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7 hours ago, capybara said:

But isn't it James Hay on Saturday?

 

Yes you are right. So not exactly the same cast as Hay is indeed dancing with Naghdi on Saturday. Wonder why Campbell isn't.

 

I wish I could put into words what I felt during and after watching Yasmine Naghdi's last pas de deux with Alexander Campbell. It was such an intense, emotional feeling, too beautiful to put into words. It will stay with me forever. Her pain was so palpable, the expressions on her face so real, this was a young woman deeply hurt by her boyfriend's infatuation with a gypsy girl. She oh so tried her best to distract him and to keep him away from her, to no avail. He walk out on her.

Once he returned to her in Act II she was not naively overjoyed to have him back, she did not forgive him there and then, she was reluctant and too hurt. Gradually she connected with him and the perfect reunion of the two impeccably behaved pigeons highlighted and sealed their happy reunion: she had forgiven him. 

The applause and cheers started well before the curtain came down, the orchestra was still playing. This is such a jewel of a ballet, so uplifting and with such a great cast as Naghdi/Campbell/Kaneko/Zuchetti all seems fine in the world.

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11 minutes ago, Xandra Newman said:

not exactly the same cast as Hay is indeed dancing with Naghdi on Saturday. Wonder why Campbell isn't.

 

Give the lad a break! He's already  dancing it on Thursday with Choe,  and he's  dancing Basilio in Don Q on Saturday night with Takada!

Edited by Richard LH
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Looking forward to Saturday.   Intrigued what Janacek music is used - is it an arrangement of Cunning Little Vixen?

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Last night Prince Charles was in attendance in the Royal Box.  I notice he had different women surrounding him for each act.  They were obviously taking turns to share in the celebration of what - it is written - was a 70th Birthday gift.  He could not have had a better one.  Naghdi and Campbell were surely the most glittering jewels in anybody's crown.  Naghdi's debut was one that leapt out of its cocoon fully formed through the stealth of its humane delicacy.  We breathed (and, yes, fluttered) in both her rapture and dolor.  Has that act one solo variation in face of [Kaneko's exhilarating] Gypsy Girl) ever been more balletically telling?  Not in my experience.  Her humour was as well pointed as the prodigious heart of her pointe shoes.  It could not have been bettered.  Naghdi appeared - for all the world - to be the proverbial 'everygirl'.  It was extraordinary in the extreme. 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Yasmine Nagdhi, what can I say? She is a complete artist. She never disappoints. Her debut last night was something I will never forget. Her technique is a given but last night it was her interpretive skills that were further revealed. My God this ballerina can do everything. That final pdd had me crying. Which brings me to Alex Campbell, I have not seen him so engaged, dance so well for a long time. It was a true pdd. (The last time I saw Alex dance like this he was with BRB). I had so wanted to see Bracewell dance with Yasmine but we were not disappointed in the least, he was fantastic. 

I have not been so happy with a performance of The Two Pigeons since the 80's when SWRB and the divine Nicola Katrak performed it.

I also loved Vixen - what a great ballet for the school. The whole cast should be proud. And well done Scarlett.

A wonderful night.......

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1 hour ago, JohnS said:

Looking forward to Saturday.   Intrigued what Janacek music is used - is it an arrangement of Cunning Little Vixen?

 

Yes

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16 hours ago, Xandra Newman said:

I also think the Royal Ballet Press and the Advertising Office have (seemingly) fallen asleep, they should be doing FAR more to enhance their Principals' profile towards the general public. They are not pro-active at all. The occasional Tweet from the Head of RB Press Mr Ashley Woodfield or an ROH Instagram post here or there is not enough. Most of the Principals are totally unknown to the general public. Stop anyone in the street and ask them to name a RB Principal, bet the only names they can come up with are Darcey Bussell and Carlos Acosta (retired dancers!!!!). Nothing is undertaken so that the RB Principals become better known to the general public (you know the once the ROH is desperate to buy tickets... as opposed to the regulars). 

