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  1. Nothing worse than badly behaved parents! A great pity, because I have been in a theatre so many times with young children in the audience, who were impeccably behaved. Did you actually say anything to them?
  2. That sounds quite old for that kind of behaviour on both sides. I would expect that from a parent of a 5 year old. Is it possible the child had learning difficulties of some sort? Not that it makes it any less irritating, but it might explain it. I was at the theatre once, and I remember being extremely annoyed by a woman talking constantly, describing everything that was taking place. When I turned round to express my annoyance, I realised her companion was blind. After that, I felt I couldn't say anything, although I still found it dreadfully off putting.
  3. I just picked a date at random, and found Jamie Tapper and Cojocaru in the cast list as well.
  4. Betterankles, I think you misunderstood what I was trying to make. Obviously, anything hand made, be it a pointe shoe or a cake, is going to have slight differences. However, in my day, we spent a great deal of time examining and trying on the shoes for that very reason, and we rejected any that had the sorts of imperfections that you describe. The shoes also had letters on the bottom, which I seem to recall was the signature of the individual who made the shoes. So if we had pairs that we particularly liked, we used to go for the same letter again. This may, of course, have been one of those tales that get told, and the letters may not have meant that at all! However, it did help to whittle down the choice which could otherwise be quite overwhelming. I am not sure how old the Russian shoes with particularly tiny, curved platforms would be. When are we talking about? I mainly did pointe work in Gamba shoes, but I have also used Freed. I recently bought a pair of pointe shoes, and compared them to my ancient ones that I kept for sentimental reasons. They looked identical to me in terms of the size of the platforms, although I didn't actually get out a tape measure and check. 🙂 I have no problems with dancers searching for comfortable shoes, I have every sympathy with them. Let's fact it; pointe shoes are very elegant instruments of torture. But I find it very disturbing that shoes are being created specifically to aid balance.
  5. As far as I know, no pointe shoes have uneven or curved platforms, do they? Isn't that the whole reason for creating them in the first place? So that the wearer has something flat to balance on? Katharine, looking at that clip, Efremova's shoes look really soft. I found myself wondering if she had done the same thing I used to do. I could never get shoes flexible enough, so I used to remove the arch support and rely on my own sturdy calf muscles. I got well and truly told off when the teachers found out (someone told them, I never did find out who the sneaky person was.) She wouldn't, would she........??
  6. There is no doubt that very large, square platforms on pointe shoes do look a bit clumpy. Obviously, if a dancer has a bunion then the shoe has to be adapted to accommodate this, and this may necessitate a rather square end to the shoe, but if a dancer is relying on her shoes rather than her muscles to aid balances, then something has gone a bit wrong somewhere, surely? I thought the whole point of pointe shoes was aesthetic; to make the ballerina appear more ethereal and weightless.
  7. Just to say that I trained at a "good" ballet school, and never, ever had any personal fitting of pointe shoes. I can't remember much variation in vamps, widths or whatever. We just tried a few pairs out, and bought the ones that were the right size. I have noticed that dancers seem to roll over more when on pointe these days, and surely that must mean far more pressure on the toes and ligaments of the feet. And while I realise that pointe shoes are a tool, it is most distracting to see a glorious ballerina, kitted out in a splendid tutu, wearing shoes that are cut and mangled. I can't remember which dancer slices the fronts of her shoes, but it is clearly visible from seats in the stalls and looks horrible. (Sorry, whoever the dancer is!)
  8. I read this review with mounting irritation. A newspaper has paid someone to write this? It is the sort of thing I would expect to be written by a teenage school girl for the school magazine, wanting to impress her classmates with her trendy interpretation of an old fairy tale and a critique of a poncy art form about which she knows very little. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a review. I got no sense of whether or not she actually enjoyed any of the performance, and technical analysis, such as it was, is given with derogatory vocabulary - Nahgdi "cavorts....."grinning from ear to ear." Ball executes "headachey hops" while the rest of the men "splay and display." I am surprised she didn't get in some puerile joke about men in tights, such was the standard of writing. What, she couldn't get out the Beginner's Guide to Ballet and look up a few words such as pirouette? Clement Crisp could write some scathing reviews at times, but they came from a real understanding of the art form, and a genuine love of ballet. He often had me laughing out loud with some of his comments, but he possessed a natural wit. He didn't write simply to shock or amuse, although he often did both!
