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  1. I've just watched the stream. A mixed viewing experience from my perspective, but I did love the Roya Ballet's contribution which was choreographed by Valentino Zucchetti.
  2. No one has mentioned Will Bracewell! A beautiful lyrical dancer who shone throughout DaaG. Also a happy ending for 1 * single ticket debacle. I bought 2 because I couldn't get one, invited a close colleague from work who I haven't seen for 15 months in person, and we had a wonderful evening, sharing a meal beforehand and then the ballet.
  3. I attended last night's performance. Under normal circumstances, I would probably have given this Bill as complete miss, but the draw of seeing live ballet was too tempting. First of all, I'd like to ask (yet again) - is it too much to ask that the dancers on stage are given sufficient lighting that the audience can actually see them? I would ask this question for all 4 ballets on the Bill. SO frustrating. Much to my surprise, I was blown away by The Statement. Absolutely fascinating to see the dancers mimic the verbal accompaniment - and what body movement! I was pleased too, to realise that perhaps I am not quite so set in my ways as I thought I was. I've never seen anything like this before and was fascinated and beguiled. There was a wide array of superb dancers on stage and the strength and depth of the Royal Ballet was visibly underlined. The evening did not reach the emotional highs which a performance by the Royal Ballet can engender for me, but I definitely found a feel good factor in seeing many of my favourite dancers, hearing and seeing a live orchestra (at last!) and by just being in that beautiful building. All very COVID safe BTW. I'm still driving up rather than taking the train though.
  4. An update on the letter to Alex Beard. We had a long, detailed response from Alex and then a follow to say they were introducing a Friday Singles offer every week. I'm not sure how widely this has been distributed but at least they have made an effort to change in restrictive circumstances.
  5. OK, I've just had another go at the ROH ticket booking. Only by booking 2 tickets can I get where I want to be - which is near the front of the Orch Stalls. The tickets I have booked as singles are Row T and Row V and I am a Supporting Friend so pretty high up in the pecking order. I'm also a member of the Fonteyn Circle - more £££ sponsorship. I know I'm fortunate to be able to do this, but it is high on my priority list of life choices. I was so disappointed yesterday when I repeatedly clicked the 1 ticket selection and was told - not available. I can't see properly if I am not close to the stage, so enjoyment is lost if I book alternative parts of the House. I almost gave up at one point and this for Mixed Bills which I would not normally see as my favourite offerings. Imagine if it was Manon or Mayerling! I know we should think ourselves lucky just to be there, but......................... I also know the super sponsors give £KKKKs and thus get first choices.
  6. Ruth - you obviously has the same experience as I did yesterday. Very disappointed with the choices for single seats.
  7. I was lucky enough to attend yesterday's performance having booked blind in terms of casting, but just hoping that the 1st performance would have Gary Avis as Drosselmeyer, without whom for me, no Nutcracker is complete. The bonus of Marianela and Vadim plus two of my favourite dancers, James Hay and Anna Rose O'Sullivan in the other main roles was too good to be true! For me, it was a magical afternoon. As the curtain opened on the opening scene of Drosselmeyer grieving for his nephew, emotions were at a very high point. My two favourite moments of the ballet - the growth of the tree and the Clara/ Hans-Peter pdd were executed perfectly - and the wonderful music lifts emotions even higher (if that's possible). Yes, there are less dancers on stage in the new production: less children, angels, soldiers, rats etc but to carp at that necessity is to take things to a very negative mindset. Rather, feel sorry for all those dancers who were denied the opportunity to perform as usual. Also, was there less glitter than usual - what did anyone else think? The whole cast were on fire and the entire afternoon was a complete joy. The power and acting detail which Gary Avis brought to the performance as he led the story telling was superb and I found myself drawn to watching him in Act 1, in particular as his cape swished and twirled around the stage: no-one can do it better. Marianela and Vadim executed their technically difficult solos and pdds with exquisite accuracy and brought their usual unique radiance to the stage. The whole experience made the 2 hour drive out of London to home (only 25 miles) much more bearable. I normally take the train but don't trust it at present. I was still in an extremely happy mood - that wonderful feel good factor which live ballet brings.
