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  1. Or have a peak into the Grand tier, where they usually sit to watch the performance
  2. I've watched this several times now and am beguiled every time. I think you need to take it for what it is and enjoy it and try to forget that you don't see the dancers' feet all the time, and as you would on the stage. So much is enhanced with the opportunity to expand the backdrops, particularly the fight scenes, plus all the close ups of the dancers' expressions. For me too, it is a luxury cast with Francesca Hayward and Will Bracewell the perfect casting. I know we all have our favourite R&J's but they SO look the part, and their dancing is so beautiful. Glorious to see their expressions in close up. I was brought up in my teens with the Zeffirelli R&J which I still see as the ultimate Shakespeare R&J. This reminds me of that production - trying to be true to the age of the characters and so pure. . As for Matthew Ball as Tybalt - is it possible to smoulder better than he does? The film gives him more scope to characterise and I thought he was electric when I saw him on stage. This is even better. Then we have the glorious James Hay and Marcelino Sambe as Benvolio and Mercutio. Always my pick on stage and the film does capture their dancing and their acting and the fun they create. Biggest regret? The fact that we miss all the steps of the 3 boys in their scene with the Nurse. I love that scene, but the full impact is lost without seeing their feet, because the steps are part of the fun. Biggest revelation - Tomas Mock as Paris. Really empathetic performance - brought this very difficult part to life. Depicted far better on film that on stage
  3. Quote from the 2 ladies behind me at the RB Sleeping Beauty tonight "Isn't this long. When we came to see Coppelia we got 2 intervals of 30 minutes and it still finished by 10 o'clock" What are they coming for - the intervals or the ballet???
  4. I saw Melissa Hamilton perform Prayer in a rehearsal - no further comment on that. What I will say is that if I were her, the opportunities she gets to dance with Roberto Bolle, including the role of Juliet, would certainly tempt me away. I once asked a question at an RB event as to how important it was for the dancers to be allowed to "guest" with other companies / at other events. The 100% response from the dancers was that it was hugely important in their staying with the RB, that they are allowed such flexibility. I applaud KoH for this policy: there's so much competition for roles now - really good to let the dancers have their freedom and enhance their skills, and earn some more money. It's a short career.
  5. Not necessarily in date order - here goes: Highlights RB The Winter's Tale - the first ballet I ever saw being created behind the scenes - and that includes the tree in Act 2 Vadim Muntagirov's debut in Swan Lake with the ENB Daria Klimentova's final performance with the ENB - Romeo and Juliet with Vadim Francesca Hayward and Alexander Campbell in the Sleeping Beauty Francesca Hayward and Alexander Campbell in the Nutcracker (Clara and Peter), and Manon Zenaida Yanowsky's final Manon with Roberto Bolle Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov in RB Swan Lake and Don Quixote Marianela Nunez and Roberto Bolle in Manon RB Hayward/ Corrales / Sambe / Hay / Ball - Romeo and Juliet cast Thiago Soares in Mayerling Matthew Ball debut as Rudolf in Mayerling Thiago Soares and Marianela Nunez in Onegin Following the RB tours in Madrid and Tokyo and getting to know the dancers William Bracewell as Siegfried in RB Swan Lake in Madrid - first time I ever saw him dance a lead role Gary Avis - in anything. A sheer delight to see his characterisations. Anna-Rose O'Sullivan's debut as Aurora in the Sleeping Beauty William Bracewell as Franz in Coppelia The overall rise in standard of the RB company. Fantastic depth of talent now. I've changed my mind about some ballets which I used to find a little dull because of the astonishing strength in depth of the company - there's always someone to watch Lowlights Wayne McGregor - everything except Woolf Works The RB's "modern" Triple Bills - special shout out for Corybantic Games in this category as well as all WMcG Booking to see Matthew Ball 3 times in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake and his being injured on every occasion Every increasing prices at the Royal Opera House
  6. I've watched it twice now and agree with many of the posts on the Forum. For me, acting was put above ballet and some of the beauty and the power of dancing in R&J was lost. That's not to say that I didn't love it because I did - many of my absolute favourite dancers captured on film! I thought the casting was perfect and could watch Hayward/ Bracewell/Ball/Sambe/Hay over and over again (and probably will!), and of course, watching on film is never as good as actually seeing it live. I think it also demonstrated what a good job the producers of the live cinema broadcasts do when they bring some many close ups to the screen as well as capturing the power of the ballet steps.
  7. I feel I've seen so many breathtaking moments. I've tried to differentiate but not possible - so, 1) Vadim Muntagirov in anything - he really is on a planet of his own 2) RB Romeo and Juliet - Hayward/ Corrales / Ball/ Sambe / Hay - astonishingly brilliant all round performance 3) Will Bracewell in RB Coppelia - such a talent 4) Anna-Rose O'Sullivan's debut as Aurora in RB Sleeping Beauty 5) Gary Avis - I have to include him as he brings so much to every ballet in which he performs and I so enjoy watching him Then my non performance highlight of all time actually - seeing Ed Watson coach Matthew Ball for Rudolf in Mayerling with Sarah Lamb, Laura Morera and Meghan Grace Hinkis.
