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Everything posted by Jamesrhblack

  1. Is anyone able to advise who the Lilac Fairies have been for this run? I guess Claire Calvert still isn 't stage fit but so far have the others only been Melissa Hamilton, Tierney Heap and Laura McCulloch? I'd have thought Itziar Mendizabal would have been obvious casting, but I thought she would have been obvious for Myrtha too and that didn't seem to happen..
  2. Thank you for this. When I was a JA in the '70's David Wall was the dancer we all wished to emulate. Even at that young age, it was apparent that as well as being a fine dancer he had a command of the stage that was absolutely involving.
  3. Stage management error? Years ago at a Hatley / Mukhamedov Beauty occurred the incident when Gillian Revie hadn't checked the call sheet and Deborah Bull, due to dance Florine, noticed that Florestan was sporting only one sister so climbed into a spare tutu and took to the stage in a solo she had t previously danced. She recounts this episode in Damcing Away and Gillian Revie confirms it in a Forum interview.
  4. The Lilac Fairy always used, like Myrtha, to be a principal role - Deanne Bergsma, Vergie Derman, Monica Mason come to mind from my early days - I would think not just because of the surprising difficulty of the solo but because the role needs a stage authority in the mime. These days, perhaps as there are fewer principals, both roles seem exclusively danced (apart from the broadcasts with Nunez) by First Soloists or below (and, without naming names.pretty shakily the last couple of times I saw Beauty, which I haven't this season).
  5. The RB Aurora I always wanted to see was Deborah Bull and had booked for her scheduled performance in Hammersmith. Unfortunately,she was ill and was never scheduled again. I know she danced it a few times as substitute and there are one or two beautiful pictures of her in the role. Did anybody on here see her in the role and, indeed, as Kitri? She writes most interestingly about dancing both roles in Dancing Away and The Everyday Dancer.
  6. Not sure where to post this, but there's an announcement on the ROH website that Iohna Loots has retired... http://www.roh.org.uk/news/royal-ballet-leavers-and-joiners-mid-season-update
  7. Not wild about Galas but went to this to see Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov one last time (I can't get to R & J). They are indeed wonderful to watch together and their matching of line even when moving backwards at speed wonderful to behold. I didn't agree with all her textural choices in her solo but he certainly got the audience cheering. Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg were also great. I'm not sure how much dancing he has left in him but they also radiate a magic together showing the importance of a regular partnership. Up to that point things had felt a but thrown together. Igor Zelensky seemed in a foul temper during Corsaire and didn't make the final curtain call (embarrassingly long drawn out) and Sergei Polunin also seemed decidedly grumpy, and not just when his partner ran out of steam in her foutées. Is it ungallant to suggest that Elena Glurdjize is carrying a little more weight than necessary? After all the lovely words about her I'd been so pleased to see that she was dancing and was rather taken aback. Kimin Kim was rather astonishing in Diana and Acteon and the most sheerly beautiful moment for me was Larghetto with Silvia Azzoni and Alexander Ryabko. Exquisite music of course (and the ENB Orchestra always does so well) and made me want to see more Neumeier. The whole programme felt rather flung together which may be the way of Galas but I wasn't sure how much of what we saw referenced the story of Russian ballet until a sublime rendition of the Dying Swan which seemed really to capture the spirit of that time. Writing this up ahead of a meeting, don't have programme with me and ashamed to say I can't recall the dancer's name.
  8. I was at Ann Jenner's Sleeping Beauty in 1973 when she collapsed with appendicitis. I was a JA at the RBS and had loved her in The Firebird when the RB was at the Coliseum and had pestered to be taken. It was indeed dramatic with Brenda Last, not even in the company, taking over the role of Aurora for Acts 2 and 3. Later I really enjoyed her Giselle, my mother thought her much more musical than Makarova who we saw a week later, and, particularly, in Fille with Baryshnikov in 1977. I can still see their speed in the coda of the Essler Pas de deus. She was a terrific dancer.
  9. With no disrespect to Hikaru Kobayashi would it not been possible for Lauren Cuthbertson to have danced with Federico Bonelli (they work well together and have danced Beauty together before) if Matthew Golding was not available, unless Cuthbertson is herself unwell or concentrating on the new Wheeldon. It also seemed odd that Pennefather was scheduled to dance additional performances when he was himself injured...
  10. Also available on amazon kindle. Thursday's Children was an unexpected pleasure on a return journey London to Newcastle....
  11. I've booked to see Marquez with Campbell too, as much to see him as her (and again no disrespect to Miss M). A regular parter for MvRae will certainly now be an issue. Given that he is dancing Albrecht to Marquez it would seem that KO'H is perhaps going to return to that regular pairing. Takada would cfetuanlt be interesting. Isn't Choe a little tall for him and also, given the recent discussions o here, perhaps less likely to be cast ...
