Dance: ROYAL SWEDISH BALLET London Coliseum
Friday 07 July 1995
If the Barcelonian fishergirls / men of the harbour square seem, initially, like the average scene-setting contingent of any ballet, it is during the finale sequence of mercurial finger-clicking plumbline bounces from foot to knee that the corps is satisfyingly unified.
There's nothing wrong with these dancers, it's just that they're disappointingly ordinary. Sweden may well be full of blond gods and goddesses, but very few of them belong to the Royal Swedish Ballet. Even the principals - small, sallow Jan-Erik Wikstrom in the role of Basilio, and sturdy, raven- haired Madeline Onne as Kitri - contradict the cliche of the fair Swede blessed with a fine bone structure, just as the hand-clapping joyfulness and slapstick comedy of Don Quixote sits at odds with the myth that casts the Swedes as a nation of suicides.
The real discovery of the evening is 25-year-old Wikstrom, who lets Basilio's sense of mischief extend into the pure dance of his solo variations. We see him at one point testing his balance in a trade-mark arabesque in profile, while John Lanchbery, conducting his own arrangement of the score, obligingly slows down the tempo. It's an act that, on Wikstrom's part, is perilously close to the autonomous and often self-indulgent musicality more associated with and tolerated in Russian dancers.
But then, this inordinately plain, if absolutely competent and respectable, company can accommodate an exuberant risk-taker such as Wilkstrom who is unafraid to set himself challenges that most dancers restrict to the privacy and safety of the studio.
n To 8 July (booking: 0171-632 8300)
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
James Blunt finally admits the truth: 'You're Beautiful' is annoying
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments