thu 21/09/2017

contemporary ballet

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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Scottish Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - striking and memorable dance

Years ago, MC14/22 (Ceci est mon corps), the Angelin Preljoçaj piece with which this Scottish Ballet double bill opens, made a deep impression on Christopher Hampson. So deep that, once he became Artistic Director of Scottish, he actively sought it...

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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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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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