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  1. I've got a feeling that this is the Carlos Acosta/Bolshoi Spartacus. As it's Sky Arts, to be repeated, surely?
  2. Oh purlease, everyone, what a depressing picture you all paint. Where are the glass-half-full forum members? Galloping up like the cavalry in a standard B western, I hope. Well do make it quick, I’m not sure I can stand any more of these gloomy predictions.
  3. I know of people who have been pinged in the car when sitting at traffic lights, overtaking or being overtaken, presumably via Bluetooth connection.
  4. Not Corrales. Terrific as he is in the right pieces, this isn't one of them. I love the Hayward/Bracewell partnership, both give out the suggestion of unforced, feather-light flow.
  5. it’s never been one of my favourite pieces. I have always found it’s tedious repetitiveness hard to endure.
  6. And can we have James Hay as Romeo, too, please? Every time he shows us his exquisitely nuanced Benvolio I come away thinking next time, surely …
  7. I would be more than happy to have an undiluted diet of heritage works, Lizbie, but since scheduling seems to be unfairly weighted in favour of what the young are thought to want - a perception that should surely have been questioned after the negative take-up following Carbon Life - a mix of old and new might open management's eyes to the possibility that they might actually enjoy traditional works. As to the preferences of opera singers, that's a fair point. Perhaps someone with more in-depth, behind-the-scenes knowledge can answer that. Or perhaps its simply a matter of vocal development and the potential of irreparable damage from making poor choice of repertoire.
  8. I was disappointed to see that they they have not been paired together in any of the forthcoming works as both share an unforced, naturalistic style that is mutually complementary and delightful to watch. The Hayward/Campbell partnership seems to have been revived, however.
  9. Surely mixed bills should, as was historically the case, include a broad range of works from traditional to contemporary and everything inbetween. As well as satisfying the advocates of one or other genre, rarely performed "heritage" pieces and newly choreographed works can both be introduced to partisan audiences who may find that they really enjoy works that they would not otherwise have chosen to see, increasing the potential audience base for both. Lately there seems to have been a move away from broad scheduling of this type. I am far from convinced that this is helpful.
  10. Having waited a few days before setting down my thoughts on Wednesday's opener has given me time to rationalise my reactions to what was, first and foremost, an assured and inspired selection of classical and contemporary works from ENB's current core repertoire, each of which contributed to an extremely enjoyable evening. So, yes, I did indeed enjoy the evening and would encourage anyone who hasn't already been along to the RFH to snap up a ticket before the run closes but, echoing Capybara, and contrary to my prior expectations, I wasn't totally blown away. I agree that this may, in part, have been due to the lingering high of the RB's recent Balanchine/Robbins programme, but also, in my case at least, there was the inevitable comparison with ENB's fabulous pre-Covid 70th anniversary gala which, with a similar mix of the classical and the new, was frankly off the scale. That said, there was much to applaud in Wednesday's performance, more particularly since this was the first night in which the company had performed its classical repertoire in over a year, and the performances were all of such a high standard that it would be almost impossible to single anyone out. Unlike some of the posters, I loved the extract from Broken Wings, which was given so much dramatic heft by Katja Khaniukova and Fabien Reimair: this work really does take the art of partnering to a new and exciting level and I adore the music which, enhancing but never overpowering, gives such an authentic flavour to the work as a whole. Moving on to Swan Lake, Annamk and Irmgard have each indicated that they were not entirely convinced by Natascha Mair. For me, her Black Swan started strongly, with a cogent and persuasive characterisation, but - and I am not entirely sure why - after the initial impact, her performance seemed to lose its edge. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has seen her subsequent performances since at present I am very much in two minds about her. Less so, on the other hand, about Isaac Hernandez, whose dancing, whilst technically accomplished, has previously failed to engage me but delivered a compelling performance on Wednesday evening. There is little that I can add to previous posts with regard to the other pieces. The programme finished strongly with the infectiously upbeat Playlist which, I understand, will be expanded during the Forsythe evening at Sadlers Wells early in 2022. Something else to look forward to from ENB in the coming year.
  11. Coming back to popular ballets that reflect what the world is today, Ghost Dances anyone? Not classical ballet and not in the RB’s repertoire but a work that leaves a deep and lasting impression, deals with the uncomfortable but highly relevant topic of political killings and manages to retain that ‘must see again’ quality.
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