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maryrosesatonapin

Your favourite dance performance of 2019?

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I went to 26 performances this year (none twice) which of course isn't even a fraction of the number some of you attended.  But looking back over the calendar year, I asked myself which was the single performance I was most glad to have seen?  If I had been able to foretell which was my favourite last January, I'd never have believed it - especially as I went to several Bolshoi performances in London and loved those, as well as many great ones from ENB and RB.  We didn't travel abroad this year.

 

But my top choice for 2019 was Birmingham Royal Ballet's Giselle (Hirata/Morales).  I wish I could re-live that evening at Sadler's Wells again and again and am so grateful to have been there.

If you could choose just one, what would be your choice? (No cheating - no lists of lots of performances!)

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If I had to choose only one performance, and in spite of the fiercest competition possible, it would be: BRB Giselle (Hirata/Morales). The most exquisite and poetic production, perfectly danced.

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Mine is also a Birmingham Royal Ballet performance of Giselle - Thursday afternoon in Birmingham and the debuts of Celine Gittens and Brandon Lawrence ... possibly my performance of the decade, let alone the year.

 

I felt so very privileged to be in the audience at that performance.

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I enjoyed the recent Heritage Triple Bill at the ROH, plus Osipova’s Pure Dance, both in London. All of the Sarasota Ballet’s performances, particularly Apparitions, were joys. Finally, trips to NYC revealed a bounty of treasures at ABT (Ratmansky Evening, including The Seasons) and NYCB (new Peck work).

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There is so much to choose from ... but had I to select but one (says he wanting to stick to the established rule) from my home turf - and certainly after all the consternation that had surrounded it for so long - I have to say I found the Royal Ballet's Fonteyn Gala - in her important anniversary year - to be a very special evening.  Certainly it far exceeded my initial expectations. 

 

If I was allowed a second choice - and I know I'm not - but IF I was - (again from what I saw at home) I think I would choose Putrov's gala programme 'Against The Stream' at the Coliseum ... It had just so many unique delights embedded in its concerted heart.  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Romeo and Juliet with Hayward, Corrales and Ball.  Gave me a totally new perspective on this ballet.  Hayward totally convincing, Corrales bursting with raw charisma and untamed excitement, and Ball a revelation oozing entitlement and menace.

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57 minutes ago, HopelessMummy said:

Romeo and Juliet with Naghdi and Campbell

 

In fact, was Jewels this year? Or last? 

Whoops. I lied. It wasn't Campbell at all. It was Matthew Ball. 

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my two favourite Manon performances - Morera/Bonelli and Hayward/Campbell. But don't ask me to coose! Another contender must be Anna Rose O'Sullivan's SB.

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I only made it to 4 performances this year unfortunately, but my highlight was The Two Pigeons with Choe and Campbell. I miss their partnership and find this ballet so whimsical and moving. And of course I burst into tears when the pigeons were reunited!

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Naghdi in Sleeping Beauty. (She also showed her beautiful skill in contemporary in Concerto, she is fast becoming one of my favourite dancers who I want to see in everything!)

 

Close second would be The Firebird/ A Month in the Country/ Symphony in C mixed bill. 

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I went to Stuttgart to see the new production of Mayerling and the performance with Vogel/Badenes is my highlight of the year, of quite a few years in fact.

 

If I hadn't seen it then I would have chosen the Corrales/Hayward/Ball Romeo & Juliet for the same reasons as penelopesimpson above. 

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21 minutes ago, nycitybird said:

I only made it to 4 performances this year unfortunately, but my highlight was The Two Pigeons with Choe and Campbell. I miss their partnership and find this ballet so whimsical and moving. And of course I burst into tears when the pigeons were reunited!

 

My tears started when he was ejected from the gypsy encampment and he realised the foolishness of what he had done and what he had lost...

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I was curious to work out how many shows I've seen this year - I think it was 23, the most I've seen in a year and many wonderful performances.

 

Lots of strong contenders from the current autumn season, but the performance I enjoyed the most was Beatriz Stix-Brunell, partnered by Ryoichi Hirano in Romeo and Juliet.

