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English National Ballet Swan Lake Autumn/Winter 2022/2023


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20 hours ago, alison said:

If many people have bought their tickets via various of the special offers, I'm not sure whether they can return them, though.

There’s always this forum to do it if the tickets were bought from a discount website that refuses to do refunds/returns 🙂. The Coliseum does accept tickets back if bought from them, even if discounted/on offers depending on the circumstances and the timing- they’ve done it for me due to illness and strikes (the fee is £3 per ticket). A few tickets are still available on the Coliseum website, although I notice that many of the returns are being snapped up quickly. 

 

9 hours ago, alison said:

Am I right in thinking that some years ago ENB actually had to cancel a performance of something because the temperature in the theatre was so low that it was dangerous to the dancers?

Not sure how long ago that was but I don’t remember an instance of that in the last 8 years, especially with modern heating and dancewear (the “space boots” are a particularly brilliant invention). In some high altitude theatres in South America where the low oxygen levels would probably flout most health and safety or insurance rules about dance/athletic activity in Britain and Western Europe, the ENB dancers on tour just carried on- and rushed to the oxygen cylinders backstage after dancing to take much needed gulps via oxygen masks! There are some astonishing photos of this online.

 

Their ballet mistress has also described performing at a former venue in Liverpool many years ago where it started snowing in the middle of the show. The backstage area of this venue always had a big door left wide open to the elements and management didn’t seem to notice or care that droughts of below freezing temperatures were blowing in backstage and dancers were shivering.....so the dancers shut the door themselves and carried on with the show! 

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11 hours ago, alison said:

Am I right in thinking that some years ago ENB actually had to cancel a performance of something because the temperature in the theatre was so low that it was dangerous to the dancers?


Yes, it was at the Liverpool Empire.  I had taken my niece so probably at least 15 years ago.  The orchestra was in place and warming up when the announcement of the cancellation was made.  We were refunded and offered a comp ticket for the company’s next visit to Liverpool.

 

I don’t know if I am misremembering but I think there may have been something similar happen at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.

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By contrast during the recent December cold snap, I had to remove all layers down to my T-shirt at the Mayflower Southampton as the theatre had, appropriately, been heated to a level that would protect the dancers and their bodies. It was very warm and cosy. (ENB Raymonda)

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Last night's performance to a full house at The Coliseum was excellent. Emma Hawes played a gentle and rather sorrowful Odette as if she knew how it would all end and a coquettish and rather mean Odile. Her technique was faultless, including her fouettés. Aitor Arrieta was a little shorter than her when she was en pointe and although very athletic with great jumps somehow didn't quite make his mark as Siegfried. Maybe that was because I couldn't stop thinking how much he looked like Emmanuel Macron.
 

The corps was fabulous, with Precious Adams' porte  de bras particularly beautiful as one of the big swans. The French horn nailed one of of three of the difficult intervals in the big swan section so it's not only the ROH that has that problem. It's obviously very difficult! The orchestra was excellent.

 

There was some sort of problem during the first act when the stage started to flood with dry ice during the peasants rejoicing bit, completely inappropriately. It was coming from underneath one of the tables and made it look as though the stage was on fire. The cast and orchestra  just carried on regardless, not missing a step or beat, as they did later on when we were treated to a loud hiss for about a minute which was obviously part of the same problem. Great professionalism, everyone.

 

 

 

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I too was there last night, and was totally blown away by the whole thing! The ensemble pieces with the swans were almost flawless in their grace and synchronicity. I'd love to go again, but it looks like a total sell-out!

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13 hours ago, Emeralds said:

Whoa, that was a close shave with the snow, Dawnstar! I think ENB audiences tend to be lucky in that somehow the early January performances seem to avoid snow. A lot of London snow falls late, between the last week of January and the end of March. By the time ENO took the theatre back to do Rosenkavalier, it would be closer to February and that’s when snow is more likely.

 

It might have been February rather than January. I saw 3 performances during that run & can't remember which of them had the snow afterwards.

