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  1. Lizbie 1, I saw 2 performances of the Balanchine triple. It's an excellent programme, 2 or possibly 3 masterpieces that are contrasted. I always enjoy seeing DNB in its wonderful theatre but I was a little disappointed. Given that DNB has some of the best Balanchine rep outside of NYCB (Wayne Eagling brought in a lot of Balanchine pieces when he was director, even had a fabulous Balanchine festival), it is a little surprising that the company is not fully comfortable dancing his style. The dancers were careful even cautious, rather than dancing flat out. I was delighted to see Igone de Jongh in two of her final performances (Who Cares on Friday, Symphony in Three Movements on Saturday) but her dazzling smile could not compensate for her declining technique. It's well worth going to see Ballet Imperial again, what a masterpiece, and the version done in tutus, but it tested the company, even Maia Makhateli at the first performance, although Anna Tsygankova coped better at the second one. In Who Cares, the male dancers fared better than the women, who looked like charming ballet dancers rather than dynamic hoofers. They weren't helped by the orchestra who needed to sound more like a big band. Indeed, the orchestra was, for me, one of the problems with the performances, despite Bruce's praise, as the tempo was often too slow in Symphony in Three Movements, another masterpiece, not giving the dancers the necessary pulse, and in Who Cares, too. I didn't know that Edo Wijnen had won a prize but noticed him in the corps at the first performance so was delighted to see him featured on the second night in Symphony in Three Movements. On balance, Lizbie, it's worth going if you can, such good ballets and the dancers may get more attuned to the style as they have more performances. And despite my slight disappointment I was really very glad to have gone.
  2. All I can say is that he was very enthusiastic in his applause at the Fonteyn celebration (I was sat in front of him) and he, or his admin assistant, replied within hours when I emailed him about the box office some months back.
  3. While I understand what you are both saying, Pulcinella and 2 Pigeons, I think Beatrice Parma is likely to be outstanding. She is an excellent classical dancer (will/would make an outstanding Odette) and is equally talented in dramatic roles. At least both Wills are proper Yorkshire lads- pity the 3rd one isn't cast, but Brandon is bound to be a suitor. I, too, am disappointed that there are only 2 casts, have booked 3 performances in Birmingham but would have booked 5 if there had been more choice.
  4. Wonderful news about Robert Cohan, he has contributed so much to dance and his latest choreography is one of the best pieces of the year. Simon Russell Beale has performed with the Royal (Alice in Wonderland) and is often a member of the audience.
  5. I think the ENB galas are 17, 18 January. And ENB will probably only send a couple of dancers to the NB gala. Not sure what they'll dance- the guests will apparently dance from the NB rep, which is very different from ENB's.
  6. I treated my sister to a meal in the Crush Bar last May, before a performance. The food and service were no more than acceptable, they had squeezed extra tables in so we felt a bit squashed and the price was high relative to the quality. I shan't be returning!
  7. The Wilton's box office suggested to me that my email might be in spam, but like Bridiem I have none in spam. When I emailed them I did comment that it was unfortunate that they hadn't let me know given that I live so far away, so I was complaining- but not rudely.
  8. I've not been notified, I'd be interested to know if they've contacted Bridiem yet. Ironically they emailed the friend who booked once she knew I was going- she lives in central London, not north of York like me so doesn't need to book trains and a hotel, like me. I contacted Wilton's this afternoon and they have refunded the money. I'd have loved to see Viviana again but loathe the substitute choreographer, no MacMillan, apart from his penchant for shocking.
  9. The website for the Chatelet theatre in Paris states that ENB's performances of Akram Khan's Giselle will take place on 11 -18 July, 2020. (Dutch National Ballet will be performing Wheeldon's Cinderella there from 2-8 July).
  10. I check it every day and it is the Links I read before News, then Performances. I am deeply grateful to Ian, John and Janet for all their work, it's invaluable. Also, they sometimes pick up an online review that isn't later covered in the newspaper concerned, certainly of my daily paper. The international coverage is great.
  11. My favourite non-ballet, non-jazz, activity in NY is the(free) boat trip to Staten Island. The view of Manhattan is absolutely wonderful. The last time I went my daughter wanted to do an open bus tour so we got off at Battery Park, which is a pleasant spot, and later went back to Times Square on the bus ( and were treated to a mini tornado as the weather changed drastically, scary wind, with chairs flying through the air, then torrential rain).
  12. It is a good film. I watched it yesterday after seeing the docudrama Dance to Freedom on BBC4 the night before. The two are complementary. The docudrama explored the relationship with Soloviev more fully, indicating that the KGB blackmailed him into informing against Nureyev. His story is tragic, he was a better classical dancer than Nureyev, a truly wonderful dancer, but his dancing and health declined as he resorted to alcoholism. Now we know why. In the docudrama his widow spoke sadly of his situation. Dance to Freedom includes other famous dancers who were involved in the Kirov and the Paris ballet scene, talking about Nureyev and the situation. White Crow contains some wonderful acting. The little boy who played Nureyev as a little boy was compelling and was a very good dancer. Oleg Ivenko gives a riveting performance as Nureyev and as that remarkable teacher, Pushkin, who inspired the artistry of Baryshnikov as well as Nureyev, Ralph Fiennes is remarkable, totally convincing in his subtlety. The ballet shown was a little disappointing in quality but there were lovely shots of the Paris Opera ( but the stage used for the ballet excerpts was definitely not the Garnier stage) and of Leningrad/St Petersburg. Well worth watching.
  13. Unfortunately the masterclasses are no longer filmed, even though there is always fascinating information provided by the guest teachers and the notators.
  14. First, good news for Londoners. Although this programme has been sold out for weeks at ROH, Yolanda Yorke-Edgell told me yesterday that she is hoping that an extra performance will be offered on 16 May. She is hoping that the ROH website will include it at the end of this week. The ROH website says there will be one interval but last night there were two. This very talented and innovative company performed in Leeds last night as part of a tour before arriving at the ROH in mid May. The first piece, Playground, one of MacMillan's dark works, will interest those of you who have indicated a wish to see My Brothers, My Sisters again. Many of us will find the choreography interesting but the content disturbing (what MacMillan wanted, of course). However, to see dancers of the calibre of Romany Pajdak, Jonathan Goddard and Dane Hurst supported by other excellent dancers, makes the experience worthwhile if harrowing. The second piece by a choreographer new to me, Sophia Stoller was a short contemporary dance for two female and two male dancers (including Dane Hurst). The third dance, Communion, was specially created by the 94 year old Robert Cohan for the company. It starts slowly with repetitive, almost minimalist, movements but eventually a complex series of solos (notably for Dane Hurst, dancing with infinite fluidity, also Jonathan Goddard) and small group dances. Much of it seems to refer to ritual and community (as the title suggests). A most interesting work. Unfortunately I was unable to stay for the final piece, Imprint, by Yolanda herself, for 6 dancers to a mixture of music excerpts, including the currently ubiquitous Max Richter remix of Vivaldi.
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