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Reviews

The National Ballet of China’s La Bayadère

La Bayadère    National Ballet of China, Tianqiao Theatre, Beijing – December 7, 2019 The National Ballet of China (NBC) has been performing Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadère since 2016, and it is already so well established it was like a much-loved part of its heritage. Rarely have I seen the ballet danced with […]

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National Ballet of China in The Crane Calling 

Think of a bird in classical ballet and inevitably a swan comes to mind. In China, however, since 2017 a rival has been calling. The crane is a beautiful creature, venerated in Chinese culture for millennia for its loyalty (they mate for life) and grace. Special nature reserves and wetlands are dedicated to their protection […]

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Ballet Nacional de España 

Ballet Nacional de España’s (BNE) final performance under the artistic leadership of Antonio Najarro took place on August 1 in Barcelona’s opera house, the Liceu, in a double bill reprised from 2015. It was emblematic of his eight-year tenure: both looking back to the rich history of Spanish dance and presenting a prime example of […]

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The Most Incredible Thing

The Most Incredible Thing Charlotte Ballet, Knight Theater, Charlotte – March 10, 2018   The most incredible thing has always been that tomorrow is another day. The trials and tribulations of one day can be replaced with the triumph of the next. So it was for Charlotte Ballet, now under the artistic leadership of Hope […]

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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 […]

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Baltic Dance Theatre in The Tempest

The Tempest Baltic Dance Theatre, Baltic Opera House, Gdansk – June 14, 2015 There have been a number of Shakespeare plays made into ballets, notably Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, although not that many contemporary choreographers have chosen the Bard for their source material. Izadora Weiss has bucked that trend by making […]

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High jinx at high sea

Nicola Rayner set sail for Anything Goes at the New Wimbledon Theatre on February 2 The idea of a musical on board a ship was first conceived by US producer Vinton Freedley, who, Broadway legend has it, decamped to sea to avoid creditors after the disastrous flop of Pardon My English in 1933. Cole Porter […]

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Rambert in The Castaways at the New Theatre, Oxford

The Castaways, choreographed by Barak Marshall and danced by Rambert, tells the story of a cast of 12 characters trapped in a strange, unexplained, seemingly underground limbo. How they have arrived here and how they are to escape are not clear. Their predicament is nonetheless enthralling.

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De Oscuro’s Mac//Beth at the Linbury Studio Theatre

In De Oscuro’s new production of Mac//Beth, the witches spin their deceptive prophecies in Welsh, while Lady Macbeth slides from speech into movement as she urges her husband on to murder. It’s an ambitious idea, but the staging is both rushed and pedestrian, gaining little insight from its mix of languages. Founded in 2010 by […]

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The Mikhailovsky Ballet in The Flames of Paris

The Flames of Paris The Mikhailovsky Ballet, Mikhailovsky Theatre, St Petersburg – July 22, 2013 Within minutes of the curtains closing on the premiere of The Flames of Paris, dancers and staff of the Mikhailovsky Ballet were addressed onstage by the surviving son of Vasily Vainonen. He spoke softly, barely audible above the sound of […]

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Strictly Confidential

Vikki Jane Vile enjoyed Craig Revel Horwood’s show, starring Lisa Riley and a topless Artem Chigvintsev, at the New Wimbledon Theatre on July 1 With Strictly fans offered so many spin-off shows in the bleak cold months of the year, when withdrawal symptoms are at their most insufferable, it’s a rather nice surprise to be […]

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Birmingham Royal Ballet in High Wycombe

Mixed BillLyric Pieces, Bitesized Ballet, Pineapple PollBirmingham Royal Ballet, Swan Theatre, High Wycombe – May 21, 2013 Birmingham Royal Ballet’s “split-tour” nomenclature suggests a glass half empty. Its notion of “south west” is misleading too, extending to the doorstep of London – to High Wycombe. The company – well this half of it – looked […]

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