Jump to content
capybara

BEST PERFORMANCES OF 2018

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, bridiem said:

And now I'm going to have to cheat because I can NOT leave out Lamb/Muntagirov in Winter Dreams. His solo in particular was breathtakingly beautiful with a slightly wild quality I haven't seen in him before whilst still being wholly disciplined and technically stunning.

 

Disqualify me if you so wish! :D

That solo- which should have been filmed- was an unforgettable climax to a year of sensational solos from Vadim..and I so agree it brought out yet another dimension to this best of dancers. We are witnessing something very special and rare in watching his development.

How I wish I had a video of them all....and where will he go next year?

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can’t really add much except to say that Muntagirov in that solo - and throughout Winter Dreams - was deeply moving and just incredible to watch. An astounding performance.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, penelopesimpson said:

Does nobody else rate Hayward as Manon - surely a totally standout peformance?

 

Hirano in Mayerling?  Really?  I nearly listed it as a failure but didn't want to be unkind to a dancer whom I admire.  However, his Rudolf was below par and wooden apart from the final Act where some emotion emerged.  Definitely not the right role for this artiste.  

I know Hirano is a surprise- it was to me - but I was there for his final performance of the role and he was incredible. From what I heard miles away from the shakiness of his first night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Vanartus said:

I know Hirano is a surprise- it was to me - but I was there for his final performance of the role and he was incredible. From what I heard miles away from the shakiness of his first night.

 

I found even his début tremendously affecting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I have to put down my moments of the year as I can't possibly distill all the wonderful performances I've seen into five!!

 

1.   Watching the artistic ascent of Yasmine Naghdi (what superb debuts as Giselle and O/O, amongst others) and Matthew Ball.  I wish their partnership would be allowed to flourish even more, but I am very happy with the crumbs we've had this year.  Their Giselle was so beautiful, so moving.  They really understand each other, and no matter how good they are with other partners, there is nothing like each with the other.  

 

2.   Being able to watch ENB's Lest We Forget once again, in the year where we remembered with special poignancy the devastation of the First World War.  I do hope they don't put it to bed just because the commemorations are over.  

 

3.   Having had the privilege of watching Laura Morera and Federico Bonelli reprise their deeply affecting performances in Mayerling.  One of the best I have ever seen.  I am getting goosebumps as I type these words, just remembering their show.  Unbelievable.

 

4.   The partnership of Lamb/Muntagirov.  I prefer it to the Nunez/Muntagirov partnership as I feel it is emotionally more profound.  Their Manon and Winter Dreams proved this to me in the most spine-tingling way.  I won't repeat what loads of others have said about this astounding dancer, but suffice it to say that I am in total agreement about Vadream!

 

5.   Sarah Lamb's performance as Larisch in Mayerling.  She guages it just perfectly, and really gets under the character's skin, giving us an emotional rollercoaster that you would normally only expect from the two main characters.  

 

6.  (Sorry, I am going over by one.....moderator's privilege!  :) )   BRB's visits to London.  I loved seeing The King Dances for the first time, and I hope it won't be the last.  They also did a wonderful performance of La Fille mal gardee, thereby filling a gap since the RB didn't do it this season!

 

For various reasons I have not been able to venture much out of London this year to see ballet, but I hope to rectify that next year.  I would like to add my congratulations to all of the companies, both based here and visiting from abroad, for all the hard work and dedication that they give in order to make us laugh, cry, get angry or merely smile.  

 

  • Like 19

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My most memorable performances are as follows (sorry I have 6)

 

1. Don Quixote - Dutch National Ballet

2. Balanchine/Brahms - Liebesleider Waltzes & Brahms Schoenberg Quartet - Hamburg Ballet

2. Balanchine/Neumeier/Robbins Quad Bill -

     Stravinsky Violin Concerto/Theme&Variations/Bach Suite III/The Concert - The Wiener Staatsballett

4. The Trocks all programmes

5. Balanchine's Jewels - Bavarian State Ballet

6. La Fille Mal Gardee - BRB with Delia and Brandon

 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Vanartus said:

I know Hirano is a surprise- it was to me - but I was there for his final performance of the role and he was incredible. From what I heard miles away from the shakiness of his first night.

Wish I had seen it.  Had tickets for all three Watson’s but swapped them after theHirano first night which really was a total letdown.  Hirano seemed not to ‘get’ Rudolf at all, existing in a sort of bored trance which made Osipova’s fearless Mary seem deranged.  He did perk up for Act 3 but I wasn’t going to risk it again.  I am really glad to hear that things changed as Hirano has a massive stage presence when on form.

 

Allwas not lost as I was deeply moved by Bonelli and Morera who were fabulous.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

I found even his début tremendously affecting.

