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About jmhopton

  • Birthday June 22

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    North West England
  • Interests
    reading, ballet, dogwalking

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  1. Nothing new balletwise on SkyArts in the next couple of weeks but a few interesting repeats. The following are from a quick look. there may be something I missed. Sunday 1st Dec. 3pm. Nureyev doc. (Not on Sky box. Seems to have been replaced by a Jonathan Miller La Boheme; presumably in tribute). Monday 2nd Dec. 2pm. Peter Wright's the Nutcracker. I think this is the BRB version but danced by Australian ballet. Wed. 4th Dec. 6am. Discovering dance on Film. 2pm. Nureyev doc. again. Thurs. 5th Dec. 10.30am Les Patineurs. (McRae, Lamb, Pennefather) Fri. 6th Dec. 7am. Patineurs repeat. Also Sat 7th Dec. 7am. Mon 9th Dec. 6.10am. Bach's Christmas Oratorio: a ballet by John Neumier. (I don't remember this shown before but it's not marked as New so perhaps it has.) Wed. 11th Dec. 6am Les Patineurs. 6.35 Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake. Thurs. 12th Dec. 6am. Peter Wright's Nutcracker. 4pm. Gene Kelly: to live and dance.
  2. A year or more ago when I was in the ROH amphi the woman in front of me was using her mobile. I hoped she would stop as I hate confrontations and you just don't know how people will react these days but she persisted and I knew I was going to have to mention it or have my evening ruined. Given how much time and effort it takes me just to get there it seemed an awful waste to let one selfish or thoughtless person ruin it. So I attracted her attention and asked her politely to switch off her phone. She looked at me as if I was mad and said 'but I've put it on silent' as if the noise was the only problem. When I said it was actually the glare of the screen that was distracting she looked totally disbelieving but did grudgingly switch it off. Obviously she'd no great interest in the amazing performance she was missing in trying to text someone that could have been done in the interval. For some people today their gratification has to be instant whether it's eating, drinking or using their mobile. Other people's needs don't count. At least at the ROH even though most of the building seems to be devoted to food and drink they do draw the line at allowing it in the auditorium. Long may this rule and the ushers vigilance against mobile phone use continue.
  3. I was sat in the side amphi yesterday afternoon and an usher remained in the theatre most of the performance I saw (I missed the early part) presumably monitoring mobile phone use. In the evening one was actually sitting in the back row of the stalls and was very proactive in intervening with people using phones especially during the overture and the end of the short later performance break.
  4. What review? I've never been sent one and so far I've attended 4 performances this season. Anyway they can't be that interested in people's opinions if there is no room for individual comments. X I'm going again this Saturday evening so I might mention the cast change list then.
  5. She certainly was going for it in my opinion last Saturday matinee and I too was disappointed when she wasn't cast for it in the cinema relay. But then I saw her do an equally fabulous variation in Concerto so it's swings and roundabouts really. To change the subject to cast changes there were a whole list of them read out before last Saturday's matinee. When I went to the main desk in the foyer and asked if they had a cast change list I was told they didn’t do them any more and I either had to copy them manually from their list or photograph it on my phone which I did. Leaving the theatre at the end of the performance I walked past the same desk which now had a pile of cast change lists on it which would probably end up being thrown away as being too late for most people.
  6. I had an email to say We are contacting you to let you know about the following cast changes: Monday 23 December, 7.00pm Saturday 28 December, 7.00pm The role of Dr Coppelius will be performed by Bennet Gartside. It was originally scheduled to be Marriott.
  7. Yes I thought it was a strange night to do it. Mixed bills never seem to sell as well at the cinemas and to broadcast one when many people will be either attending firework displays or staying in with pets seems quite inexplicable, especially given the very generous number of performances. Anyway not having either children or pets I really enjoyed the triple bill at the cinema. I actually preferred it to last Saturday's matinee at the ROH. I don't quite know why as both were excellently danced. Perhaps the close ups helped me 'get' the ballets more. Unfortunately our Odeon cinema at Preston had the sound set far too loud for Concerto and some of the high notes were actually going right through your head; very unpleasant. I suspect they'd been showing an ordinary film in the afternoon and not altered the sound level. It wasn't just me as I was part of a queue of disgruntled ballet lovers in the interval. They did reduce the sound but it still seemed louder than normal. I really love Concerto; the music and choreography go together so seamlessly it is a joy to watch. I was slightly disappointed not to see Francesca as I thought she was stunning in it last Saturday but Anna Rose and James Hay (good to see them getting some well deserved international recognition) were really brilliant and Yasmine and Ryio very romantic in the second movement. Magri added an amazing Concerto solo to the equally amazing Raymonda solo I saw last Saturday. is there anything she can't do? Surely a principal promotion can't be that far off for her. Enigma variations I think benefited from the cinema close ups. You could see what a nuanced ballet this is with every look and gesture counting. I