I am not going to attempt a review but I will indulge in a little reminiscing.
Like ElleC the RB Swan Lake does hold a special place in my heart as it started an unexpected interest in ballet, an art form I had previously derided in my foolish (and now very distant) youth.
3rd January 2005 - a duty visit to Covent Garden. The prospect of the meal in the Floral Hall was promising but the thought of having to break off in between courses to endure a bit of prancing around was quite frankly unappealing.
Still, political correctness prevailed and I took my seat for the performance (sans wine glass too!!) featuring Rojo / Acosta (who?? Seriously - I had never heard of him. Her name rang a bell but maybe from Spanish class, colour section) and prepared myself for a dull hour.
Well how wrong was I ?? Acosta strode on to the stage, a buzz went around the auditorium, I looked up from my lap, thought "ooh hello" ..things were definitely looking up. As soon as he (eventually) managed some dancing I was hooked - and I hadn't even clapped eyes on a swan at that stage (still waiting for the lake...). I remember feeling somewhat miffed that he didn't dance a bit more in Act 1 but decided against proferring my suggestions to the management.
Then Ms Rojo rocked up and the whole evening just got better and better. Afterwards I bored everyone rigid with how wonderful it had been...fair to say most people were confused: "but you don't like ballet....".
Anyway I got on to the ROH website and booked myself to see La Fille mal Gardee with Acosta / Nunez - snapping up the remaining ticket in the Orchestra Stalls. My mother told me it would be funny which I didn't believe on two counts - ballet being funny and my mother finding anything funny. Wrong again...
Naturally I fell in love with Nunez as I had with Rojo and Acosta. Nunez and Acosta became my favourite partnership and much as I like Sarah Lamb I can't pretend to be disappointed by her stand-in on the opening night of Swan Lake last week.
What fabulous fouettes! And the speed of Acosta's spins! I was dizzy watching it all. Out of interest I attempted a fouette in the sanctuary of my living room. I have never done ballet (apart from a brief performance as a chicken, aged 4) and can I just say it's actually quite tricky even though Ms Nunez makes it look as easy as falling off a log (which is the effect I ended up with). The ROH need to issue a warning - don't try this at home.
I was in tears for large parts of Act 2 - I found it all rather emotional - and more bizarrely during parts of Act 3 (perhaps the sets are getting to me). I was quite wiped out by Act 4.
I found the curtain call very touching. It is great to see the obvious rapport between the leads and a bit of informal hugging.
There were times last week when I felt some of the same excitement that I had during my first viewing ten years ago - no mean feat after repeated viewings in the interim. Sure there are things in the production that aren't perfect - like in any long term relationship -and those have been touched on elsewhere.
So - roll on Thursday when I hope to see Ms Lamb, and roll on April for the final (I presume) Nunez / Acosta Fille. Welling up already...
If you are still reading, congratulations. I have enjoyed the indulgence.