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Royal Ballet 2015 Review: What were your highlights of the year?

Share your on-stage highlights from the past twelve months for the chance to win a pair of tickets to see The Royal Ballet.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

24 December 2015 at 12.16pm | 59 Comments

Entries for this competition have now closed.
With 2015 drawing to a close, we want to know what your Royal Ballet highlights of the year were.

Was it the world premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf? Perhaps you were most moved by Kenneth MacMillan’s modern classic Romeo and Juliet or Carlos Acosta’s fiery Carmen?

Whichever production you enjoyed the most, share it for the chance to win a pair of tickets to Peter Wright’s Giselle in 2016.

Here’s a selection of your favourites so far via Twitter:

We’re also after your favourite Royal Opera productions of the year

What were your Royal Ballet highlights of 2015?
Let us know via the comments below.

Competition terms and conditions: The 2015 Royal Ballet review competition prize is two tickets to Giselle on 27 February 2016 (evening performance). Closing date for entry is 31 December 2015. The winner will be notified by 6 January 2015. All aspects of the prize are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for another date. Travel or accommodation costs are not included in the prize. This prize draw can only be entered by tweeting with #ROHreview2015 or by commenting on this blog post.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

24 December 2015 at 12.16pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged 2015, competition, Production, review, Review 2015, Social Media, The Royal Ballet, win tickets, Year in Review

This article has 59 comments

  1. Lynne Billings responded on 24 December 2015 at 1:19pm Reply

    The final Siegfried of Carlos Acosta. His stage presence is unsurpassed and his attention to detail superb. Marianela Nunez was outstanding too with her exceptional control, holding balances for an eternity and dazzling with her turns. The atmosphere was electric and built throughout the evening, culminating in a shower of flowers. A real privilege to have been there.

  2. Elspeth responded on 24 December 2015 at 2:07pm Reply

    My Royal Ballet highlight was seeing Romeo and Juliet again at the cinema and being utterly transfixed! No matter how many times I see it, it never fails to overwhelm me and I fall in love with it all over again!
    It was the first time my best friend had seen it at the cinema, and to see her face look just as mine did the first time I saw it was wonderful!
    It was so beautiful to see it with Steven too, one of my favourite ballet dancers, as I've only ever seen it with my two absolute favourites, Federico and Lauren. I love that with every new cast comes a new way of telling the story, it just never ever gets old.
    My other highlight was having Lauren Cuthbertson retweet one of my tweets!! It was one of the best things ever to happen in my 17 years :')
    Thankyou The Royal Ballet xxx

  3. marilyn weston responded on 24 December 2015 at 3:47pm Reply

    seeing carlos acosta in the last performance of carmen,all the flowers coming down and him speaking...he will be missed
    nunez and ospisova dancing,both are superb ballerinas

  4. Nicola responded on 24 December 2015 at 9:31pm Reply

    Vadim Muntagirov in pretty much anything! But especially with Laura Morera in La Fille Mal Gardee. I can't ever remember enjoying a performance more. Superb dancing from both, but above all such a warm and charming performance. Wonderful.

  5. Nina Battleday responded on 26 December 2015 at 8:54am Reply

    In no order-Woolf works. Alex Campbell in Fille mal gardee, Francesca Hayward as Juliet, Onegin became I love it and Connectome for some stunning dancing.

  6. alex responded on 26 December 2015 at 2:30pm Reply

    Without any doubt the highlight of Royal Ballet 2015 was Yasmine Naghdi as Juliet and Matthew Ball as Romeo. Followed by the same couple dancing in Onegin as Olga and Lensky, & seeing Osipova in same ballet was a bonus. Yasmine Naghdi's Rose Fairy in the Nutcracker cinema live relay was also magnificent. I liked Franseca Hayward as Clara, and Woolf Works and Monotones too (very special).

  7. Alice Sutherland-Hawes responded on 26 December 2015 at 6:12pm Reply

    The Wave from Woolf Works - the best piece I saw this year.

