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Posted (edited)

There was plenty that I really enjoyed in this afternoon’s performance although it didn’t move me. 

 

Sambe was a terrific lead mandolin - first time in this run I’ve heard spontaneous applause - is there anything he can’t do ? Maybe he should have tried Tybalt too !

 

Ball’s acting was intelligent and interesting, his solos well judged, his partnering strong and he looks wonderful. But for me he still doesn’t show that internal fire that makes me unable to take my eyes off the main man on stage - Polunin in his prime, Shklyarov, and now Corrales. Maybe it was something to do with me not feeling the chemistry between Ball and Naghdi. I feel in the 4 years since their debuts they’ve gone in different directions, she is without doubt a beautiful classical dancer but on the basis of today’s performance I am less persuaded that she is a natural MacMillian actress. I’m sure I’m in a minority here and the live relay will be a very good performance. 

 

Edited by annamk
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I love Ball and Naghdi together and have since their well applauded R&J debuts four years ago. This is the only three act ballet that is too short for me. The crowd scenes are so dynamic but I really want more pas de deux. Romeo and Juliet actually aren’t together enough which I guess is the point of the ballet 💔 😆

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Posted (edited)
On 31/05/2019 at 12:45, alison said:

??

Almost certainly one of my most emotional ballet experiences.  Right up there with Ed Watson’s Mayerling.

 

I don’t have the knowledge to talk technical so you’ll have to forgive the analogous descriptions.  If Hayward and Corrales gave us a roller coaster ensemble West Side Story, Naghdi and Ball were Brief Encounter.  The passionate puppy love from Francesca and Cesar might not have lasted, but today was the real deal.  Naghdi and Ball gave us Tom O’Dell’s Real Love.  They were emotionally joined and we would all be invited to their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

 

The supporting cast were not quite as memorable as the Hayward and Corrales team but this made the performance of the Principals even more stand out.  Hats off to Matthew Balls dramatisation. His sneering,entitled Tybalt was replaced by a thoughtful feeling Romeo who seemed to realise quite early on that his love for Juliet was doomed.  Exquisite partnering that made me gasp.  Yasmine, well just perfect

 

Garvy Avis was a darkly handsome swaggeringly violent Tybalt, more Reggie Kray than Michael Corleone.  But today belonged to Matthew and Yasmine who dominated the performance.  Their chemistry is combustible and you could feel the tension all around.  (apart from the idiot in J8 who preferred to check his phone until given a sharp dig in the ribs by the lady in J9).

 

A wonderful experience which has left me absolutely drained. Thank you RB.  And, greedy pig that I am, I’ve got it all again on June 11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by penelopesimpson
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26 minutes ago, annamk said:

I feel in the 4 years since their debuts they’ve gone in different directions, she is without doubt a beautiful classical dancer but on the basis of today’s performance I am less persuaded that she is a natural MacMillian actress. I’m sure I’m in a minority here and the live relay will be a very good performance. 

 

Annamk, I know what you mean - for me it was Ball who was the driving force and I had to force myself to look elsewhere - but I was still very much feeling the chemistry, though it would be very difficult for Naghdi to compete with what I thought was a “next level” performance from him. (I speak as someone who has been a little sceptical of some of the hype about Ball.)

 

If I were to have one specific criticism of Naghdi, I think it would be she wasn’t as “dead” in the final PDD as she might have been (I’m thinking of Hayward here as she’s freshest in my mind).

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49 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

Well, that was pretty remarkable. Yasmine Naghdi wonderful of course and Matthew Ball just sensational.

 

Add to that a brilliantly realised ageing roue of a Tybalt from Gary Avis and an all round exceptional performance from the bit parts (more about that later) and I don’t think I’ve seen a better performance of Romeo and Juliet.

Me neither, Lizbie

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12 minutes ago, penelopesimpson said:

If Hayward and Corrales gave us a roller coaster ensemble West Side Story, Naghdi and Ball were Brief Encounter.  The passionate puppy love from Francesca and Cesar might not have lasted, but today was the real deal.  Naghdi and Ball gave us Tom O’Dell’s Real Love.  They were emotionally joined and we would all be invited to their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

 

That’s exactly how I felt too - thank you for articulating it.

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I'm taking each show and cast as I find it and I thought that this afternoon's performance was WONDERFUL. [No need for comparisons!]

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I’ve been wanting to see Yasmine and Matt for a while and Godness me this afternoon did not disappoint. Was blown away!!

Their chemistry was amazing and Yasmine completely stole the show!!

This easily comes in my top 2 of all favourites  ( Natalia Osipova’s Giselle has always been my winner!) !!

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41 minutes ago, aliceinwoolfland said:

Such a special performance. A standing ovation from the audience! 

