thu 23/05/2019

dance

The Bolshoi acid trial begins - vitriol promised

ismene Brown

Even by the grand Guignol standards of Russian ballet 2013, this week has been eventful. The trial of the Bolshoi dancer for attacking his boss with acid finally began on Tuesday, and with incredible, tension-ratcheting synchrony, the controversial, mouthy Bolshoi star who was fired in the summer for machinating against his leaders has been appointed to head Russia's world-famous ballet school.

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Technology's New Fields of Dreams in Dance

ismene Brown

Technology and dance have long been ardent bedfellows. No other theatrical art gobbles up illusions and tricks quite as greedily and spits them out quite as intriguingly altered. Gaslight was a new technology without which the romantic ballets Giselle and La Sylphide could not have existed. Without electric light such exotic adventures in sunshine as Le Corsaire or Don Quixote could not have partied over the late 19th-century St Petersburg stage.

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theartsdesk in Perm: To Russia With Romeo

Natalie Wheen

If you look at a map of Russia, you will find the city of Perm just west of the spine of the Ural Mountains which divides European Russia from Asia, about 720 miles north-east of Moscow. Just under two hours away by plane, you only understand the reality of its remoteness going there by Russian train: 24 hours’ slow chug through endless forests of silver birch, pines and bog, only occasionally enlivened by the startling yellow of kingcups.

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Still Shocking - The Rite of Spring 100 Years On

ismene Brown

Victims driven to death by the mob, women and men violently rutting in animal costumes, a black comedy about a snatched baby, a naked man dancing alone in his own fantasy - many and varied are the images in the nearly 200 danceworks created to the notorious Rite of Spring since its premiere exactly a century ago. 

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Sylvie Guillem on resurrecting Marguerite & Armand

ismene Brown

There's grand larceny afoot in the Royal Opera House. Two of today's stars are stealing Fonteyn and Nureyev's signature ballet, and they're leaving some spectators' cherished beliefs shattered in pieces around them.

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Dance: The Best of 2012

ismene Brown

Offstage dramas made more waves than onstage, where dance-followers have much less to see, and a prospect of still less in this arid immediate future.

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Black-Out Ballet: The Invisible Woman of British Ballet

ismene Brown

In 2006 an elderly dancer died in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. She was 88, and had once been one of Britain's most recognised ballerinas. Why did she die in obscurity? Why is the great ballet company that she ran now a forgotten name? This was what I set out to explore in a BBC Radio 4 documentary which aired yesterday. Inglesby's story has the improbability of an epic.

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Royal Opera House chief Tony Hall to the BBC - now what?

ismene Brown

So Tony Hall moves from heading the Royal Opera House to taking over the BBC as its new Director-General. I can't for a moment imagine a rerun of that crucial mini-conversation between Helen Boaden and George Entwistle over the Jimmy Savile programming (if you can remember all the way back to mid-October through the cannonfire since) taking anything like a similar course had it been Tony Hall rather than Entwistle.

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Kenneth MacMillan Died 20 Years Ago

ismene Brown

It's 20 years since the death, backstage at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, of a man who scripted high-wire emotions and extreme psychological states in a theatrical language that had widely been held to be the realm of sweetness and majesty. The choreographer Kenneth MacMillan brought the values of modern theatre, cinema and the sexual revolution to ballet, and his narrative daring remains unequalled by any choreographer in Britain after him.

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The Composer and the Water-Nymph: Hans Werner Henze's Ondine

ismene Brown

Hans Werner Henze, the composer who died on Saturday aged 86, wrote the music for one of Margot Fonteyn's signature ballets, Ondine, a ballet about an inhuman spirit who longs to be joined to a man - but when she does, he must die. It might almost be a metaphor for the death of the thought the moment it is realised.

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