  8. John responded on 26 December 2015 at 6:16pm Reply

    For me it has to be Woolf Works. A stunning production, I had to go back and see it again. There was such poignancy in the first and third acts. The second was a real feat of imagination and very interesting interpretation of Orlando. I can't wait for it to return one day soon

  9. Sophia responded on 26 December 2015 at 6:47pm Reply

    I really enjoyed Viscera this past year.
    I usually prefer narrative over abstract works and, to be honest, it was Carmen that I was there for! Viscera, though, was the most pleasant surprise and left me speechless! Now I can't wait for Frankenstein in 2016!

  10. Sarah Langfield responded on 26 December 2015 at 7:55pm Reply

    Mayara Magri as the Gypsy girl in The Two Pigeons, stunning, will live in my memory forever.
    Mayara again in Monotones and James Hay.
    Woolf Works especially first and second act.

  11. Alex Scott- Phillips responded on 26 December 2015 at 9:11pm Reply

    Taking my 6 ½ year old son to the nutcracker and him totally immersing himself in it. Made our Christmas

  12. So many spectacualrly evenings- but Woolf Works was so special and rather unexpected
    I can't wait for it to be danced again.

  13. Sarah Miller responded on 26 December 2015 at 10:27pm Reply

    The final performance of Carlos Acosta in Carmen, was for me so wonderful. I watched this performance at our local cinema as part of the ROH live programmes. We are so fortunate to have been part of the live screening - truly magical. And whoever thought of the live screenings is a genius as it makes the ROH accessible to so many more theatre goers. Fantastic!

  14. Nick Ryan responded on 26 December 2015 at 11:32pm Reply

    Woolf Works, for me, was the most powerful and moving ballet, indeed work of art, I have ever seen, with the highlight of seeing Alessandra Ferri dance for the first time. Back in 1984 I saw her dance Juliet on television - quite by chance really as I had no interest then in ballet, but I was captivated by the beauty of her movements and it was her performance that started my love of dance. Not long after that, of course, she went to America and I never thought I would see her dance live. I completely agree with John (26 Dec) and also had to go back to see Woolf Works again, but having seen the penultimate show, the only performance left was the very last night which was of course sold out. I managed to persuade a friend's son to get the train to London and he was first in line that morning to buy one of the few seats that are held back. I would love to see it again. And then there was Cheri, and Natalia Osipova and ...!

  15. Angela Hurlstone responded on 27 December 2015 at 12:15am Reply

    2015 has been a very special Royal Ballet year. So many wonderful memories. Woolfworks looms large in my mind. Absolutely stunning production with a very special cast. Gary Avis was sublime and the Osipova/Watson pas de deux was breath taking. But for me 2015 will belong to Carlos. I feel so privileged to have seen his finale performances of Swan Lake, La Fille and the wonderful Carmen. To see my dream team of Carlos and Marianella Nunez as a sexy sassy Carmen is an evening and I will never forget, and the farwell presentation from Kevin was the icing on the cake. The Elizabeth Insights evening was also a wonderful experience and I am now looking forward to seeing the performance - a great way to start 2016. Thank you also for a fun day in September with the Deloitte Ignite Festival - loved the projection on the outside of ROH.

  16. Nick Byrne responded on 27 December 2015 at 8:51am Reply

    Woolf Works. It was stunning. It got me from the first bars of music and didn't let go till the end. Ferri was superb but it was an ensemble piece. It made me proud of the company and choreographer, and brought out such feelings of sadness and joy. And I've never heard so many people actively discuss a work at the interval. Amazing!

  17. Janet McNulty responded on 27 December 2015 at 8:53am Reply

    My highlight of the Royal Ballet year was the debut of Yuhui Choe and Alexander Campbell in Two Pigeons. They were absolutely beautiful together and I sobbed throughout the reconciliation duet.

