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23 minutes ago, Darlex said:

Medusa - utter crap. 

 

Bit harsh. 😳

 

I liked it a lot; much more than I expected to.  Osipova was outstanding and I rather enjoyed the music too, although I would have preferred a Bass to sing “What power art though”.  Some of the costumes (the soldiers and Athena) were not my cup of tea but I loved the lighting, the design and the chemistry between Osipova and Ball.

 

I loved everything about Within the Golden Hour.  What a joyous piece.   Stix-Brunell was a delight.

 

I hoped to be more moved than I was by Flight Pattern - perhaps better live than in the cinema where it was very difficult to see what was going on.  Sambe and McNally were excellent and I loved the snow but oddly, my overriding feeling was anxiety.  

 

Shame not to see Cuthbertson; I do hope she’s ok.  I was unpleasantly surprised that although “some cast changes” were announced, no effort was made to give us actual names! 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I would echo all your words exactly, Anna C!

 

(Though I did enjoy Darlex's post too! Nothing like a robust opinion...).

Edited by bridiem
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I really liked Medusa - even more on second viewing.

 

This is nice too: 

 

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33 minutes ago, Anna C said:

 

Bit harsh. 😳

 

I liked it a lot; much more than I expected to.  Osipova was outstanding and I rather enjoyed the music too, although I would have preferred a Bass to sing “What power art though”.  Some of the costumes (the soldiers and Athena) were not my cup of tea but I loved the lighting, the design and the chemistry between Osipova and Ball.

 

I loved everything about Within the Golden Hour.  What a joyous piece.   Stix-Brunell was a delight.

 

I hoped to be more moved than I was by Flight Pattern - perhaps better live than in the cinema where it was very difficult to see what was going on.  Sambe and McNally were excellent and I loved the snow but oddly, my overriding feeling was anxiety.  

 

Shame not to see Cuthbertson; I do hope she’s ok.  I was unpleasantly surprised that although “some cast changes” were announced, no effort was made to give us actual names! 

 

 

 

I felt as though I was sitting next to you (and all my other friends) in the cinema tonight!!

 

I loved (again) everything about Within the Golden Hour.  The whole cast was excellent.  In the preamble it was described as an abstract piece but I felt waves of emotional connection between Sarah Lamb and Alex Campbell.  I thought they looked fabulous together and I hope they are paired together in the future.

 

Having read so many comments I was unsure about how I was going to feel about Medusa.  I enjoyed it more than I expected to.  I thought Ryoichi Hirano was absolutely magisterial and Olivia Cowley was sublime.  Natalia Osipova was just stunning as Medusa, what an incredibly powerful performance.  I loved her connection on stage with Matthew Ball and I thought some of his close-up expressions were absolutely stunning.  @Sharon and I were sat next to each other in the cinema - she thought Matthew looked at Natalia, I thought he avoided looking at her.  You pays your money and you makes your choice!

 

I was completely, utterly and totally blown away by Flight Pattern.  I found it incredibly moving.

 

I particularly enjoyed the interval interview with Jonathan Lo talking about the music used for Flight Pattern.

 

I am really looking forward to seeing this programme on Tuesday evening.

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Posted (edited)

I thought that everything about the Christopher Wheeldon production was magnificent. Beatrix, Franky and Miss Lamb, what a treat. As for the other two productions, my mother used to say to me, 'if you don't have anything kind to say, then best not say anything at all', so I will respect her values.

 

Edited by Stevie
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35 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

I felt as though I was sitting next to you (and all my other friends) in the cinema tonight!!

 

I loved (again) everything about Within the Golden Hour.  The whole cast was excellent.  In the preamble it was described as an abstract piece but I felt waves of emotional connection between Sarah Lamb and Alex Campbell.  I thought they looked fabulous together and I hope they are paired together in the future.

