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Thank you Sim for such a wonderful review that said what I thought but could not put into words, which you have.  This performance goes in a very special place in my head which only has my first concert, Sir John Barbarolli and the Halle in Oldham which introduced me to music, William Walton at the proms, Margot and Rudi my first ballet, Alina every time I see her, Frankie and Yasmin of the new bunch. The RB is in a very good place.

 

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Glowing reviews throughout - make me even more gutted that injury meant I was unable to stand through it :( .  Still, at least the replacement ticketholder obviously thoroughly enjoyed it!

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So sorry you missed it, Alison.  I hope your injury improves soon.  

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Sim said:

They were great representatives at the Met in NYC a few months ago, and I strongly feel this partnership should be nurtured and encouraged.

 

Dear Sim,

 

Let me join in the chorus of praise for your glorious review; surely second best to actually being there.  I had, myself, arranged my annual project in Munich in and around the Ballet Festival Week - knowing I could see six ballet programmes in five days - and certainly - as one must being responsible to and for a myriad of other people in my own case - long before the RB casting had been announced.  I was heartbroken when I saw that O'Sullivan and Sambe were - like Naghdi and Ball before them - only being given one public performance at an early matinee during the time I was already committed to being away.  I had been told that they would dance the dress rehearsal so played hooky - at some considerable personal expense - so I could go - only to find it was Takada/Hirano.  I tried to wangle my way into the student matinee too given the circumstance but sadly no luck there either.  Quite rightly I didn't get in.  I will just have to wait it seems.  I know - I KNOW - patience is a virtue ... but in this instance it seems - from a personal perspective - particularly gnawing.   

 

That said I did have the HUGE privilege of being at ALL of the O'Sullivan/Sambe performances in the City Center Balanchine Celebrations in NYC.  That - like the O'Sullivan/Sambe third (first public) R&J - was too a very special event.  I only want to correct your review statement that it was at the Met.  It wasn't.   It wouldn't matter - in most instances would be a minor matter - except the whole point of that exercise - of that week - of the City Center 75th Anniversary Balanchine Celebrations - was that it was five different companies - including NYCB and the RB - who were showcasing ballets that had been created by Balanchine on the very City Center stage.  The O'Sullivan/Sambe Tarantellas were - as we saw with the Hayward/Sambe Combination on the Covent Garden stage - tantalising.  Still for me it was the Tschai PDD that did it.  It was both of their debuts in such.  (I wonder when we will see them in that on the ROH stage?  I have a feeling it may well be more than two years.)  O'Sullivan especially glistened - as she beckoned the whole of her house - for that is what it became for that intoxicating duration - with her eyes - and the NYC/international crowd went ballistic.  They were the only artists to be brought out in front of the curtain for a second time - and that by entirely rightful demand. Not that I'm prejudiced of course.  (On a similar score, the combination of Summerscales/Acosta - now principals with the BSB in Munich - had nine - count them NINE - front of curtain calls - a massive 'red rush' if you like - last night following their stunning leading performances in Cranko's insolent Shrew.  The Munich Company shone here as a whole too.  Seven of the Summerscales/Acosta calls were AFTER the house lights had gone up - much as you kindly reported had been granted to the wonderful RB combo.  They - especially Acosta and the surety of his partnering - have come such a long way since we last saw them with ENB.  It was - not unlike the O'Sullivan/Sambe R&J which you so vividly captured - a privilege to be there.   But that is by way of an aside.)

 

Huge thanks - as ever - for ALL.

 

Cheers, Bruce

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Thanks Bruce. I have corrected it. 

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I've been trying to remember everything I've seen O'Sullivan/Sambe in- I was thrilled by them in the Nutcracker, and am sure I was wowed by their Neapolitan dance but can't find the programme.

Bruce, you have  certainly proved very prophetic about this partnership.

I agree I want to see more.  It is odd not to focus on nurturing the real thing when it happens. Sometimes when a performance doesn't quite do it for me, it is not the individual dancers, but the lack of a special partnership that is the reason.

 

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12 hours ago, Xandra Newman said:

As much as I LOVE Sambe and O'Sullivan Mr O'Hare has to give priority to his principal dancers in the worldwide cinema broadcasts. Only this Season did he finally start to show his younger principals Takada, Campbell, Hirano and Naghdi and Ball to a worldwide audience.  

 

I wasn't referring to the cinema broadcasts. I understand the issues surrounding the casting for those. But I do feel that, after many years in a particular role, an argument can be made for a dancer to leave space for others - and, yes, I know there have been amazing 'older' Juliets such as Marion Tait.

