sat 22/09/2018

classical ballet

The Sleeping Beauty, London Coliseum review - a triumph for English National Ballet

When Tamara Rojo won the top job at English National Ballet in 2012, it looked like a poisoned chalice. Directors had come and gone, some of them with visionary ideas, but all were defeated by the company’s peculiar position as underdog to the...

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet review - beautiful, heartfelt

A new Swan Lake at the Royal Ballet is a once-in-a-generation event. Liam Scarlett, choreographer of the production that opened this week, was a babe in arms when its predecessor was created by Anthony Dowell and Yolanda Sonnabend in 1987, and –...

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Ballet's Dark Knight - Sir Kenneth MacMillan, BBC Four review – hagiography and home videos

If you came to this programme knowing nothing about the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, you may have learned a few things. That he died, tragically and rather dramatically, of a massive heart attack during a first night performance of one his own...

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Bernstein triple bill, Royal Ballet review - epic ambitions unfulfilled

The Royal Ballet last night presented an evening of Bernstein-scored ballets, two of them premieres by Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon and the other a revival of Liam Scarlett's 2014 Age of Anxiety. Celebrated and accessible composer;...

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Giselle, Royal Ballet review - beautiful dancing in a production of classic good taste

The run of Giselle that opened at the Royal Opera House last night was completely sold out before it even started, and no wonder. Pair Sir Peter Wright's eerie production with some very fine casts and the reliable classiness of the Royal Ballet's...

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Song of the Earth/La Sylphide, English National Ballet review - sincerity and charm in a rewarding double bill

The unifying theme of this new Coliseum double bill is death, but don’t let that put you off. Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth and August Bournonville’s La Sylphide may seem like odd bedfellows, but both are a great deal more uplifting than...

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Best of 2017: Dance

With forelock-tugging celebrations of a choreographer who died 25 years ago and a summer visit by the Mariinsky the highest-profile events in the calendar, 2017 may not be remembered as a vintage year for British dance. But there were striking...

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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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Sylvia, Royal Ballet review - Ashton rarity makes a delicious evening

On paper, the appeal of a Sylvia revival is questionable. If even the choreographer (Frederick Ashton) wasn't sure his 1952 original was worth saving for posterity, do we really want to watch a 2004 reconstruction posthumously pieced together from...

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A Celebration of Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Northern Ballet review - a brave and worthy tribute

Northern Ballet do a challenging job really well: on a mid-scale touring company budget and doing all the things mid-scale touring companies have to do (tour, obviously, but also outreach and audience-building and Christmas ballets for children),...

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Ballet review - a feast of visual delights

I can imagine Monica Mason, the artistic director who commissioned Christopher Wheeldon's 2011 Alice, feeling pretty pleased with herself as she looked around the Covent Garden auditorium last night at an audience buzzing with excitement for the...

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La Bayadère, Mariinsky Ballet review - a parade of delights

There are half as many performances of La Bayadère in this Mariinsky tour as performances of Swan Lake (four vs eight). The preponderance of Swan Lake is driven by audience demand, but if audiences knew what was good for them, they'd demand more...

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