Royal Opera House
Thursday, 31st May 2018
Swan Lake – 05/31/2018
Odette/Odile: Akane Takada
Prince Siegfried: William Bracewell
Von Rothbart: Thomas Whitehead
Benno: Marcelino Sambé
Siegfried’s sisters: Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Fumi Kaneko
Big swans: Yuhui Choe, Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Cygnets: Elizabeth Harrod, Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Romany Pajdak, Isabella Gasparini
No Steven again: having just undertaken surgery, his injury kept him from debuting in the new Swan Lake, and I’ve really missed seeing him dancing this Season. I hope he’ll be back in form and will have a good recovery during the summer for Mayerling next Autumn, I couldn’t imagine someone better than him to perform the turmoils of Prince Rudolf. Fingers crossed!
Anyway, hands up for William Bracewell stepping in for him! He was just incredible as Prince Siegfried (BRB’s loss is Royal’s gain), I’m very pleased that he joined the Royal Ballet.
He’s got a great stage presence and his technique is absolutely mesmerising – I can’t wait to see more of him in his next steps with the Company. He’s been amazing, from the very beginning, with that impeccable infinite arabesque of the first act solo.
Akane was definitely better than last Tuesday: I liked her gorgeous Odette and her fouettés in the Black Swan coda were good, but I found her a bit cold.
Indeed, in the final act 4 pas de deux I saw little connection and too much control from her, but William’s performance was brilliant.
Great to see Marcelino performing as Benno: he did not jump, he flew!
Act 1 and 3 pas de trois were just amazing and Anna Rose and Fumi were lovely as the little princesses. I would love to see Fumi as Odette/Odile, she would be wonderful in the lead role and she would deserve that.
It was very good to have Kristen McNally as the queen, even though Eliza McGorian’s majestic regality will always be incomparable.
Mention to Beatriz and Yuhui’s Big Swans as well, and to the always delightful cygnets by Elizabeth McRae, Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Isabella Gasparini and Romany Pajdak.
It’s always a treat to see Reece Clarke’s Spanish Dance – he’s really charismatic – and Gina Storm-Jensen replacing Olivia Cowley leading the four guys – Reece, Ben Ella, Téo Dubreuil and Fernando Montano. She showed a great allure and her renversé pushed to the limits were an highlight of act 3 divertissement at the palace’s royal ball.
Ashton’s Neapolitan Dance, performed by Isabella Gasparini and James Hay, was fabulous even though my heart skipped a beat when one of the valets almost didn’t catch James’ tambourine.
It was really good to see such an impressive young cast, and the corp de ballet was amazing as always.
I did not stay at the stage door, I was too tired after an hectic alarm at 7.30 this morning (too am for me) which literally killed me.
Looking forward to seeing Nela and Vadim again in Swan Lake this evening!