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Men in Motion, Coliseum November 22/23 2017

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Just my own personal feelings, the first thing to strike me was how empty the Balcony was, as no tickets had been on sale I assumed it had sold out, another of the Coliseum's strange policies and guaranteed to anger anyone who wanted to sit there, as indeed the sudden decision to sell the Balcony for Svetlana Zakharova has angered me after I reluctantly bought an upper circle one!

 

Just before the performance began, a man dressed as a rather camp Adolf Hitler(Daniel Proietto) entered in front of the curtain and started to rant, I thought it was just a warm-up joke but it went on and on, 20 minutes or more and was the first item on the programme, followed by an orchestral interlude, the music from Sleeping Beauty that Rudolf Nureyev used as a long solo for the Prince in the Vision Scene, so for the first 30 or so minutes there was no dancing at all, people were growing restless and as soon as the curtain went up everyone applauded in anticipation, and the real evening began.  My favourites were Marian Walter who bravely danced the first ballet called Berlin, to Max Richter music and good choreography by Ludovic Ondiviela, Afterlight danced by Daniel Proietto who got an ovation, Petruschka danced by Anton Lukovkin although it was totally wrong for the occasion, Mathieu Ganio dancing Nureyev's solo for Siegfried act 1, System/A.1 which was a strange but thought provoking pdd for Matthew Ball and Ivan Putrov about what I presumed was a man with a new male Doll, and the Proust pdd for Marian Walter again with Alessandro Staiano. Although I was looking forward to Irek Mukhamedov I couldn't honestly say I enjoyed the final ballet, instead of the 9.30pm finish it was 10.20pm.

 

 

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Beryl H said:

... as no tickets had been on sale I assumed it had sold out, another of the Coliseum's strange policies and guaranteed to anger anyone who wanted to sit there, as indeed the sudden decision to sell the Balcony for Svetlana Zakharova has angered me after I reluctantly bought an upper circle one!

 

The Balcony tickets WERE on sale. I bought the A20 ticket soon after the sale was announced.

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Irek Mukhamedov clearly has a self deprecating sense of humour and aided and abetted by Arthur Pita he performed a solo that had me in stiches.  Lots of Russian clichés beginning with a grandiose rendition of Ra Ra Rasputin as an overture and with a fur hat, a vodka bottle and tambourines (lots of them) as props, he sent himself up rotten.

 

His glory days may be long gone but his stage presence and artistry are still on display in the here and now.  He received an ovation for just walking on stage, because the audience recognises a legend when it sees one.  I enjoyed the evening very much as there was a great deal to admire, apart from the odd political rant at the start, but have to say Mukhamedov pretty much stole the show

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1 hour ago, Beryl H said:

the first thing to strike me was how empty the Balcony was, as no tickets had been on sale I assumed it had sold out, another of the Coliseum's strange policies and guaranteed to anger anyone who wanted to sit there

 

 

35 minutes ago, Amelia said:

 

The Balcony tickets WERE on sale. I bought the A20 ticket soon after the sale was announced.

 

You see, this is what I just don't get.  I asked about it a few weeks back and Amelia (I presume it was) said that balcony tickets had been on sale, so I assumed I'd miscalculated and left it too late, because the balcony for both days was showing zero availability.  I was surprised, and disappointed, but pleased to see it had sold so well.  The only tickets left in the Upper Circle were well above my price range - and anyway there is barely a seat in the UC I can sit in without being in extreme discomfort - and I certainly can't afford Dress Circle and Stalls, so I waited around on the off-chance that there might be some tickets going half-price in Leicester Square.  There weren't.  I'd have thought a significant proportion of the fans on this site (aka target audience) would probably have been aiming for the alleged £20/£25 seats in the balcony, and would have abandoned plans to go when they couldn't get them.  I appreciate that the Coliseum is a big theatre to sell, but if management (I assume it was management) are going to close the balcony then they need to make a lot more cheap seats available in the Upper Circle than (I assume) they do, otherwise they just exclude potential audience members, and I don't see the point in that.

 

So, those people who were up in the Balcony, were you just sitting in solitary splendour in the front/side rows, or what?  If the Balcony's open, it still needs to be staffed, doesn't it?

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9 hours ago, Amelia said:

 

The Balcony tickets WERE on sale. I bought the A20 ticket soon after the sale was announced.

Yes, I bought a Balcony ticket fairly near the start too, but then they must have stopped selling them, last night was about half full at most, the 2 outer blocks and back rows were empty, I presumed it was so popular it had sold out, but obviously not. The Svetlana Zakharova is easier to understand, the Balcony was not on sale until almost the last minute.  

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48 minutes ago, SPD444 said:

Wasn’t Francesco dancing?

 

Yes, Francesca Hayward was the Girl in Spectre de la Rose. [Tempted to comment :) but I only saw the rehearsal so I must resist!]

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33 minutes ago, loveclassics said:

I thought this was a project of Ivan Putrov and so he would appear but it seems he didn't.  Has he retired early to concentrate on promotion?

According to Beryl’s post above he performed a duet with Matthew Ball.

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17 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

According to Beryl’s post above he performed a duet with Matthew Ball.

 

Ivan Putrov appeared in both parts of the programme: "La spectre de la rose" with Francesca Hayward and a duet with Matthew Ball.

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I'm afraid the start for the programme did for me - the monologue was absolutely excruciating (I'm not sure who the joke was on, but even it was me being not bring cool enough to get it, it was still dreadful ). Always happy to cut people some slack as it's not easy to mount a programme (and all credit to those such as Putrov who can pull together such an illustrious group of dancers) but surely there must have been a rehearsal process where someone watched and listened to that speech and realised it was like a 15 year old thinking he was being clever.  It put me in such a bad mood that I couldn't get going again afterwards. Not for repeating IMHO!

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The offending speech was cut this evening due to scores of complaints to the Coliseum.  Only the part from Chaplin's 'Great Dictator' was performed along with the film soundtrack.  My informant tells me that its original form contained graphic sexual content (far worse than the story about Putin, Trump and the prostitute) and that was excised before the premiere.

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This is how Clement Crisp finished his review of the "Men in Motion":

"Mukhamedov showed them* — and us — what artistic greatness is." 
★★★★★

 

*   other dancers 

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