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  • Your Reaction: Carmen, Tchaikovsky Pas de deux, Afternoon of a Faun and Viscera live in cinemas

Your Reaction: Carmen, Tchaikovsky Pas de deux, Afternoon of a Faun and Viscera live in cinemas

What did you think of the relay of The Royal Ballet's mixed programme featuring Carlos Acosta's latest ballet?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

12 November 2015 at 11.51pm | 63 Comments

What did you think of Viscera / Afternoon of a Faun / Tchaikovsky Pas de deux / Carmen live in cinemas?

The next cinema relay of 2015/16 will be The Royal Opera's Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci, relayed live on 10 December 2015. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list

This article has 63 comments

  1. Lyn Saron responded on 13 November 2015 at 12:10am Reply

    The best for me personally was the stunning afternoon of a faun- so poignantly moving

  2. Peter Vintner responded on 13 November 2015 at 12:21am Reply

    Wonderful evening. Far too many favourite moments to list and absolutely no failures. I know Carlos Acosta's Carmen has received mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed the whole performance.
    The one stand-out personal moment for me was to introduce my two Italian companions to live ballet, and the Royal Ballet. They were moved and mightily impressed.
    Lastly I think it would be remiss not to mention Carlos Acosta's "farewell" speech. He is without doubt a class act. And his comment addressed to the younger dancers about not being afraid to make mistakes, and life being one long learning process... That applies to all of us in all walks of life. He will be sorely missed by many.

  3. Patricia Casselden responded on 13 November 2015 at 12:24am Reply

    Well I didn't see it tonight, but when I did (@the ROH) I was bowled over by Faun & Tchaikovsky pdd, enjoyed Viscera but was very underwhelmed by Carmen - sorry Carlos, just wish your last performance, for me, was a more positive experience; it wasn't your dancing, just the ballet.

  4. Margaret P'Prey responded on 13 November 2015 at 12:27am Reply

    Well presented entertaining evening Carlos will have a great future as a choreographer.i could watch the show again and again. Well done.

  5. Niki Musto responded on 13 November 2015 at 12:54am Reply

    We were captivated from start to finish. A wonderful, tearjerking tribute to Carlos Acosta at the finale. It has been a beautiful evening

  6. ha sido maravillso, munca crei ver una danza tan explicita. me ha encantado. Carlos Asosta <<<bravo'''''''''''''''''Y bue una chica que bailo encima de la mesa,,, fue lo maximo del ballet. aire fresco, incondicional, maravilloso u a demas creo que es española. ENHORABUENA A TODO¡¡¡¡¡¡ ME ha encantado,

  7. Linda Norman responded on 13 November 2015 at 7:25am Reply

    What a most amazing evening of sheer brilliance and a great last night for Carlos
    a genius.

  8. Kathy Chellew responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:04am Reply

    It was a privilege to witness Carlos Acosta's final performance on the ROH main stage - and Carmen was dazzling - but strangely it didn't give the main man a chance to fully display his phenomenal dance skills. No leaps and bounds, just emotion.

  9. Julia Kneale responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:11am Reply

    Would you ask Darcy Bussell to stop being quite so gushing? Much preferred the more professional (as a presenter and interviewer) Fiona Bruce. Carmen a sad rehash of ideas done better in Acosta's Carmen but Viscera was an eye opener. Bring on Frankenstein!

  10. Julia Kneale responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:12am Reply

    Bring on Frankenstein

  11. Elaine Bray responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:19am Reply

    An amazing evening of dance with a very emotional farewell to one of the greats. Carlos thank you for all the joy you given over the last 17 years.

  12. Fausto responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:21am Reply

    12 November 2015
    The Royal Ballet
    Thanks for wonderful evening/performance
    Parma/Italy

  13. Lynne responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:27am Reply

    What a splendid, wonderful and very emotional performance of Carmen last night, made even more special as it was the last night for Carlos at the ROH. Wow! Just loved it, I was buzzing for ages. The whole evening was just brilliant.

