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Posts posted by jmhopton

  1. 24 minutes ago, Marie said:

    As a Young ROH ticket holder, I was fortunate enough to be sat front row Stalls Circle, where I was able to clearly see facial expressions really well. It was my very first time seeing Vadim, and I for one was definitely moved by his and Yasmine's performance. I'm also sure I wasn't the only one; after the first act, I could hear numerous people in SC singing their praises and saying it was 'phenomenal'.  Its quite hard to explain, but I thought Vadim brought out something in Yasmine that I haven't seen before with her and Matthew Ball. I was actually quite skeptical before the performance, as I only ever saw Yasmine with Matthew, and once in Don Quixote with Marcelino, but I have to say I believe I witnessed the start of another beautiful partnership in Naghdi/Muntagirov. Also, was it just me that found the height difference really satisfiying?! At least in that they compliment each other really well, as well as in their technique. I haven't seen the other Juliets yet (have booked for Kaneko/Bracewell on Sat), but I believe Yasmine may be known for being one of the most dramatic and expressive Juliets, she certainly came across as very 'strong' and 'independent' and even 'fierce' in the 3rd Act, definitely more so than before.


    I'm optimistic and very hopeful that the Naghdi/Muntagirov pairing will grow from strength to strength, in the future, if they will get paired up again! 


    Brilliant review, Marie and great to have such a positive one for Yasmine and Vadim. Is this the first full length they've done together? I'm looking forward to it even more now. Roll on next Friday!

    • Like 5
  2. Sorry if this has been mentioned elsewhere but the latest Friends email or booklet mentioned that the Balletboyz film of Romeo and Juliet : Beyond Words with Hayward/Bracewell has been nominated for an Arts Emmy Award. Hope it wins. It deserves to though I don't know what the competition is.


    Also aren't we seeing them partner again in Swan Lake? I bet that's really special though I would have loved to see them do Romeo and Juliet together again. 


    Coming back to Vadim I've booked to see him Friday 22nd Oct. I've only seen him once before in the role and it wasn't long after he came to the RB. It was the only role I've ever seen him in where I wasn't totally convinced by his performance.  Strange, as he did it so much with ENB,  including Daria Klimitova's final performance. Perhaps for me and some others, it might be the one role that eludes him. I sincerely hope not. I'll definitely be rooting for him and hoping I'll be as moved by both their performances as I was by the Hayward/Bracewell film which I thought was terrific, totally believable and heartbreaking. I'm also booked to see Kaneko/Bracewell, Hayward/Coralles and Takada/Campbell so plenty of opportunities for comparison. 

    • Like 2
  3. Yes I forgot Flames of Paris. Another ballet in which she combined with Vasilev to give absolute perfection and a level of excitement you don't often get in ballet. It's wonderful to have dvds of these performances to remind myself how special they were.


    Also I've just remembered her Coppelia with the Bolshoi. Swanhilda isn't really a role I would associate with her but her personality and technique made it very special and uniquely hers.

    • Like 4
  4. While I don't go and see Osipova as often as I used to I too have very strong memories of her Giselle with both the Bolshoi and RB. Her performances were incredibly poignant and somehow totally different to anyone else's I've seen. I'm looking forward to seeing her performance with Reece Clarke to see how she is developing the role as she is an artist who is always looking to add to her interpretation. 


    Her Bolshoi Don Q London debut with Vasiliev at the Coliseum (2006 or 2007?) will always be remembered as one of my balletic highlights. The two of them just combined so well to give an evening of ballet sensation. They were so incredible it is difficult for me now to be totally immersed in another interpretation as something always seems lacking. I've never heard an audience reception like it. You would almost think you were at a pop concert with the cheering and screaming. I thought one man was going to fall out of his box he was jumping up and down so much!


    Then there were all the Macmillan roles in which she excelled and Tatiana in Onegin. She is a great talent and we've been lucky to have her in London when she could have had her pick of Companies anywhere in the world. It is a tribute to the RB wide-ranging rep. that so many to dancers choose to base their careers here. I'm still hoping she will star in Onegin opposite Vadim.  That I would have to see every night, despite the expense. Would it be the first time two Russians had performed it outside Russia? Anyway I hope its not too long in coming.

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  5. Judging by the reviews (very few compared to The Creature) this is a ballet I'd love to see and wonderful it's being streamed. Well done Scottish ballet for producing something fun and lighthearted. Just because a ballet is short and humourous it doesn't mean it's any less of a good ballet than one that's long and 'meaningful'. Given the emphasis on mime in ballet I'm constantly surprised there aren't more light hearted, fun ballets. Perhaps the Arts Coucil aren't keen on funding anything not 'relevant'. Also you can never really imagine most modern choreographers (possibly ADS too) having fun on their choreographic agenda, mores the pity.

    • Like 5
  6. 53 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:


    I understand that streaming is a very expensive process.


    I wonder if it would be cheaper to have the performance filmed but not shown live (as with Northern Ballet's recent film release of Dangerous Liaisons)?  


