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24 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

I might sugest  that Madison Bailey has a resemblance to Kristen McNally.

 

The only thing I've knowingly seen her do is The Cunning Little Vixen, which is not a helpful role for recognising a dancer afterwards! Having gone through headshots, I'm thinking it could have possibly been Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani. (Waits to be told she wasn't on tonight either!)

 

I'll leave the experts, a number of whom were evidently there, to comment on the performance except to say that I was pleased to: finally see Anna-Rose O'Sullivan & James Hay together, after booking to see them in The Nutcracker last season only for him to be injured; see Gina Storm-Jensen in a leading role; and see Itziar Mendizabal's show-stealing Carabosse. Also, apropos the discussion earlier on the thread of dancers' landings, I thought Benjamin Ella as Florimund was very nice & quiet tonight.

 

I did manage to get some okay-ish curtain call photos (more on my Instagram/Twitter if anyone's interested).

 

 

 

Edited by Dawnstar
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6 hours ago, Dawnstar said:

 

 Having gone through headshots, I'm thinking it could have possibly been Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani. (Waits to be told she wasn't on tonight either!)

 

 

She wasn't on either!

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A delightful Beauty last night.

 

I enjoyed nearly all of the individual fairy variations. Gina Storm-Jensen was more secure in her finishing in the Lilac Fairy variation than I have seen her previously but I still feel she lacks an expansiveness and warmth - even though she smiles beautifully.

 

The Cavaliers unfortunately were back to being messy. Joe Aumeer certainly has an impressive jump but I wish he would concentrate more on synchronising with his colleagues.

 

I was very impressed with Anna-Rose O’Sullivan, for only her second time in the role she was remarkably good. Not only is her dancing secure, but she has the confidence to carry the performance. In terms of very picky detail, her Rose Adagio may have been slightly less secure than her debut but the solo after the Rose Adagio was extremely well finished. She has absolutely blossomed in the last year.

 

James Hay is a magnificent classical dancer. I know he’s not tall but on the too few occasions I see him in princely roles I find he dances them so perfectly that I am baffled as to the limited rep he has. He has a beautiful line, he dances way beyond his physical size, he is the only dancer to come close to Muntagirov in terms of technical excellence and he clearly cares deeply about showing us the character and respecting his partner.

 

The grand pas was appropriately grand: danced with confidence, security and synchronicity.. I was slightly distracted  because bizarrely someone's phone (a couple of rows in front of me) started speaking the result of the GE exit poll but not clearly enough to know what it was. Unbelievable. 

 

Ben Ella and his sisters, Isabella Gasparini and Mariko Sasaki, gave a fine and speedy rendition of the pd3.

 

Yuhui Choe and Luca Acri danced a somewhat small (the opposite of James Hay dancing beyond his physical space) Florine and Bluebird.

 

A shout out for Ashley Dean and Leo Dixon as the White Cat and PiB. They've really brought what always felt like a boring character dance to life.

 

Itziar Mendizabal has made Carabosse her own. Fabulous.

 

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1 minute ago, annamk said:

I was very impressed with Anna-Rose O’Sullivan, for only her second time in the role she was remarkably good. Not only is her dancing secure, but she has the confidence to carry the performance. In terms of very picky detail, her Rose Adagio may have been slightly less secure than her debut but the solo after the Rose Adagio was extremely well finished. She has absolutely blossomed in the last year.

 

Yes, I was very impressed.  Am I right in thinking that it wasn't just only her second time in the role, but only her second time in the lead of any full-length classical tutu ballet?

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11 minutes ago, annamk said:

The Cavaliers unfortunately were back to being messy. Joe Aumeer certainly has an impressive jump but I wish he would concentrate more on synchronising with his colleagues.

 

I could have wished the same of certain of his other colleagues too: it wasn't as if the others were all perfectly synchronised.

 

Quote

James Hay is a magnificent classical dancer. I know he’s not tall but on the too few occasions I see him in princely roles I find he dances them so perfectly that I am baffled as to the limited rep he has. He has a beautiful line, he dances way beyond his physical size, he is the only dancer to come close to Muntagirov in terms of technical excellence and he clearly cares deeply about showing us the character and respecting his partner.

 

Absolutely.  (In fact, I wanted to "hear hear" virtually all of your post, Anna).  In an ideal world he'd have had a few more days to recover from illness, but his Act II solo in particular was very fine - from what I could see of it.

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I've come somewhat late to the party and everything that needs to be said has, I am sure, already been said.

