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2015 US Tour

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also, the time of the year. Summer in DC is when everyone is gone - fundraising in the Hamptons, etc. Many leave just to avoid the sweltering weather.

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It is the height of the tourist season from April through mid-July, including lots of school groups. You'll often see people who have been visiting museums or other attractions at the opera house in shorts and sneakers or (I assume they didn't have time to make it back to their hotel to freshen up.).

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So anyone went to the DC opening night? Any Reports?

I went to the opening night performance. I've been hesitant to post anything about it, because:

1) I often miss a lot the first time that I watch a program and tend to have a higher opinion after a second viewing;

2) opening night performances often aren't as good as subsequent performances.

That being said, I thought that it was inferior to the ABT's presentation. The Royal Ballet re-worked all the choreography, and I thought that the parts for the supporting dancers (e.g., Mercedes, Espada, the gypsies) could have been better. They certainly weren't as spectacular as in the ABT's version. They used a fairly large number of performers as villagers, etc., and for some reason I found it distracting that there were all these people on the stage who didn't spend a lot of time dancing. I kept waiting for a big ensemble number to break out, and it didn't really happen (this likely is one of my "first viewing" problems - judging a production on how it fit my expectations rather than on its own merits).

I was not able to talk them into selling me a ticket for $35, so I ended up paying $59. Of course, the original price for the seat was $92, so I still got a great bargain.

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I was at both the open rehearsal and opening night. Actually I preferred Steven McRae and Iana Salenko (at rehearsal) over the first shift of Acosta/Nunes. The younger red-haired guys were more vibrant even though they did not look like Catalonians at all. Jumps were higher, speed was faster. And Steve managed to make two beautiful one-handed lifts of Kitri without any trace of difficulty. While Carlos obviously struggled on these elements and basically failed the second lift.

I heard that Acosta is retiring after next season which is IMHO a totally correct decision.

BTW after the rehearsal I saw Steve (with his wife) and Iana having lunch at Washington Harbor restaurant nearby. The McRaes were with their lovely baby girl and Steven was carrying her all the time. What a loving father! Nice to see that true men and fathers do exist among the ballet world elite.

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I was at both the open rehearsal and opening night. Actually I preferred Steven McRae and Iana Salenko (at rehearsal) over the first shift of Acosta/Nunes. The younger red-haired guys were more vibrant even though they did not look like Catalonians at all. Jumps were higher, speed was faster. And Steve managed to make two beautiful one-handed lifts of Kitri without any trace of difficulty. While Carlos obviously struggled on these elements and basically failed the second lift.

I heard that Acosta is retiring after next season which is IMHO a totally correct decision.

BTW after the rehearsal I saw Steve (with his wife) and Iana having lunch at Washington Harbor restaurant nearby. The McRaes were with their lovely baby girl and Steven was carrying her all the time. What a loving father! Nice to see that true men and fathers do exist among the ballet world elite.

true men?

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We saw the opening night performance with Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta. I enjoyed Nunez as she has beautiful solid technique, and on top of it a wonderful musicality. She also danced with exuberance and really performed. She makes her Kitri personable and memorable, and had good playful chemistry with Acosta.

The Amour, Meaghan Grace Hinkis, was crisp, fast, musical and playful. A perfect Amour.

I admire the effort to restage Don Q, and there were some enjoyable new moments, including some guitar playing music. But I did think the stage was busy and crowded at times, especially when you wanted to enjoy the solo dancing.

Regarding the performance as a whole: I found myself wondering if maybe the Royal Ballet style might create a different kind of Don Q. I might have been looking for a sort of zest and abandon that can make the show a certain kind of exciting. This was different. There was tremendous charm, especially from Nunez, Acosta, Hinkis, and some of the character roles, but the production and dancing felt polite and restrained at times. There is a scene where Kitri climbs up on a bar (as in drinking bar) and poses and vamps, but it is balletic and polite, not at all what it could be. But this is just my opinion and maybe others thought it worked.

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Last night, Thursday, we saw the cast with Steven McRae and Iana Salenko. He has wonderful jumps and turns and presence, and seems to be a natural and buoyant dancer. Salenko was lovely, but maybe not what you'd think of when you imagine Kitri. But her dancing was nearly flawless, with a lyrical fineness and detail, and beautiful lines. Her fouettes were pretty and strong and fluent, and she had one especially impressive balance in the pas de deux. I enjoyed her dancing but every so often missed the kind of attack I associate with Kitri.

As much as we enjoyed Nunez on opening night, we enjoyed the production itself more the second time. There seemed to be some genuine enthusiasm and unforced fun onstage last night. I did wonder again if the RB style is maybe not what you imagine to be the ideal fit for Don Q. I missed the flirting with danger sort of zest and attack you get with some of the Russians. Although, McRae was exciting and had many "wow" jumps.

Just also to say: the Amour, Yasmine Naghdi, looked like she might make a good Kitri sometime soon.

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My review of the Don Quixote 6/12 Eve

Don Quixote: Christopher Saunders

Sancho Panza: Philip Mosley

Lorenzo: Gary Avis

Kitri: Marianela Nunez

Basilio: Carlos Acosta

Gamache: Bennet Gartside

Espada: Ryoichi Hirano

Mercedes: Laura Morera

Kitri's Friends: Yuhui Choe, Beatriz Stix-Brunell

Two Matadors: Tristan Dyer, Valentino Zucchetti

Gypsy Couple: Itziar Mendizabal, Thomas Whitehead

Queen of the Dryads: Melissa Hamilton

Amour: Meaghan Grace Hinkis

Dulcinea: Kristen McNally

Fandango Couple: Kristen McNally, Thomas Whitehead

Many of you have commented on the various aspects of this production by Carlos Acosta, some of which I found much more successful than others. However, in terms of the cast, let's cut to the chase: Marianela Nunez. What a marvelous, dare I say luxuriant, Kitri she was. "Luxuriant" isn't the word you immediately think when it comes to Don Q, but her Kitri combined the best of both worlds: the classicism of the Royal Ballet with her innate Latina spitfire. Immediately from the first act, there was nothing vulgar about this Kitri. Both the first act variations were impeccable, the entrance especially so. Marianela's jumps don't fly to the rafters like Osipova's; nonetheless, they're high, suspended, and land like a feather. More impressively, her turns have this slow, undulating quality where she can apply no force and still garner multiple revolutions. Moreover, she has such lift on her standing leg that she can finish the turn and slowly roll through her feet coming off pointe, evoking shades of Cynthia Gregory. The Plisetskaya sissonnes in the second solo were superb, even if Marianela doesn't have a remarkable extension, and her diagonal of turns from fifth absolutely spot on.

If there was a weakness in Marianela's performance, it came during Dryads, where her bubbly, enthusiastic demeanor from the first act essentially remained the same. It was as if there was no differentiation between Kitri and Dulcinea: I prefer more of a mysterious aura here, particularly in this performance as Marianela's Dulcinea clashed with Melissa Hamilton's imperious Queen of the Dryads. Her solo was very fine, although her phrasing in that fondu, rond de jambe to arabesque step she repeats was uneven, executed with a different timing each instance. Technically once again there were no obstacles for her: the hops en pointe sailed across the stage and the manege of pique turns were unexpectedly brisk. I say "unexpectedly" because in the past Marianela has struggled with speed, notably in a performance of Ashton's Cinderella I saw. However, she took the pique manege very fast as well as the pas de cheval diagonal in the Grand pas, and generally she has become more adept at handling different tempi.

In spite of all her great dancing and admirable qualities in the first two acts, Marianela well and truly peaked in the third act with a superb performance in the pas de deux. It was quickly apparent that due to Carlos's lagging stamina, she had to run the show, and did she ever. Her joy and charisma were infectious and reached past the top of the balcony. Her attitude balances were not Tamara Rojo quality but nonetheless very commendable, with each balance growing successively longer than the previous. The variation featured an attitude turn which was supposed to be a 1 1/2 turn but ended up to everyone's surprise as a 2 1/2, drawing gasps from the audience. The pas de cheval diagonal was wonderfully sharp, and her fouettes featured sets of single, single, triple, before continuing with straight singles, all very well controlled and with minimal traveling downstage. However, one never got the sense that all the technical goods were at the expense of the character: the charm, wit, and fire of Kitri: it was all there. Her interactions with the flower girls and Mercedes were so natural and you could tell her enjoyment dancing with Carlos, even hugging him at the conclusion of the pas de deux.

Alas, Carlos Acosta as Basilio has lost much of the technical bravado of years past, most evident in the pas de deux where his stamina failed him, particularly at the start of the coda. Not all was lost, however: it is obvious how much he connects with this ballet and role. Where Acosta has struggled with dramatic portrayals in the past, there is absolutely no stretch in believing Acosta as Basilio and his love for Kitri. Certainly, his masculinity and Cuban training still fit this ballet like a glove. The Cuban school is of course renowned for their proteges' pirouetttes, and Acosta is no exception: he can still pull in for five or six pirouettes at the end of an a la seconde series, and just when you think the turn will end or go off balance, he'll crank out one more and sustain it. It was obvious how much he was pacing himself throughout the ballet: the shape and length of his legs and feet are almost entirely gone, and he was barely articulating the steps during the in-betweens so he could save himself for the variations. Arguably his performance peaked during the first act solo, where he still had some firepower. The grand pas variation was executed dutifully but he appeared very tired, and his cabrioles during the coda were enormously effortful. Not much more to say here, but I do remember watching Carlos in the early 2000's dance Don Q pas, and in his prime that was a spectacular Don Q by any standard.

In terms of the other characters: Laura Morera was very feisty and spirited Mercedes, a brash contrast to Marianela's sunniness. Acosta gives her some difficult choreography in the Act I solo, with double attitude pirouettes to a tour jete, to both sides, and Morera executed the sequence to the left perfectly and had just a slight hesitation to the right. Laura has never been that dancer with the perfect body or prodigious technique, and indeed she has a very strained line in arabesque, but she was game here. Her dress in the first act was gorgeous. Ryoichi Hirano as Espada certainly looked great, he has a tremendously lean, elongated physique, and his hair was slicked back within an inch of its life, but otherwise he was affectless in the first act. His third act solo was a bit better, with more charisma and an impressive array of steps including a sequence of double tours alternating both directions.

In terms of the flower girls, I preferred Beatriz Stix-Brunell to Yuhui Choe, though I felt each ballerina should have channeled more of the other's qualities. Perhaps due to the staging, Beatriz was such an extroverted, overly rebellious flower girl where Choe at times seemed straight out of Sleeping Beauty. Physically they are ideally matched, and their synchronicity in the third act was impressive, but their personas clashed. In both dancers I see a lot of potential though: Choe is so lovely (exactly the problem for this type of role, but wonderful for lyrical roles), and Beatriz oozes sensuality that strongly suggests a future Kitri.

I will comment on other aspects of this production once I see tonight's performance, but one aspect I especially liked was the opening of Dryads, with the green forest-like scrim opening to unveil the corps girls and Dryad Queen standing proudly in B-plus with mist waving around the stage. Melissa Hamilton is leaving next season (I believe just temporarily?) for Dresden Semperoper Ballett, a company to which she is suited. In almost equal measure, she has gorgeous and very awkward moments. I don't know her height but she is tall, or at least seems tall, for Royal Ballet standards, and facially she resembles Sarah Lamb. She has a gorgeous line of the leg with beautiful, bulging insteps, and her posture is very proud and regal which makes her ideal for Dryad Queen. I had high hopes for her performance based on her opening with the corps, but the variation revealed insecurities in her technique. What became notable immediately was the lack of depth in her plie, the awkward stance she takes from pirouettes from fifth, when heavy tension pouring into the left arm and wrist, and the protruding of her ribs and lift of her shoulders during arabesque. Her Italian fouettes were a teensy bit out of control, but well done (this version has her complete six sets instead of eight).

