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  1. Oof, let's hope he stays with ENB for a bit
  2. I find a Bolshoi season is best enjoyed by showing up on the day to find out who is actually dancing. It's nice to have a look at the initial casting to see who they're intending to bring over, but never expect all of the dancers to actually make it to London.
  3. Long rambly post ahead, quick summary of fab SFB season at Sadlers Wells: Out of 12 ballets I loved 4 (Ratmansky and Scarlett ) and rather enjoyed the rest with the exception of the Liang and Welch pieces - and even those were still better than a lot of new pieces I've seen in recent memory. The company looked great to me, and I hope they will come back to London. Impressionist ramblings on the last 2 programmes: Programme C Welch Bach and ballet rarely work out for me, and this wasn't an exception. There were quite a few astonishing turns and spins, and the piece felt the most classical of the lot. At the same time, the technical feats were buried in the rest of the choreography - this could be a device of making something difficult appear as a throwaway move, but to me it came across as an uneven presentation. I couldn't figure out what the ballet was trying to be, and how it connects to the music. Scarlett I loved and adored Hummingbird. I want to marry it. I want the RB to add it to their repertoire. I even liked the Glass score. On first viewing I thought the piece was about relationships and loss, the last pdd of the couple in white was soul searing and magnificent, and it felt like the natural end of the performance, so the continuation of dancing sudden change in mood to something more jazzy and jaunty was unexpected and a bit jarring. Watching it again, I felt it actually worked, with loss or tragedy just being part of life, and life going on. Peck Fun fast bits, interesting but a bit gimmicky. I was heavily reminded of Fame and similar 80's dance movies, girls in shiny leggings flicking their hair... My friend heavily objected to the sneakers, I thought they were an interesting touch but turned it into a curiosity piece. Programme D Wheeldon is rarely my favourite in a triple bill, so I was quite pleased that I reasonably likes Bound. The use of mobiles was quite well done, though abandoned after a bit - if the rest of the dancing was thematically linked to the absorption with your own little world, that wasn't entirely obvious to me. The pdd with man with mobile and device-less woman was fairly genius though. She practically had to climb on him to arrange her own lifts, with him entirely absorbed in his own universe. It was also great to see a bit of great to see 2 sets of same gender groupings including pdds that worked rather well. I'd probably would have preferred the piece to be a little shorter overall, but wouldn't cry if showed up in a triple bill. Wheeldon didn't stuff the piece with what I call his signature ugly moves, which made the whole thing flow more beautfully. The only thing that jarred for me was the silhouette of a person sitting back on a chair to lyrics that quite clearly concerned with sitting on the edge of one's seat. Perhaps I'm being too literal. MacIntyre There was a lot of fun in the choreography and and the dancing fizzed - until the seemingly endless duet with a short-legged stool started. Still beautifully danced, but my interested waned. One of the nights I took a friend along who'd never been to the ballet before, and she liked the MacIntyre best, stool dancing non withstanding. Dawson I enjoyed this in the moment, the overall flowing movement and especially the parts danced by Sofianne Sylvy and Vera Wong, I liked the music and atmosphere - but can't recall much of the piece a week after seeing it twice.
  4. I had to replace my beloved wide vision binoculars this year when I left them by the ballerina statue, and micro globe came up trumps. I use Bushnell xtra wide vision 4x30, they are not produced anymore, but microglobe stocked up on them because the guy running it thought they are some of the best binoculars of that type. They were made for watching sporting events, which works marvellously well for ballet. I use them mainly from stalls circle or the back of stalls at Sadler's, excellent view of tiny expressions as well as larger groups of dancers. From the amphi they take in the entire stage, but you might lose the finer details you'd get with more powerful narrow binoculars. They work well for glass wearers as well. They are light enough, but won't fit into a tiny handbag. I love them so much, I bought 2 pairs this time in case I loose a pair again. currently £64 at micro globe, they were originally around £100 https://www.microglobe.co.uk/bushnell-4x30-xtra-wide-binocular-p-5937.html?
  5. It's also in the music - a few bright, hopeful notes before the score returns to despair. Naghdi's interpretation fitted the notes like a glove.
  6. It would be fun if a bored PhD student would develop a identification system for ballet processing types to explain the vast variety of perceptions of the same performance. For tonight, I'm in camp OMG: Naghdi and Ball created magic together.
  7. That would be an embarrassing oops if it's not official.
  8. @Sim , what a shame. I hate it when that happens, especially at a good performance. Ideally all standees could respect the space / boundaries of others. There are some places where I won't stand anymore to avoid potential trouble.