So agree with Sim re Vadim and Lamb.  She is not my favourite dancer, other than as Perdita, but the partnership with Muntagirov is on another level.  They both have a purity which could be cold but when together, transforms into perfection. This is not to take away from his partnering Nunez but somehow one is always aware that she is the senior.  With Lamb I find him more of a whole rather than a partner.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

So agree with Sim re Vadim and Lamb.  She is not my favourite dancer, other than as Perdita, but the partnership with Muntagirov is on another level.  They both have a purity which could be cold but when together, transforms into perfection. This is not to take away from his partnering Nunez but somehow one is always aware that she is the senior.  With Lamb I find him more of a whole rather than a partner.

Very well put, Penelope.  That sums it up for me.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that Muntagirov is fantastic with Nunez in the purely classical ballets - Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty etc. - but so much better with Lamb in the more romantic/passionate roles such as Winter Dreams, Manon etc. One wonders what his Armand would have been like with Lamb rather than Nunez.

 

Anyway, in the spirit of this thread - like jmhopton, I have to travel a fair distance, can’t see many performances and therefore tend to pick my favourites to watch, so I’ll try not to make this too one-sided!

 

1. Muntagirov in pretty much everything. He gets better every time I see him and still manages to astonish me with every performance, culminating in that devastating Winter Dreams the other night.

 

2. Sarah Lamb as Mary Vetsera - seen at the cinema.

 

3. Seeing Matthew Ball in my home town Plymouth in Bourne’s Swan Lake - his first performance in the role. Some understandable first night nerves but he will get over those as he matures as a Principal, and he was fantastic. I feel even more privileged to have seen it hearing that he is now injured - so disappointing for him and for his fans.

 

4. Am liking what I see of Joseph Sissens very much.

 

 5. Tierney Heap’s Myrthe. Another dancer I like very much and I hope she is back from injury very soon.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must now meet my own challenge, although I agree that limiting performance nominations to 5 is well nigh impossible. So, with a little bit of 'licence':

 

  • The Royal Ballet firstly in La Bayadere because it somehow encapsulated everything which is wonderful about that company at the moment: stellar performances from Principal Dancers  (Takada, Naghdi, Nunez, Osipova,  Muntagirov) knock-out debuts from Soloists (such as Mayara Magri as Gamzatti), and a corps of astonishing quality and consistency; also in Mayerling because it is an everest of a ballet and the performances from Matthew Ball (awesomely powerful characterisation) and Federico Bonelli with Laura Morera (what a devastatingly moving way to end the run!) reached the very peak
  • Alina Cojocaru (now ENB) for the most glorious Aurora I have ever seen, her Manons on tour and for still being, quite simply, the best in everything she dances
  • the astonishing  rising talent which gives an added dimension to every performance [Cesar Corrales in Le Jeune Homme with ENB but also wowing the RB audience with his Hungarian Officer in Mayerling and his Solor (please recover quickly, Cesar: we need you on stage); William Bracewell who has the rare ability to inhabit his every role; Joseph Sissens whose quality of movement always catches the eye............the list is endless]
  •  No Man's Land by Liam Scarlett - for me the most affecting part of ENB's Lest We Forget programme and the best of the many tributes to those who gave their young lives in World War 1
  • Vadim Muntagirov who capped a year of superlative classical dancing (Albrecht, Siegfried, Solor, Symphony in C, Nutcracker Prince) and totally believable portrayals of these roles (plus his Des Grieux and Armand) with a Vershinin in Winter Dreams of unsurpassed intensity, beauty and emotion. If I could have captured only one performance from 2018 to keep for posterity, it would have been that. I could write a thousand words and still get nowhere near to encapsulating how extraordinarily special Vadim was on the 20th December and what an artist he has become.

 

I must end with a big 'thank you' to all the companies and all the dancers who have given me so much enjoyment this year. 2018 has been 'quite something'.

 

 

Edited by capybara
  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, capybara said:

Alina Cojocaru (now ENB) for the most glorious Aurora I have ever seen, her Manons on tour and for still being, quite simply, the best in everything she dances

 

Agreed capybara - Alina Cojocaru’s Sleeping Beauty June this year was the most wonderful performance I’ve seen.  I should have included in my list - unforgettable performance but I’d confused the date.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, penelopesimpson said:

......... but the partnership(of Lamb) with Muntagirov is on another level.  They both have a purity which could be cold but when together, transforms into perfection. This is not to take away from his partnering Nunez but somehow one is always aware that she is the senior.  With Lamb I find him more of a whole rather than a partner.

 

This is such an interesting observation and not something I had really considered before. I think that you're making a really important artistic point - yet, in the case of Swan Lake, albeit with Nunez, there were performances which were very obviously Siegfried's (i.e. Muntgirov's) ballet. [ I had the feeling of Nunez sensing this and turning things up a notch for the recording and in Madrid.]

