Dance

The glorious Grand Pas from Paquita, part of the Mariinsky’s triple bill

I’m glad the Mariinksy don’t airbrush La Bayadère’s dodgy local colour

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Not really a vintage Mariinsky season — an odd choice of repertoire and some hit-and-miss male casting — but the…

The Mariinsky’s first British principal looked nervous – would his legs carry him through Swan Lake?

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Tall, handsome boys with long legs and beautifully arched feet do not grow on trees (if only). Every ballet director…

They like to move it: voguing at Club a la Mode, New York, 1998

A short history of voguing – an art, a sport, a way of life

15 July 2017 9:00 am

It’s dance — but not as you know it. A giddy mass of flying limbs, sashaying hips and pouty faces.…

Bennet Gartside as Bottom and Akane Takada as Titania in Frederick Ashton’s The Dream

Ashton’s Dream is a must-see: Royal Ballet’s Triple Bill reviewed

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Thrilling debuts, starry guests and a tear-stained farewell at Covent Garden this week as the Royal Ballet closed the season…

Royal Ballet’s mixed bill is a mixed bag

3 June 2017 9:00 am

A Covent Garden barfly was scanning her programme during the first interval: ‘Oh yes, the one about the gynaecologist.’ She…

Edward Watson as Crown Prince Rudolf and Natalia Osipova at Mary Vetsera in Royal Ballet’s Mayerling

Intelligence, nuance and white-hot energy: Royal Ballet’s Mayerling reviewed

6 May 2017 9:00 am

A tragic flaw is one thing — every hero should have one — but Mayerling’s Rudolf, a syphilitic drug addict…

This is England: Paris Fitzpatrick and Daniel Collins in ‘Town and Country’ from ‘Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures’

A warm-beer-and-bicycles take on all things English: Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures reviewed

15 April 2017 8:00 am

‘Modern’ dance was no laughing matter in 1987. Harold King, director of the now-defunct London City Ballet, cattily typified it…

Balanchine’s fiendishly difficult Jewels is brilliantly danced by the Royal Ballet

8 April 2017 9:00 am

A trio of dazzling scores, the soft clack of gemstones on hips and collarbones, a glittering parure of solos, duets…

Sergei Polunin in his spangled merkin performing Narcissus and Echo at Sadler’s Wells

What's missing from Project Polunin: taste

25 March 2017 9:00 am

There was a nasty sound of pens being sharpened last week as Royal Ballet runaway Sergei Polunin prepared to unveil…

The mechanicals: the dancers in Wayne McGregor’s ‘Tree of Codes’ interlock but they never really interact and we are left humming the scenery.

Music and dance are totally eclipsed by the setting: Tree of Codes reviewed

18 March 2017 9:00 am

The exit signs were switched off and the stalls were in utter darkness. One by one, 15 invisible dancers, their…

Too much redemption, not enough damnation: Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes reviewed

14 January 2017 9:00 am

From a film about ballet to a ballet about film. In reworking the 1948 Powell and Pressburger classic The Red…

Natalia Osipova as Anna Anderson and Thiago Soares as Rasputin in ‘Anastasia’

If only Kenneth MacMillan had left Anastasia alone

5 November 2016 9:00 am

The Romanovs were a hot topic in 1967: it was the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, memories of Ingrid…

Viscerally exciting: Alina Cojocaru and Issac Hernández in Akram Khan’s ‘Giselle’

Akram Khan's choreography is breath-catching: ENB's Giselle reviewed

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Giselle endures in the collective imagination as a charming, sorrowful, supernatural love story. Premièred in Paris in 1841, this keystone…

From spiritual transcendence to gender warfare: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater review

17 September 2016 9:00 am

For a regular dancegoer in New York City, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater seasons arrive with the comforting predictability…

At times utterly gripping: Crystal Pite at the Edinburgh International Festival reviewed

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Crystal Pite, the Canadian dancemaker who combines intellectual, emotional and physical intelligence in rare degree, is classically trained, but her…

In her final column, Ismene Brown salutes the Bolshoi’s real stars: the corps de ballet

20 August 2016 9:00 am

The second half of the Bolshoi tour brought much fresher fare than the first: following the ubiquitous warhorses Don Quixote…

Maria Alexandrova as Kitri in ‘Don Quixote’

Stylistic conformism worse than it was under the Soviets: Bolshoi’s Don Quixote reviewed

6 August 2016 9:00 am

For almost 60 years, whatever the political weather, Russia and Britain have maintained mutually assured respect as far as ballet…

This Creation puts brain before heart: Rambert at Garsington Opera reviewed

23 July 2016 9:00 am

Mark Morris, the most musically communicative and naturally lyrical of choreographers of the past 30 years (and an absentee from…

Osipova and Polunin are great classical dancers, but here they have little to dance

9 July 2016 9:00 am

The Bolshoi Ballet’s wunderkind ballerina Natalia Osipova defied received wisdom when, in 2012, she cast off from the great Moscow…

A stylish, profound 20-minute dance distillation of Othello at Birmingham Royal Ballet

2 July 2016 9:00 am

Paradoxically, some ballet masterworks absolutely depend on tiptop performing to demonstrate how great they are. If they don’t get it,…

Was this spectacular performance at the Royal Albert Hall Tamara Rojo’s final Swan Lake?

18 June 2016 9:00 am

Was Tamara Rojo, when she danced Swan Lake last Saturday at the Albert Hall, thinking as she shaped each phrase,…

Victoria Sibson as Bertha Mason and Javier Torres as Edward Rochester in Cathy Marston’s ‘Jane Eyre’

Northern Ballet has triumphed with Brontë: Jane Eyre reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

The difference between a poor ballet of the book (see the Royal Ballet’s Frankenstein) and a good one — indeed…

Vile body: Steven McRae as the Creature in ‘Frankenstein’

The Royal Ballet is literally losing the plot

21 May 2016 9:00 am

If a football manager produces a string of losses, the writing is on the wall and out he goes. He’s…

Predictably meh: Scottish Ballet’s new Swan Lake reviewed

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Every ballet company wants a box-office earner. But why Scottish Ballet’s leader Christopher Hampson kept on at David Dawson until…

A feast of Mexicanismo: Tamara Rojo as Frida Kahlo in ‘Broken Wings’

Does Tamara Rojo really think female choreographers are being stifled by sexism?

23 April 2016 9:00 am

Tamara Rojo programmed three female choreographers for her English National Ballet spring bill because, she said, she had never danced…