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This opens tonight, so all reports/reviews/discussions here please.  I can't believe that there is only one week to go until the end of the RB season....where has it all gone??!!

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Greatly looking forward to tomorrow - last visit this season. Would love to have seen this bill a few of times, but cash, mobility and theatre going prevent. 

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Have just seen the rehearsal and hope that it's OK to say here that the 8 Men are no longer wearing those dreadful wigs in Marguerite and Armand.

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They may be dreadful to modern taste but absolutely historically accurate.  I suppose they'll wear jeans and tee shirts next time around.

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There are a few tickets showing on the ROH website for all performances at the moment for anyone who still wants a ticket.

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6 hours ago, Sim said:

I can't believe that there is only one week to go until the end of the RB season....where has it all gone??!!

 

Wish I knew :(

 

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7 hours ago, MAB said:

They may be dreadful to modern taste but absolutely historically accurate.  I suppose they'll wear jeans and tee shirts next time around.

 

I do understand that - I think the issue has been discussed elsewhere? But, when Armand, his father and the duke wear their own hair, the wigs look almost farcical by comparison.

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What a wonderful and emotional opening night. Huge and most deserved ovation for the fabulous Zenaida.  More thoughts when I've collected them!

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The Dream was absolutely amazing!! I've never been so completely wowed by everything on stage. Dancing and acting from every single member superb, orchestration excellent, so hard to pick a favourite moment in this piece. Splendid all around. 

 

Symphonic good as well, but Ashton's non narrative works are simply not my thing so i can't comment :/

 

M&A I loved, such searing emotions of course from Yanowsky and Bolle. But the dancing really left me a little wanting.. if only because I've seen what these two are capable of, and tonight just wasn't them at their best! I sat up close so saw the moment when she fell off his knee, or a couple of missed arabesque landings. They kept being just millimeters off and it constantly stunted their emotional heights. It got much better as it went though, so here's to the 7th!

Edited by lyn
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5 hours ago, lyn said:

I sat up close so saw the moment when she fell off his knee, or a couple of missed arabesque landings. They kept being just millimeters off and it constantly stunted their emotional heights. It got much better as it went though, so here's to the 7th!

 

I didn't care about the little slips. I was just enraptured by the emotional charge of Zen in particular.

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Just what I was going to say, Capybara!

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I've done my knee in but I'm literally limping to London for the matinée today when i should be at home icing it. I couldn't bear missing it as I've so been looking forward to this bill and have never seen these ballets live before.  I think it's safe to say that I'm ballet mad.

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Guess I was watching too critically! Such a treat regardless though. 

 

By the way, how do final performances work..? Does the audience bring in flowers that they might throw them on stage..?

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4 minutes ago, Two Pigeons said:

How long is the programme please?

 

2h 55min!

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8 minutes ago, lyn said:

Guess I was watching too critically! Such a treat regardless though. 

 

By the way, how do final performances work..? Does the audience bring in flowers that they might throw them on stage..?

 

I think you can bring flowers but the throwing is done from on high by ROH staff. I have never seen,  other than the odd one, thrown from the stalls, too far - they would finish up in the orchestra which is no good for the instruments nor the players. You could leave them at the stage door I suppose.

Edited by SPD444

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There is one man who throws small bouquets from the front row of the stalls on to the stage.  He never misses.  I'm not sure if it's approved by ROH though.

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A very long time ago flower throws were from the boxes..... prearranged beforehand but have no idea how it all operates now but it certainly wasn't ROH staff doing the throwing....perhaps they gave the okay? Can't remember now ....but it was the ballet fans from the audience doing the throwing. 

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12 hours ago, capybara said:

 

I do understand that - I think the issue has been discussed elsewhere? But, when Armand, his father and the duke wear their own hair, the wigs look almost farcical by comparison.

 

No one would dare try to put Nureyev in a wig, he gave up on them completely when he left the Kirov.  He also notoriously refused to wear Beaton's original costume for Armand.  Originally both Leslie Edwards as The Duke and Michael Somes as Armand's father both wore wigs.  I'm saddened that production details are being discarded.

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I thoroughly enjoyed last night's opener.  My hubby came with me, and he hadn't been to the ballet for two or three years.  He was completely bowled over by it and absolutely loved it all.  He was so impressed with the standard of dancing, and with the care with which this triple has been put together.  He said it really shows Ashton's genius and the variety that he had, not only in choreographic style but in content as well.  He said he is very sorry that some people seem to think Ashton is 'old fashioned' and that more of his work doesn't get shown.  "It is real ballet", says he.  