Meaghan Grace Hinkis as Cupid was as charming and effervescent as the role demands: her footwork was light and quick. Quite the opposite of Hamilton, however, her physique is stocky and she lacks stretch through the backs of the legs and down to the ends of her feet. Not to say that her performance wasn't enjoyable to watch, but I don't know if I see the major roles in her future.

Back again tonight for Lamb (replacing Osipova) and Golding, with Claire Calvert as Mercedes and Nehemiah Kish as Espada.

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Sorry for the delay but my review of the Lamb/Golding performance:

Don Quixote 6/13 Eve

Don Quixote: Gary Avis

Sancho Panza: Jonathan Howells

Lorenzo: Alastair Marriot

Kitri: Sarah Lamb (replacing Natalia Osipova)

Basilio: Matthew Golding

Gamache: Ryoichi Hirano

Espada: Nehemiah Kish

Mercedes: Itziar Mendizabal (replacing Claire Calvert)

Kitri's Friends: Yazmine Naghdi, ??? (I'm guessing Akane Takada, as Yuhui Choe was listed with no substitute but did not perform)

Two Matadors: Nicol Edmonds, Fernando Montano

Gypsy Couple: Olivia Cowley, Tomas Mock

Queen of the Dryads: Fumi Kaneko

Amour: Francesca Hayward

Dulcinea: Nathalie Harrison

Fandango Couple: Lara Turk, Eric Underwood

Even when seeing two (or more) performances of the same ballet, it is unusual where one cast is--across the board--preferable in every respect to the other. Indeed, this didn't entirely happen with the Saturday Don Q--certainly it wasn't a bad performance, and there were even a couple dancers I strongly favored over their counterparts on Friday. However, on Saturday, the Royal Ballet--from principals to corps--danced one of those frustrating performances that got the job done: it was good, it was professional; and seemingly it had all the components to become great, but it never got there. Part of the reason for this is that Don Q, and Acosta's version in particular, demands so much interaction amongst all the characters that when there is a ho-hum set of soloists there is no spark for everyone else to respond.
Sarah Lamb as Kitri replaced Natalia Osipova. A virtually sold out house with numerous Russians in attendance certainly had high expectations to see Osipova prior to her injury. Given Osipova's storied work in Don Q I was quite excited to see her, but I didn't mind Sarah Lamb as a replacement. From her entrance, however, it was clear that Sarah was not going to produce a performance in the league of Marianela's on Friday. Lamb does not possess the remarkable, luxuriant pirouette of Nunez, but more disappointing was her lack of amplitude and ballon in her jump, most noticeable in the Plisetskaya sissonnes with her front leg mere centimeters off the ground. She is so slight, wispy even, yet even in her opening saut de chat would struggle to get up in the air. Thus she often landed with a plopping thud, apparent in her quality of landing more so than the noise of her shoes. Lamb's Kitri was rebellious but not sensual, and certainly did not reveal a Spanish dancer who had men falling for her. As a result, Lamb's Kitri had this overgrown child quality somewhat resembling Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee, particularly during Kitri's avoidance of Gamache.
Thankfully, the performance built in the second act. Lamb and Golding had more chemistry in the "Sunset" pas de deux (prior to the gypsies' dance) than they had in the first act; Sarah had a more rapturous quality here than at any other point in the ballet. Where Sarah undoubtedly peaked, however, was Dryads. Sarah always references her training with Mme. Legat in interviews as being integral to her career, and you could see that strong Russian influence in this scene. Sarah was regal, mysterious, with beautiful epaulement and a presence which stood out from everyone else onstage. Her characterization as Dulcinea was entirely detached from her qualities as Kitri, creating this aura of a vision who wasn't real. Her Act II variation showcased tremendous musicality: her phrasing was impeccable on the fondu rond de jambe sequence in the beginning, and her hops en pointe had no difficulty keeping up with the fast tempo. The pique turn manege got slightly behind the music at the beginning, the only detraction of what was otherwise an excellent variation which drew thunderous applause.

Sarah was regal and stately in the wedding pas de deux, appropriate for the occasion except that she and Golding often seemed in two separate worlds, having little connection to one another. The pas de deux was executed conservatively without any attempted balances, and Lamb/Golding were definitely ill-served by Acosta's re-working of the adagio which includes some rather anti-climactic tour jete catches. Sarah had a couple fudged finishes on her turns in the variation, notably the pesky en dedans/en dehors switch and her double stepover to finish........she would actually complete the turn on balance but struggle to come off pointe with control. Her fouettes, executed rapidly, featured singles with a few doubles mixed in with arm variations, traveling a sizable distance downstage but staying centered and on the music.
Some have questioned why the Royal Ballet needed to import Matthew Golding, and his obvious asset of partnering tall ballerinas was not even necessary on Saturday. But in my first viewing of him I was pleasantly surprised, if not extremely impressed. First thing's first, he is a big guy: very tall and strong with a broad, robust physique, making Marcelo Gomes look like a waif. Certainly his physical presence is imposing and difficult to miss onstage, but what is impressive is his control in pirouettes and agility in executing different steps in succession. His Grand pas variation featured a pirouette to an immediate double tour followed by a saut de basque to the knee, very unusual and well done. I sense that given his long lines he can take up space very well, but this wasn't in evidence Saturday given the cramped Kennedy Center stage and the extensive scenery in Acts I and III. Golding is innately charismatic and certainly handsome, but while I found he exceeded Acosta in terms of technique and (by a long shot) stamina, his characterization doesn't achieve that natural quality of Acosta's. Carlos just has to step out onstage and he is Basilio; Golding was charming but his presence becomes diminished from awkward mannerisms and casting his focus downward. As I've said, Lamb and Golding were not an ideal match, actually less suited temperamentally than they were physically. However, visually they were certainly nice together in the Grand pas and I'm curious as to how his performance would have evolved with Osipova.
Itziar Mendizabal as Mercedes: I've seen this dancer in a few featured roles and have never gotten her. I don't know with all the talent out there that she was a necessary hire from the outside (as First Soloist, no less), but I did enjoy her Mercedes more than her past work. She has an innate fire and charisma in this role but without the dramatic detail of Laura Morera. Technically she was very solid in her solo with the attitude turns, and as I said in the previous review I love Mercedes' Act I dress, more so than Kitri's. Nehemiah Kish as Espada actually flattered Ryoichi Hirano's performance the night before, which I found bland in the first act but quite excellent in the third act solo (Hirano also appeared Saturday as Gamache and was excellent). Kish sort of disappeared throughout the entire ballet: there was little feel of a Matador and that strength Acosta wanted from the men in this production. His Act III solo lost steam toward the end with the alternating double tours, finishing well enough but with little impact.
Dryads I consider one of the strongest aspects of the production, both in the beautiful set with the blooming flowers and the precision of the corps de ballet. Dryad Queen was danced by Fumi Kaneko, who was quite a lot warmer than Melissa Hamilton the night before, much more even-keeled technically though not as regal. She has lovely feet and certainly a presence which makes you want to see more from her. Her Italian fouettes became rocky around the 4th and 5th set, but impressively she pulled herself back on her leg for the final set, drawing applause. Francesca Hayward was an exception to tonight's inferior cast: her Cupid was bright and infectious without becoming saccharine.
Akane Takada (at least I believe this was her, not listed in this program) and Yazmine Naghdi were bland as the flower girls, lacking the distinct (even if they were inbalanced) personas of Stix-Brunell and Choe and certainly the same quality of technique. From a technical standpoint, most notable was that Takada came to grief while executing the consecutive pique turns to the left during the duet in Act III.

