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Everything posted by simonbfisher

  1. This may be naive - or just stupid - but is there any reason why a theatre (or indeed ALL the theatres) could not itself mandate mask wearing for those not medically exempt, regardless of what the Government thinks is best for us? Turn your phone off - no-one objects to that. Don't talk - no-one objects to that. Do not bring food into the auditorium - no-one objects to that (in the ROH, anyway). So why not add mask-wearing to the list of things we are obliged to do during a performance to make life better for those around us? And not just better - as my first three examples - but a darned sight safer too.
  2. Well Sim, you’re the boss - but the heading is “Performances seen and General Discussions”. I really fear that if we don’t all start acting more responsibly there will soon no longer, as in the recent dark days, be any “performances seen”.
  3. Really great to see McRae back again last night - maybe everso slightly tentative at first, but soon full steam ahead. Amazing what his determination and the splendid ministrations of all the support staff at the Opera House have managed! The House was packed and very enthusiastic, but I have to say I was so disappointed (?angry) that only about 5% in the Stalls and Stalls Circle were masked, despite the repeated encouragements in the announcements. I am afraid I even had to ask the woman sitting next to us to stop coughing with an open mouth... Meanwhile, at the National Ballet of Canada : "All patrons, 12 years of age or older, must provide proof of vaccination to attend performances by The National Ballet of Canada .All audience members must wear a mask at all times in the lobby and auditorium, except when eating or drinking. Neck gaiters and bandanas will not be permitted."
  4. “We left Giselle at the end of Act 1 … and now I am going to write my verdict on the whole ballet, though I have no idea what happens in Act 2.” No, that doesn’t work, does it. We left S W at the very end of Creature, standing ovation and cheers and all, very moved, and with a lot to think about. Thematically linked to Büchner and to Shelley, but very much its own creature (ahem), the desperation of the relationship with Marie, her helpless drudgery, the Creature’s wondering love, their beautiful pdd (actually a pd3 with a mop - think Cinderella and her broom then immediately forget her again), all make this readable as a love story. But it is much more than that. The manipulation of the Creature and the rest of the crew by the mad-Leontes-clad Major was a political statement; the decrepitude and eventual collapse of the set, their world, is too close to our own situation for comfort. Plenty to get one’s teeth into as far as the unravelling of the ideas is concerned. Jeffrey Cirio, and the choreography created on the Creature himself, were extraordinary. He flows, he jitters, he silently screams, he weeps - quite beautifully. How he managed still to be standing at the end was a marvel. The movements of the Corps were mesmerising - and though repetitive at times, never tediously so. Repetition is their life, after all. All the supporting principal roles were clearly defined and clearly danced. Poor Marie and her broom have come in for a lot of stick (sorry) on here but we thought she was a fully developed and tragic figure - her acting and her dancing (when permitted, which given her lowly status was not often) were heart-rending. Yes it was loud. The initial moments made our seats vibrate, but it was not constant and grew less noticeable as the ballet went on. As inveterate tutters at background muzak in restaurants we were not unduly disturbed. It is subjective, I know. The music in Act 2 with its assimilation of the Boléro was fascinating, and the voiceovers - of which we are not automatic fans - made sense and added to the helplessness of these last (?) humans, creatures all. We have booked to see it again.
  5. Dangerous Liaisons is showing in cinemas on Tuesday 14th Sept. So far it will, it seems, be just Balu and me in the Basingstoke Odeon.
  6. Thank you, Jane - I can hear her voice... x
  7. We went yesterday - on the plus side the weather was glorious, ditto the setting, and the dancers and musicians seemed to be having a great time. On the minus side, we arrived at 12.00 on the dot, having been told that seating would be allocated on arrival from 12.00. We were given seats in what we were told was the third row (despite apparently being first in line). When we went to the seats shortly before the 3.00 start we found they were in the 8th row - five rows of more comfy seats were in front of the stage. I queried what the arrangement was, and was told that they were more expensive seats for VIPs. None of us can recall being given the opportunity to buy "more expensive seats" (it seemed to be a flat rate of £85.00) and we were not ecstactic to be told that we were NOT Very Important People. So a bit of a sour note there. Once the performance started, it transpired that because of NO rake, a low stage (2 feet high) and the many very necessary hats in front, we could see just the dancers' heads (and in Reece Clarke's case his shoulders as well) and the occasional flash of torso between the hats. After a three hour journey (and £85.00 each - yes, it was in a very good cause, but still £85.00....) this was so very disappointing.
  8. Thank you Fiona and Cabybara - obviously after only four days I should not be upset about not having received a response yet !
  9. Fiona, how did you make contact? I sent an email and a message on their website on 28 June and have also left phone message - no luck so far!
  10. For us the outstanding pieces were 1. Kristen McNally's, who had us laughing out loud, and really delighted to see some "senior" faces being so sleeeezy; 2.Marcelino Sambé's, which brought the Othello story horribly vividly to life with some great acting as well as the intricate choreography; 3.Matthew Ball's, in which there were so very many beautiful choreographic ideas that it could have been twice as long and not run out of steam. It is this latter particularly which we would love to see grow into a fully fledged third of a tri-partite evening. I must say that, not having many brain cells left after the last year we were royally confused about titles, music, dancers ... as others have said it could have been much clearer on screen during the show itself.
  11. Awful news. Deepest sympathy to Liam’s family and friends. He had so much still to give.
  12. I am so glad I crawled out of bed - that was a really beautiful Paquita to wake up to, and there is much more to come! But, again, so sad to see the curtain calls to an empty auditorium, though I am sure I could hear violin bows being tapped in approval.
  13. Of course! Thank you, Naomi - why did I not think of that! x
  14. Angela, I cannot find Rastlos on YouTube ... is it still there? Or only in Germany?
  15. Does anyone know whether 'A Cinderella Story' and 'A Streetcar...' are available on DVD or some other medium? I cannot track either of them down. And having read through the above - yes: Ed Watson in Neumeier ... what a loss! Seems obvious now I think about it.
  16. Do you know how long this will stay available? We missed Bayadère, sadly!
  17. I cannot find via the link that Li Tai Po posted (https://tengrinews.kz/tv/#) any details of anything to do with ballet transmissions from Almaty - have I missed everything? I do hope not!
  18. I am looking for two SC standing or sitting for Onegin on Mon 24th Feb. But I'll consider any other places/seats too - I do need two, but not necessarily together! Please PM as well as replying here if you can help.
  19. "I noticed that the women dancers had much curvier figures than what we are used to nowadays" said maryroseatonapin ... they did, and delightful they were, cool and controlled in Chopiniana (which sadly the Trocs ruined for me a long while ago) and playfully lascivious in Scheherazade. But the men were also noticeably well-nourished : I don't know what the rations in the slave quarters were, but they were obviously not calorie controlled. Turkish Delight and Baclava maybe... Also, I think had I been Scheherazade I should have been very happy to have stayed true to the Sultan... Having seen the Astana Ballet a few weeks back with a completely different repertoire it was interesting to see this take on classicism - the Kazakh Ambassador to the UK in his introductory speech did say that they had received considerable help from their friends in Russia with the sprucing up of the company. He also intimated that Kazakhstan was on the cultural offensive at the moment and is making appearances here in several branches of the arts. Good - it is always fascinating to see dance from far away!
  20. A good word for Alston's choreography might be "creamy" ... luscious and more-ish, and different in different contexts but always recognisably itself. We have seen the company as often as we could over the years and they have very rarely disappointed. Woking's programme was gorgeous, and we shall miss them enormously when it all has to stop next spring.
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