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2 hours ago, Ingrid said:

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.

 

I'm wondering if her sudden reappearance is related to Olivia Cowley suffering a back spasm?  After all, Sleeping Beauty does need quite a few female character artists.  Does her name show up in the programme?

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43 minutes ago, Saodan said:

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!

 

Thanks for clarifying! I do wish that debuts can be noted on the cast sheet in some way to avoid this confusion. 

 

Without asking a potentially stupid question, how are the audience meant to know if someone is debuting in a role? I feel I only know because of knowledge shared on this forum, as well as dancers' instagram pages which highlight they/a colleague are debuting. Does ROH have an 'official' way of letting people know if someone is debuting?

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They're usually asterisked on the casting sheet for that booking period, still, I think, but not indicated if someone new replaces a scheduled dancer.

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They used to mark it on the cast sheet with an asterisk that indicated a role debut.  I don’t understand why they have stopped doing so.  

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41 minutes ago, alison said:

 

I'm wondering if her sudden reappearance is related to Olivia Cowley suffering a back spasm?  After all, Sleeping Beauty does need quite a few female character artists.  Does her name show up in the programme?

No, it has long been planned that she would reprise the role. Probably because she was brilliant at it and only got to do it once or twice before she retired. 

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13 minutes ago, alison said:

They're usually asterisked on the casting sheet for that booking period, still, I think, but not indicated if someone new replaces a scheduled dancer.

 

As @Sim has replied they no longer do this - certainly no asterisk today for Kaneko or Sissens. 

 

So there is no way for the audience to know if it's a debut...unless they are someone with sufficient ballet going history/memory to know because they have not seen them before, or because you happen to have insider info, or a dancer mentions it themselves on social media? 

 

I think it's nice for debuts to be recognised and don't see why ROH removed the asterisk system. Hope they maybe reconsider this decision at some point, or find another way of recognising debuts. 

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51 minutes ago, alison said:

 

I'm wondering if her sudden reappearance is related to Olivia Cowley suffering a back spasm?  After all, Sleeping Beauty does need quite a few female character artists.  Does her name show up in the programme?


From her social media it seems like Hayley was rehearsing for this role before Olivia’s injury so I would say they are unrelated. Her name is on the programme from the photo @Dawnstar posted here ( it’s her maiden name - Forskitt) for tonight performance with Hayward and Campbell.

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2 hours ago, Sim said:

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!

 

Bennet Gartside removes his hat before being blindfolded which I’m sure helps.  The blindfold unravelling in the matinee I’m afraid was inevitable.  As you say Kevin Emerton improvised well and I rather liked one knitter and Anna-Rose O’Sullivan retrieving debris in the matinee. 

 

Hopefully more considered comments tomorrow on double Sleeping Beauty but now desperately trying to see how I can fit in more performances after the opening night’s comments on the Forum and today’s fabulous performances.

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Yes, there were only two last-minute cast changes tonight: Dias replacing O'Sullivan as the Fairy of the Golden Vine and Arestis replacing McGorian as the Queen (which made me wonder irreverently if the King has Henry VIII tendencies towards his Queens!). Is Hayley Forskitt's married surname Maloney? If so then I did see someone, possibly Stix-Brunell, post about her rehearsing but as I'd not heard of her it didn't mean anything to me at the time.

 

I enjoyed tonight's performance probably as much as I am ever likely to enjoy Sleeping Beauty. The lack of plot in Act 3 & the feels-endless variations in both the Prologue & Act 3 are not really my taste, no matter how well they may be done. While I was pleased to get Hayward, Campbell, Corrales & Magri all in the same cast, if I could have swapped SB for another Manon with them then I'd have gladly done so!

 

I don't have the knowledge to assess how good all the dancing was tonight but it all looked pretty good to my inexpert eyes. I assume that Hayward & Campbell's grand pas was well-done, especially the fish dives, as the lady sat next but one to me was audibly gasping at them! I did find the Rose Adagio brought tears to my eyes but that was due to the music & Hayward's acting rather than however good or otherwise her technique was. The Bluebird variation was definitely my favourite one but I'm not sure if this was due to the choreography or due to it being Magri & Corrales doing it.

 

Given how easily the Prince gets to Aurora - the Lilac Fairy basically does all the work - I found myself wondering why it took her a hundred years to get round to getting Aurora woken up!

 

My usual crop of queries:

 

Is there a reason why the Prince is unhappy at the start of Act 2 or is it just supposed to be general ennui?

 

Who are Florestan and his sisters?

 

Who are the three pairs of fairytale characters who don't do any solo dancing supposed to be?

 

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1 hour ago, Dawnstar said:

My usual crop of queries:

 

1) Is there a reason why the Prince is unhappy at the start of Act 2 or is it just supposed to be general ennui?

