It all started back in 1984 when I was watching television with Mum and Dad and Romeo and Juliet came on. I was too lazy to go to my room and so ended up watching it, and was slowly captivated by Alessandra Ferri. And thus my love of ballet was born. Years later I discovered that this is still regarded as one of the greatest performances ever, with Alessandra Ferri portraying a vulnerable Juliet, more eratic than erotic. Short clips don't allow for the emotional impact of a performance in context, but this YouTube clip gives an inkling - the way she falls to the ground at 3'05" gets me every time, and I've not seen anyone else do it so 'naturally' or gracefully.

I have seen a few ballets over the years, mainly The Royal Ballet, but I've also seen various other UK companies, as well as The Bolshoi, and The Australian Ballet at Sydney Opera House. It was probably back in the '90s that I first started going more often, particularly to see Sylvie Guillem. I then stopped going for whatever reason until Hannah and I went to see a live cinema screening of Giselle, with Natalia Osipova and Carlos Acosta, and we were hooked - particularly on Natalia Osipova who moves so beautifully and movingly. She rekindled my love of ballet, interestingly with a style very different from Sylvie Guillem's, and I've now seen her a few times. She was my new Favouretest ballerina until I realised that Alessandra Ferri had come out of retirement and so I finally got to see her live, in Woolf Works and Chéri. She is utterly exquisite.

For all their skill though, the dancers rely completely, for me, on the choreography. I've come to know that I don't like traditional comedies, and even traditional tragedies tend to be too much pomp for me. I like to feel and be moved - as I say elsewhere, quoting Liam Scarlett.

So, having the memory of a goldfish, I've started to jot down some little reminders for what to see and not to see next time around, together with mini seat reviews on another page.

Most of the photos aren't mine - follow the links for copyright information or see watermarks. It would be fun to photograph some ballet as, apart from the Romeo and Juliet shot, they're all very clinical and sterile with little to no sense of movement, which is a bit odd really. Jesús Armand seems to have a much more fluid take on things.



+/- Human - 26 August 2017
After The Rain - 12 February 2016
After The Rain - 17 March 2017
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Cinema 2015
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - 22 October 2017
Le Baiser de la Fée - 18 October 2017
Carbon Life - 14 November 2016
Cheri - 3 October 2015
Chroma - 14 November 2016
Concerto - 18 October 2017
Connectome - 10 October 2015
The Dream - 3 June 2017
The Dreamers Ever Leave You - 13 October 2017
Elite Syncopations - 18 October 2017
Elite Syncopations - 26 October 2017
Les Enfants Terribles - 28 January 2017
Facada - 2015
Flight Pattern - 17 March 2017
Frankenstein - 7 May 2016
Giselle - Cinema 2014
Giselle - Akram Khan - 28 October 2017
Gloria - 26 October 2017
The Human Seasons - 17 March 2017
Insights: In Conversation with Alessandra Ferri - 1 December 2016
Insights: MacMillan and Me - Dancing Romeo and Juliet - 26 October 2017
Insights: Philip Glass at 80 - Les Enfants Terribles - 11 January 2017
The Invitation - Rehearsal 28 May 2016
The Invitation - 4 June 2016
The Judas Tree - 26 October 2017
Mana - 19 July 2017
Manon - 25 October 2014
Marguerite and Armand - 3 June 2017
Meta - 14 November 2016>
Multiverse - 14 November 2016
The Nutcracker - 28 December 2015
The Nutcracker - 27 December 2016
Obsidian Tear - Rehearsal 28 May 2016
Obsidian Tear - 4 June 2016
Picture a Vacuum - 4:18 - 19 July 2017
Qutb - 2 July 2016
Raven Girl - 10 October 2015
Rhapsody - Cinema 2016
Romeo and Juliet - 26 September 2015
Run Mary Run - 2 July 2016
Silent Echo - 2 July 2016
Sartori - 9 December 2017
Strapless - 12 February 2016
Strapless - 31 May 2017
Swan Lake - Cinema 2015
Symphonic Dances - 31 May 2017
Symphonic Variations - 3 June 2017
Tarantella - 31 May 2017
The Sleeping Beauty - 22 March 2014
Tristesse - 2015
Troise Gnossiennes - 19 July 2017
Two Pigeons - Cinema 2016
The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude - 31 May 2017
Vestri - 19 July 2017
Void and Fire - 14 November 2016
Warp - 19 July 2017
Within the Golden Hour - 12 February 2016
Within the Golden Hour - Rehearsal 28 May 2016
Within the Golden Hour - 4 June 2016
Woolf Works - 1st run: 23 and 26 May 2016
Woolf Works - 2nd run: 21 January 2017 matinée (2nd cast, opening performance) and evening (1st cast, opening performance), 4 February 2017 (1st cast), 8 February 2017 (cinema; 1st cast), 13 February 2017 (2nd cast, final performance), 14 February 2017 (1st cast, final performance)
Zeitgeist - 2015





