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About jmhopton

  • Birthday June 22

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  • Location:
    North West England
  • Interests
    reading, ballet, dogwalking

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  1. Yes, I'm with you Dawnstar. I'd hoped the diverts were going to be a bit innovative but perhaps not as innovative as they turned out to be! There's no pleasing some people! Having seen how terrific Vadim was in Winter Dreams I wish he'd been streamed in that not SB (though it would have been a lovely touch to let Beatriz' last performance to be in a 'major' role; albeit rather truncated.) Still, perhaps it was her choice to finish with this role if Christopher Wheeldon has so such a big influence in her career. I'm thrilled the recording will include Naghdi/Sissens in Morgen. Even though it's not a piece I especially enjoy it's always good to see Joseph in different roles and a livestream too so international exposure for him. Lovely they're finishing with Sambe/O'Sullivan in Voices of Spring; one of my favourite Ashton pieces. I'll have to replay the Foundation rehearsal of it. So pleased SheilaC and I have tickets for the final matinee so we'll be able to see Vadim in Winter Dreams and Beatriz' last performance. I wonder if it will be marked in any way?
  2. I've got to keep posting to get to the next level though not sure if I fancy being a 'Veteran'. Sounds rather old! I worked out that if I can find any tickets I can actually afford I can see Vadim/Naghdi R&J 22nd Oct, Kaneko/Bracewell mat on 23rd Oct and Hayward/Coralles that evening. It would mean a 2 night stay but 3 performances and only one lot of travel expenses. Later on I could go to the Friends Nutcracker rehearsal 23rd November and see Vadim in Nutcracker in the evening (also O'Sullivan/Hay!) It would have to be an overnight stay and I could see Lamb/Sambe in a Giselle matinee the next day. If I'm feeling strong enough I might manage an early start Sat 27th Nov to see Morera/Hirano Giselle at 11.30 and Hayward/Campbell at 5pm and even get home the same day. I'd love to see O'Sullivan/Sambe in Nutcracker but don't know how practical it will be to attend a matinee on Christmas Eve with the travelling. I'd also love to see Stock/Sissens in Nutcracker but they're not doing a matinee. I suspect a lot of it will be wishful thinking!!
  3. Apparently the comments and 'likes' I've made in this thread have made me into a Mentor in the new Forum layout. No idea what it means or how I got there but it sounds very impressive!
  4. Checking out the R & J prices with fascinated horror. I know mixed bill prices are always cheaper but the difference between the £31 paid for last Sundays matinee (first row of the amphi, next to left centre aisle A49 and A50) and the whopping £91 asked for the same seat in R & J seems incredible, even allowing for pandemic inflation. Also, one of the seats I had was restricted legroom and the price for this seat is now just the same as the others whereas previously it was discounted. I assume the matinee cheaper prices that used to exist haven't returned. A stalls circle seat C80 I had for Cellist double bill was £34, same seat for R&J is £107!!! SC C78 and 79 for 2020 Onegin was £52, for R&J £107. These are seats I really like and use a lot but I certainly can't afford £107. Can't believe these prices and they'll affect the RB loyal supporters who often aren't the wealthiest patrons and who want to go to different casts, the most. Like many RB supporters I have to factor in £100+ for train and hotel fares before I've even bought one ticket so prices like these are going to curtail my balletgoing quite a bit. Has taken a bit of a shine off my excitement about the new seasons dates and casting.
