sat 10/12/2022

Royal Ballet

Light of Passage, Royal Ballet review - a new full-evening work by Crystal Pite is eloquent and moving

Marshalling a mass of bodies around a stage is what all choreographers do. But nobody does it quite like Crystal Pite, the Canadian whose half-hour piece "Flight Pattern" – a comment on the global refugee crisis – was a hit for the Royal Ballet...

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Mayerling, Royal Ballet review - a masterpiece of storytelling, darkly gripping

Although the loss of its 96-year-old royal patron can hardly have come as a surprise, Covent Garden has been slow to register it. The gold-embroidered ERs on those luscious red velvet stage curtains remain in place, and when Wednesday night’s...

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Like Water for Chocolate, Royal Ballet review - confusing and ill-conceived

When George Balanchine said that “there are no mothers-in-law in ballet”, he wasn’t just stating the obvious. He meant that there are some things that simply cannot be expressed in dance. Emotion and nuance are a story-ballet’s native territory;...

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The Weathering/Solo Echo/DGV, Royal Ballet review - the dancer as chameleon

Of all the expectations one might have of a new ballet from a choreographer raised on street dance who has made work about the American prison system, serene loveliness isn’t one of them. The name Kyle Abraham is not  new to Royal Ballet...

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The unexpurgated Clement Crisp - in memoriam

To the international world of ballet, Clement Crisp was the British critic to fear for half a century. Crisp's dance reviews for the Financial Times – "the pink 'un" – from 1970 until 2020 were legendary for their passionate...

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The Dante Project, Royal Ballet review - a towering achievement

Unless you happen to be a student of Italian language or culture, the significance of the 14th-century poet Dante Alighieri’s insights into the human condition may have passed you by, albeit that this year marks 700 years since his death. Where...

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Beauty Mixed Programme, Royal Ballet review - no dancers? No problem

Crisis-management has always been part of a choreographer’s skillset, but staging a new ballet with two large alternating casts has rarely been fraught with so much risk. It was one hell of a week for Valentino Zucchetti, first soloist at the Royal...

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Balanchine and Robbins, The Royal Ballet review - style and substance

People often ask why it is that in ballet there are different casts on different nights, a practice alien to opera, musicals and theatre. The most obvious reason is practical. Ballet companies keep a number of principal dancers on salary who need...

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The Royal Ballet: 21st-Century Choreographers review - dancers rise to fresh challenges

The Royal Opera House wasn't taking any chances when it welcomed its first ballet audience since December this week. There was no printed programme on offer, nor even a cast sheet. “Not till October” said the uniformed man on the door. Some ballet...

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The Royal Ballet - variations on a comeback

Like the British high street, the once richly diverse landscape of dance in the UK is likely to look very different once lockdown is fully lifted. There will be losses, noticeably among the smaller companies whose survival was always precarious....

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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 Royal Ballet: Back on Stage review - fireworks in the Garden

"Don’t hold back,” a front-of-house manager told us. “If you want to show your appreciation, go for it.” This was nothing to do with providing sound effects for the imminent streaming to tens of thousands around the world. It was about letting the...

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