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Royal Ballet - Don Quixote - Spring 2019

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Really, really enjoyed Don Q last night: you would think there would be a risk of ennui or let-down after such a brilliant opening only the night before, but for me this ballet only improves on viewing. When I first saw the disc version, to use the current parlance of the young folk "I was like “ isn't it over yet"?”   (especially during Act 1), but seeing it live,  the time seems to fly by  and "I was like “is it over already”?"

 

You wouldn’t expect Takada and Nunez to  play Kitri in quite the same way, and they don’t - and that is one of the reasons that seeing different casts can be so rewarding. Nunez is all expressive joy, exhilarating throughout, indeed perhaps enjoying and sharing  her love of dancing back and forth with her rapturous audience even more than with her partner.

Takada employs  rather more subtlety and is naturally more nuanced  and more contained within her ballet character -  the young girl finding herself literally pulled various ways in the midst of a comical love-fest. She is the Queen of balance and grace, in my view - not only in the technical, physical sense (she has such breathtaking control, for example, when on pointe on one leg, and in her fouettés!) but also in her lovely characterisation.

 

In this she is so well assisted in her  rapport with Alexander Campbell- what he may lack by way of the uber-dazzling leaping skills displayed by Muntagirov, he more than makes up for in his partnership technique and his acting.  In the first Act, you feel he could hold Akane up in the air with one hand for ever, whilst by the opening of the second Act PDD they have become a wholly believable, tender loving couple.

 

And all the while there is such wonderful support from the rest of the main cast and  the corps!  

 

Although no standing ovations, or extra-prolonged curtain calls, this time, Akane and Alexander deserved, and received (by normal  standards), a great response from the Saturday night audience,  at least from everyone who stayed to the end, rather having to rush out  for trains etc. a tad prematurely.

 

Bring on Tuesday, along with the live streaming!

Edited by Richard LH
grammar
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5 minutes ago, FLOSS said:

The decision to cast Yudes as Sancho Panza  is unlikely to be the result of a lack available mature dancers.

 

Yes, the role does demand a fair bit of fairly strenuous technical and fast dancing, along with the pantomime skills ( I was really feeling for Yudes' foot after the countless times Don Q seemingly  stamps it with his "lance"!)

 

9 minutes ago, FLOSS said:

Great performances all round almost converted me to the ballet.

 

Welcome to the party, Floss !

 

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Yes I was converted by the first night too. With a little trimming here and there the production could become really good and a mainstay, I think.

 

 Sancho Panza also being thrown up in the air etc and genrally chucked around, maybe a younger dancer is not a bad idea!

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7 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

Given that BRB are performing this production in June 2020 will this stay a mainstay of RB?

I sure hope so... just like both companies perform Fille.  🤞😀

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There is nothing that I can add to what has already been written about Saturday’s performance. Brilliant, faultless all round! And what a scene-stealing performance from Anna Rose O’Sullivan, not to mention Muntagirov, Nuñez, Morera, Hirano, Kaneko ... And why, oh why, isn’t Laura Morera cast as Kitri?

Was it the sheer brilliance of the performances overall or did this Don Q have more pizzazz than last time round? It certainly seemed more vibrant, less subdued than the last run. More ‘Don Q’, to be honest. Even the musical arrangement seemed less vapid. Anyway, along with everyone else in the auditorium, I absolutely loved it. Congratulations to everyone on and off stage for a fabulous evening. 

Edited by Scheherezade
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1 hour ago, Scheherezade said:

There is nothing that I can add to what has already been written about Saturday’s performance. Brilliant, faultless all round! And what a scene-stealing performance from Anna Rose O’Sullivan, not to mention Muntagirov, Nuñez, Morera, Hirano,

 

The last four were in the Friday  cast.

Was anyone else there last night?

Edited by Richard LH

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Oops, got the day wrong - that’s what comes from using my phone and not checking pesky autocorrect! Shades of wishing my life away, if only by one day!

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15 hours ago, FLOSS said:

...Sophoife, The fact that the RB has a group of Principal Character dancers suggested to me that reasons other than mere expediency had led to David Yudes being selected to replace Philip Mosely as Sancho Panza and the performance that he gave more than confirmed that opinion...Giving younger dancers opportunities to perform roles which are generally given to more experienced  performers is a policy which benefits both the company and the individual dancer as it develops the dancers' artistry and expands their range. 