But my new year message to Kevin O'hare is to beg for Muntagirov to be cast with a younger Principal, just once in a while.

 

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, capybara said:

 

But my new year message to Kevin O'hare is to beg for Muntagirov to be cast with a younger Principal, just once in a while.

 

 

I agree - Naghdi springs to mind in the purely classical ballets, and perhaps Hayward - they were lovely together in The Invitation.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a New Year's wish of mine  to see Vadim Muntagirov partner Yasmine Naghdi in one of the great Classics as they are both such pure and elegant classical dancers with a great mastery of their technic, each also possessing a beautiful physical line. It could be interesting to see him partner Takada and Hayward too.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Balletfanp said:

 

I agree - Naghdi springs to mind in the purely classical ballets, and perhaps Hayward - they were lovely together in The Invitation.

 

And of course they (Hayward/Muntagirov) made for a fabulous Alice/Jack, Knave of Hearts, although some years ago now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I believe they were good together in that, but I somehow managed to miss them at the time.

 

Of course, he partnered Takada quite a bit when he joined the RB but although they were well matched dancing-wise, I never felt there was much chemistry there. Having said that, they have both matured greatly as performers since then, so it may be a different story now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Balletfanp said:

Yes, I believe they were good together in that, but I somehow managed to miss them at the time.

 

Of course, he partnered Takada quite a bit when he joined the RB but although they were well matched dancing-wise, I never felt there was much chemistry there. Having said that, they have both matured greatly as performers since then, so it may be a different story now.

 

Yes they could look quite different dancing together now as they have matured. Muntagirov has indeed partnered Takada and Hayward in the past (although Alice is not one of those great (tutu) Classics), but he has never partnered Naghdi therefore I am most interested to see them dance together. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, capybara said:

But my new year message to Kevin O'hare is to beg for Muntagirov to be cast with a younger Principal, just once in a while.

 

 

Hear, hear! This has been my wish for a while and I got quite excited for Winter dreams because I got the sisters mixed up and thought Yasmine was partnered with Vadim. Sarah Lamb was wonderful but my New Years wish is for Yasmine to be partnered with Vadim either for the summer triple or next season. I think their amazing classical styles and artistry will complement each other so well. I love Hayward's style too but I think there may be too much of a height discrepancy as Francesca is quite small and Vadim quite tall.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very interested to read the various comments praising Lamb/Muntagirov as a partnership. I'm currently trying to decide which couple to try to book for when Romeo & Juliet goes on sale and, after Winter Dreams, I am very much inclining towards Lamb/Muntagirov so it's good to see that people consider them to be a very good pairing. Although if they have so many fans then getting a ticket may be difficult!

 

Oh and I'm afraid I can't do a top 5 as I've only seen 5 ballets this year (counting the recent Triple Bill as one), between live & cinecast, so they'd inherently all have to be listed!

Edited by Dawnstar
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, bridiem said:

 

I found even his début tremendously affecting.

I’d like to give a shoutout for Corrales, even though all I’ve seen is his role as one of the Hungarian officers in Mayerling. I hadn’t seen the Cast List but kept wondering who this guy was whose dancing so stood out.  Boooked for his Bayadere but, as we know, it didn’t happen.  Excited for the future.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A great topic to discuss over the holidays, thanks for all the highlights mentioned so far. Must preface my contribution by saying I've not seen any Royal Ballet performances (in fact I've never been to Covent Garden, I must put that right).

 

-I'm going to echo the praise of the incomparable Alina Cojocaru in her return from maternity leave, but also Joseph Caley in this new partnership at English National Ballet. I saw them lead Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum in June, and in Manon this October at the Manchester Opera House. The performances were so exquisite, so magical, so special. Cojocaru's virtuosity and artistry in solo work was something to behold. Caley's combination of sensitivity and technique is quite extraordinary.  Their partnership is one I feel privileged to have witnessed.

 

-Max Maslen and Tyrone Singleton in Birmingham Royal Ballet's the King Dances. The performance I saw in autumn at the Birmingham Hippodrome had an intense, magical, dramatic atmosphere that I treasure the memory of. 

 

-The wonderful array of Auroras (I saw in order, Delia Mathews,  Maureya Lebowitz, Celine Gittens) in the superlative Sir Peter Wright Sleeping Beauty of Birmingham Royal Ballet (seen at the Lowry Salford and Millenium Centre Cardiff)

 

-The Staatsballet Berlin Nutcracker for it's perfect Hoffman-esque creation and sheer quaility of every aspect (Berlin Deutsche Oper, December). And a performance which stands out in my mind is Gregor Glocke who in the Arabian dance seemed to show a flexibility which matched that of Sylvie Guillem!

 

As capybara said what a cracking 2018. Probably my best ever year of ballet, but maybe I say that every year!