+/- Human - 26 August 2017

- Back to top

Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Mara Galzeazzi
Edward Watson
Calvin Richardson
Chisato Katsura
Joseph Sissens
Rebecca Bassett-Graham
Jordan Bridge
Travis Clausen-Knight
Louis McMiller
Daniela Neugebauer
Jacob O'Connell
James Pett
Fukiko Takase
Po-Lin Tung
Jessica Wright
Roundhouse with Chris B
Fusion of Studio Wayne McGregor and The Royal Ballet. Chris described it as beautiful.
See again.






Ardani 25 Dance Gala (ENO, triple bill)


2015
Zeitgeist - Back to top

Choreography: Alastair Marriott
Natalia Osipova
Edward Watson
With Hannah who loved it, I enjoyed it.
See again.





After The Rain/Strapless (world premier) / Within the Golden Hour


Friday 12 Feb 2016 7.30 - opening night

After The Rain - Back to top

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Marianela Nuñez
Thiago Soares
Claire Calvert
Nehemiah Kish
Itziar Mendizabal
With Hannah, Elizabeth and Susan. I thought the live performance exceeded anything I had seen online. Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares were heartbreaking, and we were all really moved by the whole piece, and deeply so by their pas de deux. It's a 20 minute piece - I wish it were 2 hours.
Defintely see again

Strapless - 12 February 2016 - Back to top

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Natalia Osipova
Edward Watson
Federico Bonelli
Matthew Ball
Elizabeth McGorian
Jonathan Howells
Kristen McNally
I confess I found Strapless a bit discordant and not really the sort of dance that I enjoy the most, but I thought the costumes were great, the interplay of movement in the bigger scenes striking and although I thought Natalia Osipova didn't get the chance to shine with her expression, she danced, as always, beautifully. Hannah and Elizabeth felt similarly whilst Susan enjoyed it more and the consensus was that it would perhaps benefit from another viewing, but it's not really my sort of dance.
Maybe see again if it's with something good

With the Golden Hour - 12 February 2016 - Back to top

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Vadim Muntagirov
Lauren Cuthbertson
Matthew Golding
Sarah Lamb
Steven McRae
Olivia Cowley
Mayara Magri
Yasmine Naghdi
Anna Rose O'Sullivan
Luca Acri
Nicol Edmonds
Tomas Mock
Marcelino Sambé
Such a showcase of talent that went far beyond the norm for showcases which, for me, tend to be stilted exhibitions. This flowed beautifully with no weaknesses at all, simply different degrees of strengths I'd say. Luca Acri and Marcelino Sambé were spectacular, and the partnership of Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae shone.
See again






Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

- Back to top
2015

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Sarah Lamb
Cinema with Hannah
Very entertaining, we both enjoyed it. N
Production was great - sets/costumes etc. However I didn’t find Sarah particularly engaging. I would say it was fantastic visually and a real spectacle but I wasn’t emotionally involved. H
Maybe the genre isn’t one for emotional involvement in the way we like. N
See again.






Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

- Back to top
2 October 2017

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Akane Takada
With Kate
A good introduction to ballet I think. Very enjoyable. Akane Takada brought a quirky delicacy which I like. As with the cinema in 2015 though, it's not one that emotionally involves me.
See again with say Yasmine Naghdi or Francesca Hayward.






Ardani 25 Dance Gala (ENO, triple bill)


2015
Zeitgeist - Back to top

Choreography: Alastair Marriott
Natalia Osipova
Edward Watson
With Hannah who loved it, I enjoyed it.
See again.

