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Like Water for Chocolate

Returning to The Royal Ballet with years of international success in ballet and musical theatre to his credit, Christopher Wheeldon has created a wonderful three-act show for the company but not a very good ballet. It’s based on Laura Esquivel’s popular Mexican novel Like Water for Chocolate, a fable of love and food that blends […]

New works in London

Pictured: English National Ballet in Playlist (EP). Photograph by Laurent Liotardo. For every person who thinks ballet means fairytales, there’s another who’s hunting for narratives steeped in sex and another who prefers movement stripped of drama and decoration. Over time, the classical ballet vocabulary has evolved into a flexible language that can satisfy them all. The new […]

London Mime Festival at the Barbican

Pictured: Shantala Shivalingappa in asH, a piece by Aurélien Bory. Part of the London Mime Festival. Photograph by Aglae Bory. Over the years, London’s annual Mime Festival has developed into a grab bag of theatrical activity meshing movement, music and speech. Its international array of artists attracts viewers of all ages, who are possibly the […]

English National Ballet’s Raymonda

Pictured: Isaac Hernández and Shiori Kase in Raymonda. Photograph by Johan Persson. Tamara Rojo has made an enormous effort to stage a full-evening production of Raymonda for English National Ballet (ENB). It is her first attempt at choreography and the first such production by a company from the UK, if you don’t count Rudolf Nureyev’s initial […]

Nutcracker in New York

Above: Indiana Woodward in New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Photograph by Erin Baiano. Relaying news from New York in the January issue of Dancing Times, Leigh Witchel wrote that “New York City Ballet has done the same version of The Nutcracker since 1954,” but because “there were no major debuts during […]

Two exhibitions

Main image: Laura Knight, The Dressing Room at Drury Lane (1922). Image reproduced with permission of The Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE. Designed by Isamu Noguchi (who was born in 1904 and died in 1988), a sunken stone garden and a giant tilted cube that balances on one corner form part of New York […]

Mapping intimacy

Barbara Newman sees Matthew Bourne’s The Midnight Bell and Wayne McGregor’s The Dante Project Have you noticed that nobody imitates Matthew Bourne? Choreographers don’t hesitate to produce their own take, respectful or not, on Martha Graham or Pina Bausch. With an affectionate nod to Jerome Robbins, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo neatly skewered Dances […]

English National Ballet’s Creature

Does anyone understand what happens in Creature, Akram Khan’s new ballet for English National Ballet? I know I wasn’t the only person it confused. On the bus after the performance, my guest said to me, “Well, we know she was raped,” and the woman sitting behind us, a complete stranger, leaned forward and added, “And […]

Back on stage

There we were, back at Sadler’s Wells, and all it took to provoke a sustained ovation were the words, “Welcome to this evening’s performance of English National Ballet.” Several live and recorded speeches later, the curtain rose on the first of the five dances that filled the next 80 minutes (no interval, no bar, everyone […]

Lazuli Sky

Ordinarily, a sprinkling of viewers scattered around the seats at Sadler’s Wells would be a sorry sight, representing all too clearly a general lack of interest in that night’s attraction. Now, however, as they waited eagerly for Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) to present three new pieces – two never performed in the UK before, one […]

Cunningham on the big screen

Making dances is a mysterious process that’s difficult to describe. Recreating a dance’s essential character and original impact is still harder. The works Merce Cunningham left behind when he died in 2009 must now make their own way in the world, without his help but assisted by the dancers who know them and by the […]

In search of nourishment

You could call it a feast of narratives. The Royal Ballet has served up The Sleeping Beauty and Coppélia for Christmas and dances Onegin throughout February. Birmingham Royal Ballet brought The Nutcracker to Birmingham and the Royal Albert Hall; that company has just launched a long tour of Swan Lake. English National Ballet (ENB) followed […]

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