fri 21/06/2024

dance

Compagnie Ieto, LIMF, Purcell Room

Ismene Brown

Compagnie Ieto are two modest Frenchmen with immodest circus skills - modesty in all the right proportions. Jonathan Guichard and Fnico Feldmann teamed up in 2006 and were finalists in the 2008 Jeunes Talents Cirque with this show Ieto, last night's hugely entertaining offering at the Purcell Room by the London International Mime Festival.

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Giselle & Men Y Men, English National Ballet, Coliseum

james Woodall

It's a short run, in London, but a sweet one. At the Coliseum, English National Ballet's revival of a 1971 Giselle is a showcase for a company on exceptionally calibrated form, offering audiences a taste of its myriad talent over six more shows after Wednesday's opening [the cast changes each time - Ismene Brown reviews a second cast below].

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Romeo and Juliet, Royal Ballet

Ismene Brown

There are times when critics sheathe their quill tips, others when they don’t. Rupert Pennefather, the tall blond Englishman who has been earnestly promoted by the Royal Ballet as hard as they can to be the next Jonathan Cope, has attracted some devastating notices, and last night’s emergency outing as Romeo isn’t going to fatten his cuttings file.

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The Snow Queen, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

David Nice Daria Klimentova's icy siren, decked out in Swarovski and flanked by her wolves

If your heart feels frozen while the ice glitters outside, warm it by reading Hans Christian Andersen's sharp, witty and enchanting fairy-tale The Snow Queen, or listen to the best bits of Prokofiev's erratic but often characteristic late ballet The Stone Flower. You could also drag yourself out into the cold to face Michael Corder's full-length choreography based on the Andersen story, selectively fitted to chunks of the Prokofiev score and interspersing them with other...

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Dance 2000-9: From Ballet to Hip Hop

Ismene Brown

The Noughts were a bonanza time for builders, scientists and bureaucrats in the dance arena, throwing up numerous fine dance venues and bases, collaborating intellectually with modern choreographers, or targeting social minorities, but the blazing new trend that captured public imagination dodged all of those - it came up from the street.

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The Royal Ballet in Cuba, More4 / The Rite of Spring, BBC Three

Ismene Brown

There were some odd sights in Christmas Day viewing but none more discomfiting, I’d bet, than seeing a ballerina lying on a physio’s couch having a leg dragged quickly up to touch the side of her head while the other leg lay perfectly still pointing downwards. Can the body really do that? Another weird sight - dozens of people in full 18th-century French costume and wigs dancing in 40-degree heat on a Cuban stage.

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Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Sadler's Wells

Ismene Brown

For a choreographer the moment your work becomes a classic is when the audience tells you that you’re casting it wrong. I’ve seen Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake more than a dozen times for professional reasons since it first took off from Sadler’s Wells nearly 15 years ago, and it’s not Adam Cooper’s blinding image all those years ago that’s telling me the press night cast last night wasn’t delivering what the work is worth.

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Pied Piper, Barbican & Into the Hoods, QEH

Ismene Brown

Hip hop is the new ballet. Instead of mostly girls in tutus, mostly boys in tracksuits; instead of pointe-shoes, trainers; instead of arabesques and fouettés, handstands and windmills; above all, instead of nice, nasty. The smell on stage is burning rubber from the shoes; the atmosphere is electric; lights fractured; discipline razor-sharp.

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Les Patineurs & Tales of Beatrix Potter, Royal Ballet

Ismene Brown Les Patineurs: 'William Chappell’s vintage Quality Street designs alone make it treasurable'

The well-prepared adult accompanying an under-10 to the Royal Ballet’s Tales of Beatrix Potter will take with them a pillow and a potty, the pillow for themselves, the potty to tuck under the seat for the necessary moment during this 70-minute marathon. Should the Stasi at Bag Search at the Opera House entrance insist on the potty being checked into the cloakroom, the canny adult carries a supersized handkerchief as backup, to stuff into the child’s wailing mouth when - 30 minutes...

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Carlos Acosta, Sadler's Wells

Ismene Brown

It‘s when you see how popstar fame can reach people with more luck than work that Carlos Acosta’s achievement in becoming a truly popular ballet star is underlined. Ballet is just the toughest discipline there is.

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