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Royal Ballet - Coppelia (Dec. 2019 - Jan. 2020)


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2 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Lara Turk and Annette Buvoli

 

Weren't they the ones in red dancing with Reece Clarke & Nicol Edmonds? I'm after the ones in green dancing with Teo Dubreuil & I think Kevin Emerton. One of them is the dancer who I wrongly thought might be Kirsten McNally in Sleeping Beauty the other week, hence I'm trying to work out who she actually is!

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47 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

 

Weren't they the ones in red dancing with Reece Clarke & Nicol Edmonds? I'm after the ones in green dancing with Teo Dubreuil & I think Kevin Emerton. One of them is the dancer who I wrongly thought might be Kirsten McNally in Sleeping Beauty the other week, hence I'm trying to work out who she actually is!

 

Ah sorry, Isabelle Lubach and Grace Blundell 

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1 hour ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Ah sorry, Isabelle Lubach and Grace Blundell 

 

Thank you very much. A quick Google indicates Grace Blundell is the one I think looks like Kirsten McNally.

 

I really enjoyed this evening's performances. The first two acts seemed to fly by. I thought Naghdi & Ball were both terrific (I think it's the first time I've seen them dance together live).

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9 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

 

Thank you very much. A quick Google indicates Grace Blundell is the one I think looks like Kirsten McNally.

 

I really enjoyed this evening's performances. The first two acts seemed to fly by. I thought Naghdi & Ball were both terrific (I think it's the first time I've seen them dance together live).

 

They are a great couple - I saw them together first a few years ago in Giselle and were wonderful 

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7 hours ago, Sim said:

what scintillating and fabulous debuts from Anna-Rose O’Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe

 

Totally agree 💐. And they both seemed like they enjoyed every moment. As did we all. The afternoon flew by.

Shout out also to Philip Mosley. He's my favourite Dr Coppélius so far. I felt more sympathetic to the character, who can appear quite cartoony. 

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8 hours ago, Candleque said:

Shout out also to Philip Mosley. He's my favourite Dr Coppélius so far. I felt more sympathetic to the character, who can appear quite cartoony. 

 

Agree. I felt that his smaller stature helped in this respect.

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Christmas certainly delivered fabulous presents with yesterday’s double Coppelia. A truly sparkling debut from Anna-Rose O’Sullivan who again demonstrates such a zest for character and fleetness of footwork.  I quite agree with earlier comments about her promotion - I’d rather hoped for a double promotion for her at the end of last season.  I liked Marcelino Sambe’s Franz - his lifts were brilliantly executed, appearing quite effortless, and he delivered his solo with real panache.  I also very much enjoyed Philip Mosley’s Dr Coppelius - better for being understated and more sympathetic.

The evening was another treat, Yasmine Naghdi’s dancing a joy and she, Matthew Ball and Bennet Gartside’s were clearly having a great time, delighting the audience.  I thought Matthew Ball a little off in his Act 3 solo which took some time to be in the best.  I liked Bennett Gartside's Dr Coppelius, particularly Act 2.  There seemed a real spontaneity to that Act - it may be where I was sitting (Balcony rather than Stalls) but Bennet Gartside appeared to be very much joining in Swanhilda’s dances. 

Finally a word for Tom Seligman conjuring magic from the orchestra - I very much enjoyed his lightness of touch and I thought faster tempi that made for scintillating performances.  If only he’d been conducting Traviata the previous evening.

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Glorious supporting solos from Mayara Magri as Aurora and Gina Storm-Jensen as Prayer on Saturday evening.  Mayara was so fluid and soft on top whilst mastering the tricky speedy footwork.  Gina created a dreamy aura as Prayer ... beautiful hands, luxurious and controlled adage.

 

Their mastery of these difficult solos highlighted how poor the matinee performances had been.  Meghan Grace Hingis (Aurora) tries too hard to be bright and sparkly and is consequently too sharp and brittle.  It’s uncomfortable to watch.  Poor Romany Padjak (Prayer) had a nightmare performance and barely held the adage movements and then her leg was hardly at 90 degrees.  And her whole body shook when bourree’ing.   I’m sure she’ll have been very upset by this performance. 

