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  1. On a selfish note, having moved from the UK a couple of years ago, I'm pleased to see a diverse choice for the cinema relays. Whilst we're getting another relay of both Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty (I'll likely still go - I do enjoy the RB productions of both!), we're also getting Anastasia, Woolf Works, Jewels, and the Ashton triple. Plenty of pieces I have not seen (I've been wanting to see Anastasia since I first heard about it!). I was hoping that they may have relayed Carbon Life - but fingers crossed we might get a music recording this time (or even a digital video? It would seem like a video download would be a great way to generate interest amongst fans of the musicians who are unfamiliar with ballet?). I think casting is going to be really exciting this season... Lots of chances for debuts in classic RB pieces and opportunities in mixed bills for dancers to shine (Really excited to see what the castings will be for Tarantella, M&A, Dream etc).
  2. A quick message to wish Toi Toi Toi / Chukkas / Merde to all the LAB dancers for their gala today. Go out there, dance your hearts out, and enjoy every second!
  3. This is from a couple of years ago and is a music video rather than an advert (I guess technically it's an advert for the music...!) but I just discovered it, think it's rather lovely, and thought it would fit in this thread. The lovely Elizabeth Harrod from the Royal Ballet dancing to Keaton Henson's To Your Health (slightly NSFW language if you're planning on showing to kids!). Henson has worked with the BalletBoyz too, and his mother is Marguerite Porter, who choreographed this video:
  4. Thank you all for your kind and supportive messages! After a very long day in the office it has cheered me right up! I definitely plan on still dancing and blogging once I make it across to San Francisco, as well as watching lots of SF Ballet, PNW Ballet, LA Ballet, San Jose Ballet... and more! BalletTeacher - Luckily I have a conference at the end of July (in Japan!) so I've a tentative submission deadline for before then, which should give me a bit of time to detox. I'll definitely try to take a couple of classes on my travels and once I'm back home and (hopefully) thesis-free...
  5. Always great to read all of your updates everyone! To reassure those worried about stage make up - you'll have more knowledge than me and I cope okay for performances There's always someone willing to help me out backstage before I poke my eye out... Am feeling a bit down myself, as Sunday was my last session with the youth ballet company I dance with and the last ballet class for at least a couple of months until I finish my thesis (and probably until I move out to the US). I've been so lucky to have had such amazing teachers and opportunities with the YBC (not least the chance to perform in two full-length ballets), so it was bittersweet taking class on Sunday, but it was great to finish on a real high with a great class. I've so many fantastic memories of times on and off-stage, and I'll not have a chance like this again in the future, so I'm just glad to have been part of it for the last two years! It's frustrating to know that I won't be taking class for a couple of months - it's always been my way of keeping sane when work is stressing me out. I guess releve balances in the office will have to suffice for now....
  6. Interesting - thank you! What a cast for Wheeldon to work with
  7. Seeing this triple bill on Saturday confirmed my feeling when the season was announced, last April, that it would be my highlight of the season (although I guess there's still The Dream Bill to come). I could wax lyrical about the three pieces but will strive to be brief: Serenade (the first ballet I saw in NYC when I had just started taking ballet classes 3.5 years ago) was as sublime as I remembered, leaving me with a feeling of absolute contentment. It's a piece that has a certain fragility to it that requires the audience members to trust it and let it consume them when watching. Splendid performances (mostly debuts I think?) in all the principal roles and a gorgeous corps de ballet; I enjoyed Sweet Violets even more than last run (when I enjoyed it immensely!) not least due to noticing lots of little details like Wood+Marie attending the musichall performance (where there was also some naughty goings on in the wings!). Brilliant performances all round. As with their PdD in Hansel&Gretel, the physicality of Gartside and Morera's partnering in the final scene was stunning - they seem to work so well together. DGV was new to me and I loved every moment. Nice to see some of Wheeldon's earlier work, and the company were on fire. Particularly noteworthy was Tierney Heap's debut which was fantastically commanding - I couldn't keep my eyes off her - partnered by Hirano (who was superb in both this and Sweet Violets). Can anyone tell me who DGV was created on? I was wondering who created which roles but not sure how to find this out.... In summary, I think this was one of the best triple bills I've seen from the Royal Ballet in the last couple of years. I found it thrilling, moving and beautiful in equal measures. Needless to say, I'm very excited to see both casts on Monday! As a final note, I went on Saturday with two friends who go to see a bit of opera but haven't seen too much ballet. They loved it so much that I got a message afterwards saying they had bought tickets for last night's performance to see it again. Following last night one of them declared that Sweet Violets is his favourite ballet he's seen, and the other friend has convinced 6 of her work friends to buy tickets for it! Definitely got their seal of approval
  8. One of the most thrilling part of watching fouetté turns for me is when there is the change in the music after the first 16 and the dancer (often) switches from sequences including doubles/triples to a string of snappy singles. Always makes me smile! In terms of dancing, I personally love doing grand fouetté relevés - there's something about them that makes me feel like I'm 'dancing' the step and not just executing them. On the other hand, I'm certainly not a fan of Italian Fouettés (or the version of grand fouetté relevé where you link each fouetté without moving the supporting leg - the only example I can think of is the Lilac Fairy variation). As for fouetté turns - I'm just glad that as a guy I tend to do grand pirouettes when the girls are doing them!
  9. That's a great idea from ENB - especially if you are signing up to a course of classes so are committing to multiple classes from the start. And I totally agree that having cover teachers can be great - a variety of teaching styles is very important and I always try to take a range of classes with different teachers whenever possible. I was simply mentioning cover teachers in the context of class difficulty - that what one teacher may consider to be elementary may not line up with the cover teacher's idea of an elementary class (and so a video previewing a class may not be accurate if a cover teacher is taking the class).
  10. When I started ballet I started in a Ballet 101 class at my local dance school, and worked up to a Ballet 201 class (after 7 or 8 months I think?). I then started also taking open adult classes (at basic/beginner level) elsewhere. I've found it a bit trickier more recently - I mainly dance at a local ballet school with a set level class and when I take an adult class elsewhere (i.e. London) I'm never sure what level to take! Part of the problem is lack of consistency across different studios - I've taken "Elementary" classes at one studio that are harder than "Intermediate/Advanced" elsewhere! Something I noticed with one dance studio (I thought it was the Place in London but can't find the videos on their website!) which I thought was a really great idea was a short video for each of the levels of adult ballet classes. Each video gave a demonstration of a mid-barre exercise (a frappe or fondu exercise I think) followed by a couple of centre exercises (like an adage and petit allegro). This was ideal for helping decide what level of class to take - I could immediately see that, say, intermediate would be too much of a stretch when I got to centre, but elementary would be a nice level where I could cope but still be pushed. It seemed like a relatively simple idea and was so useful (and made me want to attend that dance studio if not least for their resourcefulness!). Obviously it might be incorrect with cover teachers etc, but it would be so useful to get a preview of a class!
  11. I think if I was in ballet heaven I would have to be dancing Romeo in MacMillan's R&J. As much as I'd love to dance Albrecht, Siegfried, Onegin, des Grieux, and so many other roles, Romeo surpasses them all for me. I'd get to do the masks trio, the balcony PdD, the bedroom PdD, the crypt scene, and more. Although it would mean heartbreak every night... It's a tough choice for my heavenly Juliet - how can I choose?! Cuthbertson, Nunez, Glurdjidze, Semionova, Ferri...! However, I would be tempted to skip doing a full-length in order to do one particular variation - the torch bearer in Gayane. It's not a very well known variation (I can't find much of it on YouTube) but my teacher taught me it during a summer course last year. I've never felt so free whilst dancing. It's the hardest variation I've danced but also the most rewarding and I'd be in heaven if I could experience that feeling over and over. I've never seen Gayane (or even heard of it before learning the variation) so don't know if it would be worth doing the whole ballet, but that variation would be worth it alone.
  12. Thanks Terpsichore for reminding people about this performance - I've been rehearsing all weekend and everyone is so excited to perform Cinderella again! It's great to hear that BristolBillyBob and yourself will both be at the show - I hope to catch you both after the performance (and I hope you enjoy it!). I'll be donning my wig again to play the King - such a fun role! I'm pleased to say that you'll be getting a little extra ballet on Sunday compared to the Stockport show too - there will be a short ballet section before Cinderella of the Underwater Kingdom scene from the Little Humpbacked Horse - featuring children of all ages from the Bristol Russian Ballet School (including myself as the Ocean King in a Pd3 Adage). I wasn't familiar with the piece before we learnt it, but it's really lovely and it's amazing to see all the children dancing so well in it. There'll also be children from the school featured throughout Cinderella in various scenes. I think it goes without saying that it is an absolute honour to share the stage with the incredible Elena Glurjidze and Arionel Vargas. They are both beautiful dancers and really kind people too - sharing their knowledge and inspiring every dancer on the stage. I'm also so pleased to share the stage with the brilliant Yury (as the stepmother) - who along with the fantastic Chika run the school and youth ballet company. I completely echo JoJo's comments about them deserving all the credit. I owe so much to them both who have really pushed me and helped me achieve what, to me, seemed impossible. If you'd told me when I started dancing that I'd be performing in two full-length ballets (Swan Lake and Cinderella) and alongside such amazing dancers as Glurjidze/Vargas I would have never believed you. There are still some tickets available for Sunday's show - which can be purchased from the playhouse box office or online: http://www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/theatre/productionpage.aspx?hid=104&nid=1738_3&zid=3 It should be a great show!
  13. Ah - I wondered how I could edit #26 but not #21 - that explains it! Thanks for adding the sentence Janet
  14. Ah, apologies - I missed the fact that the quote was from 2011 (I should have guessed that anything appearing in the news in the coming weeks about Javid will be retroactive). Does anyone know if the response from the Royal Opera House about the touts is from 2011 too? It doesn't make it clear in the article whether the response about touts and the congratulations on his appointment are from the same statement or not. I do think Javid's financial background could be a very good thing for the position of culture minister - the world of arts funding seems tricky and complicated and approaching it with a business-head (to a certain degree) may be a smart move. (Edit: Also, I can't seem to go back and edit my previous post to point out that the quote is from 2011 - I guess you can't edit posts after a certain time?)
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