The Royal Ballet review: Dancers make a joyous return to the stage

Performers reunited for the first time in more than half a year for a socially distanced show

Zoe Anderson
Monday 12 October 2020 10:34 BST
Marianela Nunez, Don Quixote
Marianela Nunez, Don Quixote (Royal Opera House)


It’s been seven months since The Royal Ballet could dance together for an audience. At its best, this homecoming gala caught the joy and connection of live performance. The invited, socially distanced audience of students and health workers was small in number, but produced a roar of applause that sounded startlingly like a full house.

The show was streamed live and is available for another month – though many users reported technical problems on the night. Between numbers, presenter Anita Rani provided links from the stage, with more gush than insight. It’s touching to see the care taken to make the auditorium safe, with the whole stalls area given over to the widely spaced orchestra, handsomely conducted by Jonathan Lo. Rehearsals were socially distanced, with testing for dancers in physical contact.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in