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  2. Unless there was a cast change I missed, I thought Campbell danced this with Choe, and with Naghdi, whilst Takada only danced it with Hay?
  3. This should be a very interesting thread. My personal high was Morera/Bonelli in Mayerling - and a low that the only DVD of them is Frankenstein. Highs were Campbell's De Grieux and his Lescaut, also his performance in Pigeons with Takada. Most surprising high was thoroughly enjoying Don Q with Osipova and Muntagirov - hadn't planned to see this at all, as it is not usually a ballet I enjoy, but a friend couldn't go and I helped her out! Low meant that my financial situation did not permit me to see as much as I would have liked to, so I have missed many performances I would like to have seen. Firebird a huge high and I suddenly 'got' Month in the Country, although low is not seeing it with Muntagirov. A real high is the overall standard of the company with so many young dancers looking more than able to replace some of those who have left, or who will be leaving.
  4. No, it wasn’t me, but as a friend of mine was in A28 I do know who it was! And I wouldn’t say I was especially knowledgeable myself anyway 🙂 A shame I didn’t know you were there, I would have said hello!
  5. How long was you waiting before you got an email to say you dd got a place? Hope the taster went well today😊
  6. I ended up going for a £40 stalls seat block G row 7 seat 7 yesterday afternoon as it was the best the box office offered me about 15 mins before the performance. I was then highly annoyed when I got a text from my aunt, who had also come on spec, saying she had been able to buy a seat for £35 much nearer the centre of the stalls! Given there were only a other people in the entire row & block G I asked an usher if I could move round & was told I could at the first interval so at least I saw Acts 2 & 3 from only 3 seats in from the next aisle round, which was a much better angle. I thought the production was alright but no amazing. Compared to R&J, Prokofiev seemed to have less inspiration for Cinderella. I only found one melody really attractive. Wheeldon's choreography I likewise found decent rather than brilliant. This is the third ballet of his I've seen & I do dislike his habit of sometimes having the female dancers flex rather than point their feet, though at least that didn't feature too often here. I don't think I'll be rushing to see any ballet in the round again as I found the frequent movement of people or pieces of set on or off stage to be rather frenetic at times. The final scene in Act 1 with all the seasons & strangely-costumed groups baffled me. It didn't seem to do anything to contribute to the plot & felt like it was there purely to give the corps more to do. I wanted to see this cast in order to see Frola again, after being extremely impressed with his Des Grieux, and I really liked him again in this. I thought Emma Hawes was very good as Cinerella, though en pointe she seemed perhaps a little tall for Frola. I see they both dance for the National Ballet of Canada. Does anyone know if they are often partnered together there? The rest of the cast all seemed to give good performances, though some of the casting required a certain suspension of belief in order for the plot to work! I was pleased to spot Alison McWhinney as one of the Winter dancers. Long fingers seem to be in fashion in ballet: first Kostchei in Firebird & then both one of the Princesses & the Conkers in this!
  7. My little girl really enjoyed it said she preferred it to the rbs audition. Their seemed to be a lot more to do in this audition stretching gallops leaps skips turns barre work basic positions. She said the teacher was lovely audition took just over an hr was 24 In Her group and their was another group after hers x
  8. Thinking back over the season, I'm a bit worried that I am becoming a bit obsessive about ballet but since that is better than being on drugs or speeding cars, I shan't worry too much! Highlights The Two Pigeons (I saw this ages ago on Sky Arts and loved it, so was so pleased it was being performed this year - in the end I saw it three times - at the general rehearsal, with Alexander Campbell and Yuhui Choe and then with Yasmine Naghdi and James Hay and loved it - I now have the music on my Ipod!) Within the Golden Hour, which I hadn't planned to see but decided to go to the mixed bill and was so pleased as I did as I thought this was fantastic and taught me to be a bit more open minded about modern works. Flight Pattern - didn't think I would like this but was overwhelmed. Lowlights Winter Dreams (loved Les Patineurs and the Concert though) R&J at Covent Garden (but loved the cinema version with Matthew Ball and Yasmine Naghdi). It may not have helped that when I saw it live the woman sitting next to me kept fidgeting and sighing throughout!)
