fri 24/03/2017

classical ballet

Project Polunin, Sadler's Wells

This is the comeback after the comeback-that-never-was. It's the anticipated full stage ballet after the hugely popular Youtube video. It's the press waiting to see if ballet's bad boy will do something wild. It's the fans waiting to see if Sergei...

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DVD: Reset

The curious thing about Reset, the documentary that tracks the making of a new ballet by Benjamin Millepied at the Paris Opera Ballet, is that it clearly had another agenda. Millepied, a Frenchman nicely named for his profession, was a left-field...

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Giselle, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

In the annals of ballet directors, always searching for the perfect balance between heritage programming and new work, there can rarely have been a double whammy so successful. In pairing a brand new Akram Khan Giselle with Mary Skeaping's near-...

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The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet

Christmas - in the shape of Peter Wright's Nutcracker - has arrived earlier than usual at the Royal Opera House. This is to make space for a 70th anniversary run of The Sleeping Beauty that starts on 21 December: the two will run in tandem through...

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Anastasia, Royal Ballet

The reception of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Anastasia has some similarities with that accorded the Berlin asylum patient who some believed to be the lost Romanov Grand Duchess. For supporters who wanted to believe in the fairytale, Anna Anderson's...

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Shakespeare triple bill, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Shakespeare has always been a fertile source of inspiration for story ballets. Plays which exist in multiple dance versions include Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet, while Shakespeare...

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The Sleeping Beauty, Australian Ballet, cinema broadcast

Australian Ballet's cinema broadcast on Tuesday night appears to have been a little under-publicised – at least in my local multiplex, which was deafeningly empty with just five spectators. I suspect a combination of circumstances to be at work: the...

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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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La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

In a world of terrifyingly serious news, the opening of the Royal Ballet season with Frederick Ashton's pastoral frolic La Fille mal gardée might seem like a wanton disregard for reality, like a brass band playing "Oh I do like to be beside the...

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The Flames of Paris, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

The Flames of Paris, in Alexei Ratmansky's 2008 reworking, is a ballet of contrasts. Between the first and second acts, so different in pace and quality, between the naturalistic intimacy of certain pas de deux and the stylised posturing of the...

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Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

"If you know anything about dance," I was told last night by an aged balletomane at the Royal Opera House, "you know that Russian ballet companies are the best." If this is true then the Bolshoi Ballet, biggest of the Russian companies, in Swan Lake...

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Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Exactly 60 years have passed since this company made its first London visit, an unlikely triumph of art over geopolitics. For 1956 was the year Britain was rocked by the Suez crisis and the year the Soviet Union invaded Hungary. British spies...

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