 

As Alison has pointed out, Annamk has perfectly encapsulated last night's performance and, yes, Capybara, I was wowed by the almost-debutante Anna-Rose O'Sullivan too.

 

I can't really add anything more but I can't sign off either without saying what a meltingly lyrical performance  Anna-Rose delivered last night, immaculately partnered by the outstanding James Hay. Huge congratulations to both of them and so glad I got to see them dance together.

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Great to hear that last night's performance went so well. I was at Anna Rose O'Sullivan's debut and it was amongst the most enjoyable ballet experiences I've had so far.

 

Just to add some slightly late thoughts on Wednesday night, with Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano. This was another great performance, particularly impressed with Hirano who I haven't seen dance all that much, but he was incredibly solid and graceful and partnered Lamb beautifully. I always enjoy watching Sarah Lamb and this performance was no exception. I did think her some of the balances in the rose adagio looked a little shaky, but the last one she held for an enormous length of time - maybe 10 seconds. Is this often done in the rose adagio?

 

Lots of wonderful dancing throughout the rest of the cast. Mendizabal was a fantastic Princess Florine.

 

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20 minutes ago, DanJL said:

Great to hear that last night's performance went so well. I was at Anna Rose O'Sullivan's debut and it was amongst the most enjoyable ballet experiences I've had so far.

 

Just to add some slightly late thoughts on Wednesday night, with Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano. This was another great performance, particularly impressed with Hirano who I haven't seen dance all that much, but he was incredibly solid and graceful and partnered Lamb beautifully. I always enjoy watching Sarah Lamb and this performance was no exception. I did think her some of the balances in the rose adagio looked a little shaky, but the last one she held for an enormous length of time - maybe 10 seconds. Is this often done in the rose adagio?

 

Lots of wonderful dancing throughout the rest of the cast. Mendizabal was a fantastic Princess Florine.

 

 

I didn’t feel Sarah’s balances were a little shaky, though I did notice she didn’t look at any of the princes at least first time round....the final balance did go on a noticeably long time though 🙂 

 

I did feel Itziar’s Florine to be the best of those I’ve seen too.

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Thanks Rob S, to be fair it may have been my relatively inexperienced eye picking up on something that was actually an intended part of the technique with the balances!

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1 minute ago, DanJL said:

Thanks Rob S, to be fair it may have been my relatively inexperienced eye picking up on something that was actually an intended part of the technique with the balances!

 

My eyes are inexperienced too, maybe my position, left side of stalls circle meant I couldn’t see what her leg was doing to keep her balanced. 

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The balances are a complicated deal between the ballerina, the princes and the conductor.  If Aurora feels that she can hold a balance for longer than the intended time of the music she will do so and a good conductor slows the music down.  Likewise he keeps a close eye on how long it is taking for the dancer to let go of the prince's hand;  if she is taking a while to find her balance he will again slow down the music.  If at the end of the Rose Adagio the dancer can and wants to hold a long balance, she subtly signals to the English Prince to walk on by.  Gary Avis is brilliant at this;  he gives a little head bow of appreciation as he walks past her.  Yet another example of how much goes on behind the scenes to create a few steps in ballet.  Or in this case, non-steps!   

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I really dislike it when the ballerina ignores the choreography to hold a longer balance. One of the things I loved about Naghdi last time (haven’t seen her this time) was that she balanced exactly in accord with the music cue so there was an organic inevitability between choreography and music that was much more satisfying than any technical stunt.

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2 hours ago, Rob S said:

 

 

I did feel Itziar’s Florine to be the best of those I’ve seen too.

 

Is this the first time somebody has appeared as Carabosse, Lilac Fairy and Florine in the same season? I think Alfreda Thorogood did Carabosse and Florine (although she didn’t dance Aurora very often).

 

I think Itziar Mendizabal is a most interesting dancer and am not sure that the Royal Ballet has always got the best out of her very particular talents. She reminds me very much in her strength of technique and personality of Dame Monica Mason and I hope that she may yet make Principal, albeit at a Character Artist level.

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4 hours ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

She wasn't on either!

 

I give up!!

 

4 hours ago, annamk said:

The grand pas was appropriately grand: danced with confidence, security and synchronicity.. I was slightly distracted  because bizarrely someone's phone (a couple of rows in front of me) started speaking the result of the GE exit poll but not clearly enough to know what it was. Unbelievable.

 

How infuriating. That's even worse than the woman next to me who decided to check her phone in the middle of the Rose Adagio!

