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The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker, London, December 2017

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Foteini Christofilopoulou was at the rehearsal of The Royal Ballet's 'The Nutcracker' at the Royal Opera House, Dec 2017
Here are some sample photos...


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Snowflakes
© Foteini Christofilopoulou. 
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr


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Francesca Hayward
© Foteini Christofilopoulou. 
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr


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Steven McRae, Sarah Lamb
© Foteini Christofilopoulou. 
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

See more...
Set from DanceTabs: RB - The Nutcracker 2017
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

By kind permission of the Royal Opera House

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The ROH has not yet put the full Cast list on its cinema advertising website :( so yes fingers crossed we get Yasmine Naghdi as Rose Fairy in the cinema relay. Also looking forward to seeing Sarah Lamb as Sugar Plum!

Edited by Nina G.
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Lovely photos, but it got me thinking.

 

Is it normal to cast a principal as Clara? I always think of this as a lovely opportunity for some of the lower ranked ladies of the company to show what they are made of.  I know that the current casting does do that, which is why I was slightly surprised to see Hayward cast as Clara, especially as she is also doing SPF.

 

Not that I am complaining, but I just wondered.  

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I thought of that after I posted, Janet!  Hayward is very petite, and clearly it wouldn't do to have young Clara towering over everyone else.  But I've never got the impression that Stock or Hingis are particularly small, or O'Sullivan for that matter.  Maybe I just haven't seen enough of them.

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But surely Francesca danced both Clara and Sugar Plum Fairy last year as Principal.  I'm delighted she's still dancing Clara - a fabulous part in the Royal Ballet Peter Wright production and in my opinion better than the Sugar Plum Fairy.  That said I'll look forward very much to her and Yasmine's SPF with Anna Rose as Clara.

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33 minutes ago, Fonty said:

I thought of that after I posted, Janet!  Hayward is very petite, and clearly it wouldn't do to have young Clara towering over everyone else.  But I've never got the impression that Stock or Hingis are particularly small, or O'Sullivan for that matter.  Maybe I just haven't seen enough of them.

Did not realise Hingis had retired from tennis in order to dance Clara

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2 hours ago, Nina G. said:

The ROH has not yet put the full Cast list on its cinema advertising website :( so yes fingers crossed we get Yasmine Naghdi as Rose Fairy in the cinema relay. Also looking forward to seeing Sarah Lamb as Sugar Plum!

I'm delighted to confirm that Ms Naghdi will be dancing Rose Fairy for the cinema relay!  :)

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Actually, when Hayward was promoted to Principal last year one of my first thoughts was "I do hope that doesn't mean they feel they have to stop casting her as Clara".  I'm very glad to see this hasn't so far been the case.

 

(As I think I probably said at the time of its broadcast, I wish the 2016 documentary had mentioned that Hayward was dancing Clara, a role in which she was already very experienced, in certain performances as well as preparing to dance her first Sugar Plum Fairy.  I also wished it had been mentioned that she was one of four dancers (along with Calvert, Naghdi, Stix-Brunell) preparing the role of the SPF for the first time.)

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Fonty, there is precedent (particularly when recordings are involved!): Cojocaru and Putrov danced Clara and Hans-Peter for the TV recording after the House had reopened.

 

So, Steven McRae gets to dance the Prince for, what, the 3rd? 4th? time on a relay?  I know someone was complaining about getting the same SPFs over again and not ringing the changes, but what about the Prince?

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Speaking personally, I would have loved to see the Naghdi/Ball/O'Sullivan/Hay cast at the cinema.  But there is only one principal, so that is probably why.

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46 minutes ago, RuthE said:

Actually, when Hayward was promoted to Principal last year one of my first thoughts was "I do hope that doesn't mean they feel they have to stop casting her as Clara".  I'm very glad to see this hasn't so far been the case.

 

(As I think I probably said at the time of its broadcast, I wish the 2016 documentary had mentioned that Hayward was dancing Clara, a role in which she was already very experienced, in certain performances as well as preparing to dance her first Sugar Plum Fairy.  I also wished it had been mentioned that she was one of four dancers (along with Calvert, Naghdi, Stix-Brunell) preparing the role of the SPF for the first time.)

 

Naghdi, Calvert and Stix-Brunell were unfairly and unjustifiably left out in that 2016 documentary (many have remarked upon) as it was also their debut.

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1 hour ago, Nina G. said:

 

Naghdi, Calvert and Stix-Brunell were unfairly and unjustifiably left out in that 2016 documentary (many have remarked upon) as it was also their debut.

