mon 27/01/2020

ENB

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

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....

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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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Cinderella, English National Ballet, Royal Albert Hall review - big, bright and bankable

It might seem odd to laud the entrances and exits of a ballet, but when it comes to stagecraft Christopher Wheeldon is second to none. You lose count of the ingenious ways he finds to shift up to 130 dancers in and out of view at the Albert Hall....

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She Persisted, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - a must-see triple bill

She does indeed persist, that remarkable Tamara Rojo. Dismayed by the fact that, in 20 years as a dancer, she had never performed a ballet made by a woman, she mounted a triple bill called She Said, featuring only work by and about women. That 2016...

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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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Voices of America, English National Ballet review - a punchy programme of contemporary ballet

A new William Forsythe ballet is quite a coup for English National Ballet; the choreographer hasn't made a piece in Britain in 20 years. Premiered last night as part of ENB's Voices of America triple bill at Sadler's Wells, Forsythe's Playlist (...

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Song of the Earth/La Sylphide, English National Ballet review - sincerity and charm in a rewarding double bill

The unifying theme of this new Coliseum double bill is death, but don’t let that put you off. Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth and August Bournonville’s La Sylphide may seem like odd bedfellows, but both are a great deal more uplifting than...

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Best of 2017: Dance

With forelock-tugging celebrations of a choreographer who died 25 years ago and a summer visit by the Mariinsky the highest-profile events in the calendar, 2017 may not be remembered as a vintage year for British dance. But there were striking...

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Kenneth MacMillan, Royal Opera House review - a sprite proves merciless

There are different ways of celebrating a great artist’s legacy, and I suppose they have to coexist. One approach is raptly to admire his or her acknowledged masterpieces, the equivalent of making straight for Guernica or the Mona Lisa. The other...

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Akram Khan's Giselle, Sadler's Wells review - the migrant crisis in a ballet thriller

Of the many good reasons for seeing Akram Khan’s 2016 remake of Giselle – his work is often a headline event, for one – the most compelling is the company performing it. English National Ballet used to be the poor relation of its plusher sister...

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Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Is English National Ballet's current predilection for acquiring European repertoire some kind of anti-Brexit statement, or just smart brand positioning? Last night's performance at Sadler's Wells, a sequel in all but name to the programme called...

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