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Royal Ballet in Rehearsal Insights Event 29th Oct

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I just thought I'd take the time to write a bit about my very first RB Insights event, which I attended two days ago on the evening of 29th October (my birthday!) 

I had asked customer services in advance what was likely to be covered, and couldn't get a straight answer, but I had my fingers crossed for Giselle. Looking at the dates, this seemed the most likely ballet to be rehearsed, and I had my birthday wish granted!


First up, after a short chat with Kevin O'Hare, we enjoyed a beautiful Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball rehearsal of the lead up (and beginning of) the Act II pas de deux, coached by the one and only Olga Evreinoff. This was the first time I've ever been able to watch a performance at close-range, after having viewed many insights and rehearsals via the Youtube channel. Being in the room in person to see two world-class dancers (in these incredible roles, no less) was a real privilege, and the two were sublime. I really enjoyed Yasmine's elegant, lyrical ghost-like movement in this scene. I think Matthew Ball is also one of the best actors the Royal has, and he conveyed his grief beautifully. 


Olga is quite a character, and during the short interview segment, you could see Matthew Ball quietly chuckling to himself as she was getting a little 'carried away with the fairies'..!  

Next up we enjoyed the wonderful Monica Mason rehearsing the Queen of the Willis entrance and solo with Julia Roscoe. This was incredibly special for me, as, among other reasons, I have a favourite RB video where MM coaches Laura McCulloch in the same role - I've watched it hundreds of times, as I just love MM's styling and ownership of the role. She has so much wisdom to impart, and her coaching style is so soothing - you can tell she really wants to draw the very best out of these dancers in a nurturing way. 

Having the opportunity to watch this live was really special, especially since I had enjoyed the World Ballet Day session where MM coached Marianela Nunez in the same role just a couple of days earlier - I couldn't have dreamed I'd get to see it close up!


MM also told a lovely anecdote about performing Myrthe herself alongside Fonteyn's Giselle. Apparently Fonteyn's portrayal and acting was so compelling that a real tear rolled down her cheek as she pleaded with Myrthe to spare the life of Albrecht; something even the iciest Myrthe would find difficult to disregard!


Julia was lovely in the role, and so elegant. I look forward to watching the broadcast back again, which I believe will be on the 3rd November.🙂

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40 minutes ago, Sim said:

Can we watch this somewhere?  I had a quick look but couldn’t find it.  

Many thanks for your report LianneEva.  Most interesting!  

I thought it would be live-streamed, as used to be the norm; but it wasn’t. 
Maybe, as Naghdi and Ball are featured in the streamed performance, they will use some footage from Friday in that context.

Otherwise, moving away from relaying these rehearsals (for which tickets are so hard to secure) feels like a retrograde move.

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It really was a magical experience to witness the incredible insights and see the passing on to the next generation of such wisdom from amazing coaches. 
I also loved the ethereal beauty of Yasmine in Giselle and her jaw dropping control in such slow and demanding adage sections. Mostly I loved to see the level of detail that was discussed over each movement and gesture and the importance of really living the role and bringing each character and their intentions to the audience. The RB company are so very good at story telling and it was wonderful to observe and appreciate the process! 

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