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  1. I think the general idea is that they are so jumpy because they are being bitten by (and transforming into) snakes. But it's great fun, and I also love the soothsayers! For me the Ulysses episode after Paolo and Francesca is just sublime, the highlight of the act - and Calvin Richardson is magnificent
  2. Hullo, I'm going back on Saturday and I need an advice on the seat. I can choose between the very centre of row H in the stalls or front row A 6. I generally love front row, but I'm afraid A6 might be too lateral. Any suggestion?
  3. I saw last night's performance and today's matinee and I really enjoyed it. It's not quite as good as Woolf Works, but it's similar in aims and structure (eg: the first act is quite close to the literary source while the last one is pretty abstract). The score is beautiful and I hope it gets recorded and released soon. The second cast is not quite as starry as the first one, but still impeccable. On the whole there is a lot to admire and even something to love. I particularly liked the Ulysses (Calvin Richardson last night, Harry Churches at the matinee) scene after Paolo & Francesca, and the so called Pope's adagio toward the end of Act 1. I thought Purgatory was absolutely gorgeous and by far the most poignant and cohesive part of the show. After such a beautiful and moving piece, the third act is a bit anti-climatic and I agree with what was said earlier on about Paradise being the least successful part of the ballet. The role was clearly written for Edward Watson, who is a terrific Dante – and what a role to end a career with! With his freakishly long limbs and elasticity Watson conveys great depth of anguish: his Dante almost never leaves the "dark wood" of his mind and, as danced by Watson, is a figure of great suffering and introspection. Bonelli's portrayal is very different, but equally compelling. His body and skills are different from Watson's and Bonelli's Dante is perhaps least successful in Hell, but really shines in Purgatory and Heaven. He has a more masculine and romantic presence and his pdd with Beatrice is particularly moving. He is, I think, a better partner than Watson, who is sensational when dances on his own and maybe slightly less so in other movements. They're both great for different reasons, but it's pretty much Watson's role. For me it's a solid 4* production and I think I'll try to catch it one more time, although I don't know if I want to see it again with Bonelli or Watson! Btw, @Rob S, do you happen to have taken a pic of Bonelli at the curtain call? If so I would love to see it – I hate that ROH is not showing any material with them!
  4. I was wondering the same! Also, the lights got noticeably brighter in the middle of a couple of scenes, so maybe someone is reading this. I found tonight's performance slightly underwhelming. The dancing was superb, but it was not nearly as emotional as the last two performances. I liked Yasmine Naghdi, but I was still too transfixed by Fumi Kaneko – that speed! that precision! those endless legs! – although I liked her death scene quite a bit, especially the muted scream and the extra-painful crowling towards Romeo: for a moment I thought she would have died before reaching him! And it was graceful of her to give VM a rose during the curtain call. On the whole I thought that Corrales & Hayward had the strongest sexual tension (I'll never forget the thrill of when he lifted her on points to kiss her), Bracewell & Kaneko were the most romantic, while Muntagirov & Naghdi's relationship is more puppy love. I liked how he kissed her shoulders during the balcony scene, but on the whole I think I never believed they were deeply in love. I was also disappointed by Thomas Whitehead, there's nothing wrong with his performance but he's not quite on par with Ryochi Hirano or Matt Ball. Luca Acri was great tho, I think I liked him better than on Saturday, when I still had Marcelino Sambé's electrifying Mercutio too impressed in my eyes and mind.
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