sat 05/12/2020

classical ballet

Camille Laurens: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen review - the story of a sculpture

Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and sculptures of young girls clad in the uniform of the dance are signs of an artistic obsession that spanned a remarkable artistic career. One work in particular...

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'If they had been any closer my face would have misted up': filming 'Men at the Barre'

“That’s Marcelino Sambé, he’s wonderful,” said the artistic administrator of the Royal Ballet as I followed her down one of the many corridors that weave throughout the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. “He’s a newly promoted Principal, a very...

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Le Corsaire, London Coliseum review - hugely entertaining

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. Its plot is very silly...

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The Bright Stream, Bolshoi Ballet review - a gem of a comedy

Why is Alexei Ratmansky one of the greatest living choreographers of classical ballet? Well partly because, as last night's performance of The Bright Stream by the Bolshoi at the Royal Opera House proved, he can do comedy. To adapt the famous...

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Spartacus, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House review - no other company could pull this off

The Bolshoi juggernaut has rolled into town and will be dominating the thoughts of ballet fans in and around the capital for the next three weeks. And what could be more dominating - or more quintessentially Bolshoi - than Yuri Grigorovitch's 1968...

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The Firebird triple bill, Royal Ballet review - generous programme with Russian flavour

You can’t accuse the Royal Ballet of lightweight programming: the three juicy pieces in the triple bill that opened at the Royal Opera House on Tuesday add up to a three-hour running time. That’s a lot of ballet for your buck. Whether they actually...

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Shostakovich Trilogy, San Francisco Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - less than the sum of its parts

Alexei Ratmansky stands out among contemporary choreographers for two reasons: he still creates genuinely classical dance, and he's more conscious than most that art is dependant on the society it's created in. His Shostakovich Trilogy, which...

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Girl review - Belgian art-house portrait of a teenage ballerina

Girl opens in a golden haze of sibling affection; a teenager is tickling a little boy one sunny morning in their bedroom. Lara is 15 and has just moved to a new flat with little brother Milo, 6 and single dad Mathias. The family have changed cities...

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Swan Lake, English National Ballet, London Coliseum review - a solid, go-to production

Diversity, and the need for more of it, is a hot potato in the theatre arts. Kudos, then, to English National Ballet and its director Tamara Rojo for the 23 nationalities represented within its ranks. And for the poster advertising the company’s...

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The Sleeping Beauty, London Coliseum review - a triumph for English National Ballet

When Tamara Rojo won the top job at English National Ballet in 2012, it looked like a poisoned chalice. Directors had come and gone, some of them with visionary ideas, but all were defeated by the company’s peculiar position as underdog to the...

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet review - beautiful, heartfelt

A new Swan Lake at the Royal Ballet is a once-in-a-generation event. Liam Scarlett, choreographer of the production that opened this week, was a babe in arms when its predecessor was created by Anthony Dowell and Yolanda Sonnabend in 1987, and –...

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Ballet's Dark Knight - Sir Kenneth MacMillan, BBC Four review – hagiography and home videos

If you came to this programme knowing nothing about the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, you may have learned a few things. That he died, tragically and rather dramatically, of a massive heart attack during a first night performance of one his own...

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