tue 26/03/2019

dance

Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Jenny Gilbert

Exactly 60 years have passed since this company made its first London visit, an unlikely triumph of art over geopolitics. For 1956 was the year Britain was rocked by the Suez crisis and the year the Soviet Union invaded Hungary. British spies Burgess and Maclean had surfaced behind the Iron Curtain after five years on the run and distrust between London and Moscow was acute. Until their plane landed, it was touch and go that the Bolshoi’s London season would happen at all.

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Cinderella, Ratmansky/Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Hanna Weibye

Does Alexei Ratmansky, former Bolshoi director and current world-leading classical choreographer, really love Prokofiev's Cinderella, or did he choose to create a new one for Australian Ballet in 2013 principally because he wasn't happy with his first (for the Mariinsky) in 2002?

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Swan Lake, Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Hanna Weibye

Graeme Murphy's 2002 Swan Lake for Australian Ballet stitches together plot elements from Swan Lake, Giselle and Lucia di Lammermoor, among other things. No bad thing, that; such mash-ups can work well (see Moulin Rouge), and Matthew Bourne proved way back in 1995 that Swan Lake's story can be totally reconfigured and still work gloriously (we do not talk about the 2011 film Black Swan).

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Natalia Osipova, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Why does Natalia Osipova, one of the world's best classical, dramatic ballerinas, want to start a sideline in contemporary dance in the middle of her career?

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Betroffenheit, Sadler's Wells/Ballet BC, Birmingham Hippodrome

Hanna Weibye

I could tell you what the German word "Betroffenheit" means by giving a dictionary definition, etymology and connotations and so on. But I won't, because this dance-drama hybrid by Jonathan Young and Crystal Pite is precisely not about pinning down definitions or making sense through words in a descriptive, iterative sort of way, but about capturing feelings or states of being in a much more metaphorical, experiential, immersive way.

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The Invitation/Obsidian Tear/Within the Golden Hour, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

It shows you just how much Kenneth MacMillan changed ballet in this country that 1960's The Invitation, with its onstage rape, sexual grooming and child abuse, can act as the reassuring classic at the heart of the new Royal Ballet triple bill which opened on Saturday.

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Jekyll & Hyde, Old Vic

Jenny Gilbert

From time to time theatre managements hit on the idea that danced drama should be part of their remit. Nick Hytner flirted with it at the National in his day with a run of productions for Lloyd Newson and his company DV8. Now Matthew Warchus, his feet barely under the desk at the Old Vic, has commissioned a show from a young choreographer who has Matthew Bourne’s crown in his sights.

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Carlos Acosta: A Classical Farewell, Birmingham Hippodrome

Hanna Weibye

Appearing before theatres full of middle-aged women in just your underpants is certainly one way to throw a retirement party. It may not be everybody's choice, but then Carlos Acosta is not like everybody, and never has been.

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Frankenstein, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

Another year, another new full-length story ballet from one of the Royal Ballet's in-house choreographers.

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BalletBoyz, Life, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Hearing that both Javier de Frutos and rabbit heads appear in the new BalletBoyz bill might give you pause. A choreographer so unafraid of graphic content that he started his career with naked one-man shows, and later made a piece about the Pope so sexually explicit and offensive that he got death threats – do the rabbit heads mean we're in for some kind of furvert orgy?

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