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)
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
arts + entsOlivier-nominated actor and singer is set to star in Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
sportThe coach of Chalfont St Peter's under-10s football team was relieved of his duties after he sent an email to parents that said: 'I am only interested in winning'
techA piece of new hi-tech kit aims to get us scribbling again
indybestMake getting out of the wrong side of bed on cold winter mornings a thing of the past with our selection of night-time covers
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Arts & Ents blogs
The 50 Best Christmas songs: Bells continue to ring for the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'
Shia LaBeouf's Nymphomaniac sex scene removed from YouTube
Eminem, Drake and Jay Z among Spotify's most-streamed artists of 2013
Morgan Freeman portrait: The world's most realistic finger painting?
Nymphomaniac trailer shown to children at screening of Disney film Frozen
- 1 North Korea: Kim Jong Un 'sacks powerful uncle and has his aides executed'
- 2 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert