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Bruce Wall

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Everything posted by Bruce Wall

  1. I quite understand your feelings, capybara. I wore two masks - much as I do on public transport. (Like everyone else, I assure you I, too, find it uncomfortable - but couldn't live with myself if I thought I was knowingly - in any way - apt to be a physical threat to others.) I would say now that they (i.e., the ROH and public transport) are on a similar level in terms of Covid/Delta protection. (Although, of course, I may here be a tad unfair to TFL - given that mask wearing is - at least on paper - a 'condition of carriage'.) Even so, I would say that at least 50% of people I've seen recently on TFL are choosing to ignore that fact and the staff certainly aren't - at least from my observation - seeking to enforce it. I'm only really fearful given that yesterday - while Boris was reshuffling his home teams - the Covid/Delta daily death rate climbed to over 200 again. Given the rate the Delta seems to be replicating, the spectre is - or certainly could be - for some - in the short term - particularly alarming. It all boils down to what level of risk you, yourself, are happy with. I suppose we all have our choice - i.e., to go or not. Certainly - as the government has now made clear - we are currently in this for ourselves. The number of people willingly prepared not to think of others in the ROH amphitheatre the other night I, myself, I must confess, found hurtful. However that I well realise may just be me - (clearly I'm in the minority on that issue in these environs) - and I - as instructed - just have to find a way to live with that; 'suck it up' as they say. Still, we all have to breathe. The woman standing immediately to my left passed out within the first 20 minutes of the commencement of the new production of 'Rigoletto' - one which I have to say I enjoyed. The circulation of the air was just so close. She and her partner didn't return.
  2. Was at the opening performance of opera season on 13th September and have to say the vast majority of people were exercising their 'new freedoms' and not wearing masks, at least in the Amphi. Spoke to one FOH member who - when asked about her feelings - said she felt 'distinctly unsafe'.
  3. Don't know if this brings about laughter, but certainly it made me smile. I just tripped over this as I was preparing a film segment for yet another prison session. I've always thought that James Hay - one of my favourite RB dancers - resembled - in a variety of ways - a young Chaplin. Here's a film of Churchill visiting the set of Chaplin's City Lights in 1929. In it you get to see Chaplin (then a sprightly 40) do some pretty mean entrechats (circa 1.27)! I just knew it. Queue James for a close up methinks.
  4. Really enjoyed this gala. Think Ivan Putrov should get an award for being such a proficient producer. It really is a keen and much appreciated gift. This was just so refreshing and it went off like clockwork to a much appreciative - (fairly full from what I could see which was grand) - audience. So pleased for him. Highlight for me DEFINITELY was Natalia de Froberville (also enchanting in the Lifar Suite en Blanc segment - much as she was in the full thing for the week I was fortunate enough to see it in Toulouse) and ENB's divine Francesco Gabriele Frola (the ultimate world-class act - and all - including his stunning partnering - which otherwise was not always on display here - with a humility which is touching in the extreme. What a star) in the Diana and Actaeon PDD. Frola stands (or is that soars) alone just now in my estimation in being able to finesse bravura. (That's a fervent BRAVO! from me.) Another highlight were the performances (Dying Swan and Don Q PDD) of Christine Shevchenko. I've been lucky enough to catch her in a range of performances in NY but it was wonderful to see her always characterful and musical artistry on a London stage - especially in such a magically structured evening. Of the home team I thought Magri brilliantly husbanded her impactful gifts in the Grand Pas Classique. Felt for all of the RB three (Ball, Dixon and Magri) in Ondiviela's new piece. It obviously had involved a lot of work on their part - especially Dixon who came into it as a replacement for Putrov. Some nice PDD here but I felt there was a fundamental contradiction in terms given that A/I is (from what I can see) devoid of the extension of a emotional conversation that ballet is meant to envelop. (Perhaps it is just me.) Also lovely to see the Ukranian dancers in a differing range of bits and pieces of choreography. This evening showcased them well. [Kudos to the velvety Ms Shaytanova who was radiant in every step she undertook. Oh, and the Gopak was (as tradition would have it) explosive fun ... and - as ever - short enough not to wear out its testosterone filled welcome.] The Ukrainian's blossoming excitement in this fine endeavour exploded across the footlights. That in and of itself was a thrill. Thanks be to Mr. Putrov. BIG TIME!
  5. This just came up on my screen, a remembrance of d'Amboise by CBS News. I hadn't seen it and thought others might enjoy it.
  6. I have edited the video referenced above. (It would have helped if I had pronounced the word 'ionosphere' properly in the first place.) You cannot just replace with a file edit in Youtube. (It's a bit like having to fix any errors in your BcoF posting in the 30 min. (?) window or else your shame(s) stand in permanent place.) On YouTube you have to delete the file in its entirety and start again. This I have now done. The new link - 'currently' working - is here.