 

Thank you @FLOSS. I am pleased that the Royal Ballet has this policy and that it works. 

 

What I was complaining about was the situation where a company chooses to use its young dancers yet appears to give them no support in how to be credible in a character role. When playing a person decades older than oneself, it should be obvious that the character will move in a different way, not necessarily doddering, but more carefully. Don't just wear padding and lark about, learn to move as if that's the real body shape. Learn to apply makeup in such a way that the character's face looks older, rather than just drawing  a few brown lines and hoping they look like wrinkles. And for goodness' sake, if given a skullcap, don't apply it so half the audience can see your own hair all around the edges!

 

Most of this can be laid at the door of the artistic staff, who should be coaching character roles as assiduously as (for example) the principal dancing roles.

 

I have to say that on the occasions Australian Ballet does use an external coach for a production, it usually merely serves to highlight the lack of such an eye in other productions...but that's a complaint for a different thread.

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On 11/01/2019 at 00:29, alison said:

Both were predictable as being slow sellers.  I was surprised not to see them appearing in Get Into London Theatre The New Year Sale, but perhaps again that's the new normal?

I think it may be due to very steep prices.  There are quite a number of performances of each ballet but at the high prices, probably too expensive for most people to afford !!!  At one time, I would have booked one of each cast, but now impossible budget wise.  I think the increase in prices this season is to cover the cost of the "Open Up" project - which is rather ironical, as due to the rise in seat prices, the ROH are not achieving "opening up" the auditorium to those people visiting the "open up" areas at front of house !!!!

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8 minutes ago, fashionista said:

I think the increase in prices this season is to cover the cost of the "Open Up" project 

 

That's not the case.  The Open Up project has been funded completely from donations for that purpose.

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4 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

That's not the case.  The Open Up project has been funded completely from donations for that purpose.

I did not realise.  Did the funds completely cover the cost?  If so, rather a coincidence that sear prices have increased with the opening of the "Open Up" project - and it does therefore result in the ROH not "opening up" the auditorium to new audiences !!!!

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Has Open Up increased running costs, though? (Genuine question!) And if it has, to what degree has this been offset by increased revenue from catering etc?

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2 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

Has Open Up increased running costs, though? (Genuine question!) And if it has, to what degree has this been offset by increased revenue from catering etc?

 

Catering is contracted-out, so I don't think there's a significant difference in cost by having an additional café/bar.  If there is an increase in cost, it's from running the extra events, and that is surely a good thing.

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I would have thought that there was a huge increase in the number and cost of 'Ushers', especially during the day.

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3 minutes ago, capybara said:

I would have thought that there was a huge increase in the number and cost of 'Ushers', especially during the day.

 

But the house was open during the day before anyway so I don't think there's a significant increase there. There is, however, a bit more security, as there are more doors directly into the house.

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3 hours ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

But the house was open during the day before anyway so I don't think there's a significant increase there. There is, however, a bit more security, as there are more doors directly into the house.

On those occasions when I have come in via the piazza, the additional security arrangements have appeared entirely voluntary. Those entrants who have approached the security man have had their bags (cursorily) checked, those who have ignored him have been allowed to walk straight through. When I volunteered my bag, a small torch was shone across the top with no attempt to check the contents.

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Not on my last 2 or 3 trips, they haven't been (totally voluntary, that is)

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Last Friday evening, entering via the piazza along with a number of others, all of whom walked straight past a security man who totally ignored everyone, my friends and I made a point of turning back to present the six or more bags that we had between us. The security man flashed a small torch across the top of my (unopened) handbag and made no attempt to look at or inside that bag or any of the other bags. Everyone else entering at the same time just walked straight through.

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Thanks for sharing Richard- will be at the ROH for this one so nice to see a cast sheet in advance! Thrilled to be seeing Beatriz Stix Brunell and Yuhui Choe as Kitri’s friends in particular. 

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Thank you Richard LH.

This is a cinema teaser :) but I was referring to the usual link re. General Rehearsal photos normally provided on here 

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