tue 19/11/2019

Balanchine

theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Hofesh Shechter

Israeli-born choreographer Hofesh Shechter has had a meteoric rise. Ten years ago, he was a dancer in somebody else’s company who had just taken a couple of steps into choreography. Now he has his own full-time company, can pack out Sadler’s Wells...

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Jewels, Royal Ballet

It has been said that Mozart, so prodigiously talented so young, seemed to be merely a vessel through which God, or the music of the spheres, or whichever higher being one chooses, channelled the sounds of heaven. So, too, sometimes, does Balanchine...

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Jewels, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

The Bolshoi’s summer season in London has so far been straight-down-the-line trad: Swan Lake as an opener, Bayadère, Sleeping Beauty. Now, however, with Balanchine’s Jewels, they’ve at least dipped a pointe shoe into the 20th century, if rather...

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Ballo della Regina/ La Sylphide, Royal Ballet

Ballo della Regina is a strange piece, for many reasons. A piece of minor Balanchine, it was created late in life for a dancer he clearly admired but who was not core to his vision. Strangest of all, he used music by Verdi, a composer whose music he...

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Armitage Gone! Dance, Queen Elizabeth Hall

I wasn’t around to see when Karole Armitage won her spurs in her twenties as a punk ballet choreographer in America in the 1970s and early Eighties, so we must rely on her programme-sheet biography to explain to us that she is “seen by some critics...

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Ballo Della Regina/ Live Fire Exercise/ DGV, Royal Ballet

Current affairs can be an on-trend choreographer's nemesis. In the new triple bill at the Royal Ballet last night, you could watch a new video-game war-ballet by Wayne McGregor, while blotting out thoughts of the Taliban suicide massacre in...

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American Ballet Theatre, Prog 2, Sadler’s Wells

Jardin aux Lilas is one of ABT’s great calling cards, and it was danced with great seriousness of purpose and devotion by an admirably schooled cast. This short ballet, to "Poème" by Chausson (admirably played by a pick-up orchestra), is one of...

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Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet

'Apollo's Angels' by Jennifer Homans: 'A book that every dance lover should read'

It is rare that you read a book, and mentally shout “Yes! Yes!” as you tick off all the things you agree with, but had never actually verbalised. It is even rarer to read a book where, in a subject you know pretty well, on almost every page you...

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Serenade & Giselle, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

We’re getting used to expecting the extraordinary from Natalia Osipova - and then getting some more. With her impish face and farouche capriciousness, with a spring like a high-jumper and shoulders like a swimmer, she is without doubt the most...

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Suzanne Farrell and George Balanchine: A passionate love letter re-opened

"It was more than just 'I love you'," Suzanne Farrell, America's nonpareil ballerina, the love and inspiration of 20th-century ballet's greatest choreographer, is telling me at breakfast in a little bar in Lee, Massachusetts. "When people ask me to...

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Ulyana Lopatkina: The beanpole who became the soul of Russia

If you tell a tall, whisper-slim young woman of 31 that she has been described as "the soul of Russia", it is understandable that she looks startled. Two huge, smoke-grey eyes cast a doubtful glance at me, and she murmurs in Russian. Her translator...

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The battle for Balanchine

THE choreographer George Balanchine died on April 30, 1983, aged 79, of Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, a rare, if nowadays notorious, condition only discovered at his autopsy. What had been recognised long before his death, though, was that this man was...

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