sat 20/04/2019

dance

She Persisted, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - a must-see triple bill

Jenny Gilbert

She does indeed persist, that remarkable Tamara Rojo. Dismayed by the fact that, in 20 years as a dancer, she had never performed a ballet made by a woman, she mounted a triple bill called She Said, featuring only work by and about women.

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Victoria, Northern Ballet, Sadler's Wells - A queen re-instated, once again

Jenny Gilbert

Given that the life of Queen Victoria spanned the best part of a century, the first task for any biographer is to hack a path through the mountain of facts. It ought to help that the queen was a prolific diarist. Too bad for choreographer Cathy Marston that Victoria’s youngest daughter got there first.

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The Thread, Russell Maliphant & Vangelis, Sadler’s Wells review – an inspiring marriage of old and new

Sarah Kent

In The Thread Russell Maliphant attempts what, at first sight, appears a foolhardy project – the juxtaposition of contemporary and traditional Greek dance. The two genres seem poles apart, the one being collective and in unison, the other more individualistic and expressive.

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Bon Voyage, Bob, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells review - interminable ennui

Sarah Kent

It's a decade since Pina Bausch sadly died, and during that time her company has kept her memory alive by revisiting her amazingly rich legacy. Inevitably, though, the time would come for them to embark on a new phase; but how?

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The Rite of Spring/Gianni Schicchi, Opera North review - unlikely but musically satisfying pairing

graham Rickson

Stravinsky acknowledged that his orchestra for The Rite of Spring was a large one because Diaghilev had promised him extra musicians (“I am not sure that my orchestra would have been as huge otherwise.”) It isn’t huge in Opera North’s production (★★★★★), and for practical reasons they're using the edition arranged by Jonathan McPhee in 1988 for a standard pit band.

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Swan Lake, English National Ballet, London Coliseum review - a solid, go-to production

Jenny Gilbert

Diversity, and the need for more of it, is a hot potato in the theatre arts. Kudos, then, to English National Ballet and its director Tamara Rojo for the 23 nationalities represented within its ranks.

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Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Sadler's Wells - vivid, enchanting

Hanna Weibye

The Matthew Bourne Swan Lake has become a classic. And – lest that word conjure up dusty tomes and a niggling sense of obligation – this is definitively not the old-but-worthy, improving-but-dull kind of classic.

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The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet review - a still-magical tale of two couples

David Nice

Once a year is never too often to revisit one of the most perfect of all orchestral scores (not just for the ballet), a climactic Russian Imperial Pas de deux and the old-fashioned magic of illusionist painted flats flying in and out across a production/choreography that manages to crack the soft nut of a fantastical story only a quarter told.

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The Unknown Soldier, Infra, Symphony in C, Royal Ballet, review - WWI ballet honours obscure tragedy

Jenny Gilbert

Pity fatigue is a risk for any artwork marking the anniversary of the 1918 Armistice. There can’t have been a man or woman in the Royal Opera House on Tuesday night who hadn’t already read, watched, or otherwise had their fill of the horrors of the Western Front and the never-ending debate over the futility of it all.

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The Sleeping Beauty, London Coliseum review - a triumph for English National Ballet

Jenny Gilbert

When Tamara Rojo won the top job at English National Ballet in 2012, it looked like a poisoned chalice. Directors had come and gone, some of them with visionary ideas, but all were defeated by the company’s peculiar position as underdog to the company at Covent Garden.

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