  18. Timmie responded on 27 December 2015 at 9:04am Reply

    The ongoing Royal Ballet highlight of the year is undoubtedly all the beautiful Ashton ballets. I hadn’t realised I was an Ashton fan! The single best performance, there is no real choice is there? Romeo and Juliet, with the sublime Yasmine Naghdi and the marvellous Matthew Ball.

  19. DaveM responded on 27 December 2015 at 10:26am Reply

    Yasmine Naghdi (and Matthew Ball) in Romeo & Juliet was THE highlight for me. The same pairing in Onegin gave a foretaste of what was to come. Think the RB missed a trick by not casting them as the leads in the forthcoming Giselle run.
    Other highs include Montones, La Fille mal gardee (especially with Laura Morera), Woolf Works pt1 and 3 (Allessandra Ferri), Song of the Earth, Viscera.

    • alex responded on 28 December 2015 at 7:39pm

      ...and ROH also missed casting Naghdi/Ball together in Two Pigeons. What a missed opportunity for these two young RB stars, and sadly us the audience.

  20. Zoe Goodwin responded on 27 December 2015 at 10:33am Reply

    I am 40 next year and thought I was going to hit the milestone before seeing the ballet live. Then I was fortunate enough to be surprised on a visit to London with tickets to the nutcracker. It was such an amazing experience. So moving and beautiful. Would love to do it all over again!

  21. Ellen Wilson responded on 27 December 2015 at 11:45am Reply

    I attended the four programme performance and loved them all, but the best moment for me was right at the beginning before the curtain had fully finished rising. It was the first time I had ever been to the Royal Opera House and I was absolutely awestruck by its beauty! With the music playing, the curtain rising and surrounded by such a building I couldn't help but cry a little -and the dancers weren't even on stage yet!

  22. Definitely Natalia Osipova debut in Onegin 30th January 2015 has been the greatest and revealing performance of this year but also Osipova dazzling performance of Swan Lake, the one of the 15th March 2015. That night the audience was in rave. I can still remember the roar that I heard after her Black Swan Pdd. Another highlight was for sure the return of the Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alessandra Ferri. Francesca Hayward as Juliet and Matthew Ball as Lensky.

  23. Stephen Judkins responded on 28 December 2015 at 12:35am Reply

    The extraordinary ambition and scope of Woolf Works - with so many moments of imagination, grace and mystery. Other 2015 highlights: seeing Raven Girl again, and getting my heart quietly broken by Marianela Nunez in Romeo and Juliet.

  24. My highlight was definitely seeing La Fille Mal Gardee for the first time. I loved the superb dancing, storytelling and humour interwoven with elements of classic Britishness. My boyfriend and I were humming the clog dance music for days afterwards!

  25. Nick B responded on 28 December 2015 at 11:59am Reply

    In-house highlight - Onegin with Matthew Golding and Natalia Osipova.
    Cinema highlight - Carlos Acasta's final night at ROH - enjoyed all the evening's performances.
    Lowlight - missing out on Woolf Works.
    Another vintage year for the Royal Ballet - a happy, prosperous and injury-free new year to you all.

  26. Stuart Dixon responded on 28 December 2015 at 12:47pm Reply

    Best - Woolf Works and Francesca's debut in Romeo and Juliet, Worst - Carlos' Carmen - awful.

  27. Helen responded on 28 December 2015 at 5:28pm Reply

    Vadim Muntagirov and Laura Morera in Fille - an Ashton masterclass.
    Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Romeo and Juliet - I have seen this more times than I can remember, but this couple managed to make it fresh again.

  28. Kate responded on 28 December 2015 at 5:34pm Reply

    So many highlights! For me, Yasmine and Matthew Ball as Olga and Lensky - absolutely beautiful. And their partnership as Romeo and Juliet too - wonderful. And the outstanding Matthew Golding/Osipova Swan Lake - all the dancers in that production on top form. If I had to choose just one, it would have to be this latter performance because everybody came together - corps, soloists, principals, to give us the best Swan Lake I've seen. Thank you for a wonderful year.