  8. Back to Coppelia (although I do have a Marianella flower story). All I want to say about this afternoon's performance is what a total joy it was to see Will Bracewell on stage as Franz, but I suppose I had better expand on that. I'm not sure I ever seen anyone bring such characterisation to this role: his facial expressions, his ability to play comedy, his total immersion into the role. … and that's before we get to the dancing. I found myself so immersed in watching him in Act 1 that I forgot to watch the rest of the dancing. That being said, I really enjoyed the overall performance. I'm very taken with Tom Whitehead's Doctor Coppelius and Akane Takada's dancing was at its usual high standard. The corps were on super form and I came out of the theatre on a real high. What a treat to complete by 2019 ballet viewing.
  9. Loved Mayara Magri and Cesar Corrales in the matinee of Coppelia today. What a joyful afternoon. Also very impressed with Tom Whitehead's Dr Coppelius. I took my 2 step grandchildren aged 7 and 5 and they were entranced, especially in Act 2. Pleased to report too that Romany Pajdak performed Prayer extremely well.
  10. Oh dear, so difficult, even when cost is not a problem. I always sit in the Orch Stalls as I like to be close. Agree that Row H sides is very good - if you can get it. These seats tend to be snapped up. Otherwise, I would suggest trying for an aisle seat if you want to be near the front. The rake gets better as you move further back - M, N etc. I was in row H recently with a tall person in front of me but as it was Nehemiah Kish watching his wife, I forgave him. At least he was thin. To have someone who is both tall and wide as I've also recently experienced is ghastly, even when in an aisle seat If you are not so bothered about being close, then go for front row in Stalls Circle round the sides, Grand Tier or Balcony. Be careful even there, as some have restricted view. The tall seats in Row D of the central Grand Tier are also very good (max price) Never go for any seat in a box. I'm 5'1" so of the shorter variety. Seeing the full stage is an issue.
  11. Ditto. She seems to be quite a character! I've met Hannah on a couple of occasions at RB events and she was really interesting and also very friendly. I always look for her now., which at first was difficult because off stage she has a fringe, so looked very different on stage. Now I can spot her easily and always enjoy watching her performances. She seems to bring an extra spark to the character acting pieces as well as being a very good dancer.
  12. Could I suggest that anyone who can, books a ticket to see Anna-Rose O'Sullivan next week. I too, loved tonight's performance but find myself still blown away by Anna-Rose.
  13. As a ballet fan, I started social media tentatively on Twitter and now look on Instagram when I have time - you can very quickly flick through photos - and I do find them interesting. Personally, social media has enabled me to connect with certain dancers, much to my surprise at first and when I met them - through the Ballet Association first and then through the ROH, I was astonished when one of them said -I know who you are, when we'd had a small interaction about one of his performances on Twitter. I was then hooked and really enjoy the social media interaction on Twitter now. I don't bother with interactions on Instagram as there are 100s, sometimes 1000s of followers/ comments and they just get lost. However, that's slightly off the point to the main theme of this thread. There are obviously some UK dancers who do try to promote themselves via Instagram and other social media. This has clearly added to their followers, but I don't see any more widespread interest from "non-ballet fans" such as referenced in the US article, however good they are. I'm thinking UK ballet dancers hopefully have the best of both worlds - some fame and admiration in their own environment of the theatre and its surrounds, but they can still go shopping without being mobbed (apart from in Japan).
  14. I'm assuming that everyone has read what's on the ROH website already, seen the casting and the clip on You Tube. So, I attended an In Conversation with Cathy Marston held by the ROH, during which she gave some background to the production and also talked about how she liked to use dancers as objects - ie, in this case the cello. There will be further examples of dancers being choreographed in this way during the ballet and it has a surprisingly large cast, as the corps will play the orchestra (interesting!). There was some discussion about the cello being male or female (musical instruments often seen as female), but in this case, practicalities of better pdd between Jacqui and male dancers influenced this decision. Anyone who has seen the clip of Lauren Cuthbertson (Jacqui) dancing with Marcelino Sambe (cello) will hopefully understand why. The change of dates mentioned in this thread was because she decided to change the music in the ballet at a fairly late stage. The evening also featured 2 beautiful recitals of cello music by Liubov Ulybysheva, a cellist with the ROH orchestra, of Elgar's cello concerto (1st movement) and Mendelsohn's Lied ohne Worte Op. 109 both of which will feature in the ballet. They did say which other music would feature but sorry I can't remember the specifics. I do remember that it was all lovely classical music - Rachmaninov for example. The 1st cast is obviously stellar, but I think the 2nd cast will also be really interesting. I loved Beatriz Stix-Brunell's Juliet so will be fascinated to see what she makes of this role. .. and Cesar Corrales as Daniel Barenboim! Cathy Marston also divulged that she had travelled to meet Daniel Barenboim to share the concept of the ballet. I was enthused by Cathy and the whole evening and prospect of the ballet (I'm not a huge fan of new modern choreography - sorry, although I was converted by The Winter's Tale) and immediately went and bought tickets for more shows. I'm hoping for an emotional ballet journey.
  15. BTW, I saw the rehearsal earlier this week which featured 2 casts; Hayward/Campbell and O'Sullivan/ Sambe. Frankie and Alex have already demonstrated their brilliance but I would also highly recommend Anna-Rose and Marcelino - they are going to be stunning too. Forgot it was a rehearsal when I saw them - really impressive. I will make no further comment as I know we are not supposed to on rehearsals - OK, I will - Gary Avis brilliant too - as he has also since demonstrated.
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