Frequently we forget about the ballet's title role in this production, and I didn't even mention Christopher Saunders' performance on Friday night which was noble but otherwise not interesting. But Gary Avis has to be given special credit for his work as Don Q: the character became warm, alive, and sympathetic in his hands. When he looked out into the lights of the Kennedy Center, you thought he was searching for Dulcinea. Just a masterful performance of what is often a forgettable role.

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MRR reviewed both performances in great detail and there's not much more I can add.

This particular (Acosta) version of Don Q. is perhaps better served when the principal roles are danced by dancers of Latin origin such as Acosta and Nunez.

On Saturday eve Akane Takada danced with Yasmine Naghdi as "Kitri's Friends". They were animated, expressive and sensual as well as great technicians. I really don't get it when MRR describes them as "bland". Takada is a lovely dancer, a little bit more reserved yes, and Naghdi danced her role with great aplomb and was full of sensuality.

I also loved Naghdi's performance as "Amour" the other day (I'd already spotted her during the rehearsal). She has a beautiful clean technique and her elegant, expressive arms reminded me of Russian ballerinas. Her fast footwork and fleetness brought much to the role of "Amour". She was one of the stand-outs that night.

Overall the RB's Don Q. was enjoyable to watch (one Principal cast more than the other) and I am very much looking forward to seeing them again in NYC!

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MRR. Your reviews of the two performances of the RB's Don Q suggests that none of the dancers has improved since the Christmas run of performances.In fact your reviews could be of those performances. All the "cleverness" in the staging and the reworking of the score does nothing to assist the dancers it simply provides a series of obstacles which they have to surmount.It would be nice to think that it would be quietly dropped after this tour but that seems unlikely.O 'Hare said soon after he was appointed that he wanted a new repertory and this is part of it. It does seem strange that, on occasion, he seems to be so unaware of his company's strengths and weaknesses.Perhaps at some level an AD's choice of repertory not only reflects their taste but,if they were dancers, also the sort of work that they enjoyed dancing or would have liked to dance.

You would be hard pressed to believe that the company which seems somewhat lack lustre in Don Q produced a series of great performances of Fille a short while ago.But the casting for that ballet was undertaken with greater insight into the type of dancer needed in each role than has been the case with the casting of Don Q and that ballet, unlike Don Q, is in the company's collective DNA.The roles of the characters who are, I think, intended to be Murillo style beggar boys seem to be allocated to the company's shorter demi character men who specialise in roles like Alain, Puck,Jester, Blue Skater and the Neapolitan dance.So you have almost certainly seen Paul Kay who is the company's best specialist in these roles because his characterisation is so good and James Hay who dances those roles as well as Pas de Trois,.Florestan and his Sisters and the Baryshnikov role in Rhapsody.

Sarah Lamb is an admirable dancer and great in some roles but one would have thought that Mr O'Hare might have noticed that she is not, and never has been a soubrette. Lise did not suit her either but she only danced it a couple of times during Mason's directorship. She is far too serious and sophisticated to be convincing as either Kitri or Lise. As for the lack of chemistry between Golding and Lamb well so far in the performances that I have seen him give he has been efficient rather than elegant and has never seemed to be particularly involved with the character he has been playing or those that he has been dancing with, which is why his acquisition has seemed so strange. After a year with the company he seems no more a part of it than he was when he first joined. It is a bit of a puzzle as the director must have noticed that he has recently signed several really talented young men.As to his height enabling him to partner dancers like Yanowsky we thought that was the reason for Kish joining the company but he has not danced with her that much and Golding's one performance with her in Manon, was, I am reliably informed something of a white knuckle ride. Many of us are still perplexed and will be interested to hear whether Golding's Oberon has improved at all since last year.