  5. Well, I have to say I really enjoyed both the livestream performance and the Sunday matinee. Apollo has never been a favourite ballet. In fact I remember hating it when I saw the Kirov (as they were then) do it ages ago, especially the swaddling bit at the start which I found hugely embarrassing. This time around the swaddling didn't seem to resemble the unravelling of an Egyptian mummy and was sensitively done. I still don't like the actions of one of the muses when she appears to double up with stomach cramps and then seems to be sick. Sheila C very helpfully pointed out it was all about voice projection for singing but I still think it could have been handled better, choreographically. Having said all that I found the level of dancing incredibly high from both casts. As I've seen so few performances I don't know enough about the ballet to comment critically about style and technique. This is where the livestream comes in handy as I'll be able to revisit it as many times as I want over the next few weeks. I thought both Matthew and Vadim terrific and, while the ballet is probably not likely to ever be a great favourite, their performances made me enjoy it more than I thought I ever could. The muses too obviously played their part. I was very impressed with Melissa Hamilton whom I think is an often overlooked dancer. I'm glad she got to play a significant role and in a livestream as well. Mayara Magri was excellent too. She really seems to be coming into her own with her promotion to principal. I was with the people who were a bit surprised she was promoted so soon but on this performance she has principal qualities that shine through now, so well done Kevin for recognising this and promoting her now. Tchaikovsky pas de deux. On the livestream, Vadim and Marianela sailed through the very difficult looking variations making them look like a stroll in the park and all with megawatt smiles testifying to their joy of dance and in being in front of an audience again. The audience responded with the biggest cheer of the night, hugely deserved. The Sunday matinee didn't go quite so smoothly with the last minute cast change of Marianela replacing Osipova, partnering Reece Clark. I didn't know anything about the cast changes that kept appearing on the website indicating Vadim was partnering Marianela but it might have been better if they'd gone ahead with that as they were obviously used to partnering each other for the ballet. Perhaps he felt he couldn't commit as it came straight after Apollo, which I suppose is fair enough. Anyway, it was OK apart from one of the fish dives going wrong. Reece gets so many great roles and is so good in them I'm surprised he wasn't promoted to principal though I'm sure he will be at the first opportunity. Dances at a Gathering. This has become a huge favourite for me since seeing it at the cinema and then the theatre a couple of years ago. I thought I would get bored after about half an hour but not at all. Different casts keep it fresh and all bring something slightly different to fairly abstract sort of roles. Reece Clark again stood out for me in the livestream taking on the role Bonnelli had in the previous recording. Anna Rose and James Hay were outstanding in their pas de deux. That is a partnership I would love to see more of. The matinee casting was quite similar to the Cellist recording and it was great to see Alex Campbell back as the Brown Boy. Everyone was on top form and it was a great re-introduction to the ROH and RB. A highlight for me was sharing the performance with SheilaC. I bought 2 seats as I couldn't get singles. Sheila bought one of them so we both made our ROH debuts after 15 months with a friend which made the experience twice as enjoyable. Being able to sit with a friend and discuss the performance is all part of the ordinary enjoyment of attending the ROH and this experience made me realise how much I've been missing these taken for granted interactions we have been starved of for so long. It seemed even more appropriate that one of the ballets we saw was DAAG as it seems to be all about celebrating friendship and ordinary human interactions that so many of us have missed for so long. Now I can't wait for the Sleeping Beauty matinee and whatever divertissements are on offer.
  6. Some of the casting is exciting, some disappointing and some I didn't see coming. Intrigued that Naghdi is getting 2 goes as Juliet; one with Muntagirov and one with Ball. Would be definitely interested in seeing her with Muntagirov. Good to see him with a younger dancer for a change. I enjoyed their Corsaire pas de deux in the Fonteyn tribute and also their recent Apollo. Thrilled Sambe and O'Sullivan have the Romeo cinema broadcast (though I thought the earlier info. said the first performance was being filmed; now it seems to be filmed in Jan). Am slightly perplexed some seem to be streamed and some cinema broadcasts. I thought everything was cinema broadcast. However, it seems to make sense if you are continuing with some streaming to stream something like Dante as it's more of a young persons medium. Interesting Takada/Coralles are doing the cinema Nutcracker. Kevin is really showcasing his young talent and new promotions. Great Gasparini is getting the Nutcracker cinema broadcast too. Like Dawnstar I'm intrigued that Clarke is getting so many plum roles when not a principal. From the time James Hay was promoted to first soloist Clarke (even when still a soloist) seem to have leading roles; Swan Lake with Osipova and possibly Manon as well. Then he got promoted and did Onegin, Romeo and Sleeping Beauty. I think James Hay got a couple of Sleeping Beauties but wasn't he injured for one? By comparison with Clarke he gets few great roles and yet is a wonderful dancer. I know he isn't very tall but would be great with O'Sullivan if their sparking Dances at a Gathering livestream is anything to go by, also Hayward, though I know both dancers are in demand by different partners. I'm not saying I don't like Clarke, on the contrary I think he is a great dancer and loved him in Dances at a Gathering on Sunday (my first time on a train and in a theatre for 15 months!) and also with Kaneko in Sleeping Beauty. It's just I'd like to see a bit more of James Hay. Am disappointed there are no new Giselles though I understand the newly promoted principals all have a go in Romeo and Juliet (though I would have liked to see Magri/Ball in Romeo after their terrific Carousel). Slightly disappointed Morera is not doing Giselle with Bonelli as they were so terrific together in Mayerling. Has she done Giselle much? Would love to see her though 11.30am is a weird matinee time for non-Londoners and I can't afford a lot of overnight stays. Not sure about Lamb and Sambe in Giselle. Disappointed O'Sullivan isn't debuting with him as I think she would be sensational and they would be terrific together. She reminds me a little of Roberta Marquez and roles like Giselle and Lise in la Fille were ones Roberta excelled in. All in all, while the rep. may not be the most exciting, I'm looking forward to choosing some great casts to see. Just to see a full length ballet live at the ROH will be enough if I can afford to see that many. Not ventured to look at the prices yet! My ambitions may be severely curtailed!