Tristesse - Back to top

Choreograhy: Marcello Gomes
Joaquin de Luz
Vogel
Matvienko
Neither of us enjoyed it.
Don’t see again.

Facada - Back to top

Choreography: Arthur Pita
Natalia Osipova
Ivan Vasiliev
With Hannah. We both loved it. Fantastic. Incredibly powerful, occasionally humorous. Real chemistry with Ospiova and Vasiliev, and when she dances on his grave, she is Madness.
Second only to Woolf Works. N
She danced on his grave (need I say more?) H
Definitely see again.






Cheri

- Back to top
3 October 2015

Choreography: Martha Clarke
Alessandra Ferri
Linbury Studio with Nikki. Nobody moves like her. Even motionless, she conveys so much with her poise. The choreography in the first part, in particular, has her sublime.
See again.






Chroma / Multiverse / Carbon Life


14 November 2016

Chroma - Back to top

Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Federico Bonelli
Lauren Cuthbertson
Sarah Lamb
Steven McRae
Calvin Richardson
With Martin, his first ballet. One of Wayne McGregor's pieces that challenges you rather than beguiles you with its beauty, so whilst not the sort of dance to reduce me to tears, I did enjoy it.
See again

Multiverse - Back to top

Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Tierney Heap
Akane Takada
Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Itziar Mendizabal
Leticia Stock
Yasmine Naghdi
Hannah Grennell
Tristan Dyer
Luca Acri
Edward Watson
Marcelino Sambé
Ryoichi Hirano
Benjamin Ella
James Hay
Discordant, aurally challenging, but enjoyable. Not everyone's cup of tea.
Maybe see again, if with something else I want to see

Carbon Life - Back to top

Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Claire Calvert
Anna Rose O'Sullivan
Leticia Stock
Yuhui Choe
Mayara Magri
Matthew Ball
I confess I'm writing this some months later and don't recall much.
Maybe see again, if with something else I want to see






Concerto / Le Baiser de la Fée / Elite Syncopations


18 October 2017

Concerto - Back to top

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Momoko Hirata
Tzu-Chao Chou
Jenna Roberts
Tyrone Singleton
Delia Matthews
With Kate. Well danced but not really my thing at all.
Don't see again

Le Baiser de la Fée - Back to top

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Scottish Ballet
Constance Devernay
Bethany Kingsley-Garner
Andrew Peasgood
Mia Thompson
Sophie Martin
With Kate. Writing this some time after seeing it, don't really recall it I'm afraid so again not really my thing.
Don't see again

Elite Syncopations - Back to top

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Yasmine Naghdi
Ryoichi Hirano
With Kate. A surprise treat - Yasmine Naghdi in her first performance on the Covent Garden stage as a principal. She was fantastic, and the dance lived up to my hopes, it being the reason I went to the triple bill.
See again






Connectome / Raven Girl


10 October 2015

Connectome - Back to top

Choreography: Alastair Marriott
Lauren Cuthbertson in place of injured Natalia Osipova
Stephen McRae
Edward Watson
With Hannah. Hannah really liked it, I enjoyed it but didn’t feel that involved or moved. A visual spectacle with the set (vertical rods with a singer’s face projected onto them was impressive) but I didn’t find it beautiful. That said, I would see it again, and it would be interesting to see how Natalia Osipova might interpret it.
See again

Raven Girl - Back to top

Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Sarah Lamb
Olivia Cowley
Edward Watson
With Hannah. Hannah liked it more than I did but we didn’t feel it flowed. I thought Olivia Cowley as the Raven stole the show. Surprisingly, Sarah Lamb didn’t really move me I’m afraid, in the way that she did recently as Juliet when she danced beautifully. Having seen the online rehearsal, I expected to like it much more and would like to give it another go.
See again






The Dream / Symphonic Variations / Marguerite and Armand

- Back to top
3 June 2017

The Dream - 3 June 2017 - Back to top

Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Francesca Hayward
Macerlino Sambé
Itziar Mendizabal
David Yudes

On my own
Very well danced by everyone. David Yudes in particular stood out as performing beyond his position as Artist. As far as classical ballets go, I quite enjoyed it.
See it again with a good cast and with other good ballets in the bill.

