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  1. FLOSS many thanks for (as always!) such a detailed, and interesting, post. Even though it is not a ballet I especially warm to, I agree very much that is is good to see the full variety of ballet steps (not a very descriptive/ appropriate word I know) used; how boring it would be if everything was the same! Having looked at the ROH database on RB performances though, it is startling how few performances of Coppelia there are; three in 1954 of this (then new) de Valois production then some more (but not that many) until 1969. Then the big gap to 2000. I assume from the posts here that the performances 54-69 are very incomplete? Was there a previous production prior to the 1954 de Valois one? (I assume so?) if not, it does seem a little late to get one of the key ‘classics’.
  2. FLOSS many thanks for writing such a thoughtful account.
  3. I couldn’t attend yesterday’s performances of Sleeping Beauty so can’t comment on any dancers technical proficiency but it seems that some posters are putting Ashton/ MacMillan together when comparing them to full length tutu ballets by Petipa. Are they? To me it very much seems that dancing some Ashton full lengths (Cinderella, Sylvia) are similar in some ways to the classical full lengths. Haven’t a few dancers commented upon how hard Sylvia is? Admittedly Francesca Hayward hasn’t danced these either (yet! Hopefully Cinderella will come). Romeo and Juliet, Manon etc. do seem less exposing technically. Sorry - just random thoughts.
  4. There is also a clip floating around of her dancing the pas de deux from Agon with (I think) dancers from NYCB.
  5. This triple bill is fantastic in many ways. Concerto is a great opener, although with some very demanding choreography. Anna Rose O’Sullivan & Marcelino Sambe looked very happy & springy. I very much enjoyed Lauren Cuthbertson’s purity of line in the second movement (sensitively supported by Reece Clarke). Fumi Kaneko did extremely well in the very long & exposing third movement, although it never seems to have the impact I wish I could, until the corps & other soloists arrive. Reece Clarke looked very much the principal in waiting as he matched Sambe for ballon & precision, impressive for such a tall, long-limbed dancer. Enigma Variations shows what a genius Ashton was, & how little can suggest so, so much. I was very moved by Bennet Gartside although Kirsten McNally (while good) failed to erase fond memories of Christina Arestis. I look forward to seeing Laura Morera as it sounds like she will be mesmerising. Good to see Paul Kay in a demi-character role again. Although I was sitting in the stalls so could see facial expressions very well, for some reason I preferred the last time I saw the ballet, performed by the wonderful BRB. Raymonda Act3 - as ever - looked impressive. I could do without the corps & soloists of the ‘Hungarian Dance’ but it is what it is. Mayara Magri was, as others have noted, very impressive, looking at ease & technically strong. I thought Itziar Mendizabal did very well in an extremely tricky, demanding solo but thought Melissa Hamilton unfortunately looked less secure (but, again, such exposing choreography!). I thought James Hay & (I think) Calvin Richardson looked very good in the classical pas de quatre but there seemed to be less uniformity from the other two (first) soloists. Sarah Lamb managed to suggest an ‘inner world’ during her solo & certainly seemed to have decided to clap last night. What to say about Vadim Muntagirov? He looks so relaxed & happy performing the most tricky steps, has such beautiful lines & soft, accurate landings. It is a privilege to watch him dance. A great way to end an evening.
  6. I always find applauding in Enigma Variations tricky since, for me, it’s about the piece as a whole & its ‘perfume’ which make it work (or not). I’m not suggesting btw that there shouldn’t be applause during this ballet.
  7. Forgot to say that Sambé and Hayward may be great together in it. I would have said James Hay if not were for (I believe) opening night & he is (unfortunately) not a Principal.
  8. Candleque I think it’s almost certain they will never do Balanchine’s full length version. (Thankfully in my view; Ashton’s seems completely perfect. Funny, touching, swift-moving, romantic. Plus it was made on the company. Balanchine’s on the other hand seems somewhat over-stuffed. But I’m only ever keen on Balanchine’s plotless work anyway). Sorry, not relevant to the discussion really 😉
  9. It’s interesting from a historical perspective. However, although many performers change their name for Equity and personal reasons (& everyone of course we all have the right to be known by whatever name we chose: I am certainly not implying that there is anything ‘wrong’ with changing a name) I do find it somewhat unsettling that there are (still??) only certain types of names that are are appropriate for ballet (or indeed any other profession from that matter). btw I’m certainly not suggesting that anyone here is indicating that dancers should change their name! As an aside, I’m sure I read that Dame Ninette de Valois changed the stage name of Fonteyn (or possibly Pamela May??) without asking? I may have made that up!
  10. An interesting article Bruce. Certainly when I was dancing, mainly in the U.K., we were given guidance on how (& where, when & for how long) to bow. New choreographers generally did have something in mind.
  11. Belinda Hatley absolutely. Unfortunately, I was only able to see her towards the end of her career and I believe she had had many difficulties with injury. Her Giselle was lovely. I was much more emotional at the end of her last ROH performance (in Symphonic Variations) than Darcey’s at the end of the evening.
  12. I agree, it does seem a little like overkill to have her dance them all. And I say this as someone who very much appreciates her performances in many roles. However, as was discussed on another thread (I think!), she has had a very difficult time with illness & injury so perhaps it was thought it was overdue (although I still think giving her the Swan Lake live relay would have been enough).
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