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Royal Ballet 2014-15 season

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Has Osipova danced Ashton ballets? She was scheduled to dance Sylvia at ABT but withdrew.

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The Bolshoi used to dance this ballet. Sadly, it hasn't for some years, but Anastasia Stashkevich made her debut as Lise in 2010, so perhaps Osipova did it as well.

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Yes. The Bolshoi first performed the Ashton version in 2002 with a cast that included Nina Kaptsova as Lise, Andrei Bolotin as Colas, Gennadi Yanin as Alain and Alexander Petukhov as Widow Simone. Skimming through the dancers' bios, the most recent debutants I could find were Stashkevich and Vyacheslav Lopatin in 2010. I think that's the last time the ballet was performed, which is a real shame, but it does fall within Osipova's Bolshoi tenure (2004-2011). Unfortunately, since the ballet is not listed in the Bolshoi's active repertoire, we can't look into the archive of past cast lists.

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P.S. However, I did look at Osipova's Bolshoi page (sorry I didn't do that sooner; thought it had been deleted), and it appears she hadn't danced Lise there, which is a little surprising, because I would have thought it would be right up her alley.

http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/persons/people/822/

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Osipova also danced Titania in 'The Dream' at the end of the 2013/14 Royal Ballet season. She was stunning.

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Management decisions can be unfathomable whatever is being managed. Last season the company acquired two new male principals,Matthew Golding and Vadim Muntagirov. No one asked why Muntagirov was joining , his abilities are well known to ballet goers in London and everywhere that English National Ballet visits.Golding's talents were something of an unknown quantity. His appearance as Conrad in ENB's new Corsaire did not reveal anything out of the ordinary about him.Both men appeared at Covent Garden as the prince in Sleeping Beauty Muntagirov gave a very polished account of the role,Golding's performance was.not in the same class .Golding also danced Oberon, which proved to be a role that does not suit him.

This season he was announced as the lead for every performance of Symphonic Variations but was replaced without any explanation by Muntagirov and Reece Clarke.I don't think that anyone felt a pang of disappointment when they discovered that they were not going to see him. I know that a lot of people are wondering why he has been taken into the company.We all hope that we get an answer soon.The company was not desperate for another male principal at that point.The decision to sign him

does not make much sense in isolation and makes even less sense in the light of the subsequent recruitment of Muntagirov and the decision to take Reece Clarke from the school during his final year. But then the company has made something of a habit of

recruiting dancers to senior positions for no apparent reason. There is nothing wrong with most of them but there is nothing that special about them when they are on stage. They can't all be dancers who give their best performances in class.

The company found it necessary to recruit from the outside after the loss of several male dancers when Michael Kaiser suggested that the company should be disbanded during the rebuilding of the opera house and re-established as a sort of ABT on Thames. But that was nearly twenty years ago.It sometimes seems that having been forced to recruit from the outside through necessity the company has got into a habit that it can't break.

As far as the choice of repertory and casts for the screened performances are concerned I suspect that management believes that full length story ballets with known names are a safer option than a mixed bill.You could always try writing to Kevin O'Hare

to ask why he is showing such a limited number of works and why he keeps using the same group of dancers.The Royal Ballet's decisions on casting for performances on tour and those that are screened do not,it seems to me,always result in the best casts being seen by the wider public.There seem to be other factors at play such as interest in particular dancers and name recognition among the wider,non ballet going public. When the Collier Coleman recording of La Fille Mal Gardee was made they were the first cast in that ballet and there was a general consensus that they were the best exponents of their roles that the company could muster at that time. I do not think that the regular ballet goer would have said the same of the Acosta Nunez cast

at the time that their recording was made.I can think of at least two other casts that most regulars would have have gone to see in preference to them but Acosta has name recognition and sells tickets and presumably DVDs

Again I suspect that the choice of Darcey Bussell as the compere for the screened broadcasts is a subtle combination of name recognition and laziness.The sad fact is that as far as the average non ballet going member of the public in this country is concerned Nijinsky was a racehorse.The only dancers'names that are recognised are, Nureyev and Bussell which is why whenever a journalist, working for the popular press, writes about a young dancer their names are taken in vain. Name recognition only applies to Fonteyn and Acosta among people who actually go to the ballet. Bussell had,and continues to have,a loyal following;she has even greater name recognition now as a result of being one of the judges on Strictly Come Dancing. She is,no doubt,seen as someone who will dispel the idea that ballet is elitist. In this country elite and elitist are words that can only be applied to sportsmen and sportswomen without any hint of criticism.I haven't seen any of the screened performances but from comments that I have read from people in this country Bussell clearly does not impress. Deborah Bull would probably have been a better choice from the ballet goer's perspective but the powers that be may well have thought that she sounds too

authoritative but they may have given it no real thought to it at all.

