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  1. Sadly I wasn't able to see this cast in Manon this time round but loved your review, To The Pointe. I think it's that mutual spontaneity - as you say, 'being real on stage' - that makes Hayward and Campbell such a great partnership. It isn't emoting, it isn't sentimentality, it's just that they both have a unique ability to make it real and that translates to the audience. However many times we may have seen a certain ballet, they bring something fresh and arresting in a way that makes it feel that we are seeing that particular ballet for the first time. I agree, too, with your comments about Corrales and Magri. Both are exciting and charismatic dancers who draw and hold the eye and fill the stage. I can't wait to see more of each of them.
  2. Agreed, and I did feel that the first movement of Concerto could have been a bit pacier, particularly for Frankie Hayward.
  3. I did realise that it was a slip of the hand, Penelope, as I’m sure everyone else will have done, and hope that my reaction was received in the spirit in which it was intended.
  4. Ahem, Penelope Simpson, there may be the odd, unforgiving Friend who might object to being described as ‘viral’! 😊
  5. If not downright miraculous. Biblical with a twist.
  6. I wasn’t going to give my views on the triple bill until I’d finished my triple viewings - opening night, today’s matinee and this coming Tuesday - but felt I had to add my voice to everyone who found the interaction between Arestis, Avis and Whitehead in today’s Enigma Variations so very moving. Magri impressed every bit as much as on opening night; she is one of those dancers who brings something extra to every performance, impossible to look away. Muntagirov was, as always, impeccable and Frankie Hayward as delightful as ever although I, too, was in two minds about partnering her with Corrales yet I’m not entirely sure why. Their mutual timing was razor-sharp and we know from R&J how devastating they can be together. Was it the disparity in size? Would James Hay have been a better match in this piece? (Rhapsody anyone?) I did, however, fully enjoy all three parts of this triple bill and am now looking forward to Tuesday night but before winding up can I please give a big shout out for the frequently under-appreciated Melissa Hamilton, whose sinuous lines brought an achingly beautiful quality to the slow movement of Concerto.
  7. Because, of course, after Lescaut’s drunken cavorting she has shown that she has the necessary aptitude for dealing with partners with unfortunate bodily spasms.
  8. You’ll have to get a nice profile photo like Rob S ...
  9. Devastated to have missed Francesca Hayward (and the rest of this cast) this time round, sadly couldn't make the dates. Was she that much better than last time round when I did see her and thought she was pretty amazing then?
  10. This really is turning into ROH-gate, isn't it, with the axe falling more on the denials and contradictions than what may or may not initially have been done.
  11. I am a Friend. I had always understood that 20% of tickets for each production were held back and was happy with that. I was also, in the interests of fairness, happy to accept a ticket cap, although my preference is for four as I do like to attend with my family and/or personal friends. I believe that the ‘benefits’ of Friends membership and fairness to the public are both met by this means although I will say that one of the main reasons why I pay a Friends subscription is precisely so that I can have a better chance of getting affordable tickets to the over-subscribed productions. I have a limited budget and Friends membership gives me a chance of buying cheap tickets which would otherwise be unavailable. There are no overall savings since the lower ticket cost is offset by the cost of subscription but I prefer to do things this way to make sure, as far as possible - and it is not always possible even as a Friend - that I can get to see the productions of my choice. Whilst there are clearly many Friends who have large budgets (lucky them!), there are equally obviously many who do not, as can be seen by the high number of the cheapest tickets taken during the early stages of Friends booking. I had wondered whether these were held back for public booking but on current evidence that would seem not to be the case and I must therefore assume that these tickets have been bought by similar Friends to me - ie those on limited budgets who are prepared to swallow the subscription fee and, in return, limit their consumption to the cheaper tickets as a trade off in order to see the over-subscribed as well as the under-subscribed productions. Sorry for going on at length but I do feel that, like me, most Friends wholly approve holding back a reasonable percentage of tickets for each production and at a broad range of prices provided that one of the tangible benefits of Friends’ membership includes an enhanced chance of obtaining affordable tickets to all productions. By way of comparison, the National Theatre, itself highly subsidised, seems to sell out completely to the highest level of Friends for the must-see productions, suggesting that the only difference between it and the ROH is the misleading messages as to public availability put out by the ROH rather than ticket availability per se.
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