sat 15/12/2018

Royal Ballet

The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet review - a still-magical tale of two couples

Once a year is never too often to revisit one of the most perfect of all orchestral scores (not just for the ballet), a climactic Russian Imperial Pas de deux and the old-fashioned magic of illusionist painted flats flying in and out across a...

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The Unknown Soldier, Infra, Symphony in C, Royal Ballet, review - WWI ballet honours obscure tragedy

Pity fatigue is a risk for any artwork marking the anniversary of the 1918 Armistice. There can’t have been a man or woman in the Royal Opera House on Tuesday night who hadn’t already read, watched, or otherwise had their fill of the horrors of 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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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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Obsidian Tear / Marguerite and Armand / Elite Syncopations, Royal Opera House review - an evening of high-performance mismatch

One day someone will come up with an algorithm for the perfectly balanced triple bill. Until then ballet directors will have to make do with hit or miss. The Royal Ballet’s latest three-part offering would appear to tick the boxes: something old,...

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Manon, Royal Ballet review - glitter and betray

"Massenet feels it as a Frenchman, with powder and minuets," declared Puccini in annoucing his own operatic setting of the Abbé Prévost's 1731 novel Manon Lescaut. "I shall feel it as an Italian, with desperate passion." That's the usual Kenneth...

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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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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, Royal Ballet review - superb start to the festive dance season

For some people, the festive season starts with The Nutcracker. And as it happens, this year the opening night of Sir Peter Wright’s production for the Royal Ballet was also the performance beamed live to hundreds of cinemas around the UK and...

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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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Triple Bill, Royal Ballet review - Arthur Pita's 'Wind' is a howling success

Of all the stories Arthur Pita could have chosen to wrangle for his new narrative ballet, he chose one about wind, perhaps the trickiest element of all to represent on a live stage. Tricky because of course you can’t see wind, you can only see its...

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