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  1. I haven't seen any comments on the opening night yet, but I was there and thoroughly enjoyed! First time I've seen the Bolshoi production (or any production other than Royal Ballet) so I don't have a base to compare to, but thought Shrainer and Tsvirko both danced well - Tsvirko definitely the more confident of the two. A few untidy endings in places from Shrainer but overall I enjoyed her dancing. Lots of wonderful dancing from the rest of the company as ever!
  2. I don't have a deep enough knowledge to do a full list, but two favourite Macmillan ballets I don't think I've seen mentioned so far and I'd certainly like to be saved: Elite Syncopations Winter Dreams
  3. Sorry to hear that LinMM, that's really a shame. If it's any consolation, tonight's performance really brought the house down and I think they must have sold most of the tickets in the end. So hopefully it will be back soon 🙂 As for the performance - I thought it was pure joy from start to finish. Wonderful dancing and comic acting from everyone on stage. Nikulina (including some impressively controlled spins!) particularly stood out for me, but really everyone was excellent. Just a wonderful evening's dance entertainment!
  4. Looking forward to seeing this tomorrow! Still plenty of tickets available for both performances if anyone is tempted.
  5. Stepanova seemed to almost falter after the first one, and then sped through the rest extremely quickly. Maybe there was something different about the contact for her. Although I assume she would have rehearsed on the stage?
  6. I went tonight to see the Stepanova and Ovcharenko cast, having only bought a late return a few days ago. I'd say my expectations were suitably lowered by comments here and in the press! But overall I had a fantastic time! I do understand the misgivings about the production, but viewed as a slightly alternative telling of the story, with plenty of really wonderful dancing, it was well worth seeing. Stepanova danced beautifully throughout - perhaps a little frantic in the fouttés. Tikhomirova really stood out in the Spanish dance. Ovcharenko made a decent go of a slightly less involving Prince Siegfried part. The ending felt a bit rushed but otherwise I had a very enjoyable evening!
  7. I'm really glad to hear about the new Mayerling release - just as some people enjoy seeing multiple casts in a single run, I'm always keen to have multiple casts on DVD. And it's great to have a record of the season's successful Mayerling run. For my own preference I'd be over the moon if all the cinema broadcasts were released on DVD for future repeat viewings! Also pleased to hear about Victoria!
  8. I'm always a big fan of Beatriz Stix-Brunell, but her Juliet this afternoon was something else - she conveyed every bit of emotion with incredible and believable intensity. And her dancing was so beautiful throughout. Really enjoyed!
  9. I had a wonderful time seeing the Antoinette Brooks-Daw cast in Cardiff last night. Such an innovative and effective way to tell the story. Great drama and stifling sadness in the first act, which I enjoyed but was glad of the beautiful romance of young Beatrice to break it up - highlighted by the incredible trio dance with both Beatrices and Liko. I did find it a very dark and intense first act though, reflecting Victoria's mourning. Which is why I think the order of storytelling was so clever - with much more joyful and beautifully danced episodes in the second act, until the death of Albert which gave such clear context to act 1 and finally the incredibly touching resolution between Beatrice and Victoria. Wonderful dancing and choreography throughout. Very impressed with Rachael Gillespie's young Beatrice in act one and the lead couple (Antoinette Brooks-Daw and Sean Bates) in act two. And I felt that by the end the story was actually very clear (although some finer details were maybe helped by familiarity from the television series!). Enjoyed it so much I just bought a ticket for Friday night!
  10. My first time seeing Don Quixote in the flesh last night and I had a great time - a really fun and enjoyable ballet. Fumi Kaneko was really wonderful standing in for Lauren Cuthbertson - a beautiful performance very much appreciated by the audience. Felt like a nice partnership with Matthew Ball too.
  11. Possibly a different kind of list as for me 2018 was the year I properly got into watching ballet - much assisted by the many helpful comments and discussions on this forum! Bearing that in mind, my top 5 performances: Winters Tale - the performance streamed to cinemas. I'd booked to watch in Cardiff, but last minute needed to go to London for a meeting. So went to see it in person instead and loved every minute! On the night Sarah Lamb as Perdita particularly stood out for me. Alessandra Ferri in Marguerite and Armand. Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre - enjoyed both the Dreda Blow and Hannah Bateman casts in Cardiff. Beatriz Stix-Brunell in Infra followed by my first experience of Symphony in C - mind blowing! The whole Les Patineurs triple bill on the evening of 20th December - but particularly Winter Dreams, and in common with many others it seems, especially Vadim Muntagirov's performance!
  12. I'm very much not an expert, but really enjoyed Beatriz Stix-Brunell tonight - great debut in Infra and quick change of pace for Symphony in C.
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