  14. susan moslin responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:35am Reply

    Great dancing but a disappointing Carmen. Acosta tried to do too much. Too many defects to name, boring in places

    • Michael responded on 13 November 2015 at 1:25pm

      You took the words out of my mouth!
      totally agree with you, however the rest of the program made up for it.

  15. Geoff responded on 13 November 2015 at 10:42am Reply

    Somebody wrote earlier (presumably a typo) "Carmen a sad rehash of ideas done better in Acosta's Carmen". But I agree, this Carmen is indeed a sad rehash of ideas. On Twitter the show got named "Strictly Carmen", which just about sums it up. "For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like."

    The sentiment of the evening disguised the diservice done to Acosta by allowing him to indulge what he is least good at. And I fear that although one can hope this Carmen will be hidden now that it (presumably) has served its purpose, Acosta's Don Quixote will be around for a while yet.

    This is not a new problem (clowns, Hamlet) but certainly not how I, for one, would like to remember a wonderful dancer.

  16. Carole Parsons responded on 13 November 2015 at 10:44am Reply

    A really enjoyable evening with many highlights. We loved Carmen and thought it a very clever production and quite thrilling to watch. Very sad to see the last performance of the much- loved Carlos Accosta but there are many other very talented dancers of the Royal Ballet we can continue to enjoy

  17. heidi responded on 13 November 2015 at 11:07am Reply

    Beautiful pas de deux in Viscera. Afternoon of a faun--great control and discipline of bodies and muscles. I was enjoying Carmen but had to leave the cinema at 10 pm to catch the last bus home so I missed the end!!

  18. Melanie responded on 13 November 2015 at 11:32am Reply

    Wonderful, energetic Pas De Deux in Viscera.
    The gentleness of Afternoon of a faun with superb musicality.
    The delight in Tchaikovsky's Pas De Deux, such precision..
    Finally the stupendousness of Carmen - what a production by Carlos Acosta - truly awesome, such energy and what a purely delightful, breathtaking performance Marianela Nunez gave.
    Thank you Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough for streaming the production.
    Melanie Wilkie

  19. Maggie Dean responded on 13 November 2015 at 12:46pm Reply

    Wonderful evening of dance! So much variety and talent. Sad that it was Carlos' final performance. He is a true star and will be much missed. So glad ROH does these cinema screenings.

  20. sharon responded on 13 November 2015 at 12:52pm Reply

    Last night,12th, was a wonderful display of the talent and diversity of the Royal Ballet both in dancing/dancers and the choreographic talent of Liam Scarlet. As for Carlos Acosta well he is undoubtedly an amazing artist! A fabulous dancer who still has a lot to give. His choreography is original, interesting and refreshing. It has been interesting to read the reviews & comments of 'Carmen ' . To those of you who were not impressed you are of course entitled to your opinion - we can't like everything. However I thought it a fantastic theatrical piece - & that is what Carlos wanted to bring to the stage. Not a a pure balletic/classical piece but 'Theatrical' - and he undoubtedly achieved this. Looking forward to all his future endeavors.

  21. Maeve responded on 13 November 2015 at 12:55pm Reply

    Loved 'Viscera', beautiful purity, and 'Faun'. Greatly looking forward to 'Frankenstein'.

    BUT the inane, vacuous waffle of Darcey Bussell! Not to be repeated, I hope.

  22. Christiane Lange responded on 13 November 2015 at 2:04pm Reply

    Unfortunately I was not able to see the programme including Carlos Acosta's farewell performance at the cinema. So my question is: will there be a DVD?

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 14 November 2015 at 5:09pm

      Dear Christiane

      We will share news of a DVD as soon as we have confirmation of release.

      Best wishes

      Ellen

  23. Stevie responded on 13 November 2015 at 2:19pm Reply

    Viscera was the surprise to me, the speed and precision of the first and third movements which left everyone breathless and the contrasting slow central movement which wouldn't have had such impact placed anywhere else. The other three pieces were merely stunning and of course to feel present at such a momentous occasion as the 'big mans' final performance. Still soaking in the mind blowing experience.

