Ukrainian who quit Royal Ballet faces uncertain future after losing right to dance in Britain
A Slice of Britain: There's not a sugar plum fairy in sight as English National Ballet pops its Nutcracker back on the shelf and prepares to bring favourite Gershwin tunes to life at the London Coliseum
You expect to see The Nutcracker staged at Christmas – but this year's snowstorm of productions is overwhelming. The trouble is there's not much else to take its place, says Jessica Duchen
Jonathan Miller’s triumphant staging of Donizetti’s comic masterpiece 'The Elixir of Love' returns to the London Coliseum this September for a limited run of only nine performances, while Fiona Shaw brings her unique creative flair to a major new production of Mozart’s immensely popular classic 'The Marriage of Figaro' in October.
My parents were... very kind people. My father was in the RAF and my mother trained as a nurse. I had a very distant relationship with them, though, mostly because of their work commitments.
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.
Ballet is in crisis, with fresh talent and ideas struggling to break through and the major companies obsessed with 200-year-old productions at the expense of new work, according to the head of Sadler's Wells, in remarks sure to cause a sharp intake of breath backstage at his more traditional rivals.
There is no disputing that dance is having a moment in the sun. And that's as true for watching it as for doing it. But this isn't just about couch potatoes slumping in front of spangly TV talent shows. Notwithstanding the recent cuts passed on by Arts Council England to many of its clients, a review of ACE-funded organisations has revealed dance as the fastest growing of all the arts, with attendances up by 103 per cent over 12 months. Another survey, of theatre audiences in the West End of London, found that 71 per cent of people attending dance shows rated their experience as "very good", compared with an average of 63 per cent across all the theatre arts. Whatever form it takes, dance is clearly perceived as providing a memorable night out.
A documentary filmed behind the scenes at English National Ballet had drama, spectacle, and its very own Victor Meldrew
There's no time for swanning around
Top marks to English National Ballet for cashing in on the Black Swan buzz with a rushed-out addition to their Black & White show at the London Coliseum next month. Alongside works by Wayne Eagling and Suite en Blanc, the programme will now feature the dazzling black swan pas de deux from Swan Lake which gave Natalie Portman's ballerina so much trouble in the film (and not just because of its 32 fouettés). Forget the battle between black and white swan, though, there's a far fiercer contest hatching – between the kings of the catwalk. For one special performance Elena Glurdjidze will dance the black swan in a gothic ebony tutu designed by the British fashion favourite Giles. In 2009, the same prima ballerina performed the Dying Swan in a feather-light white Chanel confection by Karl Lagerfeld. That design drew unflattering comparisons with Big Bird – will Giles Deacon fare any better and win over the tutu traditionalists?
Though English National Ballet's new Nutcracker is a long-awaited production, it seems to have been rushed on to the stage. It has handsome designs, Tchaikovsky's score and some strong dancing, but suffered a case of first-night nerves. Some dances were under-rehearsed; at least one special effect went awry. The production and company need to take a deep breath and calm down.
'In the Night Garden', the TV show hypnotic to children but unintelligible to adults, is to go on a £1m UK tour
English National Ballet's gargantuan Swan Lake-in-the-round is back, complete with dry ice, demon king entrances and a starry new prince. Vadim Muntagirov, ENB's boy wonder, made his debut at this performance.
Royal Ballet showcases the work of a 23-year-old choreographer
A gala should not be an endurance test. Ensemble Productions' Homage to Nureyev has a starry international cast, and some fine performances, but heavens, it's long. Close to four hours of short numbers, this tribute to the great 20th-century ballet star was epically episodic.