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10 minutes ago, Mary said:

Laura Morera was on fire tonight!

 

Exactly what I thought! She's amazing and just seems to get better and better.

 

I also loved Cuthbertson and Muntagirov. The end of the first act felt like a real tragedy; and the reconciliation pas de deux was correspondingly moving. The head touches are so poignant, and after the last one instead of touching his own head his hand changes direction to gently touch the girl's face, as if unconsciously recognising that they are now one. And as one they move towards the chair to rejoice in their unity which is both sealed and symbolised by the return of the second pigeon. Result: bliss.

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Maybe Morera felt it was a farewell to the Gypsy Girl?

I thought that Muntagirov was fabulous too.

The person sitting behind me said, after his Act 2 solo, "Wow! It just doesn't get any better than that."

 

 

 

Edited by capybara
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11 minutes ago, capybara said:

Maybe Morera felt it was a farewell to the Gypsy Girl?

I thought that Muntagirov was fabulous too.

i did wonder that. She came on with eyes blazing and took command of the stage throughout her appearances, dancing with extraordinary energy and focus. The audience loved her.

 

As for Muntagirov - I think Floss said he is not quite 'ordinary' enough for this ballet and I take the point: he is never and could never be, ordinary..... but his lissom elegance was such a lovely foil to the 'earthiness' of Morera's character-  - and I do wish I could see them dance together more often- which helped the audience see that they were not 'meant to be' as a couple.

His acting in the comic scenes with Cuthbertson was perfectly judged- not overdone, and with a real sense of genuine annoyance underlying the fun. Then in the soaring emotion of the final pas de deux his sublime lines could only heighten the exquisite poignancy. 

 

Much sniffing all around in the amphi!

 

For me it was one of those performances to store up and always remember.

 

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2 minutes ago, Mary said:

 

As for Muntagirov - I think Floss said he is not quite 'ordinary' enough for this ballet and I take the point: he is never and could never be, ordinary..... but his lissom elegance was such a lovely foil to the 'earthiness' of Morera's character-  - and I do wish I could see them dance together more often- which helped the audience see that they were not 'meant to be' as a couple.

His acting in the comic scenes with Cuthbertson was perfectly judged- not overdone, and with a real sense of genuine annoyance underlying the fun. Then in the soaring emotion of the final pas de deux his sublime lines could only heighten ..........

 

 

I found him a completely believable 'young man', in every respect. I don't need 'ordinary' when I can have Muntagirov. His dancing is on another level.

But, don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the qualities others bring to the Stage - a lot.

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Not sure where to post this..but:

 

Cast change for The Royal Ballet's The Royal Ballet School / The Two Pigeons

Tuesday 12 February 2019 at 7.30pm
Saturday 16 February at 12.00pm

 

Our records show that you are due to attend a performance of The Royal Ballet School / The Two Pigeons. We are contacting you to let you know that, due to injury, William Bracewell will be replaced by Alexander Campbell as The Young Man on 12 February. Meanwhile, on 16 February William Bracewell will be replaced by James Hay as The Young Man.

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I agree about Morera's performance last night.  Soooo pleased I got to see her in this role again.   She was having a whale of a time, and she alone was worth the ticket price.  Vadream was wonderful as always....but I thought that Campbell's emotions in the final pdd ran much deeper:  the way he almost sits on the stairs from the weight of his despair and contrition on the way down, the way he holds the moment when he touches his hand to his head, so that we can all see how distraught he is at his foolishness and the horrible realisation of what he has almost lost. 

 

The final pdd with Cuthbertson was very nicely done, as you would expect, but for some reason it didn't touch me like Stix-Brunell/Clarke and Choe/Campbell.  I didn't feel the same kind of sweetness from them, or perhaps chemistry.  I thought Vadim had much more chemistry with Laura.  When the second pigeon flew on, my main feeling wasn't of getting weepy and choked up like in the other two performances, but just 'oh good, it's worked.'  

