thu 30/05/2024

classical ballet

Swan Lake, Royal Ballet review - grand, eloquent, superb

In uncertain times like these, the single thing that every flagship ballet company needs is a convincing iteration of a 19th-century blockbuster. New works are all very well and necessary, but they don’t have the pulling power of Swan Lake, or the...

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Powell and Pressburger's 'The Red Shoes' - art and nothing but

Nobody ever forgets The Red Shoes (1948) because it’s a movie that seems to change the way an audience experiences cinema. A story about a diverse group of individuals collaborating to make art, the film is itself a wonderful example of the process....

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Hunting legendary treasure with ballet's Indiana Jones - Pierre Lacotte 1932-2023

As any archaeologist knows, digging up a sarcophagus is a nailbiting business. How small are the chances that inside the shredded linen wrappings will lie a recognisable body with some vestiges of its former life upon it?Enough DNA and bone to...

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Album: Thomas Bangalter - Mythologies

Popular musicians “going classical” can work well. Look at Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, at Richard Reed Parry and Colin Stetson from Arcade Fire, or at the late Jóhann Jóhannsson who had a successful career as indie and electronic musician in...

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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...

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Camille Laurens: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen review - the story of a sculpture

Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and sculptures of young girls clad in the uniform of the dance are signs of an artistic obsession that spanned a remarkable artistic career. One work in particular...

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'If they had been any closer my face would have misted up': filming 'Men at the Barre'

“That’s Marcelino Sambé, he’s wonderful,” said the artistic administrator of the Royal Ballet as I followed her down one of the many corridors that weave throughout the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. “He’s a newly promoted Principal, a very...

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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...

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The Bright Stream, Bolshoi Ballet review - a gem of a comedy

Why is Alexei Ratmansky one of the greatest living choreographers of classical ballet? Well partly because, as last night's performance of The Bright Stream by the Bolshoi at the Royal Opera House proved, he can do comedy. To adapt the famous...

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Spartacus, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House review - no other company could pull this off

The Bolshoi juggernaut has rolled into town and will be dominating the thoughts of ballet fans in and around the capital for the next three weeks. And what could be more dominating - or more quintessentially Bolshoi - than Yuri Grigorovitch's 1968...

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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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Shostakovich Trilogy, San Francisco Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - less than the sum of its parts

Alexei Ratmansky stands out among contemporary choreographers for two reasons: he still creates genuinely classical dance, and he's more conscious than most that art is dependant on the society it's created in. His Shostakovich Trilogy, which...

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