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Well, amongst the many amazing performances, it was difficult to choose, but I think I have to plump for the opening night of Don Q with Nunez and Muntagirov and the amazing (and deserved) audience reaction it provoked - full house standing ovation which I have never seen in the ROH other then for retirement performances.

 

Nunez just WAS Kitri and with her sunny smile the role suited her down to the ground, to say nothing of her secure and showstopping technique. And all the more remarkable given that it turned out she was ill during the performance and almost didn’t go on.

 

And Muntagirov was simply incredible - some of the tweaks he made to the standard choreography seem unique to him (I’ve certainly not seen anyone else do them) and provoked gasps from the audience. All performed with consummate ease, and his whole characterisation proved that he can play comedy very well.

 

We were also spoilt in that performance with Laura Morera as Mercedes and Ryoichi Hirano as Espada. I’m not Hirano’s greatest fan but he was knockout in this. To say nothing of Kaneko and O’Sullivan in the Act 2 dream scene. Altogether the most exhilarating performance I think I’ve ever seen

Edited by Balletfanp
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Too many performances to highlight just one, I thought initially ... & then broke things down into categories
. Dance theatre. Maguy Marin. May B. Unlike anything that I'd ever seen before
. Contemporary. Keersmaeker. A live  performance of Fase in Dec 2019 following a video of Part 1 at the beginning of 2019
. Discovery of the year - the company, the music, the lyrics. Preljocaj. Winterreise
. Costumes. Mayerling. Stuttgart Ballett
. Choreographer whom I enjoy more and more every time: Akram Khan. Outwitting the Devil, Kaash, Xenos
. Performer. Dominique Petit as the elderly Gilgamesh in Khan's Outwitting the Devil and Friedemann Vogel in Khan's Kaash
. Cinema. White Crow
. Internet. World Ballet Day

 


 

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For me it’s between Royal Ballet Naghdi/Ball R&J for both their performances and the emotive choreography and the Royal Ballet Firebird/Month in the Country/Symphony in C triple bill which was a wonderful chocolate box of ballets to enjoy. 

 

Enjoyed so much else and so hard to choose! Saw some great performances from ENB and BRB also and as always particularly enjoyed ENB’s Emerging Dancer competition this year, so much rising talent. 

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12 hours ago, HopelessMummy said:

In fact, was Jewels this year? Or last? 

 

I think it was 2017!

Edited by bridiem

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Other companies being available, I'll put in a mention for the Opening Night of Cathy Marston's Victoria with Northern Ballet.  

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Sorry, can't stick to one. 

 

Yasmine Naghdi as Aurora. 

Yasmine Naghdi as Swanilda.

Yasmine Naghdi in Concerto.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Romeo and Juliet.

Anna--Rose O'Sullivan's two big debuts as Aurora and Swanilda.

BRB's production of Giselle.  Stunning, stunning, stunning.

Brandon Lawrence and Celine Gittens in said Giselle production.

Delia Matthews as Giselle.

Bolshoi Ballet's The Bright Stream.  I can't remember the last time I laughed so much at the ballet!  Great stuff.

Matthew Ball's Tybalt...a revelation.

Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales in R&J...sublime.

Francesca Hayward/Alexander Campbell and Laura Morera/Federico Bonelli in Manon...both couples utterly, utterly heartbreaking.

Anna-Rose O'Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe in R&J...I was already weeping buckets by the first interval.

 

These are what spring to mind immediately, but I am sure that if I go through my diary more will pop up!! 

 

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20 minutes ago, Sim said:

Sorry, can't stick to one. 

 

Yasmine Naghdi as Aurora. 

Yasmine Naghdi as Swanilda.

Yasmine Naghdi in Concerto.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Romeo and Juliet.

Anna--Rose O'Sullivan's two big debuts as Aurora and Swanilda.

BRB's production of Giselle.  Stunning, stunning, stunning.

Brandon Lawrence and Celine Gittens in said Giselle production.

Delia Matthews as Giselle.

Bolshoi Ballet's The Bright Stream.  I can't remember the last time I laughed so much at the ballet!  Great stuff.

Matthew Ball's Tybalt...a revelation.

Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales in R&J...sublime.

