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About Blossom

  • Birthday May 8

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    Ballet for exercise as well as a spectator, cooking - especially gluten free food, history, politics

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  1. It's strange no email has gone out to people to say that they will be refunded?? I am glad I checked the events I'd booked. Can completely understand why up close events have been cancelled but not very good communication.
  2. Press night was Tuesday. I was sitting next to a journalist who was scribbling away in the dark!
  3. So that means Francesca Hayward will be out as well... Although she's definitely been on stage since being back from Milan.
  4. Sad for McRae. But yes, can see Corrales in the role too. And can completely see Osipova as the Siren (and Clare Calvert for her dates too).
  5. Just received also. Does this mean McRae is still out injured?
  6. Broadway world review in links today refers to Armand's father as Marguerite's father. Frustratingly incorrect. Without a huge review, M&A is among my favourites when delivered well. I actually didn't think it was at all on Saturday night, but generally I am quite critical of most casts dancing M&A so potentially I am the one with the problem! Having said that, overall, I think it was under-rehearsed or under-coached. While Alina delivered Marguerite's fragility, I just didn't feel her passion for Armand. There was nothing specific I could put my finger on, it makes me wonder who coached the piece and whether they had danced Marguerite before to pass on their insight (think back to the acting notes conveyed by Zenaida Yanowsky in the Swan Lake insight a couple of weeks ago). Was this simply Cojocaru's personal interpretation? I thought Frola was excellent though, despite some wobbles in the scene where they first encounter each other, and he proves that ENB has some strong actor-dancers. Kobborg, on the other hand, was not. I found him rather wooden and as one review suggested, was just going through the motions. Again, this could suggest a missing link in the teaching/coaching of the role.
  7. @alison and @cackles I hope you are going to post a review - keen to read before going on Saturday night!
  8. Mayerling as a case in point - even reading the info on the cast sheet, I couldn't work out who was who to follow the story the first time I saw it. It took buying the DVD and checking the casting throughout to really start understanding it.. The Cellist by comparison was pretty simple to understand and think it is a fabulous addition to the repertoire. Can't wait to see the second cast and would like to see the first one again! A very special piece.
  9. I’ve wanted to see DaaG for quite a while and was delighted when this programme was announced. In the programme, Robbins is quoted as saying that after creating an initial dance, Balanchine said ‘make more, make it like peanuts’, but I echo Sim in saying that it was probably around 15 mins too long. Despite this, overall enjoyed the glorious dancing which had a lyrical ‘free-movement’ style. Generally well-cast, I was delighted to see another opportunity for Fumi Kaneko here, she suited the style so well and was such a contrast from her sparkling Aurora a few weeks ago. Interestingly, although a beautiful dancer, I think Hayward struggled to make the transition from precise and technically perfect to the more lyrical and fluid style needed for this role. Eponymising the qualities of fluidity and lyricism with a huge amount of charm and humour (and perfect timing) was Laura Morera in green, this is the sort of role made to measure for her. Bonelli and Zuchetti also stood out for me among the male dancers. It’s hard to know where to begin with the Cellist. I should probably start by saying that the choreography really enabled me to feel the intense love du Pre had for her instrument and the longing when she couldn’t play, which was heart-rending (and brought me to tears). It didn’t matter where Cuthbertson or Sambe were on the stage in relation to each other, you could really feel the electricity between them, even more so, in the elements of the choreography where they were intertwined as one. There was a different intensity to Ball’s role as Birenboim, such power and gravitas as the composer and a very different sort of love expressed in his dances with du Pre. I echo previous posters that the 3 main characters were very much my main focus and the choreographed characterisations and the individual dancers chosen to portray them were all outstanding. The ‘narrators’ in grey made sense to me some of the time, in others not so much. I didn’t really understand all of the running around with records (can anyone explain?), for example. I didn’t think it was clear what was going on when I think she was being diagnosed with MS. However, as an orchestra, the choreography was so clever, as each section ‘played’, I saw them more as a physical expression of the sound rather than personifying an instrument. A good use of the full cast was dancing in the ‘wedding scene’ which seemed to have a flavour of Jewish wedding dancing, I assume. I thought the use of the stripy cardigan to convey her childhood/need for parents’ care to her demise (a return to needing her parents’ care) was clever, but not sure what all of the other cardigans represented. Any thoughts on this? In terms of the set, the insight was good pre-enlightenment –Marsden prefers sparse sets and for the dancers to provide most of the context, but the elements of physical set were supposed to represent a deconstructed Cello, hence the curves and the use of wood. Generally this worked well for me in terms of the way they represented home/concert hall etc, but there was a time when the bigger moving piece was going so fast and there were so many ‘narrators’ on stage that it seemed a tad more frantic than the life it was representing. Did the set need to keep on moving or should it have stayed still with only people moving to demonstrate the whirlwind of du Pre’s success? And finally the music… I know most are focussed on the Elgar, but for me, new to du Pre, it was the core cello theme throughout ‘Song without words’ (Mendelsohn) which has been on my mind since leaving the ROH last night. Such a beautiful piece and loved the way it was intertwined with the new score.