BTW, though they may be only in their third years as Principals, Hirano (36?) and Campbell (34?) are not 'young' in quite the same way as we have been speaking of O'Sullivan and Sambe.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Mary said:

I agree I want to see more.  It is odd not to focus on nurturing the real thing when it happens. Sometimes when a performance doesn't quite do it for me, it is not the individual dancers, but the lack of a special partnership that is the reason.

 

 

As has been said before Mr O'Hare seemingly does not favour nurturing special partnerships. Naghdi/Ball just one example (after their outstanding R&J debut); they have barely danced together since that very special Saturday Matinee in October 2015.

 

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15 minutes ago, Xandra Newman said:

 

As has been said before Mr O'Hare seemingly does not favour nurturing special partnerships. Naghdi/Ball just one example (after their outstanding R&J debut); they have barely danced together since that very special Saturday Matinee in October 2015.

 

 

Weren’t they also paired in Sleeping Beauty and Giselle?

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

Weren’t they also paired in Sleeping Beauty and Giselle?

 

 1 performance in Giselle... :( 

 2 (if I remember correctly) in Sleeping Beauty

 2 (or 3) Nutcrackers

 

In a span of 4 years...I don't call this "developing a partnership".

Edited by Xandra Newman
typo

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Posted (edited)

But how many missed opportunities have there been since then, by which I mean full-length ballets in which they have both been cast in roles where there is significant partnering together? It’s a genuine question - I can think of Swan Lake but what else is there?

 

I’m not trying to trip anyone up, I just wonder how much scope KO’H actually has to nurture these partnerships.

 

Edited to say I forgot Bayadere and Don Q!

Edited by Lizbie1

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I think/wish more than one public R&J could have been managed for Sambe and O' Sullivan. That's all ....This is the ballet in which  to give priority to the young. 

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26 minutes ago, Xandra Newman said:

 

 1 performance in Giselle... :( 

 2 (if I remember correctly) in Sleeping Beauty

 2 (or 3) Nutcrackers

 

In a span of 4 years...I don't call this "developing a partnership".

 

Emeralds

The Unknown Soldier

Swan Lake in Madrid

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25 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

But how many missed opportunities have there been since then, by which I mean full-length ballets in which they have both been cast in roles where there is significant partnering together? It’s a genuine question - I can think of Swan Lake but what else is there?

 

I’m not trying to trip anyone up, I just wonder how much scope KO’H actually has to nurture these partnerships.

 

Their "partnership" in Swan Lake was an unscheduled one: Naghdi replaced Natalia Osipova in Madrid - last minute - with whom Ball was partnered.

Full-lengths they danced together: R&J (1 public Matinee), Giselle (1 public Matinee), a few SB's and Nut's. Unknown Soldier was unscheduled as Ball was partnered with Hayward and Naghdi replaced her due to her outside Cats commitments.   

 

 

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I do worry a little about the suggestion that because dancers have a particular role in the repertoire, whenever there is a revival, they should reprise their role.  On that basis when Swan Lake is revived, how are others given an opportunity to make their debuts?  I guess one of the real challenges for Kevin O’Hare is ensuring all dancers renew their repertoire and develop new roles which I think inevitably means that dancers will need to retire some roles.  My sympathies are with Kevin O”Hare on this but I do think there’s a lot to be said for giving young dancers more opportunities in Romeo and Juliet.  We’ve had two extraordinary double debuts (Saturday’s matinee and 3 October 2015) and a second public performance would have been wonderful.  Yes, Kevin O’Hare does encourage and nurture his dancers and, being greedy, I’d welcome a little more - I still think a trick was missed with the Mayerling Mary Vetsera casting. 

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OTOH, if other dancers are to be deprived of roles they have previously danced, then some sort of accommodation has to be made for them too.

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I think the initial point made was that some dancers had been allocated three performances.

 

As for accommodation: there are certain roles (Sylvia and Natalia in Month in the Country come immediately to mind) where perhaps only three dancers - usually senior principals - are cast in the main roles: perhaps that should be taken into consideration.

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Yes indeed.

The 7 female Principals each have three performances, the 2 first soloists have 2 performances and soloist O'Sullivan had a closed School Matinee and 1 public performance. The point for me is: does Nunez - at this late stage in her career - still need to reprise the role of Juliet? and Lamb? (at the expense of younger Juliet's who are far more fascinating to watch).

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I noticed from the cast sheet from Saturday's matinee that Guest Principal Coaches were given as Leanne Benjamin, Viviana Durante and Robert Tewsley.  Benjamin and Durante are certainly names you might expect and have previously coached at the RB. But I don't recall Robert Tewsley as a coach before. Was he (very briefly) with the RB ? Does anyone recall him as Romeo elsewhere in his career ? 