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I wish they'd taken a risk and put the Ashton triple bill on the cinema schedule - this is the Royal Ballet after all. Instead, we're getting repeats of stuff we saw last year, and Osipova is being given both Swan Lake and Fille, as though the Royal doesn't have any other principals. I'd have thought Morera or Marquez would have been a more natural choice in Fille, but I suppose Osipova is the one with the name recognition.

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Marquez already performed Fille in Cinemas, but I'd love to see Morera!

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I wish they'd taken a risk and put the Ashton triple bill on the cinema schedule - this is the Royal Ballet after all.

Yes!

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I'd have thought Morera or Marquez would have been a more natural choice in Fille, but I suppose Osipova is the one with the name recognition.

Fille is one of the Ashton roles I most want to see Osipova dance...Perhaps oddly I can picture her in it more easily than I can picture her in Swan Lake, though I know she has danced the latter several times now.

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I think that you should be thankful that it's not Nunez Acosta again for the broadcast. There are four new pairings for Fille this time round, Morera and Muntagirov,Choe and Campbell, Marquez and Zucchetti and Osipova and McRae. All are unknown quantities. What will Muntagirov who seems born to dance princes and all the Dowell roles be like in this piece? Will all the pairings work equally well in the context of this ballet? The only pairing that are not a completely unknown quantity are Osipova and McRae who appeared together in Rubies to great effect. They were not only technically brilliant but witty. On the basis of those performances management probably think that the pairing is the one most likely to work from the outset with no imbalance between Lise and Colas.

The other pairing which I think will work well from the outset are Marquez, Campbell. Lise is Marquez's best role.She gives a very honest straightforward account of the role; Campbell is a very adaptable dancer with a good clean technique who has clearly benefited from his time with BRB and there is unlikely to be any imbalance between them.There could be problem with the other pairings .Muntagirov could, like Dowell, turn out to be unsuited to the role of Colas being too much the gentleman and too little the farmer. As far as Choe and Zucchetti are concerned there could well be a significant imbalance between their performances of their respective roles. Choe is by nature and temperament a miniaturist; her performances in other works have, for me,lacked the necessary scale ; Zucchetti on the other hand never does things by half , the result could be that Choe scales up her performance as Lise as Zucchetti is unlikely to scale down his Colas or their performances will centre on Colas with a Lise who is a bit of a blank.

Of course had the Ashton programme been intended for broadcast management might have shied away from the idea of giving as many people as possible the chance to have a go at Symphonic and might have checked to see what the corps were doing in Scenes but there again that was not an absolute certainty.Given the variability of the standard of performances in each of the ballets shown in the Ashton mixed bill, except Month which had two very good casts, it is probably a good thing for the Royal Ballet's reputation as a custodian of Ashton's works that the mixed bill was not streamed into cinemas.

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The sad fact is that as far as the average non ballet going member of the public in this country is concerned Nijinsky was a racehorse.

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And it is because of the racehorse named Nijinsky that I got into ballet-watching. Along with Sir Ivor he was my favourite horse. I saw a biography of Nijinsky (the dancer) in the library, borrowed it and started on the path of ballet-watching. My total conversion was a performance of Onegin by London Festival Ballet.

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I am not sure if any of you will be in London in the next couple of weeks but if you are intending to be here to see Osipova in Don Q you need to know that she fell during the first act on Saturday and was replaced after considerable delay by Takada who had already danced Kitri at the matinee.This puts Osipova's scheduled performances for the rest of the run in considerable doubt. It is unlikely that the company management will tell us very much about replacement casting until the last minute.

As Takada is replacing Marquez who is off injured as well as dancing her own scheduled performances and Lamb, who is scheduled for Don Q at the end of the run, is standing in for Cuthbertson in Alice as well as dancing her own performances it will be interesting to see what casting solution the management come up with.There are a couple of brave casting decisions that they could make from within the company but one of the dancers who I would like to see as Kitri makes her debut as Alice on Christmas Eve. As I am talking about a possible replacement for Osipova it seems unlikely that a brave decision will be made.

