tue 19/02/2019

dance

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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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet review - beautiful, heartfelt

Hanna Weibye

A new Swan Lake at the Royal Ballet is a once-in-a-generation event.

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Elizabeth, Barbican review - royal romance under scrutiny

Jenny Gilbert

Everyone knows that Elizabeth I was a monarch of deep intelligence and sharp wit. Fewer know how good she was at the galliard. This was a virile, proud, demandingly athletic dance, usually performed by the men at courtly gatherings, and the fact that the Queen of England so enthusiastically flouted convention in this way says a lot about her.

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Unbound: A Festival of New Works, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco review - ballet invests in its future

Jenny Gilbert

You have to hand it to the Americans: they think big. Where the Royal Ballet or ENB might put on three or four new works in the course of a season – because commissions are wildly expensive and a box office risk – San Francisco Ballet has just presented a dozen in the space of two weeks. What’s more, the 12 invited choreographers – four of them Brits or British trained – were given virtually carte blanche to create whatever they liked.

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Formosa, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Sadler’s Wells review - perfect in every detail

Sarah Kent

Whatever you do in the next couple of days, be sure to grab a ticket for this wonderfully atmospheric production. A glorious fusion of athletic dance, creative visuals and intoxicating sound, the piece pays tribute to the island of Taiwan, named Formosa ("beautiful") by Portuguese sailors in the 16th century, and home to Cloud Gate Dance Theatre.

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