tue 16/07/2019

Royal Ballet

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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The Winter's Tale, Royal Ballet

It was twelfth night for Christopher Wheeldon's two-year-old, three-act Shakespearean ballet, and this newcomer had one nervous anticipatory question. The verbal music is gone, only the plot remains, so could A Winter's Tale the play inspire...

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Wheeldon Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

Christopher Wheeldon's new ballet Strapless scores a first on a number of counts. It’s the first co-production between the Royal Ballet and the Bolshoi (London gets first dibs – Moscow doesn’t get the goods for another 12 months). It forms part of...

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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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Best of 2015: Dance & Ballet

It was business as usual in the British dance world in 2015. Looking back over the year, theartsdesk's dance critics see the industry's many talented, capable people continuing to do their jobs well, but we don't recall being shaken, stirred or...

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The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet

With its hybrid Romantic-kitschy plot, chocolate-advert Tchaikovksy tunes, and baggage of obligatory Christmas cheer, the Nutcracker is harder to get right than you might think if you've only ever seen Sir Peter Wright's Royal Ballet version, now...

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Yolanda Sonnabend: designer of MacMillan's 'neurotic' ballets

Ever since Diaghilev’s day the relationship of dance movement to its visual design has been a lively, sometimes combative affair. Sometimes people leave whistling the set, saying shame about the dance; other times they hate the set, love the dance....

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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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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet

Is there an art-form more tied to bad as well as good tradition than classical ballet? Yolanda Sonnabend’s unatmospherically if expensively kitsch designs for this Swan Lake wouldn’t have lasted more than a season or two in the worlds of theatre and...

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Onegin, Royal Ballet

The habit among ballet critics of being simultaneously down on John Cranko's 1965 Onegin and up on Kenneth MacMillan's 1974 Manon is a curious one. The two have many similarities, from their basis in novels that became operas (though Prévost's Manon...

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Best of 2014: Dance & Ballet

You usually know a good piece or performance when you see one, but sometimes you only identify a great one as such significantly after the fact. What better way to test a work's durability, then, than by seeing what remains of it in the memory after...

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (2014), Royal Ballet

Christopher Wheeldon’s hard-working mix of skewed classical ballet, vaudeville and Victorian theatrical magic achieved through state-of-the-art technique wasn’t much liked by theartsdesk’s critics on its first and second outings. Marvelling at it on...

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