thought I slightly preferred Gary Avis' Elgar to Christopher Saunders but both were excellent as was Laura Morera as Lady Elgar. I thought I saw Romany Pajdak doing the same beautiful solo she did last Saturday but the cast sheet didn't mention her. Perhaps I got it wrong. it was great to see Romany last Saturday and I'm so pleased that at last she is getting some of the parts her talent deserves. Francesca was an adorable Dorabella. Was it her debut? if so it was incredible; she was made for the role as she was for the young girl in Month in the Country. I thought both Matthew Ball and Luca Acri were excellent in their very fast solos and it was nice to see Wayne Sleep explaining Luca's role. I think on balance I slightly preferred Alex Campbell as Troyt but both were good even though they perhaps haven't quite achieved the speed, finish and authority of Dowell. But that can't really be expected in their debut season. Finally Raymonda. Love the set and it was great it got it's customary applause. The Hungarian dances were spectacular (love the cossacky costumes!) though sometimes I got the feeling the stage was a bit cramping for some of the groupings. What can I say about Osipova and Muntagirov that others haven't already said? They were just so spectacular both as individuals and together. He sailed through his variations, defying gravity as usual and always with his megawat smile. As for Osipova I thought she was sensational. She even made me consider seeing the ballet full length if she was Raymonda something I thought I'd never say as I think it is very boring as a three act ballet. She just commanded the stage like the great artist she is. All in all a great night. Now all I need is the dvd, please Mr O'Hare.
  8. Strange how we see things differently as I didn't like the opening scene at all! It is totally against the book to have Dracula as a grotesque. He invites Jonathan Harker to his castle to finalise a deal on a house purchase and intends to pass himself of as a Victorian gentleman (at least on a superficial level) so this is just not appropriate. I also found myself remembering bits of the Christopher Gable version which I thought in many ways superior; much closer to the book and both creepy and sensuous without being OTT. Also the memory of the amazing Jeremy Kerridge (one of the finest dance/actors I've ever seen) as a tortured but never grotesque Renfield is unforgettable. The final scene in the graveyard when all these grey objects came alive really cruddled my spine and I loved the Whitby scenes (ignored in this new version). Having said that there was plenty to admire in this version. the pas de deux were stunning and very Macmillanish I thought. the dancing and acting was of a high quality and the atmosphere very Gothic. I wouldn't mind seeing it again but don't know whether I'd want to see it a lot.
  9. Several pages of the new (November) Dance Europe magazine are devoted to the RB Manon with some great pictures including one of Francesca in THAT dress and a large pull out one of Nunez and Bolle on one side and Campbell and Hayward on the other. There is also a separate illustrated interview with Corrales and several pages devoted to BRBs Giselle.
  10. You and me both BeauxArts. It seems to be down to Osipova and Kevin O'Hare letting her have the partner of her choice. If it was me I'd choose Shkylarov every time! Having said that I've been more than satisfied with all the male RB dancers I have seen in this Manon. At the end of the day do we really even need great interpreters like Shkylarov undoubtedly was for me at least, when we've got dancers of the calibre of Campbell, Coralles, Sambe, Ball, Ryio and, of course, Vadim.
  11. The Bolshoi did it in their Coliseum season in 1999. For me, especially memorable as it's the only time I ever saw the fabulous Nina Anashavilli dance live and she did Raymonda. I don't know if they've ever done it since and I can see why. Even by ballet standards the plot is non existent and the hero, despite returning from the Crusades is totally boring (well to me anyway). The only interesting person is the villain who tries to kidnap Raymonda. He has a terrific variation with really exciting music but sadly is killed before the last act. At one time when ballet was new and exciting to us we put this variation, danced by the amazing Gediminas Taranda on whenever anyone came round as we felt we had to share this awesome dancing with everyone. It perhaps accounted for the sudden drop in visitors!
  12. Exactly what I think Dawnstar. Living a considerable distance from London my first thought is 'are any of the cast/s I want to see doing a matinee?' to save an overnight stay. The second thought is 'Are any of them dancing Friday/Saturday' as if I need to stay over (and I always do for an evening performance as there are no trains home) then weekend is easier for travel and sometimes marginally cheaper for London hotels. The third consideration is 'are any of the casts I want to see doing a Friday evening/Saturday matinee' or any other combination then I can see 2 casts for the price of one evening overnight. For me this worked out splendidly for Coppelia as I was able to see the 4 casts I wanted to see on 2 consecutive Saturdays; Dec 28th and Jan 4th. If after all these considerations there was a choice like Dawnstar I would probably go for a later performance.
  13. Many thanks RutheE. I have bookmarked it this time. it looks a very useful and interesting source of information so obviously not readily and easily available on the ROH website.
  14. Phrased my previous post very badly. hadn't really forgotten I'd just seen Alex last Saturday (apologies Janet). I really meant to say has he danced it before this current run and my query about finding out about previous cast runs still stands if anyone can help.
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