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Thursday 13 August 1992
With Ashton and MacMillan's versions of Romeo and Juliet playing in London within days of each other it's impossible to look at one without seeing the shadows of the other. MacMillan's - the Royal Ballet production - is crammed with activity, carefully plotted motivation and naturalistic detail. Ashton's, danced by ENB, is much more elliptically poetic. Many of the characters function as narrative emblems rather than individuals, the story tends to be danced rather than told and Ashton's plotting often follows a kind of fairy-tale logic. When Romeo and Juliet first see each other at the ball for instance they dash off the stage in rapturous flight - not standing up the rest of the guests exactly, but pre-figuring the real transgression to come.
DANCE / Physical kicks, spiritual highs: Judith Mackrell reviews Alvin Ailey at the Coliseum. Plus Romeo and Juliet
Friday 24 July 1992
IT'S 17 years since the Alvin Ailey company last appeared in London, and while much of the modern dance world has, during this time, withdrawn into ironic or alienated reticence, this company brings a reminder that the form can be brash, bawdy and big. (There's a temptation to add bad - except that's hardly a quality exclusive to the Ailey company.)
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