 

Having read so many comments I was unsure about how I was going to feel about Medusa.  I enjoyed it more than I expected to.  I thought Ryoichi Hirano was absolutely magisterial and Olivia Cowley was sublime.  Natalia Osipova was just stunning as Medusa, what an incredibly powerful performance.  I loved her connection on stage with Matthew Ball and I thought some of his close-up expressions were absolutely stunning.  @Sharon and I were sat next to each other in the cinema - she thought Matthew looked at Natalia, I thought he avoided looking at her.  You pays your money and you makes your choice!

 

I was completely, utterly and totally blown away by Flight Pattern.  I found it incredibly moving.

 

I particularly enjoyed the interval interview with Jonathan Lo talking about the music used for Flight Pattern.

 

I am really looking forward to seeing this programme on Tuesday evening.

The turning to stone thing is just a myth, a Greek one in fact. Modern science tells us that you have to be looking for between ten to twenty minutes before you actually turn to stone, dependent on your resistance, condition and the power of the gaze. The recovery rate is also very good.

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Posted (edited)

Just got home and writing down the fresh hand review. I sat at Row B-9 in Grand Tier tonight. I booked a stall seat for the opening night but could not make it because of a short noticed business trip last week. After a 10+ hour flight, I decided to treat myself at Grand Tier.

Kevin OH sat at aisle in the Grand Tier with his iconic blue suit. 

 

My review for all three programs is... I really doubt if I lost some sights after the long flight. Or it is part of the lighting problem? I find it is very difficult to see clear of the movement sometimes even though I sat at a premium seat. I have not seen any of the 3 pieces of work before.

 

Within Gold hour is nice and delightful. I wish to know more about that the piece is talking about and the background.

Flight pattern: I have to admit that I felt asleep for 5 minutes in the middle of it. It is not my cup of tea. The introduction says that it reflected the refugee problem but I don't really get it. The snowing stage effect at the end was amazing. Could we bring it into the Nutcracker? :)

 

Medusa: It is the reason why I come tonight. After watching it... I feel a meh. Natalia Osipova is fantastic. Hirano and Ball are wonderful. But like the other reviewers, I feel the story is very plain and not blended well with the music. At the end I felt very sad, not for Medusa but for the dancers. They must have paid a lot of effort for this piece... But it does not work well. Osipova is likely the best or one of the best ballerina in creating modern dance now. She did so many practice and worked so hard with so many newly created work on her. Although she danced her heart but I don't think that any of them is good enough to be called a master piece. (Two feet, Mother, Facada and now Medusa... and many other project). I really don't understand why modern dance has to be filled with struggling,  confusion or temper all the time. All are like to dance the R&J final act multiple times... It is not bad by itself but you need to build the atmosphere and build up the character first and let the audience really soak into it.

 

 

All in all it is an enjoyable night but I won't recommend it to my friends.

Edited by HelenLoveAppleJuice
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42 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

I felt as though I was sitting next to you (and all my other friends) in the cinema tonight!!

 

I loved (again) everything about Within the Golden Hour.  The whole cast was excellent.  In the preamble it was described as an abstract piece but I felt waves of emotional connection between Sarah Lamb and Alex Campbell.  I thought they looked fabulous together and I hope they are paired together in the future.

 

Having read so many comments I was unsure about how I was going to feel about Medusa.  I enjoyed it more than I expected to.  I thought Ryoichi Hirano was absolutely magisterial and Olivia Cowley was sublime.  Natalia Osipova was just stunning as Medusa, what an incredibly powerful performance.  I loved her connection on stage with Matthew Ball and I thought some of his close-up expressions were absolutely stunning.  @Sharon and I were sat next to each other in the cinema - she thought Matthew looked at Natalia, I thought he avoided looking at her.  You pays your money and you makes your choice!

 

I was completely, utterly and totally blown away by Flight Pattern.  I found it incredibly moving.

 

I particularly enjoyed the interval interview with Jonathan Lo talking about the music used for Flight Pattern.

 

I am really looking forward to seeing this programme on Tuesday evening.

Jan, Was it your enthusiastic tweet that I saw up there tonight on our giant Imax screen ?

