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Richard LH

Royal Ballet Casting for Autumn Season 2018/19

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On 12/04/2018 at 19:31, Xandra Newman said:

She's a dancer I like a lot too but wasn't she only just promoted to soloist last season? I think it would be a tat too fast for her (knowing there is also Magri and Heap and last but not least the beautiful Fumi Kaneko who's been a soloist for several years now).

Fumi has also been injured for two long spells if I am not mistaken so this is perhaps why she's been at soloist level for so long... she is a beautiful dancer and I doubt that she is being overlooked.

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1 hour ago, MAB said:

A couple of things, Edward Watson doesn't seem to fit your criteria for being a principal.

 

 

 

I seem to remember there was a huge argument on ballet.co when he was promoted, along the lines of how could a classical company have a principal who didn't do classical? I think he's proved his worth...

 

 

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His promotion followed fairly closely on the heels of Wildor and Galeazzi, neither of whom had done the "Classical" roles, although I'm not sure whether they'd danced Swanilda prior to being a principal.  Wildor might have done Giselle?  I'm not sure of my dates.

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Posted (edited)

All classical roles are not the same. Even if one excels as Aurora (and fits the role), they may not be suited for Swan Lake or La Bayadere, for instance. I find that to be the case for Hayward. But I think all of the RB's principal dancers are beautiful (including Hayward!). They each have something to offer.

 

* Just in case my comments get misconstrued, I only mentioned Hayward because others brought her up. My intentions were not to disparage her or question her abilities, etc.  :) 

 

Edited by HappyTurk
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Richard LH said:

I can't imagine any of the RB hierarchy regarding Hayward, out of all the principals, as somehow  unsuited to "classic" roles, as one or two posters seem to imply.


Just to be clear, I didn’t mean to imply that Hayward is unsuited to classical roles. The phrase I used was ‘not favoured’. I was simply observing that, where there are limited casts and a choice has to be made, other dancers seem to have been favoured for debuts in certain major Classical roles: Naghdi for Swan Lake; Naghdi and Takada, among others, for La Bayadere. On the other hand, Hayward was favoured for a debut as Lise, she got her Manon debut ahead of Takada, and Hayward and Naghdi have danced Juliet whereas Takada has not. All three have of course danced Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, and Nutcracker.

 

Within the context of a discussion of casting, I think it is interesting to note these differences and consider what past casting decisions may suggest for the future.


This is not a commentary on the relative ability of the dancers. I think they are all extraordinary, would like to see them cast broadly, and am sure they will be in time. Personally, I was hoping to see Hayward in Swan Lake, Naghdi in Mayerling, a Naghdi/Corrales/Hayward Bayadere, and want to see Hayward and Naghdi as Kitri and Takada as Juliet.

 

Edited by Saodan
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Posted (edited)

On a brighter note: Was just looking at videos of Vadim as Solor, and came across this gem of Natalia as Gamzatti. Wow. Can't wait to see them together in this, plus Nunez. (*Her solo is at 5:44). 

 

Edited by HappyTurk
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Just now, Jan McNulty said:

Who are Vadim and Natalia?  Not all of us are RB regulars?

 

Sorry! Vadim Muntagirov and Natalia Osipova. 

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While I do appreciate and agree with the forum policy on naming dancers in full, in this case the identities of the dancers in question were fully explicit in the title of the YouTube clip itself.

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I didn't watch the YouTube clip.

 

Those of us who are not RB regulars are in a similar situation to people who don't follow as closely other companies based in this country.

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14 hours ago, John Mallinson said:

Richard LH those photos shouldn't be posted without a credit.

Certainly, with apologies:  Hayward in "classic" roles 

 

1.  Francesca Hayward as the Sugar Plum Fairy in 'The Nutcracker' ©  Alice Pennefather, courtesy of ROH 2016

2. The Sleeping Beauty with Francesca Hayward as Princess Aurora and Alexander Campbell as Prince Florimund © ROH, Bill Cooper, 2017

3. Giselle with  Alexander Campbell as Albrecht and Francesca Hayward as Giselle. © ROH, Helen Maybanks 2018

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14 hours ago, HappyTurk said:

All classical roles are not the same. Even if one excels as Aurora (and fits the role), they may not be suited for Swan Lake or La Bayadere, for instance. I find that to be the case for Hayward.

I would be interested to know  why you suggest  Hayward is not  suited for Swan Lake or La Bayadere, which are both classic ballets based on choreography by Marius Petipa, when she has excelled by all accounts in 3 other classics (Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, and Giselle) based on the same  choreographer (and in the  case of  Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty/Nutcracker), the same composer. 

Yasmine Naghdi, Francesca Hayward and Olivia Cowley as Swans in Swan Lake © Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Yasmine Naghdi, Francesca Hayward and Olivia Cowley Photo by Dave Morgan, ROH.jpg

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RichardLH - are you by any chance Francesca Hayward's agent :)?

 

I don't know for how long you've been watching ballet but, when Marianela Nunez was much much younger, a lot of people couldn't understand why she wasn't cast in Swan Lake. But she made a triumphant debut eventually - and look how things are for her now.