  9. I've not seen the pay. I've looked up the plot but I think I'd rather go & see BRB without watching any filmed versions first & see what I think of it live. Just dithering between Friday evening & Saturday matinee!
  10. I was wondering if people would be doing end of season round-ups. I'm not sure I'm exactly to do so, as this is the first season I've seen a significant amount of ballet, but I'm going to give it a go. If anyone wants to criticise my very inexpert tastes feel free! Highlights (chronological) Mayerling - I'd never seen the RB live before but was interested in seeing this piece, after unexpectedly coming accross the tomb of the last Habsburg Emperor in Madeira a few years ago & subsequently reading up about late Habsburg history including the Mayerling incident, and I only wanted one opera in the autumn booking period so I though I'd give it a go. While Hirano as Rudolf wasn't to my taste, I was blown away by the rest of it. To the extent that I've seen 16 subsequent RB performances in the following 8 months! Les Patineurs/Winter Dreams/The Concert - only the second time I've ever seen a triple bill & I really enjoyed all 3 pieces. Manon - ENB, again blown away by MacMillan especially McWhinney & Frola, who I preferred to the more famous Cojacaru & Caley. Two Pigeons - yes, perhaps a little too much of the gypsies but I love a romantic comedy. Don Quixote - I know a lot of people aren't keen on the production but I, not having seen anything else to compare it to, really enjoyed it. Romeo & Juliet - especially the Hamilton/Andrijashenko & Hayward/Corrales casts. The first time I've seen a ballet enough times - five - to enjoy seeing dancers in multiple roles. The score, how I love the score. A Month in the Country/Symphony in C - I wasn't as keen on Firebird but really enjoyed the second & third parts of the triple bill. Fonteyn Celebration - first time I've been to a ballet gala. So impressed by the opportunity to see so many of the principals on stage in one performance. Lowlight Flight Pattern - I was wishing for it to end from about half a minute in. I will be avoiding all modern dance in the future as it's clearly not to my taste. I'm trying to do exceptional dancers but am having difficulties as I've been very impressed by the majority of the RB dancers in everything. I suppose Muntagirov, Campbell, Nunez, Lamb, Cutherbertson, Hayward, Avis, Saunders, Hamilton, Corrales, Magri, Mendizabel, Hay, Storm-Jensen & Mock have all particularly stood out for me in one or more roles but I'm sure I've missed some people out and with injuries etc. I've not seen all the dancers yet.
  11. I would assume David Bintley has cast whom he thought appropriate in the leading roles. There are 6 great dancing leads in this ballet - Will Mossop, Maggie Hobson, Vicky Hobson, Alice Hobson, Fred Beenstock and Albert Prosser plus Henry Hobson is a fabulous character role. Then there is the Salvation Army section (IIRC - Miyako Yoshida led this section when she was still with BRB). I saw a magnificent production of the play in Sheffield in 2011 starring Barry Rutter as Henry Hobson. This was after I had seen BRB perform Hobson's Choice in Hong Kong in 2011 and before I saw them perform it in Birmingham in 2012. If I didn't love the production enough before I grew to realise even more that it is a total masterpiece. David Bintley has made such an intelligent production and he has managed to include not only the comedy but the pathos too. He has also beautifully included the stillness and silence that is a feature of the play. If you are not familiar with the story you could look to see if the ballet is still available to buy on DVD and/or watch the Charles Laughton/John Mills film.
  12. Interesting then that there are so many principals/first soloists doing that when 3 of the 4 leads are soloists/first artists. Though not having seen the rest of the season I don't know how the workload has been shared out. Maybe the principals are glad to have an easy assignment for the end of the season!
  13. May I ask if you were on the far right side? I was in B28 & the two ladies sitting in front of me were from their conversations evidently very knowledgable regulars so I'm now wondering if you were one of them. While watching Muntagirov last night I was thinking about the comments on here as to whether the character is a womaniser or not & thought his in his interpretation definitely not. He comes over as far too nice! Which had me thinking: has he ever played any vilainous or unpleasant characters? I can't imagine him doing so.