  24. Stevie responded on 13 November 2015 at 2:23pm Reply

    P.S. Marianela is a 'sexy beast' in Carmen and I always thought she was a good girl. But enjoyed it anyway.

  25. wilnelia responded on 13 November 2015 at 2:58pm Reply

    Carmen was ATROCIOUS!!!! I'm really surprised that the Royal allowed such a bad production to see the light of day. On top of that, they allowed it to get streamed across the globe. How embarrassing!

    I really don't care how amazing Carlos Acosta's dance career was, but that does not mean he's a choreographer. And he is not a stage director and not a stage producer either. He has no sense of narrative or plot progression. It's difficult enough to condense a story into a single act! Neither does he have any sense of timing. Some of the scenes felt like an eternity even though it is a condensed version of the story.

    The stage was too dark - you can't have what seemed (from a cinema screen) to look like a black backdrop, with all your dancers in black and dark tones too. Then, what seemed like IKEA lamps with red light bulbs periodically got lowered, with that red ring as backdrop. So, the whole thing was just black and red, and not particularly aesthetically pleasing at that.

    Too many unedited ideas on stage; it seems he had no input from anyone else and was given free reign to do whatever he wanted. That's problematic. The whole thing was littered with gimmicks that are supposed to reference or suggest not only culture from Spain, but also vaguely - at best - Latin American cultures. You don't know where and when the piece is set! You have difficulty "reading" the piece.

    Some of his "symbolism" were not only unoriginal, but badly executed. The whole cage thing?

    Choreographically, it all looks rather awkward and made the corps de ballet - especially the women, who had so many shoe changes (flats and low heels) - look bad! This is not very flattering choreography for anyone. To a trained eye, lots of in-between, transition steps caught the dancers, even the principles, in unflattering positions. So he has no choreographic vision in terms of a coherent, cohesive movement language, but he has no sense of how to join his disparate ideas seamlessly together.

    Acosta is also way too clever for his own good. While his cueing for the plot to progress is off, he's very good at cueing his audience to have a certain response to all the gimmicks: flamenco dancer with on-stage accompaniment (although what did she actually do?); again live guitar for the fortune teller scene (unnecessary); opera singers (theatrical element, supposedly).

    And how ridiculous was the bull that then jumped through the red ring and onto the level of the stage! Haha! I thought that the bull was some sort of meta figure, like a puppet master controlling Carmen's destiny. He kind of did just that too, but then that moment when he just thuds onto the stage? It's just ugly and ineffective.

    I'm really perplexed that someone with the vision of Kevin O'Hare, that has choreographers of the calibre of Christopher Wheeldon create original narrative ballets on the company, could endorse such a production. It looks amateurish and doesn't belong on the stage of a ballet company of this calibre.

    On the other hand, the first three pieces were great! And I applaud the company for bringing a billed evening to the cinema audience. After a while, your cinema audience will have seen The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Manon, Alice, etc. So, it's good to mix up the cinema programme. But I would much rather have Viscare, Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux and Afternoon paired with a more appropriate dance piece from, say, Wheeldon, McGregor or Dawson than this ugly monstrocity called Carmen.

  26. Valerie Knight responded on 13 November 2015 at 3:53pm Reply

    Appreciated Viscera more at the cinema last night with full length close ups accentuating the line and precision of choreography as opposed to seeing it at ROH at a distance! Loved the rest of the programme - Tchaikovsky pdd sparklingly fast but my all time favourite performance of it was Darcey Bussell and Zoltan Solymosi - taller dancers. Very emotional with Carlos Acosta's farewell. He and Tamara Rojo's partnership has been our favourite cast for most ballets for the last 17 years. A great dancer and lovely person.

  27. Therese responded on 13 November 2015 at 3:53pm Reply

    Wow! What a programme of talent and diversity from the Royal Ballet, and a privilege to witness Carlos Acosta's wonderful and emotional final performance on the ROH main stage. The whole evening was brilliant, still buzzing.

