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A packed and enthusiastic house at Milton Keynes yesterday afternoon for ENB's Sleeping Beauty for a very enjoyable performance. Erina Takahashi's Aurora was simply beautiful and there were fine performances also from various fairies, the Act III characters and the King and Queen. Yonah Acosta is injured and was replaced by Esteban Berlanga.

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I was lucky enough to attend the dress rehearsal up in Milton Keynes, earlier in the week, and here are some photos from that. Looked great!

 

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English National Ballet's Sleeping Beauty - Daria Klimentova as the Lilac Fairy

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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English National Ballet's Sleeping Beauty - Vadim Muntagirov as The Prince

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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English National Ballet's Sleeping Beauty - Tamara Rojo as Aurora

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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Set on Flickr - English National Ballet's 'Sleeping Beauty'

Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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Well the new Boss looks at home - indeed, like she'd never gone away. All concerned looking good - just a pity there's no Begoña!

 

No, sadly - she just popped into the auditorium to watch for a bit, and I didn't think swiveling the camera around would have met approval! ;-)

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Went up to Milton Keynes and saw the first night of Sleeping Beauty ,the company is looking good ,the fairies were very nice and a special mention to Daria Klimentova super solo ,she lit the stage when she was on.Some Cavaliers were a bit long in the tooth!! is that what happens when casting from the top.I had great expectations and was looking so forward to seeing Tamara Rojo as Aurora ,but I must be honest I felt very underwhelmed , her connection to her fellow dancers and the audience was no where to be seen , she is a brilliant dramatic dancer (her Juliet is wonderful) but as a pure classical dancer ,her line ,i.e stiiff shoulders and an over muscled lower leg .Her arms in the act two solo were totally lacking the lyricism of the choreography,On a good note she did redeem herself in act three ,lovely solo and pas de deux .

Vadim Muntagirov danced very elegantly with perhaps less "Elan" as usual ,after all he must have been nervous dancing with THE BOSS,

Other notable performances were Shiori Kase as Princess Florine and Esteban Berlanga as Gold very stylish and not helped by the Tiara he had to wear.Te company must find a Bluebird who can do a Temps de Poisson and good batteries.

The corps were very spirited.

I am looking forward to London and seeing perhaps some of the younger members being featured, as promised by the AD

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Great photographs, Dave. I particularly like the penultimate one (the grand pas de deux). There is such perfect alignment between Tamara and Vadim. I'm really looking forward to seeing this production now even though, to be honest, Sleeping Beauty is not one of my favourite ballets.

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The photograph to which I was referring is on flickr. Is it your photograph which appears on ENB's website, Dave?

 

Gosh, no - they have their own in-house photographers, and/or commissioned photographers to get those. Ours are independent of those - a sorta nice addition, as we can put up more than a few, and more of the company members, so capture more of the entire performance. Which is nice (I hope!)

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Who did you see Taxi?

 

Elena Glurdjidze as Aurora and Arionel Vargas as the Prince. We haven't seen ENB before, so I'm unfamiliar with the dancers, but on the cast handout we were given it was nice to see that several dancers had their debut in some roles, including Alison McWhinney as the Lilac Fairy.

 

My dd aged 13 was mesmerised throughout, and was thrilled when another audience member commented that she was obviously a ballet dancer, asked her about her future aspirations, and wished her well, asking how long she needed to wait before she could watch her too!

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Lovely performance of SB last night in Liverpool - opening the run here were Erina Takahashi and Esteban Berlanga with Daria Klimentova as a super Lilac Fairy and her cavalier was Arionel Vargas, Begona Cao was one of the Fairies - I can never tell which is which but all the fairies were really very good with some really good foot work. I can't really fault the performance it was very good and the orchestra was just fabulous the sound was just lovely (only marred by the dreaded rustling sweet papers). Fabian Reimar played Carabosse and got the usual boos at the end! Tamara Rojo was sitting in the Circle near me so she was obviously keeping and eye on ENB which is good, as I have noticed that BRB always have some of the bosses watching their performances too. I think I will have to go to Manchester to catch Tamara with Vadim as I am in Berlin this weekend for Onegin and La Bayadere. Does anyone know if the costumes are new this run or if they are still the ABT ones? Either way they were very nice. Well done to ENB anyway a very enjoyable evening.

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There are so many casts that I want to see but I would particularly like to see Esteban dancing with Ksenia (currently just one performance - the matinee on 15 January). They looked very good together when I saw them dancing during the Tate residency earlier this year.

 

DQ, what a lovely weekend you have coming up. Who will you be seeing in Berlin?

 

 

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I very much enjoyed the performance last night too. I though Erina Takahashi and Esteban Berlanga were terrific together. The fairies were all good and I particularly noticed the always wonderful Begona Cao, Laurretta Summerscales and Shiori Kase. Shiori Kase was also a delight in Bluebird with Laurent Liotardo.

 

I thought the hunting scene goes on a bit too long and could do with some judicious cutting and I wasn't overly excited by the section where the Lilac Fairy leads the Prince to Aurora - I didn't feel that it had the menace and expectation that I am used to with Sir Peter Wright's version for BRB. These are, however, very minor quibbles.

 

I'm looking forward to the matinees tomorrow and on Saturday.

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I thought the hunting scene goes on a bit too long and could do with some judicious cutting

 

And then people complain that the hunt scene in the RB version is too short :). It's a no-win situation, I think. (I can't remember what differences there are between the two productions at the moment).

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There are so many casts that I want to see but I would particularly like to see Esteban dancing with Ksenia (currently just one performance - the matinee on 15 January). They looked very good together when I saw them dancing during the Tate residency earlier this year.

 

DQ, what a lovely weekend you have coming up. Who will you be seeing in Berlin?

 

When I booked it was originally Svetlana Zakharova guesting in Bayadere but it got changed so its Shoko Nakamura (Nikia), Elisa Carillo-Cabrera (Gamzatti) with Mikhail Kaniskin as Solor in Baydere and Nadja Saidakova (Tatiana), Iana Salenko (Olga),Dinu Tamazlacaru (Lensky) with Kaniskin as Onegin - Svetlana is dancing Bayadere tonight!! I am not too sad as I love Mikahil Kaniskin and Dinu Tamazlacaru is super too.

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There are so many casts that I want to see but I would particularly like to see Esteban dancing with Ksenia (currently just one performance - the matinee on 15 January).

 

 

 

I've just noticed that Ksenia and Esteban were due to perform at the matinee today as well.

 

DQ, it sounds great. Have a lovely time and let us know how you find the performances. It's interesting that the RB are performing both of these ballets this season as well.

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The Liverpool Daily Post reviews Tuesday evening's performance: http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-culture/liverpool-arts/2012/11/01/dance-review-english-national-ballet-presents-sleeping-beauty-at-the-liverpool-empire-99623-32134046/#.UJJeyyAkU1o.twitter

 

I was fortunate indeed to be at the matinee this afternoon to see Ksenia Ovsyanick make her debut as Aurora. She was an absolute delight from her first entrance, dancing with expansive expressiveness and portraying the tranformation of a young girl to young woman beautifully. Her Prince was Esteban Berlanga and he was wonderful too. Lauretta Summerscales was delightul as the Lilac Fairy. Great also to see Nigel Gaynor in the pit conducting the orchestra which was magnificent.

 

I was in my more usual place on the front row this afternoon and was able to enjoy the beauty of the tutus. The costumes really are splendid in this production.

 

A performance to savour and remember for years to come.

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