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Royal Ballet: Romeo and Juliet, Autumn 2021


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5 hours ago, oncnp said:

On the emotional front,  I got exactly what I was expecting having seen his R&J and Manon. IMO he doesn't "do" grand expressive emotion. And I thought he had a little trouble getting started, some heavy landings and just didn't look comfortable. 

 

I'm glad to see someone say this. I too thought some of his technique seemed a bit off to start with, but he's usually so technically brilliant that I wondered if my eyes were deceiving me! He didn't seem to be quite matching Acri & Richardson in some of the side-by-side steps for the 3 men in the pre-ball scene. He seemed to have got into gear later in Act 1 though. Maybe a slight bit of rustiness, as it's his first performance of the season?

 

5 hours ago, JohnS said:

“We have now strengthened our messaging on this even further with recorded requests from Maestro Pappano from the Royal Opera Company and Kevin O’Hare from The Royal Ballet for our audience to keep wearing masks when attending.”

 

Here’s hoping Tony Pappano and Kevin O’Hare achieve significant improvements in compliance.
 

I should say that I don’t know if these are auditorium announcements just before lights out at the start of each act or more general announcements before audiences take their seats. I hope it’s the former as on reflection I rather think I may have heard something when in the foyer before the opening night performance but wasn’t paying much attention.

 

Last night Kevin O'Hare was heard for the 5 minutes before curtain up announcement. I was in the loos at the time, where I'd say less than half those in the vicinity were masked. Unfortunately his announcement had no visible effect whatsoever.

 

4 hours ago, Rob S said:

I have yet to see anyone in the auditorium put on a mask after one of the announcers messages 

 

I've seen a few of people put masks on after announcements in the auditorium. They'd then almost all removed them by the end of the same act.

 

3 hours ago, Rob S said:

I didn't get a pic that did either him or the ponytail justice I'm afraid, I can only submit this evidence of how being stabbed in the armpit draws blood from the knee

 

I guess having blood somewhere is better than the usual completely bloodless R&J stabbings!

 

2 hours ago, alison said:

I must admit, after he'd given up dancing Romeo I did wonder whether Ed Watson might have had a go at the role.  In fact, I was hoping he might last time round, but he didn't - I later discovered he'd been off in Europe somewhere rehearsing Mayerling.

 

Oh yes, I can imagine Watson doing Tybalt, but presumably too late now. Of course Kish did have a go during the last run but I have a feeling he only did the one performance? So presumably he decided the role wasn't for him.

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2 hours ago, Bruce Wall said:

 

I agree with the dismal part .... I'm now calling the ROH the 'public transport of UK cultural institutions' certainly in terms of the 'courtesy' that Bridem refers to ... and, without hesitation, public safety, given that it is a place of mass gathering.  They have announcements in the tube too which progressively more and more people ignore - although, to be fair, not as much, say, as last night at the ROH.  Please - PLEASE - may the ROH be this country's nadir in terms of public institutions in this regard.  It is just SO disrespectful.  (I was at the Bridge Theatre but two nights earlier and face coverings were much more prevalent there.)  That ROH house staff member's refrain spoken to me some weeks ago about feeling 'distinctly unsafe' was certainly reverberating in my ear last night.  There is no question but that it detracts from the cultural product.  How could it not?

 

It doesn't distract me from the cultural product at all.  I am at the ballet to watch the ballet, and those wonderful artists are much better than being reduced to second fiddle.  

 

Can we please keep the threads about ballets pertaining to ballet.  There is another thread about mask wearing somewhere I think;  if not please start one on 'not dance'.  

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37 minutes ago, Sim said:

It doesn't distract me from the cultural product at all.  I am at the ballet to watch the ballet, and those wonderful artists are much better than being reduced to second fiddle.  

 

Can we please keep the threads about ballets pertaining to ballet.  There is another thread about mask wearing somewhere I think;  if not please start one on 'not dance'.  

 

I am sorry, Sim, - and I hope you know how much I respect you - I believe you do - but this DOES affect my comfort/ease - and therefore ability - in being able to appreciate the cultural product (so called).  Certainly it did at this performance - which is why I feel it is right that it should be here.  I appreciate the fact that it didn't for you.  I respect that.  Earnestly I do.  I realise that there are a goodly number of others who will have been with you in that.  Indeed, they were visually present.  That said I cannot feel that I am alone in how I feel - or felt during THAT PERFORMANCE OF ROMEO AND JULIET - and I would hope (perhaps wrongfully) that too could - or at least might - be respected.  

