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Ian Macmillan

The Royal Ballet: New Swan Lake Production, Summer 2018

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34 minutes ago, Xandra Newman said:

 

D*** ! Wish I had known beforehand so I could have bought a ticket. Thank you Blossom for giving us a bit of an insight into the evening.

How interesting to read Darcey Bussell was there too. She made that fascinating BBC documentary "The Magic of Swan Lake" years ago, featuring a very young Naghdi being coached by Bussell. Did Bussell and Naghdi talk about it? 

 

Yes Naghdi mentioned it! 

 

There were still a few tickets left this morning but I suppose the thing is that until arriving this evening, it was impossible to know who the panel would be. One lady turned up and when she found out Darcey Bussell would be on the panel decided she wasn’t going to stay... 

 

On another note I decided to watch Dowell’s Swan Lake on DVD this evening. The pdt features McRae, Choe and Morera and I know the choreography is different but they just looked more balanced both height wise and stylistically than some of the casts which have been discussed.

 

I also took a cast sheet for tonight on my way out and there were quite a few changes. Cowley, Katsura and Ball replaced in the waltz and polonaise by Heap and Ella with Ashley Dean. 

 

Cowley also replaces in Spanish dance - hope all ok there. Stock replaced by Gasparini as a cygnet and by Hannah Grennell in the Czardas. Again, hope all ok with her...

Edited by Blossom
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6 minutes ago, Tony Newcombe said:

And let’s not forget Bracewell. He is a real prince.

Yes I agree...great, sensitive,  classical dancing from him.

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12 hours ago, Blossom said:

Naghdi was fascinating to listen to. She sounds like she really put everything into the role to get it just right. I wished I could tell her how fantastic she was the other night. She obviously had a close relationship with her coach for the role as she was visibly upset (and mentioned it) when she said that she had left after her debut. 

 

 

Who was her coach?  

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Thank goodness they have finally let everyone know!!  :)   A great shame for Lauren Cuthbertson (and those of us looking forward to seeing her), but I am absolutely thrilled that the one performance of hers for which I had a ticket is the 18th!!   

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Will be seeing the new production for the first time tomorrow evening. Sorry about the cast change but sure if will be an interesting evening

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1 hour ago, Fonty said:

 

Who was her coach?  

 

Yasmine Naghdi's coach was Olga Evreinoff, who is one of the Principal Guest Coaches.

Edited by Bluebird
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41 minutes ago, John Mallinson said:

on 18 June, she will be replaced by Yasmine Naghdi

 

Very sorry for Lauren and hope she'll recover quickly.

I'll look forward very much to reading your posts about 18 June - even if there were returns, I wouldn't be able to go.  Yasmine and Federico should be quite an evening.

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54 minutes ago, Sim said:

Thank goodness they have finally let everyone know!!  :)   A great shame for Lauren Cuthbertson (and those of us looking forward to seeing her), but I am absolutely thrilled that the one performance of hers for which I had a ticket is the 18th!!   

 

Damn and double damn re tomorrow evening - firstly at poor Cuthbertson's shocking bad luck and secondly at STILL not seeing Naghdi! 

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Thanks for the cast update Blossom - sad that Cowley is out again.  Has Katsura been injured for a while does anyone know? I have been slightly surprised not to see her given any solo opportunities in this production but an injury would explain that.

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32 minutes ago, JohnS said:

 

 

Very sorry for Lauren and hope she'll recover quickly.

I'll look forward very much to reading your posts about 18 June - even if there were returns, I wouldn't be able to go.  Yasmine and Federico should be quite an evening.

very jealous!

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I think credit needs to be given to Bonelli for dancing Swan Lake with 3 different Odette-Odiles, too.

 

Hoping Cuthbertson makes a full recovery, at least in time for next season.

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I can't believe what an idiot I've been not to double-check that I had a ticket for Nunez/Muntagirov until it was too late - and I've just missed Friday Rush as well!  :o  Oh well, live relay here we come ...

