Paul McCartney's first work for dance may be the most satisfying of his classical pieces – but then, he's been composing for the dance all his life, in a way.
New York City Ballet
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Thursday 20 January 2011
Wednesday 19 January 2011
Sunday 19 December 2010
It was not chivalrous of Alastair Macaulay, the British dance critic of The New York Times, to write that Jenifer Ringer, principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, looked overweight in The Nutcracker. To say that a woman with a history of bulimia and anorexia looked as if she had had "one plum too many" as the Sugar Plum Fairy showed an undeniable emotional insensitivity. The incident coincides with the imminent release of Black Swan, a film about the grotesque physical demands made on dancers, and with a wave of ballet mania. So Macaulay's remark has hit black ice in front of a mass audience. As Natalie Portman, star of Black Swan, asked rhetorically: "In whatever other fields is it acceptable to judge artists by how big they are?"
Sunday 21 February 2010
Wednesday 03 June 2009
Frederick Ashton's 1958 ballet, Ondine, the tale of a water sprite's love for an unfaithful prince, was old-fashioned even when it was new. It has an enchanting ballerina role, created for Margot Fonteyn, but surrounds it with an awful lot of padding. Ashton's watery imagery goes from poetic to kitsch and back again. Lila de Nobili's designs include mistily evocative landscapes, but unflattering wigs and boots.
Sunday 31 May 2009
Wednesday 18 February 2009
The sensational defection of the Hungarian ballerina Nora Kovach in 1953 caught the imagination of both sides in the Cold War. She was an outstanding talent, decorated and feted by the communist state in Hungary, yet she decided with her then husband and partner, Istvan Rabovsky, to defect to the West. They were the first ballet dancers to escape from the Soviet bloc, and their defection caused enormous ripples that went far beyond ballet circles.
Friday 07 November 2008
Friday 19 September 2008
Two surprise moves in the dance world this week. The Bolshoi Ballet's Alexei Ratmansky becomes artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre – which snatched him from under the nose of its rivals, New York City Ballet. Back in Britain, Javier De Frutos has made a speedy exit from Phoenix Dance Theatre.
Sunday 27 July 2008
Wednesday 11 June 2008
The dramatic ballerina Sallie Wilson was renowned as an interpreter of the British choreographer Antony Tudor's work after he went to the United States in 1940. After retirement she continued faithfully to keep his delicately calibrated psychological ballets alive in the face of later generations of dancers' cooler personalities and emphasis on technique.
Sunday 18 May 2008
Sunday 27 April 2008
Sunday 23 March 2008
Friday 21 March 2008
New York City Ballet's spring season has been a serious disappointment. This is one of the world's major companies, visiting London for the first time since 1983. It should have been a big deal. The four programmes have been awkwardly chosen and often inadequately performed. These last two bills moved from NYCB's core choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, to more recent work. Quality plummeted.
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