sun 22/05/2022

Carlos Acosta

The Four Temperaments/Untouchable/Song of the Earth, Royal Ballet

After the second piece of last night's triple bill, Hofesh Shechter's Untouchable in its world premiere, my friend asked me why it had been put on the programme with the first piece, George Balanchines 1946 Four Temperaments. He wondered if there...

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet

Is there an art-form more tied to bad as well as good tradition than classical ballet? Yolanda Sonnabend’s unatmospherically if expensively kitsch designs for this Swan Lake wouldn’t have lasted more than a season or two in the worlds of theatre and...

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Don Quixote, Royal Ballet

The 1871 ballet that goes by the name of Don Quixote has always been a challenge to stage. Barely a tenth of its two hours-plus concerns the titular knight and his crackpot wanderings. The rest is fixed like a town hall security camera on the non-...

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Giselle, Royal Ballet

Ah, Giselle. Despite being cobbled together from a huge stack of 19th-century literary and dramatic tropes – fans of La Sylphide, Robert le Diable, Lucia di Lammermoor, Walter Scott and German Romanticism will feel right at home – and having a score...

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Don Quixote, Royal Ballet

The opening night of the autumn season brings a gala first night, Carlos Acosta’s staging of Petipa’s Hispano-Russo-Austro-Hungarische castanet-fest, Don Quixote, with starry leads (Marianela Nuñez and Acosta himself), a very obviously expensive new...

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Carlos Acosta, Classical Selection, London Coliseum

The mighty adorable Carlos Acosta is at the London Coliseum this week in all his might and all his adorableness - four times, you may like to know, he appears without his shirt on. This is relevant, because it’s not the preening bare-...

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Mayerling, Royal Ballet

My great-grandmother used to say, "In the fall, leaves fall," meaning that as the weather gets colder, people die. The Royal Ballet has had leaves falling all year, and in the height of the (ha!) summer one of the most tenacious, and most beautiful...

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Apollo/ New Ratmansky/ New Wheeldon, Royal Ballet

Two world premieres in one night is almost more pressure than anyone can bear - choreographers, commissioning company or audience. Still more when the spotlit dancemakers are probably the two top Western names in the art, Alexei Ratmansky and...

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Concerto/ Las Hermanas/ Requiem, The Royal Ballet

With a reputation as the prince of unflinching emotional catharsis, Kenneth MacMillan emerged from the Royal Ballet’s triple bill marking the 20th anniversary of his death as a lord of lyricism. The new bill presents MacMillan three ways, his...

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet

The Royal Ballet’s autumn season began on Monday, but this was the eagerly awaited Swan Lake. Natalia Osipova, ex-Bolshoi, now principal with American Ballet Theater and the Mikhailovsky in St Petersburg, was making her debut as a guest with the...

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South Bank Show: The Male Dancer, Sky Arts 1

Male dancers are a puzzle to British audiences, where they are an uncomplicated, taken-for-granted treasure in Latin or Slav countries. I point this out gratuitously, as it's a point that wasn't touched upon by Melvyn Bragg's film about three iconic...

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The Dream/ Song of the Earth, Royal Ballet

Oberon in Frederick Ashton’s The Dream was the hurdle at which the ferociously promising young Sergei Polunin refused when he quit the Royal Ballet last week, and whether it was the deceptive complexity and difficulty of it that caused his sudden...

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