sat 15/12/2018

ballet

Elizabeth, Barbican review - royal romance under scrutiny

Everyone knows that Elizabeth I was a monarch of deep intelligence and sharp wit. Fewer know how good she was at the galliard. This was a virile, proud, demandingly athletic dance, usually performed by the men at courtly gatherings, and the fact...

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Unbound: A Festival of New Works, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco review - ballet invests in its future

You have to hand it to the Americans: they think big. Where the Royal Ballet or ENB might put on three or four new works in the course of a season – because commissions are wildly expensive and a box office risk – San Francisco Ballet has just...

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DVD: The Ice King

Director James Erskine found a fascinating subject in the life of ice-skating legend John Curry and has fashioned it into an absolutely compelling 90-minute documentary. Curry was only 45 when he died of AIDS in 1994, but his professional career, in...

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Brighton Festival 2018 Preview

This weekend sees the Brighton Festival 2018 kick off. Anyone visiting the city on Saturday 5 May would find this hard to miss as the famous Children’s Parade makes its way around the streets, a joyous dash of colour and creativity. This year’s...

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The Nutcracker, English National Ballet review - a thoroughly enchanting performance

The familiar doesn’t have to get old. Last night at the Coliseum there were children in the boxes, adults in the circle and grandparents in the stalls. Seasonal favourite Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker brings all ages to the ballet — as well as...

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The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet review - superb start to the festive dance season

For some people, the festive season starts with The Nutcracker. And as it happens, this year the opening night of Sir Peter Wright’s production for the Royal Ballet was also the performance beamed live to hundreds of cinemas around the UK and...

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Triple Bill, Royal Ballet review - Arthur Pita's 'Wind' is a howling success

Of all the stories Arthur Pita could have chosen to wrangle for his new narrative ballet, he chose one about wind, perhaps the trickiest element of all to represent on a live stage. Tricky because of course you can’t see wind, you can only see its...

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Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell Collection review - guilty pleasures at the National Gallery

If only a modest fuss is being made about the rare and prestigious loan currently residing in Trafalgar Square, it could be that the National Gallery is keen to forget the role of its former director, Dr Nicholas Penny, in a row about art...

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DVD: Dancer

For decades, but especially since the turn of the millennium, the arts have fretted over how to appeal to a younger audience. For ballet, this has meant playing down the notion of “men in tights” in favour of “dancers train harder than footballers...

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Darcey Bussell: Looking for Margot, BBC One

Classical dancers conventionally have the briefest of all performing careers in the arts, knowing from the very beginning that they'll be lucky to have 20 years of performing at the top of their abilities, after at least 10 years training from...

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Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals 4, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Stravinsky's music, chameleonic yet always itself, offers so many lines of thought. One struck me immediately with the descending, even harp notes and tender, veiled strings at the start of his 1947 ballet Orpheus last night: the inexorable beat of...

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She Said, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Why are there so few female choreographers? Tamara Rojo, bugged by the fact that in 20 years on the ballet stage she had never danced anything choreographed by a woman, has stopped wondering and started doing something about it. ENB’s latest...

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