mon 20/09/2021

Royal Ballet

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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Live from Covent Garden 1, Royal Opera and Ballet online review - small-scale but perfectly formed

Vintage champagne was served up last night, and whether you found the glass half-full or half-empty would depend on your perspective. In the bigger picture, it's disappointing that not more musicians could return to the Royal Opera House stage, and...

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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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The Cellist/Dances at a Gathering, Royal Ballet review - A grand love affair with a cello

The cello is the stringed instrument most closely aligned to the human voice. It has a human shape, too, so in theory it was a short step for choreographer Cathy Marston to give it a living, breathing presence in her ballet about the legendary...

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Onegin, Royal Ballet review - vivid and intelligent dance drama

It’s no surprise that audiences love John Cranko’s Onegin, with its vividly economical narrative (close to Tchaikovsky’s opera), attractive decors by Jürgen Rose, and intelligent drama. True, it feels a tad old-fashioned – although that, as my...

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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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