sat 21/09/2019

dance

Wayne McGregor triple bill, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

"My mission is to create new dance with new music and new design that is intimately plugged in to the world we live in today. I am motivated to make contemporary work that speaks of now and that is totally present-tense," Wayne McGregor explains in the programme note for last night's triple bill of his works at the Royal Opera House. It's the McGregor-speak that we have all come to know: a vanishingly tiny message wrapped up in obfuscatory verbiage.

Read more...

Anastasia, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

The reception of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Anastasia has some similarities with that accorded the Berlin asylum patient who some believed to be the lost Romanov Grand Duchess. For supporters who wanted to believe in the fairytale, Anna Anderson's awkwardness, her lack of Russian, her facial dissimilarity to the Tsar's youngest daughter, could all be turned to postive account; her unlikeness became evidence of likeness.

Read more...

Shakespeare triple bill, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Shakespeare has always been a fertile source of inspiration for story ballets.

Read more...

The Sleeping Beauty, Australian Ballet, cinema broadcast

Hanna Weibye

Australian Ballet's cinema broadcast on Tuesday night appears to have been a little under-publicised

Read more...

Carlos Acosta, The Classical Farewell, Royal Albert Hall

Hanna Weibye

This is it. This is absolutely, definitely, finally Carlos Acosta's farewell to classical ballet.

Read more...

La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

In a world of terrifyingly serious news, the opening of the Royal Ballet season with Frederick Ashton's pastoral frolic La Fille mal gardée might seem like a wanton disregard for reality, like a brass band playing "Oh I do like to be beside the seaside" as the Titanic goes down. But that is to misunderstand the reason Fille is so beloved is that it has at its heart a perfectly serious and realistic topic: young love.

Read more...

The Flames of Paris, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Hanna Weibye

The Flames of Paris, in Alexei Ratmansky's 2008 reworking, is a ballet of contrasts. Between the first and second acts, so different in pace and quality, between the naturalistic intimacy of certain pas de deux and the stylised posturing of the crowd scenes, between the tedious masque in Act I and the fireworks show-off variations in Act II, between the liquid velvet blood-red curtains and the flat black-and-white line drawing sets.

Read more...

The Taming of the Shrew, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Hanna Weibye

What do women want? Ballet plots are not the best guide, since the main desiderata – a well-paying job, coffee dates with girlfriends, not to die young of a broken heart – are rarely the lot of ballet heroines. Comedies at least tend to have the not-dying part covered, but they often fall down on at least one of two other big requirements: that one's family should be supportive, and that one's romantic partner should not be a chump.

Read more...

Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Hanna Weibye

"If you know anything about dance," I was told last night by an aged balletomane at the Royal Opera House, "you know that Russian ballet companies are the best." If this is true then the Bolshoi Ballet, biggest of the Russian companies, in Swan Lake, that most quintessential of ballets, must be awe-inspiring.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

theartsdesk Radio Show 24 - hot subcontinental sounds with...

This episode of Peter Culshaw's occasional global music radio update features guest interview Viveick Rajagopalan, one...

The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles...

10 Questions for author Martin Gayford

Over the past four decades Martin Gayford, The Spectator’s art critic, has travelled the world, been published in an amazing range of...

CD: Rachid Taha - Je suis africain

Rachid Taha, sadly felled by a heart attack just over a year ago, has come back from the dead! He could not sound more lively than on this vibrant...

Ólafsson, Hallé, Mäkelä, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review...

The Hallé Orchestra has a good track record when it comes to bringing in young talents with exciting prospects,...

The Permanent Way, The Vaults review – devastating resurrect...

The Permanent Way first roared its way into the national consciousness in 2003 when, after a triumphant opening in York, it toured...

The Cameron Years, BBC One review - quite interesting but a...

David Cameron has been a recluse since the fateful days of June 2016 when the...

Count Arthur Strong, Leeds City Varieties review - stargazin...

Count Arthur Strong, the character created by Steve Delaney, started life in the late 1990s and  became a cult figure at the...