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  1. I have seen all 3 casts now, and last night was by far the most accomplished performance of Month for me. I was mesmerised and truly moved by the sheer beauty of Cuthbertson and Muntagirov's dancing and their interpretations. I really do think this is his role, and very much not Ball's or Hallberg's in comparison. He danced the first solo as well as Baryshnikov, who is probably the only other dancer I personally have seen to have equalled Dowell for the seamless quality of movement that the steps demand. There was so much light and shade in his performance, drawing out all the inner turmoil and impulsiveness in the character through his dancing. In other ballets, I have often found Vadim not entirely convincing dramatically, but here I thought he acted well - his portrayal was subtle and thoughtful, and he was perfectly matched by Cuthbertson: her portrayal was elegant, nuanced and under-stated but there was no doubt that under her sophisticated demeanour very powerful feelings were stirred. I thought she danced beautifully - her footwork and port de bras especially fine. This is a partnership I would like to see more often. Conversely, I thought Nunez had danced well but her portrayal was just too obvious and melodramatic for me. Osipova was - I thought - surprisingly muted; in the performance I saw last Friday the central pdd with Hallberg was well danced by both of them, but I felt he - like Ball - was very ill at ease with the demands of the choreography. I hope we will not have to wait so long to see the ballet again: it is a masterpiece and I never tire of seeing it.
  2. One SC standing ticket - £10. Please send PM if interested.
  3. That is a very nice tribute! Well done to him, and as mentioned above, hopefully the circumstances of the announcement do not take away from the pleasure at the achievement.
  4. Presumably they will have to announce the others to mitigate the error.
  5. 60 - that is extraordinary. And not in a good way.
  6. I enjoyed your comments, Nogoat, and found these thoughts very interesting. Perhaps I had expected that there would be something more obviously "electric" between Hallberg and Osipova, but having reflected on their performance and reading the comments of others, I feel he is more of an "enabler" for Osipova and her unique gifts.Whether this, and his own dancing, are enough to justify his invitations next year is another discussion, though.
  7. It would be ironic if this show turns out to be one of his better artistic endeavours, and yet it is commercially unsuccessful because of his own absurd and self-indulgent behaviour ..
  8. The circumstances of Polunin’s departure from the RB is surely the gift that stopped giving years ago? Kobborg was a great artist but has perhaps made some errors of judgment along the way; maybe he feels more aligned with Polunin’s loose canon/slash and burn approach than with the more conventional path taken by others.. Anyway, all will be revealed shortly at the Palladium and then Verona, assuming Polunin manages not to offend any other sections of society before these performances ...
  9. This thread seems to have evolved into a discussion about the size of thigh muscles ...Perhaps it should have a thread of its own, lest it eclipses (or they eclipse..!) Romeo and Juliet.
  10. I think they are "chalk and cheese" in every respect, and it is perhaps not the most apt comparison. As expressed in my post yesterday, I found Hallberg's characterisation extremely pale, so am unpersuaded on the "acting chops" front. It is, of course, a very fair point to make that his serious injury has diminished his technical ability. For sure, Romeo does not leave the male lead as exposed as the classical roles cited would do. However, I think Capybara was right when they observed that he was effectively marking in the first scenes, but I did think he danced the balcony solo well, albeit with the caveat about the embellishments and skewing of the choreography at times in the pdd by both of them. I think that there is a place for guests to be invited to dance with the RB: it can be a benefit to the company and a bonus to the audience. I think there can be a tendency in this particular institution to parochialism at times, and so exposure to a different style or approach is important from time to time. However, I think the principle of casting highly coveted lead roles from within the company in the first instance is correct, and especially now that the company has so much strength in depth. As an aside, I personally regret that there was no place for an invitation to Shklyarov in this run of Romeo and Juliet - if a guest was to be invited I think he had shown in his performances in Manon last season that he has genuine respect for the company and he showed in those performances that he recognised the privilege given to him in the role he had been invited to dance. He is an artist whose gifts are deployed at the service of the role, I think, rather than towards other agendas etc.
  11. The opening of David Hallberg's autobiography "A Body of Work" begins with a description of his feelings as Romeo as his concludes the ballroom scene in Act 1 and prepares for the balcony pdd with Juliet. It is powerful prose, and takes the reader to the point where they long to see all of his passionate words translated into action on stage. It also sets up expectations for these performances by Hallberg in the role with Osipova. Expectations which are also heightened by the media reports of their mutual pleasure at dancing with each other and the rapport they feel they have. So, to last night's performance: at times - particular in Act 1 - I wondered if I was watching Swan Lake crossed with La Fille Mal Gardee, such was - for me at any rate- the disconnect between their two styles and approaches to their roles. Opposites can be very powerful: he is tall, blond, fine and elegant; she is petite, striking, with a short line and an explosive quality to her dancing and of course her acting. But for me this was a complete mis-match. Hallberg's dancing was fine but he does not or cannot convey the raw passion that I feel is what Romeo needs, and what Osipova's Juliet was almost demanding. He was altogether too cerebral and remote, and I found his acting superficial alongside James Hay's finely drawn Mercutio and Hirano's powerful Tybalt. There was no developed camaraderie with Mercutio or Benvolio and he seemed to have only a cursory interest in Rosaline; so the trajectory of his Romeo was not really compelling - I did not feel any sense of impending tragedy from his characterisation. I agree with Annamk's observations about Osipova's Juliet: in the initial scenes she was almost hyperactive - arms windmilling and broad-brush acting. It was almost exhausting to watch and became gradually irritating for me as it began to distort the choreography. In the balcony pdd when Romeo dances his big solo - his declaration of love to Juliet - this must surely be his moment (and this was well-danced by Hallberg), but no, there was Osipova, distracting with unnecessary embellishments with gestures and grimaces, and distorting the flow of the choreography. They were both "guilty" of this as the pdd developed, skewing the flow of the lifts and tender moments as they discover and express their love. Osipova is a great artist, but I fear her Juliet was for me bordering on parody. I found myself thinking about Hayward's lyrical and fresh portrayal of Juliet, and how much more compelling her performance had been for me, no doubt enhanced by her Romeo Corrales, who most certainly can convey raw passion. So, not for one minute did I find Osipova credible. Oddly, I felt I had seen Osipova with much more rapport with other dancers - for example: Muntagirov, Ball and Shklyarov - than she had with Hallberg.. I did not really feel any "special connection". I can understand that she may feel very comfortable dancing with him because he partnered well, but I did not see the magic... I shall see if Month reveals a different side to their partnership. For me, this Romeo and Juliet was disappointing and disconcerting.
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