 

I was struck by this tweet yesterday from HRH The Prince of Wales's official household Twitter account (shared by the RBS account, which I follow), which (I'm sure unwittingly) implies that the RBS actually stopped producing outstanding RB dancers in the 1980s...

 

 

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Naghdi and Campbell danced wonderfully and weren't distracted by  a couple of chair malfunctions (Yasmine's dress torn by one at the start, and her struggling a bit to get through the back of the other, at the end). She is a beautiful dancer.   But  in this, we thought the pair had not  developed, as yet, quite the same level of rapport as Takada and Hay displayed. 

 

It was of course a debut for Naghdi; in fact, has she actually danced a principal role with Campbell before?

 

Kaneko was a brilliant gypsy girl and with Campbell and the other gypsies,  the exhilarating  first part of the second act really came to life. An exceptional Ashton passage!

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10 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

Gorgeous Two Pigeons tonight: a convincingly annoying then despondent Naghdi and a convincing furious then remorseful Campbell really made the story work. Beautifully danced and perfectly partnered: I might have to dip into my emergency ballet fund and go once more. I don’t think I can get enough of this ballet!

 

I went into my overdraft to buy decent tickets for last night & it was worth whatever interest my bank is going to charge me! So pleased I succumbed to the temptation of seeing Campbell & Naghdi together as I thought they were excellent both individually & as a pairing. I couldn't believe it when I realised Act 1 was almost at the end as it felt like it had only been going about 10 minutes! I cried in the final reconciliation scene, which I didn't on my earlier viewing. I don't know if I noticed more details this time because it was my 2nd viewing or because different dancers put in different details but I was particularly amused by the way Campbell twitched his shirt further open when the Young Man was first attracted to the Gypsy Girl!

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I realise I may get excommunicated for this, but I was disappointed by both Naghdi and Campbell last night. In the first scene I thought she was trying hard but not getting it yet, whilst he was trying much too hard and seriously overplaying. They were much better in the final scene but if they didn't make you care at the beginning it's much harder to care at the end. And I still thought he was overdoing it - his remorse would have done credit to Albrecht.

 

Looking forward to tonight's cast , though.

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Wow Jane....it seems that you saw a different performance from everyone else!   😀.  Always good to hear the different point of view.  

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2 minutes ago, Jane S said:

In the first scene I thought she was trying hard but not getting it yet, whilst he was trying much too hard and seriously overplaying. 

 

 

I thought Naghdi took a while to find her way too, but reckoned she got it about half way into the first scene, about when the gypsies turned up and the “niceness” finally gave way.

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Great to read different points of view-that's very interesting Jane S!

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1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

It was of course a debut for Naghdi; in fact, has she actually danced a principal role with Campbell before?

 

 

He danced Romeo to her Juliet somewhere in the UAE last year.

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13 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

He danced Romeo to her Juliet somewhere in the UAE last year.

They also danced the final pdd from 2P in a gala in Japan last year. 

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26 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

He danced Romeo to her Juliet somewhere in the UAE last year.

It was in Bahrain, Janet. I think I remember a photo where the kiss was on her hand not her lips!!

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43 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

He danced Romeo to her Juliet somewhere in the UAE last year.

 

In Bahrain... presumably just a PDD for the Gala?

 

28 minutes ago, Sim said:

They also danced the final pdd from 2P in a gala in Japan last year. 

 

Another gala piece.

 

So it seems last night's 2Ps was their first full-length principal roles together? 

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6 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

 

In Bahrain... presumably just a PDD for the Gala?

 

 

 

No, the whole kit and caboodle with Perm Ballet.  Gary Avis was there too.

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6 hours ago, Richard LH said:

 

Give the lad a break! He's already  dancing it on Thursday with Choe,  and he's  dancing Basilio in Don Q on Saturday night with Takada!

 

AND he had a full stage call for Don Q yesterday which started at 10.45am.