Symphonic Variations - 3 June 2017 - Back to top

Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Yasmine Naghdi
Valentino Zucchetti
Two of my favourite dancers with technical brilliance and joy but alas not really my cup of tea - it's my old thing of craving to be moved. I seem to need angst, agony, despair!
Don't see it again.

Marguerite and Armand - 3 June 2017 - Back to top

Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Alessandra Ferri
Fererico Bonelli
Not my thing at all normally but Alessandra Ferri is worth seeing in anything. Just watching her in the scene above was worth the trip to Covent Garden - simply standing still she exudes such powerful emotions.
Don't see it again - unless it's Alessandra Ferri.






The Dreamers Ever Leave You

- Back to top
13 October 2017

Choreography: Robert Binet
Seen at London Printworks.
Fantastic! A beautiful series of dances, on three separate ground level stages, in a stark industrial setting, with live music played by the composer. There was no seating, so you stood or sat where you wished as dancers moved on stage in front of you, and then walked on and off stage around you. I spent most of the time at the corner of one of the stages, watching Yasmine Naghdi. What a treat! There were ?3 performances, one after the other, with no breaks. Had I known, I'd have gone to the earliest performance and stayed throughout, as some people did.
Definitely see again.






Frankenstein

- Back to top
7 May 2016, matinee

Choreography: Liam Scarlett
Sarah Lamb
Tristan Dyer
Nehemiah Kish
Hannah was ill so couldn't go :( So saw it with Susan and Elizabeth who both really enjoyed it. I prefer the abstract ballets but wanted to see this and I did enjoy it, particularly the third act, but that brings me to why I don't really like narrative ballets so much - the build up necessary for the denouement, whilst essential, doesn't do much for me. But Frankenstein for me scored over the classics in having less pomp and fluff, and I did like the themes of loss and rejection and the angst and despair! Sarah Lamb shone but ultimately it didn't move me as much as I'd hoped I'm afraid.
May see it at the cinema with Hannah but otherwise I shall stick to the abstracts






Giselle

- Back to top
2014

Choreography: Peter Wright
Osipova
Acosta
Cinema, with Hannah, very moving. The ballet that got us back into live performances. The solos and odd were beautiful and very moving, but too much pomp with the rest of the ballet, though better than Romeo and Juliet in that respect. N
Beautiful and sad - I loved The Willis - ghostly women rocking their empty arms. However, lots of scenes with the rest of the cast I didn’t much care for. H
Rehearsals and interviews
Maybe see again with Osipova.






Giselle

- Back to top
28 October 2017

Choreography: Akram Khan
Tamara Rojo
James Streeter
Jeffrey Cirio
On my own, at Liverpool Empire Theatre. It pretty well lived up to the hype I'd say, although unusually for me, I much preferred the scenes of the whole cast to the solos and pas de deux, but I think that was because the corps scenes were so well choreographed and performed, rather than the lead performers being weak in any way. And I finally got to see Tamara Rojo! Jeffrey Cirio too had a stage presence.
Defintely see again.






Gloria / The Judas Tree / Elite Syncopations


26 October 2017

Gloria - Back to top

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Northern Ballet
Riku Ito
Javier Torres
Antoinette Brooks-Daw
With Kate. I'd hoped to like this but despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth it just didn't connect with me at all. Too rigid perhaps? It lacked any of the free-wheeling intensity of the war scenes of Woolf Works, for example.
Don't see again

The Judas Tree - Back to top

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Melissa Hamilton
Bennet Gartside
Matthew Ball
Calvin Richardson
With Kate. Again, I had high hopes for this, especially with the cast. It was brutal stuff but again just too rigid perhaps, too formulaic? Hard to put my finger on it. The rehearsals looked good but, all together, it didn't work for me.
Don't see again unless it's a complete dream cast.