  29. Sophie responded on 28 December 2015 at 7:08pm Reply

    For me it was Sarah Lamb's Juliet, there was no stoppin' the tears - please ROH, see to it that I can purchase it as soon as possible!

  30. Emily H responded on 28 December 2015 at 9:07pm Reply

    Yasmine and Matthew in Romeo and Juliet was THE performance of the year for me and I felt privileged to get the chance to see their debuts. Other highlights included The Two Pigeons which was utterly charming and seeing Marianela in Swan Lake.

  31. Philippa O'Dwyer responded on 29 December 2015 at 8:44am Reply

    Visiting the Royal Opera House for the first time on 23rd December to see The Nutcracker. I will treasure the memory forever. There was not one moment from beginning to end that I didn't enjoy. Thank you for a wonderful experience. x

  32. Carlos Acosta's Don Quioxte - it was magnificent even from the very back of the Opera House.

  33. Sophie responded on 29 December 2015 at 12:51pm Reply

    Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov in Romeo and Juliet, Lauren Cuthbertson, Laura Morera and Vadim Muntagirov in The Two Pigeons and Francesca Hayward in the cinema broadcast of the Nutcracker. All really inspiring! I can't wait for the broadcast of Rhapsody/Two Pigeons

  34. Maralyn Smith responded on 29 December 2015 at 1:00pm Reply

    It was definitely Don Quixote in January 2015. Such a great performance by all the dancers and the music and sets were amazing. I'm looking forward to my many visits again next year.

  35. Andrew Walters responded on 29 December 2015 at 4:19pm Reply

    Nothing prepared me for astonishing power of Onegin, with Osipova and Golding, and they were equally electric in Swan Lake! The cinemas broadcast night was overwhelming. Seeing La Fille Mal Guardee with Marianella Nunez and Carlos Acosta was another major highlight, but perhaps best of all was witnessing Francesca Hayward's debut as Juliet, which was a highly emotional experience. Her Clara in Nutcracker, opposite the wonderful Alexander Cambell was equally moving! What a great year of ballet! Thank you so much!!

  36. Debo Hawkins responded on 29 December 2015 at 6:34pm Reply

    Enjoying, along with my daughter aged 28, The Nutcracker as much as the very first times we saw it @Roh. Magic is timeless and touches all who allow it. Thank you.

  37. ethel responded on 29 December 2015 at 6:34pm Reply

    Monotones was the highlight of my year with my mum, it's a ballet which needs to be staged more often because it's hypnotic.

  38. Peter Greenwood responded on 29 December 2015 at 9:35pm Reply

    2015 was 1st trip to ROH & Royal Ballet #carmen #pasdedeux #afternoonofafaun @MNunezOfficial @CAcostaOfficial Simply amazing

  39. Steffanie responded on 29 December 2015 at 10:02pm Reply

    My highlight of the year has to be the live cinema screening of the Nutcracker. It was absolutely magical! Gary Avis as Drosselmeyer was amazing. I would love to see a Royal Ballet performance in the Opera House itself.

  40. trevor l responded on 30 December 2015 at 9:44am Reply

    Some hugely memorable pas de deux - La Fille..., R and J, Black Swan and Onegin (Natalia O and Matthew G's dream sequence alone worth the ticket price). But the most thrilling moment has to be the climax of the rustic dance in Onegin when the boys and girls run at full pelt across the stage TWICE!! (My 2016 highlight? The release of an Onegin DVD).

  41. David responded on 30 December 2015 at 10:18am Reply

    Hard to choose, but it has to be Viscera, both as choreography and wonderful performances by the RB which have succeeded in being both technically precise and emotionally intense - thanks to Miami for letting us have this ballet as well! I always love Scarlett's choice of music - here the Liebermann piano concerto allows him to challenge his dancers with relentless, virtuosic, power-driven choreography in the outer movements, as well as to explore beautifully heart-felt lyricism in that sublime poetic middle movement. Altogether a thrilling, exciting and poignant ballet. We are fortunate to have such gifted choreographers associated with the company, particularly when they fuse their visionary, contemporary ideas with traditional values. Am greatly looking forward to Frankenstein!

