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Just finished watching the Live Stream of the Beauty Mixed Bill and really enjoyed it. After the Rain was particularly moving. Combination of beautiful dancing and playing by Vasily Petrenko. 

My takes from it 

 

Thought Anemoi was very well danced. What a joy to see the younger dancers have their chance to shine and having proper costumes was lovely to see. 
 

Is it really bad to say that I thought Yasmine Naghdi and Joseph Sissens were better in the Morgan Par especially Joseph Sissens. He just ‘got’ Mcgregor’s sense of movement. I would like to see Francesca Haywood  dance it with Sissens. 
 

Voices of Spring in my opinion was put in the wrong place in the Programme! It did not feel right following After The Rain. 

 

Loved everyone in Sleeping Beauty and the majesty of Nunez and Muntagirov 
 

A throughly enjoyable evening and hopefully can get tickets to a performance in the Autumn Season! 
 

 

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For totally confused over start time.  ROH confirmation said 8.00 pm. At 7.31pm I received an email telling me it was starting at that time. The stream, at 7.45, said it would start at 7.30 and there were 19 minutes to go! 

Having said that, I enjoyed the programme, particularly the chance to see some of the younger dancers. I thought Sissens/Naghdi were so well matched, and I hadn't seen James Hay in Bluebird before - a real treat. In spite of the slightly bare looking SB it was good to see some 'proper' ballet again.

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31 minutes ago, Bravissima35 said:

 

Voices of Spring in my opinion was put in the wrong place in the Programme! It did not feel right following After The Rain.

In the ROH woman with water came in between. That transition felt fine to me but I can imagine it's a bit of a jump in mood going straight from After the rain to Voices of spring! 

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2 hours ago, Rob S said:

 

I hope nobody dodgy served it to you!!

Excuse me but the ice cream was served to me by none other than Vadim...my husband named Vadim, that is! 🤪

 

What a lovely show! V & I both enjoyed the Zucchetti-Rachmaninoff work, Anemoi. So touching, lyrical. Fabulous group of very young dancers. Sasaki and Dias are both stunning...and Lukas B-B and Nakao both impressive partners. The company is in very good hands and feet! I look forward to more creations from Zucchetti.

 

Diverts:

Agnus Dei - The Pita film is moving, although not my usual cup of tea. The effect of falling into the orch pit was a surprise.

Morgen was sentitively rendered...although I preferred the originals (Hayward and Corrales) last year.

Winter Dreams - WOW, Laura Morera! Such passion in movement and, to be honest, Ryoichi Hirano must have adjusted his interpretation since the reviews of opening night, as he conveyed much more feeling this time around. He knew that the eyes of the world were on him!

After the Rain pdd - I'm used to the Wendy Whelan aesthetic in this (which I won't describe...), so was not expecting the extraordinary lightness of being from the more 'real woman' Stix-Brunell. Very, very beautiful.

Voices of Spring - I cannot judge...as the sound went wacko the moment that this began...the score played twice...the first about two measures before the second one. Only the second one was in synch with the dancers. MY LUCK...with the ASHTON!!! (The Anti-Ashton Demons must know about me.) I'll give it another try when I rewatch the show over the weekend.

 

Sleeping Beauty A3. What a treat. The group on stage was not as sparse as I imagined. It was fine, just lacking Lilac's attendants, the "trees" in the Red Riding Hood episode and the guys who carry the Cat's platform. [No Three Ivans in this version, right?] All featured dancers were wonderful. Nunez and Muntagirov simply outstanding. However, my Golden Stars among the wedding celebrants were Isabella Gasparini in the Florestan-and-Sisters pas de trois (what a sparkler!) AND...OMG, James Hay as the Bluebird. Holy Moley, Batman!

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I've seen this programme live now, with 3 different casts and have still to watch the live stream with another different cast.  I booked more performances because I was beguiled by the lure of the Sleeping Beauty with the full cast. Sadly this had never happened but we were closer to it last night than ever before and I found myself getting excited about the number of couples coming on stage - this is REALLY sad, but a sign of our COVID times. 

 

Overall, my experience has reinforced my booking preferences going forwards, if we ever get back to normal.  I have not experienced any emotional pull during these performances. The closest I've got to any hairs on the back of the neck has been Marianela/ Vadim in Winter Dreams (all too short), Francesca Hayward/Alexander Campbell in Beauty and the joy of seeing Laura Morera perform.  I don't doubt the quality of all the other dancers but I've had enough of triple bills and party pieces.  

 

So, I will be picking my R&J's, Giselle's, Nutcrackers and Swan Lake's with care and passing on the rest,  but am extremely concerned by those seating plans with so many seats greyed out. 

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Livestream … I joined late due to streaming issues.  No matter … there is time to catch up!  
 