  9. I've just had an error message while being asked to sign in. I sent a message to the administrator, as I thought I had either forgotten my password or my login name, but it would seem I have logged in ok. Was the error message a mistake of some sort?
  10. Actually, Dame Darcey has grown on me as a presenter. She is always so smiley, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. I didn't like Anita Rani much, and I did wonder what she was doing there. I know she was in Strictly, but does that really qualify her to present the live performances from the Opera House? Had she ever been to the ROH before, I wonder? And also she kept stooping over the other guests. I wanted to shout out "Pull those shoulders back and stand up straight." It was really irritating, especially as she was standing next to dancers who all have magnificent posture. It would be so much better if Darcey was presenting with a calm and skillful interviewer, who can not only get the guests to share their knowledge, but can switch between them and Darcey in a way that would bring out her own wealth of experience as well. Someone who can encourage them all to chat to each other and share their memories, leaving him/her to do the auto cue announcements. I seem to remember being impressed with Jonathon Cope presenting something once, and of course he and Darcey know each other very well indeed.
  11. I also went to an Encore screening today, having seen the same cast live a fortnight ago. I found that I didn't enjoy Concerto as much at the cinema as I did live. My seat in the ROH was up in the roof, which allowed me to appreciate the scope and movement of all the dancers. I didn't find the close ups of the faces on film enhanced the performance for me; I found Anna Rose O'Sullivan's smiling face a little bit distracting. On the other hand, while I enjoyed Enigma live, I thought the cinema performance really enhanced the whole thing for me. Seeing the dancers' expressions in close up made such a difference. I loved it, and I was so moved by the Nimrod variation I was almost in tears. I got so carried away I started clapping, forgetting I was in the cinema. I also clapped after Hayward's solo, to the confusion of the lady sitting 3 seats away. As far as Raymonda was concerned, the set looked completely different when viewed through the camera, rather than looking down from above in the theatre. Now I could appreciate that the curtains were hung beautifully, the floor gave the suggestion of patterned, polished marble, and the embroidery on Osipova's tutu looked elegant rather than giving the impression of a dog's bone. Ironically, for this piece I could have done with a few more close ups, as I don't go to live shows often enough to be able to instantly recognise the dancers. In the pas de trois and the pas de quatre. I assume the order they were listed on the cast sheet was the order they were dancing in i.e. Corrales was second from the left as we faced the stage? It was marvellous to see how high Muntagirov actually jumps (you never really get the true picture when seeing him from the amphitheatre) and Osipova was wonderful again. The only thing was her claps did sound rather feeble on film. I know that in real life they were splendid. I really enjoyed the fact that the interviews were conducted back stage, rather than in the Floral Hall. I loved the interviews, particularly the ones with Wayne Sleep and Alfreda Thorogood. She looked tiny. The other two ladies appeared to be towering over her. It was great to see the dancers walking back and forth, and I was amused to see one lady in a gorgeous Raymonda tutu go scurrying past in the direction of the stage with an enormous handbag dangling over one arm. I do wonder what she had in it!
  12. Don't suppose it makes any difference , Alison. The UK Government doesn't seem to take any notice of these things anyway!
  13. Didn't Osipova clap this time? She certainly did last week when I saw her. The noise was perfectly audible in the amphitheatre. I made comments about the floor in Raymonda when I posted after the performance I saw. Nobody else said anything, so I assume this looks different depending on where you sit. I shall be interested to see how it looks when I go to an Encore performance at the cinema. On the subject of empty cinemas. I missed it because November 5th is Firework night. I thought at the time it was a strange day to do a live broadcast.
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