Elite Syncopations - Back to top

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Akane Takade
Nicol Edmonds
With Kate. An enjoyable second viewing, but it didn't grab me as Yasmine's performance did. I love watching Akane Takada but she and Nicol Edmonds didn't seem quite at ease I think.
See again






The Human Seasons / After The Rain / Flight Pattern


17 March 2017

The Human Seasons - Back to top

Choreography: David Dawson
Yasmine Naghdi
Francesca Hayward
Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Akane Takada
Matthew Ball
Valentino Zucchetti
With Kate
Contemporary, not really my thing but I enjoyed it for the dancers in it.
Not fussed about seeing it again

After the Rain - Back to top
17 March 2017

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Zenaida Yanowsky
Reece Clarke
With Kate
One of my favourites! The second part, in particular, is beautiful.
See again

Flight Pattern - Back to top
17 March

Choreography: Crystal Pite
Cast of 36
With Kate
It would easily stand a second viewing. Mesmerising movement - I've never seen anything quite like it.
See again






Insights: In Conversation with Alessandra Ferri

- Back to top
26 October 2017

Alessandra Ferri
Yasmine Naghdi
Matthew Ball
The blurb just talked of 'prominent interpreters' so I took the chance that that mean Alessandra Ferri as she's widely regarded as the greatest of Juliets, and not only was she there, but also Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball (my favourite partnership) - couldn't have been a better line up!
Alessandra Ferri
Lovely to see these three talking, and I managed to chat briefly with Matthew Ball and to finally catch up with Yasmine afterwards which was lovely. I couldn't stop long as I had to hoof it down the road to a triple bill of Gloria, The Judas Tree and Elite Syncopations, so I missed the chance to talk with Alessandra Ferri.
See at any opportunity!






MacMillan and Me - Dancing Romeo and Juliet

- Back to top
26 October 2017

"Returning to reprise her role in Woolf Works, the former Principal of The Royal Ballet discusses her glittering career."
Alessandra Ferri
Just me.
Fascinating. I went because she's my favourite dancer and was surprised, but shouldn't have been, by how moving she is to hear talk, not just to watch dance. And I got to ask her a question - how much of her proprioception is innate and how much is specific work? Cue blank looks from most of the audience. She, however, having jokingly asked for my physio card, got really enthusiastic with her answer, and how she 'finds the floor', and the audience saw what I was on about. :o)
See at any opportunity!






Insights: Philip Glass at 80 - Les Enfants Terribles

- Back to top
11 January 2017

"Join Javier De Frutos, cast and creatives as they reveal their vision for a new production of Les Enfants Terribles in celebration of Philip Glass."
Javier De Frutos
Just me.
I've not seen opera before, so the whole evening was interesting, though I still suspect that opera's not really my thing.
See again






Les Enfants Terribles

- Back to top
28 January 2017

Choreography: Edward Watson
Zenaida Yanowsky
With Kate at The Barbican. A dance opera. I confess it doesn't look like opera is my thing. Good to see once.
Don't see again.






Manon

- Back to top
25 October 2014

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Natalia Osipova
Carlos Acosta
With Hannah who loved it; I enjoyed it. Very moving.
See again.






Meta / Void and Fire


14 November 2016

Meta - Back to top

Choreograhy: Charlotte Edmonds
With Martin.
I loved sitting in the Clore Studio where the dancers perform right next to you. Thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
See again.





Void and Fire - Back to top

Choreograhy: Robert Binet
With Martin.
This must have been taken pretty much from where I sat. I loved sitting in the Clore Studio where the dancers perform right next to you. Thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
See again.






The Nutcracker

- Back to top
28 December 2015

Choreography: Peter Wright
Yuhui Choe
Valentino Zucchetti
Francesca Hayward
With Mum, Gaz and Lisa - December 2015
I generally prefer a bit of angst in my ballets, but The Nutcracker is different and I found it enchanting and spectacular, unlike the other classics and certainly unlike the lighter pieces I've seen; the Arabian Dance is my favourite 'set piece', though the Bolshoi's interpretation is my favourite. I was really looking forward to it as I was taking Mum and, although neither Osipova nor Ferri were in it, Yuhui Choe took the lead, and it was nice to see Valentino Zuccheti, albeit in a minor role, as well as Francesca Hayward who I thought lived up to the murmours I'd heard about her as 'one to watch'. I'd not seen Yuhui Choe in a main role before but love how she comes across in this video from 2009 of A Day In The Life Of A Ballerina.
See again, pick the cast






