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50 minutes ago, ninamargaret said:

One small point about Corrales - his marvellous soft jumps were spoilt by quite noisy landings.

 

I noticed that the other night - it was quite surprising.

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52 minutes ago, ninamargaret said:

 One small point about Corrales - his marvellous soft jumps were spoilt by quite noisy landings. Is this because of some technical problem, shoes, or what?

 

Corrales is a bit of a regular noisy lander. Maybe he doesn't absorb the weight through his legs as much as other dancers manage to do? That said, the Bluebird's jumps hit certain areas of the sides of the stage that many male variations do not venture into and, if/when they do, they can sound noisy there too.

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48 minutes ago, capybara said:

 

Corrales is a bit of a regular noisy lander. Maybe he doesn't absorb the weight through his legs as much as other dancers manage to do? That said, the Bluebird's jumps hit certain areas of the sides of the stage that many male variations do not venture into and, if/when they do, they can sound noisy there too.

You could be right - it was particularly noticeable on the right side of the stage. 

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2 hours ago, capybara said:

 

Corrales is a bit of a regular noisy lander. Maybe he doesn't absorb the weight through his legs as much as other dancers manage to do? That said, the Bluebird's jumps hit certain areas of the sides of the stage that many male variations do not venture into and, if/when they do, they can sound noisy there too.

 

Ah oh, that’s not a good sign.  It can be due to poor technique/training not to absorb the sound through the feet and the plie, and can lead to injury.   Alexander Campbell seems to land quietly most times.

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A couple of audience reactions with some people nonplussed by the mime and a neighbour asking who was the dancer in Act 2 - from the cast sheet my neighbour knew about the Lilac Fairy showing Florimund a vision of the sleeping Aurora but had not appreciated the Lilac Fairy went on to conjure a dancing Aurora vision.  Is there an assumption that everyone knows what’s going on (surely not given Open Up) or that people new to ballet aren’t interested (clearly not the case given the reaction to a little information last night)?  I can’t recall the exact figures but I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that a lot of audience members are seeing a performance for the first time and do wonder if the cast sheet/synopsis might benefit from a critical review.  I know lengthy synopses can be very off putting but there’s a lot of white space on the Sleeping Beauty synopsis.  A few words about use of mime for the Prologue and the Lilac Fairy conjuring a dancing vision of Aurora might have helped some audience members last night.  Or if there’s some material in the programme on mime, why not include a reference to it in the cast sheet?  There are some great News pieces on mime on the website which could be referenced - not that I’m wanting to encourage inappropriate use of smart phones.

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10 minutes ago, FionaE said:

Ah oh, that’s not a good sign.  It can be due to poor technique/training not to absorb the sound through the feet and the plie, and can lead to injury.   Alexander Campbell seems to land quietly most times.

 

I feel the need to make it clear that I wasn't suggesting poor technique on Cesar Corrales's part! 

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I haven't seen the programme for this production yet (attending my first performance next week!), but there was a really lovely and helpful section on mime in the Birmingham Royal Ballet production that came to Cardiff a couple of years ago. It was actually my first time seeing Sleeping Beauty and I found it incredibly helpful!

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JohnS's comments about mime very interesting. I thought the mime passages were excellent, but then I am lucky enough ( and old enough) to have benefited from some of the sessions given by the RB's Ballet for All and early TV programmes where it was thought useful to show how mine worked. Alexander Campbell particularly good at it - his Nutcracker performance on DVD shows this. I think it is often forgotten that there are always members of the audience who have not seen the ballet before, maybe a little extra help is needed.

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Here are just a couple of links to ROH’s News items on mime in ballet, particularly Sleeping Beauty:

 

https://www.roh.org.uk/news/cracking-the-code-the-meaning-of-mime-in-ballet

 

https://www.roh.org.uk/news/how-the-lilac-fairy-tells-a-story-through-mime-in-the-sleeping-beauty

 

There’s a wealth of information on the ROH’s website and the search function still works.  I thought a link or two might be worth including on the cast sheet.

 

 

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7 hours ago, capybara said:

I had not seen Hayley Forskitt's Carabosse before: she is beautifully evil and garnered huge cheers rather than the pantomime boos which have come to accompany that character's curtain calls of late.

 

Capybara I'm really pleased to hear this from you, both because it is a difficult role to judge how to play, but also because I hope it marks the end to the ridiculous booing of a performance because the character is judged to be morally deficient! I don't know how or where it started, but it really has no place in any serious opera house or theatre. If pantomime antics like this persist, why not boo poor, absurd Catalbutte, whose gross negligence in drawing up the invitation list led to all the trouble in the first place?

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9 minutes ago, Douglas Allen said:

 

Capybara I'm really pleased to hear this from you, both because it is a difficult role to judge how to play, but also because I hope it marks the end to the ridiculous booing of a performance because the character is judged to be morally deficient! I don't know how or where it started, but it really has no place in any serious opera house or theatre. If pantomime antics like this persist, why not boo poor, absurd Catalbutte, whose gross negligence in drawing up the invitation list led to all the trouble in the first place?

 

I agree with you on the whole, but I wouldn't judge people for making an exception when the subject matter is - like the subject matter of pantomimes - a popular fairy tale.

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7 minutes ago, RuthE said:

 

I agree with you on the whole, but I wouldn't judge people for making an exception when the subject matter is - like the subject matter of pantomimes - a popular fairy tale.

 

And when curtain calls are sometimes taken rather in character, thus encouraging such a reaction.

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39 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

And when curtain calls are sometimes taken rather in character, thus encouraging such a reaction.