 

I'm not sure I fully agree; if the doc had been solely about the Sugar Plum Fairy, yes.  But they were covering so many angles - the White Lodge students auditioning for children's roles, Upper School students filling in in the corps and so forth - that there was a huge amount to cover in a relatively small amount of time.  I can see why Hayward would be chosen as *the* example of a new Sugar Plum Fairy (because at the time she was one of the company's newest Principals and the highest-ranking dancer of the four available) but I thought the other three should have been at least mentioned.

 

(I also thought the doc infantilized Hayward a bit; focusing on her grandparents and her old local ballet school and talking about her upbringing, as if she were still a dependant.  I suppose perhaps that's unavoidable when that's the aspect of her private life about which she's always been prepared to be most open in interviews, whereas she seems to be very clear the rest is nobody else's business, and good for her.  But partly because she also looks very young, I watched it thinking that if I didn't know she was an independent professional woman of 24 I would have taken her for a lot younger, and the angle the doc chose to take with the footage of her family didn't help.  Edited to add: in some ways the doc actually made Nadia Mullova-Barley and her RBS cohort seem more sophisticated, as we only ever saw them in a professional context rather than round their grandparents' house...)

Edited by RuthE
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So agree about Clara being just as good ( if not better) to dance than Sugar Plum.

I love that pas de deux and THAT music which is just before snowflakes absolutely glorious.

Sugar Plum is tricky little piece but doesn't grab the heartstrings like the Act one pas de deux does for me! 

 

And much prefer snowflakes dance from Act one to the big waltz of the flowers in Act two again down to a preference for the music and that lovely choir piece much rather be on the stage for that inspite of the falling snow everywhere!!

 

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Oh dear, I'd decided not to go to the cinema for casting reasons even though I love Hayward and Campbell as Clara and Hans Peter. But now Sim has thrown Naghdi's Rose Fairy into the melt and I'm at sixes and sevens :).

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I'm right with you Capybara;  I had decided not to go for the same reasons, but now......???

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I wish we were going. I loved it last year but since the Odeon hiked the price of tickets for ballet and opera live links we can’t afford it. Some tickets at the ROH are cheaper, no kidding. :angry:

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That's a shame Fiz, I know what you mean: Picturehouse have encore screenings which are cheaper.

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Not all Picturehouses do the Encore.

 

And my local one is very expensive.  They insist that the prices are set by the ROH, and their hands are tied.  But I have seen several live screenings while I have been in Portugal, and we just paid the normal rate for a cinema ticket.  

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I was told that was the cost of the seat. I asked why it was cheaper to see a ordinary film in the same seat - I didn’t get a reply. I think the cinema is trying to price the live link events out of existence so they can say there is no call for them.

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2 hours ago, Fiz said:

I think the cinema is trying to price the live link events out of existence so they can say there is no call for them.

Well it isn't working because The Nutcracker is completely sold out in both my local cinemas!

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Well, Fiz, there are the costs of the transmission equipment for a start, plus the (to the cinema) inconvenient starting time, which might well mean that the broadcast takes up time in which they would otherwise be able to show two films, plus generally the length.  I appreciate that it's not cheap to show these things, but at the same time I think some of the cinemas are taking advantage.  If the ROH sets the prices, then wouldn't they be the same at all (UK) cinemas?

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12 hours ago, alison said:

So, Steven McRae gets to dance the Prince for, what, the 3rd? 4th? time on a relay?  I know someone was complaining about getting the same SPFs over again and not ringing the changes, but what about the Prince?

 

Did McRae dance the Prince in any relays before the 2012 one?

 

In 2013, the Prince was Bonelli, in 2015, Kish, and in 2016, Bonelli again.

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8 hours ago, grey said:

 

Did McRae dance the Prince in any relays before the 2012 one?

 

In 2013, the Prince was Bonelli, in 2015, Kish, and in 2016, Bonelli again.

 

He did 2 with Yoshida, I think possibly also one with Marquez ...?  Not sure of the years.  There was an Ansanelli/Hristov in there as well somewhere.  Okay, perhaps I'm misremembering slightly: it may have been first-night casts rather than cinema ones.

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Casting for the cinema relays and the first nights speaks volumes about the relative status of the RB's Principals in the minds of management. It's almost as if there is a Lead Principal rank as at ENB.

 

Interestingly, however, people who post regularly on this forum are not entirely at one with Kevin O'Hare. Moreover, the focus of interest here feels, in the main *, as if it leans towards the 27 and under age group, irrespective of rank. And there are some Principals who hardly ever get a mention. Not sure why this is.

 

* Campbell and Osipova being obvious exceptions!

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