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Gerald Dowler sees a new production of The Nutcracker in Toulouse

Kader Belarbi continues to fight for classical ballet in Toulouse, his particular corner of France, where, fortunately, the local politicians support his efforts and see the city’s dance ensemble, the Ballet du Capitole, as a jewel in its cultural crown. As a gift back to Toulouse and his audience, for Christmas 2017 Belarbi created a […]

British dancer wins first ever Prix Clerc Milon

Prizes for classical dancing are few and far between in France. Indeed, the Prix Clerc Milon – awarded for the first time at the end of a gala performance amid the precious vines of this cru classé Bordeaux château early this July – is the only one at present. Born out of a desire by […]

Hungarian National Ballet in Onegin at the Budapest Opera House

It is a wonderful time of year in Budapest: whorls of autumn mist curl up from the Danube, the avenues are lined with golden trees and the mulled wine sellers are out in force. The Hungarian National Ballet has added to the pleasure with its new production of John Cranko’s globally popular Onegin (or Anyegin […]

Tchaikovsky Ballets in St Petersburg

St Petersburg in winter is truly magnificent – crystal-clear days (if you are lucky), frozen canals and plenty of snow, which means near-empty museums and restaurants – all made for an unstressful life. In contrast, the cultural life of this great city continues unabated, theatres full of eager audiences.

La Fille mal gardée in Budapest

A new acquisition for the Hungarian National Ballet, A Rosszul őrzött lány secured a rousing reception on its first night – Frederick Ashton’s delightfully sunny La Fille mal gardée has gone Magyar. The ballet was danced with aplomb, and Alexander Grant, the work’s custodian and the original Alain in 1960, was there to oversee final […]

A Dream of Africa at the Britten Theatre

By Gerald Dowler For the third year running, Henry Roche, devoted company pianist for The Royal Ballet, has brought young dancing friends and musical colleagues together to raise money for a small charity, Ashanti Development, which works in Ghana to help local communities. At the Royal College of Music’s delightful Britten Theatre, he put together […]

Ballets Russes, the Musical

Perhaps the strangest and most small-scale tribute to the Ballets Russes centenary has been David Reiser’s pocket show, staged in London’s tiny pub theatre, The Rosemary Branch. Size is not, however, everything, as director Vik Sivalingam’s cast of eight tells the story with gusto of Vaslav Nijinsky’s time with Serge Diaghilev’s company.

Peter and the Wolf at the Hackney Empire

Everything should have worked with this production of Peter and the Wolf: it is admirably designed and well costumed, the musicians are from the Philharmonia Orchestra no less and it has Brian Blessed as the predictably larger-than-life narrator. However, as a danced piece, it falls short. Not that anything is bad, just not quite good […]

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