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11 minutes ago, FionaE said:

Their mastery of these difficult solos highlighted how poor the matinee performances had been.  Meghan Grace Hingis (Aurora) tries too hard to be bright and sparkly and is consequently too sharp and brittle.  It’s uncomfortable to watch.  Poor Romany Padjak (Prayer) had a nightmare performance and barely held the adage movements and then her leg was hardly at 90 degrees.  And her whole body shook when bourree’ing.   I’m sure she’ll have been very upset by this performance. 

 

I tend to agree about Hinkis (k not g); I'm afraid I don't generally enjoy watching her very much, though she seems to be both confident and competent. But I found Pajdak (jd not dj) a very beautiful Prayer. I did sense a lack of complete control and confidence on this occasion, but even on a slightly off day she embodies soul and grace in her dancing.

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Double show day for me at Coppélia yesterday..... what a treat!

 

I loved Anna Rose O’ Sullivan and Marci Sambe in their debuts in the matinee. Both were bouncy and comic and fun, and used their accomplished technical skills well.  They are a super partnership and obviously have a great rapport which added to the fun of their performance .  Good to see Lauren Cuthbertson and Alessandra Ferri in the audience supporting their colleagues.  My ex-Principal dancer friend (and experienced Swanilda) did think AR looked a little nervous early on.  Not surprising on a debut where you are pretty much on stage and required to hold the audiences attention for long periods. 

 

I rather liked Philip Mosley’s limping Dr Coppelius.  He was comic rather than grumpy.  Good job.  I also liked Bennet Gartside’s version in the evening.  I’m going to be unpopular and say that I found Gary Avis’ version too busy/fussy in the cinema screening.  Hopefully he’ll settle into it and calm down after a few more performances.

 

In the evening, Yasmine Naghdi was superb as Swanilda.  Streets ahead of Marianela.  Is there anything Yasmine cannot do?  She seemed to have oodles of time for all the technicalities with delicious held balances and slow developpes.  She was hilarious in her portrayal and clear (without hamming it) in her mimes.  And great musicality too.  

 

She and Matthew Ball also have great rapport and he gets away with being naughty, as he’s so cute.  The supported promenade en pointe going around 3 times in increasing height of arabesque leg was superlative.  

 

I do not understand the adulation for Matthew Ball from the audience.  His solo was poor.  It was the same in his Don Q that I saw not so long ago.  He cannot do the technicalities of either of these solos to the level of other principals , or indeed to the level that many other RB soloists/artists could.  The panache which he delivers brilliantly, cannot hide his lack of ability.  Vadim, Marci and Cesar can do these solos beautifully.  I’ve seen all of these 3 in Coppelia.  I expect (but haven’t seen) that Steven McRae and Alexander Campbell could too, as I’ve seen their Don Q’s.  I’ll be avoiding Matthew in these roles.  He should stick to the dramatic roles and modern choreography which suit him and which he does perform so well.

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15 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

I tend to agree about Hinkis (k not g); I'm afraid I don't generally enjoy watching her very much, though she seems to be both confident and competent. But I found Pajdak (jd not dj) a very beautiful Prayer. I did sense a lack of complete control and confidence on this occasion, but even on a slightly off day she embodies soul and grace in her dancing.

 

Apologies for the g not k in Meghan’s surname.  Autocorrect 🙄 that I didn’t check before submitting

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I can't 'like' your posts @FionaE because I do not agree with all your sentiments/judgements. However, I applaud your willingness to 'stick your neck out' in terms of your opinions on the performances of individual dancers and to 'call it how you see it'. I'm not that brave where criticism is concerned and I suppose that there are also things (such as initial nervousness on a debut) which I would hesitate to draw attention to.

As regards your puzzlement about the audience's reaction, I think that pretty much everyone on here (and in the auditorium) has their sunglasses and/or magnifying glasses and/or rose-coloured spectacles to hand when they go to the ballet!!!!

