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  1. The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia are performing a collection of works across the UK at the moment including La Fille Mal Gardee, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella, Snow Maiden. I went to see La Fille Mal Gardee at Buxton Opera House tonight and was very satisfied and enjoyed the performance very much. Lise, Colas, and Widow Simone were Elena Svinko, Marcello Pelizzoni, and Pavel Kirchev. It was almost incomparable to the Birmingham Royal Ballet production (Ashton) I saw (for the first time) a couple of months ago at the Lowry Salford. No famous clog dance music, no ribbon promenade, no maypole. However it was full of great top quality dancing and wonderfully played music and had it's own set of highlights. The Widow Simone was extremely good, having more solo work than the the BRB version, Colas and Lise had more 'showy' pas de deux and solo work particularly in Act II and performed them with aplomb. The Esmeralda solo with tambourine is inserted into Lisa's solos in Act I. Then Act II ramped up the effects and bravura from the leads and the corps (coupe jetes, fouettes etc) so the stage and theatre fairly buzzed with lively, joyous, action. Some very nice umbrella work from the corps in the thunderstorm scene. My first trip to Buxton and being in the upper circle I could not see the strange rake of the stage that has been mentioned on this forum. I did think the stage small and saw one of the corps rather flinch and duck when Colas was doing his grand manege, and Lise almost fell into the orchestra pit at the end of a diagonal in one of her solos! Really have to compliment the orchestra they were terrific and got my feet tapping to the spirited music - something I hardly ever do. Yes overall it's not the quite at the level of the major UK companies, but I'd highly recommend this company based on this performance.
  2. The season of performances opened tonight in Plymouth. All reviews and comments on here please. Over to you!
  3. NEW ADVENTURES PRODUCTION OF MATTHEW BOURNE’S SWAN LAKE IN CINEMAS NATIONWIDE ON 21 MAY Running time 130 mins / BBFC TBC / Released in cinemas nationwide 21 May 2019 UK, London: Thursday 31 January 2019, 12.00noon – More2Screen is delighted to announce that the legendary and award-winning dance production, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, will be screened in cinemas nationwide on Tuesday 21 May 2019. Matthew Bourne commented: "I’m thrilled that this brand-new production of my Swan Lake will be in cinemas across the UK from 21 May. It has become a modern classic much beloved by the British public and throughout the world. Its popularity has never been greater and several generations of audiences have been inspired and moved by its universal story of love and acceptance. Now 24 years after Swan Lake was first performed more people than ever before will be able to experience the dramatic power and mesmerising performances on the big screen." New Adventures production of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake comes to cinemas with a fresh look for the 21st century and is as daring and beautiful as ever. This thrilling, audacious and witty production is perhaps still best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble, which shattered convention, turned tradition upside down and took the dance world by storm. Retaining the iconic elements of the original staging loved by millions around the world, Matthew Bourne and award-winning designers Lez Brotherston (Set & Costumes) and Paule Constable (Lighting) have created a stunning re-imagining of this classic New Adventures production. Filmed live at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, in January 2019, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake stars Will Bozier as The Swan/The Stranger, Liam Mower as The Prince and Nicole Kabera as The Queen. Collecting over thirty international accolades including an Olivier Award and three Tonys on Broadway, Matthew Bourne’s powerful interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece is a passionate and contemporary Swan Lake for our times. Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is directed for the screen by Ross MacGibbon and produced by Illuminations. It is being screened in cinemas worldwide by More2Screen, a leading Event Cinema distributor based in London. For more information and to book cinema tickets visit swanlakecinema.com #SwanLakeCinema ********* CREDITS Cast The Swan/The Stranger – Will Bozier The Prince – Liam Mower The Queen – Nicole Kabera The Girlfriend – Katrina Lyndon The Private Secretary – Glenn Graham Production Director & Choreographer – Matthew Bourne Set & Costumes – Lez Brotherston Lighting Designer – Paule Constable Sound Designer – Ken Hampton Music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky NOTES TO EDITORS About Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures New Adventures is an iconic and ground-breaking British dance-theatre company, famous for telling stories with a unique theatrical twist. For over 30 years Matthew Bourne and New Adventures have delighted, inspired and nurtured people of all ages and backgrounds: audiences, artists and the next generation. We create world class productions and engaging projects, reaching thousands worldwide every year. New Adventures has received numerous international awards and an incredible 12 Olivier Award nominations, including 6 wins. Over the past 30 years New Adventures has created 11 full-length productions and a triple-bill of short works. This award-winning repertoire has inspired and thrilled millions of people worldwide. In 2019 the company premieres its 12th full-length production, Romeo and Juliet. Investing in the future of dance and theatre, New Adventures engages in inclusive projects with thousands of people of all ages and ability, as well as emerging artists across the UK and around the world. https://new-adventures.net/ About More2Screen More2Screen is a leading distributor of Event Cinema with an unparalleled reputation among its blue-chip partners for professionalism, responsiveness and the delivery of great cinema events to audiences around the world for a maximum commercial return. Founded in 2006 by CEO Christine Costello, it has been a global pioneer in the harnessing of digital technology to bring the very best in live music, performance arts and cultural entertainment to local cinema audiences. In collaboration with its stellar list of long-standing content partners, More2Screen has acted as consultants, producers and worldwide distributors in bringing over 150 ‘special event’ productions to its network of more than 7,000 cinemas in 65+ international territories. Its extensive catalogue of world-class productions from across the cultural spectrum is second to none and includes many sector ‘firsts’. More2Screen is proud to have been named Global Box Office Award winner in 2014, 2015 and 2018, and winner of the inaugural Best European Distributor award in 2015 (Event Cinema Association). A Screen International Screen Awards finalist in 2015, 2016 and 2017, More2Screen won the Screen Award ‘Event Cinema Campaign of the Year’ category in 2018 for the live broadcast of the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. www.more2screen.com
  4. Anyone seen "Illusions - like Swan Lake" at Hamburg - thoughts? Certainly looks interesting from the video on their website.
  5. ENB kicked off their national tour of Swan Lake last night in Liverpool. It was pretty much full house (= cacophony of rustling papers etc!) but despite distractions it was a nice performance. Jurgita Dronina/Isaac Hernandez/James Streeter took the leads. I enjoyed the performance but overall it didn't get me emotionally this time. The swans were really good very well drilled and the corps de ballet in Act 1 and 3 were also very good. I think Rothbart and the swans were the best bit last night, and I must mention the 2 dancers who replaced Ken Sarasuhi they were both great and I really enjoyed watching them. Junor Souza was in the show but only in Act 3. Sadly Dronina ran out of puff with her fouettes so we didn't quite get the full 32. (I know I'm sorry I count!) The music was beautifully played I thought and it sounded great from my seat in the Circle and thankfully drowned out some of the background noises from those rustlers! I am sure Janet will write a better review than I - I am just about to leave to go down south but just wanted to post a few curtain call photos.
