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  1. Loved the triple bill so much, that I’m thinking of going to the encore screening this weekend to catch more of the fabulous dancing.
  2. It depends what you mean by a ‘long time’ and ‘the most senior principals’. So yes it has been the case for a few years. Although not as long as one might think. Eg. this was one of Sergei Polunin’s reasons for leaving in 2012, and that’s only 7 years ago. On the other hand Sylvie Guillem before that was able to dictate her schedule. However this wasn’t the track I was heading down, I was originally responding to the comments about the gaps over December/January for Osipova and Nunez and remarking that they might have alternative projects / guesting opportunities rather than just extended breaks over that period. And applauding KOH for accommodating these. I suspect he may also has a hand in arranging other opportunities too. But we are now getting off topic for this thread ....
  3. What I was trying to say, is that many dancers appear now to be able to negotiate their future external schedules and RB commitments with RB management. So someone like Natalia Osipova might choose to not participate in this run of Coppelia, if she has something more interesting to do or prepare for, from her point of view. After all, it’s their career and it’s a short career, so each dancer must use it to their satisfaction, not anyone else’s view or demands.
  4. Regarding gaps over December/January for Osipova and Nunez, I’d guess they have international commitments elsewhere? North (ABT?) and South America respectively? Or guesting elsewhere .... Thanks to KOH’s enlightened management these principals and many other RB dancers are increasingly juggling external projects and guesting elsewhere with RB repertoire (eg. Melissa Hamilton with BRB in Northern Ireland this weekend, Valentino Zucchetti’s Bolero in Mexico a week ago, to name just two). Hoorah.
  5. Thank you for the gushing review. Completely agree. I don’t want to see another Manon pairing after that superb performance 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
  6. Link to final performance in Biwako Hall, Otsu Shiga https://www.biwako-hall.or.jp/en/performance/2019/03/alina-cojocaru-dream-project-2020.html
  7. My thoughts on Coppélia in Münich Saturday 26 October 2019 Sergei Polunin excels in dramatic roles (Mayerling, Spartacus, Manon, Giselle, Marguerite & Armand, Rasputin ..... aa well as the pure classics Swan Lake, La Bayadère, Nutcracker, Don Q, etc) and so it’s been a wonderful year for me to see other facets to him, including the more romantic carefree young Romeo in Johan Kobborg’s R&J in Verona and now his comedic side in Coppélia. And he was very good - great comic timing and fun interplay with Virna Toppi as Swanilda ... along with his usual commitment to the character and technical virtuosity on show too. Virna is a new principal at Bayerische Staatsballett joining from La Scala this season. They were a good partnership as her technique is both secure and accomplished - beautiful lines and arms, turns and jumps, and so she could fully inhabit her role and they could play off each other. The energy and sheer fun they were having in their roles bounded out to the audience. Congratulations to Bayerische Staatsballett in bringing this ballet and this partnership together in Munich 👏 Javier Amo as Dr Coppelius was refined and sad as a man just trying to find a woman to love him. He danced the most wonderful and hilarious waltz with his Coppélia doll (before Swanilda inhabits her). I loved the Roland Petit version for its simple stage design and limited extras. Six friends for Swanilda and just 12 couples of townspeople (ladies) and their military partners. It highlighted for me how cluttered many of the Royal Ballet productions are, with unnecessary extras and invasive stage sets. We are there for the dance and the story - give them space so we can see it. My new mantra 😉 A joyous and uplifting evening of wonderful ballet. As one Munich local alongside me remarked ‘at last a principal dancer to match Sergei’ and ‘we hope he will dance here more often’
  8. You have found some wonderful words to express your impressions, thank you so much.
  9. so thrilled to read this , for both of them 👏👏. I would have loved to see this pairing. Do tell more ....
  10. Absolutely loved the triple bill in cinemas last night. I won’t be able to attend any performances at the ROH so have none to compare to, and thought the entire company were on excellent form. Reference the cinema screenings , I do so wish they would ditch Darcey from presenting ... she is still awful (uncomfortable and messes up, too much giggling) after so many attempts over so many years. Time to move on surely, please. Anyway back to the show, there were so many fabulous performances .... CONCERTO I loved the lively Anna-Rose O’Sullivan, but was disappointed by James Hay who I usually like. I didn’t think he had the same sparkle in his personality, nor clarity of movement nor technical surety that AR did. And he usually does. Mayara Magri was accomplished and confident in the solo role. The second movement is a wow and Yasmine Naghdi brought wonderful serenity to it, but I have seen Marianela Nunez online and she is supreme in this role. I though Ryo Hirano was a classy partner as the role is best if the male partner ‘disappears’. In order to do so the partner’s movements must be seamless and unrushed, and performed calmly to highlight the ballerina. This is not easy to do, and he achieved it, I believe, because no one has mentioned him! ENIGMA VARIATIONS It does help if you take this as a series of vignettes of Elgar’s friends, and are willing to accept it for the period piece it is. The bulky and/or frilly costumes can be a distraction. Francesca Hayward was outstanding as Dorabella - charming and lyrical in a fast paced solo. Other commendations to Calvin Richardson, Luca Acri, Matthew Ball for their clear technique and interpretations. Also enjoyed Bennet Gartside’s Nimrod interpretation. Understated and perfect. RAYMONDA ACT 3 The set was applauded even in my local cinema. Reece Clarke made a fine Hungarian lead, maybe not as showy as a Russian performer would do it, but he is making strides (pun intended) with both his long legs on show and in portraying characters. I was disappointed with Itziar Mendizabal as his partner. Needed someone taller and more demonstrative, I felt. The soloists were all very good. I knew Fumi Kaneko would be - she is just a lovely dancer and so serene. Meaghan Hinkis is usually not my favourite but she was very accomplished and pure technically last night. Claire Calvert was just dreamy, perfect and controlled. Wonderful. Special mention also to Beatriz Stix-Brunel who had soloist roles in all 3 ballets, and did a super job in the different styles. I noticed Isabella Gasparini in the trio - would like to see her taking on more solos. And also noticed Cesar Corrales’ superior technique in the pas de quatre. I liked Natalia Osipova’s interpretation even though I don’t like her technique. I admire her commitment and interpretation. Her personality shines through. And Vadim Muntagirov managed to make Nureyev’s technically difficult choreography look easy. He was obviously enjoying himself, as it seemed were all the cast. Joyous!
  11. There are a couple of short scenes in the shared hotel room, one where it’s implied Nureyev/Ivenko is looking at Soloviev/Polunin’s naked body/bottom (!) and another scene when they are setting up the train set and Nureyev leans on Soloviev who shrugs him off. Polunin fans will be disappointed by how little there is to see of him in this movie. As you say he is in a few scenes, but most are short and he has little to do as the focus rightly is on Nureyev and his story. It’s an interesting movie to understand Nureyev’s motivation, and also as a reminder of the restrictions on Soviet people at the time.
  12. Was Olesya Novikova in Akimov’s class? I thought I saw her? (She would classify as a first soloist that dances principal roles. Should be a principal if not for politics.)
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