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1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

she has excelled by all accounts in...Sleeping Beauty

 

Not to be a nitpicker Richard LH, but just in the interests of accuracy, Hayward has danced Aurora just once in her career so far, at one single performance, or so I understand. Even allowing for the usual standards of ballet delicacy/tenderness/hyperbole, what is the evidence base for her "excelling" on this one and only occasion? In comparison with who or what?

 

Do you mean she did jolly well, never having danced it in public before? She outclassed other current RB principals in the role? Or our memories of Fonteyn? I know people were pleased by the debut but not sure that is equivalent to what you have written. In any case "all accounts" is an overstatement: see for example Jonathan Gray in The Dancing Times.

 

I get the argument you are making in general about classicism, btw. So apologies for concentrating on a minor aspect of what you wrote.

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9 minutes ago, Geoff said:

 

Not to be a nitpicker Richard LH, but just in the interests of accuracy, Hayward has danced Aurora just once in her career so far, at one single performance, or so I understand. Even allowing for the usual standards of ballet delicacy/tenderness/hyperbole, what is the evidence base for her "excelling" on this one and only occasion? In comparison with who or what?

 

Do you mean she did jolly well, never having danced it in public before? She outclassed other current RB principals in the role? Or our memories of Fonteyn? I know people were pleased by the debut but not sure that is equivalent to what you have written. In any case "all accounts" is an overstatement: see for example Jonathan Gray in The Dancing Times.

 

I would support the statement that she 'excelled', simply in the sense that she was excellent. I don't think it always has to have comparative connotations with other people; just with a perceived standard of quality that has been surpassed.

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On 12/04/2018 at 11:05, LinMM said:

Commenting on Sims ....having an occasional guest appearance as a special treat always welcome post ( wish the posts still had numbers) .....yes especially were it to be Shklyarov!!! 

I personally would love to have a guest artist from the Paris Opera - Hugo Marchand, Mathieu Ganio or Germain Louvet. And of the  Paris Opera women I'd love to see the young New Zealander Hannah O'Neill.

Can't remember the last time a Paris Opera dancer did guest at the Royal??? But I can dream.....

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, capybara said:

RichardLH - are you by any chance Francesca Hayward's agent :)?

I wish !

3 hours ago, capybara said:

I don't know for how long you've been watching ballet

About 12 years in all but much more intensively since the end of last year. 

 

3 hours ago, capybara said:

when Marianela Nunez was much much younger, a lot of people couldn't understand why she wasn't cast in Swan Lake. But she made a triumphant debut eventually - and look how things are for her now.

Pretty fair! What you have referred to exemplifies  that  other great dancers don't all get what they (or perhaps we) want straightaway. That's sort of what I have been saying -  whilst I'm a bit  disappointed, I can understand why Hayward has not yet been cast in Swan Lake - indeed, I have speculated on one or two good reasons why that may be so, to date. For me, those reasons do not include, as a few people seem to suggest,  the theory that somehow she is seen as inherently unsuitable for this role (or other classic roles). That's the suggetion I have challenged.   

Edited by Richard LH
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I want to see Hayward and Naghdi and Takada (alphabetical order!) dance everything too.

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3 hours ago, Geoff said:

Not to be a nitpicker Richard LH

I think this is being nitpickery, Geoff. As to "excelIed", bridiem puts it very well, but if you prefer, "all the reviews I have seen of Hayward's classic roles have been very favourable". Aurora included. I haven't seen the one you mention. I don't propose listing all her many "very favourable" reviews here as this would be leading us away from my main point i.e. that there is no inherent reason to think Hayward unsuited for such roles.

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Posted (edited)

I have to say I think that the fact that Hayward has not been cast to dance the lead in Swan Lake in the initial run of the new production has nothing to do with her suitability for the role and everything to do with the logistics of staging an entirely new production of Swan Lake . Preparing casts for a new production is not the same as preparing casts for a revival particularly when there appears to be new choreography and an entirely new fourth act to  be  staged .There is a limit to the number of casts who can be prepared for a revival but the time pressures involved in staging an entirely new production are considerably greater which is why we are not being treated to the number of debuts in role which we saw when Sleeping Beauty was last revived. The company has programmed twenty four performances of the ballet and announced six casts.  If you want to fixate on the "missing" who you think should be making their debuts as Odette/Odile then perhaps you should add Stix-Brunell, Magri and Kaneko  to the list. I know that Hayward is a principal dancer and the others are not but they must be in the running to make their debuts when the ballet is next revived. Perhaps management is being careful with its new principals to avoid burn out by overburdening  them with new roles by focussing all their effort into developing one dancer as they may have done in the past.  If you are of a cynical frame of mind then management is simply ensuring that they can entice us to buy tickets when the work is revived by offering a swathe of debuts in major roles. From a purely practical point of view as far as the initial run of performances is concerned management may have it in mind  to cast the pas de trois and the Neapolitan dance from strength rather than for potential and intend to display a significant number of the "missing"  in those sections of the ballet