  6. Principal Casting (In the order of Odette/Odile, Prince Siegfried) Thursday 3January Jurgita Dronina, Isaac Hernández Friday 4 January Alina Cojocaru, Jeffrey Cirio Saturday 5 January (mat) Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola Saturday 5 January (eve) Rina Kanehara, Joseph Caley Sunday 6 January Jurgita Dronina, Isaac Hernández Tuesday 8 January Alina Cojocaru, Jeffrey Cirio Wednesday 9 January Emma Hawes, Aitor Arrieta Thursday 10 January (mat) Shiori Kase, Ken Saruhashi Thursday 10 January (eve) Rina Kanehara, Joseph Caley Friday 11 January Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola Saturday 12 January (mat) Jurgita Dronina, Isaac Hernández Saturday 12 January (eve) Alina Cojocaru, Jeffrey Cirio Sunday 13 January Begoña Cao, Aitor Arrieta
  7. From the New Adventures website: https://new-adventures.net/news/full-casting-announced-for-matthew-bournes-swan-lake NEWS Full Casting Announced for Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake 8 JUNE 2018 New Adventures is delighted to announce casting for the UK tour of Matthew Bourne’s new production of his legendary Swan Lake. The show will tour for 32 weeks to 22 venues throughout the UK and begins at the Theatre Royal Plymouth on Saturday 22 September 2018, ahead of an eight-week Christmas season at Sadler’s Wells from Tuesday 4 December to Sunday 27 January 2019. Swan Lake will continue until the end of May 2019, before embarking on a number of international tour dates. From left to right: Matthew Ball, Max Westwell, Will Bozier Royal Ballet rising star, Matthew Ball, will be joining New Adventures for the entire London season of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake at Sadler’s Wells in the role of ‘The Swan’. Matthew will be making his debut with New Adventures and will dance four performances each week during the eight-week season at Sadler’s Wells. He is currently making his debut as ‘Prince Siegfried’ in The Royal Ballet’s new production of “Swan Lake” at the Royal Opera House. Matthew Ball joins New Adventures’ star Will Bozier, currently dancing to great acclaim as ‘Harry, the Pilot’, in Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella and former English National Ballet star Max Westwellwho was also recently seen in the West End in “An American in Paris”. Will and Max are both making their debuts in the role of ‘The Swan’ and will perform throughout the tour. Dominic North (The Prince) with Richard Winsor (The Swan) - 2010 studio shoot Both returning to the role of ‘The Prince’, two much loved New Adventures Principal dancers, Liam Mower (currently wowing audiences as ‘The Angel’ in Cinderella) and Dominic North(acclaimed star of Edward Scissorhands, The Car Man, Sleeping Beauty, The Red Shoes and currently Cinderella). They are joined by New Adventures’ newcomer, James Lovell who is making his professional debut. Liam Mower as The Prince ‘The Queen’ will be performed by two long-time New Adventures favourites, Nicole Kabera and Katrina Lyndonboth making their debuts in this role. ‘The Girlfriend’ will also be performed by Katrina Lyndon. She is joined by Freya Fieldand Carrie Williswho are both returning to the Swan Lake Company. ‘The Private Secretary’ will be played by long-time Company Principal Glenn Graham (recently seen as ‘Grischa’ in The Red Shoes) along with Max Westwelland Ashley-Jordon Packer. Returning to New Adventures are Tom Broderick, PJ Hurstand Alex Sturman. Returning company members Making their debuts with New Adventures are: Nicole Alphonce, Leigh Alderson, Jonathan Luke Baker, Alistair Beattie, Benjamin Bazeley, Megan Cameron, João Castro, Zanna Cornelis, Kayla Collymore, Keenan Fletcher, Michaela Guibarra, Bryony Harrison, Nicholas Keegan, Shoko Ito, Courtney Liu, Jack Mitchell, Barnaby Quarendon, Jack William Parry, Sam Salter, Stan West and Milwhynne Williams. Company joiners Also making their New Adventures debut are Andrew Ashton from Newcastle, Isaac Bowry from Glasgow and Harry Ondrak-Wrightfrom Birmingham who all performed in the acclaimed New Adventures production of Lord of the Flies in 2014. New Adventures is committed to finding and developing diverse young talent from across the UK and their annual open auditions were attended by over 400 dancers. Since Lord of the Flies in 2014 New Adventures has been supporting young dancers from this production on their journey into training and professional work. The company have delivered various initiatives, including Swan School, two week-long intensives designed to prepare graduate level dancers for the audition process. This production of Swan Lake is the first New Adventures production to feature dancers who had their first experience of dance with the company in Lord of the Flies. From left to right: Andrew Ashton, Isaac Bowry, Harry Ondrak-Wright New Adventures is delighted to continue its relationship with Central School of Ballet and will this year be joining forces for the third year of our Student Associates Programme. This year making their New Adventures debuts on the Sadler’s Wells stage will be third year students, Lewis Bondu and Alex Fadayiro. The Student Associates are generously sponsored by the Archie Lloyd Charitable Foundation. Student Associates Lewis Bondu & Alex Fadayiro Matthew Bourne said today “With the largest cast in our repertory, Swan Lake always gives us the opportunity to bring a wealth of new talent into the Company and I’m excited to welcome so many new dancers into the New Adventures family. I’m particularly thrilled to welcome cast members whose journey to this production came via our production of Lord of the Flies or through our Swan School which was designed to develop young talent for this company. My thanks also to Royal Ballet Director, Kevin O’Hare, who was as enthusiastic as I was about seeing Royal Ballet star, Matthew Ball, dance this role, and was instrumental in making that happen."