 

Was there?  I didn't notice one where I was.  I did belatedly wonder, however, from the cheering from the rear amphi, if half of Liverpool had come down again :) 

I did think it a bit unfair that they didn't even get a second curtain call, though.

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2 minutes ago, alison said:

 

Was there?  I didn't notice one where I was.  I did belatedly wonder, however, from the cheering from the rear amphi, if half of Liverpool had come down again :) 

I did think it a bit unfair that they didn't even get a second curtain call, though.

 

Mostof the central stalls were standing up

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, alison said:

 

Was there?  I didn't notice one where I was.  I did belatedly wonder, however, from the cheering from the rear amphi, if half of Liverpool had come down again :) 

I did think it a bit unfair that they didn't even get a second curtain call, though.

Stalls were pretty much all up.  My admiration for Ball grew another Six feet.

Edited by penelopesimpson
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On ‎27‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 23:02, alison said:

2) Hope this won't confuse things, but I think I say right-hand side for R&J.

 

For future reference, you can miss quite a few important moments if you can't see the front left-hand corner of the stage.

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I agree, Alison I was in Stalls Left and feel that a lot of the action was there.  However,it is such a wonderful production that sitting on the roof would probably be okay.

 

one of the  nice things today was that the people around me appeared to be tourists and newbies to either ROH or R & J.  Made me so proud to witness their enjoyment.

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One dancer I’d like to mention in particular is Christina Arestis as Lady Capulet: with the stiffest of competition, she somehow made the end of Act 2 the high point of the ballet for me on both occasions I’ve seen it this run.

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Yasmine Naghdi exquisite and a believeable Juliet: Matthew Ball: strong, passionate but also lyrical and a complete Romeo. 10 out of 10 for his dancing and acting. A performance that made the ballet live again for me.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon - I don't know if it was me or because the cameras were there but I kept noticing lots of little gestures and characterisations from the dancers  that I haven't noticed before. I thought the leads were utterly convincing - another thing I noticed for the first time was Yasmine's very deep breathe when she "awakes" in the tomb - excellent. I saw them 4 years ago and was blown away then and was equally enthralled today. My only niggle is that I kept thinking to myself "wouldn't it be great if Matthew Ball could be duplicated so I could see his Tybalt and his Romeo on the stage at the same time" - hard to believe that the fun loving, ardent lover of today was the same nasty, entitled Tybalt of the other week! Hats off to the whole ensemble - I left the ROH with a smile on my face!

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8 minutes ago, Myddle said:

"wouldn't it be great if Matthew Ball could be duplicated so I could see his Tybalt and his Romeo on the stage at the same time"

 

Totally agree! 

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First of all, I like to say: BRAVO to the WHOLE company! Bravo to each and every dancer who was on stage this afternoon, from the walk-on actors to the corps dancers and soloists. They were all incredible in their own right. Everywhere you looked something was going on, in every dancer's face you can read their story. What a fabulous and unforgettable afternoon.

 

What can I add to what's already been said by other posters...It was an emotionally draining performance, Naghdi and Ball were just stunning, I could read every single change in their emotional state on their face from start to finish, every nuance, those little details that are so important to the story. Naghdi's Juliet reached another level, she dances with such ease and passion, and we could easily follow her journey from a young girl with a doll to a young woman who passionately fell in love with Romeo. Ball and Naghdi together are a dream team for me, they are so natural and so together when they dance.

Naghdi did "playing dead" very well, her limbs were totally lifeless, she slid on the floor like melting ice-cream, it was a tear-inducing scene.

Since Lady MacMillan approved and entrusted Naghdi and Ball with the R&J live cinema relay she surely must think very highly of them as proper MacMillan actors.

Ball was equally amazing, his facial expressions very readable too. Loved his performance. Together they are a beautiful pair and they left me hungry to see them together more often. 

I also very much enjoyed Stix-Brunell as a Harlot, she was outstanding in this role. Sambe of course superb in the Mandolin Dance.

 

I was sitting in the Orchestra Stalls and yes zxDaveM is right: most of the central stalls were standing up. What an afternoon! Bring on 11th June!  

 

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50 minutes ago, alison said:

 

Was there?  I didn't notice one where I was.  I did belatedly wonder, however, from the cheering from the rear amphi, if half of Liverpool had come down again :) 

I did think it a bit unfair that they didn't even get a second curtain call, though.

 

I asked an usher why oh why did they no get a second curtain call? He told me the technical team is in rush after the performance to get the stage ready for tonight and that they also need a legal work break in between. The curtain calls felt rushed :(

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2 minutes ago, Xandra Newman said:

 

I asked an usher why oh why did they no get a second curtain call? He told me the technical team is in rush after the performance to get the stage ready for tonight and that they also need a legal work break in between. The curtain calls felt rushed :(

 

Oh for goodness sake. If it came to the absolute worst, it would be better for the evening performance to start a few minutes late rather than to curtail deserved curtain calls.

