sun 26/03/2017

contemporary ballet

Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Is English National Ballet's current predilection for acquiring European repertoire some kind of anti-Brexit statement, or just smart brand positioning? Last night's performance at Sadler's Wells, a sequel in all but name to the programme called...

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Crystal Pite, Flight Pattern, Royal Ballet

Can thirty minutes of contemporary ballet say something meaningful about the modern refugee crisis? It has been the surprise of the season to find myself asking this question not once, but twice, at the Royal Ballet. In Wayne McGregor's Multiverse,...

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Tree of Codes, Wayne McGregor, Sadler's Wells

Tree of Codes is a work made from a work made from a work. Based on Jonathan Safran Foer's book-form art piece, which is itself based on Bruno Schulz's The Street of Crocodiles, Wayne McGregor has fashioned a choreographic creation using a...

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Akram Khan's Giselle, Sadler's Wells

Thank God for Akram Khan, English National Ballet, and Tamara Rojo. Their new Giselle, which finally arrived at Sadler's Wells this week after its Salford premiere in September, is a work of intelligence, power, beauty, and - most gratifying of all...

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Wayne McGregor triple bill, Royal Ballet

"My mission is to create new dance with new music and new design that is intimately plugged in to the world we live in today. I am motivated to make contemporary work that speaks of now and that is totally present-tense," Wayne McGregor explains in...

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The Taming of the Shrew, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

What do women want? Ballet plots are not the best guide, since the main desiderata – a well-paying job, coffee dates with girlfriends, not to die young of a broken heart – are rarely the lot of ballet heroines. Comedies at least tend to have the not...

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Swan Lake, Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Graeme Murphy's 2002 Swan Lake for Australian Ballet stitches together plot elements from Swan Lake, Giselle and Lucia di Lammermoor, among other things. No bad thing, that; such mash-ups can work well (see Moulin Rouge), and Matthew Bourne proved...

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Betroffenheit, Sadler's Wells/Ballet BC, Birmingham Hippodrome

I could tell you what the German word "Betroffenheit" means by giving a dictionary definition, etymology and connotations and so on. But I won't, because this dance-drama hybrid by Jonathan Young and Crystal Pite is precisely not about pinning down...

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The Invitation/Obsidian Tear/Within the Golden Hour, Royal Ballet

It shows you just how much Kenneth MacMillan changed ballet in this country that 1960's The Invitation, with its onstage rape, sexual grooming and child abuse, can act as the reassuring classic at the heart of the new Royal Ballet triple bill which...

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Frankenstein, Royal Ballet

Another year, another new full-length story ballet from one of the Royal Ballet's in-house choreographers. Time was – a long time, in fact, up to 2011 – when that would have sounded like science fiction, but no longer: Liam Scarlett, whose...

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theartsdesk in Berlin: Three Ballets

In London, seeing the same ballet company do three different pieces in three different theatres over four nights would be some kind of festival. In Berlin, it's just business as usual – albeit quite a busy week! – for the hard-working Staatsballett...

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Yolanda Sonnabend: designer of MacMillan's 'neurotic' ballets

Ever since Diaghilev’s day the relationship of dance movement to its visual design has been a lively, sometimes combative affair. Sometimes people leave whistling the set, saying shame about the dance; other times they hate the set, love the dance....

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