    Well, the RB are doing this anyway with Romeo being filmed the beginning of Feb but not broadcast until the 14th. Perhaps this is an area they can explore as other ballet companies seem to do it. I suppose there is no real need for the cinema broadcast to be 'live' as from a cinema perspective, if it's filmed with a live audience you appear to be watching a live performance even if it isn't. If it's a lot easier and cheaper to broadcast a filmed performance then by all means go for it. Perhaps just keep one or 2 live performances a year; say for something special. I'm sure the majority of people seeing the ROH screenings at their local cinema aren't really bothered about whether or not it's live. OK ,we might prefer live performances so we can discuss them on the Forum but if the ROH can save money by not having live satellites good luck to them.


    Incidentally, RHowarth is quite correct in that the ROH used to broadcast 12 performances a year at the cinema not the 6 I said. It doesn't take long for me to lose my memory! Dan JLs point about the ROH being cautious about committing themselves to a lot  of expensive livestreaming is a good one too. They did at least pencil in the camera dates to indicate their intention of doing something; whether it be for livestreaming/TV/dvd so lets hope something comes of it. As long as I get the Ashton triple in some format I don't care. Sheila's point about the Ballet Association Funding for the Ashton livestreaming is a good one and gives me hope we will see it in some format. I just hope next season sees a return to a full length Ashton; la Fille would obviously be the main favourite but I'd settle for Sylvia or even Ondine, especially after Francesca Hayward's amazing performance in the Fonteyn Gala. Like Fonteyn she was obviously born to dance the role.

    • Like 2
  7. Not sure if this is the best place for this or if it should be under cinema.


    I thought I read somewhere ages ago when the new season was formally announced that all ROH programmes would be shown at the cinema which seemed a really good idea as some people will probably still be hesitant about travelling. However, when the cinema details were announced it was just the usual 6 performances (3 opera and 3 ballet). I wondered if this was the first cinema season and more performances will follow (I am especially concerned about the Ashton triple). I contacted customer services and they say that only the 6 performances named will be shown at the cinema which was a blow as I always take a couple of non-internet friends with me so even if it is streamed they wouldn't see it. The Customer Services Manager who replied said a decision hasn't been made as to whether or not the Ashton triple will be streamed and I need to 'watch this space'. As a performance on 29th April is scheduled for cameras I'm still hoping it will be streamed. I also can't see a new full-length Wheeldon ballet not being broadcast in some way and cameras are there 9th June. So if there are filming dates why not announce the format? I know it's a long time ahead but I'd feel better if I knew the Ashton at least was being recorded in some format.

    • Like 3
  8. Me too Sim if it involves a dvd recorder. Luckily with the Sky box all you have to do is press a button that says record. Even I can do that!

    However, some people just  like to switch on the TV in an evening without thinking about recording.  It seems SkyArts doesn't rate their Arts audience as sufficiently important or numerous enough to merit scheduling most ballet or opera at a time when people actually want to watch it. It's often popular music programmes in the prime evening slot. Given that the age group for ballet and opera is (I suspect) somewhat older and may be more likely to watch TV in the evening, perhaps they should experiment with scheduling some evening opera and ballet. They may be pleasantly surprised,  especially if they do it the same evening every week which I think they did at one time when it was Artsworld.

    • Like 1
  9. 19 minutes ago, Tony Newcombe said:

    I think you have answered your own question. I long for the days of Chris Smith in the Blair government, then again he didn’t last long. Too pro arts I seem to remember

    Is Chris Smith the only Culture Secretary who ever expressed an interest in culture? I can't think of any others. You get the impression that anything to do with culture is a big turn off for most politicians who are more concerned with establishing their 'ordinary' credentials which usually means wearing a baseball cap (remember William Hague) or expressing an interest in football (even if he forgets the name of the team he supports; David Cameron)

    The lack of political support for culture is very sad. It is as if the Arts are seen as elitist, something for upper class 'toffs' to attend and not something that should be for everyone to enjoy and enrich their  lives. It started at school with the gradual erosion of music and possibly drama classes, and now seems to be effecting higher education with political intervention to reduce funding of Arts courses. Yet from a purely economic point of view (one you would think the Tories would appreciate) the Arts contribute massively to the economy and exports, and are an important reason for foreign tourists to choose to come to this country. Boris Johnson was quick enough to congratulate Emma Raducanu on her sensational winning of the US Open but I'm still waiting for any politician to say what a world beating ballet star or actor they've seen in this country and how lucky we are to have such talent for everyone to enjoy.

    • Like 4
  10. Just had an email from Sarasota Ballet about their Covid restrictions for live performances.

    So they're going ahead with vaccine passports.


    Effective September 26th, 2021, we will uniformly implement the following policy:

    • all patrons aged 12 and older must show either:
      • a negative PCR COVID-19 test administered by a medical provider or official testing center no earlier than 72 hours before the time of our performance, or
      • a negative rapid antigen COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional or official testing center no earlier than 24 hours prior to the time of our performance. Home testing kit results will not be accepted for entry.
    • If patrons prefer, CDC or an other official vaccination record showing patrons are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least 14 days since the final dose) may be voluntarily presented at the door as an acceptable alternative to negative COVID-19 test results.
    • Both physical and electronic presentation of documents will be accepted. Photo identification must accompany the presentation of all documents.
    • All patrons over age 5, regardless of vaccination or testing status, must wear masks over their nose and mouth at all times while inside the venue

    Details may be revised based on CDC guidance and the evolving circumstances of the pandemic.


