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I have just realised that there is a performance of Anastasia on the saturday evening that I'm going to be in London in November - it's with Cuthbertson, Lamb and Macrae.  They have some really good tickets still available and if I were on my own I'd have gone like a shot, but I'm going to be with my husband who is not a ballet buff.  The last time I saw it was with Lynn Seymour (yes that long ago) and I can't decide what to do.  I'd be grateful for some opinions on it - has anyone seen it lately or remembers it better than I do??????

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It looks very different now, biggest change is that the first act is now on board a ship rather than in the birch tree forest, it could be anywhere, the sense of the Romanovs at home in the Russian countryside is completely lost.

 

Leanne Benjamin matched memories of Seymour but generally the ensemble acting was lacking.  I missed Beriosova's tsarina more than anything.

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Thank you - I wonder why they did that? Beriosova was my adored idol, so I know what you mean! No-one could replace her in Enigma either - she was so divine even in relatively small roles.

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I'm like you last time I saw it was in Lyn Seymours era ....I did see her do it but may have seen Collier do it too....could this be right??

 

I do want to see it this time but In away for a lot of the dates so think I can only make sat the 12th ..a matinee I think...in the end though there is one other week day I can manage but need to check who is dancing.

 

I would give it a go if you can ....even just to go to ROH if you and hubby haven't been there for quite a while!

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Yes, I believe the first two acts have both been changed.  The first is on the royal yacht, and the second inside the palace.  I assume the third is as it was, although I've never seen the original production.  The sets had to be replaced because the originals got eaten while in storage - and they also took far too long to change.  Obviously the Anastasias are all new, given the amount of time that's elapsed, and I don't think anyone's seen any more than early days of rehearsals (there should be an insight evening online), so difficult to assess how good they will be.

 

But what's McRae doing in it?  Oh, Tchessinka's partner, I presume?  I had visions of him doing Rasputin :)

 

It's maybe not the easiest ballet for the uninitiated, but then presumably your hubby isn't a total novice?

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No he's not a novice - he's been married to me for 43 years after all - but it's still not his "thing".  He might well find it interesting though, because it's based on a true story for once!  Thanks everyone - I'll check on the ROH website again.

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You should try to take him to Mayerling later this season...also based on a true story!

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We actually saw it some years ago with Mukhamedov. We live abroad so this time I probably won't get to see it, unless I come over especially. I am excited about Anastasia - I splashed out on 2 seats Grand Tier centre front row! Couldn't believe they were available! Perhaps everyone's going to bonfires for Guy Fawkes Day???

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Yes, I believe the first two acts have both been changed.  The first is on the royal yacht, and the second inside the palace.  I assume the third is as it was, although I've never seen the original production.  The sets had to be replaced because the originals got eaten while in storage - and they also took far too long to change.  Obviously the Anastasias are all new, given the amount of time that's elapsed, and I don't think anyone's seen any more than early days of rehearsals (there should be an insight evening online), so difficult to assess how good they will be.

 

But what's McRae doing in it?  Oh, Tchessinka's partner, I presume?  I had visions of him doing Rasputin :)

 

It's maybe not the easiest ballet for the uninitiated, but then presumably your hubby isn't a total novice?

eaten?

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I have a ticket for opening night (with Osipova) - I've never seen Anastasia before, and after watching some of the rehearsal today in the World Ballet Day livestream I'm really looking forward to it!

Edited by Tatiana
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I have a ticket for opening night (with Osipova) - I've never seen Anastasia before, and after watching some of the rehearsal today in the World Ballet Day livestream I'm really looking forward to it!

I will be there too, and from that rehearsal it looks like she is going to be wonderful.  

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I'm not sure how many opportunities to use the elevation she has in that ballet, though ;)

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I saw the rehearsal today having last seen this ballet about 12 years ago and remembering little of it.  Yes, Acts 1 and 2 were written after Act 3 which is the original one act ballet and are very different.  I found Act 1 (on a ship) and Act 2 (palace setting) interesting, but not emotionally moving.  Act 3 however, has a totally different tone, atmosphere, setting, music - everything really and the dancing is stunning - classic MacMillan.  It's a fantastic part for any ballerina (it was Lauren today and she was excellent) So, I found it strangely unbalanced and you can certainly see that he added the first acts on when he needed to write a ballet for a full company rather than a small one. 

