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I am not surprised she found it a tough one as prior to last night Francesca Hayward has only ever danced one performance in a full-length classical tutu ballet in her career, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty (she got indisposed after her first Aurora a few years ago), and last night her nervousness was palpable and technical slips showed. Dancing classical tutu ballets is a totally different ball game compared to dancing Ashton and MacMillan, and demands much more of a ballerina. Some of her contemporaries have danced the classics much more frequently so I think she has some catching up to do here but there's Swan Lake to look forward to.

 

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I agree that Hayward's nervousness showed in the rose adagio; however the variation that follows was exceptionally musical. I normally think of it as an ordeal for both dancer and audience, but this was one of the rare occasions when I actually enjoyed watching it.

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I couldn’t attend yesterday’s performances of Sleeping Beauty so can’t comment on any dancers technical proficiency but it seems that some posters are putting Ashton/ MacMillan together when comparing them to full length tutu ballets by Petipa. Are they? To me it very much seems that dancing some Ashton full lengths (Cinderella, Sylvia) are similar in some ways to the classical full lengths. Haven’t a few dancers commented upon how hard Sylvia is? Admittedly Francesca Hayward hasn’t danced these either (yet! Hopefully Cinderella will come). Romeo and Juliet, Manon etc. do seem less exposing technically. Sorry - just random thoughts. 

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Have booked to see Hayward in Swan Lake but come to think of it have never seen her in a big "classical" role yet but am looking forward to it.

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3 hours ago, Tebasile said:

She was clearly nervous during the Rose Adagio

 

Many thanks Tebasile - I think that’s in part why I’m so keen to see further performances.  I’d just say Francesca Hayward dispensed with the English Prince’s proffered support at the end.  The excitement of the music heralding Aurora’s entry always gets to me and it’s a good job my GP isn’t doing my medical checks at the same time.  Some Auroras may well present a supremely confident Rose Adage but I rather like a sense of vulnerability in my ideal Aurora (which was more evident on her debut and when she was really struggling with a cold).  So I prefer my Aurora to show an element of uncertainty and challenge and then triumphing as a result of her own abilities and drawing on the support from the Princes and the palpable will of the cast and audience.

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22 minutes ago, JohnS said:

 I’d just say Francesca Hayward dispensed with the English Prince’s proffered support at the end 

Ah, I thought that’s what happened - but I was such a nervous wreck, I wasn’t really sure what was going on. 

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That was the only technical slip I noticed, however.

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21 hours 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/

 

This website is indeed a marvellous compendium of secondary sources and some lovely visual material (including much which is hard for the casual reader to find). However one can’t rely on it, as I discovered when doing some research around the history of the Sleeping Beauty. To give one example, the site asserts - as if established fact - that

 

>>The purpose of the Fairy Violente pointing her fingers during her variation in the Grand Pas de six of the Prologue is that she is zapping electricity, which was new in 1890.

 

I very much hope this is true, as it is a most entertaining idea and the Prologue Fairies are somewhat mysterious. However nowhere does there seem to be a 19th century source for this observation, in any language, although it pops up, unsourced, in some speculative writing after the Second World War. More than happy to be corrected by those who know more but I can’t find where this comes from. 

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1 hour ago, Sebastian said:

 

This website is indeed a marvellous compendium of secondary sources and some lovely visual material (including much which is hard for the casual reader to find). However one can’t rely on it, as I discovered when doing some research around the history of the Sleeping Beauty. To give one example, the site asserts - as if established fact - that

 

>>The purpose of the Fairy Violente pointing her fingers during her variation in the Grand Pas de six of the Prologue is that she is zapping electricity, which was new in 1890.

 

I very much hope this is true, as it is a most entertaining idea and the Prologue Fairies are somewhat mysterious. However nowhere does there seem to be a 19th century source for this observation, in any language, although it pops up, unsourced, in some speculative writing after the Second World War. More than happy to be corrected by those who know more but I can’t find where this comes from. 

 

I also found that surprising, but I hope it's true! It is indeed an entertaining idea; maybe her gift to the baby Aurora is a load of useful electrical gadgets. (Including an alarm clock set to wake her up in 100 years' time? Maybe with a nice teasmade, so she can offer the Prince a cuppa when he finally turns up.) :D

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I was just looking up the SB page on the ROH's website & noticed that it has Campbell down as the Prince opposite Takada tonight. Has there been another cast change? I thought it was supposed to be Hirano who was replacing McRae opposite Takada.