 

 

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3 minutes ago, MJW said:

Not sure where to post this..but:

 

Cast change for The Royal Ballet's The Royal Ballet School / The Two Pigeons

Tuesday 12 February 2019 at 7.30pm
Saturday 16 February at 12.00pm

 

Our records show that you are due to attend a performance of The Royal Ballet School / The Two Pigeons. We are contacting you to let you know that, due to injury, William Bracewell will be replaced by Alexander Campbell as The Young Man on 12 February. Meanwhile, on 16 February William Bracewell will be replaced by James Hay as The Young Man.

So James Hay with Yasmine???  Hmmm.....I was hoping that maybe we would finally get the chance to see her dance with Vadim. 

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1 minute ago, Sim said:

So James Hay with Yasmine???  Hmmm.....

 

I originally booked to see William Bracewell and Francesca Hayward  - now both of the leads have been replaced ! Never mind

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6 minutes ago, Sim said:

So James Hay with Yasmine???  Hmmm.....I was hoping that maybe we would finally get the chance to see her dance with Vadim. 

 

It's put me in mind of the height issues being discussed on other threads! Though perhaps it's not an issue in Two Pigeons... after all I think of Campbell as a "short" dancer and Choe as a "slightly taller than average" one, and they were fine together.

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26 minutes ago, RuthE said:

 

It's put me in mind of the height issues being discussed on other threads! Though perhaps it's not an issue in Two Pigeons... after all I think of Campbell as a "short" dancer and Choe as a "slightly taller than average" one, and they were fine together.

 

How tall are Alexander and James?

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So very disappointed not to be seeing William in this (as much as I love both Alexander and James, I have already seen them, and was especially looking forward to the Francesca/William and then Yasmine/William casting).  The nature of ballet, I know …  I'm now worrying about his Don Q and Frankenstein performances,  as I've booked several. 

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Agree with Sim and her preference for Campbell.  I loved Muntagirov's dancing - beautiful. But there was something about Campbell that actually touched me more. Total indefinable.

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 I will begin by asking everyone who posts on this site a very simple question and it is this. If you had never heard of  Asphodel Meadows or the Two Pigeons and you knew nothing about either of them would anything on the ROH website have induced you to buy a ticket for the programme ?

 

I recall when Pigeons was revived after a thirty years absence from the Covent Garden stage sitting next to a lady who said that she had never heard of the work and yet she claimed to be a great fan of Ashton's works. She said that she came to see his ballets whenever they were staged and  yet at the same time she said that she had hesitated about buying tickets for the Two Pigeons because she thought that its lengthy neglect suggested that it probably was not going to be that good. The sad thing is that there are plenty of other Ashton works which are capable of revival which are also being neglected which will need a bit of help to get people to buy tickets for them when they are next revived. Daphnis and Chloe and Illuminations will both need a bit more than an announcement that the Royal Ballet will be dancing these long neglected works if people are to be persuaded to buy tickets  to see them. 

 

Why is it that the minute that the average balletgoer reads that a neglected work is to be revived their response is so different from that of the average operagoer faced with similar news ? Operagoers seem to be far more adventurous as a group and their initial response is most likely to be where is it being performed? Can I get to it? Who is singing? Perhaps this is because they understand that whether or not a  major work becomes part of the core international repertory is often a matter of luck and that an unsuccessful premiere can condemn a work to decades if not centuries of unjustified neglect. Of course it could be that there are more obsessives and completists among operagoers than among balletgoers. Setting aside the fuss about the limited number of tickets made available to the public for the Forza performances which are to be sung by Kaufmann and Nebtrebko perhaps it is that the average opera goer is at least as interested in hearing unfamiliar works as he or she is in hearing specific singers.