 

18 minutes ago, Finnbarr said:

Maybe that was because I couldn't stop thinking how much he looked like Emmanuel Macron.

 

I spent Thursday's performance (which was the first time I'd seen him in a major role) thinking he rather reminded me of the tenor Ed Lyon, which is a much more niche look alike option!

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17 minutes ago, Finnbarr said:


 

There was some sort of problem during the first act when the stage started to flood with dry ice during the peasants rejoicing bit, completely inappropriately. It was coming from underneath one of the tables and made it look as though the stage was on fire. The cast and orchestra  just carried on regardless, not missing a step or beat, as they did later on when we were treated to a loud hiss for about a minute which was obviously part of the same problem. Great professionalism, everyone.

 

 

 


Could hear the noise in the dress circle but couldn’t see where it was coming from so thanks for clearing up that mystery!

 

Last night was simply gorgeous. Emma Hawes was perfection as both Odette and Odile and the whole production is stunning from beginning to end. Enjoyed seeing Rhys Antoni Yeomans dancing the Neapolitan- and making it look so easy! Was lovely to see Francesca Velicu standing out as lead peasant.
 

National dances are one of my favourite things about Swan Lake (and along with black swan pdd makes it my favourite act). ENB delighted with their perfectly stylised Polonaise, Czardas and Mazurka. 

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4 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:


Yes, it was at the Liverpool Empire.  I had taken my niece so probably at least 15 years ago.  The orchestra was in place and warming up when the announcement of the cancellation was made. 

 

Ah, thanks. I did think there had been one at the coliseum too, but perhaps I'm misremembering.

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Fantastic show this afternoon. I’ll say more at a later point but it’s fair to say that I was wowed by Iana Salenko; and Frola’s performance was also very special indeed.

Edited by CCL
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Salenko and Frola were absolutely splendid in every way. It was a virtuoso performance but with real depth. I was amazed that Iana S danced a different   production less than 48 hours ago in Berlin. Also, excellent performances from the corps and the orchestra, playing at a pace-y tempo which was very welcome! 

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Beautifully done ENB. 

 

As with the opening night the entire company was on sparkling form, the swans being particularly superb.

 

The icing on the cake this afternoon was astonishingly classy performances from the leads Salenko and Frola. A spectacular black act with jaw droppingly good pdd and solos, (Frola's variations were quite simply sensational) and immaculate, tender, sensitive white acts. 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:


Yes, it was at the Liverpool Empire.  I had taken my niece so probably at least 15 years ago.  The orchestra was in place and warming up when the announcement of the cancellation was made.  We were refunded and offered a comp ticket for the company’s next visit to Liverpool.

 

I don’t know if I am misremembering but I think there may have been something similar happen at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.

Oh wow- looks like there is a history of cold spells in Liverpool! I was away a lot 15 years ago so didn’t even see any ballets in London that year nor hear about their tour news......and that was before the space boots and other insulating clothing items were developed for dance too. Great to hear they offered comp tickets, in addition to refunds.

 

4 hours ago, alison said:

 

Ah, thanks. I did think there had been one at the coliseum too, but perhaps I'm misremembering.

I’d love to have been at the Coli when it’s too cold, Alison 😁- I always find ROH and Coliseum too warm and the heating on too high in the auditorium, whatever the season! They both seem pretty nice and warm backstage for the dancers too, when we’ve gone on backstage tours. We’ll be needing it when next week’s temperatures plunge below freezing point, though! ❄️

 

8 hours ago, Finnbarr said:

Last night's performance to a full house at The Coliseum was excellent. Emma Hawes played a gentle and rather sorrowful Odette as if she knew how it would all end and a coquettish and rather mean Odile. Her technique was faultless, including her fouettés. Aitor Arrieta was a little shorter than her when she was en pointe and although very athletic with great jumps somehow didn't quite make his mark as Siegfried. Maybe that was because I couldn't stop thinking how much he looked like Emmanuel Macron.
 