  8. English National Ballet Manon National Tour 17 October 2018 - 20 January 2019 www.ballet.org.uk/manon Continuing its commitment to UK touring and presenting world-class ballet to the widest possible audience, Autumn 2018 sees English National Ballet present Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon outside of London for only the second time in 30 years. English National Ballet will present Manon in Manchester (17-20 October), Milton Keynes (24-27 October) and Southampton (31 October–03 November) followed by performances at the London Coliseum (16-20 January 2019). English National Ballet, Manon. Dancers: Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernández © Jason Bell. Art Direction and Design Charlotte Wilkinson Studio. Famous for its expressive choreography and dramatic challenge, Manon features some of the most demanding and fulfilling roles in ballet. Manon is accompanied by Jules Massenet’s haunting music performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. The young and naïve Manon is torn between two lives: privilege and opulence with the wealthy Monsieur GM, or innocent love with the penniless student Des Grieux. Aristocrats and beggars, courtesans and harlots fill the stage as audiences are taken from a gambling den in 18th-century Paris to a desolate Louisiana swamp in this, one of British ballet’s most dramatic stories. Alongside Manon, English National Ballet also presents Swan Lake as part of its Autumn Tour. Further details can be found at www.ballet.org.uk Notes to Editors Listings information for Manon Manon Manchester Opera House Wednesday 17 October – Saturday 20 October 2018 Box Office: 0844 871 3018 or www.ballet.org.uk/manon Manon Milton Keynes Theatre Wednesday 24 October – Saturday 27 October 2018 Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or www.ballet.org.uk/manon Manon Mayflower Theatre, Southampton Wednesday 31 October – Saturday 03 November 2018 Box Office: 02380 711811 or www.ballet.org.uk/manon Manon London Coliseum Wednesday 16 January – Sunday 20 January 2019 Box Office: 020 7845 9300 or www.ballet.org.uk/manon
  9. https://new-adventures.net/news/casting-announcement-the-swan-prince-at-sadlers-wells Very excited - got tickets for one of the Ball/Mower performances!
  10. This link includes a downloadable programme giving principal casting for Swan Lake performances in Madrid. https://www.danzaballet.com/the-royal-ballet-regresa-al-teatro-real-con-su-nueva-produccion-del-lago-de-los-cisnes/
  11. Now that ENB have announced their leavers and joiners, is there anyone I should be holding for? I normally delay booking for ENB until casting is made public, but as it's Swan Lake I can't be so sure of getting the kind of seat I want if it's only announced a couple of weeks out. For Sleeping Beauty Alina Cojocaru was an obvious first choice, but is there a must-see Odette/Odile at ENB (Rojo herself aside if she's still dancing it)?
  12. Spare cheap ticket for Swan Lake 6June at 7:30 W57 cost £7 standing amphitheatre clear view If interested please let me know Can email Thanks
  13. Somewhere in the middle of the "new Royal Ballet Swan Lake" thread (http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/8921-a-new-royal-ballet-swan-lake/page-3#entry119383) we started getting a bit worked up and picking our least-favourite bits of Swan Lake. Now this is your chance to make up your own DIY nightmare Swan Lake by cobbling together as many disparate chunks of the ballet as you like, preferably from current or previous productions, to make the most dreadful production possible, rather like that "Misfits" game where you have various heads, bodies, legs and feet printed on strips of card and have to put them together to make particularly ridiculous-looking characters. I shall think about mine while I'm off doing the washing-up, but in the meantime, over to you ...
  14. Royal Ballet will be going live with Swan Lake rehearsals this Thursday at 230 pm British Time, on their facebook feed. https://www.facebook.com/royaloperahouse/?hc_ref=ARQFMqwzMe8tEGC8dnNGqnlM6PHTikGmw-MaAptQD80Uklz1O2NiGvTFrTopOA-XAiE
  15. This topic has already been touched on in "TimesWatch" but the Royal Opera House magazine has an article about the new production. A few key points: Odette "and her black swan nemesis Odile" are "magical beings.......two distinct entities, creations of von Rothbart and controlled by him" von Rothbart will be built up into a "true dramatic villain"......" who dances, not just a character figure" Siegfried is on stage throughout: "We follow him and see his point of view", says Scarlett the role of Benno will be "more substantial" and the two dancers with whom he will perform the Act pas de trois "will be Siegfried's sisters" many company dances and divertissements will be re-choreographed (but not Ashton's Neopolitan Dance) there will be an entirely new Act IV the ending has been decided but remains undisclosed Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov will lead the first night cast there will be 6 different casts initially (as yet not announced) with opportunities in due course "for some of the up-and-coming company dancers to take the principal roles" There is, of course, much more in the article about the background to the new production and the approach that Scarlett and Macfarlane (designer) are taking. Can't wait!
  16. I'm double booked for the Cuthbertson/Bonelli Swan Lake (next Tuesday, May 22 at 7.30pm) so am selling amphitheatre L48 (£17) L48 is the aisle seat behind the staircase (i.e. no heads in front of it). It's marked as restricted view because of the ledge in front of it but I've never known this to be a problem for anybody. If interested, please send me a PM and post here to let me know that you've done so.
  17. As a postscript to the recent discussion on 32 fouettés, here is a clip of Beryl Grey, probably while still a teenager, doing Black Swan/Odile with John Field (the reference in the Huntley archive says the film has sound but this poor quality YouTube sample is silent) More information would be welcome.
  18. 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!
  19. Hi anyone with swan lake SCS tickets going spare for the following dates please?? Missed booking as out of country!! 17th. 22nd 31st and mat/eve of 28 MAY 1st 2nd 6th 8th June???? Any of these dates would be wonderful Thanks Jules
  20. Foteini Christofilopoulou was at the rehearsal for Swan Lake by the Mariinsky Ballet, at ROH July 2017 Here are some photos: Xander Parish, Viktoria Tereshkina © Foteini Christofilopoulou. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Viktoria Tereshkina © Foteini Christofilopoulou. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Xander Parish, Viktoria Tereshkina (and company dancers) © Foteini Christofilopoulou. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Set from DanceTabs: Mariinsky Ballet: Swan Lake Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
  21. Is there anyone out there whose dd has been cast as a lady in waiting and Hungarian dancer in the past? Was secretly hoping for a tutu wearing number but this seems doubtful. More likely heavy shoes I would have thought. Oh well. She came out smiling so that's the main thing!
  22. The January edition of the Dancing Times says that the Mariinsky Season next year will be from July 24 to August 12. They open with Don Q and follow this with Swan Lake, Anna Karenina (Ratmansky), and a Triple Bill (Carmen Suite; Infra and the Paquita Grand Pas), closing with La Bayadere.
  23. I have seen various productions of Swan Lake by Russian companies that include some black swans in the corps in the final act, and have never understood why? I rather like the effect. Does anyone know why, though?