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1 hour ago, Sim said:

The balances are a complicated deal between the ballerina, the princes and the conductor.  If Aurora feels that she can hold a balance for longer than the intended time of the music she will do so and a good conductor slows the music down.  Likewise he keeps a close eye on how long it is taking for the dancer to let go of the prince's hand;  if she is taking a while to find her balance he will again slow down the music.  If at the end of the Rose Adagio the dancer can and wants to hold a long balance, she subtly signals to the English Prince to walk on by.  Gary Avis is brilliant at this;  he gives a little head bow of appreciation as he walks past her.  Yet another example of how much goes on behind the scenes to create a few steps in ballet.  Or in this case, non-steps!   

 

How interesting 🙂 .  Mind you I'd just say Gary Avis is brilliant full stop.  I can watch him in anything, he adds so much to all the characters he takes.  

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3 hours ago, Dawnstar said:

 

I give up!!

How infuriating. That's even worse than the woman next to me who decided to check her phone in the middle of the Rose Adagio!

 

I left my phone on BBC news at the second interval so that I could check the election exit poll the minute I got outside. Others around me found it necessary to take a peek from 10.00pm onwards while 'watching' Act 3, thus creating flashes of light and little bursts of conversation. But, let's face it, it was a rather exceptional night in terms of competing interests.

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@capybara I was very happy to avoid politics for 3 hours. Also I found myself thinking afterwards that it would be much simpler if we just had Good & Bad fairies!

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Lauren Cuthbertson gave us a strong and an elegant Aurora this afternoon...she looked happy and confident and got a very warm reception.  I do like the handsome and princely Bonelli but perhaps he wasn't having his best day? No matter, he is a good partner.

 

The highlight of the performance for me was probably the super Bluebirds of Matthew Ball - who was dancing with superbly controlled strength and buoyancy-  and Mayara Magri. They were fast, light and suitably birdlike.

(I would not have chosen Matthew as my no. 1 bluebird as I  see the role as made for a slighter dancer. But in fact he was the best I have seen this run.)

 

We had a few minor problems in the amphi with :

-a persistent cougher who made absolutely no effort at all to cover her face or muffle the noise- what goes on in the head?

-someone dropping things with a loud clatter at regular intervals

-some rumpus in the centre- with ushers being active, but I don't know what the problem was-does anyone else know?

 

But it  did not spoil a good afternoon.  Best of all, my young nephew very much enjoyed his 3rd ballet, saying it was 'completely magical' and 'thrilling' - which has made my Christmas.

 

 

 

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Hmm, I'm not quite sure just how much of it will be: I'd guess the characters written at the top of the cast sheet before the individual acts, but beyond that?  I don't know.  Various dancers are currently not available, I haven't as yet seen this "luxury casting" of Prologue fairies some people have referred to, which I might expect to see on a cinema broadcast, and I suspect some of the Act III people might change?  As I said some time ago, there's still a month to go until the actual screening, so who knows what may have changed by then.

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1 hour ago, alison said:

Hmm, I'm not quite sure just how much of it will be: I'd guess the characters written at the top of the cast sheet before the individual acts, but beyond that?  I don't know.  Various dancers are currently not available, I haven't as yet seen this "luxury casting" of Prologue fairies some people have referred to, which I might expect to see on a cinema broadcast, and I suspect some of the Act III people might change?  As I said some time ago, there's still a month to go until the actual screening, so who knows what may have changed by then.

 

Point taken about the possibility of 'luxury casting' coming through by the time of the cinema relay.

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Sarah Lamb gave 100% tonight,  but Ryo possibly only 60-70%, and it pains me to say this as I am a normally a huge fan,  but was he injured/ill, he seemed to be almost marking it some of the time to me?  Very odd.  No chemistry discernable between the two either.  Thought Sarah deserved better. 

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There does seem to be something pretty nasty going round the company, it seems to me.

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Yes, Olivia Cowley posted on Twitter yesterday afternoon than she had been felled with D and V, poor thing. 😞

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Yes I have sadly very often the same impression with Hirano, by the way if a dancer is sick or injured he/she should not be dancing !

 

I same him clearly marking some steps in Mayerling, I think it was last year it 's very surprising and clearly annoying...

 

I simply now avoid to buy an ticket when he is dancing.

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Well in contrast he was on incredible form on Wednesday night, fully engaged and great chemistry with Sarah Lamb. Obviously I have no idea what was different last night, but it would be a shame for people to miss out on his talent altogether.

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