Francesca Hayward/Alexander Campbell and Laura Morera/Federico Bonelli in Manon...both couples utterly, utterly heartbreaking.

Anna-Rose O'Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe in R&J...I was already weeping buckets by the first interval.

 

These are what spring to mind immediately, but I am sure that if I go through my diary more will pop up!! 

 

 

You've been looking at my list! 🙂

 

 

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This has been the first year I've seen a significant amount of ballet so it's very hard to choose as everything I've seen, with the exception of BRB's Nutcracker, has been new for me. I'd probably have to go for a tie between Romeo & Juliet (Hayward/Corrales and Hamilton/Andrijashenko for lead pairs but the former had the better supporting cast) and Manon (Hayward/Campbell/Corrales/Magri I think just edged it as the best overall cast but honourable mentions for Morera/Bonelli and Ball's Des Grieux, plus McWhinney/Frola in ENB's prouction back in January).

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2 hours ago, Balletfanp said:

Well, amongst the many amazing performances, it was difficult to choose, but I think I have to plump for the opening night of Don Q with Nunez and Muntagirov and the amazing (and deserved) audience reaction it provoked - full house standing ovation which I have never seen in the ROH other then for retirement performances.

 

Nunez just WAS Kitri and with her sunny smile the role suited her down to the ground, to say nothing of her secure and showstopping technique. And all the more remarkable given that it turned out she was ill during the performance and almost didn’t go on.

 

And Muntagirov was simply incredible - some of the tweaks he made to the standard choreography seem unique to him (I’ve certainly not seen anyone else do them) and provoked gasps from the audience. All performed with consummate ease, and his whole characterisation proved that he can play comedy very well.

 

We were also spoilt in that performance with Laura Morera as Mercedes and Ryoichi Hirano as Espada. I’m not Hirano’s greatest fan but he was knockout in this. To say nothing of Kaneko and O’Sullivan in the Act 2 dream scene. Altogether the most exhilarating performance I think I’ve ever seen

You beat me to it- I was going through my diary and this is the one where I put a string of exclamation marks..it was the biggest roar of approval I have ever heard in the opera house, and put me on a high for days.

One of a string of quite spectacular performances by Muntagirov of course- such a run I have certainly not seen before ( my 50th anniversary of ballet going coming up soon, so not that long admittedly) , and one of many too from this fine partnership.

However, there have also been many really outstanding performances this year and it's thrilling to reflect on all the talent in RB, BRB and ENB at the moment.

 

 

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It’s been a fabulous year with a string of wonderful performances and debuts as reflected by many posts above.

 

The performance that I will remember most is Laura Morera in Winter Dreams right at the start of the year, 2 January 2019.  She’s a consummate artist, always a favourite, and when dancing Masha she made the most touching of gestures in memory of my wife - both a performance and act of kindness I will always cherish.

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For me it has to be Anna Rose O'Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe's Romeo and Juliet - heart stopping/breaking.

Also Sambe's Mercutio, which was incredible

Can't wait to see their Coppelia on the 3rd!

 

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Oh well, as quite a few people are throwing in more than one performance I think I'll mention a couple of others!

 

  • Birmingham Royal Ballet's performances of SDB's Hobson's Choice in Birmingham - both casts were exceptional and danced their hearts out for retiring director SDB.
  • Northern Ballet's Cinderella - the performance on the Saturday afternoon in Norwich by Abigail Prudames and Joseph Taylor was truly outstanding.
  • Northern Ballet's Great Gatsby at The Lowry with 3 glorious casts to enjoy.
  • Francesca Hayward/Alex Campbell/Cesar Corrales/Mayara Magri in Manon
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For me it was the final Esplanade performance at Paul Taylor Dance Company with the farewells of Sean Mahoney, Robert Kleindorst, Jamie Rae Walker, Michelle Fleet and Parisa Khobdeh.

 

Also loved Sara Mearns in the Gypsy-Rondo of Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet.

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I very much enjoyed the Fonteyn Gala, The Firebird Triple Bill and The Bright Stream, but, for one performance only, am with Janet: the Hayward/Campbell/Corrales/Magri Manon.

Edited by Jamesrhblack
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