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Royal Ballet: Romeo and Juliet, Autumn 2021


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In anticipation of the Royal Ballet's Autumn season which starts on Tuesday 5th October, here are some rehearsal photos to whet your appetite!

 

William Bracewell and Fumi Kaneko certainly seem to make a lovely pairing - which is good as I am seeing them on the 9th!

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/royaloperahouse/albums/72157719943466395

Edited by MJW
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On 03/10/2021 at 10:18, MJW said:

 

 

William Bracewell and Fumi Kaneko certainly seem to make a lovely pairing - which is good as I am seeing them on the 9th!

 

 

 

Bracewell and Kaneko danced the Friends rehearsal today. Their expressive, expansive dancing filled the RoH stage, what a beautiful partnership. It was all sublime. The company were on top form. The brisk tempo under Kessels drove the action forward at a terrifically exciting pace so that even the sometimes interminable sword fights had me on the edge of my seat. 

 

 

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Mmm - is William Bracewell the ultimate Romeo? Discuss.  He certainly gets my vote on today's rehearsal performance.  Oh, what a joy to see a full length, dramatic ballet at last!  Joseph Sissons and Luca Acri as Benvolio and Mercutio respectively also shone brightly.  Lots of mouth watering casts ahead for us all to savour.  Was there once a rule where you are not supposed to applaud during rehearsals?  It certainly didn't apply today.  Very appreciative audience. 

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2 minutes ago, JennyTaylor said:

Mmm - is William Bracewell the ultimate Romeo? Discuss.  He certainly gets my vote on today's rehearsal performance.  

 

My vote too :) he blew me away ! 

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I certainly agree with the comments above about Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell. I also thought that Joseph Sissens performance was very good, as always. Ryoichi Hirano was menacing as Tybalt and he died exceptionally well (if one is allowed to put it that way!)

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4 hours ago, JennyTaylor said:

Mmm - is William Bracewell the ultimate Romeo? Discuss.  He certainly gets my vote on today's rehearsal performance.  Oh, what a joy to see a full length, dramatic ballet at last!  Joseph Sissons and Luca Acri as Benvolio and Mercutio respectively also shone brightly.  Lots of mouth watering casts ahead for us all to savour.  Was there once a rule where you are not supposed to applaud during rehearsals?  It certainly didn't apply today.  Very appreciative audience. 

I'm seeing the BRB version on Wednesday.... Morales/Hirata.  Although Morales is probably too old to be Romeo, my betting is he will equal anyone in technique and poetry!

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Given their obvious chemistry and mutually instinctive response to music and narrative, as shown in Romeo & Juliet Beyond Words and Dances at a Gathering, I wonder why Bracewell and Hayward weren't cast together in this season's R & J?

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1 hour ago, alison said:

Presumably because Hayward and Corrales were already an established pairing in this ballet?

 

Mmm, much as I was wowed overall by the Hayward/Corrales/Sambe/Hay/Ball pre-Covid combo, I do think that Hayward and Bracewell work better together as a pairing: every action feels spontaneous, every reaction unforced. They really do sing from the same songsheet, which takes the narrative impact to a different level. I can't help feeling that Kevin O'Hare has missed a trick here.

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I absolutely loved Hayward and Corrales in R &J last time around they were both totally convincing together ....one of the last times I was truly moved by the ballet... so deliberately decided not to see them together this time as that was such a special memory. 
Ive booked for Kaneko and Bracewell and it’s starting to look like hopefully they are going to create another special memory! 

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7 hours ago, Scheherezade said:

 

Mmm, much as I was wowed overall by the Hayward/Corrales/Sambe/Hay/Ball pre-Covid combo, I do think that Hayward and Bracewell work better together as a pairing: every action feels spontaneous, every reaction unforced. They really do sing from the same songsheet, which takes the narrative impact to a different level. I can't help feeling that Kevin O'Hare has missed a trick here.

 

And perhaps he hasn't - perhaps William Bracewell and Fumi Kaneko will have a similar chemistry.

 

I remember some years ago seeing a performance of BRB with a scratch cast (due to injury problems) of Iain Mackay & Carole Ann Miller that turned out to be truly awesome.  As it happens I had seen William Bracewell performing the role that afternoon and shocked my friends by saying I thought he was the best Romeo I had ever seen in any production!

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10 hours ago, maryrosesatonapin said:

I'm seeing the BRB version on Wednesday.... Morales/Hirata.  Although Morales is probably too old to be Romeo, my betting is he will equal anyone in technique and poetry!

 

In the scheme of things all dancers who undertake these roles are "too old" and, as has been discussed in other threads sometimes you need to be more mature to act young.

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Wanting to comment about Bracewell and Kaneko. But it was a rehearsal yesterday and I think we usually wait until the show…..

 

Corrales and Hayward were announced to the world as a real life couple during the pandemic, Corrales is now a Principal, it’s the opening night tonight, so a lot of (additional) factors come into play where casting is concerned.