 

That's it. If we all give a big cheer when Gary Avis comes out after Nutcracker and throws a cloud of glitter in the air, then it's equally appropriate to boo a Rothbart or Carabosse who swoops out looking evil.  It would be inappropriate for a baddie in a serious adult human-story-ballet, but then, that'll be why we don't see the Gaoler from Manon coming out for his curtain call making obscene suggestive gestures :lol:

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2 hours ago, bangorballetboy said:

OK boomer.  🤣

And there was I thinking you were a Millennial and you turn out to be Gen Z.

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6 minutes ago, Douglas Allen said:

And there was I thinking you were a Millennial and you turn out to be Gen Z.

 

Generation X me, innit.

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God I’m so old now don’t know what any of it means! 

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Another masterclass from Yasmine Naghdi tonight in how it should be done, beautifully partnered by Matthew Ball, and guided by Claire Calvert’s lovely Lilac Fairy.  A super night.  

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22 minutes ago, Sim said:

Another masterclass from Yasmine Naghdi tonight in how it should be done, beautifully partnered by Matthew Ball, and guided by Claire Calvert’s lovely Lilac Fairy.  A super night.  

 

I don't really have the words as to how wonderful it was - I was utterly spellbound. Yasmine looked so at ease, exuding warmth and confidence, dancing those steps like they were made on her. Just wow

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55 minutes ago, Sim said:

Another masterclass from Yasmine Naghdi tonight in how it should be done, beautifully partnered by Matthew Ball, and guided by Claire Calvert’s lovely Lilac Fairy.  A super night.  

Yes, I thought she was exceptional - such grace and beauty.  A total delight. A lovely performance all round

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Claire Calvert was such a beautiful Lilac Fairy tonight. I loved Fumi Kaneko as the Lilac Fairy on Opening Night but Claire Calvert outshone her as she is an absolute natural in this role. Great portrayal and well done to her! Romany Pajdak was also gorgeous as Red Riding Hood, as were Sambe and O'Sullivan. 

What amazes me most is whenever I feel Naghdi has given her best performance (as on Opening Night) she surpasses herself and ups her game yet again. It really is testing for any ballerina and there is nowhere to hide, the slightest technical mistake is noticeable. Naghdi's supreme technical command and refined portrayal of Aurora, partnered by the gorgeous Matthew Ball (such a beautiful stage couple they are), combined with several outstanding soloist performances made tonight an unforgettable one. 

 

Bravo to the entire cast for a superb evening!

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What a fantastic performance that was, Yasmine was every bit as good as I thought she'd be

 

a1

 

a5

a2

 

a3

 

a4

 

Edited by Rob S
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Thanks for the gorgeous photos, Rob!

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All a far cry from that time back in the ballet.co era (essentially pre-iPhones) when the Opera House forced the site to withdraw Curtain Call photos ... or do I remember that wrongly?

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Slightly bizarre (though appropriately enthusiastic) review of the Takada/McRae/Hirano/Campbell/Naghdi performance (!) in today's Links, from the Londonist, by Hari Mountford - throughout, Takada is referred to as 'Akana Tawada' and the director of the RB as 'Kevin O Hara'. Not sure if this is some sort of autocorrect gone bonkers, or if the reviewer actually doesn't know their names.

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12 minutes ago, bridiem said:

Slightly bizarre (though appropriately enthusiastic) review of the Takada/McRae/Hirano/Campbell/Naghdi performance (!) in today's Links, from the Londonist, by Hari Mountford - throughout, Takada is referred to as 'Akana Tawada' and the director of the RB as 'Kevin O Hara'. Not sure if this is some sort of autocorrect gone bonkers, or if the reviewer actually doesn't know their names.

Probably the latter.  It reminds me of my dear mother in law who could never quite get Kiri Te Kanawa's name, and instead referred to her as 'Tiri Ke Twanat'!

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I echo all the praise above - a fabulous evening and wonderfully captured in Rob S’s curtain call photos.  Yasmine Naghdi’s Aurora is presented with such assurance and confidence, the young girl becoming a woman, with no doubts in her own abilities or limits as to what she will achieve.  I have a soft spot for a hint of vulnerability in Aurora where we see her develop over the three Acts.  The only ‘vulnerability’ I noticed in Yasmine was her rapt concentration in the Rose Adage balances where I thought she only fleetingly acknowledged the princes and would have welcomed a touch more recognition.  

 

I enjoyed Matthew Ball’s Florimund.  He and Yasmine certainly made a great pair.

 

And a fabulous cast as has been highlighted by others: Clare Calvert’s Lilac Fairy, Anna-Rose O’Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe’s Princess Florine and Bluebird.  I was very pleased to see Bennet Gartside’s Catalabutte - in my opinion much better played as over fastidious than outrageously camp.  Again scintillating dancing from the corps in such good form.

 

The last two evenings were extras for me - Christmas has certainly come early.  Poignant too as Yasmine’s Aurora debut was one of the last performances my wife saw and she couldn’t contain her glee for Yasmine’s Rose Adage balances.  She would have so enjoyed last night’s triumphs.

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1 hour ago, Ian Macmillan said:

All a far cry from that time back in the ballet.co era (essentially pre-iPhones) when the Opera House forced the site to withdraw Curtain Call photos ... or do I remember that wrongly?

 

I think the weight of people taking them, and the wave of positive publicity on social media, in the end outweighed the amount they p**sed people (i.e enthusiastic fans) off trying to ban them. 

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12 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

 

I think the weight of people taking them, and the wave of positive publicity on social media, in the end outweighed the amount they p**sed people (i.e enthusiastic fans) off trying to ban them. 

 

The Royal Opera House has asked me if they can use my curtain call photos on their Instagram page on four occasions now to ‘advertise’ last performances or a cinema screening. Clearly they must’ve had a rethink if they used to ban such things 

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