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2 hours ago, JNC said:

I do sometimes find on this forum a little bit of confirmation bias (we generally only book casts we have a preference for and hence most of the reviews are always positive, so I always find it interesting to see more critical ones!). 

 

A very good point JNC, thank you. 

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1 hour ago, Xandra Newman said:

This cast was loaded with RBS trained dancers. Must be a first?  

 

.............. and many of them went the whole way through from childhood to the Upper School. 

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3 hours ago, JNC said:

I do sometimes find on this forum a little bit of confirmation bias (we generally only book casts we have a preference for and hence most of the reviews are always positive, so I always find it interesting to see more critical ones!). 

'

This is a very good point. I'm not sure that I'm seriously guilty as I try to see most casts. However, there are a couple of male dancers who I don't specifically book for but catch them because of their partners - and, unfortunately, each time I see them, I confirm my negatives.

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22 minutes ago, JNC said:

Others seem to think she’s a very musical dancer so it’s interesting she was out of time - perhaps first night nerves? 

 

On one occasion in Act I, she was turning so fast it was almost a blur, and I think she put in one turn too many so she did finish up a split second behind the music. This was right at the beginning, and I put it down to excitement and enthusiasm to do her utmost best. Other than that, I thought she was superbly musical throughout.

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The moderators have hidden a post that contained a hurtful, unacceptable and totally uncalled for insult to a dancer's personal appearance.  We welcome everyone's differing opinions on performances, but we will NOT tolerate insults of these kinds directed at dancers or anyone else.  We were frankly astonished that in this day and age anyone would post such a thing. 

 

Please remember that dancers and their families read this forum;  furthermore we have adopted a zero tolerance approach to this kind of thing and anyone insulting a dancer's (or anyone else's) physical appearance will be banned.  It is totally unacceptable.

 

 

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Was more than one post hidden (or was the offending post edited after it was originally posted)? I read a post which I can now no longer see, which remarked in general on relative attractiveness of dancers, but didn't mention anybody specifically.

 

(Not planning to take this thread off topic, so this is my only and last question on the matter.)

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7 minutes ago, RuthE said:

Was more than one post hidden (or was the offending post edited after it was originally posted)? I read a post which I can now no longer see, which remarked in general on relative attractiveness of dancers, but didn't mention anybody specifically.

 

(Not planning to take this thread off topic, so this is my only and last question on the matter.)

 

yes

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Thanks!  I am pretty sure the post I saw was a reply to the offending one which had already been hidden by the time I read the reply.  Fair enough, and thanks to the mods as ever for attempting to spare people's feelings!

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5 minutes ago, RuthE said:

Thanks!  I am pretty sure the post I saw was a reply to the offending one which had already been hidden by the time I read the reply.  Fair enough, and thanks to the mods as ever for attempting to spare people's feelings!

 

Yes, as Dave says, we almost always hide posts which reply directly to hidden posts, or which elaborate more on a hidden topic.  It doesn’t mean the hidden replies have also broken forum rules.  👍🏻 

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2 hours ago, Sim said:

The moderators have hidden a post that contained a hurtful, unacceptable and totally uncalled for insult to a dancer's personal appearance.  We welcome everyone's differing opinions on performances, but we will NOT tolerate insults of these kinds directed at dancers or anyone else.  We were frankly astonished that in this day and age anyone would post such a thing. 

 

Please remember that dancers and their families read this forum;  furthermore we have adopted a zero tolerance approach to this kind of thing and anyone insulting a dancer's (or anyone else's) physical appearance will be banned.  It is totally unacceptable.

 

I have no idea what was said in the offending post (gone by the time I caught up with the thread) but at the risk of seeming self-promoting might I offer two previous remarks by way of comment?

 

https://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/20918-filling-in-the-gaps/?do=findComment&comment=294680

 

https://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/17345-apologies/?do=findComment&comment=237921

 

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Last night was so enjoyable, I just made an impulse purchase for the matinee tomorrow. Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke. (Debuts?)
Can't wait to see who else is in the cast 

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9 minutes ago, Candleque said:

Last night was so enjoyable, I just made an impulse purchase for the matinee tomorrow. Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke. (Debuts?)
Can't wait to see who else is in the cast 

 

Yes, débuts! (And no doubt débuts in some other roles too.) Should be exciting and I hope you enjoy it.

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I wish to add to those who have praised Yasmine Naghdi. Matthew Ball and Fumi Kaneko.  I was tired last night, and as many of you already know, Sleeping Beauty is one of my least favourite ballets - classical tutu ballets aren't really my thing, especially those with more divertissements than plot.  I only book for it because there are certain dancers I especially want to see, and I have been known to turn up just to see Act 1 on its own (minus the Prologue).  Indeed, by the interval last night following the Prologue, and in spite of the stellar performances of the Fairies which were certainly not lost on me, I was starting to wonder if I would last the evening, never mind the other 3 performances I intend to attend.

 

But as soon as Naghdi came on I was immediately transported, and remained highly entertained until the end!  Though my single favourite moment probably came from Kaneko... the LOOK she gave the prince when he wasn't bright enough to figure out for himself how to wake Aurora!

