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Fabulous Fumi!!  What a gal!!  

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Wasn’t she great! So happy for her.

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10 hours ago, Tebasile said:

 

The magnificent Marianela Nunez is at the height of her abilities. Her interpretation of Aurora is more mature than in the last run, and seeing a ballerina of such confidence and artistry in a classical ballet is a privilege, whether her role is supposed to be a teenager or not.


I couldn’t agree more! I’ve watched Nela for pretty much her entire 20 years at the RB, and last night she hit a new high.

 

Two things struck me in particular:

She never uses her phenomenally secure technique just to show off, but always to portray the character and to “live” the music.

She exudes such joy in dancing it makes me feel joyful and happy. I don’t feel that way watching, for example, Osipova when she looks tense and nervous. 
 

So, brava Nela and long may she continue to delight us 👏🏻

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And Bravo Bonelli, who is at his most lyrical and involved. And, am I allowed to write this, Christina Arestis is just ravishing to look at ....

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Gosh that was lovely. She was absolutely superb: I was hoping for a promotion to principal epilogue. Kudos also to Bonelli who danced out of his skin, elegant and charismatic 
 

Edited by Jamesrhblack
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Fumi was absolutely amazing!  Stable, charming, devoted wholeheartedly to the role. Last Saturday night I was lucky enough see Fumi as Lilac Fairy live at ROH, her Lilac Fairy really showed the elegance, braveness of the role. So so so happy for her!!!

 

Naghdi/Ball's Bluebird/Florine was stable and faultless all the time, always feel their pas de deux as a highlight of Act3.

 

 

Edited by cloudbuff
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I would go as far as to say that was a career-defining performance from Fumi.   And I haven’t seen Bonelli dance with such joy and buoyancy for a long time.  He was clearly inspired by his partner and the occasion.  Bring on their Swan Lake!  If tonight was anything to go by it will be beautiful.  You couldn’t wipe the huge smile off of Gary Avis’ face after the wonderful Rose Adage.  This wasn’t acting;  he was genuinely proud and thrilled for Fumi. 
 

Fabulous Bluebird/Florine from Naghdi/Ball.

 

 A very special night indeed. 

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I was watching at the Preston odeon and there was a transmission break of over five minutes in the last act and just at the most crucial point (for me anyway). I'd really enjoyed all the ballet but I was so looking forward to seeing Yasmine and Matthew as the Bluebirds. I thought their initial pas de deux was stunning and then just as Matthew was preparing to start his solo the transmission went and didn’t resume until little red riding hood so we missed virtually all the Bluebirds. I was gutted. Did other cinemas have the same problem? 

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35 minutes ago, Jamesrhblack said:

Gosh that was lovely. She was absolutely superb: I was hoping for a promotion to principal epilogue. Kudos also to Bonelli who danced out of his skin, elegant and charismatic 

 

That was the performance not just of a principal but of a star. No wonder her prince was smitten.

 

I just wish they had been matched by a more credible Lilac Fairy. I did think that Gina Storm Jensen danced the variation a lot better than when I've seen her before; but in a company chock full of wonderful dramatic dancers, it is really noticeable when someone isn't expressive especially in such a crucial role. A casting decision I really don't understand.

 

Naghdi and Ball sensational. McNally a wonderful Carabosse. And Elizabeth McGorian the most gracious and beautiful Queen you could possibly imagine.

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6 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

That was the performance not just of a principal but of a star. No wonder her prince was smitten.

 

I just wish they had been matched by a more credible Lilac Fairy. I did think that Gina Storm Jensen danced the variation a lot better than when I've seen her before; but in a company chock full of wonderful dramatic dancers, it is really noticeable when someone isn't expressive especially in such a crucial role. A casting decision I really don't understand.

 

Naghdi and Ball sensational. McNally a wonderful Carabosse. And Elizabeth McGorian the most gracious and beautiful Queen you could possibly imagine.

 

So true! As far as I think, a good lilac fairy should almost serve as the sign of hope, making all the audience feel reliable in the flow of storyline. If the role is not expressive enough, it will seem very unconvincing...

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What gorgeous Auroras The Royal Ballet has right now, from Nunez to Naghdi, Kaneko , Takada and also young O'Sullivan. All such wonderful Auroras in their own right. Next time SB is on I'll have to buy multiple tickets to see each one of these again.

Well done to Fumi Kaneko, happy all went well for her, she was really beautiful.

Naghdi and Ball were exquisite in their Bluebird Variation. Naghdi dances with such great ease and Matthew Ball was also impressive. I love their partnership. 

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6 hours ago, Dawnstar said:

 

There are times when having zero technical knowledge of ballet is an advantage. Unless someone obviously messes up their steps (like Claire Calvert did on Saturday afternoon) I usually can't tell if a variation has gone wrong!

Claire’s toe went into a massive cramp which is why she couldn’t get in pointe.

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Just got home from the cinema.  Well, that was a mixed bag!  I thought Kaneko and Bonelli looked good together.  I did feel nervous during the dreaded adage, but Kaneko got through it and blossomed as a believable, charming teenager throughout the rest of the ballet.  Well done her!  Bonelli was elegant, refined and very princely.  I also really enjoyed Pajdak's Fairy of the Crystal Fountain and was just restraining myself from making a fool of myself by accidentally applauding her when Magri took over the stage as the Fairy of the Enchanted Garden and fully engaged my attention.  How does she manage to project her personality so strongly even in a small part?  Anna Rose O'Sullivan was a lovely Fairy of the Song Bird too.  There was lots more to enjoy but - oh dear, I agree with the comments above about Storm-Jensen.  She should never be cast in the role of any fairy, let alone the Lilac Fairy.  (I saw Kaneko in that role last autumn and she was perfect - so dainty, beneficent and ethereal.)  Technical issues apart, Storm-Jensen looks more like a viking warrior goddess.  This isn't meant to be an insult - as a woman she is imposing but as a fairy she is simply mis-cast.  Being patriotic, I felt embarrassed to think what the alleged watchers from abroad must think about our ideas.

However, the last-minute changes that were unfortunately necessary were well coped with and our prince and princess left the audience happy and satisfied.  I was very pleased to note the warm reception Kaneko got at the beginning, and the mountain of flowers that were laid at her feet at the end.
 

I do hope poor Cuthbertson makes a rapid recovery - she must feel terrible about missing this performance.

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Saw this evenings Sleeping Beauty at the cinema, as a changevfom all the others I've seen this run at ROH. Sad that Lauren Cuthbertson was unable to dance, best wishes to her. However I totally enjoyed it, and thought all, yes all, the dancers were excellent.

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23 minutes ago, Silke H said:

Claire’s toe went into a massive cramp which is why she couldn’t get in pointe.

 

How awful for her!

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I was at the cinema in Liverpool this evening.

 

I'm not really keen on this production (my favourite being SPW's for BRB) but I did enjoy the performance overall.  I much prefer Lilac to be a non-dancing role - I think it makes for a better balance with the evilness of Carabosse and it needs someone with a very strong stage presence too.

 

I thought Fumi Kaneko was a glorious Aurora and Federico Bonelli her perfect Prince.  The gpdd caused me to have a bout of hay fever it was just so lovely.  I loved the interaction between the two of them and the way they sort of melted into each other.

 

I loved the Naghdi/Ball Bluebird and the pas de trois.  Puss and Red Riding Hood do absolutely nothing for me at all but I thought they were both very well performed.

 

To sum up - a very enjoyable performance that I am glad I went to the cinema to see.

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4 hours ago, Jamesrhblack said:

Why do so many dancers find the Lilac Fairy solo so problematic? I really don’t recall this being the case back in the day of Bergsma, Derman and Mason, Storm Jensen started really rather well, but there was an accident towards the end. I know she’s jumping in but she’s relatively experienced in the role now surely. And on the subject of accidents, did Calvert put a heel down? Sorry to be grumpy ...

I don't have the privilege to see the past generation of dancers. But I read some articles about classic variation and lilac fairy variation and blue bird variation are regarding of one of the most difficult variations for female and males.(some even votes them as the hardest).

 

One of the shade variation in LB and the golden Buda variation in LB are also on top of that list. But being a shade you only need good techinic not much acting. Thus lilac fairy "wins" the difficult prize...

 

I don't quite understand why the decision goes this way. 

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When I first saw Fumi dancing as one of corps members many years ago, I momentarily thought Miyako was somehow back on stage. Then I realized Fumi was taller than Miyako. However, Fumi's grace, technique, and her arm movement continued to remind me of Miyako. 

 

I was always certian that something wonderful would eventually happen to Fumi one day.  I am glad it did.

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A really enjoyable performance for the cinema, with very many standout moments, as has been mentioned above.

 

It's all personal preference of course, but I think Gina Storm Jensen is really lovely at the mime and acting parts of lilac fairy and for me looks absolutely perfect as a good fairy. I agree that others have been more secure in the solo, but as Rob S commented, she has improved this through the run and I'm sure will continue to do so in future.

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9 hours ago, jmhopton said:

I was watching at the Preston odeon and there was a transmission break of over five minutes in the last act and just at the most crucial point (for me anyway). I'd really enjoyed all the ballet but I was so looking forward to seeing Yasmine and Matthew as the Bluebirds. I thought their initial pas de deux was stunning and then just as Matthew was preparing to start his solo the transmission went and didn’t resume until little red riding hood so we missed virtually all the Bluebirds. I was gutted. Did other cinemas have the same problem? 

I am sorry to say (for you) that there were no such problems at the cinema screening I went to and the bluebirds were totally wonderful. Hope for better for you next time.

