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Welcome to Ballet Talk, John; it's very nice to have you with us. Glad you've decided to de-lurk. Don't worry about bringing anything to the site; the site is here to bring things to you. I've just returned from London and wonderful performances of Royal Ballet. Perhaps you can give us reviews of performances you've seen in The United Kingdom.


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Thanks for the welcome Giannina.

I live in Blackpool, a seaside resort in the northwest of England. It has two venues that stage ballet: The Grand Theatre and The Opera House.

In November we went to the Grand to see a contemporary company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, putting on a mixed bill of shorts. To be truthful I haven't a clue what goes on in contemporary dance - but I don't let that stop me watching it - so I can't offer a review. However I'll point out that the Grand seats 1100 and on the night we went, the last of two, the audience numbered about 60. The Grand may not survive the economic downturn. If that audience is repeated elsewhere neither will the Phoenix.

We mostly get touring Russian companies here: Moscow City, Siberia etc., usually at Christmastime. Britain's Northern Ballet Theatre sometimes visit, although it's been a while now. Three or four years ago we had one lot of Russians before Christmas at the Grand doing Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker, and another lot of Russians a week or so after Christmas at the Opera House doing - you guessed! - Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker. Not the most imaginative programming perhaps.

This year's offerings over a week in January were Swanny, Nutty and Coppelia. I would have gone to Coppelia but my girlfriend Carole was getting over the flu and had a persistent cough that she wasn't keen to inflict on other paying customers.

The most recent ballet we saw was BalletLORENT's Angelmoth. I loved it. Carole wasn't so keen - not enough posh tutus for her taste.

I've never been to the Royal Ballet, despite having lived in London for six years. Given that it mostly employs foreign dancers I'm none to keen to be subsidising it through taxes.

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