  24. I was lucky enough to visit Paris last week to catch 2 performances by Irina Kolesnikova and her company. I saw Swan Lake and Don Quixote both of which I enjoyed very much. The Swan Lake is the usual Russian happy ending but it was well danced. The corps swans were pretty much together for most of their pieces which is always nice to see. I did not get much emotion off Irina Kolesnikova as Odette and found her rather more a technician, so accordingly her Odile came across suitably wicked. Prince Siegfried was danced by Dmitry Akulinin, not that he had a lot to do in this version. I loved the sets and costumes throughout and in particular I liked the black Odile tutu which was made with a red layer of tulle under the top black one so it looked great with a flash of red which matched the red jewelled head piece which was showed off brilliantly by the black feathers behind it. Irina Kolesnikova did a really fast set of fouettes I was out of breath just watching! One ballerina who danced in the pas de trois was very heavy footed indeed and again in DonQ and the noise from pointe shoes was quite distracting at times. As usual with Russian dancers they did tend to "milk" the applause which becomes rather tiresome after a while, but overall the performance was very well received. Don Quixote I found to be lovely again with super sets and some really gorgeous costumes, especially the tutus. However, after a run of 2 Swan Lakes the previous 2 nights, I thought that DonQ was danced rather more "sedately" than I would expect, and also one must bear in mind that Irina Kolesnikova and Dmitry Akulinin are no spring chickens as well. Bolshoi lifts were replaced by "easier" fish dives and I felt myself that the only time that Irina Kolesnikova really worked up any speed was in the gpdd with her magnificent fouettes - started off with a quad I think!! The music was a bit different in places and I think (not having seen a DonQ for a while) that some of the gpdd was interspersed with other variations - as if to give the principals a breather. Nonetheless the soloists performing these diverts were very proficient and lovely to watch. The costumes from the Dream Scene reappeared in the diverts in Act 3 which I thought was a nice use of the costumes as they are really gorgeous. What I felt was lacking with this version of Don Q was the full prologue, what we got was a very brief reading of a book by DonQ and Sancho Panza and then off they were on their travels! I did not get a cast list for Don Q (you had to buy a programme) so I do not know who was who, although I did find one on the floor for Swan Lake, but no names were familiar to me. Again the ballet was very well received and I was glad I had made the trip to Paris to see these 2 classics.
  25. Well After a 3 hour delay to my flight on Christmas Eve (the plane had a wheel change right in front of me!) I got to Paris in plenty of time for 2 performances of Swan Lake. I had been really looking forward to this anyway then posters here said that posters on asimilar French site were raving about Miriam Ould Braham - she was Odette/Odile for my performance! The POB Swan Lake is by Nureyev after Petipa and Ivanov. Act 1 opens with a sleepy Prince on a throne played by the wonderfully elegant Mathias Heymann and while he slumbers Rothbart (Karl Paquette) appears rear stage and makes off with Odette (I presume at this early stage danced by Ould-Braham) who has been dancing rear stage and turns her into a swan! Rothbart then reappears as the tutor to the Prince (a slightly more sinister tutor than usual I found). Once the Prince is awake the corps de ballet take to the stage and engage in lots of ensemble dances including a nice solo for the Prince and then a PdT with some of the lady friends of the Prince. Mathias Heymann is infinitely watchable with beautiful lines and movement. I found the corps de ballet a little untidy at times but what I really liked was the use of the male members rather than the female members - such a refreshing change and a nice show case for the men. Time and again throughout this ballet we saw geometric formations and I think a lot of work in groups of 4 and 6 going on - for the men the front four right would move out of the main group of 16 and move across the stage then be followed by the 3 other groups of 4 etc... There were joint male and female dances as well but at times the already large stage looked a bit overcrowded! The icing on the cake of Act 1 though was the Pas de Trois. Enter FRANCOIS ALU! Wow wee what a power house of a dancer! I don't think I've been this excited by a dancer since Ivan Vasiliev burst onto the stage in DonQ years ago or Cesar Corrales in Corsaire as Ali. He was ably partnered by Leonore Baulac and Hannah O'Neill both of whom were beautiful too but Francois stole the PdT for me! He performed a circle of 12 tours en l'air each one