  12. Pace Aileen, I'm not sure that Yuhui Choe is being side-lined. With featured roles in Jewels and Rhapsody, the casting is probably commensurate with her First Soloist status. If she had been given Giselle, then Laura Morera would not have been, and that would also have occasioned upset. Kevin O'Hare's apparently stated belief that there were too many principals is borne out by the fact that even having lost four Giselles, the RB only has programming space to bring in two new ones. This is not intended to discredit Yuhui Choe, who is,I think, a most lovely dancer. However, as I wrote in an earlier post, she does seem to have stalled a little, and if there is to be a new Aurora, which is to be hoped for, but not a given as Osipova will certainly do some of what would have, as it were, been Rojo's shows (and am I correct in thinking that Cojocaru wasn't cast last time), then I am fairly sure it will either be Fumi Kaneko or Akane Takada (whose scheduled debut had to be cancelled a couple of seasons ago). Does anybody else think that the TBC for the Steven McRae Don Q might turn out to be Osipova?
  13. Well, I was correct in that there would be no principal promotions, also re Melissa Hamilton, Olivia Cowley, Francesca Hayward and Tristan Dyer. Was over optimistic for Fumi Kaneko but she did go up one ladder. Managed to overlook Harrod and was wrong about Dean, Hinkis, Hay and David T and didn't see Forskitt coming. Claudia Dean made such an impact in Raymonda and is down for the Chosen One so thought it was a given. What has Forskitt done? I've managed to overlook her thus far ...
  14. Deborah Bull? Lauren Cuthbertson? Weren't Leanne Benjamjn, Alina Cojocaru and Matianela Nunez all trained, albeit sometimes briefly at the RBS? That's just from the Royal Ballet...
  15. What very sad news. He was the first dancer to catch my attention as a young would be dancer and I saw him many times over the years, firstly in Swan Lake with Doreen Wells and lastly in Month with Sandra Conley. Particular memories are of Swan Lake with Monica Mason (several times, always with such honesty), Cinderella (three lovey years on the trot with Antoinette Sibley), a blissful Fille mal gardee (with Laura Connor), Month (again with Sibley, two great dance actors who we able to segue effortlessly from walking to mime to dance) and those two studies of darkness within a charming exterior Lescaut (hilarious with Mason in the Drunk Dance but complicitly sinister in the Pas de Trois with Manon and GM) and, of course, Rudolf. That handsome golden figure collapsing into chaos was an epic journey (complemented, as I recall, by Penney, Park, Mason, Ellis and Whitten). He wasn't an elegant virtuoso, but his technique was perfectly good and as actor and partner he gave so much. A friend who was in Mayerling this time round and I were actually extolling his merits yesterday afternoon catching up after the dramas of last week. If you search the BBC website his Deseert Island Duscs is available on replay and there's a treasonable clip of him with Sbley in the Bedroom Pas de Deux from Manon dimly recorded at the Met on You Tube. He seems to have been hugely loved as a man too.
  16. I'd have to be honest and say that Sarah Lamb hasn't always been my favourite dancer, beautiful and accomplished as she undoubtedly is, but her Larsich on Thursday was truly outstanding: varied, compelling, manipulative, and really bringing out in that wonderful tournée in Act 3 Scen 2 that she genuinely loves Rudolf. It was a great evening and I will write more when I have gathered my thoughts regarding that and also the Acosta / Benjamin cast from the other week,
  17. I've just watched a clip of Takada in La Sylphide on You Tube. Was curious as injury had taken her out a lot and I'd not seen her (didn't go to Raven Girl). Absolutely exquisite, with a wind blown,borne on the music, delicacy reminiscent, to my eyes anyway, of Alina. Fumi Kaneko's intensity impressed me very much in 24 Preludes and there's a lovely ROH video of her rehearsing Nutcracker, partnered by Kish, under the watchful eyes of Lesley Collier and Jonathan Cope. I have no wish to enter into the mini debate above on Japanese dancers or, pace a veiled criticism above, to denigrate other dancers. However, re-watching these two remarkable young ladies clarifies why Kaneko is suddenly getting a lot of chances and also why Takada was being offered them. If she's fit, I think Takada is a likely replacement to dance with MacRae as Kitri (his physique obviously conditions with whom he can be paired) and, just possibly, depending on preparation time (I don't know if she's learned iit in the past and accelerated 'forcing' is my hunch re the I juries that took her out of Beauty and Swan Lake) as Juliet too. Splendid as Morera is (and she was an extremely detailed and affecting Larisch most recently) I think the time for Juliet has gone and I don't see her being cast in Beauty or Swan Lake now as management will be looking to the long term future of the company with debuts in those roles. Of course, having danced Kitri years ago under Stretton when she was just starting, she might get lucky re Don Q. However, remember Marquez was booed when replacing Cojocaru - unfairly, of course. My opinion, and it is just that, is that management will wish to give an audience deprived of a much loved favourite something fresh and special to soften the blow. This is not, be assured, intended as a denigration of Laura Morera. I think it's important if we enter into these speculations, and perhaps an earlier poster is correct and we should really desist and just patiently restrain ourselves, that we try to maintain as objective and realistic a stance as possible - that, I am sure, is what management tries to do.i recall Cervera saying he'd asked to do only one role, Oberon, and had been refused. If i am correc this was around the time Polunin left. Whilst many on the forums would have been delighted to see him, management decided against this and brought in a guest. That's possibly not the best example and time logistics may also have informed the decision. However, I hope it will explain what I am trying to convey regarding my thoughts on realistic management decisions.