  7. Adrian Danchig-Waring, in a quote I noted above, referred - amongst other major achievements - to Jacques d'Amboise as a poet. Here is a poem he scribbled down and gave to Tiler Peck, the current NYCB principal. It is called 'The Staircase'. I attach this in the hope that you might enjoy it - as I so hugely did all of the performances I was privileged to see Mr. d'Amboise grace.
  8. At least it seems there are no more standing places which now fall under the £4 in-house re-sell administration charge. That - in the recent past - certainly removed any incentive whatsoever to return the tickets which fell within that band; one which the ROH deemed 'a donation'. Often these standing places - showing on the seat map as sold out - would be empty. Now the cheapest standing places I could see were in the £6 or £7 range for the programmes which have lesser tariffs (e.g., triple bills or new creations by McGregor, etc.). I was pleased to see this as not only are they still very reasonable but it puts these new works which have already enjoyed so much public and private subsidy in a much more equal cost line with the more established fare. In this way the popularity of these works will be able to be more readily judged on a more equitable basis.
  9. I believe the ROH has stopped the re-selling policy and that the gift vouchers are the only option. This is in line I believe with several other not-for-profit/subsidised houses.
  10. This is where gift vouchers come in handy .... Agree process easy ... and painless ... Credit where credit is due. Autumn Draft Works sold out from the get go though ... along with a few other non-Main Stage items ... Obviously the 'holding some back' in their specific regard is now a thing of the past ... Surprised at many (of what I would have thought of as key/popular) performances with a substantive amount left to be sold. .... Sure they will sell ... Perhaps people are just waiting to see what health situations will be once schools are again back in session ... Where once we were 'in this together' ... clearly we are now on our own. The knock on tourists is having its obvious say too. Have a feeling that will take more than a little time to replenish. Wishing all great good health and much joy.
  11. Sorry, Annamicro. I didn't realise it was a historic document. It didn't seem to be highlighted. Still the sentiments - at least in part I think - remain current, especially for those who may not have witnessed them previously.
  12. A wonderful celebration on what would have been the extraordinary Carla Fracci's 80th birthday. It includes remembrances from the following: - Merrill Ashley – Aurora Benelli – Rebecca Bianchi – Sabrina Brazzo – Rossella Brescia – Deborah Bull – Paola Cantalupo – Carolyn Carlson – Ileana Citaristi – Laura Comi – Petra Conti – Liliana Cosi – Anna Crespi Morbio – Lorella Cuccarini – Lisa-Maree Cullum – Oriella Dorella – Maria Eichwald – Alessandra Ferri – Lorena Feijóo – Lorna Feijóo – Loredana Furno – Mara Galeazzi – Gilda Gilati – Letizia Giuliani – Annamaria Grossi – Cynthia Harvey – Marcia Haydée – Jane Hermann – Millicent Hodson – Rosalia Kovacs – Oksana Kucheruk – Giulia Lazzarini – Anita Magyari – Nicoletta Manni – Simona Noja – Luciana Novaro – Agnes Oaks – Anna Maria Prina – Genesia Rosato – Pompea Santoro – Lina Sastri – Iride Sauri – Luciana Savignano – Isabel Seabra – Antoinette Sibley – Luisa Spinatelli – Franca Squarciapino – Gaia Straccamore – Elisabetta Terabust – Anbeta Toromani – Franca Valeri
  13. Can't wait to get my hands - or should that be eyes - on a copy of James Whiteside's upcoming Center, Center .... Sounds potent ... Plus he is always so enticingly witty .... and honest ... be it in his dance ... and everywhere else it seems ... Love the line 'I can make the rules because I’ve already broken them. Just one of those things I wish I'd said myself Just ordered my copy .... Now I'M smiling ....
  14. You made me laugh, Lizbie1. I remember going into the revamped Linbury for the first time within an hour of its public opening. I was there with a friend of mine who was visiting London for the first time. I went to look at the standing positions on the sides - given that they had been hugely reduced in number from the previous set-up and now hidden behind seats. I couldn't see anything of significance from the position I was standing at which was most awkward. Alex Beard came into the auditorium with someone he was showing the new space to. He casually came over and asked what I thought - obviously thinking I would gushingly impress his companion. I politely remarked - trying to be generous - that I liked the use and choice of wood very much but that I couldn't see the stage from that position. He came over and stood there. Looking back at me he said, 'Yes, but it's such great value'. Speaks for itself I think.
  15. An added extra to savour - Source: The Stage - ' The Royal Opera House is introducing a guided tour celebrating the contributions to its history by LGBT+ figures, as it restarts its visitor experience offering. From next month, visitors to Covent Garden will be able to access the new Pride of the ROH Tour, alongside three existing tours, which are returning for the first time since March 2020.'
