sun 08/12/2019

ballet

Coppélia, Royal Ballet review - a real charmer

In featuring ordinary people and things rather than magic curses or avenging ghosts, Coppélia stands apart in the canon of 19th century ballets. The only mystery about this delightful old production is why the Royal Ballet has not programmed it for...

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Concerto/Enigma Variations/Raymonda Act III, Royal Ballet review - time to cheer the corps de ballet

As a mood-lifter, it’s hard to beat the opening of Concerto. Against a primrose sky, figures in daffodil, tangerine and brick form lozenges of fizzing colour, foregrounded by a leading couple so buoyant their heels barely ever touch down. Kenneth...

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Cross Currents/Monotones II/Everyone Keeps Me, Linbury Theatre review - the Royal Ballet finds the missing link

This programme of three short works is all about influence, specifically the supposed cross currents between ballet and contemporary dance in the latter half of the 20th century. The irony is that this is the first time that the Royal Ballet has...

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Manon, Royal Opera House review - splendid start to the season

The Royal Ballet’s choice of season opener could be dismissed as safe and predictable. But as the glorious naturalistic detail of 1830s Paris unfolds in Kenneth MacMillan’s 1974 retelling, you see the reasoning. It’s only a year since the Royal...

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Cinderella, English National Ballet, Royal Albert Hall review - big, bright and bankable

It might seem odd to laud the entrances and exits of a ballet, but when it comes to stagecraft Christopher Wheeldon is second to none. You lose count of the ingenious ways he finds to shift up to 130 dancers in and out of view at the Albert Hall....

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Within the Golden Hour/Medusa/Flight Pattern, Royal Ballet review - the company shows its contemporary face

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has come a long way since his early days as a hip hop artist, but the outsider status is obvious even before the curtain goes up on Medusa, his first commission for the Royal Ballet and the centrepiece of a triple bill...

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She Persisted, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - a must-see triple bill

She does indeed persist, that remarkable Tamara Rojo. Dismayed by the fact that, in 20 years as a dancer, she had never performed a ballet made by a woman, she mounted a triple bill called She Said, featuring only work by and about women. That 2016...

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The White Crow review - gripping depiction of the brilliance of Nureyev

Genius is as genius does, and Rudolf Nureyev made sure nobody was left in any doubt about the scale of either his talents or his ambitions. Based on Julie Kavanagh's biography Rudolf Nureyev: The Life, The White Crow pairs director and actor...

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Van Woerkum, BBCPO, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - a symphony of cinema

In contrast to a classic film soundtrack played live with the film, the idea in "symphonic cinema" is that the music, and its interpretation, come first. So the conductor is literally setting the pace, and to some extent the atmosphere, while the...

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Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Sadler's Wells - vivid, enchanting

The Matthew Bourne Swan Lake has become a classic. And – lest that word conjure up dusty tomes and a niggling sense of obligation – this is definitively not the old-but-worthy, improving-but-dull kind of classic. This is the "where has this been all...

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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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