 

A word of praise, too, for the usher on Rear Orchestra Stalls Right, who spotted mobile phone after mobile phone and clamped down on the various offenders faster than greased lightning.

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32 minutes ago, Geoff said:

 

I have no idea what was said in the offending post (gone by the time I caught up with the thread) but at the risk of seeming self-promoting might I offer two previous remarks by way of comment?

 

https://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/20918-filling-in-the-gaps/?do=findComment&comment=294680

 

https://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/17345-apologies/?do=findComment&comment=237921

 

Geoff, as you didn't see the original post you will not know that your two links are irrelevant to it.  This is nothing to do with anything legal, nor with freedom of speech.  Sorry.

 

Now, back to Sleeping Beauty please.

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For me, when watching a performance, a dancer’s beauty seems to come from inside them. All of the artistes who have been mentioned as appearing last night have the unique quality of being able to show us their souls on stage. That’s what makes each of them unique and all of them special.

 

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4 hours ago, betterankles said:

Yes and almost all trained during Gailene Stock's directorship....

Indeed, and one of the saddest things about her premature passing is that she is not here to see the wonderful results of her careful nurturing of all of these students. 

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1 hour ago, Candleque said:

Last night was so enjoyable, I just made an impulse purchase for the matinee tomorrow. Fumi Kaneko and Reece Clarke. (Debuts?)
Can't wait to see who else is in the cast 

 

I bumped into the wonderful Joseph Sissens and he said that he would be dancing the Bluebird at Saturday's matinee.  Can't wait!

 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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15 minutes ago, Bruce Wall said:

 

I bumped into the wonderful Joseph Sissens and he said that he would be dancing the Bluebird at Saturday's matinee.  Can't wait!

 

 

 

What a bonus!

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I thought the whole company was on great form and performed superbly last night, as did the orchestra. They deserve so much credit for continuing to produce such strong performances in  a variety of works and over such a short space of time. 

 

Special mention to the two leads, Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball articulating beauty and emotion so well through their dancing that they always transport me into whatever story or even abstract piece that they are performing, whether separately or together (but especially together, I think).  A truly stunning and triumphant Rose Adagio from Yasmine, but as someone mentioned above, she never appears showy all the same, always sweetly serene and seeming very touched by the reaction she inspires - a prolonged, thunderous reaction following and even during the R.A. yesterday.

 

The soloists and corps were excellent throughout and Beatriz Stix-Brunell particularly stood out for me with her beautifully expressive arms among the fairy variations in the Prologue. I enjoyed Ashley Dean's interpretation of the white cat and I hope we will see more of her in solo roles, especially after her strong performance in Tuesday's triple bill.  Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambe were a treat in addition to all this as Princess Florine and Bluebird - luxury casting indeed, in costumes to match (the RB has a very talented costume department, I am constantly admiring the skill that goes into them!)  Bravo all round, for this as well as the excellent triple bill broadcast on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

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Cast sheet for tonight, if anyone's interested. I've never heard of the Carabosse so presume she's a guest artist. I'm very pleased to see we've got Magri & Corrales doing the Bluebirds.

 

 

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Did anyone else attend the matinee today (Kaneko/Clarke's debut)? What a lovely performance, I'm very glad I was there to witness it. 

 

Kaneko started out a little nervous I think (Act 1's rose adagio must be one of the worst to debut in!) and I think this lead to her being a little out of time to the music. She held the balances well (although a bit of a shaking hand, but who can blame her?) but in one part she missed a step and it looked like she landed awkwardly on her ankle. Luckily it was a split second moment, she composed and recovered incredibly quickly and no injuries (she was able to continue dancing fine). So a bit of a shaky start but really emphasises how difficult Act 1 is for the ballerina, and credit to Kaneko for not letting a little slip get in the way. 

 

Act 2 was very good - Clarke was a lovely Florimund - he really can jump very high, and great at emoting so you know exactly what he is thinking and feeling. He and Kaneko were lovely together in this scene, and you could tell they were so comfortable dancing with each other. This was a good foundation for them really blossoming in Act 3 - their final pas de deux absolutely delightful. By Act 3 they seemed to have fully relaxed and were comfortable both with the roles and each other, really enjoying it all and dancing together. Kaneko was spot on in this final act - really hitting the music perfectly. (If I was going to be very picky I would say for their pas de deux the tempo could have been done a little faster, and Kaneko didn't spin into the fish dives as I've seen others do, but rather would sort of step into them.) They both looked so happy and finished on a real high, very triumphant and some moving curtain calls where they hugged and you could see how much it meant to them to debut and dance together in this ballet. I can definitely see both improving in leaps and bounds (literally!) the more they do these roles, so this was a very promising start. I really do hope they get the chance to dance together more often. 

 

Others that deserve a special mention - Magri was absolutely radiant as the Lilac Fairy, just glowing and utterly charming. Of course O'Sullivan was the perfect Florine (she spun so fast that some of her tiara/hair accessories came flying off, not that that stopped her!), in perfect time, perfect technique, very clean movements and wonderful use of arms to convey a bird like flutter and great stage presence with the way she uses her head and eyes. Sissens was a fantastic Bluebird - I can't believe this was his debut he was so good! Really high jumps, fluid lines and just clarity of movement throughout. They made a wonderful pair and it felt like I could have watched them dance forever, it was all over too quickly for me! 

