tue 21/05/2019

dance

Sylvia, Royal Ballet review - Ashton rarity makes a delicious evening

Hanna Weibye

On paper, the appeal of a Sylvia revival is questionable. If even the choreographer (Frederick Ashton) wasn't sure his 1952 original was worth saving for posterity, do we really want to watch a 2004 reconstruction posthumously pieced together from rehearsal tapes?

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Triple Bill, Royal Ballet review - Arthur Pita's 'Wind' is a howling success

Jenny Gilbert

Of all the stories Arthur Pita could have chosen to wrangle for his new narrative ballet, he chose one about wind, perhaps the trickiest element of all to represent on a live stage. Tricky because of course you can’t see wind, you can only see its effects. Tricky, too, because – in extremis, as this is – it does mad things to hair-dos, costumes, and the ability of the cast to keep a grip on props and even dance the steps.

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Kenneth MacMillan: A National Celebration, Programmes 2 & 3, Royal Opera House review - abhorrent to sublime

Jenny Gilbert

The choreographer Kenneth MacMillan was a man of many modes and moods, and it’s tempting to wonder how many more he might have revealed had he not been felled by a heart attack at the age of 62.

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Michael Clark Company, Barbican Theatre review - bad boy of dance comes good

Jenny Gilbert

If there were an arts award for loyalty, the Barbican Theatre would surely win it for having kept faith with Michael Clark. It’s no secret that the bad-boy image that has clung to Clark since his punk extravaganzas in the 1980s had consequences in his personal and creative life, forcing frequent "early retirements".

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Kenneth MacMillan, Royal Opera House review - a sprite proves merciless

Hanna Weibye

There are different ways of celebrating a great artist’s legacy, and I suppose they have to coexist. One approach is raptly to admire his or her acknowledged masterpieces, the equivalent of making straight for Guernica or the Mona Lisa.

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A Celebration of Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Northern Ballet review - a brave and worthy tribute

Hanna Weibye

Northern Ballet do a challenging job really well: on a mid-scale touring company budget and doing all the things mid-scale touring companies have to do (tour, obviously, but also outreach and audience-building and Christmas ballets for children), they manage to create a constant stream of new work, and have built up a real competence in storytelling on stage.

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Ballet review - a feast of visual delights

Hanna Weibye

I can imagine Monica Mason, the artistic director who commissioned Christopher Wheeldon's 2011 Alice, feeling pretty pleased with herself as she looked around the Covent Garden auditorium last night at an audience buzzing with excitement for the first performance of...

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Akram Khan's Giselle, Sadler's Wells review - the migrant crisis in a ballet thriller

Jenny Gilbert

Of the many good reasons for seeing Akram Khan’s 2016 remake of Giselle – his work is often a headline event, for one – the most compelling is the company performing it. English National Ballet used to be the poor relation of its plusher sister national flagship in WC2. Not any more.

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La Bayadère, Mariinsky Ballet review - a parade of delights

Hanna Weibye

There are half as many performances of La Bayadère in this Mariinsky tour as performances of Swan Lake (four vs eight).

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Contrasts, Mariinsky Ballet review - company shows off range of its powers

Hanna Weibye

There are two approaches to a triple bill: make all three pieces similar so you get one crowd with definite tastes, or make them very different so you have a chance of pleasing everyone. The Contrasts bill that the Mariinsky ballet showed at the Royal Opera House was, as its title suggests, firmly in the latter camp.

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