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About Clare

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    Ballet Alert!

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Ballet mum
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  1. We usually eat at Pasta Brown in Bow Street (I see from their website www.pastabrown.com that they also have a restaurant in Bedford Street). Very tasty Italian food, fast service if you are eating before the show and usually they have a table available (though probably safer to book). We have also eaten at "La Ballerina" which is good but rather more expensive. There are lots of other choices including eating outside in the piazza when the weather is nice (i.e. not at present!). One day we will really splash out and eat at the Opera House... Clare
  2. Clare

    Tudor in Edinburgh

    OK - I suppose I should delurk on this one and admit that I attended the Saturday evening performance of this (Aug 28th) with my husband, my 18 year old ballet student daughter and my parents-in-law. Personally I have to say that I didn't like "The Leaves are Fading", I just found it too slow and sickly sweet. My daughter spent the interval trying to convince me that it is beautiful choreography and that I would have loved it if it had been better executed - in particular she complained about poor footwork and uncontrolled arms. My parents-in-law, who know very little about ballet, found it boring and complained that it was too long. "Lilac Garden" I liked but the rest of the party didn't. Actually it was less easy to comment on the dancing because the floor length dresses meant that it was difficult to see even the dancers' feet most of the time let alone their legs. I think my parents-in-law might have enjoyed it more if they had know what was going on - the lighting in the theatre is very low and they couldn't read the programme notes. Before "Offenbach in the Underworld" we read the notes out to the older members of the party so they had a better idea what was going on. I think we did all enjoy this item, especially my parents-in-law, but probably more as light entertainment than ballet. So, personally, it left me very unconvinced about Tudor but I would probably go to see his ballets again if the Royal Ballet put them on to see if they could make them more convincing.
  3. Clare

    Prix de Lausanne 2004

    Whilst I do broadly agree with the above two posts it is probably also worth pointing out that there were a lot of entrants from Japan (32) and Korea (14). So with 46 out of a total of 119 entrants it is not totally out of proportion that half the finalists and slightly more than half the prize winners were from those two countries. Clare
  4. Clare

    Cojocaru injured

    I was at the performance on Saturday and was incredibly impressed at how well Jamie Tapper and the rest of the cast performed. The height change was very noticeable, I thought, which made it all the more impressive how well they both danced together. Needless to say they got a rapturous response from the audience. I was sitting in the amphitheatre so much too far away to notice any white paint, but we did speculate about how a dancer might feel if she had just consumed a delicious pasta bake and a few glasses of wine before receiving the call. Obviously dedicated dancers need to stick to DIY instead! It certainly made it a memorable evening albeit disappointing not to see Alina Cojocaru dance beyond scene 1. My daughter (who dictates what cast we select to see) was devasted not to see her in the scene 2 pas de deux. Clare
  5. Clare

    It's the Perfection, Stupid.

    I thought this article was brilliant - even as one who could see a few uncomfortable parallels with my own dress sense when I attend ballet at the ROH! And I also agree that he wasn't criticising the audience but praising them for the fact that they were genuinely there to watch the performance rather than display how wealthy and educated they are to be there atall. I read the article with particular interest because my daughter and many other students from her ballet school, including several Japanese girls, were in the audience that night and I did wonder whether they might have been meant by: I'm sure the final comment about taller dancers was intended as a quote of a much loved "ignorant remark" and was aimed at the non-ballet readers! And as for the disappointment that the attendance of Posh and Becks was so important surely this has to be a good thing if it persuades anyone to try ballet for the first time. My daughter has an enormous poster of David Beckham on her wall at her ballet school hostel. And I regret to say that if she had to choose which performance to attend based on the cast members versus the presence of certain celebrities in the audience it would definitely be Posh and Becks every time! The truly encouraging thing was his own enthusiasm for the performance when his initial purpose in attending seemed to have been to review the audience.
  6. Clare

    What Nutcrackers are you seeing?

    I too attended the two "alternative" Nutcrackers in London. I was well warned in advance what to expect from ENB's Scarfe version - not only having read the critics' reviews but also because my daughter, who is at the school, had attended the dress rehearsal in London - so wasn't disappointed by the emphasis on costume and theatricality at the expense of the dancing. I did feel that the party costumes were just a bit too over the top, especially the bishop, but there was enough action to keep me interested throughout the first act, and I'm not normally a great fan of Nutcracker. I too liked to Jack Frosts and snowflakes. We had selected our performance because my daughter wanted to see Yosvani Ramos and he was very impressive. I was a little disappointed in Elena Glurdjidze as the Sugar Plum Fairy but perhaps she is still settling in. The highlight of the afternoon was Cornell Callender in the Russian. My daughter dissolved into a silent fit of giggles which was apparently a reaction to how amazing he was - no man, she tells me, should be that flexible and his turns are just out of this world! I really liked Yat-Sen Chang as Drosselmeyer though I would have liked to see Irek Mukhamedov do it too. I didn't pick up any of the sinister overtones which the critics complained about. The critics had also been unhappy with Clara's satin pyjamas and red wig but my daughter thought they were really cool, so perhaps this is a generation thing. The Matthew Bourne Nutcracker was interesting but not an entirely enjoyable evening. I felt that there were some really witty moments but it seemed very slow at times. There isn't enough variety in the first act for my taste. I did like some of the second act dances - and I thought the idea of having Clara trying to sneak past the bouncer to get into the wedding along with each of the acts was great. I loved the Liquorice Allsorts (Spanish) and the Gobstoppers. My daughter, who is definitely a ballet-or-nothing person, hated it from beginning to end! Clare