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Mandy Kent

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About Mandy Kent

  • Birthday February 11

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    Ballet, dance, theatre, yoga

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  1. Each to their own 😀 My top Five: Oklahoma!, Guys& Dolls, Les Miserables, The Lion King and 42nd St for the tapping !
  2. I agree re Laura.. she is so very expressive in Ashton and MacMillan, I've loved her as Larisch and in Fille with Ricardo Cervera, I miss their partnership too... I would have loved them both to be principals and dancing together... I saw Novikova once this July as La Sylphide and she was beautiful.
  3. It’s generally known that Edward Watson has been off with an injury. He has not retired or left the RB. He was dancing with members of the RB last week at the Joyce Theatre, see my review of Programme D in performances seen . He looked fit and well.
  4. Any Oklahoma! fans here in ballet land? There is a famous ballet/dance sequence in the original film. I first saw the stage show at the National Theatre with Hugh Jackman as Curly and Maureen Lipman as Aunt Eller. It was a traditional version and for me the benchmark for future Oklahoma!'s I've also seen the Prom version on Youtube with the wonderful Robbie Fairchild as Will Parker. At this matinee performance at the Circle In The Square Theatre, New York City, there was an updated edge to the show. The attractive confident cowboy Curly (understudy Denver Milord ) carries a guitar and accompanies himself through 'Oh what a beautiful morning!' ...Jud Fry ( Patrick Vaill) is a nervy disturbed young man rather than the ignorant brute usually depicted. The scenes in the Smoke House took part in complete darkness, 'Poor Jud Is dead' in the pitch black being rather weird and chilling rather than funny. The female actor playing Ado Annie , Ali Stroker has a disability requiring her to use a wheelchair but her characterisation, choreographed movement and voice were superb, she is so vivacious and talented and has been deservedly nominated for a Tony award. During the interval the entire audience were offered a meal of red chilli beans and corn bread which most of us lined up for, delicious! The dance sequence ( Laurey's dream) was a very contemporary affair with unusual back lighting and magnified images on the plain wall behind us. Rebecca Naomi Jones was a very sulky Laurey, I thought a little hint of her true feelings might have made her easier to believe. So, yes I enjoyed it but I felt great sympathy for Jud, especially at the end when Curly is given a self defence verdict and gets off scot free. Interested to hear any other people's views on this old but great musical...
  5. I’ve now read up some previous discussions on Song of a Wayfarer and realise that Hallberg’s character represents Destiny and he is leading the Young Man , Gordon, ever onwards to his ultimate fate... This makes sense to me but even though I didn’t know the synopsis when I wrote my review, my feelings of a relationship progressing to a sad despairing ending were from the heart .
  6. Ballet Festival at The Joyce Theatre Programme D Fri 17th August Programme curated by Edward Watson The anticipation of a whole evening featuring and curated by Edward Watson had me sitting on the edge of my chair from the opening bars of Qualia Pas de Deux until the close of the programme. In fact, owning up to my gushing fandom and the real reason I flew 3,459 miles will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. Following an injury which has kept Watson off the RB stage for over 18 months, it was a joy to watch him and see him fully fit and better than ever. This evening of works by some famous, some lesser known choreographers created an overall ambience of elegance and finesse. With the super talented Sarah Lamb, Robbie Fairchild and Maria Kowrowski joining Edward Watson on stage, this evening was destined to be amazing from the get go. First Half: Qualia Pas de deux Choreography: Wayne McGregor Music: Scanner Danced by Edward Watson and Sarah Lamb, in their brief Calvin Klein briefs and vests, tortured expressions, weird manipulations, sexy yet otherworldly, a mating ritual of contortions and very very beautiful. Assume Form Choreography James Alsop Danced by Robbie Fairchild to an original track 'Assume Form' by James Blake, this jittery low key contemporary piece showed how controlled Fairchild is when he dances, from small shakes of his finger tips, to skewed leaning balances which he pulls back at the last minute, a minor piece but a memorable one. All My Song Choreography : Laila Diallo Music ' Les Pleurs' Mr de Sainte-Colombe performed live by Jodi Savali on viola da gamba and 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' by Elvis Presley costume: Jean-Marc Puissant In simple white silk shirt and grey silk trousers, Sarah Lamb evoked a tale of loneliness tempered with tremendous inner strength, her dancing showing her determination, the beautiful plaintive viola music drawing out elegant lines of dancing. 3 With D choreography: Javier de Frutos Musician Dan Gillespie Sells, Pianist: Patrick Gallagher Music: 'I Can Give You the Starlight' Ivor Novello, 'The Man I Love' George Gershwin, 'Down In The Depths' Cole Porter, 'Hides is Your Heart' by Gillespie Sells Dancers: Edward Watson and Robbie Fairchild, on stage with Dan Gillespie Sells on guitar and singing. Accompanied by Patrick Gallagher on piano. You have all heard of singing the Blues. Fairchild and Watson danced the Blues, painting a mood of love, bitterness, love, hate, longing and a final kiss of such tenderness as their relationship comes to a sad, so sad ending........ And breath. Then clap like crazy.... Second Half: CRISTAUX choreography: Arthur Pita , part 'a' commissioned by Ballet Black 2016 music 'Dreaming and Upward Sky' by Frank Moon Costumes: Yann Seabra Part a : danced by Sarah Lamb and Robbie Fairchild This work is like a beautiful dream with a star ( Lamb) spinning into your orbit, dazzling across the heaven of your gaze, encircling another celestial being ( Fairchild) , and fleetingly mesmerising us with utter grace. A work of pure genius in my opinion. Lamb's beautiful crystal encrusted costume in pale moonstone grey, with a tiny double layered tutu, added to the supernatural ambiance. The duet is the introduction to further parts.... Part b : Music: Sunlight/Impossible Human by Bev Lee Harling Dancers: Maria Kowrowski , Edward Watson Kowrowski's dress by Lez Brotherston This opens with Kowrowski kneeling and basking in the glorious rays of an amber light, a sunset glow which lights up the golden dress she wears with twinkling rays. Her partner Watson leads her through a contemporary dance of lightness and grace, a love duet which is simply divine. Part c Music 'Symphony in C, Adagio by Georges Bizet, arranged by Frank Moon Dancer: Edward Watson In silver tights and a crystal encrusted, head-covering mask, Watson glides through sensual steps in a solo of starry 'otherness' , a being from another planet who comes to share a moment with us mere mortals. The adagio from Symphony in C, in Balanchine's choregraphy, has been described as moonstruck elegance, this was its counterpoint and harmony. Watson leaves the stage and descends fleetingly into the aisle, into the audience, as the light fades..... Cristaux is a work by Pita which I believe is his 'Jewels' , a masterpiece danced by stars. Thank you to all the dancers and musicians and crew who made all of this possible PS (You know I love a PS..) I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Martin Harvey who I have not seen for a long time, ( married to Maria Kowrowski) who was in the audience, so friendly and so good to see him.
  7. Ballet Festival, The Joyce Theatre, New York City, August 2019 Programme C, curated by Jean-Marc Puissant, designer, watched on Weds 14th and Thurs 15th August This was a mixed programme with dancers from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and The Royal Ballet. The opening piece 'Then And Again' was choreographed by ex-RB Gemma Bond using the music '12 Caprices for Solo Cello' op 25 by Alfredo Piatti. Although this is an abstract ballet there were themes of loneliness and isolation from the leading female dancer which the cello music highlighted, cello being such a soulful instrument. The dancers , mostly from ABT , were Stephanie Williams ( in the lonely role), Zimmi Coker, Anabel Katsnelson, Betsy McBride, Courtney Shealy and Cassandra Trenary with Thomas Forster and Erez Milatin partnering the female dancers. Forster is a particularly strong partner. Milatin ( New York Theatre Ballet, ex NYC Ballet) also had a light and delightful solo. I felt this was a pleasant way to start the evening without making a very strong impression on me, over the two evenings that I watched this piece. The most powerful work of this evening was certainly the next piece 'Song of a Wayfarer' choreographed by Maurice Bejart with staging by Maina Gielgud. The dancers were David Hallberg, principal dancer with ABT and Joseph Gordon , principal dancer with NYC Ballet. The music by Gustav Mahler 'Symphony No 1, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen' created the mood of travelers on a journey, a journey of their relationship as well as a physical journey. The emotions brought to this piece by these two supremely talented dancers were so strong that you felt each step and each moment with them. There are duets and solos within the work, allowing us to see just how special and talented these two principal dancers are. Having seen Hallberg recently guesting at the RB I knew he was an elegant and expressive dancer. Joseph Gordon was a revelation to me, his beautiful line and fluid dancing were exquisite. There were some lighthearted moments, some jolly camaraderie, which made the more poignant interludes even more heart wrenching. As the lights faded at the end of the piece, as Hallberg lead Gordon by the hand to take him toward the back curtain and onward on their journey, Gordon turned back to the audience with an out-stretched arm and an expression of intense yearning and loss on his face. Spellbinding. A few moments of utter quiet were broken by rapturous applause and numerous curtain calls with a standing ovation. To close the evening and to add a little sweetness after the bitter 'Song' , we had Divertissements from Elite Syncopations with dancers from the Royal Ballet. Kenneth MacMillan's Ragtime ballet featured Sarah Lamb and Calvin Richardson as the top-hatted central pair, Marcelino Sambe and Cassandra Trenary ( ABT) , and Joseph Sissens and Romany Pajdak as the pink and green couple. The dancing is so witty that you forget how complicated it is. Sarah Lamb and Calvin Richardson, elegant in silver and black, opened the proceedings and later gave us the glorious Bethena Waltz. Sambe gave us a brilliant 'Friday Night' solo , jumping and changing posture in mid-air not once but four times...which brought the house down in a huge cheer and much applause. Trenary, in floral turban and red ,white and blue costume, gave a very sassy Hot House Rag, with excellent use of her knowing glances and flashing eyes. Sissens and Pajdak were lovely as the pink/green pair, whose duet requires rather unusual and very humorous partnering , ending with him carrying her off upside down while she executes the full splits. Tremendous fun and a lovely end to Programme C.
  8. I went to the opening night on Wednesday 7th August , with a great view of the stage from the Stalls side gallery . There was a lot of drama and tension, some good ensemble work with the young cast, and some wonderful lyrical duets for Romeo and Juliet danced by Paris Fitzpatrick and Cordelia Braithwaite. A very different interpretation from the historic tale as you would expect from Sir Matthew Bourne. There is an orchestra who were very good. Overall I really enjoyed the show and am looking forward to seeing it again tomorrow.
  9. That could be true, lionesses do all the hunting in a pride of lions don’t they?
  10. We had to close our cat flap ‘ in’ door , new rescue cat Tabitha was creating too much carnage, reducing the baby starling population plus a few headless mice. Her new nickname is Killer Queen . Simba never hunts or catches anything .
  11. for Sale Bolshoi Don Q at ROH, Sat 17th Aug eve 7.30pm Balcony B63 £58 please PM me if interested.
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