 

Calvin Richardson was a strong Florestan and every time I see Romany Pajdak I am impressed by her musicality and the way she conveys movement and character even for these smaller roles. Kevin Emerton and Mica Bradbury were a brilliant Puss-in-Boots and White Cat, very synchronised with each other and conveying great character (getting some laughs from the audience when she playfully pushes his arms off her). Finally I must mention Thomas Whitehead was a great King, Bennet Gartside a very funny Catalabutte and Menzibal made a very strong debut as Carabosse - she is certainly in line to be a principal character artist if she so chooses - conveying great drama (but the right side of pantomime!). 

 

For those who are interested in fairy casting, it was Lara Turk, Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Yu Hang, Sae Maeda, Leticia Dias today. I think this ballet is great for giving lots of role opportunities to those further down the ranks but I couldn't help and feel slightly disappointed I didn't have the 'starry' fairy cast of opening night, but such is the way it goes, and I hope I get to see Calvert/Stix-Brunell/Choe and others as fairies in future performances.

 

Act 3 was definitely the highlight for me, where everything came together and all the divertissements danced very well. Congratulations to Clarke and Kaneko for a very strong debut, Kaneko received a lot of (well deserved) flowers at the end, and I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing her as Lilac Fairy another performance! What a lovely way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon, the costumes and sets really are delightful and a fantastic debut. 

Edited by JNC
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@Dawnstar Hayley Forskitt (Carabosse) is listed as Guest Character Artist in the programme. It appears she was a former Royal Ballet dancer who has since retired but is returning for this role. I'm not sure why - I imagine she must have been very good at it, or perhaps they are short of Carabosses?

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6 minutes ago, JNC said:

@Dawnstar Hayley Forskitt (Carabosse) is listed as Guest Character Artist in the programme. It appears she was a former Royal Ballet dancer who has since retired but is returning for this role. I'm not sure why - I imagine she must have been very good at it, or perhaps they are short of Carabosses?

 

She left before her time to raise a family. Good opportunity to return, maybe as character dancer in the future (next month)?

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I also saw the Kaneko/Clarke matinee.

 

Fumi Kaneko was exquisite. I find her extremely affecting. She has a very rare quality that it's difficult to put into words she seems to radiate a combination of delicacy, vulnerability and warmth, as well as being technically gifted. 

 

Reece Clarke is a natural prince. His height alone makes him look majestic on the RoH stage, he executed his solos well and he partnered her beautifully. The depth of feeling between them and his obvious pride in her was enormously touching.     

 

For once the Lilac Fairy's challenging solo was not executed as a series of independent steps but as a flowing piece of choreography - thank you to Mayara Magri :)  

 

The standard of dancing of solo dancing was generally impressive  : in particular the individual Fairy variations were considerably better than a few years ago. 

 

 

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Hayley Forskitt is a former RB dancer, she is married to Brian Maloney, who is a class teacher with the Royal Ballet and former soloist. There is an interview with her where she talks about deciding to retire to raise her kids. I believe her last role before retiring was Carabosse.

 

https://tothepointemagazine.wixsite.com/tothepointemagazine/single-post/2017/06/26/To-The-Pointe-Meets-Hayley-Maloney-Forskitt

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dawnstar said:

 


I guess people will be rewarded with another Hayward/Campbell/Magri/Corrales performance. 🤗

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I agree with all of the plaudits about today’s matinee.  A beautiful debut from Fumi, and princely performance from Reece.  As Anna mentioned above, the way he looked at her whenever they danced together put a lump in my throat.  Another wonderful debut was Mayara Magri’s warm and beneficent Lilac Fairy.  Itziar Mendizabal almost stole the show as a hilarious Carabosse.  I couldn’t take my eyes off her, my strong binocs revealing every nuance.  I loved it!  Even her curtain call was hilarious!  Brilliant debut from Joe Sissens as Bluebird. Beautiful footwork, high jumps and soft landings.  Anna-Rose O’Sullivan, excellent in this part in the last run (with Sambé), was equally good today.  She sparkled as much as her earrings, one of which fell off twice.   
 

The role of Gallison in Act 2 seems to have the Curse of Carabosse on it:  on Thursday night Erico Montes’ hat kept falling off, and today the blindfold wouldn’t stay on so eventually the rest of the blind man’s buff was played without it!  Well done to Kevin Emerton for such good improvising!
 

I really liked the fairies’ variations in the Prologue, with Sae Maeda especially lovely.  
 

I will say it again...The RB is in a better place than it’s been for ages. From artist to principal levels it is awash with talent.  How lucky we are.  

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For the sake of clarity, today was Fumi Kaneko's debut as Aurora, but was not Reece Clarke's debut as Florimund. He debuted in 2017, performing twice with Lauren Cuthbertson.

 

Gutted to miss the show, family gets in the way sometimes!

Edited by Saodan
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