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There's a couple of stalls tickets just popped up in returns alison (I grabbed one of them - sorry!) if you are quick and prepared to go to that price bracket

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Got my first sight of this production last night, lovely to see Akane Takada dancing so beautifully again with William Bracewell as Siegfried, and a wonderful pas de trois from Marcelino Sambe, Fumi Kaneko and Anna Rose O'Sullivan. Benno doesn't really seem to count as an important character though, likewise the sisters, liked their period costumes which surprisingly looked okay with the classical choreography. In fact Act 1 was superb with such rich realistic designs, very military feel though and I thought the Rothbart character looked a bit OTT. Act 3 also has a fabulous set and costumes although I didn't like the quartet of Princesses at the beginning in short tutu's. Very good new choreography for the Spanish and Czardas dances in particular, they were more exciting than the usual ones, but Ashton's Neapolitan was still the best of them all, danced by Isabella Gasparini and James Hay! I didn't like the swan acts designs so much, rather gloomy, and I wasn't keen on the opening corps scene of the last act, it looked "dancing by numbers", I am very biased on this though, I did like the new pas de deux, but afraid the final scene had an unfortunate effect from row S of the amphi in that I only saw a pair of legs dangling from above, this really does need adjusting, I'd like to see a photo of how it should look! One image stays with me in particular, the ending of the second act pdd, Odette's position as she leans across looked exquisite with Takada and Bracewell, much prefer this to the arabesque.

 

 

 

 

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There are quite a few seats available for various dates at the moment, although largely high-priced.

 

And Lindsay, thanks, but I can't ever afford to sit in the stalls anyway, certainly not at these prices!

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Stalls prices are indeed wince-inducing.  Sorry about that.  I did nab one standing place and one Lower Slips seat as returns last week though - hopefully some more decent deals in that range will pop up again!

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I can vouch for returns coming up occasionally - I nabbed a decent SCS last week for last Monday evening's (Osipova/Ball) performance (even though I did end up deciding I was too tired and selling it on to another forum member!)

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Oh well, I'll keep on looking - otherwise it's ENB's Beauty that night too.

 

And stupidly I told friends I could go out tonight, thinking I had a ticket for next Weds!

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Feeling the need before bedtime to return this thread to a discussion of the performances :)

 

The Nunez/Muntagirov cast blew the audience away again tonight. Highlights included:

  • the lovely pas de trois pairing of Hayward and Takada
  • the symmetry of the 'big' swans (Magri and Calvert)
  • the fluidity of Nunez's movement
  • the panache of Bracewell in the Mazurka
  • MUNTAGIROV IN EVERY ASPECT OF HIS AWESOME SIEGFRIED

WoW!

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16 minutes ago, capybara said:

Feeling the need before bedtime to return this thread to a discussion of the performances :)

 

The Nunez/Muntagirov cast blew the audience away again tonight. Highlights included:

  • the lovely pas de trois pairing of Hayward and Takada
  • the symmetry of the 'big' swans (Magri and Calvert)
  • the fluidity of Nunez's movement
  • the panache of Bracewell in the Mazurka
  • MUNTAGIROV IN EVERY ASPECT OF HIS AWESOME SIEGFRIED

WoW!

oh yes it was wonderful. 

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I was going to wait until tomorrow - it’s very late - but I am still buzzing from tonight’s performance and unlikely to sleep, so may as well write something now!

 

 I think that overall, Liam Scarlett has produced a Swan Lake to be very proud of. Sure, there were some things I was less keen on - the ending, for one thing - I felt it was a bit anticlimactic - and why don’t the Princesses dance the national dances? It seems a waste of First Soloists just to have them doing the waltz and no more. But having said that, I really enjoyed the national dances, especially the Spanish, wonderfully danced by Clarke, Edmonds, Ella, Montano and Tierney Heap, who is wonderful in these feistier roles.

 

Campbell, Hayward and Takada were all fabulous - such a starry line up, and wonderful to watch.

 

There was a gasp from my section of the audience when the curtain went up on Act 3. Not surprising, it was positively dazzling - and the costumes all round just sumptuous. This production certainly has the wow factor.

 

As for Nunez and Muntagirov, I was already choked up by the first interval because of the sheer beauty of their dancing and partnership. Marianela may not be the most natural Odette, but you can guarantee a consummate performance from her every time and she surprised me by how delicate she can be. With Muntagirov, it made for a heartbreaking pairing.

 

Nunez as Odile was a completely seductive minx, who had her innocent Siegfried completely in her thrall from the first moment. And what can I say about Muntagirov that hasn’t already been said? That Act 3 solo - indeed all his dancing - was stupendous. Perfect technique, leaps that seem to hang in the air combined with velvety landings, unwavering turns and pirouettes, culminating in that amazing sequence of double double tours - heart stopping. And all danced in character. Just jaw dropping. He is really something very special.

 

The Act 4 pas de deux - just beautiful, and having seen the Insight video, great to see how they had both taken and acted on Scarlett’s coaching. If only the ending were different....

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Also - when Siegfried is zapped (for want of a better word!) by Von Rothbart near the end, and rolls towards the front of the stage, Vadim gave me (and probably others) a heart attack moment as it looked as though he was going to roll right off the stage! He stopped right on the brink of disaster....😱

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What a lovely review Balletfanp. It's so nice to hear from someone who has just seen the new Swan Lake for the first time.

