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Everything posted by JMcN

  1. I have had so many highlights this year, starting in January at The Lowry with BRB's revival of Sir Peter Wright's Sleeping Beauty. All the performances I saw were great but the two by Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao were magical and unforgettable. Fans of BRB are so privileged to be able to see Marion Tait continuing to perform and her Carabosse is the one by which I tend to judge all others. How great to see both Vicky Marr and Samara Downs giving such great performances. In February, NBT revived David Nixon's Madame Butterfly. Chiaki Nagao and Darren Goldsmith were heartbreaking together. March saw, for me, a magnificent performance of Manon by RDB in Copenhagen. Caroline Cavallo and Andrew Bowman through their hearts and souls into the performance - again unforgettable. This production also gave me one of the lows - the costumes in the brothel in Act 2! Another highlight in March was BRB's revival of David Bintley's Seasons and Carmina Burana. Vicky Marr was magnificent as Fortuna and she and Tyrone Singleton set the stage on fire "In the Court of Love". For the past couple of years, BRB has split into 2 for mid-scale tours to smaller venues in the North-East and South-West of England. Again this year, the tours provided real ballet-highs (with apologies to Soutj Pacific!). Carol-Anne Millar was magnificent as Pineapple Poll in the North East. In the South West, Robert Parker became Apollo and with Angela Paul or Elisha Willis set the stage alight in That's Life (Nine Sinatra Songs). Nine Sinatra Songs was so enjoyable, with so many of the dancers shining in their allotted song - especially Vicky Marr and Tyrone Singleton. In July, we were privileged to see Agnes LeTestu and Jiri Bubenicek in Las Dames aux Camilles. It was one of the most moving performances I have seen in my life. My friend and I just couldn't speak for an hour after the end of the performance, which had earned a long and loud standing ovation. Setember saw NBT performing the world premiere of David Nixon's Three Musketeers - lots of thrills and spills and some great pdd. Patrick Howell was born to be D'Artagnan! BRB were performing Romeo and Juliet in the Autumn - 2 performances particularly stand out - Robert Parker/Nao Sakuma on the Saturday night in Sunderland and Chi Cao/Ambra Vallo on the Friday night at Sadler's Wells. It was great seeing younger dancers getting a chance in various casts - Joe Caley as Benvolio; Alexander Campbell as Mercutio; Tyrone Singleton as Benvolio and Paris; Jamie Bond and Jenna Roberts as the eponymous star-crossed lovers. On the 8th December, Birmingham was sprinked with magic dust as Carol-Anne Millar, Chi Cao and Nao Sakuma led a sparkling performance of the Nutcracker. My final 2 performances this year were in Leeds on 23rd December - NBT Christmas Carol. I especially enjoyed Chris Hinton-Lewis as Scrooge with Midhaela Paolacci and Patrick Howell as an emotional and evocative Belle and Young Scrooge. 2006 has been a wonderful year - roll on 2007!!
  2. Desire Samaii continues to be one of the leading dancers with NBT. She's an incredibly expressive dancer, with balances to die for. She created the role of Titania in David Nixon's Midsummer Night's Dream, and is a truly magnificent Butterfly. One of the works I enjoyed her in most is Lambarena where she set the stage alight with her joyful dancing.
  3. Hi - I'm Janet from Liverpool. I follow NBT and BRB (but not exclusively), having been converted to a classical ballet fan on 26th May 1984 (London Festival Ballet - Onegin - Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun). I go to most of the NBT and BRB tour venues.
  4. David Nixon has been doing great things at NBT - a mixture of works he'd already made, including the sublime Madame Butterfly (Jon Renna was one of the Japanese Dancers and a Sailor in this) and a very enjoyable Dracula. He's also made Wuthering Heights, a new Swan Lake, Peter Pan (a real family show), a truly fabulous Midsummer Night's Dream and this September Three Musketeers. NBT has traditionally been a company that attracts strong actor/dancers and that concentrates on full evening narrative works. David Nixon has maintained and expanded on this. The standard of the dancing has improved significantly during his tenure. The new season starts towards the end of February with another new ballet "A Sleeping Beauty Tale", which sounds as though it should be very exciting. There's lots more detail about the company on their website www.northernballettheatre.co.uk David Nixon is such a talented man - as well as making the ballets, he usually designs the costumes and has done some of the set design too! Unfortunately I can't be at the opening night of Sleeping Beauty Tale but I will be in Leeds the following weekend and will report back.
  5. One of our favourite NBT dancers is now with Alberta Ballet - Jonathan Renna. Alberta Ballet are fortunate to have him and you are lucky to be able to see him dance!
  6. I sent a couple of cards to a dancer with BRB (I did not include a return address). She took the trouble to contact the BRB Friends Co-ordinator to get my address and sent me a lovely note of thanks. I've also sent cards to some dancers at NBT and they have thanked me in person when they have seen me at a Friends event or even in the street. They are all delightful people.
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