  28. Kristina responded on 13 November 2015 at 4:24pm Reply

    Dear ROH team,

    could you please let me know if this broadcast will be published on DVD? I sadly had to miss out last night, because I was sick, and so was unable to enjoy the live broadcast that I was very much looking forward to.

    Thank you,
    Kristina

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 14 November 2015 at 3:07pm

      Dear Kristina

      We have not had the release of a DVD confirmed yet, but as soon as we do we will share the news.

      Best wishes

      Ellen

  29. Fiona Dunn responded on 13 November 2015 at 5:19pm Reply

    I saw the performance last night at the excellent Light Cinema in Wisbech. I loved Faun and Viscera.. A bit disappointed with Carmen, though the whole cast of dancers were amazing. It was so special to see the last performance on the main stage at the ROH of Carlos Acosta. A wonderful send-off for him, and so well deserved. It is always a great pleasure to have Darcey Bussell present the scene, and her interviews with the dancers and participants are interesting and entertaining. A great night!

  30. Maha Gony responded on 13 November 2015 at 5:52pm Reply

    that was a fantastic ballett evening. thank you very much.

  31. Ella responded on 13 November 2015 at 8:21pm Reply

    Viscera was absolutely stunning, as were Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Afternoon of a Faun. They were all captivating, beautifully danced and a pleasure to watch. Carmen had some definite highlights and the group work was a fabulous display of Acosta's choreographic ability but it went on for quite a while and perhaps not show off his full potential as a dancer. However an amazing evening overall and wonderful dancing from Marianela Nuñez, Laura Morera, Steven McRae and Iana Salenko especially.

  32. anne responded on 13 November 2015 at 8:22pm Reply

    Fiona Bruce? Hope she isn't taking over from the lovely Darcey? Afternoon of a faun was captivating.

  33. Jane holmes responded on 13 November 2015 at 8:51pm Reply

    Mind-blowing performance only marred by technical failure at Chichester Cinecentre which ruined the last 15 minutes of Carmen. A real shame so hope Encore will happen shortly.

  34. Isabella Watson responded on 13 November 2015 at 8:56pm Reply

    Wonderful evening . Viscera was clever and engaging . Carmen a magnificent achievement and much appreciated bringing together of voice and dance . Beautiful duets and some wonderful coreography . Munez was stunning . A very moving appreciation of Carlos Acosta and all he has gifted to dance. An inspiring tribute to him and to the power of dance and art to transform lives and bring people together. Thank you Carlos and the Royal Ballet and ROH.

  35. Julie Stoney responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:09pm Reply

    I took my 87 year old ex ballet teacher Mum who has now got dementia and she loved it. She pointed out all the pirouettes and fouetté and clapped like mad even though we were watching at the cinema. I thought it was fantastic. I have made some wonderful l memories with my lovely Mum. I have followed Carlos all through his career and he did not disappoint. What a superb evening. Julie Stoney

  36. Bridie Macmahon responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:22pm Reply

    Wonderful dancing and a very moving farewell to Carlos Acosta. And I think it's very touching that Darcey Bussell clearly still gets as excited by great dancing and great dancers as the rest of us do. She is a delightful presenter of these live relays, and the interviews and background reports are excellent.

  37. Adela responded on 13 November 2015 at 9:52pm Reply

    I greatly appreciated the Afternoon of a
    Faun: it was so intense and magic. Great dancers!

  38. Diana responded on 13 November 2015 at 10:03pm Reply

    I was blown away by Viscera,and would like a DVD of it! The music and Liam' Scarlett's excellent interpretative choreography gave the dancers the opportunity to individually excel within a team. Never a dull moment on stage. Very exhilarating to watch, including the simplicity of costumes which personified the dancers bodies and their flexibility.
    I enjoyed the whole evening's program, a very well planned mix of talent, from beginning to end.
    Seen on screen in the small town of Oliva in Spain, mainly English audience! A wonderful way to be able go to the London ROH. Don't stop, it helps to fill a gap in the classical Arts here.