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1 hour ago, bridiem said:

 

I tend to agree about Hinkis (k not g); I'm afraid I don't generally enjoy watching her very much, though she seems to be both confident and competent. But I found Pajdak (jd not dj) a very beautiful Prayer. I did sense a lack of complete control and confidence on this occasion, but even on a slightly off day she embodies soul and grace in her dancing.

I agree Bridie.  I find Hinkis’ arms leaden and her dancing lumpen, especially in the classical roles.  Yesterday I felt so relieved when Romany came on as Prayer. A lovely, natural ballerina and always graceful, with beautiful line and such expressive arms and eyes.  Perfect technique is great, but it’s not all that matters.  

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2 hours ago, FionaE said:

In the evening, Yasmine Naghdi was superb as Swanilda.  Streets ahead of Marianela.  Is there anything Yasmine cannot do?  She seemed to have oodles of time for all the technicalities with delicious held balances and slow developpes.  She was hilarious in her portrayal and clear (without hamming it) in her mimes.  And great musicality too.  

 

She and Matthew Ball also have great rapport and he gets away with being naughty, as he’s so cute.  The supported promenade en pointe going around 3 times in increasing height of arabesque leg was superlative.  

 

 

I had no intention on commenting on last night's Naghdi/Ball performance as I have commented previously on their 23rd December evening performance. However, FionaE's comments made me reflect on something I have noticed too since Naghdi's Aurora performances.

 

Quote Fiona E: " She seemed to have oodles of time for all the technicalities with delicious held balances and slow developpes" . 

This is one striking aspect of Yasmine Naghdi's dance quality which was also very visible when she recently danced Aurora. The dance critic J.C.Dowler picked up on this too describing her dancing: "Throughout, her dancing was characterised by a fine musicality which allowed her to ‘ride’ Tchaikovsky’s music and to phrase the choreography in great arcs of movementhttp://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=16942

This particular quality was again very visible last night. She has enriched her dance quality. Her technical mastery, control and experience now facilitate - and allow her - total freedom to "ride high on the music", as if she is "surfing" on the musical notes whilst simultaneously in dialogue with the conductor (there were moments last night when it felt as if she was "conducting" the music).

Her Swanilda was exquisite.

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I saw the matinee performance on Saturday and don’t think FionaE’s criticism is unwarranted. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned how out of time some of the ‘friends’ were, it really wasn’t up to the usual royal ballet standards in some respects. However as there were multiple cast changes I presumed that it may be due to illness, some of the dancers probably going on even when they were below parr themselves. I booked specifically for Anna Rose and she didn’t disappoint. She is absolutely my type of dancer although I do wonder whether she would be as versatile as some of her contemporaries.

Megan grace Hinkis is not one of my favourites either but what I will say for her is that she appears to be a very dependable dancer, I’ve never seen a mistake, a trip, wobbles etc. 
does anyone know who the lead female in the character dance in act 1 was? Was it annette Buvoli? Whoever it was I thought they really shone!

 

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6 hours ago, Sim said:

I agree Bridie.  I find Hinkis’ arms leaden and her dancing lumpen, especially in the classical roles.  Yesterday I felt so relieved when Romany came on as Prayer. A lovely, natural ballerina and always graceful, with beautiful line and such expressive arms and eyes.  Perfect technique is great, but it’s not all that matters.  

 

Well I am going to upset some people, but this is my opinion.  It’s not necessary to agree.  

 

Perfect technique is the aim of all dancers  .... but rarely accomplished!  I’m at the head of the queue in preferring dancers with good technique and impressive expression, over those with great technique and limited expressive qualities.  The last are not much use, except as gala ponies.

 

And don’t get me wrong I usually admire Romany.  However IMO a soloist at a company of this level should have such a good and solid reliable technique that technical glitches are minor.  In my opinion an adage movement with raised leg held only at 90 degrees a la seconde and with significant wobbles whilst raising it there and then pivoting to arabesque, does not cut it at this level.  This same move was repeated as poorly another two times. Dancers should be able to correct the error on the next repeat.  One poor move is fine, three is not.  Both Gina SJ and Annette Buvoli managed these moves and the whole role much better.  