  42. David Y. responded on 30 December 2015 at 1:57pm Reply

    I've enjoyed so many performances from the back of the amphitheatre taking friends who have not been to ROH before. One new double bill that surpassed all expectations was Monotones/The Two Pigeons on 24 November. Could these be amongst the dullest titles for ballets ever, but so full of joy and virtuousity; the latter's set pieces like Strictly show dances one after another. But I have to say the best and final treat was watching my ageing father watch Carmen on Christmas Day - the only ballet he has ever seen. It would be lovely to win the tickets and bring him to Covent Garden as it's never too late to fall in love with the Royal Ballet!

  43. Jakegee responded on 30 December 2015 at 3:03pm Reply

    I have had the pleasure of being at so many wonderful performances throughout 2015 that a single choice is difficult. Seeing Carlos Acosta again in his own "Don Quixote" in January was amazing. Then his final " Swan Lake" in February with the shower of flowers onto the stage. His final full length classical performance in "La Fille Mal Gardee" in April with Marianela Nunez, where he danced with the same skill, energy and enthusiasm as his 2005 DVD performance, was made even more special by the flowers onto the stage and the appearance of his little daughter on stage at the curtain call! I also loved the performance of Vadim Muntagirov and Laura Morera in "La Fille" - that was also extraordinary!

    However, the performance which will remain uppermost in my memories was his final main stage performance in his own "Carmen". A wonderful evening of superlative dance, culminating in "Carmen" and the well deserved final curtain call, with tribute speech by Kevin O'Hare and Carlos's humble response, encouraging the young dancers of Royal Ballet in their future careers. Then the appearance of little Aila on the stage with her father was the real icing on the cake, which brought many lumps to the throats and tears to the eyes of the audience and to so many watching world wide via the cinema relay.

    We have been so privileged to be able to see Carlos Acosta on the ROH stage for 17 years! We shall greatly miss his classical ballet performances. Thank you, Carlos, for all the pleasure you have given to so many.

  44. William Swales responded on 30 December 2015 at 4:37pm Reply

    For me, Carlos Acosta’s amazing fusion of opera and ballet in ‘Carmen’ is a MASTERPIECE. This is ‘ballet-opera’ as it SHOULD be done and it blows EVERYTHING that went before it clean out of the water.

    Forget the cringing versions where basses fail to reach the high notes and few baritones can reach the low notes – and throw away the dreary lifeless ballet adaptations that lack fire and passion - for here is a masterwork that has raised the bar so high that many many years or even DECADES will pass before it is surpassed.

    As to the production: Martin Yates brilliant scoring of the music captured every nuance of Prosper Merimee’s depiction of the ‘fatalistic’ deluded world in which the gypsy, bigot, hypocrite, dim-witted, foolhardy, and the ‘easily led’ resides - and the musicality of the stage musicians painted the passion, drama, and inevitable tragic conclusion to the powerful tragedy with stunning virtuosity and stark emotional realism.

    The performances of ‘The flower song’; ‘Habanera’; and ‘Seguidilla’ were breathtaking – and the way that Federico Bonelli depicted Escamillo ridiculously ‘strutting his stuff’ in his ‘pasadoble’ (cloak dance – depicting a toreador fighting his ‘bull’) as a pompous, shallow, vain, smarmy and extremely needy womaniser ‘resting on his laurels’ of slaughtering bulls - bulls barely able to stand on their last legs as they are cruelly taunted and mortally wounded by picadors and matadors in the (so called) name of ‘sport’ - was inspired – Bonelli is one to watch for sure.