  39. Carlos Acosta Carmen was the best thing since sliced bread. Orgulloso de conocerte eres un genio.

  40. Daisy responded on 13 November 2015 at 10:56pm Reply

    A wonderful evening - thanks to all involved, both on stage and backstage as well to all the great production team who enabled so many of us around the world able to be as it were a part of Carlos' final main stage appearance. It's been a privilege and a great joy to watch this super-talented artist over the years. We will miss him enormously. Thank you all so much.

  41. Maria responded on 14 November 2015 at 3:07am Reply

    What a great performance! Acosta is a great choreographer! I've especially liked choreography of corps de ballet.

  42. Norma Millard responded on 14 November 2015 at 5:20pm Reply

    Have been to the Opera House many times, but living further away now couldnt make it, so saw the Live relay. What a brilliant programme of such different music/dance and intepretation - superb contrasts. Loved the new "Carmen" danced by my hero Carlos and witnessing his farewell with the company. Nights at the Opera House for ballet will never be the same. Evening spoilt by Fiona Bruce commentating - she knows nothing of dance or opera , but now pops up continuosly as an expert on Art or whatever and speaks so "knowledgably" - such an arogant woman. Lets just have Darcey please, friends with me also felt this, Fiona can stick to reading the news!

  43. Geoff responded on 14 November 2015 at 11:19pm Reply

    Just to say, quite a few comments of the "Carlos Acosta is a great choreographer" variety are now being posted by people with poor English and little supporting argument (unlike the rather longer postings by people who think Carmen is junk and can substantiate what they say). Hm, does ROH check the IP addresses of postings, just in case they are suspicious?

    I am sure no one in the gentle and honest world of ballet would stoop to inflated testimony never mind deception but it is a bit odd to read such unnuanced blanket praise, after just about every professional critic (on both sides of the Atlantic by the way) damned Acosta's work as totally as I have ever seen.

    For my money - and I think at least some of my money went into this vanity project via the Arts Council - the sooner Carmen vanishes the better. That way we can have happier memories of Carlos Acosta.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 15 November 2015 at 2:20pm

      Dear Geoff

      Thank you for your comment.

      As people from different parts of the world have had the chance to watch both Don Quixote and Carmen in cinemas they do have the right to express an opinion, and we would welcome them to do so.

      Best wishes

      Ellen

    • Maria responded on 19 November 2015 at 9:29am

      Dear Geoff,

      I liked the choreography very much. And you are right, I am not a professional critic ;).
      My mother tongue is not English, that's why I perhaps make many mistakes, but not everybody is in luck his/her mother tongue is spoken all over the world ;). My mother tongue differs from English very much.

      Dear Ellen,

      I am very happy I have the opportunity to watch operas and ballets from ROH in a cinema! My nearest opera house is 400 km from my home :)

      Best wishes,
      Maria

  44. Nick B responded on 15 November 2015 at 3:03pm Reply

    Terrific evening. The variety of pieces, the wonderful performances and, yes, I really enjoyed Carmen. A DVD of this special occasion would be appreciated.

  45. Normally I like balley but this time, I felt that it was a loss of time and money. It's the first time I go to see a performance at the cinema, and it seemed more as the making of, than the real thing. So after two hours watching interviews, backstage filming, and from time to time some balley, without any decor, I lieft before the carmen., Found it much too commercial, and this has nothing to do with art.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 15 November 2015 at 8:01pm

      Sorry to hear that you found that there was too much behind the scenes material in the programme. There are two intervals of nearly 30 minutes each in the Carmen mixed programme, and we choose to fill some of this time with films giving some information and context about the performance.

      Best wishes

      Ellen

  46. Dora responded on 15 November 2015 at 6:00pm Reply

    What a wonderful time I lived in such a beautiful atmosphere, created by your dance and music. Thanks to all, and a hug to Carlos Acosta.

