Carlos Guitarlos, Borderline, London

It's an edifying coincidence that Carlos "Guitarlos" Ayala should play his first gig in the UK in the same week that heavy-metallers-in-meltdown rockumentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster was released.

Balanchine 100, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Eroticism and glamour mark a triple bill of masterpieces

Critics' Awards 1999 - Dance: Viktor victorious

Nothing made an impact on dance lovers over the course of 1999 like the fact of the new Sadler's Wells - which is a bit tough on the four-fifths of the population who don't live within reach of it, but that's capital cities for you. No longer did major international companies give London a miss for want of a venue. They came thick and fast, many for the first time in decades, others making long-overdue debuts. Some of the best winged in from America, with Baryshnikov, San Francisco Ballet and the Mark Morris Dance Group bringing blasts of fresh air. A stunning week of Nederlands Dans Theater almost made up for having had to wait so long.

Dance: Symmetries funereal, not fearful

International Celebration of Choreography Royal Opera House, London

Dance: Glimpses of strangers


A mixture of the sublime and uninspiring p

First Night Gala Opening Royal Opera House London

Dance: The turn of the new

Royal Ballet

Dance: The battle of the ballets


First Night: Consolation in a fine start and perfect finish

`Turn of the Screw' Sadler's Wells London

Comment: Are foreign ballerinas the shape of things to come?

JUST AS Covent Garden's new executive director Michael Kaiser was congratulating himself on turning press comment from negative to positive, the papers are suddenly full of stories about the problems of ballet. First the Royal Ballet's Viviana Durante supposedly gets dropped during rehearsal and definitely gets dropped from the Japanese tour. Then English National Ballet's director Derek Deane defends his company's lack of English leading dancers by claiming that the shape of the British body is to blame: stocky, broad-shouldered, too much bosom or bum.

Dance: Sunshine, happiness and all that stuff


It's a simple case of lost principals

Contrary to popular belief (and management spin), it's not just the Royal Opera that's in trouble. Its sister company the Royal Ballet is too. John Percival and Nadine Meisner weigh up its chances of survival

Dance: Royal wells of talent


DANCE / At panic stations: Judith Mackrell on timidity and temerity from English National Ballet at the Royal Festival Hall

Michel Fokine, the choreographer most frequently credited with bringing ballet into the 20th-century, was a reformer of the aesthetic school. Prizing simplicity and naturalness, he banished empty virtuosity from his choreography. Disdaining excessive spectacle, he struggled to establish a dramatic unity between his dance, music and design. Disliking cults, he even set his faith against any ballerina who tried to exercise her traditional privilege of wearing her best jewels on stage.
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