The Nutcracker

- Back to top
27 December 2016

Choreography: Peter Wright
Yasmine Naghdi
Matthew Ball
Leticia Stock
With Mum and Mrs Rod - December 2016
Overall, my favourite of the classics, but with added brilliance here thanks to Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball, who are dance so expressively, though there's less scope for that here.
See again, pick the cast






Obsidian Tear / The Invitation / Within The Golden Hour - Rehearsal


28 May 2016

Obsidian Tear - Rehearsal 28 May 2016 - Back to top

Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Luca Acri
Matthew Ball
Alexander Campbell
Tristan Dyer
Ryoichi Hirano
Paul Kay
Calvin Richardson
Eric Underwood
Edward Watson
My first time attending a rehearsal, this was a full dress rehearsal in the main auditorium of a new ballet from Wayne McGregor with an all male cast. Generalising, I prefer the grace of the ballerinas to the power of the male dancers but enjoyed this nonetheless due, in no small part, to Calvin Richardson who combined fluidity and power. I'm looking forward to seeing the performance in a week's time.
Not my favourite but happy to see again with something that is

The Invitation - Rehearsal 28 May 2016 - Back to top

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Yasmine Naghdi
David Donnelly
Kristen McNally
Emma Maguire
Roman Pajdak
Ursula Hageli
Olivia Cowley
Thomas Whitehead
Being a narrative, I wasn't really expecting to like this, but was very pleasantly surprised. It starts off true to form for a light-hearted narrative, which isn't my thing at all. Nonetheless, Yasmine Naghdi was wonderfully graceful and kept my interest. The ballet then takes a darker turn, depicting a rape scene and Yasmine Naghdi's subsequent hurt, confusion and despair. It was hard-hitting and I'm looking forward to seeing the performance next week.
Not my favourite but happy to see again with something that is

Within The Golden Hour - Rehearsal 28 May 2016 - Back to top

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Vadim Muntagirov
Lauren Cuthbertson
Matthew Golding
Sarah Lamb
Steven McRae
I was really surprised to see this back so soon as Hannah and I saw it 12 February this year, but we both loved it then and I loved it again today, particularly the second partnership's pas de deux performed this time by Lauren Cuthbertson, who was beautiful, and Matthew Golding. It's one of those ones that brings a tear to my eye through the beautiful combination of movement and music.
One of my favourites, for the beautiful music and pas de deux of the second partnership - see again






Obsidian Tear / The Invitation / Within The Golden Hour


4 June 2016

Obsidian Tear - 4 June 2016 - Back to top

Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Nicol Edmonds
Reece Clarke
James Hay
Sander Blommaert
Fernando Montanõ
Marcelino Sambé
David Donnelly
Benjamin Ella
Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød
Following on from last week's rehearsal, I thought this benefitted from a second viewing and contributed to a complementary triple bill; on its own, it's not my sort of thing really, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Not my favourite but happy to see again with something that is

The Invitation - 4 June 2016 - Back to top

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Yasmine Naghdi
David Donnelly
Olivia Cowley
Thomas Whitehead
Following on from last week's rehearsal, this performance had much the same cast and again I thought Yasmine Naghdi was wonderfully graceful and handled the transiiton from comedy to tragedy very well.
Not my favourite, as a narrative, but happy to see again.

Within The Golden Hour - 4 June 2016 - Back to top

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Arkane Takada
Tristan Dyer
Francesca Hayward
Valentino Zuchhetti
Yuhui Choe
Alexander Campbell
Following on from last week's rehearsal it was great to see this again, one of my favourite ballets. None of the big guns were in it this time, but I enjoyed the partnership of Valentino Zuchhetti and Francesca Hayward dancing my favourite piece from this ballet.
One of my favourites, for the beautiful music and pas de deux of the second partnership - definitely see again






Silent Echo / Qutb / Run Mary Run


2 July 2016

Qutb - Back to top

Choreography: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Natalia Osipova
James O-Hara
Jason Kittelberger
With Hannah and Susan
Dark, good!
See again

Silent Echo - Back to top
2 July 2016

Choreography: Russell Maliphant
Natalia Osipova
Sergei Polunin
With Hannah and Susan
Dark, good!
See again

Run Mary Run - Back to top
2 July 2016, Sadlers Wells

Choreography: Arthur Pita
Natalia Osipova
Sergei Polunin

With Hannah and Susan
A treat to see Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunin dancing together.
See again