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34 minutes ago, Bruce Wall said:

 

I am sorry, Sim, - and I hope you know how much I respect you - I believe you do - but this DOES effect my comfort/ease - and therefore ability - in being able to appreciate the cultural product (so called).  Certainly it did at this performance - which is why I feel it is right that it should be here.  I appreciate the fact that it didn't for you.  I respect that.  Earnestly I do.  I realise that there are a goodly number of others who will have been with you in that.  Indeed, they were visually present.  That said I cannot feel that I alone in how I feel - or felt during THAT PERFORMANCE OF ROMEO AND JULIET - and I would hope (perhaps wrongfully) that too could - or at least might - be respected.  

In turn I respect your feelings Bruce, and can understand if you feel uncomfortable.  However, Covid is not going away any time soon, and what with more vaccinations and now boosters, it is becoming less and less severe, and nor have there been any more variants recently.  People are being asked less and less to wear masks;  many people feel just as uncomfortable wearing a mask as you do not wearing one.  People have been psychologically damaged by the past 18 months and need to recover themselves by feeling that they are living normally again.  It is no longer a legal requirement for people to wear masks;  it is personal choice, even if asked to do so.  I saw quite a few members of the RB staff and backroom people wandering around without a mask yesterday and on Saturday.  You are going to find yourself more and more in the company of other human beings who aren't wearing masks;  please don't make them feel like criminals if they choose not to wear one.

 

As I mentioned above, I personally do not want threads about artistry and performances to be taken over by what is and has been a very depressing situation.  We are so lucky that we can have full houses once again, and full stages.  Please, please let's concentrate on that.  Anyone who feels the need to discuss mask wearing can either open a thread on Not Dance, or away from this forum.  Thank you.

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Back to the ballet and the relative merits of our various Romeo and Juliet casts.  The production is high class, whomever you see, so I would not worry about whether or not you will enjoy one particular performance. You will!  I really enjoyed last night: particular nuances and emotional impact are entirely individual so we will all feel differently.  I think that is what this Forum is all about. I really enjoy reading everyone's different impressions. 

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Just a few quick thoughts on last night:

 

I thought Yasmine was a very convincing Juliet.  I loved her nuances and little touches (such as shrugging her shoulders to Nurse after consideration of the fact that Romeo is a Montague), and the beauty of her dancing complemented her dramatic interpretation. However, she had nothing to feed off with Vadim.  I was so impressed with him in Winter Dreams and Manon that I thought something might spark out of him.  Not yet.  Maybe in the next show.  I would love to see these two beautiful and pure classical dancers do one or all of the 'white' ballets together.  I think that would work a treat.

 

I must say that I was left cold this time by Hayward and Corrales too, even though I really enjoyed the whole performance.  As I said after the Saturday performance of Bracewell/Kaneko, my heart can only break when there is equal passion and drama (all from deep within the soul) from both dancers;  it is very rare that this happens for me.

 

I think Tom Whitehead's Tybalt was the most disappointing one I have seen for a long time.  It was one-dimensional;  he came on with an angry face and that was all we got for the rest of the night.  No subtlety, no indication of any thought processes...just emptiness.  And that ponytail has got to go!   Matthew Ball has indeed raised the bar very high indeed for this role and I can't see anyone reaching for that bar anytime soon.  

 

I loved the three harlots (Calvert, Storm-Jensen and Grennell), and there was a lovely little touch where Claire Calvert was looking for nits in Hannah Grennell's hair!  Always so much going on in the background.

 

I will be very interested to see how this cast's performance next week goes.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Scheherezade said:

Back to the Naghdi/Muntagirov reactions, and, oh dear, I've booked to see them next Friday and now I'm wishing I hadn't. Strange, isn't it, that he and Bracewell are both masters of the understated style and yet Bracewell conveys emotion so well. Having said that, I have previously been extremely moved by Muntagirov's Lensky, and he and Nunez certainly tug at the heartstrings in Giselle so perhaps it's just a matter of chemistry - or lack of - between the leads.

Maybe he needs just the right partner to pull it out of him. Wondering why he and Nunez were not cast as R&J?

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31 minutes ago, Borzoi said:

Maybe he needs just the right partner to pull it out of him. Wondering why he and Nunez were not cast as R&J?

In the last run Muntagirov danced with Sarah Lamb (as he has in a number of MacMillan ballets). I was lucky enough to be at one of the performances and thought they were wonderful together. Always worth trying other partnerships though of course.