 

I'm a huge fan of Naghdi but I'm with Jane S on this one. Especially at the beginning, both of the main characters 'acted' too much for me to invest fully in them and their story. This is something I often find with Campbell but I'm sure that The Young Girl we saw from Yasmine once she was competing with The Gypsy Girl will be there from the start on Saturday.

 

What she did do, however, was to garnish the choreography with her own particular kind of beauty and make me appreciate Ashton afresh.

 

 

Edited by capybara
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I find the rather broad 'acting' in Act 1 essential to the story. The characters don't have names, and I think they move from being archetypal Silly Girl and Boorish Boy, with a correspondingly immature relationship, to the more nuanced and mature people they have become by the end.

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11 minutes ago, bridiem said:

I find the rather broad 'acting' in Act 1 essential to the story. The characters don't have names, and I think they move from being archetypal Silly Girl and Boorish Boy, with a correspondingly immature relationship, to the more nuanced and mature people they have become by the end.

 

Fair point, bridiem.

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That's how I interpreted their Act I too: they each portrayed (thus "acted" out) their character as immature, silly, selfish, self-centered teenagers, that was their character interpretation as artists. Having been infatuated with a Gypsy Girl Campbell grew from a teenager into a man who suddenly realised what real love means. Naghdi too grew from being the silly, insecure, attention seeking, annoying girlfriend in Act 1 to a more mature woman in Act 2,  a young woman who had experienced heartbreak because of her cheat of a boyfriend.

Campbell and Naghdi gave their own unique interpretation, they both told their story the way they wanted to tell the story.  Some may want to see less acting, others more acting, in the end it is the artists who tell us a story. Some will like it, others won't...

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I agree.  I don’t think it was broad, or over, acting.  For anything narrative that involves humans to be successful, there has to be some sort of developmental arc.  By the end of Act 1, the young girl’s    transformation has already begun, and the contrast between silly and dejected really worked last night. Earlier in the act, you could see the unease and panic cross Naghdi’s face like a dark shadow over the light of the sun, a portent of the pain to come.  As played by Campbell,  the young man’s transformation starts as soon as he is thrown through the gate of the gypsy camp.  He finally understands how it feels to be rejected and deceived, and the weight of the realisation that he has done to his girl what the gypsies have done to him manifests itself physically because he is so crushed.  The softness, contrition, the joy that results from forgiveness, the move into deep and mature love....if there’s no contrast to the immaturity of Act 1, it just doesn’t work.  In contrast to JaneS, both of these artists made me care deeply about the characters.  

 

All this aside, let’s not forget that what happens on stage needs to project right up to the rafters so that everyone can get it.  

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1 hour ago, Sim said:

All this aside, let’s not forget that what happens on stage needs to project right up to the rafters so that everyone can get it.  

Yes indeed. No good being subtle if you're trying to make sure those at the back of the amphi know what's going on.

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A beautiful photo!

 

I ran out of time this morning before saying anything about The Cunning Little Vixen (which I suppose also goes on this thread, as I can't see anywhere else). I found it much better than I thought it might be. I've never seen a student performance before so I was afraid it might just be a bunch of 12 year olds skipping round while their relatives in the audience cooed over them. I was very relieved that we got a proper ballet, danced mainly by students who looked to be at the end of their training and all of whom I thought gave very good performances. I will be reading the RB's joiners list this summer with interest as surely some of them will be on it. The piece itself I really liked. I thought the choreography was a good blend of classical with animal-like movements & told the story clearly. I loved the costumes and, while I'm not generally a fan of projections, I can understand their use here both because of how the Gamekeeper was able to be portrayed as much larger than the animals & to save on building sets for just 3 performances. I hope that it will have a future beyond these 3 performances. It looks like it would be ideal to be performed to children as a first ballet.

 

Having now liked both Asphodel Meadows & The Cunning Little Vixen more than I was expecting to I'm vaguely wondering if I should consider braving Frankenstein, which seems to elicit very mixed views.

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