Rhapsody / Two Pigeons


2016

Rhapsody - Back to top

Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Natalia Osipova
Steven McRae
Cinema
Billed as "a celebration of the male virtuoso – though Ashton also endows the Principal female role with choreography of breathtaking clarity and speed." No argument there as both Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae performed the piece superbly but, for me, it is a ballet with no emotional involvement but revelling in technical brilliance, so not my cup of tea at all I'm afraid. Ballet, for me, should transcend technically brilliant entertainment - it is art.
Don't see again

Two Pigeons - Back to top

Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Lauren Cuthbertson
Vadim Muntagirov
Cinema
Again, a ballet spectacle but, despite the emotional theme, it didn't move me - too formulaic and predictable maybe? Or perhaps just too 'traditional' - none of the despair of Chéri, for example, but then that was a tragedy whilst this simply has a tragic element leading to a happy conclusion.
Don't see again






Romeo and Juliet

- Back to top
26 September 2015

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Sarah Lamb
Vadim Monagirov
Valentino Zucchetti, Mercutio
With Mum, Gaz and Lisa
Enjoyed the pas de deux and humour of Mercutio but too much scene setting and extravaganza, especially Act I. Sarah Lamb danced beautifully - more pdd needed.
I’d not rush to see it again.






Sartori

- Back to top
9 December 2017

Choreography: Andrey Kaydanovskiy, Kasyan Goleizovsky, Sergei Polunin
Natalia Osipova
Sergei Polunin
With Lucy and Veronika
My first trip to a ballet with someone who knows what's what :p There were lots of dances on the bill but I'm afraid they were all too classical for me. The big disappointment though was the choreography for Polunin and Osipova - two of the greatest dancers alive yet you wouldn't really have known it. Such a shame.
Don't see again.






The Sleeping Beauty

- Back to top
22 March 2014

Choreography: Marius Petipa, Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon

With Vicky.
Didn’t enjoy it at all I'm afraid. Too many set pieces that are repeated, no flow, no beauty of movement, no engagement. I've realised I like a bit of angst in my ballet!
Don’t see again.






Swan Lake

- Back to top
2015

Choreography: Anthony Dowell
Osipova
Matthew Golding
Cinema. Saw it with Hannah. A bit like Romeo and Juliet - nice dancing but too much other stuff, Matthew Golding not eclipsed by Osipova. N
I agree. I can’t remember it too well, which says a lot. H
I’d not rush to see it again.






Troise Gnossiennes

- 19 July 2017 - Back to top

15 dances of various types with dancers from around the world. These were my favourites:

Troise Gnossiennes
Choreography: Hans Van Manen
Melissa Chapski
James Stout
Wonderfully sensual dance, loved it.
See again.

Vestris - 19 July 2017 - Back to top
Choreography: Leonid Jacobson
Valentino Zucchetti
A demanding, comic piece of mime and irony. I can't think of anyone else who could dance it better.

Mana - 19 July 2017 - Back to top
Choreography: Umut Ozdaloglu
Jonathon Baker
Emma Farnell-Watson
Yolanda Magashi
Karina Llanillo
Melina Sofocleous
Millie Thomas
Chris Thomas
Fantastic contemporary dance.
See again.

Picture a Vacuum - 4:18 - 19 July 2017 - Back to top
Choreography: Hege Haagenrud
Georgie Rose
Starkly darkly beautiful
See again

Warp - 19 July 2017 - Back to top
Choreography: Valentino Zucchetti
Alix Cameron-Martin
Sandy Nuttal
I finally got to see one of Valentino Zucchetti's own dances!






The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude / Tarantella / Strapless / Symphonic Dances

- Back to top
31 May 2017

The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude - Back to top

Choreography: William Forsythe
Francesca Hayward
Itziar Mendizabal
Beatriz Stix-Brunell
James Hay
Macerlino Sambé

With Lisa and Gaz
Great cast but the dance did nothing for me I'm afraid.
Don't see it again.

Tarantella - Back to top

Choreography: George Balanchine
Yasmine Naghdi
Valentino Zucchetti
Two of my favourite dancers with technical brilliance and joy but alas not really my cup of tea - it's my old thing of craving to be moved. I seem to need angst, agony, despair!
Don't see it again.