  14. It's a virtuoso piece in the park scene in Act 2 so it's great to look at but not a long segment.
  15. My DD policy is £41 pm with AXA and was cheaper than we paid as part of school policy in past. Unfortunately we don't have cover to add her to. You can get cheaper but consider carefully whether cheaper options are worthwhile. Some cheaper options I would avoid are Limited numbers of physio sessions A limited list of Drs/hospitals you can use Any policy which only kicks in if you're not seen in a particular length of time by NHS Make sure all investigations are included as well as outpatient and inpatient care. No limit on claims Include psychiatric care HTH
  16. She did at least get a bouquet & the other dancers were applauding her after it was presented. Edit: pics removed after I found @bangorballetboyhad posted a better one on the triple bill thread. I should give up trying to share my curtain call pics as everyone else always gets much better ones.
  17. Although she has now tagged "back to London"'on her instagram....
  18. I'm amazed that there are two people in the first cast, Jonathan Payn & Marion Tait, who were in the cast of the Nutcracker the only time I've previously seen BRB way back in 1994! Do the Salvation Army have large roles in the ballet?
  19. Just going back to Nehemiah Kish, I've always felt he was a very understated and under publicised principal but I have always enjoyed his performances. Most recently in Frankenstein, Romeo and Juliet and the Firebird, but going back I remember that he partnered Marianela in her first performances in Manon. I sat next to him at a Ballet Association dinner several years ago now and he was charming and like many of the dancers, unassuming. I asked him about partnering in Manon and in particular the final pdd, and how difficult this might be. He said "tricky", which is a phrase I have always remembered and comes to my mind whenever I see the pdd. He also commented on what a responsibility it was to partner Marianela in this situation, to ensure that it all went well for her. I loved that. I agree with everyone that it's also really nice to recognise other dancers who are retiring after many years service, as it is in any place of work.
  20. I think I know what you mean, but I have to say I do like an element of compare and contrast in mixed bills, seeing how the dancers tackle different sets of problems within the same performance. Having said that, although I loved each of the three pieces, Peter and the Wolf did feel as though it didn't quite belong, much as I felt that it was utterly charming. The ostensible reason given for the programme was of course that all the works were by female choreographers, which shouldn't need to be a reason for grouping works together, but sadly has to be, as with the recent ENB She Persisted, a similar mish-mash of choreographic styles that nonetheless to me proved a satisfying whole. The real problem for me was the pitifully poor attendance for a Saturday matinee, with the stalls only about a third full (if that). This is the third mixed bill in a row that I've been too at the Hippodrome that's been afflicted in this way, and one can only conclude that outside of London mixed bills simply don't sell. Last night I was at a packed Covent Garden for the stupendous RB Firebird mixed bill, and I couldn't help wishing the wonderful BRB dancers had similar audience pulling powers when they do repertoire out of the norm. That was the day after I'd been to the Lowry for the Matthew Bourne Romeo and Juliet (it's been a busy week with the cinema R&J relay on Tuesday as well!). That had no trouble getting an audience for a matinee and yet I felt it had a fraction of the choreographic inspiration that I saw in the two mixed bills - a huge disappointment in my humble opinion but a reminder that name recognition is what really sells seats.
