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  1. News from Japan: Alina Cojocaru’s Dream Project 2020 is to be performed 5-11 February 2020 in Tokyo and Otsu-shi, Shiga and will feature Friedemann Vogel with Alina in Ballet Imperial in Programme A. Programme B will feature Sergei Polunin with Alina in the complete Marguerite and Armand. I am guessing Johan Kobborg will play Armand’s father. (He has already performed this role in 2016 when Alina and Friedemann were the leads.) Other participants announced so far are Osiel Gouneo and Nancy Osbaldeston. https://www.nbs.or.jp/stages/2020/cojocaru/index.html
  2. On a separate note I thought the video of Cuthbertson/Polunin was not meant to be in the public domain? It regularly appears on YouTube and is removed each time fairly quickly. A full time job for someone at ROH? You may be asked to remove it here?
  3. Certainly principals can have some influence with the conductor on speeds for their solos. I am thinking especially men for their en manège jumps etc in their solos who will prefer a particular speed. I also had a discussion with Gavin Sutherland at ENB about the incredibly fast speed that Alina Cojocaru wanted the Swan Lake fouettes to be. (I was watching a rehearsal). In fact the orchestra were not quite fast enough, so they and Alina repeated the fouettes. What a thrill for the few of us ENB fans watching!
  4. Here is the official post-performance video. We await announcements of future performances. I wouldn’t count on it coming to London with the amount of negative sentiment in this country towards Sergei, other places may get booked first. So if you do want to see Johan Kobborg’s gift of love to Alina Cojocaru and Sergei you may have to travel ....
  5. Thank you Anna. Your report is fabulous and I agree with many of your thoughts, including that Alina was the outstanding performance of the night and that Sergei is a good principal dancer, but no longer the standout that he was. Others have caught up. Personally I’m not sure he is interested in training to re-achieve his best level, having “been there, done that” to near perfection for years at RB and then even better years at Stanislavsky and guesting with Osipova and Zakharova. Nevertheless his charisma and dramatic abilities do still outshine most. As you say the funeral bed being not properly secured to the floor was quite unnerving for the audience - so we can imagine how difficult it must have been for both Alina and Sergei to work around, including having to lift each other (!) onto it. Did you notice that the the dance floor became slippery quite quickly? All the dancers became more careful with their footing and couldn’t dance with the extra dynamic they usually do, including Alina. This may account for some of the sloppy dancing and certainly more rehearsal time, particularly on stage, would iron out much of our nitpicking. It was a very moving and emotional premiere and an excellent addition to PoluninInk repertoire. It it must have cost a fortune to produce. I hope sponsors are forthcoming 🤞
  6. Looking at videos I notice Valentino Zucchetti was also a bit untidy in his dancing, and he is usually pretty neat. The cast were definitely short on rehearsal and finesse-ing time. And then on top, suffering from the slippery and uneven flooring. If I was the management team I’d be berating the Arena for not having the foresight to deal with this problem - I bet it’s not a problem at Roberto Bolle’s shows.
  7. Here’s a review https://www.danzaedanzaweb.com/articolo/1920/-romeo-giulietta-all-arena-tra-passato-e-presente
  8. I’ve been advised that team PoluninInk decided some time ago that live music was not viable due to the cost. Apparently Sergei had to go out and do modelling etc to cover the cost of orchestras hired for previous projects. So don’t expect live music. That’s one of the prohibitive costs that keeps major ballet productions only affordable with the biggest companies. And of course the cost of new productions - individually designed and fitted costumes for many dancers is just one huge cost aspect. I like the new paradigm of no interval for dramatic ballets. It heightens the tension and drama. I agree 1h30 is probably about the maximum. Two other benefits of no interval - you can catch trains home earlier. Or stay and enjoy a meal/drinks and to discuss the performance straight after.
  9. Sergei was interviewed on Russian TV yesterday and revealed two of the sponsors tried to call it off on a couple of occasions and he managed to persuade them to trust him that it would sell out. Which it did. Many of the summer operas play to lesser audiences! I believe Roberto Bolle’s two gala-style evenings in the Arena sold old too - so there’s obviously plenty of demand to see dance in Verona. Both style too - gala and story ballets.
  10. I am still caught up in it emotionally. Wonderful performance, and of course I am personally so pleased for all the cast, but particularly for Johan, Alina and Sergei, that it was such a success.
  11. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the stage appeared to get slippery. I think it’s dust from the arena being brought onto the floor as the dancers and stage hands go off and on stage. In some of the pdd Alina and Sergei are being careful about their placements. He definitely slid a few times and she appeared to fall off pointe early on (possibly a bump or join in the flooring)
  12. I love this idea to have the bars and restaurants open afterwards. In Verona a group of us when for pizza or desserts afterwards. It’s a good way to share first impressions.
  13. A few things to correct.... Alina had FIVE beautiful costumes - a different white nightdress for the balcony pdd. Had to watch more videos (no hardship!) to check. Alina and Sergei had 4 pdd. There is also brief one where the meet at the ball and then flirt shyly in the garden, hiding in and amongst the steps and arches of the set, and avoiding passing family and ball attendees. It was so cleverly choreographed.
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