I loved the musicality of Anemoi and the chance to see younger dancers in featured roles.  Leticia Dias, Mariko Sasaki and Taisuke Nakao were all superb.   I wished to have seen more of Lucas BB in woman with water, but sadly not included in livestream.

 

And was impressed by Arthur Pita’s dramatic piece filmed on the ROH stage for beautiful Leo Dixon.   So different to his ‘Metamorphosis’ and ‘Mother’.  More please!

 

I was very surprised by Morgen which I’d not liked before.  Movement and emotion flowed from Yasmine Naghdi and Joe Sissens.  Bravo 👏👏👏

 

It was all good … with Marianela and Vadim topping the evening off with their brilliance 🌟

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Last night was my first visit to the ROH in over 18 months. On the car journey there I had wondered if I would burst into tears at the sheer delight of being back in the audience, but until near the end, I found myself merely happy and enthralled throughout the long programme.  Although I hate what covid is doing to the RB’s income, a bonus of the sparsely occupied seats is excellent viewing with no risk of a large person sitting in front of one.

 

Well done to Valentino Zucchetti for composing ‘Animoi’ at what appears to be short notice!  It was uneven in quality but some parts were quite striking, and I would highlight the stunning dancing of Taisuke Nakao whom I’d never before noticed.  Although he doesn’t have the looks or build of a danseur noble I can imagine him filling roles such as Prince Siegfried’s friend in Swan Lake, with his brilliant combination of elegance and athleticism.  The audience were greatly appreciative when the young choreographer took a bow at the end, wearing a very smart bright blue suit and an enormous smile.

 

Laura Morera and Ryoichi Hirano looked good together in ‘Winter Dreams’ – it’s always such a treat to see Laura; she is one of my favourites, for her expressive projection of character.  I’m not always keen on Hirano but Laura obviously brought out the best in him.

 

My surprise of the night was ‘woman with water’.  I normally don’t like modern works that seem determined to hide any message they might hold within a murky morass of seemingly vague limb movements.  But although this work was a bit of a mystery in its strange ‘story’ it was quirky and compelling, and the dancers – Mayara Magri and Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød – were quite simply amazing.  I couldn’t take my eyes off them for a second.  The choreography looked difficult to me, but their performance was just superb.  I’m running out of superlatives here.  I loved it!

 

(By the way, just as we were entering the ROH an elderly man was also coming in with a young, handsome companion.  He was saying ‘they say they can squeeze you in somewhere, but you might not be sitting with the rest of us.’  Looking again at the young man I recognised Mayara’s real-life partner, Matthew Ball, looking even better close-up than he does on stage!)

 

When ‘Voices of Spring’ erupted with an exuberant and playful Anna Rose O’Sullivan and Marcelino Sambé, it was a complete change of mood from the modern to the classical in music, costume and dance – yet there is no stale traditionalism in this work.  Ashton’s usual restrained elegance was supplanted here by joyous ebullience seasoned with a dash of gentle self-mockery: a kind of sending-up of itself in the most delightful way, I thought.  Utterly charming and a lovely contrast to what had gone before. To me, Ashton’s work embodies all that is best of Englishness: refined but not taking itself too seriously; somewhat bucolic yet sophisticated; beautiful and always entertaining.  The exact opposite of that other, darker side of Englishness now so prevalent: the crass behaviour of some politicians and many football supporters.

 

So much for the hors d’oevres: at last we came to the main course.  When the curtain went up on the gorgeous scenery and costumes of Sleeping Beauty I felt as thrilled as a child on Christmas morning.  At the moment that Marianela Núñez and Vadim Muntagirov appeared at the back of the stage I suddenly felt tears trickle down my cheeks, underneath my covid mask, which was uncomfortably damp for the next hour.

 

They were perfect.  Just perfect. Oh, I know that Marianela and her Vadream always perform impeccably, but to me they seemed on another level last night.  It’s true that, out of the context of the whole ballet, that last act has less emotional impact as the sleeping princess finally attains her happiness.  Bluebird James Hay had clearly been practising his entrechats. I thought Calvin Richardson seemed somewhat prosaic and earthbound as Florestan, but it must be difficult to shine when sharing a stage with Muntagirov. David Yudes and Ashley Dean were enchanting as the two cats (what a fun duet that must be to dance!)  

 

I think this programme was well-chosen, with something for everyone – dancers and audience alike.  And the glittering finale, full of gaiety and colour of the kind which we have missed so sorely over the past many months, sent us all out into the warm summer night air with a smile on our mask-covered lips and a song in our hearts.  Thank you, Royal Ballet!  It was such a privilege to be there. 

