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Everything posted by stereodog

  1. This is just a quick with review of the performance that I saw last night at the London Collesium. I should add that I am quite new to the ballet world so this review may be a bit superficial. Cinderella was played by Nao Sakuma and the Prince by Matthew Lawrence on this occasion. The first thing I have to praise about this performance is the set design. It is by turns grim, realistic, magical and elaborate. The entire first act is set in Cinderella's kitchen and despite being very grim it is very well done. It has an air of solidity and depth to it, plus the fire is put to very good use during the Fairy God Mother's entrance. The ball room during the second act is again well done but the stand out moment is when midnight arrives and a giant clock suddenly dominates the back ground complete with moving gears. much of the very short last act was again set in the kitchen but the last pas de deux was set in a lovely cloudscape that really complemented the romance. The music was beautifully played and Prokofiev's score mostly complemented the gothic bits of the fairy tale very well. My only criticism was that occasionally the fairly militaristic undertone of the music did not sit comfortably with the more romantic scenes. As to the performers themselves I should stress that I have not seen much live ballet so I was not really watching with the technical eye of a seasoned ballet goer. I had been to see Vadim Muntagirov as Siegfried in Swan Lake (ENO) the week before and was entirely bowled over by his grace and lightness. I did not get any similarly strong feeling with the two principles this time around but then again the Prince has a relatively small and one dimensional role in this particular ballet. What did impress me was the comic timing of the ugly sisters and the various men folk that they lavish their affections upon. Much of the second act was taken up with them dancing egregiously with various guests at the ball and it must have taken some talent to make bad dancing look so effective. Indeed what really struck me about this whole ballet was how amusing it was. It was a very plot heavy ballet and I have the feeling that those who really want a technical dancing showcase would not like it. There is a lot of fairly sophisticated story points which are very affecting and well acted. I absolutely loved this production and I would urge anyone who can to go and see it!
  2. Hello Everyone! Can I say first of all how great your site is for a newbie, the 'discovering the art' section was most instructive. I had virtually no experience of the ballet until a few weeks ago. I had seen Swan Lake in the Maryinski theatre as part of a school trip in 2004 but remember very little about it. A few weeks ago the BBC showed a back stage documentary about the Englsih National Ballet and I was captivated. I loved the grace of the dancers whilst rehearsing and was inspired by their commitment. I immediately booked a ticket to see Swan Lake (the production featured in the documentary)and bought a few general books to read on the subject. I went to see the production last night and it was superb. Vadim Muntagirov as Siegfried was just out of this world! Anyway sorry for this rather long post but I just wanted to introduce myself and I look forward to many happy hours of reading (and a bit of posting too)!
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