  8. I'd almost forgotten what it's like to see a live performance and now, here I am at home, after midnight, still buzzing after what was a fantastic night at the ROH. It was a Gala, not a performance. I loved it when Kevin O'Hare came on at the start and said - enjoy these 2 hours, and we will be back, because that summed it up. So lucky that I had chosen to book a ticket for tonight, rather than later in the run. I felt that I had to savour every single minute as precious, because who knows when I will get there again. Soon I hope, but who knows. I will keep those 2 hours in my head and go back to them when times get tough. I had experienced angst as to whether it was safe to go. I've been doing serous lockdown since March. In the end, I drove up rather than take the train as I normally do. Parked in the National Theatre and walked across from there. All was perfectly safe, the seating in the theatre was superbly arranged. I was in Row T of the Orch Stalls - no one in front, no-one to the side and no-one behind. It was perfect. Well done, Royal Opera House. And every minute was precious. The dancers all gave their all and there was rapturous applause for everyone, plus the orchestra of course. I must mention Vadim, because how does he do it? We saw several virtuoso performances tonight but his leaps and rotations were out of this world. I've been privileged to see him on many occasions but this was extraordinary. Seemingly effortless, noiseless and hanging in the air. World class, unique?? Certainly a glorious and heart warming experience.
  9. Me neither, and I'm thinking that one of the few bright spots to come from COVID is that we have had a chance to see Matthew Ball and Mayara Magri dance together. What a sparkling, vibrant partnership and one which would normally have been cast, I suspect.
  10. I too, went to Athelhampton yesterday and saw my first live ballet for over 6 months. I don't think I can add anything to the marvellous reviews already posted, but what a delight it was, and in a very beautiful setting. I am also the proud owner of a framed photo of William Bracewell dancing in Swan Lake which I won in the auction. Very special memories of seeing him dance Siegfried in Madrid, which was the first time I had ever seen him dance a principal role. He was utterly brilliant and I have been a big fan ever since. The programme yesterday contained a very good mix of all ballet styles and confirmed there is just no substitute for the live performance as opposed to any amount of streaming and TV replays.
  11. I agree. Far, far better than the last 2 (Vadim excepted of course). What a relief to get a decent presenter and a much more diverse selection of performance pieces. I find watching enjoyable but also upsetting, I suppose because I have no idea when I will next get to see a live performance in the ROH. Have to be thankful that I have seen so many and have all the memories.
  12. We had the same problem and we are in self isolation for my husband so really didn't want to go anywhere near it. In the end we wrote to our Pharmacy and asked them to post it to us. That was 2 days ago, and today they delivered it by hand (not literally) which was really marvellous (Lloyds). In future, we are going on line with Echo.
  13. Bennet Gartside and Everybody Ballet did a Live Instagram class for beginners online last week (free). I came across it by accident and have now signed up for more beginners classes - being run via Zoom (very reasonable pricing). These classes are usually held in London at the ROH and another venue but the initiative has now been taken on line. I'm self isolating as my husband is at risk and can't see myself going out for weeks/months, and whilst I would normally have been too embarrassed to join a live class, not to mention being able to fit it into my work schedule, I have found these online classes very inspirational from a mental health perspective, as well as the physical exercise. The beginners classes are gentle and encouraging. So, I'm in my dining room with a chair as the barre. Benn was in his kitchen for the Instagram class. Well done him for offering these - I'd go so far as to say it was a public service.
  14. Thank you Bridiem was a wonderful description of last night's performance. I wish I could write like that! I've always loved watching Soares' interpretation of the dramatic roles and he didn't disappoint last night. I will so miss him in these ballets as I found watching his facial expressions and gestures almost mesmerising. I first saw him quite by chance as the prince in the Sleeping Beauty when he replaced I think Jonathan Cope, and although I had never heard of him at that point, was very much struck by his stage presence. I then looked for him subsequently and it wasn't long before I was booking specifically to see him. Other male Principals may have more technical bravura but Thiago always added something special which made his characters alive and fascinating. He's also a great partner. Last night was a very fitting end to a marvellous career and the perfect final flower throw, speech by Kevin O'Hare and company celebration. Also lovely to read Marianela Nunez's tweet of celebration for him on Twitter. I've sated myself in Onegin's - 4 in the last 8 days and have loved this run. When I first saw it many years ago, I found parts of it a little dull, but I think the Royal Ballet have so upped their game in all departments, this last run has been exceptional. Oh well, on to Swan Lake I suppose.
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