Royal Opera House
Tuesday, 12th June 2018
Swan Lake – 06/12/2018
Odette/Odile: Marianela Nunez
Prince Siegfried: Vadim Muntagirov
Von Rothbart: Bennet Gartside
Benno: Alexander Campbell
Siegfried’s sisters: Francesca Hayward, Akane Takada
Big swans: Claire Calvert, Mayara Magri
Cygnets: Elizabeth Harrod, Meaghan Grace Hinkis, Romany Pajdak, Isabella Gasparini
Last live cinema relay from the Royal Opera House and last Royal Ballet bound for me this season (I still refuse the evidence though).
The first cast dazzled brightly and the swan army were at their best for their much deserved worldwide appreciation night.
Leading the tutu galore, Queen Nela as Odette/Odile and Vadream as her Prince Siegfried for this wholly uplifting show.
Nela’s mandatory adoration section: apparently there’s no some sort of application form to be filled to designate someone for Prima Ballerina Assoluta. SO, let’s make a petition – if someone deserves that, that’s undoubtably Nela!
She came, she saw, she conquered: the queen of all queens shone bright gracing the stage and she’s being just THE swan. We all know there’s no limit to Nela’s artistry, beside her flawless technique and grace, her storytelling was so poignant – she was spreading emotion from every finger! Can we please all take a minute and hail her amazingness?
Good to see the fouettés coming back on stage after the Osipova run: Nela performed them looking every inch a villain with her baddie-gaze which charmed the whole world even from cinemas screen.
Her Holyness Nela Goddess of Supreme Balances and His Highness Vadream Prince of Flight gave an incredibly delicate performance in act 2 being the epitome of perfection as Odette and Siegfried, and rocked in act 3 absolutely smashing the black swan duo. The audience gasped and applauded out of sheer amazement and wonder, in disbelief at such incredible oneness!
Then, Liam’s heart-racing talent bursted with sparkle as they took the lead in act IV in their restored, heartbreaking final pas de deux – a true jewel in Royal’s crown. That is the point when Nela and Vadim’s powerful parable of love and sacrifice really is fulfilled and a perfect ending to such a charming and visually dazzling production.
Hands up for the party princesses, who put on their A game for act 3’s ball… poor things, all they ever wanted was a simple fairytale – Kate Middleton has it (yeah so Blair Waldorf) – and then Odile breaks in and turns their dreams to despair. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental… or kind of, I only wanted to marry Prince Harry, I didn’t ask for much. And Melissa and Bea’s look of disdain when Siegfried chose Odile? That’s acting!
Tierney was fierce and powerful in her very own Spanish dance (with a dashing Reece), and Marcelino and Meaghan were on fire in their feisty Neapolitan duo. Shoutout to the underrated heroes of act 3, the tambourine-catching valets: I’m always at stroke risk every time until the tambourines are caught – the anxiety leaves my body only when they are in safe hands.
And what a line-up for waltz and polonaise! Matthew: I don’t have to say anything else. And Fumi totally stole the show: she’s just too lovely.
Mayara and Claire gave their finest performances as the Big Swans, showing off their great lines.
Pulling out three principals for a pas de trois: that’s Royal style! Benno and the sisters’ two pas de trois were exquisite, both in act 1 and 3, and Alex was just perfection with his aerial jumps: he made every step seem so effortless! Akane was gorgeous, but Frankie dazzled (even beside a little fall) – what a lucky prince is Siegfried having a sister like her!
1st) DOWELL WHO?
2nd) Liam and John are a dream team in terms of choreo, sets and costumes!
3rd) Weren’t Nela and Vadim absolutely mind-blowing?
4th) If this production did not make you fall in love with this Company… well, just head to river Thames and jump. Bye.
I’m beyond sad to say goodbye to the ROH ’til next October (already very much looking forward to Mayerling’s Friends of Covent Garden general rehearsal on the 6th and opening night on the 8th), but I’m very happy that I’ll get the chance to admire one more Swan Lake in Spain, obviously starring Nela ad Vadim, who else?