The result is oddly old-fashioned - even more so than John Cranko’s version, which the Canadians had performed since 1964.
Author - Jann Parry
A long-established dance writer, Jann Parry was dance critic for The Observer from 1983 to 2004 and wrote the award-winning biography of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan: 'Different Drummer', Faber and Faber, 2009. She has written for publications including The Spectator, The Listener, About the House (Royal Opera House magazine), Dance Now, Dance Magazine (USA), Stage Bill (USA) and Dancing Times. As a writer/producer she worked for the BBC World Service from 1970 to 1989, covering current affairs and the arts. As well as producing radio programmes she has contributed to television and radio documentaries about dance and dancers.
Well, the set is spectacular, by the ever-resourceful Steven Scott. Perhaps Igor Zelensky and Sergei Polunin had simply seen stills of Peter Schaufuss’s Midnight Express when they agreed to appear in the ballet.
Rawsthorne was painted by André Derain and Pablo Picasso, and later by Francis Bacon. She was the inspiration for Alberto Giacometti’s etiolated sculptures of walking figures...
When the Mikhailovsky Ballet first brought this production to London in 2010, Laurencia seemed a creakily old-fashioned Soviet drambalet. Now, with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev as the leads, it sparkles with fun, melodrama and commitment...
Osipova is tireless, impelled by a supernatural force until she fades away in a spine-tingling ending, a spirit no longer. Osipova’s Giselle has given every last atom of herself to Albrecht and to us, her witnesses.
Though this year it was Nijinsky’s turn to be reclaimed as a Russian icon, the contents of the gala had little to do with him. Very probably the choice of items – mainly pas de deux - depended on which dancers were available to perform whatever was in their repertoire.
This triple bill, with two world premieres, shows how ably choreographers 85 years apart can refresh the language of classical ballet without distorting it beyond recognition.
Jann Parry reports on a recent workshop seminar where 4 lighting and set designers talked about what they do...
Working backwards from the title song that ends Two Cigarettes in the Dark, it’s possible to discern a theme in Pina Bausch’s 1985 piece...
Essakow has continued to evolve as a choreographer, thanks to his association with The Print Room. Its high standards of presentation attract first-rate collaborators and performers, and by including spoken and projected words, Flow attracts non-dance-specialist audiences.
Alston’s response to music is scrupulous, but Kondo’s percussive clatters, not dissimilar to John Cage’s prepared-piano poundings, takes some getting used to – for audiences, as for dancers.
By abstracting and generalising the emotions in Pushkin’s verse-novel, Colker has rendered her account of the story completely incoherent.
Fallen, an exhilarating closer of the double bill, presents the company at its heart-stopping best.
Cojocaru is as great a dance-actress in the final scene as any I’ve been privileged to see – and that includes Lynn Seymour, Natalia Makarova and Ekaterina Maximova.
There were revelations on-screen, too. ...How many first-time spectators spot that the Biedermeyer-period Christmas cake in the Act 1 party provides the marzipan-and-icing set for Act II?
He knows he can’t surpass Petipa (or Ivanov for 'Swan Lake') – but he can tweak their scenarios into something uniquely his own. And he’s magnificently served by a cast of just 17, capable of switching roles at the twitch of a fairy’s wing.
As Clement Crisp wrote after Darrell’s death: ‘His ballets are true and fascinating mirrors of their age’. Timing a revival is always tricky. Would we want to see his Beatles ballet, Mods and Rockers (1963), again?
It’s a masterful, mesmerising piece.
After the urban angst of Infra, Fool’s Paradise concludes the evening on a sigh of pleasure. This triple bill is proof indeed that contemporary ballet is alive and thriving.
The Rodin Project suffers from the same structural problems as Maliphant’s expanded Afterlight. He’s poured his and his dancers’ creative energies into a superb solo or duet. Then...