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  1. No, it wasn’t me, but as a friend of mine was in A28 I do know who it was! And I wouldn’t say I was especially knowledgeable myself anyway 🙂 A shame I didn’t know you were there, I would have said hello!
  2. She had forgotten to position them so that they fell down her back - they were still tucked over her elbows, which would have meant some rather unromantic fumbling for Vadim to reach them! I thought the kissing of her hem actually worked just as well, so anyone who didn’t know what was supposed to happen wouldn’t have noticed anything amiss. Apologies in advance as I saw the bill two nights running - unusual for me - so I may ramble on a bit! I’ll try to keep it brief. Overall, I really enjoyed the performances on both nights, and what a fantastic triple bill. I’m so glad I splashed out and saw it twice. I think that was a benefit particularly for the Firebird. After the first night I wasn’t entirely sure about it as a ballet but a second night’s viewing enabled me to digest it a bit more, and I decided that I do like it. It’s certainly beautiful to look at. I loved both Magri and Mendizabal’s performances. Magri’s dancing perhaps had the edge, and she was a softer Firebird. However, on balance I preferred Mendizabal - her eyes and face are so expressive and she really commanded the stage. A pity, really, that the Tsarevitch has so little to do by way of dancing, given that it was Kish’s last performance, but he partnered and acted well, and I was glad Kevin O’Hare came onstage to give him a fitting sendoff. I was in the front row and Kish had to wipe away the odd tear, and Mrs Kish also looked very emotional. He got a warm and enthusiastic response from the audience. As soon as I had seen A Month in the Country on the first night (Nunez/Ball) I decided that it had become one of my favourite ballets. Ashton really was a genius - taking the story and telling it so charmingly and so movingly with such beautiful and expressive choreography. I really enjoyed their performance. I think Ball must have been reading the comments on here because he didn’t play Beliaev as a womaniser at all, and I enjoyed his performance, and Nunez was - well, Nunez - she never puts in a bad performance and her dancing was beautiful. Hay and Hayward were charming as Kolia and Vera (but god, I wish they would burn the awful yellow fright wig that they insist on making Kolia wear!). However, for me the cast last night eclipsed that one. I loved Cuthbertson’s portrayal and her softer, more Ashtonian dancing. And I knew that this would be a perfect role for Muntagirov, and it was. His dancing - especially that first solo - was sublime - fluid, full of feeling and of course technically perfect and with those beautifully pointed feet (something that some Male dancers allow to slip all too often). But more than that, his characterisation was just so moving and so delightful, from the first scenes of him having fun with the family, to the emotionally charged ones later on as his situation becomes ever more complicated and his feelings for Natalia sweep him away. I had a lump in my throat. Whoever said he danced Ashton with a Russian soul hit the nail in the head. There is something so special about Vadim that goes beyond his wonderful dancing and is more just about something inside him. A very rare artist. Anyway, the smile on Sir Anthony Dowell’s face in the photo above says it all! He looks very happy with the performance! I agree with you, Sim, that Vadim and Anna Rose would make a lovely Lensky and Olga. I think I preferred her performance to Hayward’s (although there wasn’t much between them), and I was also impressed by David Yudes. And of course, Symphony in C is just such a firecracker of a finale! Brilliant performances all round but if I had to single any out - Kaneko, Muntagirov, Sissens, Lamb (with excellent support from Edmonds), Sambe and Magri - last night Magri looked as though she was having an absolute ball onstage! A fantastic end to the season - how will I get through the summer?? And sorry - I did ramble on!
  3. Too tired to write a proper review now, but still on a high from tonight. Magnificent performances all round, but Muntagirov in Month, as has already been said, was stunning. More tomorrow.
  4. HappyTurk, whilst I don’t agree with you about Naghdi and Ball, I wholeheartedly agree with you about Benjamin Ella. He is a dancer I have always liked. I have enjoyed his recent performances in whatever ballet I have seen him in and I hope he will get more opportunities because I feel he should be promoted. Ditto Nicol Edmonds. I really liked his portrayal of Paris, plus having just seen him in Symphony in C tonight (more later on the appropriate thread) I feel he is a dancer who is underrated and who also needs promotion.
  5. I didn’t see Paris’s reaction as “assault” really - it came over to me as short-lived anger over Juliet’s (to him) inexplicable rejection of him when she had seemed willing before. I thought Nicol Edmonds portrayed that very well, as he very quickly looked contrite, and stared at his hands as though he couldn’t believe they had just manhandled Juliet. It didn’t seem that he was a man of habitual violence. After all, her parents and nurse were present, and despite the fact that they were exasperated and angry with her, I doubt they would have stood there and countenanced any real violence towards her.
  6. I was at the cinema last night. I thought Yasmine Naghdi was utterly wonderful. Her dancing was gorgeous and I didn’t find it too classical or restrained - on the contrary, I thought it expressed Juliet’s feelings perfectly, especially in the bedroom pas the deux when her anguish and despair was palpable. And her acting, particularly in Act 3 was fantastic. The sitting on the bed moment, with her dawning hope and determination, along with that beautiful swelling music, was spine tingling, and a real test with the camera close-up. At the end of that particular sequence, my sister turned to me and just said “Wow.” Wow indeed. I’m afraid I’m in the camp who doesn’t think Ball matched her. They did have lovely chemistry, and his partnering in the pas de deux was very strong, but although he looked the part, I just didn’t feel him. It wasn’t that he was bad in any way - just that I found his dancing good without being outstanding, and his acting fine but not mindblowing, and not on Naghdi’s level. I thought Zucchetti was very good as Mercutio, but having seen Sambe recently I think he may have spoilt me for any other Mercutio! I did, however, really enjoy Ella’s Benvolio - I always like to watch him and last night both his dancing and acting were very strong. I’d like to see him promoted (but that’s another thread!). Regarding the broadcast itself - yes, it was very dark, and after Tybalt’s death, if anyone wasn’t sure of what was going on, they would have been hard put to guess as Lord Capulet lurked dimly in the shadows at the top of the steps and Lady C gesticulated at - apparently - nothing. It was only really a problem at certain moments, but still.... When Juliet sits on the bed with “that” music, I find it very effective, and it’s a bold choreographic move to use stillness rather than movement at a time like that. When Juliet runs to find Friar Lawrence, though, I do see in my mind’s eye the In the Round version staged in the Albert Hall, and remember Daria Klimentova’s beautiful fleet footed run (she barely seemed to touch the ground) around that huge arena with the billowing cloak streaming behind.... I always think it’s a shame they don’t have all that room on the ROH stage, as the music really lends itself to the run, and it remains a wistful memory!
  7. Anna Rose O’Sullican has just congratulated him on Instagram, so it must be true. Clumsy of the Times, though. However, I’m delighted for Sambe - extremely well deserved.
  8. A while ago there was some discussion on here about this very thing, and it was decided that we would wear a blue button badge to identify us. I wore mine a couple of times but never saw anyone else wearing one. I gave up after I almost accosted a woman I thought was wearing a blue badge, but realised in the nick of time that she just happened to have blue buttons on her top...!
  9. Wow, huge congratulations to Vadim!! Absolutely deserved!
  10. Muntagirov wasn’t promoted as such - he joined the RB then as a Principal having been Lead Principal at ENB.
  11. I would have loved to see Beatriz as Juliet but sadly there is a limit to the number of performances I can make!
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