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8 minutes ago, DanJL said:

In the last run Muntagirov danced with Sarah Lamb (as he has in a number of MacMillan ballets). I was lucky enough to be at one of the performances and thought they were wonderful together. Always worth trying other partnerships though of course.

Yes! He and Sarah are wonderful together!

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I’m disappointed to hear people seemed not too keen with Muntagirov as Romeo. 
I loved him in Month in the Country and felt he had found new ground for relating to characters rather than just his usually wonderful pure dance roles. I had high hopes for him in this ( though I won’t be seeing him) 

Perhaps you have to have been abjectly in love where existence without the “other” seems impossible ( well at least initially!) before you can appreciate the drama of considering killing yourself for a loved one. It is a highly on the extreme end of a dramatic ( and obviously unadvised ) act. Otherwise it may be difficult to relate to internally so can only then be a “performed” role. 
Im sure he will improve though ....I can’t believe it was really that much to do with the actual pairing itself though. 

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37 minutes ago, Borzoi said:

Wondering why he and Nunez were not cast as R&J?

Whilst Nunez/Muntagirov is clearly a great partnership, personally I think it's fine if they  don't dance together in  every production! I would imagine (based on no authority whatsoever) that they may well like a change themselves on occasions. 

Nunez is partnered with Bonelli in the New Year - looking forward  to that!

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Sorry if this has been mentioned elsewhere but the latest Friends email or booklet mentioned that the Balletboyz film of Romeo and Juliet : Beyond Words with Hayward/Bracewell has been nominated for an Arts Emmy Award. Hope it wins. It deserves to though I don't know what the competition is.

 

Also aren't we seeing them partner again in Swan Lake? I bet that's really special though I would have loved to see them do Romeo and Juliet together again. 

 

Coming back to Vadim I've booked to see him Friday 22nd Oct. I've only seen him once before in the role and it wasn't long after he came to the RB. It was the only role I've ever seen him in where I wasn't totally convinced by his performance.  Strange, as he did it so much with ENB,  including Daria Klimitova's final performance. Perhaps for me and some others, it might be the one role that eludes him. I sincerely hope not. I'll definitely be rooting for him and hoping I'll be as moved by both their performances as I was by the Hayward/Bracewell film which I thought was terrific, totally believable and heartbreaking. I'm also booked to see Kaneko/Bracewell, Hayward/Coralles and Takada/Campbell so plenty of opportunities for comparison. 

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52 minutes ago, Sim said:

I would love to see these two beautiful and pure classical dancers do one or all of the 'white' ballets together.  I think that would work a treat.

Yes indeed.........................

 

I am so much looking forward to some 'beautiful'.....'pure' and classical' ballets....which I would much prefer to see at the moment than any amount of powerful, passionate, heart-breaking, anguished, angst-ridden,emotional dramas....

 

Maybe I am alone in that but still.

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23 minutes ago, LinMM said:

I’m disappointed to hear people seemed not too keen with Muntagirov as Romeo. 
I loved him in Month in the Country and felt he had found new ground for relating to characters rather than just his usually wonderful pure dance roles. I had high hopes for him in this ( though I won’t be seeing him)

 

Do Ashton & MacMillan necessarily correlate, in terms of dancers being emotionally good at one also being emotionally good at the other? (Technically suited is another matter, that seems to be more often discussed.) For example personally I've loved Cuthbertson in the Ashton roles I've seen her in, Two Pigeons & Month In The Country, yet her Juliet & Manon failed to move me, and that despite her being partnered in both by Ball, who I thought was incredible as Des Grieux especially.

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1 hour ago, DanJL said:

In the last run Muntagirov danced with Sarah Lamb (as he has in a number of MacMillan ballets). I was lucky enough to be at one of the performances and thought they were wonderful together. Always worth trying other partnerships though of course.

 

And Steven McRae is finally back, Lamb's usual partner. 

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As a Young ROH ticket holder, I was fortunate enough to be sat front row Stalls Circle, where I was able to clearly see facial expressions really well. It was my very first time seeing Vadim, and I for one was definitely moved by his and Yasmine's performance. I'm also sure I wasn't the only one; after the first act, I could hear numerous people in SC singing their praises and saying it was 'phenomenal'.  Its quite hard to explain, but I thought Vadim brought out something in Yasmine that I haven't seen before with her and Matthew Ball. I was actually quite skeptical before the performance, as I only ever saw Yasmine with Matthew, and once in Don Quixote with Marcelino, but I have to say I believe I witnessed the start of another beautiful partnership in Naghdi/Muntagirov. Also, was it just me that found the height difference really satisfiying?! At least in that they compliment each other really well, as well as in their technique. I haven't seen the other Juliets yet (have booked for Kaneko/Bracewell on Sat), but I believe Yasmine may be known for being one of the most dramatic and expressive Juliets, she certainly came across as very 'strong' and 'independent' and even 'fierce' in the 3rd Act, definitely more so than before.

