Sidi larbi cherkaoui

Crystal Pite tore the house down: Royal Ballet’s 21st-Century Choreographers reviewed

The choreographers called on to get the nation’s dancers back on to the stage have as much to say about the state of our times as they do about art. Many of the works were created during the pandemic. English National Ballet’s Reunion started life as a series of dance films that were streamed last winter; with the opening of theatres, ENB’s artistic director Tamara Rojo asked the choreographers to adapt them for live staging. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Laid in Earth was the most moving; a portrait of man coming to terms with impending death, whether his own or his lover’s. To a live performance of ‘Dido’s Lament’, four dancers

No one understood the ennui of lockdown better than Louis XIV and his courtiers

A few years ago I interviewed an eminent baroque conductor. Prickly and professorial, tired after a day of rehearsals, he batted question after question away until we landed on the subject of French baroque opera. No longer disinterested, now he was furious. He’d recently had a conversation with a major UK opera house, who had decided never again to stage anything by Lully, Rameau or Charpentier. Why? ‘It doesn’t sell.’ Since then we’ve had precisely one professional production of this repertoire in this country. It’s not the first time that English audiences have been suspicious of foreign imports. Back in the 18th century, when the cultural invasion came from Italy,