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55 minutes ago, alison said:

 

Was there?  I didn't notice one where I was.  I did belatedly wonder, however, from the cheering from the rear amphi, if half of Liverpool had come down again :) 

I did think it a bit unfair that they didn't even get a second curtain call, though.

I was in the orchestra stalls, near the front, and pretty much everyone behind me was standing 😊

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44 minutes ago, bridiem said:

Oh for goodness sake. If it came to the absolute worst, it would be better for the evening performance to start a few minutes late rather than to curtail deserved curtain calls.

 

The technicians rule, OK?

Yes, really. It's actually amazing that they now 'allow' there to be less than 3 hours between matinees and evening shows.

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Posted (edited)

I was in K and nearly everyone was on their feet - front, back and sides.  Personally, I would hang the Apparatchik who decided that another minute on a curtain call would be breaking the rules.  This was an exceptional performance of great Art which had so engaged hundreds of people that they were on their feet cheering.  He/she seems to have got it muddled up with shift change on the processed cheese slices production belt.  I want their name!

 

Sorry, Mr. Nureyev, but our blokes are overdue their tea.  Bah.

Edited by penelopesimpson
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It felt really unfair not only to all those people who stood up to give the dancers a standing ovation and show their appreciation but also for Yasmine and Matthew's curtain calls to be cut short. 

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Agree.  A final curtain call would have taken about three minutes, and lord knows they deserved one. 😤😤

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Posted (edited)

They will probably get a few the cinema broadcast 

Edited by Tony Newcombe
Bloody spellcheck getting it wrong

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I hope so Tony...but at 1030 pm they have to turn into pumpkins again....

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Posted (edited)

I remember Naghdi and Ball’s 2015 debut - incidentally on my birthday! - with a great deal of clarity. I was a university student then, and had just fallen tremendously in love with someone who ultimately was perhaps the right person but situationally wasn’t the right fit for me. I had watched nearly every Romeo cast that run and the clarity, the freshness and awestruck breathlessness of that matinee struck me deeply. It remains my favourite RB performance.

 

Today’s matinee was very good. Both have come a long way since that debut as soloists. Ball in particular has come leaps and bounds - is acting is involved and convincing. I felt his interest in Rosaline was true and also when he met eyes with Juliet, it wasn’t a superficial fancy but a sort of heart rending, earth shaking moment. He is sensitive to the production and incredibly involved in every crowd scene. His ball solo variation was a real stolen moment - not of peacocking (which I felt Hallberg and Corrales were slightly) but that he forgot the consequence of being at the Capulet’s ball in the face of this interesting girl. Ball has not always convinced me in every role (e.g. I found him very underpowered in Swan Lake), but there is no mistaking that he is a remarkable Romeo.

 

Yasmine’s Juliet is wondrous in the arms of her Romeo and flies freely in the balcony pdd. She however, unlike that first outing 4 years ago, doesn’t carry Act 3 that well, an act that is driven by Juliet. There is no sense of moving anticipation, lifted by the soaring Prokofiev score, when she sits alone on the edge of her bed. She took her green cloak and very slowly and perfunctorily ran out. During the death pdd, she was too pretty and poised for a corpse. And finally, she stabbed herself so politely, like an obedient schoolgirl it was hard to believe she was the recipient of this great love. I cried at the end of the balcony pdd but not in the tomb. Her interpretation was so fresh and romantic last run - now she has become distinctly more classical. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for me she is a weaker Juliet for it.

 

I try not to compare separate casts, but for what it’s worth, in the Osipova/Hallberg interpretation, I didn’t believe their initial infatuation as much (Hallberg struck me more as a cad than a romantic youth) but my god did Osipova pour her soul into Juliet. Frantic, unpretty, and honest, you could almost hear the dirt scraping underneath her nails when she pulled herself across the tomb to look at Romeo one last time. She was mesmerised and yet so afraid of the poison when she received it - hints of Anastasia act 3 in her interpretation there - and so powerful in her resolve. Naghdi got some laughs during her reluctant Act III pdd with Paris which goes to show - her portrayal of a protested betrothal lacked pathos and instead people found her going limp in his arms more the comical sulking of a young girl.

 

Avis’ Tybalt was perfect last run but now is a tad overacted - his motivation (pride? Anger? Stoic family values) are not as clear as Hirano and Ball’s excellent new interpretations. Christine was superb as Lady Capulet, a real scene stealer. Zucchetti, compared to Hay is really underpowered and not great acting output either. 

Edited by pasdedeux
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I guess I may have missed a lot of the fine detail through being up in the amphi this afternoon, then.

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