 

I don't think that anyone need have any fears for the future of a young principal who four years ago made everyone sit up and notice when she made her debut in the ballerina role in Rhapsody, followed that up by dancing her first Manon and Juliet with success and has since gone on to make successful  debuts as SPF, Aurora, Lise. Titania and Giselle . We have no ides what management has in mind for her for the future except what has been revealed about the casting for the Autumn season which shows that both she and Naghdi are  taking the lead in the new Marriott ballet. Perhaps we need to remember that Kevin is not only responsible for providing development opportunities for Hayward but for every other  member of the company. This means that some of the roles in which she has shone will be handed to other eager young dancers so they have the opportunity to develop their careers. We may know  more when we find out about the new McGregor work which will first be seen in Los Angeles this summer. By then we should have an idea of what is in store for her in the scheduled revival of Two Pigeons. I shall be very disappointed if she is not cast as the Young Girl in Pigeons and the white pas de deux in Les Patineurs. I suspect that Naghdi may dance  one of the Blue Girls .

 

I am not sure why some people have come to see any comparison of Hayward and Naghdi as an implied criticism of one or other of them. Every dancer is unique. Some are  more gifted than others and repertory choices made by management have the capacity to make or mar a dancer's career.  Please note I am not for one moment suggesting that Hayward and Naghdi are anything other than equally gifted young dancers who have already shown true artistry. As far as I am concerned each has her own unique combination of technique, musicality, sense of theatre. ability to engage with the audience and artistry. I look forward to seeing both of them in a wide range of repertory in the future. Both dancers have for me evoked memories of Sibley in contrasting roles created on her. Hayward did this when she danced Titania last summer. She was the first Titania for ages to capture  the sensuality of the Queen of the Fairies  through the pliancy of her  upper body and luxurious epaulement. Naghdi  was the first dancer for years  to capture  the  essence of the ballerina's role  in the choreography which  Mac Millan's  devised for the Kchessinskaya pas de deux . Dancing at short notice with minimal rehearsal time with James Hay they alone managed to recapture the grandeur of the piece as it was  originally danced. For once  a section of Anastasia which today generally looks so ugly and awkward that you start to wonder whether anyone ever managed to make it look anything other than a mess  was transformed into what Andrew Porter once described as choreography which looked as if it been part of a long forgotten Petipa orientalist ballet.

 

I shall be extremely  happy if when Scenes de Ballet is revived we see both of then in the ballerina role. At the moment it may seem that one of them generally looks like the bright diamond of one half of the ballet and the other like  the lustrous pearl of the other section but  it will probably prove to be little more than  a trick of the light or rather a result of management's casting decisions.

Edited by FLOSS
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4 hours ago, Sharon said:

I personally would love to have a guest artist from the Paris Opera - Hugo Marchand, Mathieu Ganio or Germain Louvet. And of the  Paris Opera women I'd love to see the young New Zealander Hannah O'Neill.

Can't remember the last time a Paris Opera dancer did guest at the Royal??? But I can dream.....

 

If you want to see POB dancers, it's quite easy to get to Paris.

 

There is such a depth of quality at RB that I really don't see the need for guests.

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We don't need them, but as I said elsewhere it's nice to have the occasional guest as a special treat....like Shklyarov last night!  

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Floss I agree totally. Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed post which puts this all much better than I could have done, and with far greater insight.:)

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27 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

If you want to see POB dancers, it's quite easy to get to Paris.

 

Speak for yourself :(

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35 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

If you want to see POB dancers, it's quite easy to get to Paris.

Provided you have the wherewithal, the time, and France is not on strike....:unsure:

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

If you want to see POB dancers, it's quite easy to get to Paris.

 

There is such a depth of quality at RB that I really don't see the need for guests.

Yes I know how easy it is to get to Paris thank you very much. But as Sim and some others spoke of Shklyarov guesting I was just contributing to the conversation - that is what this forum is for isn't it? I agree entirely that we have great dancers in the company but having occasional guests is exciting for the company and audience, well most of us anyway, if you don't like the guests you don't have to go watch them.  I also love to hear and see photos of the RB dancers guesting abroad. It gives them the opportunity to experience something new and to earn some money.

Edited by Sharon
Typo
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3 hours ago, Sharon said:

But as Sim and some others spoke of Shklyarov guesting I was just contributing to the conversation - that is what this forum is for isn't it?

 

 

Indeed, I was rather taken aback last night to hear hard core RB fans suggesting Shklyarov should become a permanent guest artist or even join the company outright.

 

The company does indeed have a lot of young talent, but I've always considered it unwise to count chickens before they've hatched, just because a youngster looks promising it doesn't follow that they can carry a major ballet.

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1 hour ago, MAB said:

......  just because a youngster looks promising it doesn't follow that they can carry a major ballet.

 

So very true, MAB. I actually think that there quite a few Principals in various companies here and abroad who don't quite succeed in doing that despite years of experience in some cases.

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