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  1. (I'm not quoting Jan personally of course, but the Elmhurst press release.) I thought the ballet schools in Paris, Copenhagen, St Petersburg, Moscow all date back to the 17th/18th C?
  2. I'm glad you intend to hang on in there a bit longer! No one should expect to be perfect on their first day, you need time to settle into a routine, and after a while you will get used to the sort of requests guests make of you, which will help with the hearing problem.
  3. Best of luck to you and Sean, Lisa. Getting any sort of paid work isn't easy these days, especially where you live, and will stand you both in good stead whatever you move on to. Your new employers must have seen "ideal receptionist" in you to offer that job when you had applied for another. And RIP Pumpkin. (A word of caution though: be careful how much information you make public. I'm thinking here of your working hours and location.)
  4. i have a horrible feeling the Fonteyn commemoration might well be a tribute evening, and a horribly expensive one at that, with a post-show dinner as its main selling point.
  5. On the other hand, I was siiting near the stage at a fairly low-key matinée at the London Coliseum watching him in a mainly Balanchine programme with Zurich Ballet (c 1980) when, early into the big pas de deux, his obviously nervous ballerina could be heard to say, "I can't go on!". He talked her through the rest of it, with lots of "Good, good" and they took their bows graciously together. I doubt many would have noticed anything amiss, but oh, to have been a fly on the wall once the curtain went down.
  6. Does anyone know what the Argentinian Ambassador presented to her? He also made a lovely speech praising her as Argentina's best ambassador to the UK, holding a tray which I thought be an Argentinian honour, but in the end he handed it to her without elaboration saying she already had enough flowers. So was it a plaque or tray or what?
  7. From the press coverage of the Royal Ballet's visit to Hull last autumn, I'd guess there is a whole new market for ballet there. I hope Northern Ballet gets the resources to build on it.
  8. Just a quick observation, as no one has yet mentioned last Saturday's matinee: Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano were the leads and I thought they made a very effective, intense partnership, one of the most moving I've seen in my 40 years of ballet-going.
  9. Yes, the new gallery is below the new courtyard entrance from Exhibition Road. The Cromwell Road door is still the main entrance . All galleries are fully accessible according to the website. https://www.vam.ac.uk/visit#accessibility
  10. Oh dear, I'd assumed that the jumpiness of the soundtrack was due to my brisk, time-constrained progress round the exhibition. I guess they're targeting a new audience to opera, perhaps hoping to pick up those first lured to the V&A by David Bowie and Pink Floyd - which is not such a bad thing overall, just a pity if it alienates the more informed.
  11. I managed a only a half-hour visit so I'll be going back to take it all in properly, don't take what follows as authoritative. I'm not knowledgable on opera but the social/political history stuff I already knew so I didn't feel I got a lot out of it, and I go free so can't judge its value for the £19 entrance, but it looks and sounds good. You get lovely leather Bowers and Wilkins headphones to wear and an audioplayer which matches the music to the exhibit you're standing near, so you can listen to as much of the extracts as time allows. It traces the development of opera with emphasis on its place it wider society from Venice via London (Handel, plus a mini stage with working scenery), Vienna (Mozart, Beethoven, various artifacts, emphasis on revolutionary social changes), Paris & late Romanticism (can only remember the loaned paintings), Milan (Verdi, Italian nationalism, Violetta's white party dress from the ROH), Dresden (R.Strauss, Salome, censorship, filmed extracts, those bringing children might prefer not to linger here), Moscow (Shostakovich and Stalin, brush up your Russian to gain maximum benefit as much is untranslated), then I realised I had to leave and skipped by the final contemporary world opera section, which seems to be filmed extracts. There is a bit of seating but I saw one man carrying his own fold-up stool. Lots of space though, so wheelchair users should be fine if it's not busy and the V&A can usually loan you one if you need it.
  12. Congratulations from me to those who conceived and organised last night, what a resounding success! It was good to hear so many Birmingham and Scottish accents enjoying their companies' chance to shine in the splendour (building work notwithstanding) of the ROH, and the dancers looked thrilled at their reception, especially the "red runners". Wonderful dancing in "Concerto". In addition to the five leads, Brandon Lawrence particularly impressed me. "Le Baiser de la fée" was a similar story to "La Sylphide", bleaker and for me overlong, but as others have remarked interesting for the bits of choreography that MacMillan developed in later works. Having avoided "Elite Syncopations" for decades, I really enjoyed this one, the cast went to town with the characterisations, what terrific performances from Yasmine Naghdi and Ryoichi Hirano: her such a "babe" and him an inspiring partner and establishing a dominating presence over the whole proceedings despite little solo oppotunities. Can't wait to see them as Manon and her brother, and what a pity they won't be together as Lescaut and his mistress next year. Back to last night, a MacMillan commemoration could be a depressing affair and this, although balanced out by the more downbeat "Fée", wasn't. I hope Lady M was there to feel the love! Finally, grab a ticket for "Jeux" in the Clore if it comes up, but look up a synopsis beforehand as the cast sheet doesn't give it. It was such a privilege to see world-class dancers in so intimate a setting.
  13. Best of luck to him, Lisa, hope it goes well.
  14. And they keep their intervals brief, on paper if not always in practice, so with two ballets which usually run around 65 / 75 minutes, plus two intervals of 15 minutes, it's do-able. Theme: at a basic level, loss, fate, regret? I'm so glad they are plugging the "La Sylphide" gap, I miss the Royal Ballet's Kobborg production, and I doubt I'll manage to get to their ROH "Song of the Earth" so I welcome this opportunity.
  15. Thanks alison. "Anna Pavlova" (1983) will be repeated Sunday 9 July 0915 - 1200 on London Live, Freeview channel 8. I think it's this one. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086089/
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