Royal Opera House, London
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Friday 28 October 2011
Thursday 27 October 2011
The Sleeping Beauty is definitely the ballerina’s ballet; the hero doesn’t show up until half-way through. Even so, Steven McRae was the star of this Royal Ballet revival, from his soaring jumps to his wonder as the fairy world opens up before him.
Friday 19 August 2011
Muirne Bloomer and Emma O'Kane dreamed of being ballerinas – and did more than dream: both trained and danced with professional ballet companies. With speech, dance and gleefully rewritten ballet mime, they look back on their time in this punishing world. The movie Black Swan had melodrama and moping; Bloomer and O'Kane have solidarity, survival and a rueful good time.
Friday 12 August 2011
Anna Karenina famously ends with a train. In the Mariinsky Ballet's new adaptation of Tolstoy's novel, you get trains all the way through. An elaborate carriage set looms through dry ice and clunks round on a revolve, all but elbowing its way to the front of the stage. It's a laborious effect that never looks as if it's going to work smoothly. Unfortunately, it sets the tone for the ballet.
Monday 25 July 2011
Sunday 24 July 2011
Thursday 14 July 2011
This Romeo is all over the place. On the one hand, it stars the Bolshoi's magnificent Ivan Vasiliev and Natalia Osipova – charisma to their fingertips, his lithe warmth to her fizzing attack. On the other, this is a production where designs, performance styles and even venue haven't been introduced to each other.
Sunday 24 April 2011
How did the English cheer themselves up during wartime?
Sunday 17 April 2011
Thursday 14 April 2011
Critics often complain that Ballets Russes's revivals are inauthentic. A century on, many works by the world's most influential ballet company have been lost or smudged. Most complaints concern steps and designs. This season of Diaghilev tributes adds "giant glitterball snake that shoots green lasers" to the list.
Wednesday 06 April 2011
Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cinderella has swift storytelling, marvellous designs and a tender heart. New last Christmas, it has been a success on tour and on television, and arrives at the London Coliseum looking as bright as ever.
Thursday 31 March 2011
Monday 21 March 2011
Serge Lifar's Suite en Blanc opens with an image of a ballet company. The dancers are posed in serried ranks, in plain tights and white tutus. It's a large-scale showcase – but it needs more clarity and confidence than English National Ballet show us.
Friday 04 March 2011
As her story was retold over the centuries, Cleopatra has gone from vampish to vulnerable, extravagant to canny. In Northern Ballet's new production, there are touches of pageantry, some strong performances and fluent designs, but the personal and political drives of its heroine rarely come into focus.
Monday 14 February 2011
Ballet Black celebrates its 10th anniversary with happy confidence and a noticeable gear change. The company was founded to bring more black dancers into ballet and its aim was to provide role models.
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