The Royal Ballet’s Manon – review

A lovely-written and thoughtful review of Manon here from Thinking on Their Feet. An absolutely wonderful production from the Royal Ballet about which I definitely have a few thoughts. And a ballet-loving donation to End Violence Against Women in recognition of the exploitation of women around the world.

Thinking on Their Feet

Today, I feel so lucky. Yesterday, 1. I went to the opening night of one of my favourite ballets at Covent Garden, and 2. unlike the heroine of that ballet, as an educated, employed, woman living in the West in the 21st century (unless things take a drastic turn) my opportunities to earn a living are not dogged by the perpetual threat of being deported, imprisoned, raped, and dying in a syphilitic swoon and a Louisiana swamp*.

Abbé Prévost’s Manon Lescaut (or L’Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut) was a controversial novel when published in 1731 and a controversial ballet when premiered in 1974. My last post ([She’s] a slut and [he’s] a fool) referred to some of the objections that were levied at MacMillan and his work at the time. Mary Clarke in The Guardian opined that ‘basically, Manon is a slut and Des Grieux…

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Daria at the Stage Door

I’m just settling in at home after the ENB’s Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Albert Hall. I’ll reflect more thoughtfully on the production later but I’d just like to say that Daria Klimentova is incredibly gracious to fans at the stage door, after dancing miles around that huge arena of a stage and obviously wanting to get home with her husband. She had her pointe shoes for a particular fan, and a smile and a good word for everyone. It was quite a heart-hammering moment for me to have her make eye contact with me and quite genuinely and interestedly listen whilst I thanked her for her performance and got her autograph. Her Juliet was complex, and moved me to tears.


I just love this!
One thing I was thinking though was bloody hell those ballerinas don’t earn in a year what those footballers earn in a week.
If I was in charge that’d change. But apart from that, enjoy this video! I love the way they look at the women so attentively.

Oh So Versatile

Thanks We.Do.Ballet for my nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks for encouraging me as a new blogger and for your kind advice and comments. A shout out to her nominee Adult Beginner as well, she’s ace!

Here are my nominees:

1. On The New – a London flanuese documenting her rambles around town with thoughtful photography and writing. A beautiful, visually-orientated blog.

2. Treat Petite – scrumptious blog from patissier and chocolatier Ranya. Recipes and photography of her creations – from the classics, to exquisitely decorated cakes, and alternatives for different dietary needs.

3. Conker and Indigo Makes – Camilla blogs about food here (check out her design blog too!) but her highly visual flair makes for a wonderful treat for the eyes too.

4. Vikki Vile – a dance blog! Vikki reviews all forms of dance, mainly in London. Great dance-writing.

5. This MDS Life – a personal blog written by Gerardine, she documents her life as she undergoes a radical treatment for a type of MDS, a blood disorder. A valuable resource for anyone going through a similar process, but a captivating blog in its own right.

A little more difficult is 7 things you didn’t know about me…This took me a while…

1. I live with my little fluffy cat Bess. She likes to try catch my feet when I practice my tendus at home.

2. I’ve lived in London for about 9 years now, but I’m from Leeds.

3. I hate exercise and do none apart from ballet. I started ballet as I was trying to find a way to exercise that didn’t bore me to tears. Previous attempts included swimming, bums and tums class, and zumba. Ballet’s stuck because exercise is the least of it!!

4. Having said that I would quite like to try boxing. I loved watching Nicola Adams storm to victory for GB at London 2012. She’s from Leeds, too.

5. I used to work at an aromatherapy shop in Leeds, making oil blends, creams, lotions etc.

6. I don’t wear it every day, but I do enjoy make-up. Hilary Mantel has it bang on when she describes it as a kin of everyday folk art, I think. I’m an absolute evangelist for By Terry, by far the best foundation I’ve ever worn. I’m extremely pale and sensitive. I love lipstick.

7. My life-long pastime is reading. I couldn’t possibly decide on my favourite author or book. I’ve just finished Hermione Lee’s excellent biography of Virginia Woolf. Contemporary authors I admire include Hilary Mantel – I have tickets to see Wolf Hall in production woo! – and Donna Tartt. Don’t even ask me about other eras, that’s a different blog.