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  1. I saw Programme A on Friday and was blown away by Lazarus. Based on Philadelphia hip-hop, the piece explores Alvin Ailey's life and the struggle and discrimination experienced by African Americans. The first half is more on the reflective side, with slower choreography, the second half is explosive. The company is amazing, and apparently has endless energy to get through Lazarus without slowing down. I could try to describe the actual dancing, but the press clippings in the link below do a much better job than what I'd come up with. I'm sorely tempted to book for Lazarus again. https://www.alvinailey.org/performances/repertory/lazarus There is also a 24hr offer available for all 3 programmes (prob till midnight tonight?) https://www.todaytix.com/x/london/shows/institution/381-alvin-ailey-american-dance-theater-london
  2. I did get a ticket despite my lack of appreciation of Bourne and can't say that was one of my better decisions. I thought the choreography was somewhat simplicistic even by Bourne standards, but what made me flee at the intermission was were the mangled sounds coming from the pit. I don't know what they did to the score, or why they chose to amplify the live music to a weird distorted cacophony, but I never thought you could make me hate the R&J score.
  3. I had the opposite reaction to the Kovalyova & Tissi cast. It was nice seeing Tissi in a role he is more experienced in after his emergency R&J at the ROH, and I thought his dancing was fairly decent in the first act, including the lifts with the 2 friends. Lifts for Odette/Odile put me in mind of body builder workout routines. I saw the first Kovalyova performance and wasn't taken with it, but decided to go to the second after some rave reviews of her, thinking I must have missed something or was perhaps not in the right mood. Unless I was in the same mood twice, I need to conclude that Kovalyova isn't my cup of tea. I don't feel she's ready for a Swan Lake and can't see why the Bolshoi decided to cast her twice on tour. Yes, she's young etc etc, but there are other roles where she can start developing her characterisation and dancing. Her Odile was like a slightly naughty high school prom queen and while she can do soft arms, she seemed to often choose quite rigid and aprupt movements, including a moment that seemed more synchronised swimming than swan lake to me. One thing I found very noticable was a quite stiff neck, with the chin lifted up an inch higher than expected - again, this might be something that appeals to others, but I found it made the whole thing look a bit strained.
  4. Yep, Nikulina aced her fouettés and came to a perfectly beautiful, graceful stop - my friend and I were marvelling at how she made it look so easy.
  5. Truly sad news indeed, rest in peace and a heartfelt thank you for the wonderful work over the years, enabling us to be part of a lovely community.
  6. That trailer made twitter explode, and not in a good way. Seems like a lot of people are freaked out about the CGI fur (or lack of fur in places) and fully human faces.
  7. Thanks for confirming that, I stared at a dancer who I could have sworn was Leticia Stock, thinking I need new glasses
  8. I thought the site felt sluggish when I booked a few days ago, with both production pages and particularly the seat selection opening slowly. With all the changes made, someone really should have looked at response time and realised that they are in for a hiding.
  9. Mayerling doesn't work amazingly from high up, but anything reasonably close to the stage can be breathtaking - with the right cast. The DVD casts are not to be sneezed at, even the one I'd favour least has an awesome Mary and acceptable though not divine Rudolf.
  10. Mayerling is definitely an acquired taste, it took me a couple of viewings and Pennefather/Hamilton both cranked up to 11 to get why people watch it voluntarily. I'm afraid Hirano in the most recent run at the ROH made me realise that Mayerling really needs a lead who becomes Rudolph to make the ballet work, or even bearable, so I share some of the LA critic's pain - though not his apparent love for Bourne and Eifman.
  11. Hooray for Brandon Lawrence and all other promotees. Also especially pleased to see a promotion for Beatrice Parma - I don't recall seeing her dance previously and thought she was utterly riveting in Hobson's Choice.
  12. Lovely London farewell for David Bintley tonight, including a flower throw and some quite emotional speeches.
  13. Oof, let's hope he stays with ENB for a bit
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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