fri 13/12/2019

Royal Ballet

Coppélia, Royal Ballet review - a real charmer

In featuring ordinary people and things rather than magic curses or avenging ghosts, Coppélia stands apart in the canon of 19th century ballets. The only mystery about this delightful old production is why the Royal Ballet has not programmed it for...

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Concerto/Enigma Variations/Raymonda Act III, Royal Ballet review - time to cheer the corps de ballet

As a mood-lifter, it’s hard to beat the opening of Concerto. Against a primrose sky, figures in daffodil, tangerine and brick form lozenges of fizzing colour, foregrounded by a leading couple so buoyant their heels barely ever touch down. Kenneth...

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Cross Currents/Monotones II/Everyone Keeps Me, Linbury Theatre review - the Royal Ballet finds the missing link

This programme of three short works is all about influence, specifically the supposed cross currents between ballet and contemporary dance in the latter half of the 20th century. The irony is that this is the first time that the Royal Ballet has...

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Manon, Royal Opera House review - splendid start to the season

The Royal Ballet’s choice of season opener could be dismissed as safe and predictable. But as the glorious naturalistic detail of 1830s Paris unfolds in Kenneth MacMillan’s 1974 retelling, you see the reasoning. It’s only a year since the Royal...

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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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Within the Golden Hour/Medusa/Flight Pattern, Royal Ballet review - the company shows its contemporary face

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has come a long way since his early days as a hip hop artist, but the outsider status is obvious even before the curtain goes up on Medusa, his first commission for the Royal Ballet and the centrepiece of a triple bill...

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The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet review - a still-magical tale of two couples

Once a year is never too often to revisit one of the most perfect of all orchestral scores (not just for the ballet), a climactic Russian Imperial Pas de deux and the old-fashioned magic of illusionist painted flats flying in and out across a...

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The Unknown Soldier, Infra, Symphony in C, Royal Ballet, review - WWI ballet honours obscure tragedy

Pity fatigue is a risk for any artwork marking the anniversary of the 1918 Armistice. There can’t have been a man or woman in the Royal Opera House on Tuesday night who hadn’t already read, watched, or otherwise had their fill of the horrors of 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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Elizabeth, Barbican review - royal romance under scrutiny

Everyone knows that Elizabeth I was a monarch of deep intelligence and sharp wit. Fewer know how good she was at the galliard. This was a virile, proud, demandingly athletic dance, usually performed by the men at courtly gatherings, and the fact...

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Obsidian Tear / Marguerite and Armand / Elite Syncopations, Royal Opera House review - an evening of high-performance mismatch

One day someone will come up with an algorithm for the perfectly balanced triple bill. Until then ballet directors will have to make do with hit or miss. The Royal Ballet’s latest three-part offering would appear to tick the boxes: something old,...

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Manon, Royal Ballet review - glitter and betray

"Massenet feels it as a Frenchman, with powder and minuets," declared Puccini in annoucing his own operatic setting of the Abbé Prévost's 1731 novel Manon Lescaut. "I shall feel it as an Italian, with desperate passion." That's the usual Kenneth...

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