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Jam Dancer

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About Jam Dancer

  • Birthday December 17

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  • Location:
    Tokyo, Japan...
  • Interests
    Travel, Dance, Languages

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  1. Milan the epicenter? Oh right ... so Milan fashion week was held in the epicenter of the outbreak? Had no idea ... I’m not sure how helpful this is but I understand that people will voice their concerns. One can’t be be too careful if travelling but I wish people would err on the side of caution and not add to the hysteria already setting in. It’s all about perspective and getting a bit more information about a particular context before shouting from the rooftops.
  2. Luckily I thought better of the cake idea Fonty! I shall have to try the rum carrot cake on my next visit.
  3. On the train home now but wanted to say that it was another wonderful performance this evening with Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in their double debut A different performance from this afternoon’s matinée but just as enjoyable. Good to see the depth in the company and the different characterisation of the roles. I also enjoyed Mayara Magri as Aurora and Gina Storm-Jensen in her debut as Prayer. I forgot to mention Claire Calvert and Melissa Hamilton in this afternoon’s performance who danced (really well) the same roles. One little niggle for me is that I wish Claire wouldn’t rush the second crossing of the wrists towards the beginning of the Aurora variation. Mayara made both of hers nice and clear... don’t ask I’m hung on that detail - no clue. 🙂
  4. Gosh - wish I could do that! No longer living in London and staying outside the city this Christmas has just reminded just how expensive U.K. train fares are! I treated myself to Balcony tickets and if I factor in return tickets to the nearest a station (from which I still need the other half to be generous and come fetch me) that would be over £100 per performance. (Eek!)
  5. Lovely performance this afternoon from Laura Morera and Alexander Campbell. Grateful to have the chance to see Laura again as it’s been a while. I always enjoy her in comedic roles (her Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is hilarious) and her comedic timing helped to hold the second act together for me - such an expressive face. I don’t recall enjoying this ballet this much. The last time I saw it the RB do it, I saw Miyako Yoshida as Swanilda and I think I either skipped the next run or was exiled abroad for work (as I am now). I was even excited about the student dancers! Usually I don’t take little notice of them but I couldn’t help but notice Them today - promising group! I’m now very much looking forward to the evening performance but I think I’ve had too much to eat and I’m now in danger of nodding off during the performance. 😊 Perhaps some coffee and a slice of ROH’s exuberantly-priced cake will help with that!
  6. Ok today is my Coppélia day! Not sure why I’m seeing a ballet that has never been amongst one of my favourites twice in one day... I rarely get a chance to see the RB live these days so when I get a chance I tend to gorge myself - Laura Morera this afternoon and Yasmine Naghdi this evening, what a treat!
  7. I heartily agree with your review Janet. I really enjoyed the afternoon performance. I wish I could have stayed for the evening performance as well but it was finally get a chance to see the company live for the first time this season.
  8. Just to note that Morera has also NOT been cast in roles that suit her so there’s the other side of casting.... Sorry to digress - this is the Sleeping Beauty discussion !
  9. Hayward and Sambé also danced together in The Dream some years ago and were really good in that. They've also done Balanchine's Tarantella as well.
  10. Moderators please remove this if this is old new but how did this sneak past me? There aren't really any surprises... I won't be able to attend and of the performance but I am praying that forum members will again be charitable with their reviews and allow me to pretend I was able to attend a performance or two. https://www.roh.org.uk/productions/swan-lake-by-liam-scarlett
  11. I am so confused by all of this and why there needs to be a discussion at all. Who chooses to be defined by the colour of their skin? How come this is never said about people in the majority? Does anyone think for a minute that Leontyne Price or Jessye Norman wanted to be defined by the colour of their skin? They couldn’t escape it then and most people can’t now. It’s not usually the artists that draws attention to themselves but the people in society who are uncomfortable with people on these spaces. When someone embraces or is unashamed of how the world categorises them (regardless of the uselessness of the designation), why is that choosing to be defined by the colour of their skin? Shock horror that someone considers there are 14 or 15 “women of colour” who are “forces for change.” Why? Because there should only be 2 or 3? I have no doubt there would be less of a discussion if amongst the women chosen there were only a smattering of women not fitting the mould. A lot of this is eye rolling stuff (for me)... discussion about individuals’ complexions and someone being darker....really? Because complexion determines what really ? And the question about why did Francesca agree to be included in the article if she doesn’t want to be defined by the colour of her skin... really? Still picking up my teeth from that one...because being celebrated amongst the likes of Chimamanda Adichie in a magazine that you’ve read since you were a young girl means that you couldn’t possibly be simply honoured to be considered as having a positive influence ...? Apologies for the nonexistent dance related content...