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I was at the cinema (no transmission problems) and I thought it was an excellent all round company performance - casting up the variations really does show even though one understands younger dancers must be given opportunities. The corps danced with commitment and musicality, the Cavaliers were synchronised. the soloist roles all well taken - the exception being the Lilac Fairy where I think the dancer can get away with the role with either a technique that can surmount the challenge of the variation or a beneficent radiance but when they have neither ..... 

 

Bonelli was a generous, secure partner who put huge effort into his well delivered solos.

 

But the evening belonged to Fumi Kaneko who was simply dazzling. It was a triumph for her to to deliver a performance of such quality having stepped into the shoes of a principal, at the last minute, in one of the most important and challenging roles in the rep for a live relay. Brava. 

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I didn't see this yesterday, I shall be going to one of the Encore performances, if I can take the time off.  Sad for Cuthbertson, but it doesn't surprise me that Kaneko rose to the challenge.  She is a wonderful dancer, and I have always enjoyed watching her.

On the subject of the Lilac Fairy, in the past wasn't it usually a principal cast in this role?  Or at the very least a dancer who had either danced Aurora already, or went on afterwards to do so, which indicates how technically difficult the LF must be.  

 

 

Edited by Fonty
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Watched the cinema relay last night and Fumi's wonderful Aurora's still on my mind! She was really radiant last night, and embodied the role so perfectly... Even my not-very-into-ballet (especially adagios) husband couldn't take his eyes off her rose adagio ...

Also really enjoyed Naghdi and Ball's pdd, they really seem to have good chemistry between the two of them, and both technically wonderful :) What a night!

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I was sorry to miss Lauren, especially as her Aurora was a highlight of the last run of SB for me.  Fumi, however was absolutely magical last night, and repaid Kevin O’Hare’s confidence in her in spades.

 

Her Rose Adage was superb, unrushed and secure and she looked as though she was enjoying every moment well before the end.  I loved the way the filming gave us close ups of her colleagues basically holding their breath for her and willing her through, and the focus of the princes in supporting her through the balances especially – though they need not have worried of course! 

 

One small detail I really appreciated was the way Fumi took the time to acknowledge each of the princes at points throughout the Rose Adage (and later, her prince).  That touch of graciousness helps create Aurora’s persona as the young princess she is supposed to be and makes the Rose Adage somehow more a part of the overall story, continuing the narrative, rather it being more a stand alone set piece.  I think this point has been raised before – I was in total agreement then and was very happy to see it yesterday.

 

I particularly loved Fumi’s variation in the vision scene in Act 2 as well, so delicate, remote and dreamy (shades of Viviana Durante for me here, no higher praise).   Federico Bonelli was every inch the prince and their dancing complimented very well, especially given the lack of rehearsal time they must have had.

 

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball, as Bluebirds, just shone in the final act and for me they alone were worth the price of admission (sorry to the poster whose transmission cut at that point, really bad luck!)

 

I just wanted to add, without getting into the details of this particular performance (though I didn’t think it a bad one from Gina SJ) that I really dislike the lilac fairy variation.  As others have said, hardly anyone can perform it really well and even when they occasionally do, the choreography isn’t particularly attractive, though I can see it fits the difficult timing of the music at this point.  There must be another way, as it becomes an ordeal for the audience and dancers alike - or maybe that’s just me!  I remember thinking that even Marianela appeared to approach it with extreme caution.

 

In summary though, for all the other lovely performances, the night belonged to Fumi Kaneko - a total star.  Darcey at the end seemed to be bursting with pride in her and I think we could all understand how she felt.  So many congratulations.

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The Director clearly has confidence in Storm-Jensen, and I trust this is not misplaced. He has a decent track record in nurturing talent after all. This would not be the first time that a dancer has struggled with the move from rehearsal room to stage and, whilst there is a limit, I hope the Director keeps faith so that we get the chance to see what he sees.

 

We should also bear in mind that, with Stix-Brunell off stage for the past two months, we have been down a lilac.

Edited by Saodan
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8 hours ago, Texan said:

When I first saw Fumi dancing as one of corps members many years ago, I momentarily thought Miyako was somehow back on stage. Then I realized Fumi was taller than Miyako. However, Fumi's grace, technique, and her arm movement continued to remind me of Miyako. 

 

I'm not usually one for picking young dancers out of the corps early, but I made an exception for Kaneko: I remember asking friends who the young Japanese dancer was, so she'd obviously struck me right from the beginning.

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How many Lilac Fairies were there this time? The ones I saw were Claire Calvert, Gina Storm Jensen, Fumi Kaneko and Mayara Magri.

Edited by Rob S

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I don't think there have been any others, have there?  I've only seen Calvert, and Storm Jensen on repeat.  I've been very sorry to miss the others.  But at least I did get to see Cuthbertson in her December performance, which was very good, and I'd been looking forward to seeing her on the big screen :( 

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