 

A lack of confidence can completely eat away at a dancer’s performance.  I do hope Romany can regain hers.  Either way, she will make an especially fine character dancer. 

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I agree with you She was wobbly. However I disagree about the height, that move is classic cecchetti and should be lifted front, side, back at 90 degrees all the way round in that style. It’s harder to hold at 90 too. As Romany is featured in the cecchetti diploma dvd I think she was just performing it in the originally intended style. For me it would have looked wrong if the leg had shot up in second but things like that are just a question of personal preference I think. 

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7 hours ago, Peony said:

Megan grace Hinkis is not one of my favourites either but what I will say for her is that she appears to be a very dependable dancer, I’ve never seen a mistake, a trip, wobbles etc. 
does anyone know who the lead female in the character dance in act 1 was? Was it annette Buvoli? Whoever it was I thought they really shone!

 

Yes, it was Annette Buvoli  (a late replacement for Romany Pajdak, who had originally been scheduled to do both peasant girl and Prayer. Perhaps there was a reason unknown to us for Pajdak not being able to do both).

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1 hour ago, bridiem said:

 

Yes, it was Annette Buvoli  (a late replacement for Romany Pajdak, who had originally been scheduled to do both peasant girl and Prayer. Perhaps there was a reason unknown to us for Pajdak not being able to do both).

 

Sorry, Pajdak was both the peasant girl (i.e. the one who dances the czardas with Franz) and Prayer at the matinée (I commented at the first interval that Padjak made the peasant girl a character rather than just a role).  IIRC, Buvoli was the second to appear of the lead peasants (so many peasants, it gets quite confusing).

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8 hours ago, Peony said:

Megan grace Hinkis is not one of my favourites either but what I will say for her is that she appears to be a very dependable dancer, I’ve never seen a mistake, a trip, wobbles etc. 
 

I have.  However, this happens to all dancers at one point or another.  I don't mind any dancer falling over or being a bit wobbly or coming off pointe occasionally;  this level of physicality is bound to lead to mishaps...not only with dancers, but also top level athletes.  I don't begrudge them a bit of a wobble, or a slip.  What I much prefer to see is grace and artistry and something that moves my heart.  I really don't mind too much about whether a leg angle is 90 degrees or not.  As long as the choreography isn't rendered ugly or unrecognizable, I am happy for the dancer to do what is comfortable for her/him. 

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5 minutes ago, Sim said:

What I much prefer to see is grace and artistry and something that moves my heart.

Absolutely. Surely the primary aim of any art form should be to engage and communicate. Technical perfection, admirable though it may be in the abstract, becomes sterile and, ultimately, unsatisfying if it fails to touch the heart or lift the emotions. 

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31 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Sorry, Pajdak was both the peasant girl (i.e. the one who dances the czardas with Franz) and Prayer at the matinée (I commented at the first interval that Padjak made the peasant girl a character rather than just a role).  IIRC, Buvoli was the second to appear of the lead peasants (so many peasants, it gets quite confusing).

 

Oops, sorry - I misread the cast change notice and clearly wasn't paying full attention at that point! I remember thinking that the peasant girl was good, but it's a relief sometimes NOT to be glued to my opera glasses...

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9 hours ago, FionaE said:

 

A lack of confidence can completely eat away at a dancer’s performance.  I do hope Romany can regain hers.  Either way, she will make an especially fine character dancer. 

It sounds like you are consigning her to the character roles already, FionaE!  I am sure she has many more purely dance roles to come.  I don't think one slightly off performance shows a lack of confidence;  she might just have been feeling a bit unwell.  She had after all been replaced as a peasant girl, indicating something not quite right.  I have admired her dancing this whole year and was delighted when she got her well-deserved promotion. 

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55 minutes ago, Sim said:

It sounds like you are consigning her to the character roles already, FionaE!  I am sure she has many more purely dance roles to come. 

 

Given she has played the Nurse in R&J, isn't that a bit of a kiss of death as far as aspiring to do lead roles goes? Has anyone ever played the Nurse & then gone on to do Juliet?

 

Looking forward to a double Coppelia viewing today. I'm guessing there will be lots of other Forum members doing the same?

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