Strapless - 31 May 2017 - Back to top

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Natalia Osipova
Edward Watson
Federico Bonelli
Matthew Ball
Elizabeth McGorian
Jonathan Howells
Kristen McNally
Not that I remember the detail but apparently it's been cut by about 15-20 minutes or so, and I'm not sure it's any the better for that. On seeing it the first time with Hannah, we both thought it would benefit from a second viewing, but I'm afraid this left me a bit cold.
Don't see it again.

Symphonic Dances - Back to top

Choreography: Liam Scarlett
Laura Morera
Giacomo Rovero
Yasmine Naghdi
Matthew Ball
Olivia Cowley
David Donnelly
Calvin Richardson
Luca Acri
Gaz, Lisa and I all thought this was the best of the quadruple bill. Gaz loved it; I think it came closer than the others, but I still didn't feel engaged with it, despite the presence of a number of dancers I like, most notably Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball.
Don't see it again, unless part of an appealing multiple bill






Woolf Works

First run - Back to top
23 May 2015 and 26 May 2015 (last night)

Choreography: Wayne McGregor
Alessandra Ferri
Natalia Osipova
So good I saw it twice: with Nikki, Kags, Lisa and Gaz, and then on my own with a ticket that Fred queued for [+].
My favourite ballet. Stunning, extremely moving, exquisitely danced by Ferri. A wonderful blend of styles with the three acts - Ferri sublime in Act I; Osipova and the whole of the cast very powerful and full on in Act II; all but crying throughout Act III.

Rehearsal
See again over anything else.






Woolf Works

Second run - Back to top
21 January 2017 matinée: opening performance, second cast, Stalls A11
21 January 2017 evening: opening performance, first cast, Stalls C14,15
4 February 2017: first cast, Balcony A45-51
8 February 2017: first cast (cinema)
13 February 2017: last performance, second cast, Stalls A10
14 February 2017: last performance, first cast, Grand Tier C25-28

Choreography: Wayne McGregor

First Cast:
Alessandra Ferri
Federico Bonelli
Natalia Osipova
Steven McRae
Francesca Hayward
Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Sarah Lamb
Akane Takada
Matthew Ball
Calvin Richardson

Second Cast:
Mara Galzeazzi
Yasmine Naghdi
Matthew Ball
Calvin Richardson

So good I saw it five times, plus the live cinema screening: on my own; with Elizabeth; with Hannah, Susan, Veronika, Kate and Bethany, and Carol; with Kate again; with Mum, Gaz and Lisa.
My favourite ballet - even more so with each viewing. I simply haven't the superlatives, but each time I was moved to tears, within minutes of Alessandra Ferri starting to move.
Unfair to pick people out I know, but some really shone: Alessandra Ferri is simply sublime of course. Of the first cast, Natalia Osipova was at her most powerful, breathtaking; Francesca Hayward and Beatriz Stix-Brunel were delightful; Akane Takada so delicate; Sarah Lamb a treat.
Of the second cast, Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball were superb passing, to my mind, their first cast counterparts; no mean feat for either of them. Yasmine Naghdi really excelled in this role, as I thought she would - she is just so expressive, and she's the reason I saw the second cast a) at all and b) twice.
Front row stalls was great but, as I knew, you miss the perspective that the Grand Tier gives you, but you gain intimacy.
The live screening was interesting, certainly enjoyable and moving, but lacked the power of the live performance. Kate liked the way Orlando was filmed; I thought it missed the geometrics and patterns of the live performance.

Rehearsal
See again - and again and again - over anything else. When it's reprised, you cannot see it too many times, it's that good - so long as Ferri's in the lead and the rest of the cast is as above





Ones To See
Alessandra Ferri in anything at all.
Natalia Osipova
Yasmine Naghdi
Sergei Polunin

Well worth seeing:
Tamara Rojo
Francesca Hayward
Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Sarah Lamb
Akane Takada
Matthew Ball, especially partnering Yasmine Naghdi.
Valentino Zucchetti
Calvin Richardson
Olivia Cowley
Marianela Nuñez
Lauren Cuthbertson

Sweet Violets, or anything with Leanne Cope who I've only seen in videos