 

Well, I can't disagree with any of that (would I ever disagree with my hubby?!!).  The Dream was a dream of a performance.  I can't imagine that there is any Oberon anywhere as good as Steven McRae ('astonishing', was the word hubby used to describe his performance) is.  He just gets it all right:  Ashton's fiendishly difficult footwork, the right combination of imperiousness and arrogance, and wonderful partnering.  Last night his partner was the meltingly gorgeous Akane Takada, once again stepping unto the breach to replace poor Sarah Lamb.  Sadly, I missed her Mayerling with McRae, but by all accounts it worked amazingly well.  Last night took this partnership up onto another level.  Yes, I call it a partnership because already that is what I think it could be.  Steven and Sarah are, of course, an established partnership, but Steven and Akane could well be another one.  They have chemistry, they look good together, she is technically his equal....and those arms!   She is a very, very enjoyable Titania to watch, and the perfect foil for him.  The other roles were all very well done also, especially Valentino Zucchetti's cheeky Puck, and Bennet Gartside's mystified Bottom!

 

Symphonic Variations was also beautifully interpreted.  I can't single anyone out because they were all equally impressive.  When it was over, which seemed to happen so quickly as we enjoyed it so much, my hubby said 'what a shame they can't just do it again'!  He did realise what a killer it is, though!  

 

Marguerite and Armand.....sigh.  As I've said elsewhere on this forum, as a ballet in itself this has never been a favourite of mine.  It wasn't until I saw Polunin/Rojo dance it twice a few years ago that I realised what it could be.  Last night Zen and Bolle reaffirmed my view that my enjoyment (or not) of this particular piece is all down to the emotional effect its dancers elicit from within me.  I can't express how much I enjoyed this ballet last night.  Two dancers who are at the 'mature' stage of their careers, who have lived a life, who have suffered artistic and other ups and downs like we all have....all of this experience of life and of art was channeled into their performance, and the tragedy of lost love and lost life was so palpable that you could almost reach out and touch it, and make it your own tragedy too.  Yes, there might have been a couple of slight slips, but these were caused by the passion and total abandon that both were imbuing in their dancing, and this made the story all the more real.  Bolle found something from within himself that I haven't always seen there;  these two feed off each other and have a chemistry that encourages each to give their all to the other.  This showed at the curtain calls, when both were almost in tears, physically and emotionally drained, and they couldn't stop hugging each other.  It was a very special moment, and a very special performance.  I haven't heard such long, loud and sustained applause at the ROH for a long time, and I can't wait to see what it is like on Wednesday night.  In half an hour last night, Zen encapsulated all the years she has danced, and reminded us just how very much missed she is going to be.  Brava to a truly great artist.  

 

 

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A joyous night, only slightly marred for me by the lighting in The Dream not quite strong enough sometimes, it made the burst of light at the start and throughout Symphonic even better!  Looking forward to the cinema on Wednesday and seeing it again, couldn't fault the performances in The Dream and Symphonic, special mention for Yuhui Choe who looked perfect in Symphonic! I had been expecting to find M and A my least favourite ballet but it was a stunning peformance, Zenaida Yanowsky looked so young and lovely, reminded me of how good they were in Manon, must say I didn't notice the wigs, had eyes only for Yanowsky and Bolle!

Edited by Beryl H
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I'm just out of today's matinée, and though there are many wonderful words that could be said, right now I can only think of two: Joseph Sissens.

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32 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

I'm just out of today's matinée, and though there are many wonderful words that could be said, right now I can only think of two: Joseph Sissens.

How was Frankie in the Dream

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Last night we were treated to an amazing array of most glorious dancers in the company.

 

From Steven McRae and Akane Takada in "The Dream", to Marianella Nunez, Yasmine Naghdi, Yuhui Choe, Vadim Muntagirov, James Hay, Tristan Dyer in "Symphonic Variations", and Zenaida Yanowsky and Guest Principal Roberto Bolle in "M&A". I can't add much to what has already been said in Sim's post.

I loved Akane Takada too in The Dream. 

 

Nunez/Naghdi/Choe  and Muntagirov/Hay/Dyer are the veritable SV dream cast, all were exceptional and together they turned SV into a visual feast of true perfection. I saw this cast two years ago and it simply amazed me to see how Miss Naghdi has matured in this very short space of time, she has grown into such an incredible confidant dancer, she gives me the greatest pleasure whenever I am lucky enough to see her on the stage. (that's not to say I didn't enjoy the glorious Nunez or Choe!)

 

"M&A"- a very emotional affair it was.

 

What a wonderful evening to end this amazing Season and I wish all The Royal Ballet dancers a successful Tour in Australia. 