I shall be very interested to discover what you think of this production when it reaches your shores. I shall just say that my experience of seeing each of the three productions of Don Q that the company has mounted has increased my admiration for Ashton's choreography for the gypsies in Two Pigeons and for De Valois' taste and insight when she declined Nureyev's offer to mount a production of Don Q for the Royal Ballet.She knew what she was doing. The score is undistinguished and not improved by re-orchestration; the choreographic text is dubious at best and this Russian vision of Spain is totally alien to the sensibilities of the dancers.Acosta may be a great dancer but he is not,on the basis of this production, someone with great theatrical flair when it comes to staging a ballets.

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I am not sure if any of you will be in London in the next couple of weeks but if you are intending to be here to see Osipova in Don Q you need to know that she fell during the first act on Saturday and was replaced after considerable delay by Takada who had already danced Kitri at the matinee.This puts Osipova's scheduled performances for the rest of the run in considerable doubt. It is unlikely that the company management will tell us very much about replacement casting until the last minute.

The UK Independent just posted a report on this. She finished the First Act after the fall, but no indication of how serious the injury is.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/don-quixote-royal-opera-house-london-review-akane-takada-dazzles-as-natalia-osipova-suffers-onstage-fall-9939671.html

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As an aside she also took a major fall during the Mikhailovsky's run in NYC. Don't recall if it was in Don Q. At that time, she fell on her rear and just got back up and continued. I don't recall her falling when she was ABT in anything. Hope she is okay.

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The score is undistinguished and not improved by re-orchestration;

The re-orchestrations usually do more harm than good. John Lanchbery made a mess of the score by burying it under a mountain of ornamentation, and Martin Yates' version is that much worse.

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As an aside she also took a major fall during the Mikhailovsky's run in NYC. Don't recall if it was in Don Q. At that time, she fell on her rear and just got back up and continued. I don't recall her falling when she was ABT in anything. Hope she is okay.

On this site people reported her falling in Class Concert during the Mikhailovsky run in NY.

(Dancers who take risks occasionally do take some pretty bad tumbles as well. But it's a shame to read she may have injured herself this time round. Hope she heals quickly.)

Ashtonfan: I saw the Royal dance the Nureyev production that Ross Stretton brought to the company during his year at the company's helm. I agree that it's not the most obvious fit for the Royal -- though individual dancers gave fine performances -- but I wouldn't knock it as a classical and character crowd-pleaser. Especially when done with the right energy and commitment. (That said, I have to admit I wish the Royal were touring Fille to the U.S. instead.)

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I'm coming to London and just booked my tickets for Fille! I'm seeing the Osipova/McCrae and Choe/Zucchetti casts. I joined friend of covent garden because I didn't want to have my seating options limited and was surprised by how much was already sold. Super excited to come to London for the first time!

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I'm coming to London and just booked my tickets for Fille! I'm seeing the Osipova/McCrae and Choe/Zucchetti casts. I joined friend of covent garden because I didn't want to have my seating options limited and was surprised by how much was already sold. Super excited to come to London for the first time!

You will have a great time in London, Kaysta. It is a magical place ... and simply visiting the Royal Opera House is an emotional experience. I do so envy you seeing London for the first time. I was too young - being an infant - at the time I did to really appreciate the experience. You were most wise to wait :)

A Happy New Year indeed!!

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I am not sure if any of you will be in London in the next couple of weeks but if you are intending to be here to see Osipova in Don Q you need to know that she fell during the first act on Saturday and was replaced after considerable delay by Takada who had already danced Kitri at the matinee.This puts Osipova's scheduled performances for the rest of the run in considerable doubt. It is unlikely that the company management will tell us very much about replacement casting until the last minute.

Here's the first of the last-minute changes. On December 29 Nuñez and Soares replace Osipova and Golding.

http://www.roh.org.uk/news/cast-change-marianela-nunez-and-thiago-soares-to-dance-in-don-quixote-on-29-december-2014

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The Royal Ballet just sent out a Tweet that Anna Tsygankova from the Dutch National Ballet will replace Osipova at the January 5 DQ. Many angry comments (not all, though) at the end of this announcement page. Perhaps American audiences should warn them that she seems to be injury/illness prone (at least, somewhat more than others).

http://www.roh.org.uk/news/cast-change-marianela-nunez-and-thiago-soares-to-dance-in-don-quixote-on-29-december-2014

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