Edited by Dawnstar
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RB website has Alexander Campbell now showing as Florimund tonight (with Akane Takada ) rather than Ryoichi Hirano. I haven't had any email though. Anyone able to confirm?

Edited by Richard LH

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@Richard LH I guess it shows how much time we all tend to spend hanging around on the ROH's website! (Though in my case it's purely curiosity as I'm on holiday so can't attend any performances for 3 weeks no matter who's appearing in what!)

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Hirano is still down for his other performances, which I hope means it isn't an injury (if it's correct, which I assume it is). Unless it's just a quick decision for tonight and then look further forward?

Edited by bridiem
Sentence added

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Campbell replaces Hirano due to injury is scrolling on the ROH screen. No other details as yet so may be just tonight maybe not.....

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Last season it seemed to be Hirano doing all the replacing, this season it's definitely Campbell: 3rd lot of replacing only a month & a half in!

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On 10/11/2019 at 00:55, alison said:

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 :( )

 

2)  Florestan is supposedly the "crown prince" (named after his father) and he is partnered by his and Aurora's younger sisters. I know - it doesn't make any sense as they are completely absent from Act 1, but they are an invention, I think, of Frederick Ashton's, for the 1946 Ninette de Valois production. Although de Valois drew fairly heavily on the 1921 Diaghilev production, the pas de quatre - in the Petipa original for the Gold, Silver, Sapphire and Diamond fairies - was, in 1921 a pas de quatre for a quartet of commedia dell-arte characters.

 

3) I believe this character is indeed Goldilocks, but not the one who had the close encounter with the three bears. She is the heroine of another fairy tale by the same Madame d'Aulnoy who was the source of the Bluebird and Florine story. In the original French she is La belle au cheveux d'or.

 

 

 

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Well much drama tonight - Akane Takada is unable to continue after Act 1 so interval extended while we await another ballerina. 

Edited by Lindsay

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14 hours ago, Sebastian said:

 

This website is indeed a marvellous compendium of secondary sources and some lovely visual material (including much which is hard for the casual reader to find). However one can’t rely on it, as I discovered when doing some research around the history of the Sleeping Beauty. To give one example, the site asserts - as if established fact - that

 

>>The purpose of the Fairy Violente pointing her fingers during her variation in the Grand Pas de six of the Prologue is that she is zapping electricity, which was new in 1890.

 

I very much hope this is true, as it is a most entertaining idea and the Prologue Fairies are somewhat mysterious. However nowhere does there seem to be a 19th century source for this observation, in any language, although it pops up, unsourced, in some speculative writing after the Second World War. More than happy to be corrected by those who know more but I can’t find where this comes from. 

I read somewhere, forgotten where, that this electrical variation is celebrating the theatre where it was performed being newly lit by electricity.

(Michael Faraday had demonstrated the electric motor and generator in the 1820's, and before that there was static electricity)

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4 minutes ago, Lindsay said:

Well much drama tonight - Akane Takada is unable to continue after Act 1 so interval extended while we await another ballerina. 

 

Oh no!

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16 minutes ago, Lindsay said:

Well much drama tonight - Akane Takada is unable to continue after Act 1 so interval extended while we await another ballerina. 

 

Such a shame... she's such a lovely Aurora.  

 

 

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Golly. Hope it's not anything too serious. I wonder if they'll get Hayward in or if Campbell will be onto his 3rd Aurora before he even got a chance to dance with the 2nd!

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A friend is there tonight who particularly likes Takada so she will be disappointed....but understanding!

Hope it's not anything too serious. 

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So tonight's audience lost their leading couple.  To lose one could be regarded as a misfortune, but to lose both etc etc.....But on a serious note, I do hope Hirano and Takada recover very quickly, poor things.

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Not obvious, no but Takada looked less secure than she usually does (which is to say she was still very good but not as flawless as I have seen her on previous occasions).  They restarted with the Lilac Fairy taking the prince in his boat and Takada stayed to do the awakening scene.  Then Yasmine Naghdi danced Act 3.  The pas de deux was a bit cautious as you would expect but no major mishaps, extremely professionally done and they were both calm and smiling throughout - and their individual variations were lovely.  

Edited by Lindsay
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