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6 hours ago, Stevie said:

Jan, Was it your enthusiastic tweet that I saw up there tonight on our giant Imax screen ?

 

Yes it was.

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8 hours ago, Bluebird said:

Within The Golden Hour:

Cuthbertson and Hirano replaced by Hayward and Zucchetti

Edmonds and Mock replaced by Dubreuil and Donnelly

 

And it was  Leo Dixon, not Calvin Richardson,  as one of the  opening pair with Luca Acri

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I've read through everyone's reviews of the performances so far so I will see for myself on Saturday afternoon! Particularly looking forward to Upon the Golden Hour. 

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21 hours ago, Lindsay said:

Did he? I was near the front of the stalls and didn't get that.  I had thought when he took his helmet off the first time and at several points during the pdd he was looking right at her.  Maybe I need my eyes tested...

 

For practical partnering purposes, he has to look at her, but otherwise, he is trying hard not to make eye contact, as you would in a standard pdd. At least, that’s what it looked like through my binoculars in th3 performances I have seen

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45 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

I had thought when he took his helmet off the first time and at several points during the pdd he was looking right at her.  Maybe I need my eyes tested...

That's what it looked like to me in the cinema- that the first time he took the helmet off he did look at her, but thereafter was turning his head and eyes away. That certainly doesn't make much sense in terms of the story.

 

But it must be exceptionally hard to lift your partner in various imaginative ways without looking. Bit dangerous too! It is a tribute to Matthew Ball that he managed this, while wearing a weird-looking fishnet see-through jumpsuit as well- without looking totally ridiculous -  I salute him.

 

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On 15/05/2019 at 16:51, RuthE said:

 

It's not particularly loud, as opera singing goes (I say that as somebody used to hearing much louder voices and orchestrations) but as it's with two high voices both generally quite high in their respective registers, I wonder if the intensity rather than the volume of sound may make your companion wish to use ear defenders.  Without knowing their specific tolerance levels I'm not sure I can be any more specific than that.

 

Please be aware that there is also a brief passage in Flight Pattern involving an operatic soprano's voice.

 

Thanks for this! I did end up taking my ear defenders as it's the pitch rather than the volume, and she had a great time :)

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Golden Hour - lovely. I don't have strong feelings but would happily watch it again.

 

Medusa - Underwhelming. Not a strong narrative at all, and the plinky plonky harpsichord music made it feel like I was watching a background scene in a film where two main characters happen to be attending a ballet. Really jarring and I didn't feel like it fit the dance at all. It was saved (mostly) by the Medusa and Poseidon pas de deux, which is really something special. I might watch it again just for that but I'd do so reluctantly. Costumes also brilliant, minus the see-through onesies.

Also - I think this was my first time seeing Hirano? SUCH a powerful performance. I'm going to be sure to book casts with him in when I can to see more.

 

Flight Pattern - have seen it before and loved it, and had an even better experience this time because I was up in the slips - I think it's much better viewed from above. Totally different perspective, and there's something very poetic about only getting the best viewing from the cheap seats. My partner was completely transfixed, just as I was the first time. I'd put up with a hundred slightly watery Medusas for Crystal Pite!

 

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Posted (edited)

Oh also, on the subject of cast changes - I was in Covent Garden last night and the cast change was only announced via loudspeaker about 10 minutes before the show started - no slips printed - so I'm not sure there was enough time to put the names on screen for the cinema. Hope Cuthbertson et al are all right, although I do love Francesca Hayward so it was sort of good news.

Edited by Tatiana

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The cast changes 'on the night' were listed in the ROH. The variations from the pre-printed cinema sheets could have been mentioned by the presenters. After all, they had time for all the usual preening they do to camera and to one another.

