sat 04/07/2020

dance

Two ballerinas retire - how grateful are we?

ismene Brown

Two leading ballerinas retired this week on either side of the Atlantic, Darci Kistler of New York City Ballet and Miyako Yoshida of the Royal Ballet. Both are in their mid-forties (not old for a ballerina) and each is an exemplar of certain best qualities of their companies, yet each seems to have outstayed their welcome in some way.

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theartsdesk in Toronto: Luminato Hosts Wainwright and Malkovich

Rebecca Ritzel Operatic history of Aids: Peter McGillivray embraces Neema Bickersteth in Dark Star Requiem

To get a feel for whether an arts festival has truly penetrated a city’s psyche, it helps to strike up a conversation with local Starbucks baristas. That’s why I was grateful to be asked one recent evening in Toronto, “So what exactly is Luminato?”As the green-aproned server handed me a post-show cup of tea, I thought, good question: what is Luminato? Four years after the festival’s founding, it seems many Toronto residents remain unsure. I explained that it’s an arts festival with many...

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Olivier Awards 2010: All Surprises

Matt Wolf

Furthering their reputation as the least predictable prize-giving organisation out there, the Laurence Olivier Awards last night gave their top prizes to a host of productions that have long departed London, starting with Best Play for Tennessee-born writer Katori Hall's The Mountaintop. You were thinking Enron or (my personal best) Jerusalem? You'd be wrong.

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Film Q&A Special: Only When I Dance

ismene Brown

There are gunshots outside in the street, a boy sits behind his front door desperate to get to ballet class, the two sides of his life colliding in front of his eyes - reality and dream. It’s a favela in Rio, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, a vast estate of poverty riddled with drug crime and addicted young lads with no future other than dealing, until they get shot or jailed. Ballet... well, what an irrelevance.

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Interview: Anne-Marie Duff plays Margot Fonteyn

Sheila Johnston

Anne-Marie Duff doesn't really resemble Margot Fonteyn. Blonde, fresh-faced and blue-eyed, she has nothing of the exotic, olive, Latin complexion that Fonteyn inherited from her Brazilian grandfather. And she never learned ballet, even if, with her long, lean frame and elegant swan neck, she looks more like a dancer than the rather more compact Peggy Hookham of Reigate (as Fonteyn started out in life).

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How To Design The Nutcracker

ismene Brown

Christmas ballet would be unthinkable without The Nutcracker. But what kind of Christmas should it be? This year the UK fields an astonishing array of visions, from Biedermeier formality at the Royal Ballet, to Fanny and Alexander romanticism at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Elvis cartoons at English National Ballet, and expressionist German psychodrama at Scottish Ballet.

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Psychoanalysing Ballet

ismene Brown

As a new biography of the Royal Ballet's great choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan by Jann Parry reveals, MacMillan's ballets are often about characters in shadowy explorations of inner states of mind.

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The Seckerson Tapes: Duke Bluebeard's Castle, The Rite of Spring, ENO

Edward Seckerson

theartsdesk's podcasts with broadcaster Edward Seckerson continue with a look at the English National Opera's new production of two 20th-century masterpieces: Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Daniel Kramer takes on the mysterious Bluebeard, while Michael Keegan-Dolan and his Olivier Award-nominated dance company, Fabulous Beast, tackle the uncontrollable forces of Stravinsky's infamous Rite.

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Ballet Meets Science

ismene Brown

Two ballets are premiered this month with big scientific subjects and new commissioned scores. Birmingham Royal Ballet's David Bintley was inspired by Einstein's principle of relativity, with a Matthew Hindson score, while Mark Baldwin at Rambert Dance Company has been excited by Darwin, with a Julian Anderson score. How does science meet dance?

 

Einstein+Birmingham Royal Ballet: e=mc2 by David Bintley

 

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The Messerer Dynasty

ismene Brown

When Carlos Acosta danced Spartacus with the Bolshoi Ballet in London in 2007, the man, the time and the place united the strands of a most extraordinary story in ballet, a story of peregrination, of dreadful reverses, of the pursuit of civilisation, of holding on to the best of human values in despairing times.

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