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  1. Justine was danced by Romany Pajdak and Henry by Valentino Zucchetti.
  2. Do you mean to say that they have a box office INSIDE the theatre building? What a novel idea! 🙃
  3. Jonathan Cope didn't wear a white wig when I saw this production in 2001. His wig may have been glittered, but it was certainly dark.
  4. Gary Avis has danced the Helpmann sister a number of times. I saw him in June 2010, with Phiip Mosley as the Ashton sister. Personally, I think it would be a mistake to cast former principals in these roles - it was not a great success when it was tried before. Benet Gartside would be brilliant alongside Gary Avis. Sorry, back to Nutcracker...
  5. FLOSS, it would appear that they were not quite so prim in 1877 as you have suggested. According to her memoirs, Ekaterina Vazem did indeed wear “harem pants” in the first production of La Bayadere. I hope it is in order to quote a couple of sentences:- “In the third scene the bayadere Nikiya performs a dance with a basket of flowers in a comparatively slow tempo. For this number they made me an oriental costume with flimsy trousers and bracelets on my legs. Petipa first composed this dance out of batteries – so called cabrioles – the throwing forward of one leg to meet the other. I pointed out to him that such steps were here in complete disagreement with the music and the costume. How, in fact, could one perform cabrioles in wide pants?”
  6. From the recording with Merle Park as Larisch, it is an ordinary pack of cards. It would make sense for the concealed card to be the Ace of Hearts as, apparently, that can signify a love letter as well as the start of a love affair. An early reviewer read the momentary expression of horror on Park's face as meaning that Mary's third card signified death - the Ace of Spades perhaps.
  7. At today’s Friends’ rehearsal, poor Gary Avis gave a speech before curtain up asking us to consider leaving money to the ROH in our wills. Seems as if they do need us regulars after all - but only once we are dead.
  8. Howard Goodall's Requiem, Eternal Light, was written for Ballet Rambert. I saw it at Snape Maltings, and very beautiful it was, too.
  9. I was thinking that the Queen (or the Princess as she is called in both the 1877 and 1895 librettos) is a ruling monarch who has lost her consort. That would mean that her son would not become king until her death. The uneasy relationship between the widowed Queen Victoria and her son Edward springs to mind. So far as Hamlet is concerned, at that time, kings of Denmark were elected. Claudius is a usurper, who has, as Hamlet says in Act V of the play, “popped in between the election and my hopes”. Tom Stoppard probably did his A Level Eng Lit slightly longer ago than me.
  10. Congratulations, too, to Gary Avis MBE.
  11. If the tweets are correct, looks like Gary Avis will make his debut as Von Rothbart this afternoon.
  12. This is how George Balanchine described the 32 fouettes in his "Festival of Ballet": "These relentless, whipping turns, sum up her [Odile's] power over the prince and, with disdainful joy, seem to lash at his passion." I have always felt that putting in doubles or triples detracts from the lascerating effect Balanchine describes, though I have noticed that some Odiles mix it up a bit in the first 16 bars, then revert to single fouettes when the music changes for the second set of 16 bars. Orlandau mentioned Galina Samsova in what is now the BRB's Swan Lake. I remember reading at the time that Samsova was nursing an injury but nevertheless performed in the premiere, substituting, I think, pique maneges for the fouettes. One of the critics remarked that the steps she did perform may well have been more difficult than fouettes.
  13. Siegfried is the only character who appears in all four acts (in both the original 1877 production and the 1895 revision). Sir Peter Wright, I think it was, said that though Swan Lake is Odette's ballet, it is Siegfried's story. I understand that one reason for introducing Rothbart earlier is to make more sense of the way in which he is immediately accepted by the Prince's mother when he arrives at the ball. What I glean from the article is that the aim has been to make the characters and situations more credible. In the same vein, and I am not sure if it has been mentioned before, the aspiring brides will not be wearing identical dresses. James
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