  12. I’m sure the discussion has now moved on to the LA portion of the tour now. This is just a quick post to say that I did manage to see 2 more performances of the Royal Ballet in Japan. Too many things were happening at once (aka work) so I didn’t manage to post reviews. I attended the final performance of Don Quixote with Vadim Muntagirov and Natalia Osipova. Jenny posted a lovely review so I shan’t go on too long. I think they should have finished resurfacing the stage of the Bunka Kaikan by now because Osipova absolutely tore up the floor with her speed. Speed in the travelling pirouettes in the finale of Act 1, speed in the fouettés in the Act 3 variation ..wherever she could, she turned up the tempo. I think I got whiplash . As you can imagine there was a lot of bravura and polished dancing from Muntagirov. I hadn’t realised that the men have so much freedom in the their Act 3 variations. Vadim’s Act 3 was quite different from what I saw Matthew Ball in the first performance I saw. Again, the entire company looked fantastic. There was so much character in the dancing at times I wasn’t sure where to look. Isabella Gasparini’s Amour was a delight and what an infectious smile she has. Impressive individual performances by both Vadim and Natalia but I think I preferred Cuthbertson and Ball (together) in the earlier performance I saw. I do have to admit to fighting jet lag that evening as I had just got back to Japan the Friday before I attended my first performance. And I sort of lost my voice the next day! On my way home, Reece Clarke was in the same carriage of the metro train having dashed out of the theatre after his performance. On Sunday, I attended the (Gala) final performance in Yokohama. I passed Itziar Mendizabal leaving the theatre and having seen me around a number of times during the run she smiled at me and said bye. I’d passed her and Kristen McNally leaving the theatre on my way to the Osipova/ Muntagirov Don Q performance. I really enjoyed the gala. Highlights for me were Claire Calvert, Yasmine Naghdi and Laura Morera in Winter Dreams. The goodbye pas de deux (with Ryochi Hirano) brought a roar of applause from the audience. Then there was the Manon pas de deux with Lauren Cuthbertson and Vadim Muntagirov, the snippet from Ondine with Francesca Hayward (and cameo appearance by Edward Watson) - what an expressive face Francesca has! With an almost bare stage I found myself experiencing the same amazement in whatever it was Ondine was discovering having strayed into another world. Last but not least was Symphony in C which was the icing on the cake. I love the music and this gem of a ballet. Fumi Kaneko in the 1st movement was a standout. It was great seeing the company but I’m sure happy they’re gone! I’ve spent half my retirement savings on them - £16 for a programme !??
  13. I'll try to add to Jenny's and Naomi’s Report. I am quoting Naomi's review because she mentioned Lauren Cuthbertson's change of spotting in the latter half of her fouettés which sort of blew me away because 1) I must be the only person that gets bored after four fouettés and 2) I didn't expect it from her - not that I don't think she isn't capable but having never seen her in this type of role, I wasn't sure what to expect but I think she was excellent. I am getting ahead of myself though. On my way to the theatre I passed Beatriz Stix-Brunell leaving (day off) and my excitement went up another notch. I didn't have the best of seats Level 4 on the left side of the stage but I think the sight lines in the Bunka Kaikan are quite good so I still had an unimpeded view of the stage. Shortly before the lights were dimmed, I saw Olga Evirinoff making her way to her seat and I knew that she had been coaching Lauren and Matthew (Ball) so I got even more excited. By the way, I guess it's usual for coaches to watch the performances? Then as the doors closed, in popped Kevin O'Hare (in his usual black on black) rushing to his seat. By this time, I was overexcited and quite hot and started wondering why the air conditioning hadn't been turned up a bit higher. I saw this production 3 times during the initial run but I've not seen it since, and I wasn't able to make any of the earlier performances so I've got nothing to which to compare it. I can say that I enjoyed it much more this time around than the first run. The company is in a different place and they performed at a really high level on Sunday afternoon. Lauren and Matthew look really good together and there was tongue in cheek quality to their performance. They were having fun and there was this warm chemistry between them, fun-loving and a bit rebellious. I just loved Lauren's expressions - she was such a cheeky Kitri. Not to mention the deep back bends - I thought at one point she was going to hurt something. Lauren really threw herself into the role and conquered the technical feats yet they were so refined as a couple - can you have a refined performance of Don Quixote? It's not a ballet I know well or have seen often. Not having seen Matthew Ball dance in a little while, I was impressed with his confidence and his attack on this role. Claire Calvert was Mercedes for the 3rd straight show and although I missed some of the "colour" that Laura Morera brings to this role, Claire danced it well yesterday. And Reece Clarke...gosh I knew he'd been injured but I didn't know that he'd had surgery only nine weeks ago. Bravo to him for coming back with Espada and performing so confidently and cool. It was a joy to see him dance this. I think the last time I saw him dance was in the last run of Symphonic Variations. Romany Padjak and Fuki Kaneko were Kitri's friends and they were both delightful to watch. Queen of the Dryads was a very impressive Yuhui Choe just knocking off the variation as if going for a stroll in the park. Meaghan Grace Hinkis was a sprightly Amour and Thomas Whitehead's Gamache made me giggle. I couldn't help but notice Joseph Sissens and Sae Maeda and Chisato Katsura also caught my eye. The applause at the end was rapturous. There was quite generous applause during the performance as well and the curtain calls seem to go on forever. My hands were stinging a bit and of course I was now feeling much hotter than at the start of the performance. With all the excitement, I did something I’ve never done in all my years of attending performances at Covent Garden, I went outside to join the Japanese crowds waiting for the dancers to exit. It's not every day that you get to see what your home ballet company in Tokyo where you happen to be living at the moment. I've gone on too long but just to say that the Royal Ballet dancers are a gracious lot. So many of them came out and took time to sign autographs, take selfies with the fans and just soak up the atmosphere. It was nice seeing some of the dancers up close and in person so to speak but I found myself getting carried away and cheering and calling out names (as if I didn't-t already stick out in the crowd waiting there). I know some people have seen the dancers' social media feeds showing the crowds, so I thought I'd attach a couple of photos I took (not very good) whilst being a bit of a groupie. Unfortunately, I'm having issues doing that at the minute so I'll abandon for now.
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