Letter: Ballet at all-time low

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The Independent Online
I WAS intrigued to learn from David Lister ("Sell-off plan for the Royal Opera", 16 March) that the Royal Ballet is currently enjoying critical acclaim. The reports from your excellent dance critic Louise Levene paint a very different picture.

Nor is she alone in her opinion. Most long-term observers of the Royal Ballet would agree that under its current direction the company has reached an all-time low as far as repertory and standard of performance are concerned.

The overall technical level of dancing may have improved, along with that of virtually every other company in the world, but there are probably fewer really outstanding dancers than at any other time in the company's history and the choice of repertory can most kindly be described as timid.

It is true that ticket prices for ballet are lower than those for opera, but with top prices of more than pounds 50, for most people it is still an expensive evening out and one which, unless something drastic is done soon, they are unlikely to repeat.