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Royal Ballet 2014-15 season


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I just do not understand "anger" as a reaction to cast changes. I can understand disappointment, but not anger. People get injured. They don't do it on purpose to annoy people. I am talking from the perspective of someone who has travelled as far away as Japan and Korea to see a particular dancer, only to get there and not see them. I also think it's insulting to Anna Tsygankova the people who think it's not worth going to the performance anymore because she will be dancing Kitri. Anna Tsygankova is a very fine Kitri indeed, and her partnership with Matthew Golding in Don Q is dynamite.

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I think some people in those comments (and it's only a few, by no means the majority) are annoyed at the ROH for not announcing the replacement earlier, so they could exchange tickets or cancel travel plans. But it must have been a real challenge to find somebody on short notice, who knows the ballet, and could dance with Golding. Going back to a partner he danced with in 2010 makes sense for the ROH, even if it's a disappointment from some of the Osipova fans.

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it's a no-win situation for the ballet company. If there's any chance Osipova can recover from her injury, they don't want to disappoint the fans who want to see her, so it's a waiting game. Then, as you said, you have to find someone at short notice at a very busy time of year for ballet companies. All ballet tickets come with the proviso "casting subject to change" and most of the companies I know sell tickets with a "no exchange" policy (unless you have a subscription). The ticket buyer, it seems to me, has to understand that they are taking a risk (especially if they decide to travel any distance) and decide whether the trade-off is worth it (ie if I DO get to see him/her, it's worth having travelled all this way, and if I hadn't taken that risk I wouldn't have seen him/her, so I just have to accept the risks involved).

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I saw her and thought she was pretty good. A very nice dancer. But to be honest, I find it such an awful, wrong headed production, that it's hard to judge. I suspect that none of the women dancing Kitri would look as good as they might in a better version.

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Perhaps you would care to expand on what you find wrong with the production. I know that I think that it is worse than either of the other productions that the company has acquired and abandoned but then I am not keen on Don Q as a ballet. The Royal did not need them and it does not need this one. It has plenty of Ashton ballets that it has not danced for years, such as the Two Pigeons, which is great fun and has some beautiful choreography. Pigeons was made on young dancers and would give the exceptionally talented young dancers in the company an opportunity to develop their stage craft and artistry. Spending time, effort and money on reviving them would have made more sense than allocating resources to the mess that is Acosta's Don Q.

The production makes me question O'Hare's artistic judgment . Did he think that because Nureyev and Baryshnikov had successfully mounted productions of Don Q that Acosta would be able to do so? The Cubans produce fine dancers but good training is not comparable to the rich artistic background that both Nureyev and Baryshnikov acquired during their time training and performing in Russia. Did he agree to it out of a sense of gratitude to Acosta who is soon to retire? Whatever the reason it does not, in my opinion, do much to enhance the reputation of either of them or the company. .

Don Q is, for me, a ballet that needs to be danced with whole hearted vulgarity something that comes naturally to a company like the Bolshoi but not to the Royal or to the Mariinsky, for that matter,or it needs to be staged by someone like Ratmansky who has, in his staging for the Dutch National ballet, almost convinced me that the ballet is not that bad after all. But then he seems to have gone to the trouble of.researching descriptions of the original production and the notation which relates to a later production in an attempt to show us a Don Q which is closer to the Petipa original than the hotchpot that most companies perform today.Playing the music in the correct sequence does wonders for a performance as does good costume design.Well the Royal Ballet's production has an awful re-orchestrated score,fussy costumes and scenery, ill judged entrances and a poor choreographic text which means that the dancers have to work desperately hard to make any impact at all which is a pity because there is a lot of promise in the lower ranks of the company with dancers like Francesca Hayward, Yasmine Naghdi and Anne Marie O'Sullivan.

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It's not that bad and actually the Kirov dance Don Q. rather well, or at least they used to. Remember Ruzimatov?

As far as that's concerned, Baryshnikov was a product of the Kirov.

