sun 20/06/2021

ballet

Solstice, English National Ballet, RFH review - a midsummer treat

“A tonic to the nation”. That was the hoped-for effect of the Festival of Britain in 1951, and its concrete legacy was the Royal Festival Hall. Seventy years on, it’s fitting that English National Ballet should be the first through its doors, post...

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British Ballet Charity Gala, Royal Albert Hall review - a celebration of sorts

The Royal Albert Hall – 150 years old this year and with a commemorative £5 coin to prove it – is a great  space for many kinds of spectacle but has done few favours for ballet. I make an exception for Derek Deane’s in-the-round Swan Lake, if...

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Balanchine and Robbins, The Royal Ballet review - style and substance

People often ask why it is that in ballet there are different casts on different nights, a practice alien to opera, musicals and theatre. The most obvious reason is practical. Ballet companies keep a number of principal dancers on salary who need...

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Swan Lake, LPO, Jurowski, Marquee TV review - full Tchaikovsky score perfectly paced

Two regrets and a tentative hope before full praise for what has to be the best complete Swan Lake in concert ever. Not everyone will be sorry, as I am, that Jurowski chose for his grand leavetaking as music director of the London Philharmonic...

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The Royal Ballet - variations on a comeback

Like the British high street, the once richly diverse landscape of dance in the UK is likely to look very different once lockdown is fully lifted. There will be losses, noticeably among the smaller companies whose survival was always precarious....

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Best of 2020: Dance

Hard as it is to recall how it felt to sit elbow to elbow in a red plush seat, plenty of us did that during the first 10 weeks of 2020, with no heed at all to who might be breathing over us. I have since wondered what proportion of the dance sector...

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The Nutcracker: an end-of-year obituary

If dance lovers have learnt anything in recent months it's to take nothing for granted. How could we ever have been so blasé about The Nutcracker, whose annual reappearance in multiple productions was as inevitable as crowds on Oxford Street? As a...

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The Royal Ballet: Live, Within the Golden Hour review - stunning, joyous dance

Unfazed by yet another forced cancellation, the Royal Ballet has notched up a small triumph over the virus. When what was to have been a performance to a live audience in the Opera House fell prey to new restrictions, it went ahead anyway. With...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - onward and upward

It was a night of multiple firsts: the first live performance at Sadler's Wells in seven months (the place hasn’t been dark for so long since the War); the official first day of Carlos Acosta’s tenure as the new director of Birmingham Royal Ballet;...

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The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage review - fireworks in the Garden

"Don’t hold back,” a front-of-house manager told us. “If you want to show your appreciation, go for it.” This was nothing to do with providing sound effects for the imminent streaming to tens of thousands around the world. It was about letting the...

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Camille Laurens: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen review - the story of a sculpture

Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and sculptures of young girls clad in the uniform of the dance are signs of an artistic obsession that spanned a remarkable artistic career. One work in particular...

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Rob and Romesh vs Ballet, Sky 1 review - unlikely lads throw themselves in as bait

The odd-couple comedy duo is a time-tested concept, and Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan have discovered a chemistry that works. Rob is the giggling excitable one, while Romesh, aided by a sleepy right eye which conveys a sense of harsh...

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