  11. Slightly off topic but I thought it might be of interest to some. I had an email from Trafalgar today about a cinema screening of a film of  the Victoria and Albert's Alice in Wonderland exhibition currently on until Dec 31st. The screening is around Oct 14th. There may be a slight ballet interest as some of the earlier publicity photographs featured the amazing RB Red Queen costume. So pehaps that might be there.




    • Like 1
  12. When I asked ENB about casting they said it might be Oct before it's announced.  I hope it's earlier but I know they're not always as early as we'd like. Many balletgoers are like me and live a long way off and have to dovetail performances together to save on travel and accommodation. So if we want to book early to get the seats we want its often impossible to slip in an extra performance when casting is announced. That said, last time I looked a week or 2 ago there still seemed to be plenty of availability so perhaps I'll wait a bit longer before booking.

  13. 8 hours ago, capybara said:

    I have Nina Ananiashvili’s 1999 Kitri up there with her Raymonda which I seem to recall being earlier.

    Hope this link works. I'm not good at copying to my phone! 

    This is a 1999 review of Raymonda. I found the whole season exciting as up until this point I'd never seen the Bolshoi live in full length works, only the 'ballet suites' devised by Derek Block in about 1993 at the Royal Albert Hall which were not great. This was the first Bolshoi season run by the Hochausers for a while as during the 1990s they concentrated on the Kirov. The Bolshoi was quite different with their different rep and dancers. They introduced ballets like Raymonda and Spartacus and dancers like Ananiashvili, Sergei Filin and Svetlana Lunkina whom I saw debut Kitri in Don Q on her birthday; I think she was 21. Happy days! 



    • Like 3
  14. 3 hours ago, maryrosesatonapin said:

    I would just love to see Cojocaru (but don't hope that I will, in this) - but Rojo is nearly fifty and the role is a demanding one....

    Wow  I didn't realise Tamara was nearly 50. I vaguely thought she was early to mid 40s (as I suppose Alina is now). Also with all the organisational work for the company as well as the choreography I suppose it would be difficult if not impossible, to maintain the level of fitness necessary for a new full length ballet. I only thought of seeing them because I'm a bit out of touch with ENBs ballerinas and I know them. I'm sure whoever I see will be splendid.

    Like maryrosesatonapin I  always thought the Raymonda plot (and character) was incredibly weak and thin even by ballet standards. In the 1980s Bolshoi recordings the only saving grace (for me) was the terrific villain of Gediminas Taranda who's one of the handsomest, most charismatic male dancers I've ever seen. In Raymonda  and Golden Age he even managed to upstage Irek Mukhamadov (not easy to do!) The only time I've seen it live is when the Bolshoi performed it at the Coliseum in 1999 where the fabulous Nina Anashvilli succeeded in making the ballet seem credible and the character interesting; an amazing achievement. 

    • Like 4
  15. 23 hours ago, alison said:

    But Cojocaru isn't with ENB any more ...


    I know she left ENB but I thought the door was left open enough for her to guest occasionally. It sounds like just her sort of role but possibly not to be.

    Also hoped Tamara might dance it but perhaps at a later run when she won't have all the media attention of her first choreographed full length ballet. 

    • Like 1
  16. Janet, I had heard that it was coming to the Palace, Manchester Oct 2022 but can't remember the source.

    I wish BRB and ENB announced their casting more in advance. If they're dancing it I'd like to see Tamara and Alina in Raymonda at the Coliseum and Brandon Lawrence in Don Q  at Birmingham. I was told Raymonda casting would be announced in Oct.  Any idea when Don Q casting will be announced?

    • Like 1
  17. In an updated version (Aug 4th) of the Trafalgar Studios posting I did earlier Trafalgar say they will launch the new ROH season on Tuesday September 7th. Tried to copy and paste the announcement but can't manage it on my phone. 

    I had heard every programme is being either streamed or shown at the cinema. Filming dates have been announced for Romeo, Sambe/O'Sullivan Jan 28, Dante 21st October,  Ashton Insight (streamed) 27th October,  Giselle Naghdi/Ball 10th Nov, Nutcracker 6th Dec,  Takada/Coralles.




    • Like 2
  18. The ROH reply to my query to Customer Services about lack of a seat view when booking seats.


    A new purchase path is being created for the website and during this time the seat view is not available but will return later in the year with a new seat map alongside it.


    Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience.



    What is a purchase path? A a new seat purchasing package? Is a seat map a seating plan? if so, what's wrong with the old one which I always found clear and easy to use (once you got the size right). Why is it that technical queries have to be answered in jargon?

    Still, at least I got a reply.

    • Like 6
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