as perfect as the next right to the end, no flagging and he put his own interpretation into the turns with one slightly straighter leg - it looked really difficult to do. His other jumps and cabrioles were similarly powerful and high, just amazing! So glad I got to see him! He reappeared in Act 3 in the Czardas was again great. As we move without interval into Act 2 Odette appears and meets the Prince. There was good mime displayed as well. Ould-Braham had lovely arms. But the piece de resistance was the swans:- I LOVED the choreography for the swans in particular. I was seated in the 2nd tier - so very high up - a perfect place to see all the intricacies of the choreography and intricate it was. 32 swans at some times on the stage and it was sight to behold. The swans entered the stage La Bayadere Shades style snaking their way across and down the stage to line up. Their lines were so straight and the moves so well executed and together that there can only be the Mariinsky that's better. The swans moved effortlessly around the stage going from a circle to a fabulous V moving forward towards the audience. Then they would break off into groups again and 4 smaller Vs would make a pattern with the points in the middle of the stage so overall a square and then move again into another shape - I was mesmerised by the geometry. How on earth did Nureyev do it?! The cygnets were great and that all went fine. I can't say much about Ould-Braham and Heymann as I was so taken with the swans! They were good of course but I'm not sure I can adequately describe them. After the single interval we moved on to Act 3 and all the national dances and a Queen desperate for her son to marry. The dances were nice but none stood out for me. Rothbart is given a solo just before the Prince and Odile do their fireworks so that disrupted the ballet flow for me a little bit BUT on the other hand it made use of Rothbart a bit more and showed that Karl Paquette still has it. Ould-Braham managed her 32 fouettes although she did travel quite a bit if I am being super critical, her "mistake" was doing a double right at the end, after having done all singles, as she landed a little awkwardly. Mathias Heymann did his 16 pirouettes perfectly as well and it all quite exciting to see. After the Prince realises he has been duped there was a brief pause the the final act started. The wonderful swans returned to the stage and were just a fabulous as in Act 2 with their precise lines and patterns. The ending is most tragic with Odette throwing herself off a cliff followed by Rothbart and then going up to heaven whilst the Prince is lying on the stage - I presume dead. Photo from the curtain call Karl Paquette/Miriam Ould-Braham/Mathias Heymann On Sunday (Christmas Day) I watched a the matinee of Swan Lake this time the main roles danced by Ludmilla Pagliero one of the few non french Etoiles at POB and Germain Louvet a Sujet. Rothbart was again Karl Paquette (it was earlier supposed to be Mathieu Ganio so I was disappointed to miss him). Pagliero and Louvet were very nice dancers as well. Considering Germain Louvet is a Sujet I think his future is bright as he coped extremely well with the role of Prince and he was a lovely dancer not dissimilar to Mathias Heymann. The Pas de Trois was nowhere near as thrilling as that on Christmas Eve. It was danced by Marine Ganio, Eleonore Guerineau and Axel Ibot. Ibot was far more slender than Alu and he did begin to flag at the end of his 12 tour en l'air so not quite the treat that the PdT had been the night before. In Act 3 Pagliero did her 32 fouettes as well and she managed to stay on the same spot better than Ould-Braham but she did mainly doubles and ended facing the back of the stage. The swans were just as fabulous as the night before, you would never know that they had done it all less than 24 hours earlier - the majority of dancers were the same so kudos to them. For me nobody stood out in the matinee performance in the way Alu had the night before, but don't get me wrong both performances were wonderful and I was thrilled I got to see them and would love to see it all over again! The orchestra under the baton of Vello Pahn was magnificent. The music alone would have been worth the ticket price. The Saturday audience was much quieter than the Sunday matinee which suffered slightly from a few nattering ladies and some sweet rustlers, but still not as bad as some theatres here! If you are not fussed on Christmas like me a trip to Paris was the perfect antidote even some of the shops (patisseries in particular!) were open on Christmas Day and buses and trains were running! After the show I went straight off to the airport to fly home. Photo of the curtain call - Karl Paquette/Ludmilla Pagliero/Germain Louvet The magnificent corps de ballet swans take their applause.
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