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Everything posted by jmhopton

  1. POB did officially open The Lowry just over 10 years ago with a week of La Bayadere which seemed virtually sold out (I went every night!) If major companies want to come why not the Lowry where the Bolshoi and Kirov have also been or even the Birmingham Hippodrome which also has a very loyal ballet fan base and where I saw my first Kirov Corsaire in 1990. Not everything has to be London based.
  2. had a quick dash round it today after seeing the Constable exhibition and before attending Swan Lake (what a cultured day!) It was only a very quick look but I didn't see anything particularly pertaining to ballet; it seemed to be more theatrically based. Having said that it was interesting with a lot of posters and some stage designs. had a very quick run through the theatre galleries themselves and there was a 1960s costume of the cockerel in La Fille (though without his striped stockings), a tutu worn by Margot Fonteyn as Odile and another tutu worn in an early Balanchine Ballet (can't remember the name of it but possibly a Ballet Russes ballet)
  3. I too was at yesterdays performance (only got home less than an hour ago and couldn't understand how Don Q Fans post was yesterday but realised it's now past midnight!) and echo everything she said in her posting. I was very impressed with this version never having seen it before, especially as Swan Lake isn't a favourite ballet and not one I go to see very much. However, I had to see Alina and Ivan dancing together and they didn't disappoint. Alina as sublime as always and Ivan displaying a new (and unexpected) talent for the princely roles. He reigned in his usual exuberant display especially in Act 3, (though he was still brilliant in the solos and pas de deux) channelling his energy into his passion for Odette, and stayed within character throughout. Obviously his Siegfried is still 'a work in progress' but he has made a great start to hopefully a more classically based career and all credit to Tamara for inviting him when Russian Companies wouldn't give him the chance. Even his prodigious talents can't let him carry on doing Don Q and Flames indefinitely so he does need to get experience of different sorts of classical roles to balance out the more athletic ones in which he excels. Apart from the 2 major stars all the Company worked together really well to produce a magical performance. the corps de ballet were exceptional as were the character dances. James Streeter was a superb Rothbart and my favourite Fernado Buffalo was brilliant in the Neapolitan Dance. All in all a great weekend (coupled with Danish Ballet) and well worth the trip from Lancashire!
  4. I've just got home after a great weekend in London; a feast of wonderful ballet with the Royal Danish Company last night and Swan Lake at the Coliseum today. Contrary to everyone else's opinion I enjoyed my experience at the Peacock Theatre. I sat in one of the top 'boxes' and because no one else was in it I was able to get the seat nearest the stage (which was better than the one I'd booked at the other end of the box). Consequently I was overlooking the stage and had a wonderful view. it was great being so close to the dancers rather than being in the amphi and having to rely on binoculars to catch facial expressions. I don't like Sadler's Wells as a venue finding it rather soulless on the inside and rather a nuisance to get to. the dancing was wonderful and though I'd agree with those who would have liked a more imaginative backcloth (I thought when they paused it after 'Conservatoire' we were going to get some scenery for Napoli but it was not to be) it was the dancing that was the true star of the show. The quality of dancing (especially the men) was amazing and I saw details of the Bournonville style like the way the men bend their legs when they leap that hadn't really registered before. I thought I also saw Sir Peter Wright in the stalls so I hope he enjoyed it too. I was a bit surprised at the level of the enthusiastic reception they got after every piece (wonderful though it was) but when I went to the stage door afterwards there were a lot of people there. I think there were from Arts Educational School to see Greg (possible mention of a bus) so that would explain it. he was certainly given a very enthusiastic reception there. He did say that the visit may possibly be a precursor to bringing the whole company so I hope possible lack of ticket sales won't put them off doing this. Saturday night the stalls were practically full but the circle only about a third full.
  5. Many thanks to the 2 people who replied and sent me and offered to send the relevant article. it was really interesting and I appreciate their thoughtfulness. Joan
  6. If you look at the article Janet mentions in the Times there is also another article on the same page similarly cut short by the firewall entitled 'Vadim Muntagirov: ballet's hottest star'. It was published in the Times on December 27th. Has anyone seen a full text of this article (can't see it in the Reviews section) or will I have to try and find a library that keeps back copies of the Times? I do think he is an amazing dancer; so beautifully classical yet also brilliant at more character roles such as Conrad and Basil and a really nice, unassuming person as well. We are so lucky to have him at the Royal ballet.
  7. I attended both the Monday evening performance and yesterday's matinee of Don Q. First of all as I was one of those people who'd expended a good deal of time and money in transport and accommodation specifically to see Osipova on the Monday I would have appreciated more notice from the ROH re her injury. I was also in the audience when she fell and in common with most people there thought she would probably have sustained an injury serious enough to ensure she wouldn't dance in the remaining Don Qs at least. However, when I checked with the ROH after Christmas they said she was still down to dance. But now she has been pulled from her final performance surely it would have been obvious soon after her injury she would not be able to dance the remaining Don Qs? I know you can't guarantee any performer when you book but you can inform your audience as soon as you know and I'm not sure the ROH did. Anyway, rant over! Marianella did a great performance and all credit to her and Thiago as she said at the stage door they only got back from Argentina the day before! Vadim's performance was brilliant! I've never seen such an assured performance since Vasiliev, though they have very different personalities. the fact it was his debut made it even more sensastional. I'd love to see him dance it with Marianella or Osipova; that would be brillliant though Takada was excellent too. I saw him afterwards at the stage door and he seemed very shy and charming; a great young star in the making.
  8. My Christmas tv highlight was definately watching this Corsaire. While I still think no production can compare with the Mariinsky for me this production is definitely 'the best of the rest'. Sets and costumes are splendid as is the style and commitment of the dancers. I bought the HD version from digital theatre and watched it on the tv via an ipad connection. Picture quality was good and I wasn't aware of any picture freezing in the garden scene. The performances of Alina and Vadim alone is worth the money especially as I think this is the only full length recording of Vadim currently available (though hopefully won't be the last!). English national Opera seem to be getting in on the cinema act, it would be great if the ballet would follow suit. This is definitely a ballet that would benefit from a large screen, especially the first act in the market. there is so much going on in the background that would be good to see. I wish they would follow Corsaire by doing the Merry Widow. it is a wonderful ballet but I've never seen it live as no company over here does it. I think it would be a great ballet for ENB to do and they have the connection with Ronald Hynd as they do his Coppelia.
  9. Has anyone heard anything definite as to whether or not Osipova will be dancing next Monday? Having been in the theatre when she had her fall I think it would be highly unlikely she will be dancing but if so why has there been no announcement on the ROH site? It is just I am travelling a long way with the usual travel and accommodation expenses specifically to see her and if she is not dancing I may consider making other arrangements. It's frustrating not knowing. I do hope she is making a good recovery and it won't be too long before she is able to dance again.
  10. I too attended both performances of Don Q yesterday and it was great seeing Janet and Helen at the stage door. Saw Takada after the evening performance and she was very pleasant and friendly though she must have been exhausted after virtually doing 2 Don Qs in a day! Presumably Osipova's injury means the Royal are now short of 3 Kitri's with Roberta and Lauren still injured. My first impression of the ballet in the matinee was how slow the music was. It seemed almost funereal in its pace for Kitri's entrance and first variation and you couldn't help but compare it to her joyous entrance in the Bolshoi's production. In that production there is a real sense of anticipation for Kitri's entrance; a carefully choreographed build up leading to her joyous entrance at the back of the stage immediately followed by her back bending jetes to the front of stage. In this production she enters downstage and gives a little hop; not the same at all. (There is a similar anti-climax in Solor's entry in Bayadere.) I really enjoyed both Takada's and Alexander's performance. I thought they were both excellent in coping with both the technical and acting demands the parts require. However, I do agree with previous comments about some of the costumes. Basil looks as if he's strayed from the first act of Giselle rather than Don Q. the brown costume blends into the background and does nothing for anyone wearing it. Also I hate the 'day glo' costumes of Mercedes and the green outfit of the matador; why green? Whenever I see Kitri's friends I think of the review comment made last year about them wearing 'windowlene' coloured dresses! However, the evening performance started off as if it was going to be really special. I've never seen another dancer attack any role like Osipova attacks the role of Kitri; and 'attack' is the right word. She really goes for it like no other dancer I have ever seen and whether this contributed to her fall or not I don't know. However, she's done the role so many times in so many different theatres (most recently in the USA) you think she could cope with even slow music. I hope it wasn't the flooring again as that may not bode well for other dancers. She did go down with a crash but was up and dancing immediately. If you hadn't heard the crash you would hardly have realised what had happened. However by the time the end of the act came I thought she was in pain when being wheeled off in the cart. She got a tremendous well-deserved ovation at the end of her variation and I hope her injury is not too serious and she is able to dance Onegin. She has had bad luck since joining the Royal with her slight concussion for the modern ballet that lead to the performance being cancelled. then there was the fall she sustained in the rehearsal for Sleeping Beauty and now this. Best wishes for as speedy a recovery as possible, Natalia!
  11. Natalia Osipova in Giselle. Was lucky enough to see her performance both live at the ROH and in the cinema. Both incredible, emotional mind-blowing performances. ENB Corsaire. My favourite production will always be the Kirov but this production had very vibrant, colourful sets and costumes and amazing dancing and real commitment from ENB. I have downloaded the ballet from Digital Theatre and am really pleased that I will now be able to watch the number one on my Christmas wish list on Christmas day! Steven and Sarah lamb in Sleeping Beauty. Brilliant performances by both, especially Steven who really brought a sense of character and angst to what is often a rather thankless, cipher-type role. Steven in The Dream; an amazing fleet-footed Oberon. Also seeing the Concert live for the first time; a great fun ballet. Manon. great dancing from all casts I saw. Especially loved Osipova's and Vadim's debut if debut performances are as good as these what will they be like when they have really had the opportunity to get into the roles? !! Also really enjoyed Sarah Lamb's interpretation. Like bravissima 35 it changed my opinion about Sarah as a dancer. Still looking forward to seeing Osipova in Don Q and Vadim's and Takada's debut in the roles. Only disappointment for 2014 was the Mariinsky rep which meant I didn't see them for the first time since first seeing them in 1990. 2015. really looking forward to some Onegin debuts (especially Osipova and Vadim) and seeing Steven and Osipova in File.
  12. The ROH have announced their ballet (and opera) being shown on tv over Christmas. here is the link. http://www.roh.org.uk/news/roh-tv-and-radio-christmas-broadcasts-announced-for-2014 The highlight is A Winter's Tale shown on BBC4 on Christmas day at 7pm. there will also be a performance of Carlos Acosta's Cuban Night on Boxing Day at 7.30pm again on BBC 4. Sky Arts are showing lots of ballets but, as far as I can see, all ballets they have already shown. I am keeping my fingers crossed that someone may be showing ENBs Corsaire though I realise it's probably wishful thinking. I contacted ENB about the hoped-for dvd and was told they had no immediate plans for it and to keep watching their website. I was so disappointed as that was to be the highlight of my Christmas tv viewing. Until the Christmas Radio Times comes out I suppose there is a sliver of hope though I suspect if it was to be on tv over Christmas that would be on their website.
  13. There will probably be excerpts from it at the Bournonville programme by Danish Ballet at the Peacock Theatre, London January 9th and 10th. There is a clip from the ballet in the online programme preview under Sadlers Wells theatre.
  14. Many thanks for this Bruce. it is very helpful. Will definitely go for either the back of the stalls or the side circle. Joan
  15. I want to book for the Danish Ballet but does anyone have any experience of what the £18 tickets at the back of the stalls in the Peacock Theatre are like? I've only been there once and it was years ago so I don't really have any memories of it. Also, what are the £18 tickets at the side of the circle like or the £30 seats near the front of the stalls? many thanks Joan
  16. Really pleased to see the Company returning to Blackpool after too long an absence. Can anyone tell me anything about Perpetuum Mobile? What's the music like, is a it modern or traditional ballet?
  17. I just saw Giselle tonight and I too am sure that Albrecht was danced by Fadeyechev yet it was billed as Victor Barykin. If they only mention 2 members of cast it's not very good to get one of them wrong! Nina was amazing; up there with Alina and Osipova as one of the great Giselles. I didn't think the production as a whole as nearly as good as Peter Wrights. I didn't like the lack of mime and the first act costumes were more like ball gowns than peasant costumes. The 2nd act lighting also made things difficult to follow at times. In a recent Dancing Times article Osipova said that in St Petersburg Giselle is not seen as a peasant girl in the first act, more as a spiritual creature, a princess (perhaps this accounts for the female costumes) but surely that lessens the impact of the difference between the acts. Surely the whole point is she is a real girl with real emotions but with a physical frailty which also lets her down her when she is let down by her lover.
  18. The Bolshoi Unseen series continues next Monday with a 1978 production of Don Q starring Nadezhda Pavlova and her husband Vyacheslav Gordeev shown at 8pm and repeated in the early hours of Tuesday and then again the following Saturday. BBC4 on Friday 14th November shows a repeat of the 'Darcey Bussell dances Hollywood' programme.
  19. SkyArts 2 is showing 2 new ballet programmes next Monday at 8pm-11pm. There is a one hour documentary presented by Deborah Bull called The Bolshoi:dancing for Russia. This is followed by a 1991 performance of Giselle starring the wonderful Nina Ananiashvilli. Deborah is also hosting a new radio series starting this Saturday at 2pm for one hour a week for 6 weeks called Classic FM at the ballet.
  20. Was able to get the 5 single Onegin performances I wanted though disappointed no front row amphi left for Osipova's. Managed one for Nunez. If you're choosing 5 seats for different performances it doesn't seem to give you much time to weigh up all the options and pay but I just managed it.
  21. Do I understand it correctly that even public booking is restricted to 6 tickets at a time? That is presumably per booking and not per performance. I have just booked 5 individual tickets for Onegin (single tickets for different performances) in public booking so was unaffected by this ruling. However, if my husband had been able to accompany me it would have been different. Living 200 miles from London a visit to the ROH entails getting time off work, booking trains, usually as near 3 months in advance as I can to get the maximum discount, and also booking overnight accommodation. So the idea that I will be able to take advantage of any later released tickets or discounted offers is totally unrealistic. it is just discriminating against those who don't live near enough to get home the same day.
  22. Have just seen the 'encore' screening of Manon at our local cinema (Preston). There were about 30 attending and about 60/70 for the live screening on Thursday so quite a respectable attendance. I do hope the ROH and the cinemas carry on with the encore performances as it gives people a choice of dates to attend and also means people can attend more than one performance if they want to (as I did). Today I organised a small trip of 6 and several said they would have seen it again if they'd been to the original performance. The performance by all concerned was really splendid and very emotional. Marianella and Federico were sensational but I must give a special mention to Ricardo Cervera as a flamboyant Lescault who successfully hid his ruthlessness under a strong veneer of charm, and Gary Avis who enhances every performance he is part of. How such a lovely person can make himself so loathsome as Monsieur GM or the gaoler I don't know but he gives a fantastic performance as both. Re Encore screenings the Odeon website gives a list of their cinema encore screenings. I thought they had a Manon screening on the 23rd but that seems to have vanished.
  23. I too really enjoyed the cinema performance tonight. I saw 3 performances of Manon at the ROH over the weekend of the 4th and 5th of October and then the Nunez/Bonelli performance was the one that didn't engage me as much as the other two (MarQuez/Mcrae and Lamb/Muntagirov). However, the cinema close-ups really draw you into the production and make you feel part of it and really appreciate the superb acting of all concerned as well as the amazing dancing. it was even worth sacrificing seeing all the corps activity which is such an integral part of Manon to see the detail of facial expressions and tiny nuanced movements not always easy to see in the amphi. Bravo to all concerned for a truly memorable evening.
  24. I too really enjoyed Steven's and Roberta's performance. Until recently I didn't really appreciate Roberta. I think it is because she is so tiny and I am watching from the amphi. Perhaps she didn't 'project' sufficiently, especially as my eyesight isn't as good as it used to be. However, after seeing them at the cinema last year in La Fille I was really taken by her acting as well as dancing skills. the cinema close ups really brought out her personality and now I am always pleased when I see she is Steven's partner. Am looking forward to seeing Osipova at the end of the month though I wish she was partnered by Vadim. Given his amazing debut that would be an incredible partnership hopefully in the future.
  25. I too was one of the fans who waited after yesterdays matinee (and the Saturday matinee and evening performance) and as always was impressed with how friendly and chatty the dancers were; signing and posing for photographs. Nothing was too much trouble though they must have been very tired after 3 performances so close together.
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