  47. Christine Lord responded on 16 November 2015 at 4:00pm Reply

    Please could you email me when a DVD of this production is released. Thanks

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 16 November 2015 at 4:14pm

      Hi Christine,

      Unfortunately we're unable to email individual audience members about DVD/Blu-Ray release. I'd suggest keeping an eye on these pages and our social media pages - we flag new releases via these when they're confirmed.

      Thanks,

      Chris
      ROH Content Producer

  48. Vivien Winterburn responded on 16 November 2015 at 11:29pm Reply

    Just come back from watching an encore production at Strode Theatre, Street. Not normally a fan of modern abstract ballet but blown away by Viscera - absolutely stunning and amazing. I loved Afternoon of a Faun - immaculately interpreted and beautifully danced by both Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov - sheer poetry in motion.- I am a huge fan of Steven McRae so great to see him doing the Tchaikovsky PDD and the finale was magnificent. Enjoyed Carmen - agreed that it was very theatrical but I liked the contrast of including the operatic scenario and Marianela Nunez was incredible. Such an emotional night for Carlos Acosta - wonderful reaction from audience, members of the ROH and him. A fabulous evening

  49. Manon1753 responded on 17 November 2015 at 12:19am Reply

    Managed to locate the one and only cinema in central london (? was it really?!) that offered the Encore. A very interesting Quad Bill. I'd like to see Viscera again (wow, can they rip their guts out these dancers), was delighted to meet up with the Faun (brilliant yet properly introverted performances, making us feel almost like intruders in the secret world of dancers), loved Thaipas to bits (and again, such thrilling performances!) but have my doubts about Carmen as a ballet. I think that if I had had to pay £60 or so, I would have resented it. This in no way diminshes Acosta as a dancer,, or as a person. And his farewell speech was generous, funny and memorable. The Quad Bill Live also offered yet another real opportunity to introduce a novice to the world of ballet and dance.There were fewer than 20 people in the audience - not surprising given how difficult it was to find out Encore would be given (and no publicity on the door either!) ROH, that cinema website could do with a bit of re-jigging and so could contact with your PR department. The dancers (and the whole team behind them, as Acosta pointed out so rightly) deserve it!

    • Sarah Walsh (Cinema Account Coordinator) responded on 17 November 2015 at 3:01pm

      Hello there,

      Often due to programming reasons (Sunday afternoons tend to be very family-focused) many of the central London cinemas don't show the encores. However, if you're willing to travel out a bit more you'll be able to find numerous cinemas. The easiest way to check if an encore is playing is to search for your area on our cinema website and then click which production you're looking for information on (located on the left hand side of the screen). If you do this after the live date has passed then all the cinemas that appear on our map will be screening the encore. I hope this helps.

      Best wishes,

      Sarah

  50. Jakegee responded on 17 November 2015 at 11:27pm Reply

    I thoroughly enjoyed the cinema encore, despite having attended all eight stage performances at the ROH!! It gave a different perspective to the productions, seeing the dramatic skills of the dancers as well as their great technical capabilities in dance.

    Although I am not an enthusiast of abstract ballet, I did find 'Viscera' a stimulating piece with all the various casts. Laura Morera never ceases to attain perfection!

    'Afternoon of a Faun' was beautifully done every time, and, although perhaps unfair to select a favourite cast, I found Lauren Cuthbertson and Eric Underwood most compelling. Eric's superb masculine physique added to the mystique of this piece. However, Vadim Muntagirov and Sarah Lamb's performance, as relayed to cinemas, was also superb.

    The Pas de Deux again was beautifully performed by every cast, and Steven McCrae and Iana Salenko were sublime, although Vadim Muntagirov excelled in his performances, dancing with such lightness and elegance that he seemed to hover over the stage.

    Then came the much debated 'Carmen', choreographed by Carlos Acosta! I enjoyed this very much, although I could find minor improvements, but they would be only my humble opinion! For example, I felt the 'prison cage' segment a bit too prolonged, but perhaps that was required to show how Carmen was 'stringing along' Don Jose, and also needed to fit the score. Since I am not an 'opera buff', I could have done without the fortune teller's aria, but that is no reflection of the singer! My main disappointment was that after the first two performances, Escamillo was no longer dressed in the traditional toreador's costume, which I thought added even more dramatic effect to the spectacular choreography of Escamillo's role.