 

I don't find a similar adventurous approach among the average balletgoer indeed it is difficult to persuade some people to step outside the perceived safety of a full length work to try a mixed bill. Even the argument that the vast majority of the greatest ballets  of the twentieth century are one act works cuts little ice.  So the sad fact is that the announcement that Daphnis and Chloe is to be revived is unlikely to prompt a firm resolution to see the rarity unless the casting is peppered with the names of popular dancers who may or may not be suitable for the roles they are to dance or it is included in a bill of more familiar works. What the announcement is likely to do is to prompt a lot of people to ask themselves what is wrong  with it and whether it might be wiser to buy a ticket for something safer ? It is after all reasonable for someone who does not realise how much bankability and the AD's personal tastes play in repertory selection to suppose that works which are neglected are weak or defective in some way and that works that are any good will be performed with some degree of regularity by the companies for whom they were made.

 

As far as the Saturday matinee performance is concerned I have always found that matinees tend to sell very well  particularly if the ballets to be performed are ones which people have heard of as there are any number of older people who do not like going to evening performances because they don't like walking home in the dark.  The one problem that the specific performance presented for me and others I know is that Two Pigeons has to be saved from being perceived as a cutesy ballet which means that the Young Girl should not be played as an adorable character because to do so is bring the work perilously close to the twee and cutesy. It is as bad, as far as the balance of the ballet is concerned as making Widow Simone a sympathetic "Mumsy" character. As far as the cast changes are concerned, I am disappointed that Bracewell is off injured but I do not intend to complain about Naghdi's two new  partners. It will be good to see both men who are exceptionally good as the Young Man dancing with a different partner. We don't see enough of James Hay  and anything that gives him another shot at the role can not be entirely bad.

Edited by FLOSS
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1 minute ago, FLOSS said:

As far as the Saturday matinee performance is concerned I have always found that matinees usually sell very well if the ballets to be performed are ones which people have heard of as there are any number of older people who do not like going to evening performances because they don't like walking home in the dark.

 

Or just because they don't live in London and can't afford an overnight hotel bill.

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6 minutes ago, ninamargaret said:

Agree with Sim and her preference for Campbell.  I loved Muntagirov's dancing - beautiful. But there was something about Campbell that actually touched me more. Total indefinable.

 

I haven't seen Muntagirov this time around, but saw him last time, and saw Campbell on Saturday.  I agree with comments further up this page that Campbell is able to bring an "ordinary" quality to the role which Muntagirov cannot. (That's a compliment to Campbell in case anyone is wondering - and is in no way a slight to Muntagirov who brings plentiful other things to it.)

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12 minutes ago, FLOSS said:

What the announcement is likely to do is to prompt a lot of people to ask themselves what is wrong  with it and whether it might be wiser to buy a ticket for something safer ? It is after all reasonable for someone who does not realise how much bankability and the AD's personal tastes play in repertory selection to suppose that works which are neglected are weak or defective in some way and that works that are any good will be performed with some degree of regularity by the companies for whom they were made.

 

With reference to your comment about the adventurousness of opera audiences vs. ballet audiences, I don't think it's that simple, and there is a key point hidden in the text I've made bold above.  In opera, with the obvious exception of the Bayreuth Festival, there is practically no connection between where an opera was premiered and who is likely to be performing it now.

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6 minutes ago, RuthE said:

 

With reference to your comment about the adventurousness of opera audiences vs. ballet audiences, I don't think it's that simple, and there is a key point hidden in the text I've made bold above.  In opera, with the obvious exception of the Bayreuth Festival, there is practically no connection between where an opera was premiered and who is likely to be performing it now.

 

Also, a new production of an opera can be enormously different from previous productions, whereas a new production of a ballet might be pretty well identical to the previous one with the only possible significant change being in the design (and often not even that). And I know next to nothing about opera, but it does seem to me that there are comparatively few one-act operas whereas new/revived ballets are very often one act (and therefore smaller scale and potentially less enticing for less experienced ballet goers if nothing much is known about them). So I think it is all quite complicated. All I can say is that in my experience, regular ballet goers (including me) are always keen to see new or revived works (unless they saw the latter first time round and have no wish to see it again!).

