I first heard Rae Woodland at the Nottingham Albert Hall in the mid-1960s when she sang the soprano solos at one of the Nottingham Harmonic Society's annual performances of Handel's Messiah.
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Tuesday 11 November 2008
In the auction scene from William Forsythe's Impressing the Czar, props and dancers are dragged forward and displayed to the audience. Agnes, the main speaking character, tries to keep control. As she harangued audience and dancers, I wondered if Forsythe was aiming for a Monty Python effect: absurd detail, manic action, surrealism. If so, it falls flat.
Mark Morris's Romeo & Juliet, Barbican Theatre, London <br>Impressing the Czar, Sadler's Wells, London</br>
Sunday 09 November 2008
Sunday 19 October 2008
Nadia Nerina: Ballerina whose effortless and dazzling virtuosity made her a favourite of Frederick Ashton
Tuesday 14 October 2008
Nadia Nerina's most famous role is so popular, so fixed in the minds of even the most casual ballet lovers, that any other ballerina would have sold her soul for the same chance of creating it. She was the adorable, mischievous Lise, the delinquent daughter determined to marry the man of her choice and heroine of La Fille mal gardée, Frederick Ashton's most-loved ballet.
Sunday 05 October 2008
Thursday 14 August 2008
Petite, with dark hair, a pretty, oval face and ideal proportions, Maryon Lane had the quintessential looks of a ballerina of her time. Born in Zululand in 1931, she was one of an important group of young dancers from the Commonwealth who found success in England.
Sunday 27 July 2008
Monday 21 July 2008
Colour prejudice has no place in racing, thank goodness. Whether a horse is bay, brown, black, chestnut or grey – or, in the case of a runner at Newton Abbot yesterday, skewbald – has no effect on its ability as an athlete. Honeypot Splenda's dramatic chestnut-and-white patched coat may have turned heads in Devon, but her performance, pulled up when tailed off before the third-last flight in the opening novices' hurdle, did not.
Monday 14 July 2008
Sunday 06 July 2008
Wednesday 02 July 2008
This year is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the works of the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, 50 years after his death. Packed concert schedules allow us to reassess the "cow pat" composer (or, according to Classic FM's polls, Britons' favourite composer). The culmination of these celebrations is the Pioneering Pilgrim series by the Philharmonia under the conductor Richard Hickox, which includes all nine symphonies and The Pilgrim's Progress, the greatest, most complex and the least stageable of Vaughan Williams's operas.
Monday 30 June 2008
Vaughan Williams toiled for most of his creative life to turn Bunyan's allegory of the Christian life into a full-length work, so the tepid reception at Covent Garden in 1951 was, perhaps, his greatest disappointment. Nor has it been much seen since, though both Sir Adrian Boult and Richard Hickox championed it on disc, and this semi-staging by David Edwards, as part of the Philharmonia's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of RVW's death, came over very much as a labour of love.
Monday 16 June 2008
Dancers wait in an airport lounge. Overhead, a display board flips through strings of random letters, ending in unwelcome messages: delay, please wait.
Sunday 25 May 2008
Monday 28 April 2008
You might be popping, flaring, waving or freezing. Or maybe you're locking or windmilling, head-spinning or top rocking. All the same, you'd be hip-hop dancing, or b-boying. It's more than a quarter of a century since hip-hop was spawned in New York and the rap music that is its signature in the 21st century is now a multi-million dollar industry, represented by rhyming global superstars who slurp Cristal and drip with jewellery.
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