  9. All I can come up with to describe this bill is an assortment of superlatives. The programme itself, showcasing both the Royal Ballet and the influence of Russia on ballet across the ages, combined with the stupendous casting tonight made for a truly magical evening. Hay and Hayward in Month in the Country are probably one of my favourite ballet treasures, Lamb was achingly beautiful in Symphony in C, as was pretty much everyone else. Joseph Sissons even managed to distract me from watching Muntagirov. I nearly don't want to back to see more performances, so this one doesn't lose its special sheen for me, but it would just feel rude to return my other tickets 😆
  10. Edwaard Liang / Infinite Ocean Speed: glacial to tai-chi, with interludes of slightly faster swirls and slow jogs Lighting and costumes: conspired to make dancers appear astonishingly pallid. Also, beige/gold gauze-like tight tops with high necks and applique + matching tiny shorts ain't my thing. Music: not my cup of tea but maybe appreciated by people who are fond of long repetitive violin solos with strings strumming along as accompaniment. Though not as bad as the Glass piece that blighted the last ENB triple for me. Dancing: generic with some gymnastics. Couple of nice-ish solos, but my attention wandered so I can't be sure. Overall: yawn yawny yawn. Though judging by the enthusiastic applause, others enjoyed it. Cathy Marston / Snowblind Snowblind was a completely different kettle of fish. Cathy Marston at her clever best. Being a heathen who hasn't read any Wharton, I peeked at the synopsis of Ethan Frome, which probably helped, but I suspect I would have caught the gist of the story without a primer. The movement was beautiful, loved the lifts where he swirls her around and around at a 45 degree angle. The ending was poignant, the wife changing from a psychosomatic invalid to the person who becomes the (unwilling, I assume) carer for her husband and the rival she'd been trying to get out of her house. The last tableau of the 3 protagonists was heartbreaking, standing in a circle with their arms interwoven in its centre, locked together in misery. Jennifer Stahl was the wife, and her slightly restraint aura worked beautifully for the role. Mathilde Froustey was a passionate Mattie, and the exchange where the wife high kicked Mattie to get her out of the house is now one of my favourite ballet moments. Arthur Pita / Björk Ballet This is about as bonkers as it sounds. I was well entertained by the typical Pita offbeat staging, slightly reminiscent of a fetish nightclub at times. Most Björk references went straight over my head, but some triggered vague recognition. I was possibly slightly disappointed that Pita didn't go for a nod to the Swan dress she wore to the Oscars yonks ago. Too obvious I guess. At some point Dores Andre arrived on stage dancing on a platform, carried by 4 men and looking exceedingly fierce (or possibly fiercely concentrating on not falling off). It was pretty neat when she was eventually tipped off the platform, tumbling straight into her partners arms and somehow managed to make it all look very balletic. I might have missed a bit of the dancing watching a dancer sitting at the front of the stage with a rod, fishing in the orchestra pit, but overall it was frothy fun with some inspired moves, like the bit where the corps combined something like slow, hoppy entrechat feet with perfectly disco upper bodies. Due to the siren calls of Naghdi and Osipova, I won't see this bill a second time, but hopefully this won't be the last time I see Snowblind and I suspect I'd still find the Pita amusing if I saw it again. Liang goes on my avoid list.
  11. I need to congratulate my former self for being entirely unreasonable and buying a boatload of excellent tickets for the San Francisco ballet. Must have been expecting a lottery win, but based on tonight's Shostakovich Trilogy I made the right decision. As as much as I admire Ratmansky, I thought that a whole triple bill by one choreographer might end up feeling very samey. Instead I felt a pang of disappointment that the dancing was over when the last piece ended. The different pieces of Shostakovich set the tone for each ballet, starting with the energetic whirlwind of dancing in Symphony #9, followed by a more introspective, near-narrative Chamber Symphony and ending with the sprightly yet slightly melancholic piano concerto #1. I loved how Ratmansky's choreography never fought the music, every movement seems connected to the score. The company looked rather impressive to me, with heaps of talent across the ranks - though I have no clue who most dancers were. Lovely to see Aaron Robinson and Yuan Yuan Tang again, and some unfamiliar-to-me dancers particularly caught my eye - after much staring at the programme, I think they were Mathilde Froustey, Dores Andre and Wei Wang. I particularly loved Symphony #9, and at some point felt nearly overwhelmed with emotion, though in all fairness that might have been down to the Royal Ballet Sinfonia spinning their musical magic. Would it be wrong to ask their brass section to have a word with the ROH orchestra?
  12. Sissens, Sambe and O'Sullivan for me. Even if there were a vacancy for a female principal, I'd feel that all potential contenders should be given more lead roles before any choices are made.
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