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  1. As a side note: I am honestly very impressed by all your knowledgeable and insightful reviews of R&J and I enjoy reading what everybody has to say. It’s amazing how this ballet, as a RB staple, can still spark such a long and lively discussion. Love it 😊! I’m looking forward to come over and see it on Mon / Tue / Fri and I hope to catch as many dancers as possible in different roles. Unbelievably, I’ve never seen the MacMillan version live on stage!
  2. She's a Jury menber for this year's Prix de Lausanne - with Carlos Acosta as the President! Jury
  3. My highlights from yesterday’s cinema broadcast are 1. the Shades 2. the Shades 3. the Shades 4. the three Solo Shades and when Nunez does a supported jump, it never looks like Muntagirov lifts her up but rather tries to catch her before she flies away. What a glorious partnership this is. I’d buy the DVD in an instant, even though I don’t like Bayadère very much as a whole but I could watch those two in anything they do and the complete second act for hours. And the Orchestra was fantastic, they really brought the best out of this not-so-brilliant score… the solo violin was exceptional! I was so grateful that they took great care to not overdo it, as it’s so often the case with Minkus’ music.
  4. I thought it was very interesting to see Agadzahanov and the dancers work in what was looking much more like a “real” rehearsal than a presentation, he was concentrating on what he wanted to see and how he could communicate it to the dancers. I found it particularly enlightening in relation to Hirano’s debut as Rudolf. If he hadn’t been as knackered as he was and if somebody’d have given the man a towel, I’d have loved to hear a little more about how he’s tackling this heavyweight of a role. Besides also rehearsing Bayadere! Great to hear Paul Stobart talk and play! He’s working with this particular score for how long now? And he has to warm-up every morning from seven o’clock to be ready for the rehearsals – what a dedication to his and the dancer’s art. That was lovely. I thought a little more information about the ballet would be presented, but perhaps the London audience doesn’t need it anymore. For viewers not so familiar with it, it surely would have been important to communicate a little more about the background and how the ballet was conceived, who was involved etc. The whole thing looked a little hastily cobbled together, but to see the promising partnership of Hamilton/Hirano (and Paul Kay!!) it was very much worth watching. I’d love to see how far Hirano will be able to develop his nasty and desperate side…! Such a shame I can’t come over to see it.
  5. Yes, of course! And some swordfighting. Why do they even need a ball for? Much too distracting.
  6. Well... I don’t know. I mean, I’m well versed in watching contemporary dance, and I know about Merce Cunningham’s opinion that it’s not necessarily always centre stage where the important things happen… but I thought the choreography was really confusing and haphazardly interrupted by sudden stops and I couldn’t find any connection at all to the music. It was as if the performers were just reacting to random sounds, I mean, I quite like a bit of spontaneity, but this was so confusing sometimes! Also, I’d have appreciated some slower or more sustained movements here and there. I also didn’t understand why sequences performed on the ground had to be repeated so often, I found that quite boring. Also too many abrupt changes from locally very restricted solos and duets to wide spread actions with many participants which were very difficult to observe. I rather enjoyed some quirky moments, when performers were tugging at each other’s costumes or “arguing” with a soloist (who, by the way, impressed by his ability of showing clear and directional gestures). All in all, I thought this was very long (didn’t change much after the interval) and the encores were not as captivating as I has hoped. The audience loved the performance and the atmosphere was sometimes exhilarating. I have to praise the performers for their enthusiasm, their skills and their stamina, but the lack of concise choreography was too big a challenge, and personally, I couldn’t watch this kind of performance very often.
  7. And in one of the interviews shown during the intermissions at the cinema, John Macfarlane said that when the team began to prepare SL, they started to collect everything they had hated about various Swanlakes they’d seen before. ☺️
  8. Good things come to those who wait.... yesterday at the cinema it was my only chance to see the new SL and oh my, am I still thrilled. What a feast for eyes and ears and soul! Not only were the leading roles danced so thoughtfully and with love for the tiniest detail – but all of the action onstage in the first and third act had a meaning and a place and a space, in the first act the cadets (Ball and Hay!) and girls were not only delivering their dances beautifully but actively created atmosphere (and party vibes!), even in the looong waltz. How everybody interacted with each other, with Rothbart, Benno and Siegfried and the Queen was wonderfully thought out, never boring. I think this is something which makes the Royal Ballet very special: the lack of impassive onlookers in the “background” – something that infuriates me every time I have to witness it. Even in the glorious ballroom scene, during the pdd, everybody is attentive, so you never perceive the pdd as an isolated event (AKA gala piece but with a few background supernumeraries), as I’ve experienced it too many times. Bravi for that. I don’t need to describe the quality of the dancing from Nunez, Muntagirov et al, this has been done extensively, but Nunez still makes my heart melt, and even her Odile is never cold and wicked alone, I can feel how she enjoys herself seducing the poor Prince. I just wish there was more to dance for him, he’s so lovely and truthful in his expression. And those double tours…! Hayward, Takada and Campbell in the pas de trois alone are a reason to buy a DVD if there ever is one to be released, he’s so charming and secure and the ladies are just dazzling – Takada’s feathery jumps and Haywards incredible speed and her easy smile should be filled in bottles and sold as antidepressants. I’d love it if there were encore screenings but sadly, there aren’t any here. To everybody who has another chance to see a performance: enjoy and be proud of your Royal Ballet. I’m already looking forward to the next run whenever that may be - I hope to come over and see more casts, I’ve enjoyed this SL more than any other one I’ve seen in a long time.
  9. Before I read the article, I expected something rather different... more like a live comment at ice skating or football („...now, after Ms Nunez has executed her bourrées so poignantly, she’s holding a pose in tendu croisé derrière with arms in third position, awaiting Mr Muntagirov who’s to arrive shortly at upstage right… and yes! There he his! Audience’s darling, and in great form, he lunges into a piquè en arabesque, failli, chassé… and will he risk it, the dreaded double tour en l’air…he prepares… and yes! Yes! There it is, and beautifully landed (please refrain from whooping), oooh what a triumph…”)
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