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Really disappointed for William Bracewell - and for us.

I guess that Muntagirov will be tied up with Don Qs next week as he’s the opening night cast. Pity - but only because I too would have liked to have seen him and Naghdi dance together.

Hay and Campbell will have a busy week.

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2 hours ago, Sim said:

So James Hay with Yasmine???  Hmmm.....I was hoping that maybe we would finally get the chance to see her dance with Vadim. 

 

I think Vadim is overseas.

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1 hour ago, FLOSS said:

 I will begin by asking everyone who posts on this site a very simple question and it is this. If you had never heard of  Asphodel Meadows or the Two Pigeons and you knew nothing about either of them would anything on the ROH website have induced you to buy a ticket for the programme ?

 

Yes, I knew nothing about these works before seeing them advertised on the ROH website, and booking through it (notwithstanding a few recent well discussed quirks, I find the ROH website very informative and user friendly). I am very glad I did, especially for The Two Pigeons.

 

I am relative new balletomane; the only other complete Ashton ballets I have seen so far live being limited to (BRB) La Fille Mal Gardee  and Les Patineurs (RB), plus the Voices of Spring PDD (Choe/Campbell - RB Spring Gala) - all were wonderful.  Also The Dance of the Blessed Spirits (Muntagirov solo RB Spring Gala).

 

From various Ashton recordings I have seen, my favourites so far are The Dream, plus Rhapsody, both of which I would love to see live...

 

My  approach with the RB in particular at present is likely to be "You stage it, I'll book it"....!  

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, FLOSS said:

 I will begin by asking everyone who posts on this site a very simple question and it is this. If you had never heard of  Asphodel Meadows or the Two Pigeons and you knew nothing about either of them would anything on the ROH website have induced you to buy a ticket for the programme ?

 

I didn't know anything about them, beyond being vaguely aware that ballets of those names existed, until after I really enjoyed the Patineurs etc. triple bill in December & started eyeing up what else the RB was doing mixed-bill-wise this season. The following items on the ROH website induced me to buy a ticket: Nunez, Morera, Bracewell, Cuthbertson & Muntagirov! Though before I booked I did look up the plots of both pieces (found that Asphodel Meadows doesn't have one!) & sought assurance from the Forum that Asphodel Meadows was fairly classical in style.

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Bit late to the party but wanted to say I really enjoyed Saturday evening's' show.  I cannot wait to see Mayara Magri in DonQ as Kitri as her Gypsy Girl was amazing in 2P!!  Was it David Yudes with Val Zucchetti (see my photo below)?

Loved Mayara Magri and Tristan Dyer in Asphodel Meadows as well they really stood out!

A few photos from the curtain calls:-

Dyv5BIBXQAAuOxC.jpg

Ensemble

 

Dyv5F1SXQAA4LXM.jpg

Mayara Magri after 2 Pigeons

 

Dyv5TovXgAEE0Oq.jpg

Akane Takada/James Hay/Mayara Magri

 

Dyv5HaUW0AUXKDS.jpg

Valentino Zucchetti and David Yudes

 

Dyv2iefX4AIzLw5.jpg

Asphodel Meadows ensemble - Magri&Dyer/Hinkis&Acri/Nunez&Hirano

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Yes that’s Valentino and David.  Gorgeous photos!

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6 hours ago, FLOSS said:

 I will begin by asking everyone who posts on this site a very simple question and it is this. If you had never heard of  Asphodel Meadows or the Two Pigeons and you knew nothing about either of them would anything on the ROH website have induced you to buy a ticket for the programme ?

 

 

Simple answer: Nope.  Not a dicky-bird.

 

(Anyone who agrees with me but doesn't want to contribute further is welcome to Like this post)

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4 minutes ago, Sim said:

Yes that’s Valentino and David.  Gorgeous photos!

Thank you Sim on both counts - good to know who is who!!!

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