 

I'm now tempted to book for a full performance (which I hadn't yet). Pity Acts 1 and 2 don't match Act 3 otherwise we would have another Mayerling or Manon on our hands. 

 

Note, this was a rehearsal so should not be judged as a performance.  I have deliberately limited my comment to the structure and content as I saw it.  Some good parts of the up and coming young men in the company! 

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I'll be there on Friday 28., Amphitheatre Row C. Will be on the lookout for blue badges during the intervals!

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I saw the rehearsal today having last seen this ballet about 12 years ago and remembering little of it.  Yes, Acts 1 and 2 were written after Act 3 which is the original one act ballet and are very different.  I found Act 1 (on a ship) and Act 2 (palace setting) interesting, but not emotionally moving.  Act 3 however, has a totally different tone, atmosphere, setting, music - everything really and the dancing is stunning - classic MacMillan.  It's a fantastic part for any ballerina (it was Lauren today and she was excellent) So, I found it strangely unbalanced and you can certainly see that he added the first acts on when he needed to write a ballet for a full company rather than a small one. 

 

I'm now tempted to book for a full performance (which I hadn't yet). Pity Acts 1 and 2 don't match Act 3 otherwise we would have another Mayerling or Manon on our hands. 

 

Note, this was a rehearsal so should not be judged as a performance.  I have deliberately limited my comment to the structure and content as I saw it.  Some good parts of the up and coming young men in the company!

 

Interesting point about finding the ballet unbalanced as acts were added to accommodate a full company. I found a similar sort of imbalance with The Invitation, which as I recall, was originally intended as a much longer work but ended up as one act. In my opinion, some arguably less important scenes were overlong and some overdone. Particularly in the repeated gestures and grimacing indicating the husband and wife didn't get on. I remember thinking at the time okay, we get it, lets move on. For me, MacMillan has always been the master of a simple gesture speaking a thousand words, particularly true of Mayerling. The Invitation seemed shoehorned into a time slot with insufficient time given to explore motivation or develop characters, which made some of their actions inexplicable. I am not referring to the rape itself.

Although I found the clip of Osipova rehearsing Anastasia fascinating, I am hedging my bets and going to see it at the cinema.

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Is Anastasia ok for a ten year old boy? I'm not too pushed about our own boys - Manon prompted a conversation, but that's ok -  but now have one of the other boys that dances with them along on cinema trips so I have to be a bit more careful. (His parents would be bringing him specially, whereas we're going anyway.)

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In the sense that there's nothing "nasty" in it a la Mayerling or Manon, I'd say so.  OTOH, not sure how much of it a 10-year-old would appreciate, the third act especially.  I'd have thought the first two acts should be fine, though.

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Hang on, I've just realised: is this actually a narrative MacMillan ballet *without* any whores in it?! :)

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That's ok: he's a serious enough dancer (in the Irish National Youth Ballet junior company, dancing in their Nutcracker in six weeks) but could do with being exposed to more shows. Even if he doesn't like it much, he learns something.

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Not a review because I know they are frowned upon for rehearsals but just back from todays friends one and I found as a ballet the first two Acts are purely window dressing but Act 3 is from a totally different world. WOW!  and go and see Lauren.

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Hang on, I've just realised: is this actually a narrative MacMillan ballet *without* any whores in it?! :)

Unless you consider that very elegant prima ballerina wearing jewels from the Tsar, and other men, on her tutu, as a nod in that direction?

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No, I very definitely didn't :) 

 

I shall be interested to see what the ballerinas dancing her (and their partners) make of the role: it's far more than just a technical exercise, and not everyone "gets" it properly right away.

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I am seeing Lauren on saturday November 5th. I'm so glad you all praised her - I haven't seen her in anything dramatic so that's great. I got front row tickets in the centre of the Grand Tier - have no idea why they were still available - everyone going to Guy Fawkes Day fireworks perhaps? I go so rarely that it felt okay to splash out and actually the tickets were relatively well priced at £80 each.

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I'm so happy to get positive appraisal of Lauren in the lead - I am seeing her on Saturday November 5th. Got really good tickets - probably because of its being Bonfire Night!

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