    The way that Carlos Acosta’s choreography depicts both Carmen (Spanish for Scarlet) and Don Jose entwined and locked in chains when he ‘stands guard’ at the prison - and in a moment of excitement, infatuation, and tantalisation, foolishly sets Carmen free – which culminates in Don Jose being imprisoned in chains and then stripped of his rank for his ‘folly’ – for me stands as a ‘magical moment’ of theatre. I have never seen this important ‘moment of truth’ that predicates the ‘defining moment’ when Carmen consorts with her friends at ‘Lillas Pastia’s’ (the semiology of ‘lily’ denoting innocence and purity; unfulfilled love; and procreation – depicted in Giselle when the prince places lilies on Giselle’s grave) and meets Escamillo - so vividly depicted – ever – and as for Marianela Nunez – she was on FIRE! She IS Carmen! X X

    Fiona Kimm’s powerful delivery of the deadly ‘no holds barred’ tarot reading reduced me to tears – as did David Buckingham’s stunning guitar accompaniment incessantly biting deeply into the psyche – as he played the ‘tarantella’ (spider dance) depicting the ‘web of intrigue’ created by the fortune teller as Carmen ‘mocks’ the fortunes of her two friends in the deadly dangerous ‘pas de trois’; and we (and David Buckingham lol) watched the fortune teller ‘stack’ the cards so that the cards delivered their ‘fate’ and impending doom – with the ever-present brooding macho ‘Viking like’ bullish duende (fate) forever ‘looking on’ in readiness to ensnare feeble-minded ‘believers’ into his cruel callous trap – an ominous, sinister, foreboding trap that will entice an upstanding ‘free-spirited’ respected man from his own society into a world of treachery and deceit as ‘fate’ leads everyone into a tragic, pitiful, ‘no-win’ situation in which the temptress is led to believe she is powerless against an external fate that moves in on her as she cruelly taunts Jose and mocks him in front of her friends and then scornfully laughs in his face when he says ‘don’s push me or I will kill you’. MAGNIFICENT!

    As to the lighting – the use of the colour space to depict passion (red); envy (green); cowardice (yellow); and despair (stage black) was mind-numbing. The use of colour in this way was very reminiscent of Powell and Pressburger’s dazzling ‘must-see’ presentation of Offenbach’s ‘ballet-opera’ ‘Tales of Hofmann’ featuring Moira Shearer and Robert Helpmann and an all-star cast that deliver stunning vocal performances sung in English – now fabulously restored to 4K from the original ‘3 strip’ Technicolor camera negatives by Martin Scorsese and available on BluRay.

    The lunar eclipse turning the moon blood-red - depicting impending doom (traditionally associated with floods; fire; pestilence; famine; and death) – and the way the ‘ring of fire’ became the fiery bullring where Jose confronts Escamillo and Carmen meets her ‘fate’ was a MASTERSTROKE of theatre – and as to the stunning arresting costumes – they depicted EVERYTHING about each and every character – from bravado to weakness; from conniving scam to conviction (shades of the fortune teller in ‘Les Sylphide’ methinks); from passion to despair (poor Jose); and from taunting to comeuppance for Carmen - ‘the scarlet woman’ – truly wonderful.

    Well Mr Acosta – you may have retired from performing – but the ovations and flower accolades you received from your ‘ballet-opera’, together with your game-changing choreography of ‘Don Quixote’ that truly captures the allegories of Miguel Cervantes – suffering and tormented in the hands of ‘The Spanish Inquisition’ for writing his masterwork - tells us that you are the man to choreograph ‘the big three’ – ‘Swan Lake’; ‘Sleeping Beauty’; and ‘The Nutcracker’ from their ‘tired’ ‘old-fashioned’ productions into a form that is both fit for the twenty-first Century – and ‘hits home’ the powerful potent allegorical messages that these three ballets deliver - and then perhaps consider re-staging other operas into ‘ballet-opera’ – and truly transform the art form – just as Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has done with his ‘ballet-opera’ ‘Phantom of the opera’ – a show that is now in it’s THIRTIETH year.

    Go on – I dare you – you know that you want to - and I am sure that I am not alone with my sentiment.