  21. My son is currently a Year 5 London JA. When he was a Year 4, there were 4 Year 4 Boys. X
  22. Great thread idea! My highlights: - La Bayadere! Amazing cast with Nunez/Osipova/Vadim, and the shades were so lovely. I really hope it comes back in the 20/21 season. - Fonteyn Celebration - a true showcase of the RB's talents. Standout for me was O'Sullivan in Daphnis and Chloe, and of course Hayward in Ondine (a successor to Margot if there ever was!). - RJ Corrales/Hayward cast. Despite not being my favourite ballet what a great cast. Not only were the leads brilliant, but the supporting cast top notch (Sambe/Ball et al.) - Within the Golden Hour - for me, contemporary 'done right' - brilliant choreography and music. - Firebird Mixed bill - what a brilliant evening and perfect end to the season, three different ballets which ended the season a real high. The choreography from Balanchine, heartbreaking casts and Ashton at his best in Month in the Country, and amazing sets, score and history with the Firebird. - Vadim Muntagirov in pretty much everything. Great stage presence, real depth of emotion/character and flawless technique. Is there anything he can't do?? - ENB - Manon with Alina Cojocaru. My god what a brilliant ballerina. - ENB - She Persisted Mixed Bill. I think Rojo is leading the company fantastically and they have really found their niche commissioning new productions and doing more contemporary works. This mixed bill was brilliant, especially the Rite of Spring. I look forward to the two Akram Khan's next season! Lowlights: - Don Quixote - aside from Nunez/Muntagirov dancing their socks off which is the only thing that made it worthwhile (and O'Sullivan's cupid solo), the story/sets and other dance pieces didn't do much for me. Perhaps not a lowlight, but not really my thing. - Mayerling - whilst I have really enjoyed Hirano in everything else I've seen him in and think he's a brilliant dancer, I didn't think he really clicked for me in this. I haven't seen anyone else in it though, so I don't think blame for me not liking it much rests with Hirano and is also do with what I thought was an overly complicated and confusing plot, and not enough character development and too much focus on violence and over the top drama. - Dare I say it but Two Pigeons/Asphodel Meadows. Whilst I appreciated two Pigeons, I thought it was a bit long and felt the gypsy scenes could have been cut significantly, if it was a one act ballet I'd probably prefer it. (Sorry I know everyone will disagree!) Saying that I enjoyed the choreography between the young girl/boy and the pigeons at the end. Asphodel Meadows was ok, but merely ok. - Medusa - didn't feel like the dancers were utilised to the best of their ability (not for lack of trying) and found the music not fitting. - Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. Was really really looking forward to it because of all the hype and rave reviews. Whilst I enjoyed the scenes with the male swans (sadly Ball was injured so I had another cast member which I felt just wasn't technically up to standard as what I was expecting, but perhaps I'm unfair to compare to an RB standard) I found the other scenes not to my taste - I don't like Bourne's 'comedy' and the parody ballet I found distasteful. I think perhaps if I had known it wasn't a proper ballet and more of a contemporary dance inspired by ballet I would have appreciated it more, and I'm glad to have seen it once but I was very disappointed and wouldn't go again. To be honest, I just don't think Bourne is my thing, having had similar mixed feelings and disappointment with his 'The Red Shoes'. Sorry probably too long. Overall definitely more positives than negatives (had to stop myself from just listing so many dancers I've seen this year in amazing performances develop their skill) and feel incredibly privileged to live in London which has all of this to offer.
  23. Was there with husband last night. We loved the Firebird - the music, costumes and dance. Thrilling and so glad that Kish’ retirement was properly marked. it was the first time my husband has seen Month and he liked it least. We both admired the dancers- Anna Rose O Sullivan was charming and very fleet of foot. Muntagirov was a bit of a lad - flirting with all the ladies! Cuthbertson very moving. It felt more Edwardian England than Russia to me. we both loved Symphony in C - terrific but I thought Magri was not the right match for Sambé- his jumps were so light. great end to the season and the company is full of talented dancers at all levels right now- lucky us!
  24. @TinyNEDancer oh ok I misunderstood and thought it was today! My DD preferred the Elmhurst audition. She said the judges were much more smiley! I think she has got muddled up now about what happened at which audition but it was all quite similar stuff I think. I'll tell you what I remember. She had to improvise with arms I remember. Lots of skipping and lots of stretches. They didn't have to take their socks off at Elmhurst. She has absolutely loved her two taster classes! So if your DD gets in would her class be in Sunderland or Birmingham?
  25. Nice thread, Sim, and my list is forming already. However, I think that I'd like to wait until I've settled down a little after Muntgirov's simply wonderful Beliaev yesterday and, as importantly, until every company has shown their wares (including BRB at Sadlers Wells and the Bolshoi).
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