 

I'm optimistic and very hopeful that the Naghdi/Muntagirov pairing will grow from strength to strength, in the future, if they will get paired up again! 

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24 minutes ago, Marie said:

As a Young ROH ticket holder, I was fortunate enough to be sat front row Stalls Circle, where I was able to clearly see facial expressions really well. It was my very first time seeing Vadim, and I for one was definitely moved by his and Yasmine's performance. I'm also sure I wasn't the only one; after the first act, I could hear numerous people in SC singing their praises and saying it was 'phenomenal'.  Its quite hard to explain, but I thought Vadim brought out something in Yasmine that I haven't seen before with her and Matthew Ball. I was actually quite skeptical before the performance, as I only ever saw Yasmine with Matthew, and once in Don Quixote with Marcelino, but I have to say I believe I witnessed the start of another beautiful partnership in Naghdi/Muntagirov. Also, was it just me that found the height difference really satisfiying?! At least in that they compliment each other really well, as well as in their technique. I haven't seen the other Juliets yet (have booked for Kaneko/Bracewell on Sat), but I believe Yasmine may be known for being one of the most dramatic and expressive Juliets, she certainly came across as very 'strong' and 'independent' and even 'fierce' in the 3rd Act, definitely more so than before.

 

I'm optimistic and very hopeful that the Naghdi/Muntagirov pairing will grow from strength to strength, in the future, if they will get paired up again! 

 

Brilliant review, Marie and great to have such a positive one for Yasmine and Vadim. Is this the first full length they've done together? I'm looking forward to it even more now. Roll on next Friday!

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46 minutes ago, Marie said:

As a Young ROH ticket holder, I was fortunate enough to be sat front row Stalls Circle, where I was able to clearly see facial expressions really well. It was my very first time seeing Vadim, and I for one was definitely moved by his and Yasmine's performance. I'm also sure I wasn't the only one; after the first act, I could hear numerous people in SC singing their praises and saying it was 'phenomenal'.  Its quite hard to explain, but I thought Vadim brought out something in Yasmine that I haven't seen before with her and Matthew Ball. I was actually quite skeptical before the performance, as I only ever saw Yasmine with Matthew, and once in Don Quixote with Marcelino, but I have to say I believe I witnessed the start of another beautiful partnership in Naghdi/Muntagirov. Also, was it just me that found the height difference really satisfiying?! At least in that they compliment each other really well, as well as in their technique. I haven't seen the other Juliets yet (have booked for Kaneko/Bracewell on Sat), but I believe Yasmine may be known for being one of the most dramatic and expressive Juliets, she certainly came across as very 'strong' and 'independent' and even 'fierce' in the 3rd Act, definitely more so than before.

 

I'm optimistic and very hopeful that the Naghdi/Muntagirov pairing will grow from strength to strength, in the future, if they will get paired up again! 

Thank you for your review Marie.  I was I the stalls circle too last night and thought that Yasmine and Vadim made a great partnership. I think that this thread has shown that we all have different opinions, and they’re all equally valid.  One only has to read the critics in some newspapers to wonder if they’ve seen the same show!
 

Anyway, apart from the chemistry question IMO there was plenty to enjoy in Vadim’s performance.  Also, since I haven’t seen this ballet for many years I’d forgotten how absolutely gorgeous the music is!

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38 minutes ago, jmhopton said:

 

Brilliant review, Marie and great to have such a positive one for Yasmine and Vadim. Is this the first full length they've done together? I'm looking forward to it even more now. Roll on next Friday!


Agreed. And thank you Marie (and Nina 99 who has also just posted) for putting forward such positive reactions. Before my earlier post, the total absence of any mention of Yasmine and Vadim was utterly deafening. I shall also look forward to next Friday. And to the reprieve of Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell on Saturday. It will be interesting to compare them within such a short timeframe. 

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9 hours ago, Rob S said:

I only heard Mr O’Hare’s announcement once over my three trips of this season. If they wanted the message strengthened then maybe get some of the dancers to make the announcements. 
I have yet to see anyone in the auditorium put on a mask after one of the announcers messages 

 

The chap sitting next to me on Saturday put his on, so that's one person! I was in the GT on Saturday and mask wearing seemed pretty good. 

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2 hours ago, jmhopton said:

Sorry if this has been mentioned elsewhere but the latest Friends email or booklet mentioned that the Balletboyz film of Romeo and Juliet : Beyond Words with Hayward/Bracewell has been nominated for an Arts Emmy Award. Hope it wins. It deserves to though I don't know what the competition is.

 

Also aren't we seeing them partner again in Swan Lake? I bet that's really special though I would have loved to see them do Romeo and Juliet together again. 

 

Coming back to Vadim I've booked to see him Friday 22nd Oct. I've only seen him once before in the role and it wasn't long after he came to the RB. It was the only role I've ever seen him in where I wasn't totally convinced by his performance.  Strange, as he did it so much with ENB,  including Daria Klimitova's final performance. Perhaps for me and some others, it might be the one role that eludes him. I sincerely hope not. I'll definitely be rooting for him and hoping I'll be as moved by both their performances as I was by the Hayward/Bracewell film which I thought was terrific, totally believable and heartbreaking. I'm also booked to see Kaneko/Bracewell, Hayward/Coralles and Takada/Campbell so plenty of opportunities for comparison. 

How wonderful you have the opportunity to see all of these performances! I cherish the memory of seeing the RB live when they toured the U.S. many years ago.  Saw R&J with Sibley/Dowell and it was a life-changing event. My favorite ballet company in the world with the best dancers. The prospect of seeing Muntagirov live is the one thing that might get me on a plane again. (Terrified to fly! LOL!)

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26 minutes ago, MJW said:

 

The chap sitting next to me on Saturday put his on, so that's one person! I was in the GT on Saturday and mask wearing seemed pretty good. 

I am trying very hard to move this thread away from mentions of masks!  

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I very much hope you will before long Borzoi as the Royal is in very good shape at the moment so definitely worth a trip across the Pond. 
Not that I’m a big Royalist or anything but next year 2022 is the Queens Platinum Jubilee so maybe London will be looking particularly attractive and also Birmingham is hosting Commonwealth Games so quite a bit going on in U.K. so might be a good year to come and even some deals on air fares...though wouldn’t hold my breath for that unfortunately!! 

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2 hours ago, LinMM said:

I very much hope you will before long Borzoi as the Royal is in very good shape at the moment so definitely worth a trip across the Pond. 
Not that I’m a big Royalist or anything but next year 2022 is the Queens Platinum Jubilee so maybe London will be looking particularly attractive and also Birmingham is hosting Commonwealth Games so quite a bit going on in U.K. so might be a good year to come and even some deals on air fares...though wouldn’t hold my breath for that unfortunately!! 

Well, that will be something to strive for! I might never want to come home...🤣

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I’m not seeing R and J this time around- none of the dates of the performances that I really wanted to see worked for me. However, wanted to just add my voice for Muntagirov as Romeo with Sarah Lamb - I was blown away by them both when I saw them three (?) years ago. Thomas Whitehead was Tybalt then and I’m afraid I also thought it was a bit of a one dimensional portrayal. There is nuance in Shakespeare’s presentation of his character and I like to see this nuance portrayed on stage. Slightly off topic but I’m counting the days now until the first of the Giselles that I’ve booked 😊

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2 minutes ago, CCL said:

I’m not seeing R and J this time around- none of the dates of the performances that I really wanted to see worked for me. However, wanted to just add my voice for Muntagirov as Romeo with Sarah Lamb - I was blown away by them both when I saw them three (?) years ago.

 

So was I! One of the highlights of all my years of ballet-going.

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On 14/10/2021 at 07:54, oncnp said:

On the emotional front,  I got exactly what I was expecting having seen his R&J and Manon. IMO he doesn't "do" grand expressive emotion. And I thought he had a little trouble getting started, some heavy landings and just didn't look comfortable.  

 

 

I think some of Vadim looking uncomfortable, especially when dancing with Benvolio and Mercutio, is that Vadim is a "lefty" but has to dance with "righties" hence not on his strong side.

I remember Rupert Pennefather having the same "trouble".

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2 hours ago, Silke H said:

 

I think some of Vadim looking uncomfortable, especially when dancing with Benvolio and Mercutio, is that Vadim is a "lefty" but has to dance with "righties" hence not on his strong side.

I remember Rupert Pennefather having the same "trouble".


Interesting, Silke H, and something that wouldn’t otherwise have occurred to me. 

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