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Just letting people know that the NYC RB performances are now being sold at a discount on Goldstar. However, you can only pick your price range, not your seat.

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Available on TDF too. The run has been selling incredibly poorly. It's a shame since the Royal Ballet hasn't toured to NY for so many years.

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It's being advertised incredibly poorly. The flyers I saw in the lobby of the Koch didn't seem to say anything about repertoire, let alone casting. How is there no little grid indicating what's being performed on which night? The photograph of Marianela Nuñez and Federico Bonelli isn't particularly "iconic" either.

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It's being advertised incredibly poorly. The flyers I saw in the lobby of the Koch didn't seem to say anything about repertoire, let along casting. How is there no little grid indicating what's being performed on which night? The photograph of Marianela Nuñez and Federico Bonelli isn't particularly "iconic" either.

An ABT subscriber I met last week, vaguely thought they were appearing at the Joyce--presumably because the Joyce Foundation is presenting the company in NY--I don't think that confusion can be helping either.

The Royal used to have a serious NY following, but has not appeared there often enough in recent years to sustain that and, unlike the "Bolshoi," I guess they don't have a name that somehow transcends all other considerations.

I worry the poor ticket sales may simply be blamed on unfamiliar and mixed-bill repertory. That may be playing a role, but how can one know if there isn't more effective promotion for the tour? (I assume the problem here, too, is costs...) For any impressarios reading this board: I bought tickets to multiple performances because of the mixed bill programming.

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Here's link to the discounted ticket: http://www.goldstar.com/events/new-york-ny/the-royal-ballet-tickets?mal=1

Look like NY is lukewarm to McGregor and Scarlett, plus ABT Swan Lake from across the Plaza doesn't help. I wonder if it's wise to come while ABT is still in season or bringing Don Q would have been doing better at the box office. Several ballet friends of mine are not interested in the McGregor/Scarlett mix reps and would like to go to the Dream mixed bills but it's in conflict with Swan Lake.

I remember RB sold out at the Met last time they were here in 2004 as part of Lincoln Center Festival, and they were the only ballet game in town.

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I can understand lukewarm to Scarlett and Mcgregor (even if I am, for myself, curious to see more of their work)--especially the particular works the company has chosen to bring neither of which got rave reviews exactly. I have more trouble understanding the lack of appeal of a program with major works by Ashton and Macmillan. But it would just be depressing to believe that it takes Don Quixote to sell any major ballet company especially in New York and especially when New York has had so much Don Quixote in the past year.

The conflict with ABT's Swan Lake does seem like a real issue...how did the a Royal Dane's sell when they performed opposite ABT a few years ago? (Not, I think, opposite Swan Lake?)

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I think the RB has done a terrible job of advertising themselves. As for me, now that Semionova is out there is no ABT SL I'm interested in seeing so I'm going to the RB every night. I guess I'm an outlier, though.

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Not altogether an outlier Amour -- I am coming from out of town just for the Royal and plan to be there for every performance except the opening fundraiser and closing matinee.

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I think the RB has done a terrible job of advertising themselves.

Surely it's the promoter's job (the Joyce) to do the advertising, rather than the RB "advertising themselves".

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Just wanted to tell you that Le Beau Gosse from Le Train Bleu, which is to be danced in New York by Vadim Muntagirov on the 27th Mat and Eve and the 28th Eve, is likely, on the evidence of having seen him dance it in the UK, to be absolutely terrific. The problem is that it is very short indeed.

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Video of an open rehearsal of Song of the Earth from earlier this season--Monica Mason & Grant Coyle (notator) working with Laura Morera, Edward Watson, and Nehemiah Kish (who are all scheduled to dance the ballet in NY): :

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