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November 11, 2018


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Thank you for such a thoughtful review. Agree with every word. I couldn’t say it better. Beautifully expressed!

I’m grateful to have finally seen Van Dantzig’s Swan Lake, from an historical point of view. Yeah, it’s full of faults but at least it uses most of the music, which was magnificently played. The Hungarian company is actually a lot better than I had expected. My biggest complaint is with the Siegfried. Melnik was stunning, especially in the use of her arms and those wonderful 32 fouettés (single-single-double all the way!). Audience went into instant standing-o at the end. Sorry to have missed Don Q. The Hungarians can hold their heads high as they return to Budapest.

I agree that the music was beautifully played. I imagine that the Hungarian Orchestra will be quite spectacular when they get their hands on the Liszt in Mayerling next June. By the way, the RB's Mayerling is being screened tomorrow night by Landmark Cinemas. The cinema in Manhattan is sold out!

Irina, thank you very much.


I went to the Don Q (unable to go to the Swan Lake); thank you for listing who danced the Queen of the Dryads, Cupid, etc. I didn't find them listed in my program, unless I was looking in the wrong spot. I loved the evening; I thought the sets and costumes were terrific, the orchestra played magnificently, the dancing was great. It was a fun evening out, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Yesterday I went to the van Manen triple bill; any reason to listen to the Satie is good enough for me, and I was very curious about Black Cake. Unfortunately Black Cake didn't wow me; I thought it looked effortful, not effortless: dancers trying too hard and just not making it work.

I have a prior commitment tomorrow night and can't go to Mayerling; please hint to management that a second showing would be appreciated! Thanks once again for all your wonderful insights and comments on dance.

Thanks, Ellen. I couldn't make the Sunday performance, but I was very curious about it. I do like a number of van Manen dances and was sorry that I couldn't attend yesterday's sampling.

Thank you for your review! Unfortunately I didn't get to see their Don Q (saturday's performance was canceled) but Swan Lake was such a disappointment. The Corps did a great job with what was given to them and Melnik was good, but there was more connection between Siegfrid and his bestie, than between him and either of the Swans. Act III was completely mangled. Even the "hungarian" dance was off. Whoever decided this atrocious staging was worth the effort! Even von Rothbart looked more ridiculous than menacing.
And for God's sake can the company not afford better or newer Pointe shoes? The uniformly black soles and toe boxes kept distracting me, and Melnik's shoes did something strange to her arch line.
I would have loved to see them in a proper SL. With a better Siegfrid.

I spent some time today looking at videos of Gergely Leblanc, our Siegfried last week, and found him to be a much better dancer than he presented in the van Dantzig Swan Lake. I think we in New York got gypped out of seeing a rather fine danseur because of a crappy production. He was originally scheduled to dance the Basil for the other Don Q that was cancelled. He acquits himself quite well in that role according to YouTube.

Speaking of Mayerling, any word on whether Landmark will air the RB's La Bayadere? (I should hope so, as all of their other Royal Ballet screenings have been either sold out or almost so.)


The folks at Landmark say that La Bayadere is on the list of productions that the Royal Opera House has made available to them to screen in the coming year, but we just have to keep checking to see whether and when it will be shown. From the promo shown at last night's screening of Mayerling, it looks like the RB has done an outstanding job with Makarova's staging.

The royal ballet is quite generous when it comes to taping coaching presentations. I’m very impressed with both Akane Takada and Yasmine Naghdi here:


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