Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park, Bracknell (01344 484123) 11 Feb and Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton (01273 685861) 13 Feb; then touring
Still greater risks are being taken at the Royal Opera House next week when Anthony Dowell introduces Twyla Tharp's mercurial Push Comes to Shove into the Royal Ballet repertoire. Dowell's enduring love affair with the work he enjoyed while with American Ballet Theatre 1978 to 1980 has informed his artistic decisions ever since.
Tharp's early signature work was crafted on taking the then 28-year-old superstar Mikhail Baryshnikov's classically trained body and making it do the apparently impossible to a heady mix of Haydn and ragtime. The Royal Ballet's answer to the divine Misha is the 25-year-old Tetsuya Kumakawa. Kumakawa's repertoire already includes Basilio, Solor, Puck, Petrushka and Siegfried (although the last marvel is only available on Japanese tours); but stepping into Baryshnikov's shoes must surely be his greatest challenge to date. In this performance, he shares the stage with Darcey Bussell and Sarah Wildor.
All three have been taught by American Ballet Theatre's ballet mistress Susan Jones (responsible for coaching the Royal Ballet's Don Quixote) and are currently being buffed up by Twyla Tharp herself who has already worked with them on her Mr Worldly Wise.
Push Comes to Shove appears in a mixed bill with MacMillan's The Judas Tree and David Bintley's Consort Lessons.
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London WC2 (0171-304 4000) 13 and 18 Feb, 7.30pm
EYE ON THE NEW
The recent cold snap will be a disappointment to Javier de Frutos, whose solo show Transatlantic features De Frutos performing with sculptural grace to the soundtrack of Gypsy and is a textbook example of how to make major savings on your costume budget. De Frutos won't worry about the weather if the show comes up to scratch - so long as the audience doesn't.
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