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Really feel I got my money's  worth this afternoon! The Dream stunning particularly David Yudes Puck. He and Sambe looked so good together. I think Francesca is a real Ashton dancer, lovely soft lines. Great fun seemed to be had by the four lovers. I thought Symphonic Variations was beautifully danced and felt sorry for poor Reece Clarke who had a very nasty costume problem.  Think he actually left the stage briefly to get it fixed, but can't be sure. M and A not a favourite, but having seen Ferri and Bonelli I may change my mind. Both looked young, ardent, possibly rather melodramatic, but that suits the story well. Wish I could see it all over again - it's a super triple bill

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Thoughts from the matinee and first night.

Lots of debuts in the Dream. Takada I thought was exceptional in dance and characterisation, Hayward was charming if slightly less assured, Sambe powerful and charismatic. It's a pity that McRae's outstanding dancing and reliable partnering isn't accompanied by the charisma and warmth of Sambe's Oberon. Zuccetti's Puck although very good was rather outclassed dance wise by Yudes astonishing debut, from all the mime was very clearly and satisfyingly drawn. The four lovers Ball, Calvert, Mock, Mendizbal were terrific, spot on comic timing. The lead fairies and corps were well rehearsed, very satisfying indeed. 

Both casts of Symphonic were a delight, at last three men with different physicality demonstrate that it is possible to take off and land at the same time ! A horrid costume malfunction this afternoon was admirably dealt with by Reece Clarke. Huge congrats to the ballet masters as well as the dancers. 

I was against the Royal Ballet inviting Ferri to guest but I have to admit that having seen the rehearsal and the matinee today I now regard it as inspired casting. It was a deeper emotional experience to witness the desperation in the far from young Ferri - more real life and less of the the beautiful tragedy it often is. Although Bonelli is no youth himself he still has the look of a 20 something year old and whilst his initial solo was a bit ragged thereafter he was dancing like a young man and partnering perfectly. Add to the mix terrific chemistry and you have an unbeatable combination. From a rather miserable mid season with those poor Anastasia performances Bonelli has roared back. I'm intrigued to see what Osipova/Shklyarov will make of M & A on Monday - knowing Osipova I could well be eating my words about older women. 

 

 

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I haven't, as yet, got a ticket, but would like to pay tribute to all the wonderfully descriptive reviews.  Thank u all so much for making me imagine I was there.  Sim - your review was a real Dream!

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I thought Hayward and Sambé were both terrific in The Dream this afternoon. Beautiful dancing and a wonderful fey quality. These are fairies not dancers! He was commanding and almost feline in his enjoyment in exercising power in his kingdom. She was flitty and arch and knew her own power, including over Oberon. David Yudes was amazing as Puck - you know when they say that a dancer seemed to hang in the air before coming down? He did that, repeatedly, and it was as if we really were in a magic kingdom where gravity had no hold! He was incredible. Jonathan Howells was an amusing Bottom, and the lovers were brilliant and very funny. I was also impressed at how quiet the fairies were - really fleet of foot as well as spirit.

 

I found Symphonic a bit patchy, to be honest. The start felt a little nervous (or maybe that was just me!) and although it got smoother as time went on I felt that it really only gelled right near the end. Reece Clarke's costume malfunction was unfortunate and distracting, no doubt extremely so for him. He managed brilliantly until he had the chance to slip off the stage and do a (very) quick change. He really is an impressive dancer. I actually found the men more satisfying than the women in this; I thought that Ella and Sissens were both excellent too, whereas the women although very good didn't quite seem to flow together. But I realised over again what a difficult ballet this is and there must be the added burden of tradition and expectation etc every time it's performed. Anyway I did enjoy it and am very glad to be seeing it again (twice) so maybe I can relax into it too!

 

Marguerite and Armand: as for Sim, the only cast I have seen who made this work for me was Rojo and Polunin. But the cast this afternoon did so too, big time. Ferri was so beautiful and moving, and matching her with the younger, handsome, ardent Bonelli made it incredibly effective. The ending was just heartbreaking. And this time, I liked the contrast between the spare sets and the lavish costumes, and the mainly almost two-dimensional secondary characters and the extreme emotion of M&A. I found it a more interesting work than I'd remembered, and the performances made it really memorable.

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2 hours ago, Lizbie1 said:

I'm just out of today's matinée, and though there are many wonderful words that could be said, right now I can only think of two: Joseph Sissens.

I was lucky enough to see Joe do the Swan Lake Act 3 Siegfried variation at a school performance a few weeks ago.  He was amazing, and even out of context of the whole ballet you could see how much he understood the role/character, and also what a great star of the future he could be. 

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