To say that you chose a very special performance is putting it mildly.

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In a reprehensible oversight, I forgot to mention the Corps, but let’s put it down to tiredness.... beautiful symmetry, I saw no signs of raggedness or anything else. Didn’t even mind the cygnets now they have got rid of the head bobbing....

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5 hours ago, Balletfanp said:

In a reprehensible oversight, I forgot to mention the Corps, but let’s put it down to tiredness.... beautiful symmetry, I saw no signs of raggedness or anything else.

 

Me neither, I thought they were terrific.

 

It was my first time too and I was also pleasantly surprised at the ending. Whether this was because, having read the comments on the forum and the reviews, I was prepared for the worst I can't say but I found that the overarching vision of the swan Odette looking down upon Siegfried cradling her human form really worked, ditto the triumph of the other swans over Von Rothbart in terms of the much needed catharsis.

 

Nunez was wonderful, the soloists superb and as for Muntagirov - Vadream indeed! Is it possible to improve upon his breathtaking performance? I doubt it and, judging by the whoops and cheers both mid-performance and again at the end, the rest of the audience agreed.

 

Plaudits too, uniformly, to the rest of the cast, the fabulous Koen Kessels and the orchestra.

 

No more Swan Lakes until closing night with Takada and Bracewell. I can't wait.

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My first and only visit to see the new production. Generally, I enjoyed it. The sets are stunning, costumes even more so although I agree with other posters that the princesses in tutus looked rather out of place. I rather liked the prologue which made the story seem more logical, but I sympathized with people behind me (I was in SC side Row A) who couldn't see Odette leaping off the rock and were left wondering what had happened. Incidentally, it seems Saturday night seems,more popular for non regular ballet goers judging by the number around me who were avidly reading the story of the ballet. The performance was good, Lamb and Bonelli both danced well without setting the stage on fire! Many cast changes, so we had Ella insteAd of James Hay as Benno, Magri and Choe as the sisters,both beautifully danced.  The corps were superb, certainly didn't look ragged to me. Loved the national dances all danced with great panache.I know it's probably heretical of me to say so, but I find little Swan Lake goes a long way with me!

 

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I was at last night's performance too and there certainly were quite a few cast changes, so I hope Hay, McNally et al are all ok. I was a little confused as to why the Princess in the prologue had visibly dark hair yet turned into a blonde Sarah Lamb (this had been rectified by the end).   I loved the sets, particularly Acts 1 and 3, the latter drawing a gasp from many people.    Lighting was mostly good with the exception of Act 4 in which Siegried's dark costume disappears into the gloom.  On the whole, we thought the costumes were stunning but Benno's slightly cheap looking "Nutcracker" costume in Act 3 is jarring and unnecessary. 

 

Disappointed as we were that James Hay had been replaced, Ella's Benno was terrific.  I loved his pairing with Choe and Magri who were well matched, both technically excellent and beautifully charming as Siegried's sisters.  

 

In the Waltz and Polonaise, my eye was torn between the star quality of Reece Clarke (partnering Fumi Kaneko beautifully), Tristan Dyer and Isabella Gasparini who absolutely charmed me throughout.  

 

I wish the national dances had featured the Princesses but even so, they were hugely enjoyable with standout performances from Reece Clarke, Paul Kay and Anna-Rose O'Sullivan. 

 

Gartside was terrific as Von Rothbart who cast spidery shadows and died an impressive death on the rocks.  His role in Court made so much more sense as to why he was at the ball, and snatching the crown at the end of Act 3 was a great addition.  

 

I didn't find the ending moved me; like others I found it didn't match the music.  

 

Finally, to Bonelli and Lamb - yes, it's slightly evident that Bonelli is not as young as he was (lower arabesques and a small wobble in Act 3) but his leaps and turns were terrific and his customarily wonderful acting was evident throughout, even if it was missing the chemistry he has with Cuthbertson.   We were delighted to have seen him and given that he and Lamb must have been paired only recently, his partnering was so strong.  The pdds were my favourite part of the whole ballet and were cheered enthusiastically.  Lamb was lusciously pliant and oh so elegant but I didn't feel as though she gave much of herself emotionally.  I know she has to dance O/O again (tomorrow?) with Hirano so she may have been restraining herself somewhat, and who can blame her.  Her fouettés were absolutely brilliant with barely any travelling, and both she and Bonelli were quite rightly cheered, with a few sections of the audience giving a standing ovation at the end. 

 

Overall, we loved the new production and are looking forward to seeing it again in the cinema.

 

 

 

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