thu 06/10/2022

Balanchine

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...

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Balanchine and Robbins, The Royal Ballet review - style and substance

People often ask why it is that in ballet there are different casts on different nights, a practice alien to opera, musicals and theatre. The most obvious reason is practical. Ballet companies keep a number of principal dancers on salary who need...

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New York City Ballet 2021 Spring Gala online review - Balanchine and Robbins shine in a dark theatre

It’s official. Masks are coming off across America while theatres remain dark. Over here, theatres are about to re-open and masks must be worn. An identical situation gives rise to different responses prompted by local preoccupations. Local...

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The deathless Alicia Alonso, in person

The magnificent, controversial Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso, who asserted that she would live to 200, died yesterday in Havana, aged nearly 99. Legends are always well protected by their own mythology, yet in 2004, when attending the Havana Ballet...

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The Firebird triple bill, Royal Ballet review - generous programme with Russian flavour

You can’t accuse the Royal Ballet of lightweight programming: the three juicy pieces in the triple bill that opened at the Royal Opera House on Tuesday add up to a three-hour running time. That’s a lot of ballet for your buck. Whether they actually...

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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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Symphonic Dances, Royal Ballet review - a truly interesting creation

Liam Scarlett must be worked off his feet. Just at the Royal Ballet, he made a full-length work, Frankenstein, last year and is currently working on a new Swan Lake; and now last night he has premiered a new abstract work, Symphonic Dances at the...

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Balanchine's Jewels, Royal Ballet

Balanchine's Jewels is catnip to dedicated ballet lovers. A homage, faithful and brilliant as only a master could make, to three different styles of choreography and three different national sensibilities, it's as dense, expertly carved and...

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Carlos Acosta, The Classical Farewell, Royal Albert Hall

This is it. This is absolutely, definitely, finally Carlos Acosta's farewell to classical ballet. He has managed to spin out his retirement celebrations for almost a year: he gave his last performance on the Royal Opera House main stage last...

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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Prog 2, Peacock Theatre

If the Trocks didn't exist, we would have to invent them. Every genre needs its loving parodists, treading the fine line between homage and dommage, and an art form as stylised and convention-governed as classical dance is riper for it than most -...

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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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Album of the Year: Leonard Cohen - Popular Problems

Leonard Cohen, grand rabbi of poetry and the blues, turned 80 this year, and like a perfectly matured brandy, he only gets better and better. On his most recent European tour, he managed to combine an atmosphere of deep and communal spiritual...

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