 

You can see a couple of my photos here: https://maryrosedouglasuk.wixsite.com/ballet

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 I just watched the Voices of Spring that I missed yesterday due to a technical glitch. Sigh. Absolute miscasting here, IMHO. O’Sullivan and Sambe - who I’ve greatly admired as individual dancers in the past - labored through Ashton’s steps with plastered grins...as if they had been forced to perform. This was about as far from the carefree and smooth (yet tongue-in-cheek) style of the originators, Park & Eagling, as one could get. 

 

Coming at the end of a string of finely-performed pas de deux, this only hurt the case for programming more Ashton works in the future. 

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14 minutes ago, Jeannette said:

 I just watched the Voices of Spring that I missed yesterday due to a technical glitch. Sigh. Absolute miscasting here, IMHO. O’Sullivan and Sambe - who I’ve greatly admired as individual dancers in the past - labored through Ashton’s steps with plastered grins...as if they had been forced to perform. This was about as far from the carefree and smooth (yet tongue-in-cheek) style of the originators, Park & Eagling, as one could get. 

 

Coming at the end of a string of finely-performed pas de deux, this only hurt the case for programming more Ashton works in the future. 

Quite the opposite…they clearly need to programme much more Ashton in the future so that the dancers get a lot more practice in the style.  That is, if anyone actually cares. 

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55 minutes ago, Sim said:

Quite the opposite…they clearly need to programme much more Ashton in the future so that the dancers get a lot more practice in the style.  That is, if anyone actually cares. 

 

Sim, I didn’t mean that Ashton should be programmed less. I meant that I fear that more performances like this one might result in less programming.

 

That first lift by Sambe when, during the initial diagonal run, he quickly turns (still lifting the lady) and gives his back to the audience...  I kept thinking Wayne Sleep, who Ashton would never have cast in a high-lifting Soviet-style pdd. Maybe I’m being too sensitive. Forgive me.

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The whole point of Voices of Spring is that it is a send up of the Bolshoi's Spring Waters display piece. I thought O'Sullivan captured the daffyness rather well. In the original the dancers were wearing deliberately ridiculous wigs which had a touch of Flower Power!

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29 minutes ago, Pas de Quatre said:

The whole point of Voices of Spring is that it is a send up of the Bolshoi's Spring Waters display piece. I thought O'Sullivan captured the daffyness rather well. In the original the dancers were wearing deliberately ridiculous wigs which had a touch of Flower Power!

 

From where I was looking on opening night, O'Sullivan's wig was very much of its time, which reminds me: I respect the ROH costume department a lot, and I'm all for sticking to the original designs unless there's good reason not to, but I think they have a blind spot about the wigs for 70s and early 80s designs (see also Manon and Nutcracker). I think all too often they just look a bit silly to the modern eye and nothing would be lost with some updating. 

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1 hour ago, Lizbie1 said:

 

From where I was looking on opening night, O'Sullivan's wig was very much of its time, which reminds me: I respect the ROH costume department a lot, and I'm all for sticking to the original designs unless there's good reason not to, but I think they have a blind spot about the wigs for 70s and early 80s designs (see also Manon and Nutcracker). I think all too often they just look a bit silly to the modern eye and nothing would be lost with some updating. 

I actually like Manon's wig, well except the act 3 wig

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51 minutes ago, Raven said:

I actually like Manon's wig, well except the act 3 wig

 

I just wish she could change into one of the other wigs for the curtain calls as it's so unflattering, especially in curtain call photo close-ups!

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4 hours ago, Two Pigeons said:

No one has ever matched Merle Park and Wayne Eagling in Voices of Spring.  Ever!  Technique may have improved but where was elan of the original pairing?

Did you ever see Durante and Cassidy in this? Must say, I thought they really got it!

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On 09/07/2021 at 22:55, Sim said:

James Hay as Oberon in the next outing of The Dream…with Akane as his Titania. Pretty please, Mr O’Hare?!


And can we have James Hay as Romeo, too, please? Every time he shows us his exquisitely nuanced Benvolio I come away thinking next time, surely … 

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A really enjoyable matinée to close the season today. It was great to see a largely different cast in Anemoi to the ones I'd seen before. I've enjoyed the piece more every time I've seen it. First time I've seen Yasmine Naghdi in a big classical role - she was an amazing Aurora! And really lovely to see Isabella Gasparini and Joonhyuk Jun as Princess Florine and Bluebird - I thought both were wonderful 😊 

But the highlight of course was the privilege of seeing Beatriz Stix-Brunell's final performance. Beautifully danced and followed by rapturous applause and stamping feet. At the end of the divertissements she came out last to a very long standing ovation, during which a succession of fellow dancers brought out huge bunches of flowers. An enormously deserved and emotional tribute to a wonderful dancer 😊

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  • alison changed the title to Royal Ballet: Beauty Mixed Programme, July 2021

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