thu 02/02/2023

ballet

Best of 2022: Dance

Come the end of the year, the ritual glance over the shoulder, what we crave is celebration – this year of all years. "Look, we have come through!" is what we all want to hear from arts practitioners who took such a battering in the previous one.And...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet: Into the Music, Sadler's Wells review - a visual and aural feast

Carlos Acosta’s idea of putting live music first and foremost in BRB’s latest mixed bill was a no-brainer. The Midlands-based company, directed by Acosta since early 2020, is unique among British ballet companies in being able to call on its own...

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Mayerling, Royal Ballet review - a masterpiece of storytelling, darkly gripping

Although the loss of its 96-year-old royal patron can hardly have come as a surprise, Covent Garden has been slow to register it. The gold-embroidered ERs on those luscious red velvet stage curtains remain in place, and when Wednesday night’s...

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Dance for Ukraine, London Coliseum, online review - a gala to remember

What do top ballet dancers keep permanently in their back pocket? Answer: a fully rehearsed, ready-to-go gala item, to judge by a one-off fundraising  event mounted in double-quick time at the Coliseum last month and now available to stream,...

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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...

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Best of 2021: Dance

It was never going to be a bumper year, just a bumpy one. With theatres dark until May or later, the usual 11 or 12 months of potential live-dance going was reduced to four or five. There was one bright shaft of optimism in late spring, and another...

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Starstruck, Scottish Ballet review - smart, sassy and cinematic

How do you picture Gene Kelly? Most likely in his effervescent screen persona, either as the burly ex-GI of An American in Paris, or as the hoofer without a raincoat in Singin’ in the Rain.You’re less likely to picture him peering through a movie...

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Bournemouth SO, Litton, Lighthouse, Poole review - a Coup de Ballet sans dancers

Welcome back Andrew Litton, Conductor Laureate of the Bournemouth Symphony, for the latest of many happy annual returns since his tenure as Principal Conductor between 1988 and 1994.Lighthouse was thronged with devoted supporters for both the...

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Romeo and Juliet, Birmingham Royal Ballet & Royal Ballet review - a storming start to the season

Two households, both alike in dignity … and both launching their respective seasons with a production of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet. For neither the Royal Ballet nor its midlands sibling Birmingham Royal Ballet is this a surprising...

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Beauty Mixed Programme, Royal Ballet review - no dancers? No problem

Crisis-management has always been part of a choreographer’s skillset, but staging a new ballet with two large alternating casts has rarely been fraught with so much risk. It was one hell of a week for Valentino Zucchetti, first soloist at the Royal...

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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...

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British Ballet Charity Gala, Royal Albert Hall review - a celebration of sorts

The Royal Albert Hall – 150 years old this year and with a commemorative £5 coin to prove it – is a great  space for many kinds of spectacle but has done few favours for ballet. I make an exception for Derek Deane’s in-the-round Swan Lake, if...

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