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  • Jan McNulty changed the title to Ed Watson (Royal Ballet) to retire
2 minutes ago, oncnp said:

 

Ongoing discussion on the "Royal Ballet joiners & leavers 2020" thread.....

 

Ooops I didn't know it was there. 

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4 minutes ago, Janite said:

 

Ooops I didn't know it was there. 

 

But rather nice to have a separate thread for valedictories for the wonderful Mr Watson.

 

Thanks for starting it Janite.

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He certainly seems to have been giving every indication that that's the case, from what I've seen?

 

Must be frustrating holding on for your "last role" and not knowing when it's going to happen.

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I’m glad for Ed that he got to create part of that role in Los Angeles last year. The situation is all the more poignant given his impending retirement from the stage.

 

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I can't say, as a non-regular visitor to the ROH, that I saw many performances by Ed Watson but see him I did and 2 of those performances will be seared on my mind forever.  

 

Of course Ed Watson has been much lauded for his performance as Rudolf in Mayerling and rightly so.  The performance a friend and I saw in 2013 was truly remarkable.

 

The other performance that astounded me was his portrayal of Des Grieux in Manon.  I had actually gone because Alex Campbell was performing Lescaut with Francesca Hayward as Manon.  I was totally blown away by Ed Watson's performance.  For me, he wouldn't have been an obvious choice as Des Grieux but the depth of his characterisation and the almost delicacy of his dancing as well as his beautiful rapport with Hayward stole the performance for me.

 

His performances in McGregor's work have always been of note too.

 

Congratulations to Ed Watson on his fantastic career as a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet.  Very best wishes to him for the future.  Thank goodness he is moving onto the ballet staff.

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1 hour ago, capybara said:

I’m glad for Ed that he got to create part of that role in Los Angeles last year. The situation is all the more poignant given his impending retirement from the stage.

 

 

Isn’t he going to create the rest of it in London?

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7 minutes ago, bangorballetboy said:

 

Isn’t he going to create the rest of it in London?

 

I'm sure he is, but, at this moment in time and with the full London performance moving some way into the distance, I felt that he had the part one achievement to hold onto.

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8 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

The other performance that astounded me was his portrayal of Des Grieux in Manon.  I had actually gone because Alex Campbell was performing Lescaut with Francesca Hayward as Manon.  

This was one of the first ballets I saw when I started going to ballet again. I had heard of Ed Watson but only seen him on tv. I was totally bowled over by the performance and to this day amazed that a dancer who could take on roles like Rudolph, and the various McGregor works could produce something as delicate as his Des Grieux. Dancers like Bonelli and Campbell seem to have a natural affinity for the part - Watson, on paper, would seem an odd choice for the role. Shows what casting against type can sometimes produce!

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Hmm, I'm not sure how much casting against type there was there - Watson's danced a number of roles created on Anthony Dowell during his career (similar sort of physique?), so it didn't surprise me that he was cast in this, especially since it was a MacMillan role.  I do remember thinking, sometime early on this century, I suppose, that Des Grieux was such a dull character I doubted that even Watson could make him interesting!  Silly me ;).  It is one of my biggest regrets with regard to his career that he was so rarely fit when he had performances of the role scheduled at the ROH - I'd have loved to have seen him dance it more often, but it almost felt as though the role was jinxed where he was concerned.

 

EDIT: I meant to add that I'd have loved to see what he'd have made of Lescaut, too.

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I saw Ed Watson coaching two ENB dancers and that was a very inspirational evening would love to watch him coaching again. 
I think he has danced in some wonderful roles and although not his most balletic role  Metamorphosis was a class act for me. 
Wishing him well for the future and hope he will do the odd special performance here and there. 

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Lovely feature from The Times in today's Links page (thanks, Ian!).  It explains so much about Watson's absence from the stage in recent years, which I know was a matter of concern to a lot of people.

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I have a copy of this article if anyone wants it (the photo of aerial Ed is lovely) just pm me your address & I'll post it. Otherwise it will end up in the recycling box.

 

I have been lucky to see many of his performances over the years since he first joined the company & I'm a huge admirer of his one-of-a-kind talent & physique. My favourite memories will always be of his Rudolf in Mayerling, but I also remember the tremendous impact he made in the early Wayne McGregor pieces & some of his Balanchine performances & in MacMillan's Judas Tree. Given the numerous choreographers that have featured him in their pieces I think many of them adore him too & he will be sadly missed on stage (I'll be there if & when he gets his retirement performances).  Very glad to hear he's moving over to the coaching side as I'm sure he'll excel in that as well.

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