 

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59 minutes ago, Tatiana said:

Oh also, on the subject of cast changes - I was in Covent Garden last night and the cast change was only announced via loudspeaker about 10 minutes before the show started - no slips printed - 

 

there were some printed actually - you have to ask for them though! (to my mind, this rather defeats the object, but there you go)

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Normally I rather like the presenters being a bit over-excited (because I am too); but it jarred last night, because for this bill (although it's excellent) you really need a calmer, more informative style of presentation than for a 'blockbuster' ballet. Their style also jarred with the tone of the contributions from those interviewed.

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Kristen McNally would have been the ideal presenter, but of course she was otherwise engaged. 

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Marcelino Sambe has put on instagram that Fumi Kaneko is debuting as Medusa tomorrow, Saturday, with him as Perseus.

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1 hour ago, MargaretN7 said:

Marcelino Sambe has put on instagram that Fumi Kaneko is debuting as Medusa tomorrow, Saturday, with him as Perseus.

 

Oh, WOW! Sad for Takada but lovely for Kaneko.

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Triple Bill – Thursday

 

I can think of no better way to enjoy ballet than by going along to the ROH on cinema broadcast night. You are there (and there is not, as yet, a substitute for ‘being there’ – though once immersive VR technologies mature it might become a tougher choice, especially for those of us with long journeys), you can look wherever you like on stage, and you can soak up the atmosphere (of both ROH and the buzz of London in general).

You can then go to an encore screening the following Sunday to see it all again, much of it in close-up – though with your view being dictated by the director – and often with interesting background pieces and interviews during the intervals.

Then, if we are lucky, the powers that be will deign to release it on DVD/Blu-Ray, which then allows us to drop ‘I was there’ into as many conversations as we can! 😊


In The Golden Hour


I can’t get as worked up about this ballet as many do on both this forum and in the press. I enjoyed it more than I did on opening night of this run and, in turn, more than I did during the previous run. But I think my appreciation has plateaued – and not at a particularly lofty height. More a pleasant walk in the Cotswolds than the magnificent vistas of the Alps – or even the Lake District.

I guess that’s OK, as I don’t believe Wheeldon was trying to achieve anything more than a bit of light distraction. In that sense Bosso’s music (which I do like) is appropriately light, undemanding and easy on the ear. The interjection of those ugly moves still rankles. Yes, they stamp the piece as ‘Wheeldon’ but to me it’s the balletic equivalent of a painter scrawling their signature across an otherwise pleasant canvas rather than signing it discreetly in the corner.

 

I can even reconcile this by interpreting the piece as about beautiful people letting their hair down a bit and enjoying themselves in that ‘golden hour’ (or is that ‘happy hour’?) at the end of a long day; they are there to entertain themselves rather than others, so apart from the odd ‘look at me’ glance (which I thought Beatrix did particularly well!) they don’t care how they behave. The trouble is, I’m not that interested in their self-centred world.


And talking about hair, it was nice to see that the dancer with the most hirsute legs last week was clean-shaven last night! He might also have been out catching some sun as he looked a lot less pallid. All in all a definite improvement.


Medusa


It’s nice to be succinct, and I’ll try not to repeat anything from my earlier post, but I will need more than the two word summary of @Darlex (and certainly not those two words 😊 ).

I was fascinated by this piece last week and continue to be now. My interest and appreciation of it has grown. I don’t know how high this one will go, but at the moment it’s heading towards a base-camp somewhere (so it won’t be the Cotswolds); my problem is that I’ve only got the Sunday encore screening left – so I have my fingers crossed for a DVD.


What completely by-passed me last time was the sheer amount of time Osipova spends on stage. Apart from the two costume changes, she is constantly there - and at the centre of the action as well. Was an amazing feat of sustained, intense and captivating acting and dancing – she might well be playing the role of a Gorgon, but as a dance/actor she is an absolute Titan.


In the fight scenes, I couldn’t help but think of the similarity of her leg – in the way she held and used it to deadly effect – with that of the stinging tail of a scorpion.

I thought the fight scenes better executed than the first night. I remember from the insight evening an emphasis on maintaining contact between her hands and the heads of the assailing soldiers, and that came across very well last night.


