Variations on a theme night
Saturday 11 April 1998
The RT correspondent will probably be reaching for the Basildon Bond this week when they learn that Channel Four is devoting the bulk of Easter Monday evening to a feast of 20th-century dance. It kicks off with Debra Hauer's From a Classical Position (Channel 4 7.30pm). William Forsythe's imported works have for some years now been the Royal Ballet's main defence against allegations that they don't have any great contemporary choreography. His In the middle, somewhat elevated, Herman Schmerman and Steptext have provided exciting vehicles for Sylvie Guillem, Adam Cooper and Deborah Bull. Sadly, his attempt to collaborate on an original work with the Royal Ballet in 1995 came to grief and he announced that henceforth he would only create on his own Frankfurt company. In Hauer's film, Forsythe himself dances what he says will be his swansong in a new piece together with his dancer Dana Casperson. It is followed by Ross MacGibbon's Nureyev Unzipped (8pm), a sorry little film in the J'Accuse tradition which attempts to suggest that Nureyev's celebrity owed more to style than content. There is depressingly little archive footage of the great man actually dancing and a parade of mostly has-beens and never-weres decrying his lack of technique. Ghastly.
After a break for Brookside (which has not got a dance theme) and Secrets and Lies the dance is back with MacGibbon's film of the Royal Ballet dancing Kenneth MacMillan's 1992 piece The Judas Tree (Channel 4 11.40pm, above right). The ballet shows us what happens when a beautiful young woman strays half dressed into a docklands building site. The ensuing gang rape is one of the nastiest things ever seen on a ballet stage.
The excuse for this is that it's all about responsibility and betrayal and the excuse for watching it is that Irek Mukhamedov gives a magnificent, carpet-chewing performance as the gang foreman tortured by passion and guilt. His co- star is Leanne Benjamin as the vixen/victim.
People have been known to sit this ballet out in the bar when it appears in triple bills. They aren't showing it this late for nothing.
Life & Style blogs
The high-powered dream team trying to create a stiletto shoe as comfy as a trainer
How Old Do I Look: Microsoft’s super advanced age-guessing app is terrible at guessing how old celebrities are, too
Apple MacBook review: preposterously thin and extravagantly attractive, this is the best-designed laptop Apple has ever made
UK skin cancer statistics 'shocking' as sun-worshippers ignore the dangers of exposure
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...