sat 25/05/2024

ENB

Giselle, English National Ballet, Coliseum review - if you go down to the woods today, beware of the Wilis

We’re used to the idea of 19th century ballets being updated, but the Giselle currently presented by English National Ballet takes it the other way.This production, itself more than 50 years old, offers the closest possible experience of a Romantic...

Read more...

Creature review - Asif Kapadia shines light on a dark dance piece

Filmed ballets involve a different way of watching: you may know a piece well, but you aren’t used to staring into its lead dancers’ eyes as they perform their roles. Not all dancers give good close-up, either. But a new film by the Oscar-winning...

Read more...

Swan Lake, English National Ballet, Coliseum review - the story of a deluded prince

So there’s this prince, see, and he’s not at all happy. For a start, he never got over losing a parent when he was a child. He’s at odds with the world, sick to death with royal protocol and convinced that no one understands him. Worse, having too...

Read more...

English National Ballet: Ek, Forsythe, Quagebeur review - two masters, two marvels

Of all the classic musical scores that could appeal to a choreographer, three are catnip: Ravel’s Bolero, Bizet’s Carmen, and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Each has been set dozens of times and the veteran Swedish dancemaker Mats Ek has notched up...

Read more...

The unexpurgated Clement Crisp - in memoriam

To the international world of ballet, Clement Crisp was the British critic to fear for half a century. Crisp's dance reviews for the Financial Times – "the pink 'un" – from 1970 until 2020 were legendary for their passionate...

Read more...

Raymonda, English National Ballet, Coliseum review - a creaky old standard, lavishly restored to health

Neglected classics, whether books, plays or ballets, are usually neglected for a reason, and so it is with the three-act ballet Raymonda. A hit in 1898 for the Imperial ballet in St Petersburg but unperformed in this country since the 1960s, its...

Read more...

Creature, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - bombastic and unreadable

If a new ballet can be doomed by the weight of expectation, then Creature didn’t stand a chance. First scheduled to appear in the spring of 2020, then again last autumn, the publicity drive over the past weeks has had the air of marketing a used car...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet review - back on stage and fabulous

You could hardly call this back to normal at London’s premier dance house. For a start, there was too much red plush visible in the stalls, not all of it the result of COVID-safe spacing. There were prefatory onstage speeches and a filmed thank you...

Read more...

English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala, Coliseum review - a fine celebration

Just when you thought Christmas was well and truly over, along comes another box of delights. And there isn’t a disappointment in it. If it were nuts, there’d be nothing but cashews; if chocolates, there wouldn’t be a single disgusting lime-cream....

Read more...

Le Corsaire, London Coliseum review - hugely entertaining

It’s unlikely that Lord Byron would recognise much about Le Corsaire. Beyond the characters’ names and the Ottoman location, there is little trace of the 1814 bestselling verse-novel on whose fame the ballet hitched a ride. Its plot is very silly...

Read more...

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....

Read more...
Subscribe to ENB