wed 29/05/2024

Frederick Ashton

Dance for Ukraine Gala, London Palladium review - a second rich helping of international dancers

It’s tempting to see the second gala created by Ukrainian-born Ivan Putrov as a reflection of the shift in Ukraine’s fortunes since his first one in March 2022. Somehow, just weeks after Ukraine was invaded, Putrov and his fellow student in Kyiv,...

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'You want to cry from loving to do it so much' - Lynn Seymour 1939-2023

As a critic, I’ve rarely felt compelled to mourn publicly about an artist. Mourning goes somewhere beyond the usual sense of loss and gratitude when someone's death has been announced. But it's the only word when the departed is one of the very few...

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The Royal Ballet: Live, Within the Golden Hour review - stunning, joyous dance

Unfazed by yet another forced cancellation, the Royal Ballet has notched up a small triumph over the virus. When what was to have been a performance to a live audience in the Opera House fell prey to new restrictions, it went ahead anyway. With...

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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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Sylvia, Royal Ballet review - Ashton rarity makes a delicious evening

On paper, the appeal of a Sylvia revival is questionable. If even the choreographer (Frederick Ashton) wasn't sure his 1952 original was worth saving for posterity, do we really want to watch a 2004 reconstruction posthumously pieced together from...

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Ashton triple bill, Royal Ballet review – fond farewell to Zenaida Yanowsky

Nicely covering the many bases of Frederick Ashton's genius, the Royal Ballet triple bill which opened last night is a chance to see both the company and its founder choreographer on top form. The Dream shows Ashton at his narrative best, handling...

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Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures, Sadler's Wells

Not every artist attains the kind of status that will allow their early works to be revived – or, when revived, greeted with commercial and critical success. This is something of a shame for those of us with a historical mindset who like seeing...

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La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

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...

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Rhapsody/The Two Pigeons, Royal Ballet

Perhaps the director of the Royal Ballet is a pigeon fancier? With this January run of The Two Pigeons following hard on the heels of one in November, the Royal Ballet's dancers have spent most of the autumn and winter practising the fluttering,...

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The Two Pigeons, Royal Ballet

With real live birds fluttering across the stage, and a sweetly happy ending – hurrah for young love! – Frederick Ashton's 1961 The Two Pigeons can look like mere frothy fantasy, precisely the kind of trivial, uncomplicated...

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La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

In 1803 they called it Filly me Gardy. Today British ballet lovers refer to it by a single coded syllable: “Fee”. But translating its title is, for audiences at least, the only hard thing about this three-act romcom by Frederick Ashton. The rest is...

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Ashton Mixed Bill, Royal Ballet

This morning, those who follow ballet on both sides of the Atlantic might be feeling a bit like the male soloists at the beginning of Ashton’s Scènes de Ballet: turning their heads sharply, almost pantomimically, from side to side. Over there, in...

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