  45. Joanne responded on 30 December 2015 at 5:15pm Reply

    The live stream of the Nutcracker rehearsals was such a pleasure and massive inspiration to watch, to see the workings behind the production was a rare honour. Then that followed by the cinema live stream of the production was amazing, it never fails to make me feel happy and Christmassy - the journey from studio to stage is such a interesting one to watch and I can't wait for the 2016 cinema season.

  46. Vikki Littlemore responded on 30 December 2015 at 5:16pm Reply

    I had my first experience of the ROH this year, after dreaming of going for years, and the whole experience was one magical dream.

    It started on Christmas Day, when I opened my Christmas present from my sister. A pair of pink ballet Slippers from Harrods to go on the Christmas Tree, and two tickets to opening night of Swan Lake. I was elated.

    We travelled down from up North, and stayed at the Sloane Square Hotel, and went for dinner at Balthazar.

    Despite falling in the shower an hour before leaving the hotel, and badly injuring my back, so much so that I had to crawl out of the taxi, the evening was just perfection.

    Our seats were right at the top of the Auditiorium, but when I was the red velvet, and gilding, and the sparkle of the tiaras, it just took my breath away.

    I really cannot wait to go again, the whole thing was pure magic.

    I think going to the ballet is the nearest we can get to magic in real life.

  47. Hannah responded on 30 December 2015 at 5:28pm Reply

    I loved watching the Nutcracker and Carmen productions this year, particularly Lauren Cuthbertson as the Sugar Plum Fairy, but the highlight for me was the amazing footage from World Ballet Day. It was both fascinating and an inspiration for me as an adult returning to ballet to watch the daily class and rehearsals, seeing every dancer practising the steps familiar to all ballet dancers and also watching new choreography being created live.

  48. Anya Borissova responded on 30 December 2015 at 5:29pm Reply

    Onegin this year became one of my favourite ballets ever. It's been an incredible year for the ROH (the Deloitte Ignite festival was such a joy to take part in!) , but watching Onegin was definitely my 2015 highlight.

  49. Sophie C responded on 30 December 2015 at 6:48pm Reply

    It's a hard choice between Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake. Having Natalia Osipova as Odette/Odile was spectacular and took my breath away with my eyes never leaving the stage. I was also amazed by Sarah Lamb and Steven McRaes performance of Romeo and Juliet and both captivated my heart with there grace, strength and their ability to keep the audience enthralled. Another highlight for me this year was the Royal Ballet School Annual performance. Although the school is not the Royal Ballet, they are what we know as the the future of the Royal Ballet and the annual performance on the main stage was something that I will never forget. The way each student portrayed their live for dance through their expressions and thier movements was enlightening. And my favourite bit of all was definitely the Grand Defile. It was magnificent to be able to see the whole school on one stage and be able to see the progress from one year to the next. Definitely something I would like to see again. Thank you to all the members of the Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera House and then Royal Ballet School for the hard work they put in each day all year round to provide us with the opportunities to have the best possible ballet performances we could wish for. Good luck for next year and hope you all have a Happy New Year ❤️ xx

  50. elleG responded on 30 December 2015 at 7:50pm Reply

    My top picks for 2015 in no particular order:
    • Morera/Muntagirov in Fille (unalloyed joy – wish they had been on the cinema relay)
    • Naghdi/Ball in R&J (as others have said it was as if one was discovering this ballet anew)
    • Lamb/Muntagirov in Faun also Nunez/Muntagirov in Tchaikovsky pas de deux (both breathtaking but in entirely different ways)
    • Morera, Muntagirov, Campbell and Choe in Two Pigeons (great interpretations – in different shows, of course)
    • the sheer beauty of Vadim Muntagirov’s dancing, the truthfulness of his portrayals, and the generosity of his partnering – all across a wide range of roles
    • the greater prominence in casting being afforded Alexander Campbell and the believableness of his characterisations
    • the range of artistry being shown at such a young age by Matthew Ball (Lensky, Untouchable, Connectome, Escamillo, Faun, Romeo), Yasmine Nagdhi (Juliet, Monotones I, Rose Fairy, well everything she does, really), and Francesca Hayward (Juliet, Clara and everything again!) combined with......
    • the emergence and nurturing of so much young RB talent with several notable debuts in addition to those mentioned above such as Fumi Kaneko as the Gypsy Girl in Two Pigeons, and Luca Acri as Alain in Fille.

