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Richard LH

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  1. Romeo and Juliet – Juliet and Paris Act I pas de deux: Takada and Mock With acknowledgements to the Royal Opera House who have posted this recently on their YouTube channel: So pleased to have stumbled upon this...it was one of my favourite parts of the ballet when I saw this cast. I particularly love the way Takada appears to float in the air during each assisted grand jeté...but the whole PDD is so beautifully performed !
  2. Bonelli makes perfect sense in this scheduling context, as well as being excellent as one of Takada's partners in the last run.
  3. He really is - indeed he seems to be on top form this year! Perhaps a silly question, but is this the first time he has ever danced a duet with Nunez?
  4. Thanks MJW... what beautiful photos of "Dances" from Alastair Muir! However looking at the Cellist photos reminds me that there were a few positions in the choreography for du Pre that looked unnecessarily awkward and even made me feel uncomfortable in terms of their being potentially inappropriate.
  5. Hmm, not quite sure about that, Sim...ideally, I suppose, but is it ever really possible to explain the whole context of a narrative ballet through the dance alone? I seem to recall that whenever there is little, or no, explanation provided (whether on the cast sheet or elsewhere) of what is supposed to be happening, it is generally seen as a serious omission. Perhaps it is my own ignorance or lack of perception, but I don't think there is a ballet I have yet seen, for which I haven't needed some sort of additional explanation of what on earth's going on ! Even if the background context is as minimal as when Robbins expounded, in capitals: "THERE ARE NO STORIES TO ANY OF THE DANCES IN 'DANCES AT A GATHERING' THERE ARE NO PLOTS AND NO ROLES. THE DANCERS ARE THEMSELVES DANCING WITH EACH OTHER TO THAT MUSIC IN THAT SPACE" . Ironically though, this is a ballet in which various narrative stories and roles DO appear to emerge when the ballet is seen, if only conjured from one's own imagination!
  6. I thought the narrative in The Cellist was very clearly explained on the cast sheet. I didn't find it at all too busy.
  7. It only took Fumi's first little head shake after her entrance to get me welling up! I think she will be a wonderful Odette...
  8. To answer my own earlier question.. I see Hirano is in Japan for this on the 15th and 16th - Dracula! https://www.nbaballet.org/performance/2020/horror_nights/
  9. Wow he's busy....he only got back from Tokyo last week after this http://www.royal-ballet-stars.jp/ , and then performed Onegin on Saturday. Where is he performing in Japan this week?
  10. I think in the pre-duel scene the pleas, desperation and grief of the two girls strikes completely the right note in the context of the appalling potential consequence of the two men duelling, as a matter of "honour" over a relatively minor incident. I also think the high lifts in the dream PDD are an appropriate and dramatic way of expressing the sort of powerful feelings Tatiana is unconsciously imagining about her hoped for relationship with Onegin.
  11. "Cobbled together" is perhaps a little harsh! For me the music in this ballet is one of its tremendous strengths (we are talking about Tchaikovsky after all !) and just like with Manon, I think that fitting the choreography to a select, albeit disparate, choice of non-ballet pieces works really well. Although I didn’t quite “get” the music on first hearing, I have since found it is one of those scores that grows on you the more times you hear it, to the point where the beautiful, emotional, themes become familiar and help you to recall the wonderful dancing that they accompany. Last night we were privileged to be near to the stage and were thrilled to be able to see up close the really accomplished, nuanced acting the dancers produce, particularly Nunez, Hirano and Takada, that so brings to life the wonderful choreography in this ballet, which includes some really dramatic, inventive and technically difficult movements. As a narrative ballet, the characters can’t be one dimensional – they are representing complex, real people with a whole range of qualities and feelings, and this is something the RB manages so well in general, and in this ballet in particular. Tatiana is a fantastic role for Marianela - she nails the choreography and the characterisation just right every time, and takes us on a real emotional roller coaster. She puts everything into it, and we felt for her at the end when she was clearly so drained at the first curtain call. This is probably my favourite role for her so far! Rio Hirano is a brilliant Onegin, for me…subtle acting, who really displays the character’s contrasting traits of pride, anger, remorse and passion, combined with a great technique. And Akane Takada is a really, REALLY wonderful Olga, as has been mentioned before! Her solo dancing at the start of the ballet, and her PPD with Nicol Edmonds soon after, were breathtaking last night in the lightness, delicacy and precision of her movements. Utter joy....just watching her hands, alone, would be (I imagine) an exemplary lesson for aspiring ballerinas! Can’t wait to see this cast all over again on the 27th – as well as the Nagdhi/Bonelli/O’Sullivan/Sissens cast on the 24th!
  12. Hopefully Marianela is not too emotional/physically exhausted from last night to repeat her performance to the same effect tonight! But I am sure she will be fine.
  13. Yes it has been in the ROH shop for a couple of weeks at least. I have very much enjoyed seeing this Triple again.
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