wed 30/11/2022

dance

English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala, Coliseum review - a fine celebration

Sue Gaisford

Just when you thought Christmas was well and truly over, along comes another box of delights. And there isn’t a disappointment in it. If it were nuts, there’d be nothing but cashews; if chocolates, there wouldn’t be a single disgusting lime-cream. It would be all Ferrero Rochers, gift-wrapped. English National Ballet’s 70th birthday party opened and closed with class, in every sense.

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Onegin, Royal Ballet review - vivid and intelligent dance drama

Nadine Meisner

It’s no surprise that audiences love John Cranko’s Onegin, with its vividly economical narrative (close to Tchaikovsky’s opera), attractive decors by Jürgen Rose, and intelligent drama. True, it feels a tad old-fashioned – although that, as my neighbour observed, is part of the charm.

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Resolution 2020, The Place review - new dance for a new decade

Jenny Gilbert

Resolution! is an annual programme at The Place (home of London Contemporary Dance School), devoted to showcasing new choreographers. Over the past 30 years several have gone on to make it big, so there’s a reasonable chance that, somewhere among this year’s selection of 81 wannabes lurks a Wayne McGregor, a Hofesh Schechter or a Kate Prince waiting to be discovered.

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Le Corsaire, London Coliseum review - hugely entertaining

Jenny Gilbert

It’s unlikely that Lord Byron would recognise much about Le Corsaire. Beyond the characters’ names and the Ottoman location, there is little trace of the 1814 bestselling verse-novel on whose fame the ballet hitched a ride.

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Best of 2019: Dance

Jenny Gilbert

For dance lovers, it was a year of heavy hitters. There were visits from two of America’s biggest and best, both the Alvin Ailey company and San Francisco Ballet bringing generous programmes of new work. The mighty Bolshoi’s summer programme at Covent Garden brought us Spartacus, that Soviet-era mega-fest of militarism and machismo.

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The Red Shoes, Sadler's Wells review - the ultimate stage movie

Jenny Gilbert

Matthew Bourne’s tally of hits is such that many of his dance-drama interpretations of old ballets and films were labelled “classic” as soon as they appeared. Yet The Red Shoes, Bourne’s 2016 tribute to the 1948 film, is arguably the one that most rewards repeat viewings. Thickly layered with entertaining detail, you can see it again and again and still find new things to love.

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Radio & Juliet/Faun/McGregor + Mugler, London Coliseum review - a fashion faux pas

Jenny Gilbert

A pas de deux is normally an opportunity for two dancers to express the pinnacle of their skill and the choreographer's art. In the case of McGregor + Mugler, the duet receiving its world premiere as part of a Russian-sponsored triple bill, it became an opportunity for a big-name designer to strut his stuff.

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Svetlana Zakharova, Modanse, London Coliseum review - impeccably chic but soul-less

Jenny Gilbert

What price a pair of seats at the ballet? If you’re talking the latest starry Russian import then, with a few perks thrown in, you might not see much change from £800.

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Coppélia, Royal Ballet review - a real charmer

Jenny Gilbert

In featuring ordinary people and things rather than magic curses or avenging ghosts, Coppélia stands apart in the canon of 19th century ballets. The only mystery about this delightful old production is why the Royal Ballet has not programmed it for more than a decade.

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Acosta Danza, Sadler's Wells review - a dose of Cuban sun

Jenny Gilbert

Second album, second novel, second tour programme – the follow-up is always tricky. But the timing couldn’t be better for Acosta Danza, the Havana-based dance company which made its UK debut in 2017. These 20 young Cubans, handpicked by Carlos Acosta and bursting with talent, can’t know how badly the UK needs a shot of their sunny optimism right now.

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