Like Nutcracker, Don Q has been remade and re-remade until it's hard to recognize the original ballet behind all the changes. We've had a look at Ratmansky's version a couple of times with Pacific Northwest Ballet's production, and it does indeed reach back to foundational materials -- some of it is quite loopy, but it makes sense. And it offers a wealth of roles on many levels, which serves a large company with many dancers who need nurturing.

I'm not arguing that this is a better fit for the RB than their Ashton and Macmillan heritage -- indeed, I'd like to see those works return to their backbone status. But it is possible to mount a Don Q that makes kinetic and dramatic sense.

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Mashinka,I should be interested to hear more about your views on Wheeldon's W inter's Tale. As I am sure you are aware it was generally well received here being seen as a considerable advance on his Alice. Of course it could be that the response was, in part, a collective sigh of relief that it was not as bad as McGrepor's Raven Girl.

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Hi everyone.

Last night, my friend and I went to the première of Wayne McGregor's Woolf Works. Now modern ballets are not really my cup of tea, but I will try my best to give a little review because it is really worth talking about.

This is a work divided into three sections and all are inspired by three works by Virginia Woolf - the three sections were I Now, I Then, which is based on Mrs Dalloway, Becomings, which is based on Orlando: A Biography and Tuesday, which is based on The Waves. I've never read any of Virginia Woolf's works, but I did my research and I do have an understanding as to what McGregor was aiming at, well at least with two of the pieces.

I Now, I Then very much centred on the character of Clarissa Dalloway, but also had a focus on the character of Septimus Warren Smith. It looked into Clarissa's look back on her life, including her love interest, Sally Seton - there were even two lesbian kisses - and it also looked into Warren's shell shock and his strained relationship with his Italian wife, Lucrezia. The narrative in this piece was very clear and McGregor did a really good job at showing the drama and the emotion of these characters - the music was beautiful too. This one was probably my favourite of the three sections and all the dancers did marvellous jobs.

Becomings was the one that I didn't exactly understand - I think McGregor was looking into the gender change and the two time periods in Orlando, but I wasn't 100% sure. It did use Elizabethan style costumes and the dancers would go back and forth to more modern costumes. This was very in McGregor's style and it even had the use of laser lights, which was really amazing! I certainly saw the technique being shown, but I wasn't sure what emotions were meant to be shown, if any were meant to be shown at all, but again, all the dancers were fantastic.

Tuesday not only took inspiration from Virginia Woolf's novel, but also her own tragic end because it started with a voice-over of her suicide letter being read. Death certainly played a part here and just like Becomings, we didn't have characters from the book present. The emotions were definitely very clear and again, the dancers did wonderful jobs.

You'll all have to forgive me for my lacking here; I'm not really an expert at reviewing modern works, but I certainly enjoyed myself at this performance lol. McGregor is indeed a very creative choreographer and it makes me wonder if maybe he should do more works based on literature... maybe he should even give the classics a go. So last night, we were given a very fine piece of modern ballet performed by a tremendous cast.

Of course, the big cast member for this work was the 52 year old Alessandra Ferri, who I never thought I'd ever see perform live. For 52, she's still got it; her dancing and acting were both superb. She's still very much in her prime and she received a very well deserved standing ovation at the curtain call. Other dancers worth mentioning are Federico Bonelli, who partnered Ferri very well in the opening duet of Tuesday and danced what I think was the character of Peter Walsh in I Now, I Then. Edward Watson danced the character of Warren Smith and was absolutely splendid in both dancing and artistry; the torture and pain of his shell shock was highly visible and very much felt. We also had very dramatic dancing from Steven McRae, Sarah Lamb, Melissa Hamilton, Eric Underwood and Natalia Osipova in Becomings.

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Very glad to hear something about this evening -- I'm working my way through the reviews as well.

If you're interested in the story, take a look at Sally Potter's film of Orlando, with Tilda Swinton. They do a stunning job of it.

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