mon 08/08/2022

dance

The Seckerson Tapes: Duke Bluebeard's Castle, The Rite of Spring, ENO

Edward Seckerson

theartsdesk's podcasts with broadcaster Edward Seckerson continue with a look at the English National Opera's new production of two 20th-century masterpieces: Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Daniel Kramer takes on the mysterious Bluebeard, while Michael Keegan-Dolan and his Olivier Award-nominated dance company, Fabulous Beast, tackle the uncontrollable forces of Stravinsky's infamous Rite.

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Ballet Meets Science

Ismene Brown

Two ballets are premiered this month with big scientific subjects and new commissioned scores. Birmingham Royal Ballet's David Bintley was inspired by Einstein's principle of relativity, with a Matthew Hindson score, while Mark Baldwin at Rambert Dance Company has been excited by Darwin, with a Julian Anderson score. How does science meet dance?

 

Einstein+Birmingham Royal Ballet: e=mc2 by David Bintley

 

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The Messerer Dynasty

Ismene Brown

When Carlos Acosta danced Spartacus with the Bolshoi Ballet in London in 2007, the man, the time and the place united the strands of a most extraordinary story in ballet, a story of peregrination, of dreadful reverses, of the pursuit of civilisation, of holding on to the best of human values in despairing times.

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Frozen Moments of Magic

Hilary Whitney

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Antonio Gades, Flamenco Master

Ismene Brown

Antonio Gades, who died on 20 July 2004 in Madrid aged 67, was a giant of modern flamenco, a magnetic dancer and theatrical director who gained an international audience for flamenco while guarding its unique and complex character.

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In the realm of the Nutcracker king

Ismene Brown

At this time of year people who love ballet divide into two tribes: those who are too sophisticated for The Nutcracker and those who will never been too sophisticated for The Nutcracker. The former will say that The Nutcracker is a children’s ballet. For the latter, Christmas would not be Christmas without hearing probably the most familiar and adored of Tchaikovsky’s music scores.

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The battle for Balanchine

Ismene Brown

THE choreographer George Balanchine died on April 30, 1983, aged 79, of Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, a rare, if nowadays notorious, condition only discovered at his autopsy. What had been recognised long before his death, though, was that this man was one of the very greatest geniuses of the 20th century, a figure to be reckoned alongside Pablo Picasso in art and Igor Stravinsky in music.

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Last Dance: Why Our Best Ballets Are Slowly Dying

Ismene Brown

Sir Frederick Ashton, Britain's unrivalled genius at creating ballets, had a simple attitude towards posterity. "You've heard his famous remark, 'Fuck posterity'?" says his nephew, Anthony Russell-Roberts, smiling but eyeing me apprehensively.

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Manon: Shock that turned to respect

Ismene Brown

One of the first, scathing reviews of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Manon in 1974 nailed it exactly: "It is an appalling waste of lovely Antoinette Sibley who, as Manon, is reduced to a nasty little diamond-digger." In that sentence all the prevailing attitudes about ballet were summed up - the status of classical ballerinas as princesses on pedestals, the duty of ballet to polish their virtuous crowns, the horror of seeing this porcelain beauty smashed.

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