    These comments aside, I think that Carlos Acosta can be justifiably proud of this new piece to add to his list of choreographic successes ...... 'Tocororo', 'Don Quixote' and 'Guys and Dolls'. I felt it was exciting, dramatic and occasionally fun, and related the love triangle of the story of Carmen very well.

    I very much hope we shall see this Quadruple Bill on DVD soon, and would recommend that the final curtain call be included in the main part of the performance, and the cinema 'extras' added as bonus clips. Kevin O'Hare gave a very fitting and well deserved tribute to Carlos Acosta, and Carlos's reply demonstrated his great humility and his wisdom in giving advice to those who will follow in his footsteps.

    Thank you, Carlos, for all those superlative performances you have given over the last 17 years. Simply unforgettable! You will be sorely missed, but we wish you well as you progress into the next stage of your career, and look forward to seeing you in 'pastures new'. Our best wishes go to you and your wife and beautiful little daughter. Aila's appearance on stage brought tears of joy to many an eye in the audience!

    I cannot complete my comment without referring to some of the arrogant contributions in this column. In the earlier 'Your reaction' section to the stage performance, 'Geoff' commented "With heavy promotion it may fool the ignorant, but Acosta's work on Carmen belongs in some deadly West End musical than on the stage of Covent Garden". How dare he insinuate that the many who enjoyed this new work are of inferior in intellect or education to him. Then, above, he suggests that those who have praised this new 'Carmen' have done so in some collusion with the Royal Ballet. He demonstrates HIS ignorance in his self obsessed ramblings, as do a few others who consider themselves arbitrors of what WE must enjoy it decry. As Ellen ably replied, all contributors to this site are entitled to state their opinions.

  51. Jakegee responded on 17 November 2015 at 11:34pm Reply

    I thoroughly enjoyed the cinema encore, despite having attended all eight stage performances at the ROH!! It gave a different perspective to the productions, seeing the dramatic skills of the dancers as well as their great technical capabilities in dance.

    Although I am not an enthusiast of abstract ballet, I did find 'Viscera' a stimulating piece with all the various casts. Laura Morera never ceases to attain perfection!

    'Afternoon of a Faun' was beautifully done every time, and, although perhaps unfair to select a favourite cast, I found Lauren Cuthbertson and Eric Underwood most compelling. Eric's superb masculine physique added to the mystique of this piece. However, Vadim Muntagirov and Sarah Lamb's performance, as relayed to cinemas, was also superb.

    The Pas de Deux again was beautifully performed by every cast, and Steven McCrae and Iana Salenko were sublime, although Vadim Muntagirov excelled in his performances, dancing with such lightness and elegance that he seemed to hover over the stage.

    Then came the much debated 'Carmen', choreographed by Carlos Acosta! I enjoyed this very much, although I could find minor improvements, but they would be only my humble opinion! For example, I felt the 'prison cage' segment a bit too prolonged, but perhaps that was required to show how Carmen was 'stringing along' Don Jose, and also needed to fit the score. Since I am not an 'opera buff', I could have done without the fortune teller's aria, but that is no reflection of the singer! My main disappointment was that after the first two performances, Escamillo was no longer dressed in the traditional toreador's costume, which I thought added even more dramatic effect to the spectacular choreography of Escamillo's role.

    These comments aside, I think that Carlos Acosta can be justifiably proud of this new piece to add to his list of choreographic successes ...... 'Tocororo', 'Don Quixote' and 'Guys and Dolls'. I felt it was exciting, dramatic and occasionally fun, and related the love triangle of the story of Carmen very well.

