutes was worth the admission price alone. Shoot the Moon and Stop-Motion both by Leon/Lightfoot were visually interesting, well danced, I liked the music but although they were worth seeing there was nothing notable about them.
  4. Thoughts on three performances. Gorgeous production: scenery made wonderfully atmospheric by fabulous lighting and terrific costumes. The women in the corps impressed me enormously; they were stylistically harmonious and generally exceptionally well co-ordinated making for a very pleasing vision scene and Act 3. Whoever was coaching them gets a huge thumbs up from me. I saw Takahashi/Arrieta twice and Alexandrova/Caley. The ladies could hardly be more different in look and style but I enjoyed both enormously. For sure Alexandrova doesn’t look like an Aurora but her dancing simply sparkled and her attention to her suitors, parents and Prince was all entirely appropriate, no grand standing Bolshoi showmanship here. I was even more impressed how she and Caley made the most of a less than ideal cast change. Caley looks like a schoolboy anyway and pitted against Alexandrova’s womanliness only exaggerated the contrast. He was also unfortunately at least 1/2 a head too short for her. But professionals that they were it didn’t phase them in the least and there was great warmth between them. The partnering was generally smooth including the fish dives, although they wisely omitted the high lift at the very end. It was my first time seeing Caley and he’s a neat if small scale dancer. By contrast Arrieta is tall with long limbs and a lovely line with good elevation. He danced all his solos neatly, and partnered Takahashi attentively, definitely one to watch, I hope he’s cast as Des Grieux next year. Takahashi may be coming to the end of her career but she can still pass for a 16 year old Aurora. She was enchanting and I only have one gripe - I just wish she wouldn’t overextend her Rose Adagio balances As far as Lilac fairies and variations were concerned it was sadly much the same story as the RB last time they danced it. I liked Alison McWhiney’s manner and warmth but unfortunately neither she nor Begonna Cao could conquer the variation - the Italian fouettés defeated them both. Among the soloists I saw it was a mixed bag, my standouts were Katja Kaniukova, Francesca Velicu and Ken Saruhashi who nearly nailed an excellent Bluebird. The orchestra were fabulous, and thanks to the Coli discounts I was able to enjoy the sound from great seats in the Dress Circle.
  5. How funny, I also read it that DM had dashed out to see Naghdi !
  6. I saw Nunez/Muntagirov on Wednesday evening. Although I always admire Nunez's technique and strength I am rarely moved by her, but on Wednesday I found she inhabited that rare space which contains effortless, magnificent technique and exquisite softness and tenderness. Absolutely awesome, and with the peerless Siegfried of Muntagirov it seems in this Swan Lake the most harmonious pairing. Aspects of the production jar though: what is all the saluting in Act 1 about ? Why does Siegfried salute Rothbart ? Why does Benno have so much more dancing than Siegfried ? I don't find the story telling clearer than the old production and the ending still doesn't work for me. As for the choreography I am enjoying the national dances but whilst act 4 has good moments overall I don't find it an improvement.
  7. I also went to the matinee yesterday. I haven't seen this production before and I thought the costumes and sets were ravishing; particularly the hunting scene which looked like some old masters painting. I chose this performance because I was struck by the young spanish soloist Aitor Arrieta as James in Sylphide. I thought he made an impressive debut yesterday. He is tall and graceful with a nice line, and an engaging stage presence. His partnering was considerate, he takes great care to present his ballerina, and his solos were nicely executed. Like Richard I thought that Erina Takahashi was a delightful Aurora and Francesca Velicu also caught my eye. In fact I thought the corps dancing in the vision scene was excellent, as were Aurora's friends (?) in Act 3.
  8. It's an e ticket. £11. I will be there. Anna
  9. Favourites from last night : Symphony in C -fabulous, danced with great panache by the company (huge bravos to them for preparing this in the middle of the massive Swan Lake run). Naghdi was outstanding, as Bruce said above she simply dazzled. I loved her being paired with James Hay, what a technically outstanding partnership. A shout out for Fumi too. Sidi Larbi Nutcracker - to hear that familiar thrilling music but see a completely different style of choreography seemed at first surreal but it really worked and was certainly a crowd pleaser receiving some of the loudest applause of the evening. Spuck's gala piece Le Grand Pas de Deux - hot on Larbi's heels for applause was well performed by Alexander Jones and Elisa Badness (replacing Lauren Cuthbertson).
  10. Is he the only major critic who was a dancer ?
  11. I too had mixed feelings about last night. Even if I don't love all of Osipova's interpretative choices, I always find her interesting to watch because she brings something different to her performances. These days they seem to have acquired a slightly edgy, more wild feel, it's not all about a beautiful classical line with everything exactly in place. Last night her swan was certainly more swan like than any of the others ! I enjoyed the Act 2 pdd, I thought Osipova and Ball looked good together and her dancing was so secure he barely needed to be there to partner her. I'm not a fan of Campbell's Benno, he dances it perfectly well but in his hands the choreography is diminished because Campbell is unable to convey classical elegance in the way that, for example, James Hay can. Sorry to say that I thought the two sisters (Mendizabal & Stix-Brunell) were more like two distant cousins last night, not well matched - going off at a complete tangent though it occurred to me that Stix-B would make a charming Lise. I didn't find Act 3 particularly successful. For myself, that may be a lot to do with Muntagirov's opening night performance setting such a high bar both technically and dramatically that both Bonelli last week and Ball last night have seemed quite ordinary by comparison. For Bonelli I think it's a question of the stage he is at in his career, but for Ball I found myself wondering whether he has the technical chops necessary for the variations in these traditional classical roles ? Certainly Ball was nervous which may have contributed to his underwhelming Siegfried but could it be also that old chestnut casting ? These days everyone has to dance every role regardless of suitability. If I think back just a few weeks, I found Ball's Armand one of the best I've ever seen but Muntagirov's performance deeply unappealing. As far as the corps is concerned I feel the performances have generally been rather average which may be to do with a new production as demanding as this coming at the end of a long season but may also be to do with the diversity of styles required in the Royal Ballet repertoire meaning that classical technique isn't top of the list of priorities. Luke Jennings makes these interesting points in his review this "the corps dancers struggle, with issues of line, placement and pull-up continually and dismayingly in evidence." and particularly his last paragraph which may be too long to quote here so here is the link https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/may/27/rambert-life-is-dream-kim-brandstrup-royal-ballet-swan-lake-liam-scarlett-review I wonder what other posters here think ?
  12. £9 each. They are e tickets - message me if interested.
  13. I agree I’m sure he said “debut in this production”