mon 11/12/2017

classical ballet

Sylvia, Royal Ballet review - Ashton rarity makes a delicious evening

On paper, the appeal of a Sylvia revival is questionable. If even the choreographer (Frederick Ashton) wasn't sure his 1952 original was worth saving for posterity, do we really want to watch a 2004 reconstruction posthumously pieced together from...

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A Celebration of Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Northern Ballet review - a brave and worthy tribute

Northern Ballet do a challenging job really well: on a mid-scale touring company budget and doing all the things mid-scale touring companies have to do (tour, obviously, but also outreach and audience-building and Christmas ballets for children),...

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Ballet review - a feast of visual delights

I can imagine Monica Mason, the artistic director who commissioned Christopher Wheeldon's 2011 Alice, feeling pretty pleased with herself as she looked around the Covent Garden auditorium last night at an audience buzzing with excitement for the...

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La Bayadère, Mariinsky Ballet review - a parade of delights

There are half as many performances of La Bayadère in this Mariinsky tour as performances of Swan Lake (four vs eight). The preponderance of Swan Lake is driven by audience demand, but if audiences knew what was good for them, they'd demand more...

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Contrasts, Mariinsky Ballet review - company shows off range of its powers

There are two approaches to a triple bill: make all three pieces similar so you get one crowd with definite tastes, or make them very different so you have a chance of pleasing everyone. The Contrasts bill that the Mariinsky ballet showed at the...

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Swan Lake, Mariinsky Ballet review - Xander Parish lacks the spark of wildfire

It's a Cinderella story: Xander Parish was plucked from obscurity in the Royal Ballet corps and trained by the Mariinsky to dance the greatest roles in the repertoire. Now, not only is he the first Briton to join the historic Russian company, he has...

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Don Quixote, Mariinsky Ballet review - gentle charm, impressive principals

One of the most Russian things you can do in ballet is dance Don Quixote, which is 100 percent set in Spain. Don't think too hard about it, and definitely don't think too hard about the plot (which is barely there). The point is, the Mariinsky -...

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Ashton triple bill, Royal Ballet review – fond farewell to Zenaida Yanowsky

Nicely covering the many bases of Frederick Ashton's genius, the Royal Ballet triple bill which opened last night is a chance to see both the company and its founder choreographer on top form. The Dream shows Ashton at his narrative best, handling...

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Koen Kessels: 'there's a joke in ballet we only have two tempi' - interview

Koen Kessels is on a mission to change the culture around music in ballet. Anyone who has heard the Belgian conduct will know that he is the right person for the job: Kessels makes the classic scores come alive in the pit like nobody else I’ve heard...

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Symphonic Dances, Royal Ballet review - a truly interesting creation

Liam Scarlett must be worked off his feet. Just at the Royal Ballet, he made a full-length work, Frankenstein, last year and is currently working on a new Swan Lake; and now last night he has premiered a new abstract work, Symphonic Dances at the...

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Mayerling, Royal Ballet review - 'every ballet fan should see this'

Sure, there are things not to like about Kenneth MacMillan's Mayerling. Confusing plot. Plethora of characters. Unsympathetic (anti-)hero. Borderline melodramatic choreography. Tense, scary dénouement. But to be at the Royal Opera House last night...

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Balanchine's Jewels, Royal Ballet

Balanchine's Jewels is catnip to dedicated ballet lovers. A homage, faithful and brilliant as only a master could make, to three different styles of choreography and three different national sensibilities, it's as dense, expertly carved and...

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