    I very much hope we shall see this Quadruple Bill on DVD soon, and would recommend that the final curtain call be included in the main part of the performance, and the cinema 'extras' added as bonus clips. Kevin O'Hare gave a very fitting and well deserved tribute to Carlos Acosta, and Carlos's reply demonstrated his great humility and his wisdom in giving advice to those who will follow in his footsteps.

    Thank you, Carlos, for all those superlative performances you have given over the last 17 years. Simply unforgettable! You will be sorely missed, but we wish you well as you progress into the next stage of your career, and look forward to seeing you in 'pastures new'. Our best wishes go to you and your wife and beautiful little daughter. Aila's appearance on stage brought tears of joy to many an eye in the audience!

    I cannot complete my comment without referring to some of the arrogant contributions in this column. In the earlier 'Your reaction' section to the stage performance, 'Geoff' commented "With heavy promotion it may fool the ignorant, but Acosta's work on Carmen belongs in some deadly West End musical than on the stage of Covent Garden". How dare he insinuate that the many who enjoyed this new work are of inferior intellect or education to him. Then, above, he suggests that those who have praised this new 'Carmen' have done so in some collusion with the Royal Ballet. He demonstrates HIS ignorance in his self obsessed ramblings, as do a few others who consider themselves arbitrors of what WE must enjoy or decry. As Ellen ably replied, all contributors to this site are entitled to state their opinions.

  52. Dennis Douglas responded on 18 November 2015 at 8:38am Reply

    Great sense of balance in overall program and diversity of style in Acosta's production. Wonderful allusions to Spanish tradition. Excellent casting. Dramatic interpretation of lead roles complex and convincing.

  53. Geoff responded on 8 December 2015 at 6:23pm Reply

    Just had an email suggesting I reply to the comments by Jakegee above. Well, by his account this person watched Acosta's Carmen a remarkable eight times so perhaps has earned some kind of response (even if he characterises what I say as "self obsessed ramblings").

    This thread has a majority of positive comments on Carmen, although (leaving me out of the count) more than 10% are negative/very negative about the work. This comment thread is also the one intended for cinema audiences, so by its nature should attract the broadest range of people. Acosta's Carmen clearly gave much pleasure to some, as my previous comments acknowledged more than once.

    One can however compare the reactions posted on this parallel comment thread, which opened first and was intended mainly for those who saw the stage performances in the theatre:-

    http://www.roh.org.uk/news/your-reaction-viscera-afternoon-of-a-faun-tchaikovsky-pas-de-deux-carmen

    Totting up those number (and again not counting myself or Jakegee) there would seem to be a clear majority against Acosta's Carmen on this comment thread (including plenty of detailed reasons why). Perhaps this speaks for itself or perhaps this straw poll doesn't matter.

    Finally, so far internet searches show (happy to be corrected if I've missed something) every single professional dance critic - both in the UK and the USA - who wrote about Acosta's Carmen has given it a bad review, in some cases a very bad review, despite the warm feeling occasioned by this being his farewell to the Royal Ballet. But for those who liked the show, none of this is relevant. The last word from me goes to Manon1753, above, who wrote "if I had had to pay £60 or so, I would have resented it".

  54. Sharon Keogh responded on 28 December 2015 at 12:34am Reply

    In response to Geoff
    You seem to be of the opinion that what 'professional dance critics' believe has to be the only opinion of merit. That if they say it's bad - then of course it must be. I'm sure you are aware that not every ballet is considered a success - initially. The critics hated Swan Lake when it was first performed in 1877. Nutcracker wasn't a success. Critics hated Ondine only liking Fonteyn. Also Manon had a very mixed response - initially - and 40 years later, how things have changed. Do you need more examples......?
    My point being dance critics aren't always right! They are not omnipotent. So maybe you shouldn't be so swayed by their opinions.

  55. Stevie responded on 5 February 2016 at 1:09am Reply

    As a late retrospective I just wish that I could watch this over and over again. Captivating and enriched pieces all round, with performances equal to the productions. I just hope it is put out as an encore sometime. And by the way, what planet is that 'wilnelia' on, with her obtrusive comments.

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