  18. As, of course, was Deborah Bull, one of the dancers I have most admired over the years. However, in common with Galeazzi, Morera and Wason, she wasn't regarded as a core classicist, and although I thought she was a wonderful Odette/Odile and I wish I'd seen her Aurora, I can't really envisage her as, for example, Giselle, Juliet or Manon. She'd have been a great Larisch though (seeing Mayerling three times this season has reinforced what a great role it is and why MacMillan wrote it for a major star ballerina, Merle Park).
  19. I am going to stick out my neck here. Although I think there will be promotions in the lower ranks, I am not convinced that there will be at principal level. Kevin O'Hare has made it clear he felt the were too many principals and I don't think there is anybody who absolutely justifies promotion at that level. I know that Yuhui Choe has her devoted fans and I always enjoy seeing her. However, her career seems to have stalled a little of late. Takada has been cast in Beauty and Swan Lake ahead of her (admittedly, injury prevented either performance happening), Kobayashi has been cast in Beauty ahead of her and danced Nikiya when injury intervened despite Choe having danced the role before (I appreciate she danced several Gamzattis) and Kaneko has been cast ahead of her as Kitri. Her casting as Stephanie, originally a principal role but now seemingly much more often a junior soloist role, suggests that management doesn't necessarily see her at a higher level than she has now achieved. I think Alexander Campbell is a wonderfully engaging artist and his technical brilliance as First Officer in Mayerling was dazzling. I am thrilled he will dance Basilio but his relatively compact stature will always be contentious at principal level and despite the examples of Kobborg and, more particularly, McRae, I don't think it will happen just yet, although I can see that there is a gap, particularly with Edward Watson not dancing some of the core classical roles. Looking at the other First Soloists, Valeri Hristov and Ryoichi Hirano have danced the occasional principal role but don't seem consistent principal material, Hikaru Kobayashi has smiling grace but, for me, lacks principal authority and glamour, and Itziar Mendizabal always impresses me hugely but I don't see at a higher level either. So, my tips would be:- Melissa Hamilton to First Soloist Fumi Kaneko to First Soloist James Hay to First Soloist David Trzensimiech to First Soloist Olivia Cowley to Soloist (just possibly) Meaghan Grace Hinkis to Soloist Claudia Dean to First Artist Tristan Dyer to First Artist Francesca Hayward to First Artist I don't think there is room for much more promotion, and, sadly, consistent injuries to Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Akane Takada mean that they've not been seen enough to justify anything more for now. That's eight promotions with four principals, one soloist and one First Artist going (that have been announced) What do other people think?
  20. A shame indeed. I saw him as Bratfisch about ten years ago and that he was a captivating dancer and personality. Unfortunately, he seems always to have been injured on other occasions ...
  21. i was thinking g that Nehemiah Kish might have worked as Des Grieux with her ...
  22. Ah, yes, of course. Apologies. I did check before posting and even so managed to miss that. I'm very relieved too and just wish she were given wider opportunities. Her first Manon was so extraordinary and I've always been sorry that she wasn't cast in later seasons in this role.
  23. I'd agree that the reporting was sloppy but the inference seemed clear. However, as Ian points out Boston and RB schedules don't coincide in any useful way. On the other hand, Zenaida Yanowsky doesn't seem to be cast at all in Period One. mind you. There have been announcements made regarding Benjamin and Galeazzi so it would seem odd that the RB wild let such information reach the public via an outside article.
  24. Picked up a seat for £10 in Row D of the Upper Circle for today's matinee (the Balcony was closed) and was able to move to the front row as the theatre was half empty, although the audience was hugely enthusiastic. Perhaps there's a glut of dance this week but it is ominous for Rojo's ambitious programming policy. If audiences won't respond the board is bound to intervene. That would be a great pity. I don't really know much about ENB's current dancers to my shame and was hugely impressed by much of what I saw. Of course, Rojo and Le Riche danced up a thrilling storm in La Jeune Homme et la Mort but the ensemble, in particular, the men were outstanding in ensemble and panache in Petit Mort. It was astonishing how modern the Petit felt and I loved the contrast between the classical purity of Mozart's music and the angular formalities of Kylian's style. Etudes seemed rather long and fussy by comparison and the rather cacophonous orchestration of the Czerny was not to my taste. Nor did the dancers always look technically comfortable (I appreciate that some of the demands are fearsome). Nevertheless, there were some dazzling moments from Shori Kase and Guilherme Menezes (such foutées) and it was an excellent afternoon
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