 

I understood (from the streamed Insight) that Watson was coaching, but he doesn't get a mention on the cast sheet - presumably because he's not a guest. 

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Yes, I'm most disappointed that the revised cast sheets are still not showing the repetiteurs unless they are guests.  I suspect a good repetiteur could make (hopefully not break!) a performance.  Surely they all deserve to be credited, yet it seems that the only thing of interest is that the guests are sponsored by someone or other who has to be given a name-check?  Would the guests be listed otherwise, I wonder?

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27 minutes ago, Xandra Newman said:

Yes indeed.

The 7 female Principals each have three performances, the 2 first soloists have 2 performances and soloist O'Sullivan had a closed School Matinee and 1 public performance. The point for me is: does Nunez - at this late stage in her career - still need to reprise the role of Juliet? and Lamb? (at the expense of younger Juliet's who are far more fascinating to watch).

 

Well, I want to watch both Núñez and Lamb (who are superb interpreters of the role) just as much as I want to watch Naghdi and O'Sullivan.  I find them all fascinating to watch.

 

And I think you're being rather rude in describing Núñez as being in a "late stage in her career".  

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8 minutes ago, Lynette H said:

But I don't recall Robert Tewsley as a coach before. Was he (very briefly) with the RB ?

 

He was a principal at RB for about 2 months (in 2002).

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So he was - down to dance Crown Prince Rudolf, I think?  Did he guest as Onegin?

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Yes, guested as Onegin (3 shows), Siegfried (5 shows) and Albrecht (1 show).  Plus three shows as Rudolf as a company principal.

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17 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Well, I want to watch both Núñez and Lamb (who are superb interpreters of the role) just as much as I want to watch Naghdi and O'Sullivan.  I find them all fascinating to watch.

 

And I think you're being rather rude in describing Núñez as being in a "late stage in her career".  

 

Apologies. Kindly advise how you would like me to phrase "late stage in her career" differently.

To me, aged 37, she's not really in the "early stage" nor "in the middle stage" of her career. 

 

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Just now, Xandra Newman said:

 

Apologies. Kindly advise how you would like me to phrase "late stage in her career" differently.

To me, aged 37, she's not really in the "early stage" nor "in the middle stage" of her career. 

 

 

Do you know how long her career is going to be?  To me, you are suggesting that she's beyond dancing the role, which she most certainly is not.

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Posted (edited)

I am not suggesting anything Bangorballetboy and to accuse me of being rude I find that rather aggressive (and I hasten to add: this is not the first time you give the impression to Forum members of being aggressive and accusing them of being rude whenever something is stated you don't approve of or is not to your liking). 

I just described a stage in her career that's all. I know nowadays one has to be OH SO careful with all the PC police surrounding us it's becoming stressful to describe something correctly. As a woman in my mid-60s I don't find that very easy you know. Nunez may go on dancing until she's 50 or 55 or 60, what do I know! One thing I do know is that she's not in the early stage (early to mid twenties) or in the middle stage (early to mid 30s).

 

Please suggest the right wording so I know whenever next I'll have to describe "a stage in a career"!

Thank you. 

Edited by Xandra Newman
typo
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Posted (edited)

Well said, Xandra.  You were not rude in any way.  If others decide to get on their high horse and put interpretations on your words that clearly you did not mean, then that is their problem and not yours.  Nunez, on current form, may go on for another ten years but that still doesn't mean she's in the early stages of her career in the way that Anna-Rose most certainly is.  Also, for what its worth, I prefer to see the younger dancers doing Juliet.  That is not to take anything away from the more mature performers (Cuthbertson was wonderful), but there is something about Juliet and indeed Romeo that has extra emotion if the dancers are themselves little more than teenagers.  Like yourself, I would have preferred to see Anna-Rose given more peformances and Nunez rested for this run.

Edited by penelopesimpson
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1 hour ago, Xandra Newman said:

Yes indeed.

The 7 female Principals each have three performances, the 2 first soloists have 2 performances and soloist O'Sullivan had a closed School Matinee and 1 public performance. The point for me is: does Nunez - at this late stage in her career - still need to reprise the role of Juliet? and Lamb? (at the expense of younger Juliet's who are far more fascinating to watch).

 

To be fair, some of the ‘old hands’, for want of a better expression, can bring more life experience and thoughtful development to a role - Sarah Lamb particularly good at thinking through and bringing out new subtleties in any role she does, I reckon. Though like yourself, I’m often keen to see the ‘newbies’ given a shot at major roles, roles most dancers covet as being the measure of a dancer.

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