Ballet

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

Merce Cunningham’s work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian, says Ismene Brown. Revival is futile

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…

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

14 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

14 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

Emma Byrne meets the choreographer who has done more than any other to push the limits of what ballet might be

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…

From left: Royal Ballet principals Yasmine Naghdi and Francesca Hayward, and first soloist Melissa Hamilton

Dancing queens: Meet Britain’s next great ballerinas

2 December 2017 9:00 am

For years, dance lovers have waited impatiently for the next great British ballerina – now three have come along at once. Emma Byrne meets the Royal Ballet’s soon-to-be superstars

‘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…

Reducing the heroine to a demented rape victim is just what ballet needs: The Wind reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

A kindly cowboy, an East Coast bride, adultery, murder and madness. The Wind, Dorothy Scarborough’s 1925 Texas gothic novel (and…

Company Wayne McGregor — Autobiography at Sadler’s Wells

Dancing the genetic code, big girls’ blouses and a ballroom bitch: Sadler’s Wells roundup

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Ballet would have been an obvious revenue stream for Sadler’s Wells when it reopened back in 1998 but straight-up classics…

Tyrone Singleton and Jenna Roberts in MacMillan’s Concerto

Kenneth MacMillan: the dark genius of British ballet – its destroyer, if you listen to some

21 October 2017 9:00 am

The 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death is finally giving us something to celebrate – and about time too, says Ismene Brown