  7. You just beat me to it Lizbie 1. I was just thinking the Friends season guide had nothing that wasn't on the website (less really, as there were no performance dates in the programme) when I noticed the Ashton Insight evening mentioned on the triple bill page. Slightly odd it is in October when the performance isn't until April but I assume the date is to coincide with the Ashton Foundation celebrations and I'm still hoping for another Insight for the actual triple bill. With just a quick look I couldnt initially see any other mentions of Insights so I'm hoping they just haven't been programmed yet rather than there won't be any and, like Lizbie1, I hope this Insight will be streamed. However, when I got to Like Water for Chocolate I noticed there were 4 insight nights devoted to this! In my opinion someone has got their priorities wrong!
  8. Finally, I thought I'd read all programmes were being shown at the cinema. Is that right and do we know which dates? If you click on the cinema option it just shows a date for La Boheme and Dante. I've realised how you find out about filming dates. You go to performances and click on 'See dates' or 'buy tickets' and it says what dates the filming takes place. Doesn't say if it's for streaming or cinema but I'll take either! All main stage productions seem to have a date to be being filmed for the first season. Swan Lake seems to be the first ballet with no recording date and this also applies for subsequent ballets. I hope this just means they haven't finalised even tentative casting this far ahead and eventually filming dates will appear, especially for the all-important Ashton programme.
  9. Yes, I'm with you, Floss in wishing there was more Ashton. Why couldn't there be one of his full length ballets performed every year as well as Macmillan's, or if that takes up too much of the year then alternate between a full length Macmillan and Ashton? It would have been great to have something a bit light and cheerful and I still think La Fille would have been a great opening ballet. You know where you are with dancing chickens! Also, though respecting the fact that the Nutcracker is a huge money spinner, it would have been great to have a mixed bill to counteract all that sugar! I would suggest Patineurs, The Concert and Facade or Symphony in C if you think Facade is too similar to The Concert and want something cheerful and classical. (Just realised I've quoted Floss' suggestions almost verbatim. We obviously think along similar lines!) Finally, I thought I'd read all programmes were being shown at the cinema. Is that right and do we know which dates? If you click on the cinema option it just shows a date for La Boheme and Dante. Still, like everyone, I've been so starved of ballet I'll take anything on offer. There's bound to be great casting even if some of the rep. choices are not the most exciting.
  10. I got replies today from 2 email enquiries I made re ENB. The first one was asking if there were any plans for Raymonda to come to Manchester (where it should have debuted last year). The reply was it was hoped to bring it to Manchester in autumn 2022 but no decision had definitely been taken. My second email was to ENB School and was asking if it would be possible to stream the school performance as I was especially interested in Sir Frederick Ashton's Les Rendezvous. The answer was it was being looked into and keep checking the website for updates so that was mildly encouraging. At least it's being considered.
  11. SkyArts are showing Australian Ballet Coppelia. Tues 1st June 7-9am filmed fairly recently. Also Australian Ballet Sleeping Beauty. Sat 5th June 6.10-8.30am.
  12. https://www.jacobspillow.org/events/global-pillow/ This is a free event though pre-registration is required. Runs from June 12 - 19. Will try and put it on the calendar.
  13. https://danceworks.com/sundaymasterclass/ These Masterclasses look very interesting. I got the original link from the London Ballet Circle but then Danceworks themselves sent this follow up email after I purchased the streamed masterclass with Vadim Muntagirov which takes place next Sunday lunchtime the 30th May at 1pm-2.30, price £9. I assume it is only available when it is streamed and not left up for a while as there is no mention of this but I'll try and check and let the Forum know. 6th June sees another Masterclass by Alexander Campbell and there are a whole series of further classes for all different areas of dance, including other classical ones by Brandon Laurence and also Marianela Nunez. I think Vadim's is the only one bookable at the moment.
  14. Me too Fonty. It was going to be my birthday present to me but as my birthday is in June it will have to be a late birthday present now. Just disappointed there are only 160 reviews. There must have been thousands to choose from. Perhaps there will be several volumes. I thought he described Scherezade as 'Nothing more than a tart's boudoir ' once, which I always found very apt and amusing.
  15. I'm disappointed Teo and David Donnelly haven't been promoted and am amazed David is only a first artist. He seems to have been doing a lot lately and I find myself looking out for him like I used to look out for Erico Montes. However, I'm really pleased for the dancers who have been and wish them every success.
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