The corps was fabulous, with Precious Adams' porte  de bras particularly beautiful as one of the big swans. The French horn nailed one of of three of the difficult intervals in the big swan section so it's not only the ROH that has that problem. It's obviously very difficult! The orchestra was excellent.

 

There was some sort of problem during the first act when the stage started to flood with dry ice during the peasants rejoicing bit, completely inappropriately. It was coming from underneath one of the tables and made it look as though the stage was on fire. The cast and orchestra  just carried on regardless, not missing a step or beat, as they did later on when we were treated to a loud hiss for about a minute which was obviously part of the same problem. Great professionalism, everyone.

 

 

 

Hmm, I have occasionally thought Basque-born and raised Aitor resembled a few of the Paris Opera etoile danseurs in bearing and style but not so much Macron! Glad to hear it was a full house again and an excellent performance despite the dry ice equipment being bewitched (perhaps by Rothbart from afar?? 😆

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Saw the Sunday matinee and enjoyed the performances of all the cast a lot.  The scenery seems a little dowdy and dated.  We were in the first row (A) of the balcony.  In the last act, the plunges from the ramp into the lake and ascent to the skies were not visible.  So I suppose it was not visible for most of the balcony.  My companion, less familiar with the ballet, didn't know what had happened at the end.  

 

It's really not difficult to check for the sight lines for this.  It isn't necessary for the director, designers to go to the balcony.  If they can't see the audience, then the audience can't see them.  All they have to do is stand on the ramp and look at the auditorium to see which seats can't be seen. 

 

 

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For the Sunday afternoon performance on 15 January did anyone take a photograph of the cast changes screen in the foyer? I forgot about that but I am told there were some changes.

 

If you have a photograph please can you kindly attach it to a private message to me or post it here for download. Thank you.

 

It was a great performance by all.

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Aagh, that blasted cast-change screen, which cycles through various adverts for ENO and the like, so if you're not looking at the right time you may miss that there are cast changes!  Can't they just fix it, or, horror of horrors, stick a piece of paper up so that people can see it?!  There were cast changes on the first night, but nothing visible.

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16 minutes ago, alison said:

There were cast changes on the first night, but nothing visible.

 

Were there? Can you remember who? I looked at the screen both beforehand & in one of the intervals without seeing any come up. I didn't spot any obvious disparities between the cast sheet & who was on stage but then I can't recognise all the ENB dancers.

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They used to but now there’s no cloakroom at all at the Colisseum. 
I did email and complain a few months back but you know it’s probably never going to come back. 
In the email about the visit they said anyone with luggage should just look for a local left luggage place!! I think the nearest one is at Charing Cross station but can’t be certain. 
I don’t suppose they have enough of a repeat audience who want to bother them with any complaints 😥

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3 hours ago, SimonJC said:

For the Sunday afternoon performance on 15 January did anyone take a photograph of the cast changes screen in the foyer? I forgot about that but I am told there were some changes.

 

If you have a photograph please can you kindly attach it to a private message to me or post it here for download. Thank you.

 

It was a great performance by all.

 Here you go:

481A1381-F6B0-42C4-B389-4BFD4F49F690.jpeg

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Is Jung ah Choi of such a convenient height that she can do both cygnets and big swans?

 

And yes, Dawnstar, I commented that Michael Coleman looked rather on the young side.

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There were 22 swans apart from Odette in Act II but 24 in Act IV.  I couldn't think of a good reason.  2 were peasants in Act I and didn't have time to change??  Any suggestions?  Thanks

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1 hour ago, PeterS said:

 Here you go:

481A1381-F6B0-42C4-B389-4BFD4F49F690.jpeg

 

Thank you PeterS very much for this.

 

I thought the girl in the Neapolitan on Sunday did not look like Katja Khaniukova but I see that is not a noted change here. Possibly my eyes! Did anyone else think that? I will email ENB to check.

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1 hour ago, SimonJC said:

 

Thank you PeterS very much for this.

 

I thought the girl in the Neapolitan on Sunday did not look like Katja Khaniukova but I see that is not a noted change here. Possibly my eyes! Did anyone else think that? I will email ENB to check.

