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  1. I agree with the comments above about last night's performance. It was really nice to see Itziar Mendizabal dance a main rather than supporting role and I thought she easily demonstrated why we should see it more often, with some beautiful dancing and very convincing acting. I was with someone who hadn't seen the ballet before and by the end of the mirror pas de deux she was in tears already! Thiago Soares was in full command here, as others have mentioned, and I thought he gave a detailed, thought provoking performance. For instance for the first time, in the 'tearing of the let
  2. Dawnstar I agree you should see Takada live if you possibly can. I was unsure what to expect of her Manon a few years ago and thought she was a revelation - a very unique interpretation and one of those performances you keep thinking about afterwards. She has been superb in anything I've seen her in.
  3. I couldn't agree more with all the glowing comments about Yasmine Nagdhi’s Tatiana last night. Her characterisation was acutely observed in every detail and her despair and anguish at the end were palpable. I was fairly close to the stage and as Xandra Newman has said, could see that she was emotionally drained and so immersed in the part that she still appeared to be in tears as the curtain came back up. Her precise drawing of the character’s arc from sensitive, bookish young girl all the way through to the wise, mature and beautiful (though heartbroken) woman at the end was ama
  4. I was sorry to miss Lauren, especially as her Aurora was a highlight of the last run of SB for me. Fumi, however was absolutely magical last night, and repaid Kevin O’Hare’s confidence in her in spades. Her Rose Adage was superb, unrushed and secure and she looked as though she was enjoying every moment well before the end. I loved the way the filming gave us close ups of her colleagues basically holding their breath for her and willing her through, and the focus of the princes in supporting her through the balances especially – though they need not have worried of course!
  5. I thought the whole company was on great form and performed superbly last night, as did the orchestra. They deserve so much credit for continuing to produce such strong performances in a variety of works and over such a short space of time. Special mention to the two leads, Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball articulating beauty and emotion so well through their dancing that they always transport me into whatever story or even abstract piece that they are performing, whether separately or together (but especially together, I think). A truly stunning and triumphant Rose Adagio from Y
  6. There is a clip on YouTube of Darcey dancing Gamzatti (Temple Destruction scene) which is just about perfect and my standard for other Gamzattis! Those long, sinuous extensions which seem to last forever, just so fitting the part and driven turns, some of them seeming to leave the signature of the movement in the air. I tried to insert it here and couldn't make it work but it isn't difficult to find. I am lucky in having persuaded my brother, who had a DVD writer at the time, to record her last performance (Song of the Earth), at the last moment. Symphonic Variations, which was
  7. I also saw the Campbell/Hayward matinee performance yesterday and was completely captivated by it. Francesca always manages to move me no matter what I see her in and her dancing is just so beautiful to watch. She has a lovely connection with Campbell and, although I felt his dancing lacked a little power at times, it was always eloquent and elegant and overall his performance was one of the best, most deeply felt Des Grieux I have seen so far. Corrales was a complete revelation as I hadn't seen him dance before. What a talent! His drunken pas de deux was genuinely funny, danced with fla
  8. Regarding the R&J cinema broadcast I can only say that both the performance I saw from Naghdi/Ball in the ROH on 1st June and then in the cinema on the 11th were performances I will always remember. To me they made Romeo and Juliet flesh and blood and the story unfolded before my eyes. I didn't have any attention to spare for the condition of their shoes given the beauty of the dancing and what was being conveyed. It is interesting to read comments that Yasmine has become too technical or regal, in her portrayal of Juliet - I just can't see that. To me she perfectly enca
  9. Thank you for the welcome Anna With regard to the Naghdi/Ball partnership, or lack of it in Swan Lake, I agree. It did strike me on Saturday that the partnership between Ball and Osipova was looking like it might become established - they were certainly noticably appreciative of each other at the end. There was more connection between them than Yasmine had with Nehemiah Kish, but not quite the level of dramatic interest that Naghdi and Ball generate together, for me anyway. On Saturday night Osipova tended to dominate proceedings (natural given the role, but somewhat overs
  10. I saw Muntagirov's performance on opening night, as well as the Naghdi and Ball debuts. I can only echo what others said about his dancing that night, it was heart stopping and the beauty of it brought tears to my eyes. I don't have the technical vocabulary to describe it I'm afraid, but I will never forget it. Having seen the production since, I think his performance that evening did disguise the relative lack of prominence of Siegfried, particularly during the first Act. Yasmine Naghdi was spellbinding on Saturday and I think I preferred her interpretation to Osipova's, who wa
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