  10. Seeing it tomorrow with my daughter and glad I can squeeze in the second cast in a couple of weeks! I'm looking forward to The Cellist, especially after the insight a couple of weeks ago and all of the interviews with Marston. I particularly liked the one where her lovely mum had posted a comment, she is obviously so proud! Really excited for Dances at a Gathering too - was on my wish list and nice to have ended up with this unexpected addition to the season.
  11. A particularly good insight, very well presented and coached. I often go to see these in the studio and love being close to the action but it wasn't possible on this occasion and I am kicking myself for having plans which clashed! I think they focussed on some very interesting elements - the difference between how Odette and Odile dance/perform and a lovely reminder of RB heritage with Ashton's Neapolitan. Zenaida Yanowski really gave some incredible 'thinking artiste' insight into the roles and interesting to hear about the speedy switch from white to black swan between acts! Enjoyed seeing Fumi and Mayara dancing - delighted they both get a chance to dance Odile/Odette this time round. Then onto Wayne Sleep with Anna Rose O'Sullivan and Josep Sissons who are such a joy to watch. Neapolitan dance is a really tough one to be coached in public though - all of those tiny precise jumps with such elevation (as well as the upper body movement and breathing mentioned by Sleep)- it looks exhausting enough in performance, never mind on repeat in the studio.
  12. I have been waiting very patiently to see Onegin, having seen it for the first time last night. My friend had requested to see Osipova at some point and thought this would be a perfect role to see her in. Although initially disappointed to hear she was injured/out and then to hear Reece Clarke was also unable to dance, it was a real treat to find that Marianela Nunez and Roberto Bolle would be dancing Tatiana and Onegin respectively. I have never seen Bolle dance live before and imagine I may not get the chance to see him again, so it really felt like a very special occasion. Incidentally, also saw Gary Avis post on Instagram that this season may be his last Gremin. Was wonderful to see him in a proper dancing role (vs non-dancey character roles), the partnership with Nunez worked beautifully. Bolle’s Onegin was quite an obnoxious character despite oozing swoonsomeness! From his distaste at Tatiana’s intellectual book at their first meeting, to refusing her affections by ripping up her love letter, his frankly mean taunting of her and Lensky by using Olga as his plaything and for generally coming across as though he was completely entitled to be that way. Adored the first ‘love letter’ pas de deux with Nunez and even more so the heart-wrenching final pas de deux when Tatiana rejects him. Nunez shone as usual, would have expected no less from her in the role and she was such a perfect fit both with Bolle and Avis. I relish every opportunity to see her as she is such an accomplished dancer and actress. Matthew Ball and Francesca Hayward were a very sweet couple in love. I found the way they played the role in addition to the choreography suggests they were absolutely head over heels in love and wanted to find the same for Tatiana. How wrong a choice Onegin would have been though! Hayward played her role very sweetly and innocently, not realising she was Onegin’s plaything in act 2. Ball’s interpretation so engaging in Act 2, first with his anger at Olga and Onegin dancing together and in his expressive pre-duel solo, followed by Olga and Tatiana trying to convince him not to fight. This is definitely a role which is made for him. Looking at the bigger picture, there were a few things which really stood out for me, choreography wise. The character dancing throughout was wonderful and very well executed by the corps de ballet. In act 1, there was more of a folky feel to the steps, in act 2, the more formal and elegant mazurka. Cranko really tuned himself in to these dances and the formations he wanted to achieve so there is something incredibly classical about this element of the ballet. I loved the floor patterns and formations for the corps de ballet dances in general throughout the ballet, the way the groupings came together or were separated out, the patterns across the stage, in particular the Act 2 partnered grand jetes across the stage and there were lots of lifts which probably makes these roles more exciting for the more junior members of the cast. I also loved the way the corps de ballet was used to show the world continuing around Tatiana or Onegin when they were showing stillness and inner anguish at the different parties. I loved the dramatic feel of the ballet, with the focus on exciting lifts in the Onegin/Tatiana pas des deux, very Macmillan in feel (yet completely different in so many ways…). Interesting to notice Tatiana’s act 3 dance with Gremin and ‘farewell’ before Onegin arrives is the Winter Dreams Farewell pas de deux music used by Macmillan, I wonder if he was inspired at all by Cranko with this. There were also some very Ashtonian moments in terms of the mini-character vignettes in the Act 2 ball – whether old man/quarrelling couple/man with 2 ladies who didn’t know which one to choose. The set design was exquisite – was fascinated by the foliage in act 1 (would love to get a closer look at how this was designed), the lace in the ‘bedroom’ scenes, the opulence of the act 3 ballroom. There was so much detail here. Music wise, delighted to know one piece of music per act pretty well from an age ago when I took RAD’s grade 8 ballet.
  13. Sad not to see Osipova & Clarke tonight but couldn't ask for a better alternative cast! Very excited!
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