On Sunday, I thought the Neapolitan female dancer was Katja Khaniukova - but I think her hair is blonde now. 

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I noted a few changes on the cast list for Sunday 15/1 which is at home.  I’m away for 5 days so can’t check.  

 

There were more changes in the Spanish than Ivana.   I think it was Ivana Bueno, Giorgio Garrett, Erik Woolhouse aneme ??? (It’s correct on my sheet) 
 

IIIRC Neapolitan was Francesca Velicu and Victor Prigent.   Both brilliant 👏👏👏

 

Francesca was replaced by someone I did not know in the Czardas partnered by James Streeter

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12 minutes ago, FionaE said:

I noted a few changes on the cast list for Sunday 15/1 which is at home.  I’m away for 5 days so can’t check.  

 

There were more changes in the Spanish than Ivana.   I think it was Ivana Bueno, Giorgio Garrett, Erik Woolhouse aneme ??? (It’s correct on my sheet) 
 

IIIRC Neapolitan was Francesca Velicu and Victor Prigent.   Both brilliant 👏👏👏

 

Francesca was replaced by someone I did not know in the Czardas partnered by James Streeter

 

Thank you Henry and FionaE.

 

Noted about Katja's hair Henry - although FionaE thinks it was Francesca.

 

I have already emailed ENB and will now ask them about the further changes FionaE has raised. FionaE when you get back next week please could you kindly let me know what the notes on your sheet are - sounds like you can recognise all the girls better than me.

 

I will post whatever ENB says.

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I cannot believe Iano Salenko is 39. With three children!

 

It all went a bit bedknobs and broomsticks at the end - any ideas on their mode of transport?

 

Wonderful spectacle; fully engaged throughout. Well done ENB and all involved.

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I thought Salenko & Frola were wonderful tonight. I think that was the most moved I've been by the end of an SL (not counting Bonelli's last & admittedly tonight was only my 9th live SL, all in the last year).

 

While Salenko certainly doesn't look her age, I thought her experience & artistic maturity definitely showed. It felt as though she knew exactly how she wanted to perform and did so, both technically and in terms of interpreting the two characters. That's not to imply her performance felt as though she was just going through the motions or anything like that, quite the reverse. It was nice to be able to relax as an audience member & not wonder if everything was going to happen as planned. The fouettes - a mix of singles, doubles & I think the odd triple - were some of the least-travelled I've seen.

 

I'm probably biased when it comes to Frola but this was the sixth full-length role I've seen him do, plus a 1-acter & 2 galas, and I have yet to see him give anything other than an excellent performance. I thought he was wonderful both in acting & technique. If ballet got marks like ice skating does then I'm sure some of his jumps would have got higher marks for an enhanced degree of difficulty. There was one jump he did in Act III (sorry, I can't remember the right name for it) where it's usually done with the arms down & landed on both feet but he did it with his arms raised & landed on one foot! (I also loved it in Act I where his Prince signalled to the Waltzers they could dance then when he sat down he picked up a book & had a look through it. If I was royal & had to sit through that sort of thing on doubtless every notable day in the calendar then I would certainly make sure to bring a book!)

 

I'm very glad I saw the 2 casts I've seen in the order I did because I felt the 2 lead performances were definitely a step up tonight compared to opening night. I can understand ENB wanted 2 of their own dancers reviewed, rather than a guest artist, but I do wonder if some of the middling reviews might have stumped up another star if they'd seen Salenko & Frola instead.

 

Aprart from the 2 leads, I thought the other roles probably were overall about the same level as opening night, as there were some dancers I preferred in one cast & some in the other, and of course some overlap. I was interested to spot James Streeter in the Act I Waltz. I know he's officially a First Soloist rather than a Character Artist but I've only seen him in character roles before so it was interesting to see him in a pure dance role.

 

The curtain calls were quite brief - not only no front of curtain calls again but no flowers & the conductor didn't come on - and I'm afraid I focused almost entirely on Salenko & Frola.

 

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