Louise Levene

At last some genuine gala material: Royal Ballet’s Balanchine and Robbins reviewed

Plus: punters paid £240 a ticket for Darcey Bussell's charity gala expecting big names and greatest hits. They got precious little of either

Marianela Nunez and Alexander Campbell in Dances at a Gathering, a joyous stream of characterful, mix-and-match duets, trios and ensembles. Credit: Bill Cooper ROH

The OED defines ‘gala’ as ‘a festive occasion’. In the ballet world this usually translates as a handful of stars, a mile of tulle and more triple fouettés than you can shake a stick at. Most balletgoers could put a half-decent programme together in their sleep: a firecracker duet (Swan, black), the odd solo party piece (Swan, dying), a dash of romance (Romeo, Manon) and the dear old Don Q.

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