Royal ballet

Natalia Osipova, cursed with a frightful Ascot fascinator, a Halloween shock-wig of black pipe cleaners, in Medusa as the Royal Opera House Credit: ©ROH, 2019 Photograph by Tristram Kenton

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s #MeToo Medusa is a bad hair day from Hades

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Medusa is the bad hair day from Hades. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s retelling of the Greek myth is frizzy, tangled and…

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…

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…

January as you would wish it: Royal Ballet’s Les Patineurs reviewed

5 January 2019 9:00 am

The Royal Ballet’s Les Patineurs is January as you would wish it. No slush, no new-year sales, no streaming chest…

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…

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…

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…

The men give the women little to work with: Giselle reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

A bumper fortnight for Covent Garden florists thanks to a 20th-anniversary flower shower for the Royal Ballet’s Marianela Nunez and…

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

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

Dancers of the Royal Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Royal Ballet's Alice is a joy to look at - if only it weren't such a bore

7 October 2017 9:00 am

Alice is at it again. Christopher Wheeldon’s 2011 three-act ballet began another sell-out run at Covent Garden last week. It’s…

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…

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…

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…

The thrills are in the visuals: Philip Glass’s Les Enfants Terribles reviewed

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Kids: who’d have them? Certainly no one who has ever been to the opera. If they’re not murdering you, they’re…

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…

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…