Ballet

Rambert's latest uses the migrant crisis for superficial intrigue: Aisha and Abhaya reviewed

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

The January dance stage can be a site of naked contrition. Like a tippler grasping at green juice after a…

Chilling: Arthur Pita’s The Little Match Girl at Sadler’s Wells reviewed

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Did your feet twitch? That’s the test of The Red Shoes. Did your toes point? Your ankles flex? Your arches…

How to make a Christmas ballet hit: behind the scenes at Scottish Ballet’s Snow Queen

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Ballet, like bread sauce and green chartreuse, is often just a Christmas thing and the UK’s national companies plan their…

From cartoons to stage design: the genius of Osbert Lancaster

30 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Bigger,’ said Sir Osbert Lancaster when asked the difference between his work for the page and for the stage. ‘Definitely…

Unsettlingly faithful to the spirit of Schiele: Staging Schiele reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Come up and see my Schieles.’ Those were the words that ended a friend’s fledgling relationship with an art collector.…

A last dose of vitamin D before the clocks go back: Royal Ballet’s triple bill reviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Were those gerberas in Francesca Hayward’s bouquet on opening night? Gentlemen admirers take note: no woman, ballerina or otherwise, has…

Daffy charm and diabolo tricks: Bolshoi’s The Bright Stream reviewed

17 August 2019 9:00 am

The Bright Stream is a ballet about a collective farm. Forget everything you know about collectivism — the failed harvests,…

Dancer, choreographer, iconoclast: Merce Cunningham in 1962

Merce Cunningham’s work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian – revival is futile

13 April 2019 9:00 am

On Tuesday, thousands of miles apart, in three great cities, London, New York and Los Angeles, 75 dancers will dance…

Electrifying: English National Ballet’s She Persisted reviewed

13 April 2019 9:00 am

‘Where was the Kahlo brow?’ asked my guest in the first interval of English National Ballet’s She Persisted, a triple…

Dancer, choreographer, iconoclast: Merce Cunningham in 1962

A masterclass of menace and magnificence: Romeo and Juliet reviewed

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Two households, both alike in dignity. Capulets in red tights, Montagues in green. Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet opens in…

Still far from perfect but chaps will like it: Royal Ballet’s Frankenstein reviewed

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Choreographer Richard Alston is now 70 and his latest outing at Sadler’s Wells is a greatest hits medley. As with…

Almost triumphs over the absurdity of its premise: Northern Ballet’s Victoria reviewed

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Blame Kenneth MacMillan. The great Royal Ballet choreographer of the 1960s, 70s and 80s was convinced that narrative dance could…

Forget the Don – come for the Mataphwoar Ryoichi Hirano: Royal Ballet’s Don Quixote reviewed

23 February 2019 9:00 am

The trouble with Don Quixote is Don Quixote. Whenever the doddering, delusional Don is onstage, tilting at windmills, riding his…

Alina Cojocaru and Joseph Caley in Manon. Photo: Laurent Liotardo

One nasty moment aside, the ENB’s Manon is superlative

26 January 2019 9:00 am

If you like the BBC’s Les Misérables, you’ll love English National Ballet’s Manon. Manon, in Kenneth MacMillan’s telling, is The…

Matthew Ball as Ted Feltham in the Royal Ballet's The Unknown Soldier. Photo: ROH, Helen Maybanks

Has the Royal Ballet found its hero?

1 December 2018 9:00 am

The Royal Ballet is a company in search of a prince. It has no lack of dancing princesses. You could…

Vadim Muntagirov as Solor and Marianela Nunnez as Nikiya in Royal Ballet's Bayadère. Photo: ROH / Bill Cooper

How could anyone object to the Royal Ballet engaging in cultural appropriation?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

La Bayadère opens with a sacred flame and ends with an earthquake. In between, Marius Petipa’s ballet of 1877 gives…

Joseph Caley and Alina Cojocaru in English National Ballet’s Manon

Why does the English National Ballet bother taking Manon to the provinces?

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Like it or not, provincial ballet audiences love a story they can hum and any director planning to tour a…

Natalia Osipova as Mary Vetsera and Ryoichi Hirano as Rudolf in Mayerling

Why Mayerling is a #MeToo minefield

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling is a #MeToo minefield. Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary is a serial seducer, a man of many…

Jill Johnson and Christopher Roman in William Forsythe’s Catalogue

William Forsythe on the day the US government threatened to arrest him

6 October 2018 9:00 am

William Forsythe has been called a lot of things in his four decades as a dancemaker: wilful provocateur, ‘pretentious as…

Bravura piss-taking from Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

29 September 2018 9:00 am

‘Ballet is woman’ insisted George Balanchine, but ballet can also be a big man in a dress as any fan…

Artists of the Royal Ballet against the easel-worthy backcloths of John Macfarlane’s ravishing designs for Swan Lake

Proper tutus, gorgeous designs, first-rate dancing: Royal Ballet’s new Swan Lake reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

The Royal Ballet’s 2016 Frankenstein was a masterclass in how not to make narrative dance and the news that Liam…

How do these Shaolin monks square six shows a week with monking?

How do these Shaolin monks square six shows a week with monking?

14 April 2018 9:00 am

The Shaolin monks are no strangers to the stage. Their home in Dengfeng is a major stop on the Chinese…

ENB’s La Sylphide resembles a lock-in at a Royal Mile souvenir shop

27 January 2018 9:00 am

Gurn loves Effy, Effy is engaged to James but James is away with the fairies: a recipe for love tragedy.…

The nymphs are hit and miss, but Osipova is a witty, multifaceted Sylvia: the Royal Ballet’s Sylvia reviewed

16 December 2017 9:00 am

You can pay homage to a ballet classic or you can tear it up and reinvent it. Both approaches were…

‘Les Modes se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas’, 1926, cover design for Harper’s Bazaar

The time is right for an Erté revival – a new hero for our gender-anxious times

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Erté was destined for the imperial navy. Failing that, the army. His father and uncle had been navy men. There…