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I've noticed that there are certain dancers who often attract comments along the lines of "I wish he/she could dance more often with [insert favourite dancer]" - I think Bracewell is shaping up to be one of those.

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1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

And perhaps he hasn't - perhaps William Bracewell and Fumi Kaneko will have a similar chemistry.


True. And of course new partnerships have to be tried out to see whether they can reproduce that magic. 

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29 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

I've noticed that there are certain dancers who often attract comments along the lines of "I wish he/she could dance more often with [insert favourite dancer]" - I think Bracewell is shaping up to be one of those.


It’s easy, of course, for dancers with a flamboyant, virtuoso style to make a big impact but those with a more restrained style can often bring more nuanced characterisation to the party and the impact is frequently something of a surprise. I think that this is why Bracewell, as one of the latter, is mentioned so often. 

Edited by Scheherezade
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Well, ever since I saw him at graduation, the prospect of Bracewell making an impact has never been a surprise, but I agree that certain more flamboyant dancers might out-dazzle him :) 

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1 hour ago, alison said:

Well, ever since I saw him at graduation, the prospect of Bracewell making an impact has never been a surprise, but I agree that certain more flamboyant dancers might out-dazzle him :) 


When he was competing (and won) the Young British Dancer of the Year, he was always going to be ‘special’.

 

2 hours ago, Scheherezade said:


It’s easy, of course, for dancers with a flamboyant, virtuoso style to make a big impact but …….


Easy? Not for them. 😉

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1 hour ago, capybara said:


When he was competing (and won) the Young British Dancer of the Year, he was always going to be ‘special’.

 


Easy? Not for them. 😉


Not the dancing, Capybara, but the impact. The hard work, commitment and talent of the virtuoso is a given but it’s surely hard to deny that the immediacy of the virtuosic thrill will generally have a bigger initial impact than a nuanced interpretation. 

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5 hours ago, capybara said:

Wanting to comment about Bracewell and Kaneko. But it was a rehearsal yesterday and I think we usually wait until the show…..

 


We have always waited until after after actual performances and, historically, don’t comment on rehearsals, is why I didn’t comment on the dancing, dancers or production when I posted yesterday. 
 

I hope we can revert to this convention in future

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Selecting Romeo & Juliet partners must be a difficult decision. The Hayward/Corrales cast last time were fabulous but I think since then we’ve seen the Hayward/Bracewell film and I’d be delighted to see them in a full performance. Strikes me we’re spoiled for choice with so many scintillating casts.

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29 minutes ago, RobR said:


We have always waited until after after actual performances and, historically, don’t comment on rehearsals, is why I didn’t comment on the dancing, dancers or production when I posted yesterday. 
 

I hope we can revert to this convention in future

 

Why ?

 

I'm not sure I see a problem in commenting briefly on rehearsals as long as the comments are positive.  If some people haven't bought tickets for the first Bracewell/Kaneko performance they might feel encouraged to do so on the strength of the positive comments here. 

 

Maybe the mods can advise whether comments on rehearsals are permitted or not. 

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11 minutes ago, annamk said:

 

Why ?

 

I'm not sure I see a problem in commenting briefly on rehearsals as long as the comments are positive.  If some people haven't bought tickets for the first Bracewell/Kaneko performance they might feel encouraged to do so on the strength of the positive comments here. 

 

Maybe the mods can advise whether comments on rehearsals are permitted or not. 

Well, as I’ve always understood it, there are two basic reasons.

 

First, it’s a rehearsal not a performance and, and I’m happy for anyone to disagree, elite performers distinguish between a rehearsal and dancing in an actual performance at the highest level to which they aspire.
 

I can recall Darcey Bussell and her partner, walking out their steps in studio kit rather than costumes, at one general. Other BCPs may have similar recollections. 

 

Second, a General is often a chance for performers to put into practice what has been rehearsed in studio, with orchestra, lighting and in front of an audience. Corrections will often follow. 
 

Just as it might be invidious to single out a performer or group of performers for criticism, it seems to me to be equally inappropriate to praise dancers for dancing in a rehearsal. 

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I don't know what the protocols are at the RB but as a Friend of both Northern and Birmingham Royal Ballets I have been able, over the years, to watch their rehearsals.

 

Particularly at Northern Ballet if their was a large audience we were reminded that we were seeing a rehearsal and that there may be stops and starts and corrections given so that it was a rehearsal and should not be mentioned publicly.

 

Are rehearsals treated more like performances at ROH?

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The ROH's Friends Rehearsals FAQs state that "Some aspects of the production may not be finished, and some artists may choose to mark their roles. The rehearsals should not be treated as finished performances."

 

IMO there's a "slippery slope" argument to be made against commenting on rehearsals - if we start doing so routinely about good performances, lack of comment on less good performances becomes more conspicuous and might make people draw conclusions. For the reasons outlined by RobR above, that wouldn't be fair.

 

I do agree that conventions should be open to challenge, but I'm in favour of this one.

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