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  1. According to the ONS, a woman was unlikely to make it much past her mid 40's in the 19th Century. So late middle age then. http://visual.ons.gov.uk/how-has-life-expectancy-changed-over-time/
  2. The one and only time I've waited at the stage door was for Osipova; Giselle at the RB, January 2014. Didn't have to wait long; maybe 30 minutes or so. She was very nice and spent quite a bit of time talking to those who had waited; posed for photographs, signed cast sheets etc. My signed cast sheet (Osipova and Acosta) is a much prized possession .
  3. Yes, it was awful last night. Worse than at Takada/Campbell a week or so ago. From where I was sat, in the middle of the stalls, it sounded like everyone was at it - and it went on past curtain up. Not until the scrim was up did everybody finally shut up. Arrgggghhhh! That said, a number of people (myself included) very deliberately applauded the orchestra when they had finished that particular piece - part "sorry about that" to the orchestra and part "you just talked over some rather excellent playing, you idiots!" to the rest of the audience.
  4. I like this topic - for me, what I most love about ballet is the anticipation leading up to these moments. So, I've only been watching ballet a few years (and my memory fails me, so there are probably some inaccuracies here) but here are some of mine: Swan Lake - end of act 2 when Odette bourrees off stage right. When I saw Osipova do this (on her Swan Lake RB debut, I think), she just melted away and that was the moment I fell in love with ballet. Romeo & Juliet - so many; when their eyes first meet; the moment Romeo loses control just after Mercutio is killed; when Juliet first sees Romeo's body in the crypt, and that silent scream as she kneels over his body (just listening to that part of the music makes me well up). Onegin - Lensky's solo before the duel (Matthew Ball - so good); at the end when Tatiana tells Onegin to go and has to almost forcibly restrain herself from running after him. Giselle - the mad scene and her death (I just love a good ballerina death scene). La Bayadere - when Nikiya drops the antidote on seeing Solor walking off with Gamzatti. The moment just before Natalia Osipova first appears on stage - in anything. The moment just before Francesca Hayward first appears on stage - in anything. There are probably loads more ...
  5. It's Shake Shack for my pre-ballet burger - usually on a tight schedule and, IMHO, their burgers are soooo good - . I've never even considered eating at the ROH itself. I fear this thread is going somewhat off topic ...
  6. So, I went to see The Winter's Tale for the first time last night (having, in retrospect, rather recklessly skipped over it two seasons ago). All I can say is: "wow!". Now I wish I'd got tickets for more performances. That said, I think I'd want to see the same cast again as I just can't see anyone other than Edward Watson in the role of Leontes; maybe Vadim, but not for another 5-10 years! What a dramatic performance, especially in the first act, ably supported by Lauren Cuthbertson who has all of the grace and dignity required and more. The second act was just pure joy and it is always great to see Steven Mcrae doing what he does best: tearing up the stage. The final redemption and reconciliation of the third act left me elated, my trainers feeling extra springy as I bounced off down Floral Street after the performance. Great performances all round; Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Zenaida Yanowsky and the ever-wonderful Gary Avis deserve a mention. As does Sarah Lamb as Perdita (btw, would love to see Francesca Hayward in this role). The orchestra played brilliantly and I really liked the music. This show just reminded me why I love ballet.
  7. I noticed that too. I normally have a quick peek in the orchestra pit before I sit down and I haven't noticed it for any of the other performances I have attended recently. The percussion section was *massive* compared to normal though so I thought it was just for that reason. (edited for formatting)
  8. For me, the order is: Hayward/Sambe , Nunez/Muntagirov , Osipova/McRae. But only because I saw Osipova/McRae on the last run; and it's a really close run thing with those first two pairings. I may just have to go to all three this time though (if my wife lets me!).