 

Edited by northstar
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5. The Trocks (it was my first time seeing them and I loved it!! A perfect balance between comedy and technicality!)

 

4. Royal Ballet's Giselle (Osipova 😍)

 

3. Royal Ballet's Swan Lake

 

2. English National Ballet's Nutcracker

 

1. The Royal Ballet School in Didy Veldman's 'TooT' (performed at Holland Park and ROH)- this has to be my number 1 favourite work of 2018!! Although not a full length ballet, or indeed even a classical ballet, I just loved the concept, choreography, music..... This piece is definitely one that I'll still be thinking about this time next year!!

Edited by swanprincess
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Merry Christmas balletomanes!

 

My 5 favourite lead performances:

 

Francesca Hayward as Manon

Alexander Campbell as Des Grieux

Akane Takada as Odette/Odile

William Bracewell as Siegfried

Akane Takada as Nikiya

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Merry Christmas to all...

 

In no particular order:

 

Alice Topp's Aurum, commissioned and performed by The Australian Ballet, with stunning performances by the entire cast (to be seen at the Joyce Theatre in New York in March 2019). I saw two casts and each was brilliant in its own way so I'm giving each cast a gong.

 

The joint débuts of Callum Linnane and Dimity Azoury as Albrecht and Giselle, chosen and coached by Maina Gielgud. Incredibly emotional.

 

The Royal Ballet in the cinemacast of La Bayadère - the entire company.

 

Kirsty Martin's artistry in her return to the stage after seven years as Hanna in The Merry Widow for The Australian Ballet.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything Vadim Muntagirov does is fine by me. His dancing is on a different (higher) level. Some people on this forum  accuse him of a lack of expression at times but I have never found that a problem. He does not layer expression on but reacts naturally. I am grateful to him for taking me through every emotion in La Bayadere. I was always a reluctant attendee, but not any more. When you see the cinema relay, it is all there from Muntagirov, subtle and genuine. That means he gets my vote for Manon, Winter Dreams, and Swan Lake.

 

The best Rudolf by far was Matthew Ball. He had a fortnight's notice to be ready to perform as Ryoichi Hirano moved into Edward Watson's slots. It was a compelling performance and he completely commanded the stage.

 

William Bracewell showed that he thinks deeply about the roles he does and thinks himself into the character, so he gets a vote for his Swan Lake, Unknown Soldier and, also, Baron Tusenbach in Winter Dreams , a very moving portrayal as the soldier who others laughed at behind his back .He loses the duel but the girl is waiting for him at the end of the ballet, not for the brash soldier. I discovered that I had a DVD of the original film with Mukhamedov, Bussell, et al. It was interesting to see that Gary Avis was the brother with the baby in the the pram whereas Anthony Dowell was Kulygin in 1991.

 

Cesar Corrales was commanding in Le Jeune Homme et La Mort. He brought the same mesmerising power to his Hungarian Officer in Mayerling and performed very well in La Bayadere. Some tall order, first full length ballet on RB stage and with two powerful leading ladies, Nunez and Osipova. He passed the test easily. Pity someone didn't tell him that he did not have to wear the ghastly turban all the time. All the other Solors were in head band  with feather at the betrothal  scene. He uses his face so well  to create his characters that we needed to see it. Get fit soon, Cesar: you have so much more to offer.

 

Finally, No Man's Land. Liam Scarlett captures the horror of the war and the loss of young life which includes an a emotional pas de deux with the girl whose man only returns in her memory. His choice of Liszt 'Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses orchestrated by Gavin Sutherland somehow fits the mood so well.

 

Footnote: Mayara Magri put in stunning performance as Gamzatti in La Bayadere.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting read re - all of the above posts!

 

My female artiste would be my newly found admiration for Fumi Kaneko in everything she does - beautiful, precise and strong strong technique.

 

I’m looking forward to her future upcoming RB débuts.

 

My male artiste would be Shale Wagman (ENB) as he was outstanding in the male variation from the Act 1 Pas de Trois in ENB’s recent ‘Swan Lake’ tour.

 

I also have greatly admired everything Les Ballets de Monte Carlo have done this year  - and they have some great dancers in the company too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, nevsky said:

Everything Vadim Muntagirov does is fine by me. His dancing is on a different (higher) level. Some people on this forum  accuse him of a lack of expression at times but I have never found that a problem. He does not layer expression on but reacts naturally. I am grateful to him for taking me through every emotion in La Bayadere. I was always a reluctant attendee, but not any more. When you see the cinema relay, it is all there from Muntagirov, subtle and genuine. That means he gets my vote for Manon, Winter Dreams, and Swan Lake.

 

Totally agree Nevsky, well put.

Just watching him even on a small TV in Swan Lake, 'it's all there'.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...