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I've just gotten home from watching Cats with my 11 yr old and his friend, I loved it, so did they, giving it 8 out of ten. I agree. I went expecting to hate it. I hadn't seen the stage version, so had no comparison as a starting point. It really was a festive treat, Francesca Hayward was lovely, appearing in just about every scene. She has a really beautiful expressive face which added to her role. I was surprised that she sang, I am hoping it was indeed her. Steven McRae's tap dancing was phenomenal! I can't work out why the film received zero or only one star reviews, I didn't read them beforehand as I really wanted to come to my own opinion without the critics words and spoilers reverberating in my head. Three people walked out of the screening this afternoon, about 30 minutes in; this got me thinking about the negative reviews on the way home. I think perhaps this is a film where there is no middle ground, you either just love straight away, or you don't. It has an unusual rather unreal quality to it, not quite magical, but an unusual 'feel.' If you love the poems of T.S Eliot and the music of ALW, and want to watch some wonderful cats with human faces, then go, suspend disbelief and enjoy.
Francesca Hayward is to take the lead role in the new film Cats - see http://www.roh.org.uk/news/royal-ballet-principal-francesca-hayward-leads-the-cast-of-cats?utm_source=social&utm_medium=twitter She'll be replaced in The Unknown Soldier by Yasmine Naghdi and will be back with the company in the spring.
Xander Parish has been named Emerging Male Dancer of 2014 at the Premia La Danza Léonide Massine in Positano. Oksana Skorik was named Emerging Female Dancer of 2014. Steven McRae also received an award as male Dancer of the Year and Olga Smirnova as female Dancer of the Year. Christopher Wheeldon was named Choreographer of the Year. Here is the full list: o Lifetime achievement award 2014 – Mats Ek and Ana Laguna o Choreographer of the year Award – Christopher Wheeldon (The Royal Ballet, London and New York City Ballet) o Prix Benois-Massine Moscow-Positano – Mariko Kida (Royal Swedish Ballet) o Dancer of the year Award on the international scene – Olga Smirnova (Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow) o Dancer of the year on the international scene – Steven McRae (The Royal Ballet, London) o Emerging on the international stage Dancer – Oksana Skorik (Mariinsky-Kirov, Saint Petersburg) o Emerging on the international stage Dancer – Xander Parish (St. Petersburg Mariinsky Kirov) o Dancer of the year on the contemporary scene – PeiJu Chien Pott (Martha Graham Dance Company, New York) o Dancer of the year on the contemporary scene – Alvaro Dule (Random Dance, London) o Classical Dancer of the year on the Italian scene - Carlo Lanno (formerly Milan’s La Scala, the San Francisco Ballet today) o Contemporary Dancer of the year on the Italian scene – Giuseppe Comuniello (Virgilio Sieni Danza) o Prix Massine Legacy– Elizabeth Souritz (Biography di Léonide Massine) o Premio all’Alta formazione di danza “Luca Vespoli” – Larissa Anisimova (Presidente Fondazione Accademia nazionale della danza, Roma) http://www.thewonderfulworldofdance.com/ana-laguna-xander-parish-oksana-skorik-steven-mcrae-honoured-in-italy Edited to say that, although I have put this in the Xander Parish thread, given that a number of other dancers are mentioned, administrators may feel it should be elsewhere. If so, please feel free to move it.