tue 22/08/2017

classical ballet

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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Project Polunin, Sadler's Wells

This is the comeback after the comeback-that-never-was. It's the anticipated full stage ballet after the hugely popular Youtube video. It's the press waiting to see if ballet's bad boy will do something wild. It's the fans waiting to see if Sergei...

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DVD: Reset

The curious thing about Reset, the documentary that tracks the making of a new ballet by Benjamin Millepied at the Paris Opera Ballet, is that it clearly had another agenda. Millepied, a Frenchman nicely named for his profession, was a left-field...

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Giselle, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

In the annals of ballet directors, always searching for the perfect balance between heritage programming and new work, there can rarely have been a double whammy so successful. In pairing a brand new Akram Khan Giselle with Mary Skeaping's near-...

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