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  1. I don't think that the departure of Alina/Johan from the RB really falls into the category of 'unappreciated dancers', does it? They were, and still are, hugely and generally feted within the ballet world. There were obviously some 'issues' with management which noone on here really knows the details of, but that is not the same thing.
  2. Do great dancers make great pedagogues. Often they do, yes! There is an impressive list, including many current exemplars which some of us have had the privilege of observing teach during visits to various schools and companies. In addition to her own company venture, Viviana Durante was working as a guest coach with ENB when they were rehearsing Manon last season. I am no expert but it seemed to me that she was offering a great deal in every respect.
  3. For the first time ever, I seem to be being besieged with ROH reminders to book for Manon even though I have done so. Of course, ENB showed it for a week last January to significantly less than packed houses and the RB had it in their rep.as recently as April/May 2018. I think that there was a similar problem with shifting RB tickets when Fille was on in April/May 2015 and opened the season in 2016 and when Mayerling was on in April/May 2017 and opened the 2018/19 season. There must be a reason for this pattern of performances: the company being better prepared at the beginning of a season if they return to something they have danced relatively recently? dancers being given the opportunity to consolidate their interpretations of roles? 'new' dancers being given opportunities to be cast in leading roles? Either way, it doesn't seem to be making commercial sense and it is a pity that there can't be something like a 'Friends Offer' every once in a while.
  4. Others have mentioned the dancers who spring to mind for me. Most are from the past or are wonderful artists in their forties (especially Morera in my case) because it is easier to think in terms of a whole career. It's a difficult question because the 'undervaluing' can seem to come from Directors (as shown in casting etc), the media and, even, posters on forums such as ours. But, maybe, it is also because 1) we, as the audience, simply see things differently and 2) because, for reasons we do not altogether understand, other dancers are over-valued by those in the positions which matter. Being in the right place at the right time (perhaps seizing an opportunity when someone else is injured) can also change the dynamic of perceptions. Mention has been made of Durante and Bull in the context of Bussell. It seemed that Bussell was favoured and feted all round but, for me, Durante was the artiste and, therefore, the one I chose to book for. Incidentally, I recall hearing Bull vouchsafe (in public) that she knew that she was not at the same technical level as Bussell, just as O'Hare has made modest but also, in my view, accurate comments about his own artistic achievements. There are some current dancers (in the RB, ENB and BRB) for whom I have my fingers crossed that things will 'look up' soon because I feel that they have what it takes to get to the very top. But I am not going to tempt fate by naming them!
  5. FRANCESCA HAYWARD, Principal of The Royal Ballet, will be talking at The Ballet Association next Wednesday. Date: 28th August Time: 7.30pm Place: Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road Cost: £5.00 (members); £4.00 (usual concessions) and £9.00 (guests)
  6. TAMARA ROJO will be the guest of The London Ballet Circle on Monday, 2nd September 2019 at 7.30pm at the Civil Service Club, 13-15 Great Scotland Yard, London, SW1A 2HJ. Payment at the door. Members £5; non-members £8
  7. I think that the point (sorry!) being made is that the shoes of today have little platforms at the end as distinct from pointes. This is sometimes the way they are made (e.g. Gaynor Mindens have a flat piece of suede there); but the outline is often created by the way dancers sew the tips of their shoes.
  8. A 'box set' is surely a lovely way of honouring a long serving star performer.
  9. Also, in Cardiff, Andrei Merkuriev made his debut as Romeo with the Mariinsky under Vaziev. Novikova danced Kitri and Anton Lukovkin (more recently of ENB) was Sancho Panza. The Millenium Centre was not full for any of the performances then. But this was in the early naughties and I think that they have been back there since with a more modern rep.? However, in 2001 (?) in Edinburgh, the Mariinsky's La Bayadere played to packed houses, if my memory serves me correctly. We had Lopatkina and Zakharova as Nikiya! Of course, 'back in the day', the fame of many Russian dancers preceded their live performances on video. Now there is so much more choice in the cinema, on DVD/BluRay, on TV, and online that we are better able to make our own comparisons.
  10. It used to be every 2 years but the Hochhausers took a break last year and the recent interview with Lilian Hochhauser seemed to cast doubt on the future spacing of any Russian visitors her organisation might bring to London.
  11. Whoops - apologies, Bruce. I was clearly waylaid by the significant difference in our perceptions of Biktimirov.
  12. Biktimirov was bare-headed on Friday, I thought? And I’m afraid he was one of the performers whom I found well below impressive. Not so his partners who were amazing.
  13. Well, the three week season is over now (seemingly very quickly) and I'm wondering what everyone's overall thoughts are about it? For me, it was not 'vintage Bolshoi' insofar as, with the exception of the energy the company brought to Spartacus, I wasn't as 'blown away' as I have been in the past. The 'stand-out' performances for me were: Zakharova as Aegina and Krysanova as Kitri - but they are long-established stars. The 'newcomers' (notably Kovalyova, Tissi, Motta Soares, Denisova and Sevenard) were 'interesting' but, understandably not quite there in terms of artistry, technique, or both. But they are very young and it will be interesting to see how they have developed when (if) the Bolshoi has another London showing relatively soon. Shrainer seemed to have grown in confidence since three years ago but I'm not sure that she is 'there' yet. More generally, with the possible exception of Tsvirko and Rodkin, the Principal men (or those taking the leading roles) did not meet my (high) expectations. For example, the 3 Espadas I saw did not make the impact on me that Hirano, Clarke and Ball had made earlier in the year . I accept that the choreography was different but it was still surprising. However, the corps was stunning and many minor roles were beautifully portrayed across the rep. And I am missing them already - which has to be a good sign!
  14. This appeal is going well. Over $6,000 US raised in less than a day against a $10,000 target with donations coming from dancers and audience members all over. I have been in an A&E queue in the USA and have experienced how badly people in dire need are treated. Some with obvious injuries were turned away because they hadn't the means to pay. It's a disgrace.
  15. The one run by Daria Klimentova (ex ENB principal and now RBS teacher) has been going for about 17 years and seems to have a good reputation: http://www.balletmasterclass.com/pages/ The teachers include star dancers and ballet company directors.
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