 

2) Who are Florestan and his sisters?

 

3) Who are the three pairs of fairytale characters who don't do any solo dancing supposed to be?

 

1) As his mimed dialogue with the Lilac Fairy relays, he has never been in love.

 

2) No idea. Distant cousins? 
 

3) Bluebeard + 1 (always strikes me as a bad omen for a wedding, cf. the opera by Bartok), Goldilocks + 1, Beauty and the Beast.

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2) I thought were siblings, probably of Florimund, since we see no signs of Aurora having any?

 

3) Isn't it Cinderella and her Prince, rather than Goldilocks?  (I miss the Cinderella divertissement :( )

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At least there is some ambiguity with the characters then, it's not just me being clueless!

 

Some curtain call photos from tonight (if anyone wants to see some of the rest of the cast, if you open my tweet there are 2 other tweets linked to it with more photos).

 

 

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7 hours ago, Dawnstar said:

Who are Florestan and his sisters?


I googled this on Friday and nobody else seems to know either!

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7 hours ago, alison said:

 

3) Isn't it Cinderella and her Prince, rather than Goldilocks?  (I miss the Cinderella divertissement :( )

 

So, Prince Charming I guess (the chap in the golden costume)

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This is a a really helpful, and readable, explanation to the various adaptations  to the original Petipa ballet and the 
Perrault fairytale.
https://petipasociety.com/the-sleeping-beauty/

 

edited to add that the section The Sleeping Beauty in the West is pertinent to the discussion here 

Edited by Odyssey
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Any photos of Fumi Kaneko/Reece Clarke?- it sounded a lovely pairing.

 

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I also have a question - where do the names of the fairies come from, and why have they been changed from the original (candide/violente) etc. This website from the Australian ballet gives a helpful intro to the meaning of their names and the 'traditional' names, but doesn't mention why the names were changed? 

 

https://australianballet.com.au/behind-ballet/meet-the-fairies

 

To add another question - why was Prince Désiré's name changed to Florimund? Was 'Desire' seen as perhaps too racy for British audiences? 

 

I also think it's odd Bluebeard (given his character!) would be invited to the wedding...at least he doesn't have a  divertissement I suppose! 

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1 hour ago, Odyssey said:

This is a a really helpful, and readable, explanation to the various adaptations  to the original Petipa ballet and the 
Perrault fairytale.
https://petipasociety.com/the-sleeping-beauty/

 

edited to add that the section The Sleeping Beauty in the West is pertinent to the discussion here 

 

Thanks, Odyssey - really interesting. There's a lot there that I didn't know or had forgotten. I love the story about the Bluebird and Princess Florine!

 

I do wish that Ashton's Garland dance had been retained in the current production.

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1 hour ago, bridiem said:

I do wish that Ashton's Garland dance had been retained in the current production.

 

Completely agree - I find the Wheeldon one really dull, doesn't rise to the music at all.

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13 hours ago, JNC said:

I think it's nice for debuts to be recognised and don't see why ROH removed the asterisk system. Hope they maybe reconsider this decision at some point, or find another way of recognising debuts.


Totally agree. There must have been many debuts on Saturday for the matinee (for example Artists Leticia Dias, Yu Hang and Sae Maeda dancing Fairy roles) but how is the audience to know? These are big milestones to the dancers and how lovely it would be to remember when we see them in the future as the Lilac Fairy or Aurora.

I sent a message to the Royal Ballet via this contact form. Who knows; if they get enough requests, maybe they will reinstate the simple, helpful asterisk.

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5 hours ago, Mary said:

Any photos of Fumi Kaneko/Reece Clarke?- it sounded a lovely pairing.

 

 

Not mine but a couple of tweets from a friend who attended the performance. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Naomi M said:

Not mine but a couple of tweets from a friend who attended the performance. 

 

Thank you, Naomi - it was a gorgeous debut and a very moving occasion as others have said.

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6 hours ago, JNC said:

I also have a question - where do the names of the fairies come from, and why have they been changed from the original (candide/violente) etc. This website from the Australian ballet gives a helpful intro to the meaning of their names and the 'traditional' names, but doesn't mention why the names were changed? 

 

To add another question - why was Prince Désiré's name changed to Florimund? Was 'Desire' seen as perhaps too racy for British audiences? 

 

I assume that names may be changed for matters of current taste or just because the producer wishes to do so. Yes, perhaps it was thought that Desiré could have been read as Desire which would be undesirable (geddit?!).

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I’m sorry to cheapen the discussion, but for me, most of the Prologue Fairy names sound like brands of air-freshener...

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A hugely enjoyable double Sleeping Beauty yesterday.


