Ballet Nacional de España, Coliseum, London
Friday 30 April 2010
In the name of Spain's national dance company, "ballet" simply means dance; in this case, a watered-down flamenco that lacks force or passion. Only guest star Tamara Rojo, here deprived of her pointe shoes, gives this evening some energy.
Dualia is choreographed by Rojas and Rodríguez, who recently brought their own company to Sadler's Wells. This work for Ballet Nacional de España is in the same vein. Women in ruffled cream dresses, with fussy corset detail, clump together or stride across the stage. Soloists strut and pose. There's very little shape to the performance, which meanders on through number after number.
La Leyenda, by company director José Antonio, is a tribute to 20th-century flamenco legend Carmen Amaya. Antonio casts two women as Amaya, "the woman" and "the immortal"; it's not often clear which is which. Cristina Gómez and Elena Algado glare and stamp, but don't establish themselves as individuals, let alone as aspects of an icon. It's a problem throughout the repertory. The dancers are polished enough, but strangely bland: nobody stands out.
The work is padded out with group dances for the corps, some dull stamping solos for other dancers. This time there is live music from a flamenco band, though it's sugary. Antonio can bring a sequence to a flourishing close, with applause-provoking final poses.
So I was grateful for the Royal Ballet's Tamara Rojo, who dances at some performances during this Coliseum season. In Antonio's Romance de Luna, created for himself and ballerina Natalia Makarova, Rojo plays both the moon and inspiring muse to Miguel A Corbacho's bullfighter. She dances this nonsense with admirable drive and authority. The choreography makes her waft about waving fabric, but Rojo always looks as though she's going somewhere. It's not something I can say about the rest of this evening.
To 2 May (0871 911 0200)
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
They're back, they're big – and they're still spectacularly boringfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 Pornhub pleads with users to stop uploading videos of Brazil 'getting f**ked by Germany' in World Cup match
- 5 Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories