mon 22/04/2024

Royal Ballet

MacMillan Celebrated, Royal Ballet review - out of mothballs, three vintage works to marvel at

Triple bills can be a difficult sell for ballet companies. Audiences prefer big sets and costumes, and a storyline they can hum. It’s not hard to see why Kenneth MacMillan’s full-evening hits Romeo and Juliet and Manon have turned out to be such a...

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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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Dark With Excessive Bright, Royal Ballet review - a close encounter with dancers stripped bare

The word “immersive” is overused. When an immersive experience can be anything from a foreign language course to a trip down the Amazon on a headset, what might immersive dance involve? Not watching from a plush-covered seat, probably, and the dance...

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Manon, Royal Ballet review - a glorious half-century revival of a modern classic

It’s 50 years since the first, damning reviews of Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet Manon declared it to be too long and lumbered with terrible music. One of them also said that the title role was an appalling waste of the ballerina who, in the title role...

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Best of 2023: Dance

Dance lovers have had a better time of it this year as the performance sector starts to find its feet again. In the wake of a general cull of independent dance companies, 2023 has seen signs of fresh growth.Lively enterprises have sprouted in...

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The Dante Project, Royal Ballet review - brave but flawed take on the Divine Comedy returns

Singular in its variousness, this is a three-act ballet that need some unpicking. No wonder those hooked on first acquaintance in 2021, like theartsdesk’s dance critic Jenny Gilbert, have been back to see it more than once.So long as you accept that...

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The Limit, Linbury Theatre review - a dance-theatre romcom that lacks both rom and com

Imagine a world in which speech has a daily legal limit. Not a limit on what you say, but how many words it takes to say it. Now imagine how such a scenario might work as dance.Adaptations are so common on the theatre stage that the change of state...

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Anemoi / The Cellist, Royal Ballet review - a feast of music in a neat double bill

Double bills at the ballet don’t often come as neatly gift-wrapped. Each of the works in question was made just before or during lockdown, arriving at its premiere by the skin of its teeth. Each went on to win a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award...

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Don Quixote, Royal Ballet review - crazy Russian-Spanish romcom, brilliant dancing

It was Carlos Acosta’s new production of Don Quixote that launched the Royal Ballet season in the autumn of 2013, and as it does so again 10 years on, its sunny dynamism is just what the doctor ordered.Don Q, as it’s known to ballet fans, can be an...

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Untitled, 2023 / Corybantic Games / Anastasia Act III, Royal Ballet review - a magnificent end to the season

Is it a cop-out for an artist to label a piece of work “Untitled”? Painters and sculptors make a habit of it, reasoning that they want to leave the viewer free to bring to the experience what they will, unhampered and unlimited by prior information...

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Cinderella, Royal Ballet review - the first British ballet learns the language of flowers

The urge to redesign a heritage ballet is a curious one, given not just the expense but the fact that the main draw of an old ballet is the steps and the music, which stay the same whatever the stage dressing. The Royal Ballet was keen, however, to...

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'You want to cry from loving to do it so much' - Lynn Seymour 1939-2023

As a critic, I’ve rarely felt compelled to mourn publicly about an artist. Mourning goes somewhere beyond the usual sense of loss and gratitude when someone's death has been announced. But it's the only word when the departed is one of the very few...

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