At the matinee I loved Fumi Kaneko’s Rose Adage.  I was slightly concerned in the rest of the Act whether she might have hurt herself following a slip which I thought looked painful and might have knocked her confidence.  But there were no worries in Acts 2 and 3 when again she simply sparkled.  I thought Reece Clarke a strong partner, really supportive, and they radiated as a couple with that assuredness and trust.  I wish there were another public performance.

 

Great to see so many other performances - Itziar Mendizabal’s Carabosse, Mayara Magri’s Lilac Fairy, lovely Fairy solos from some relatively new members of the Royal  Ballet, and an entertaining Act 3, with Anna-Rose O’Sullivan and Joseph Sissens as Princess Florine and the Bluebird. 


The evening was fabulous. It seemed quite evident to me (and others who I spoke to) that since her first (and only) Aurora performance, Francesca Hayward has seen Alina Cojocaru dance Aurora at the Coliseum with ENB and she’s drawn on some of Alina’s experience and characterisation.   Last night I thought her wonderful, great balances and the most incredible fish dives - super fast with goodness’s danced knows how many twists and then stopping perfectly with her hand perhaps 1-2 cm from the floor. Alex Campbell  of course has a great deal to do with the success of these fish dives.  And Alex was a great prince - wonderfully secure in his partnering, fabulous solos delivered with real panache.  He and Francesca make for an ideal pair.


But the performance won’t be remembered as a series of set pieces and the brilliance of their execution.  It’s much more the fabulous musicality, wonderful characterisation, and shaping of every gesture that lights up a performance.  Francesca’s smelling of the first rose, how she places the roses in front of her mother (they can be rather thrown by some Auroras with the page boy having to gather them from a large area of the stage), the smiles to each of the princes, everything just is so beautifully judged.  Yet another of those extra special performances which seem to be coming around with increasing frequency.

 

Some people say Francesca is not so much a classical dancer and stronger in Macmillan and Ashton but I’ve never understood quite what being a classical dancer means or in what way she is not meeting some unstated criteria.  Last night I thought her Aurora simply a joy to behold and feel enormously privileged to have been there.

 

And again some lovely performances from so many - Gary Avis as King Florestan, Claire Calvert’s Lilac Fairy, Bennet Gartside as the English Prince and Gallison, and Mayara Magri and Cesar Corrales as Princess Florine and the Bluebird.

 

Special mention to the Royal Ballet’s corps for double dancing of great distinction.  

 

Also a word in support of Sleeping Beauty as there are a few concerns about its length, the Prologue, and Act 3, and a number of people express almost a disapproval for the Sleeping Beauty.  I think it works really well and enjoy the scene setting particularly when danced so well.  I much prefer Act 3 Sleeping Beauty to Raymonda.  We’ve invested time in seeing Aurora and Florimond and want to wish them well for their festivities.  The divertissements seem (to my untutored eye) much more  contrasting and colourful than Raymonda (although I’m quite happy to recognise that may well be my loss).  My only suggestion for making the performance perhaps easier would be to have just one longer interval between Acts 1 and 2 rather than the two 20 minute intervals.  But of course that depends on how readily the scene can be changed from the Prologue to Act 1.

 

Congratulations Royal Ballet and many thanks to all - although Christmas might have to come early to fit in some extra performances.

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I second many of JohnS's thoughts on last night's performance. Having missed Hayward's Aurora during the last run, I very much looked forward to this occasion, and I was not disappointed. She was clearly nervous during the Rose Adagio, and there may have been a couple of very slight technical slip-ups. However she danced with such charm, effervescence and beauty of movement (her upper body is to die for), I hardly noticed. I found her even more moving in Act II, where she was quite beguiling and mastered the choreography. Act III put the icing on the cake, with a magnificent pas de deux. Alex Campbell is really growing on me as her partner; he was a perfect Prince last night and partnered extremely well - the fishdives were flawless. The supporting cast was more mixed, but I was very impressed by Corrales and Magri in the Bluebird pdd, as well as Yu Hang's assured Fairy variation (I can't remember which of the air fresheners she represented).

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For those of you who don't follow Francesca Hayward on Instagram, she posted a post-show photo and wrote: 'The Sleeping Beauty is a tough one! That’s all I’m going to say 🙀 Congratulations to all my beautiful friends in The Royal Ballet for making it through a heavy week finishing in a double Beauty show day and somehow finding the energy to keep me going mentally and physically on stage too 💛 special thank you to my Prince @acampbell_1 and wonderful to have @hayleymaloney back on stage with us as Carabosse.
Here we are... Carabosse, Aurora, Prince Florimund and the lovely @claire123 as our Lilac Fairy'.

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