  16. Excellent, Rob. ..... Dont forget the 'Blind discount' - wherein you are guaranteed productions whose lighting is so dark only those with night goggles have a hope of getting a fleeting glimpse of the cherished secrets. I'm told there has been - in the recent past - an ever growing selection to choose from. Certainly something they feel we might want to look into.
  17. Agree it is an excellent incentive. Surprised they are excluding The Nutcracker as I would imagine that would be of special interest to younger people to share with members of their own generation. I do understand the commercial aspect ... but surprised they were not willing to make SOME available - even as a token towards the fulfilment of their stated goals in this allurement; especially as it is one on whose back I would imagine they have got substantive funding from philanthropic sources.
  18. I wonder, Naomi, have the memorial videos for Carla Fracci and Patrick Dupont been put up on line anywhere? Grateful for your kind advice.
  19. What a magnificent treat. Just watched both the Whiteside and the (J) Peck for the fifth time before they disappear from view. There is no question in my mind but that they are both keepers for time. Such jubilant fare and so gloriously shot so that we could truly appreciate the dignified complicity of the choreography. The long and mid-shots ensured such while the close ups were keenly appreciated in the hugely applauded calls so that we too could bear witness to the thrill the dancers (and creators) had - one shared with the exultant dynamism of their audience - in mutual celebrations. Both were pinpoint conversations of jocose beatitude. Happily I imagined a programme which could now be shared by both NYCB and ABT at the same time; one night at that which I will always know as State Theatre, the next at the Met. It would comprehensively be known as 'Reawakening', much as the Royal Ballet used Sleeping Beauty to dust off the ROH after the war. It would start with a first act of Ratmansky's 'Valse Triste', followed by Whiteside's A Perpendicular Express and finishing with Peck's 'Bloom'. The second act would entail Peck's Rodeo followed Balanchine's Tschai PDD. The Resident Choreographers of both Companies would here be celebrated as would their dancers. They are after all the current champions of our modern balletic globe. Both could then rightfully bow - as could we all - to the imortal splendour of the Master Choreographer who, himself, created so much of the language we all long to champion. .... Well, one can dream ...
  20. Couldn't agree more, Jan. For me Marcia Haydee was an eternal teenager. She was my first Juliet ... and I had the privilege to see her last performance in the role. As fresh - if not more so - than the first.
  21. Thanks so for this, Jeanette. So exciting to see the talent seemingly hidden away in the US regional companies. That young lad from Kansas City Ballet II in the Flower Festival PDD (Joshua Kiesel) is obviously very talented. (Here is a brief clip from his social media while on a summer intensive with The Washington Ballet). Have dipped in (and out it has to be said) of the 13 episodes. Really enjoyed Cameron Thomas' 'Basie Land', shot in the American Jazz Museum. The dramatic focus of the performers' eyes went into overdrive making the mask wearing aptly exotic. Loved the spoken interactions between the novice cinematographer and the choreographer too. Thomas - apart from being gifted balletically - is obviously (again from his social media) one mean pianist. Certainly shows in his dance making. Hope he does more.
  22. It is promising I think that in an article in today's New York Times Wendy Whelan is quoted as saying: We do hope to keep some form of streaming and digital creativity alive; we know how important this year has been for developing and building a larger global outreach for City Ballet.
  23. Just watched the new Peck PDD, ‘Bloom’ in the second part of Vail’s NOW PREMIERE’s programme. (I should be working but couldn’t resist.) I predict this will become every bit as much international balletic standard gala fare as Balanchine’s Tschai Pas – which both ‘Bloom’s music and choreography quote - has been for decades. I - for just one I'm sure - can't wait to see it live. Assuredly I bet this will soon be part of the established NYCB rep with resplendent justification. The phantasmagorical score by the very talented Caroline Shaw springs forth as if the glories of Tchaikovsky had been passed through a Copeland strain and moistened with Shaw’s own key dramatic salt. Peck’s choreography – here created for two internationally loved senior ballet artists – Tiler Peck and Hermann Cornejo – is not only reminiscent of the 20th Century Ballet Master in whose shadow he was wrought but one whose prism is cut through with notations to De Mille, Tudor and Robbins. What a gift! This is American balletic artistry at its pinnacle. How fortunate we are to be able to gaze upon the original creative/creators’ impulse of this rapture. This is a sorely needed gift for our troubled times. Thanks so Mr. Woetzel for your extraordinary vision in making this all come together. You and your entire team are visionaries to venerate. Together you champion humane wonder; animate heartfelt bliss.
  24. The programme file runs 2.23.50 in length and will be available for a week for free viewing so through 2.30 am next Tuesday GMT. Hope that helps.
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