  51. Christine Todd responded on 30 December 2015 at 8:57pm Reply

    Seeing the one and only Gary Avis as Drosselmeyer after waiting 2 years, and the wonderful Nutcracker, sheer delight.

  52. Tamara responded on 31 December 2015 at 10:38am Reply

    One of my highlights of this year has to be Iana Salenko in Swan Lake. The fluidity of her arms as Odette was extraordinary and she dazzled as Odile with her effortless turns. Her partner as Siegfried, Steven McRae, was equally impressive with an expressive performance throughout.

    Another highlight from this year has to be seeing Alexander Campbell flourish as a dancer. Having been following Campbell for a few years now, this year has really seen him come into his own and I look forward to seeing what he does in the future.

  53. Lesley Hanchet responded on 31 December 2015 at 11:18am Reply

    Having loved seeing many Royal Ballet productions through my 20s and 30s, this year I decided to take my daughter to see if she may also catch 'the ballet bug'. We were lucky enough to see Yasmine Naghdi's and Matthew Ball's joint debut in Romeo and Juliet. The performance was absolutely breathtaking and to add to the magic we waited outside the stage doors to meet them both. This has to be my 2015 highlight- Matthew Ball a heartthrob to rival Nureyev.
    Following this we both settled down on Christmas Day to watch Carlos Acostas' Farewell Performance on BBC4 (a joy!) and my daughter has now asked for tickets to see Two Pigeons/Rhapsody for her birthday. The bug has well and truly been caught; thank you Royal Ballet.

  54. Andrew Clark responded on 31 December 2015 at 4:14pm Reply

    Loved Woolf Works. A remarkable and profound piece of art, and an astonishing ensemble cast. Bring it back soon, please!

  55. Lucy responded on 31 December 2015 at 6:27pm Reply

    I took my mother to the ballet for the first time (for her birthday) to see Swan Lake which was a very special experience for me and it went down so well that I'm hoping to repeat the experience with Giselle this year for her 60th!

    ...but nonetheless, I think I'd have to say Woolf Works for my favourite of the year. It was beautiful, original, moving and spectacularly well danced.

  56. Simon Smith responded on 31 December 2015 at 7:50pm Reply

    When Clara touches her prize necklace at the end of Nutcracker and realises that she has indeed rescued Hans Peter is always a wonderful moment and the opening night this season was truly memorable. With many thanks to Sir Peter Wright and what was for me the dream cast. Many thanks also to Kevin O'Hare for giving opportunities to future stars of the Royal Ballet with unforgettable Romeo and Juliet debuts - how lucky we are to see Francesca, Jasmine and Matthew at this early stage in their careers transport us to such heights in 2015. Finally it's been so good to see so many established Royal Ballet soloists command the stage, with Ben Gartside's Prince Gremin a particular favourite.

  57. Silvia responded on 6 January 2016 at 6:20pm Reply

    My personal highlight was 'Swan Lake" on march 2015 with the incredible Steven McRae, my favourite dancer, and Iana Salenko. It was my birthday gift!

  58. James responded on 7 January 2016 at 2:07pm Reply

    Without a doubt "Woolf Works" stays in my mind more than any other ballet I have ever seen. The Choreography, music, design and costumes was truly something to marvel at and all the dancers rose spectacularly to the occasion. Particularly in the third section,"Tuesday", inspired by The Waves, I thought the pas de deux with Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli amongst the most gentle and moving I have ever seen.
    Please keep mixing the Classics with the new "Classics to be ?".

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