I also didn’t notice last time how atmospheric was the lighting of the pillars; lit from the front, the soldiers’ shadows were cast in giant, menacing form upon them. 


Hirano was superb last time, but last night he was even better. He looked (and behaved) as if someone had chiselled a powerful and fearsome deity off an ancient frieze and inadvertently brought it to life. OK, makeup and lighting played some part, but he was an inverted triangle of sculptured sinew, muscle and irresistible power. He is incredibly strong anyway (I'm thinking back to the way he threw Hayward around in the Act 1 PDD of Mayerling), and here he moved Osipova around as if she were a shop window mannequin (the sequence where he balances her on his feet was, once again, hugely impressive – she looked as if she were held, helpless, in some sort of stasis field – thanks, @Sim, for your Star Trek comment that made me think this way!).


The storyline retained its slow, even, stylised, tableaux feel - which worked for me - and I noticed even more than before how the music provided the dramatic colour to the pastel shades on stage, with the transitions between electronic and sung music demarcating the ‘chapters’ in the story. The electronic music, and in particular the use of low-frequency notes, helped provide the sense of an alien, unsettling, other-worldliness.


As with many stories I find enjoyable, I was left with a bit of an enigma. What was that look she gave us right at the end, when holding the bowl/mirror and looking over her shoulder? Was she asking us to remember her, asking us to understand her tragic story, or showing us she no longer had the power to harm us?


Flight Pattern


I must confess to wimping out of this. I wish they had put this worthy, heavyweight piece first and finished the night with the lighter Wheeldon. It’s a measure of just how powerful and relevant this piece is that I managed to convince myself it made more sense to get home an hour or so earlier and see it at the encore screening rather than stay. A bit like the way I managed to convince myself that I’d buy a copy of The Big Issue from the seller outside of Pret next time I saw him… 😞


I’m sorry, Crystal Pite.

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I'm glad I saw this last night's performance at the cinema as I was unable to get to Thursday's, the lighting was very dim but I just made out the dancers, for me the highlight was seeing Sarah Lamb and Alexander Campbell, they lit themselves up with their beautiful dancing, the highlight of my evening!

I liked Medusa, the soft arm movements and music produced an appropriate dreamlike quality, half real, half imaginary, hope I make it tomorrow to see Fumi Kaneko and Marcelino Sambe as the post above indicates, and it will be lovely to see Flight Pattern again from very high in the amphi, all those marvellous patterns and lighting effects were lost in the cinema, didn't recognise it.  Very interesting to see and hear the comments by the choreographers.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MargaretN7 said:

Marcelino Sambe has put on instagram that Fumi Kaneko is debuting as Medusa tomorrow, Saturday, with him as Perseus.

 

With under 24 hours to go, at the time of writing this, Akane  Takada is still  listed as Medusa on the website.

I would have thought that  out of respect to the performers involved, and the customers, the ROH should have flagged up this important cast change well before now,  without learning about  it indirectly from social media.   

Actually I also think it is rather  insensitive of Sambe to post this before it has been officially announced. 

Edited by Richard LH

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At least we have the RB dancers' IG account to relay on!!!!  I had to find out via Yasmine Naghdi's IG posting that she is dancing the 3rd Pas de deux at tomorrow's Matinee.  The ROH website is still showing Akane Takada dancing in WTGH.

WHO is in charge of keeping the RB casting up to date on the ROH website? Is it that hard to keep up??

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Well, maybe, but I guess that depends on whether the ROH is going to announce it or not.  Certainly it's not clear from the website who's dancing what from the combined casting for the mixed bill.

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1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

Actually I also think it is rather  insensitive of Sambe to post this before it has been officially announced. 

I am sure he wasn't being insensitive;  he probably just assumed that, 24 hours before the show, the official announcement had been made.  It seems that we are finding out more and more about casting from the dancers themselves than from the ROH.  Thank goodness for it, I say.  At least they are enthusiastic and care about getting the info out there to their fans and audience.  

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