  9. For some reason, all my paragraph breaks were removed from that post. Not sure why ...
  10. It's taken me a while to get my thoughts together on this, so this is a bit of a delayed review. I went to see the Dyer/Lamb/Kish performance last Friday and overall I really enjoyed the ballet. In apparent contrast to the majority, I quite liked Sweet Violets and Age of Anxiety (the former more than the latter) and so was quite hopeful about this production, especially after having watched the Insight video on YouTube; Liam Scarlett came across really well, in how he conveyed what he was trying to achieve to the dancers. My appreciation of the performance was also in sharp contrast to the gentleman sat immediately behind me who muttered "Thank Goodness" the moment the curtain hit the stage and then proceeded to barge his way out. Thanks for that. I feel that, with narrative ballets, I get a lot more out of the experience if I already know the story and can appreciate the various perspectives of the protagonists. It's one of the things that, for me, differentiates ballet from any other narrative art form: I don't go to be surprised by a twist in the story; "spoilers" don't spoil it at all; the story is entirely subservient to the performance (IMHO); and, my enjoyment of a ballet usually increases with each viewing (as I long as I liked it at least a bit in the first place!). So I went to the theatre, having done some homework, and fully wanting to buy in to the whole experience of the ballet. Looking at the cast sheet reminded of my disappointment of not seeing Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nunez; but, hang on, what's this?: Francesca Hayward AND Gary Avis!? Well that more than makes up for the disappointment! So, on to my thoughts on the performance. A couple of provisos though: I haven't been watching ballet that long (only a few years) so will not have spotted copied or cliched ideas as well as some others on the forum. Also, I was sat in the middle of the stalls, so had a pretty much perfect view. In Act 1: I really liked the clever transition from young Victor/Elizabeth to their older selves. I also liked the way that his mother's death was handled; having it happen behind closed doors makes you focus on the effect it is having on Victor and Elizabeth. Then, the way that Mendizabal entered the room (with the bad news) and visibly steeled herself at the door before moving slowing across to Victor, was really moving. As was Gary Avis's heartbreaking portrayal of the widowed father. Moving on, the dissection scene went on a bit long I thought, and was a bit silly. Still Bennet Gartside was excellent as the professor and the scene did serve to bring Victor and Henry together and identify them as social outsiders. This was reinforced by the tavern scene which was quite fun. The reanimation of the creature was very well done (they may have overdone it a little with the flashes and bangs) but, as others have said, it was a bit odd that the creature ran away rather than Victor, which would have made more sense. Reading through the synopsis at the interval, a terrible realisation dawned: there going to hang Francesca Hayward! They can't hang Francesca Hayward!!! I almost didn't want to watch that act. Glad I did though as Kish's performance as the creature was excellent and you really did feel for him; especially during the notebook scene (which was covered in detail during the Insight, so I was well prepared for it). Obviously, it is a bit of a stretch to believe that it was the first time in 7 years that he had put his hand in the pocket; but I'm prepared to let Scarlett have that one as the scene was beautifully choreographed. Also, Dyer's performance, excellent throughout, was a revelation from this point: wracked with guilt; unable to tell anybody; aware that bad things were coming and that it was all going to be his fault. One bit of plotting that was disappointing was the: "Justine is guilty because she's got the locket in her pocket" bit. Well, she was carrying him, why shouldn't she have it? Then they hanged Francesca Hayward and I was sad. (but it was admittedly done well). The waltz, in Act 3, was probably my favourite of the "big" dances and I thought Liebermann managed to produce a piece of waltz music that had at least some degree of originality about it (which is some feat). I also thought the creature hallucinations were quite effective - it seems fair to think that the creature would be stealthy enough to remain unseen whilst still being in the forefront of Victor's mind; that's how I read it, anyway. Henry's solo reminded me very much of Mercutio's, in way of its context. I didn't see Gary Avis lie down on the steps and "die"; from my viewpoint he was obscured by the wedding guests and we only got to see his body when it was discovered; which is probably how it is meant to be. I enjoyed all the big PDDs; all very Macmillan, as others have said, but still very good in their own right and brilliantly danced. Good performances by all the principals, especially Dyer and Kish. Hayward excellent as ever but in a limited role - it's funny how you end up watching her in preference to the principals; sometimes even when she's not doing much. James Hay also deserves a mention. The music was ... ok I thought. Not terribly inspiring but not boring either. Sorry for the long and rambling review... In summary, really enjoyed it and would quite like to see it again. (edited for formatting)
  11. Just received this link from London Theatre Direct: https://www.londontheatredirect.com/ballet/1858/ZooNation-Dance-Company---Into-The-Hoods--REMIXED-tickets.aspx?utm_source=London+Theatre+Direct&utm_campaign=e5278d8598-IntoTheHoods4_29_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0dc745c598-e5278d8598-240685625&ct=t(IntoTheHoods4_29_2016)&goal=0_0dc745c598-e5278d8598-240685625&mc_cid=e5278d8598&mc_eid=5da7ea2d23 . Up to 50% off top price tickets. Lots of availability and you can pick your seats. Really good seats for £19 on some days.
  12. Whilst I'm on here, I would also like to add my thanks to all the people who have made this forum possible and keep it alive. I've only been watching ballet for a few years and I absolutely love reading others' reviews/opinions of performances and dancers. Thanks everybody!
  13. I think this is a good idea. Being a solitary ballet-goer myself, I've often wondered whether I've encountered other balletcoers whilst wandering around the ROH - seems likely. A nice little enamel badge would be good - something very subtle/discreet but instantly identifiable to those on the look out for it.
  14. Nope, it's definitely my fault :-). Over the past few years I have booked to see more than one performance in a single run just four times: - Sleeping Beauty 2014 : Osipova/Golding and Nunez/Muntagirov - Don Quixote 2015 : Osipova/Golding and Nunez/Soares - Romeo and Juliet 2015 : Osipova/Muntagirov and Hayward/Golding - Giselle 2016 : Osipova/Golding and Nunez/Muntagirov On every one of these Osipova suffered an injury :-(. So, I think that the ROH should be paying me not to book for multiple performances in the future! Still, can't complain, I have seen her dance many other times (including in two of the four above on other occasions) and my disappointment can be nothing to the frustration (and pain!) she must be suffering; so, get well soon Natalia! All that said, I am now very much looking forward to Sarah Lamb's interpretation (especially following the reviews) and, perhaps even more so, Nunez's Myrthe.
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