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  1. Of course Osipova was a masterful Giselle, but for me the real stand out performance was by Yuhui Choe. She was breathtaking in every regard. I remember seeing her stand in for Osipova in Sleeping beauty March 2014 (when she was boo'd as she was announced as her replacement) and thought she shone then. She has transformed over the years and is truly stunning now.
  2. The opening and closing of a child's legs like that is one thing (which struck me initially as hard to watch). The link between that and some sort of perceived (by Anna in her emotional turmoil or otherwise) devious behaviour with Rasputin is another. The fact is MacMillan chose to have this section in ACT III. It wasn't a fleeting moment. The child was held aloft and his legs manipulated into those positions 3-4 times across maybe 2/3rds of the front of the stage. One can only surmise that this was an important message he was trying to convey. It takes time and effort to devise THAT as MacMillan's best effort to manifest whatever message he wanted to relay. If it was just a message of manipulation of the Tsarina via the child, that could have been done in a myriad other movements - so I'm not convinced by that argument. The not unnatural surmise here is that Anna perceived Rasputin as a deviant. One is shown her perception of Rasputin sharing the Tsarina with her father in the dance sequences. Anna thinks something is going on between them. On the other hand, we are also shown Rasputin helping Alexei up from a fall, and encourages him to walk freely again. How then can she think he helps the child, whereupon she then performs a volte face, presenting him to us as a man having an unnatural relationship with Alexei? I don't think that is the conclusion we can reach either. It is very nebulous. In this day and age, a child should not be made to do that. Dance is infinite in range, and audiences perceptions have changed with time. It is no longer necessary regardless of what Macmillan intended.
  3. Lindsay I was aghast during that moment too. I thought it must have been some kind of artistic expression of what I don't know (and would love to be illumintated). I didn't for one moment consider your point of view on it. Oh dear!
  4. Another point. A previous poster asked if it was suitable for a 10yr old to watch. I'd say no. There are several historic cinematic sequences of Russians being shot at close range and falling dead into open pits. Maybe that's ok for children these days to watch, I don't know?
  5. I absolutely agree. I thought Bohuslav Martinu's music much more compelling and the orchestra were on top form tonight. I was very disappointed with the Bonelli/Nuñez PDD, he wasn't a great help when one of her assisted pirouettes stopped half way and took him way too long to recognise the situation and assist. I understand Acts I and II were written before it was fully understood that she was not in fact Anastasia,and therefore their inclusion per se was relevant back then. I also understand that these earlier sections act as an antithetical dialogue to Act III. It's just stylistically and qualitatively they jar so badly with the triumph that is Act III. They are a facile, sickly sweet Nutcrackeresque introduction to the heavyweight, emotional rollercoaster that is the denouement in act III. In my opinion their introduction in this style was a commercial decision. The 'red programme' carrying people sitting around me seemed to love the first two acts and were confused by act III - I'm sure it can be divisive as it's not your regular ballet content. Osipova - marvellous, she worked so hard tonight, gave it everything. sweat everywhere. Wonderful! I strongly recommend you watch the Osipova rehearsal video on the ROH website before you watch the performance, it really gives you a good insight as to what they were trying to achieve and the maturing movements throughout
  6. Just left tonight's performance. A quick summary ACT I: Yawn ACT II: Yawn ACT III: Absolutely sensational! Osipova was truly mesmerising. One of the most convincing standing ovations I've seen in years. I have to see her perform this again! Astonishing
  7. I really enjoyed last night's performance - much more so than last years , even though I also watched Osipova then. As usual there was no chemistry between Osipova/McRae last night. McRae was on technical form, but I grow tired of his performing peacock role that has little consideration for characterisation. Give me Muntagirov any day. Lise for me, is Osipova's weakest role at the RB (though her weakest is most other performers good!) Perhaps, as LinMM noted, it's the lack of a sympathetic partner that makes me feel this way? What was it with all the Bolshoi-esque applause hunting between each PDD/solos? That certainly wasn't the norm last year was it? I loved Kay and Marriott's performances, they brought all the 'sunshine' last night.
  8. I didn't discuss him with an usher because he spent the whole interval talking to the nearest usher! So I thought he'd have noticed him already. I have to thank Capybara for coming to my assistance and discussing 'him' with the House Manager. Maybe they'll be able to do something as apparently he is notorious. I wouldn't want him ruining anyone else's night.
  9. At the ROH tonight OS row C, sitting next to an odious little man all evening. Before he takes his seat, he peers into the pit and announces loudly 'Too much Fxxxing timpani as usual!' Gets in the seat beside me, makes a phone call to someone, loudly talking about how he's the RB junior's choreographer or something, on and on about how wonderful he is, and how awful this Bolshoi cast is compared to 10 years ago. Coughing all the time. An announcement is made, 2 dancers are being substituted. His reaction? You guessed it, a very loud 'Fxxxing hell!' First interval, lights go on, he loudly pronounces to no one in particular 'Fxxxing choreography so tight' that everyone around us turns to look. Another phone call 'I don't like the RB, but that Oskipova [sic] she's wonderful, why she has to do that modern stuff.....Oskipova she's wonderful, this lot are good, but not nearly as good' on and on cough cough. Hateful man, ruined my night.
  10. My expectation of how Lucentio was supposed to be characterised was from the Bolshoi's own synopsis. I can't copy it all here but the descriptions that jarred for me the most with respect to Chudin's performance are the following:- 1) 'Well read and very charming' . Well read I don't doubt, charming he was not, he seemed like a geek, a neophyte in matters of courtship and real love. 2) 'As Juliette Greco once sang: "Let's marry them, let's marry them, I think they are very much alike"' He was very much not alike Smirnova's Bianca, they seemed like such an odd couple. It appeared to me that if in character, they were allowed to meet unscripted, he would have been but a fly in her ear and dung between her toes! http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/714/libretto/
  11. What a glorious night at the ROH, I didn't want it to end. Lantratov's performance was once again a revelation. He seems to pack a veritable armoire of personas he can just pick and choose at will. He transformed himself from the 'tenderness and gentleness' displayed in Monday night's Swan Lake to the 'Polunin-esque' cad required of him in this role. He exuded passion with every move, and proceeded to tame the fiery dragon that was Krysanova tonight - no mean feat. Ekaterina stormed on stage like a tornado, creating mayhem along her path. The sweat visible on her striated back, demonstrating the physical and emotional efforts involved in her superb portrayal of Katharina. The highlight for me was the scene at Petruchio's home, where he continued to subdue Katherina's feistiness. Once accomplished, the four-play and love scene ensued. Tumultuous and passionate, I was lost in the moment, awe struck. I could go on. The only disappointment for me was Chudin as Lucentio. Although technically proficient, his characterisation was more of a library assistant than anything else. He seemed out of his league courting the wonderfully coquettish Smirnova. Tonight was one of those performances I'll lock into my memory bank as a future reference point of excellence.
  12. Hah I'm seeing Lantratov for the third time tonight at the Taming of the Shrew, same seats, say hello if you're there. I hope he won't think I'm stalking him
  13. That poster was me, I'm glad you agree. Hopefully Muntagirov will flourish and one day exceed Lantratov's talents, as I'm sure he can. I was sitting in the middle in the row behind you (behind the mother and son) and also noticed this disconcerting lighting anomaly, it was akin to watching a 3D film in the cinema without the 3D glasses, very very odd. First time I've ever seen that.
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