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  1. I went to see ‘Gatsby’ at the Mayflower yesterday and enjoyed it immensely. Beautiful choreography and dancing, both from the leads and the company as a whole. I saw cast number three - Riku Itu was a thoughtful and ardent Gatsby and Ayami Miyata a lovely Daisy - however, the whole cast were on fine form, and I must mention Matthew Koon who expressed Wilson’s pain so vividly. The party in the New York apartment was full of drama, the big party scenes were vibrant and compelling and the love duets full of passion and yearning. I’ve read the book several times and felt the story was necessarily simplified a little- I liked the use of young Gatsby and young Daisy as a narrative technique to explain Gatsby’s past, and it gave the story an extra layer of poignancy. The staging was very imaginative- the simple set cleverly represented many different scenes effectively. I particularly liked Gatsby’s deck with the symbolic green light, as well as the mirrored background in Gatsby’s house which reflected and distorted the characters. The lighting too was gorgeous with the blues, the opulent gold tones and the sunrise colours. I thought the choice of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s music was inspired- swooning and dreamlike in some places, achingly sad in others, and played with great sensitivity and style by the orchestra. The use of a recording of Bennett himself singing “I Never Went Away” at the epilogue, followed by that sudden and powerful ending left me very moved. Although it had been a long time since I’d seen Northern Ballet perform, I will definitely be planning to see them again before the end of the year.
  2. I’m going on the 11th - I would have been happy with any cast but I’m delighted that I’ll be seeing Alina Cojocaru!
  3. I’m going to see this next Saturday in Southampton, Jan. Thanks for your review- I’m really intrigued and excited to see the production and to see NB.
  4. My thoughts on Wednesday evening’s performance- R and J is one of my favourite ballets, I’ve seen many productions over the years, and on Wednesday evening it felt completely fresh, as if I was watching it for the first time. I thought Vadim Muntagirov gave a beautifully layered performance: all the aspects of Romeo’s complex character were there – sensitivity, gentleness, love for his family, playfulness, impulsiveness, ardour, fury. Sarah Lamb was heart-breaking for me from her first entrance, so sweet and shy at first, but then blossoming to a passion matching that of Romeo’s. The balcony pas de deux and the marriage ceremony in particular had me in tears at the poignancy of what was to come. Lamb was superb when confronting her family after being told she is to marry Paris, and when she pondered taking the potion I actually felt sick – never before had that music felt so ominous. The staging of Juliet’s family at her tomb, in tandem with Prokofiev’s piercing music felt unutterably sad, and Romeo and Juliet’s respective deaths almost too much. I will hold this wonderful performance in my memory for a long time. I must add that the whole cast were superb, I felt really fortunate to see Marcelino Sambe’s dazzling Mercutio, and really enjoyed the interplay between Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio. Bravo to all concerned, not forgetting the orchestra who were on absolutely top form. By the way, I was in a side amphi seat, row C - very happy with my view.
  5. Quite right, Ian- KOH gave a little speech before the performance and Mr Crisp was warmly applauded
  6. Bonnie was fantastic in 42nd Street recently- I think she would be an excellent choice as the new judge. I think she would be warm, knowledgeable and consistent.
  7. I am grateful for all the work that goes into providing the Links section. I look at the links frequently, both for reviews and for interesting articles - and I appreciate the variety of articles referenced. For example, the recent review of the Ray Bolger biography, with accompanying YouTube clip of him dancing, was charming. Thank you!
  8. I’ll definitely be heading to Birmingham next year for Don Q - I so enjoyed my trip to see BRB last month
  9. I’d certainly argue that Shakespeare does not present Tybalt as a one-dimensional stock villain: there’s a duality to him which Lizbie references above. He is aggressive and sure of himself but I think he is presented as typical for young men of his status in his society in that the honour of his family name (“by the stock and honour of my kin”);is vitally important to him. He is angry at the Capulet ball because he mistakenly believes Romeo has come to dishonour the Capulets. He assumes Lord Capulet will be angry too, but Lord Capulet is mindful that as host he must not “do (Romeo) disparagement”. Tybalt’s response to this leads to Lord Capulet losing his temper with Tybalt, (“Am I the master here or you?”) and Tybalt swearing vengeance on Romeo. When he next encounters Romeo he deliberately insults him with the terms “villain” and “boy” but Romeo, newly and secretly married, won’t take the bait. Mercutio, who is in a noticeably fractious mood, sees this as dishonour (“O calm, dishonourable, vile submission”) which can only be assuaged by fighting Tybalt on Romeo’s behalf (“alla stoccata carries it away”). It’s noticeable in the text how Tybalt inspires loyalty in Juliet, the Nurse, Lady Capulet and Lord Capulet (“Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly/ and so did I”). So in short - yes, I have some sympathy for Tybalt. Sorry - I went off a bit there!
  10. There is a shop on Manchester Road in Altrincham called Fit to Dance, that’s quite a bit nearer than Warrington 😊 They have a website if you’d like to check them out
  11. Thank you Sim for sharing such wonderful memories. I’m very sad to hear this news. I vividly remember Kevin as Tybalt (and Koen as Mercutio) at a performance of R and J at the Leeds Grand in October 1986. Utterly thrilling! After the performance I *had* to see it again and bought a balcony ticket for £1 for the Saturday matinee. I saw him in the years following in various roles including in the incomparable Swansong. A special dancer and clearly a special person, I am very sorry for your loss.
  12. Thanks for this warmly enthusiastic review Odyssey- I’m on my way to Birmingham to see it, and this has given me a taster of what to look out for. It’s been a long time since I saw BRB and I’m very excited!
  13. There was indeed a biography and photo of Mr Camargo in the red programme. It’s on the page before the bio of KOH, with the bios of creatives. I’ve tried to upload a pic but it’s too large!
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