Tag Archives: The Royal Ballet

Royal Opera House Live : The Royal Ballet perform Sir Peter Wright’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Featured photo- Alexander Campbell and Francesca Hayward.

You can tell it is Christmas as we have revivals of THE NUTCRACKER again.

This was another revival of the much loved production with some cast changes for some of the principals to the version I saw earlier this year.

It is a lavish, opulent, incredibly detailed production – a quite traditional and enchanting rendition , seeking to keep to the original Petipa/Ivanov , with some technically amazing dancing, particularly in the second act. The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, led enthusiastically and energetically by maestro Barry Wordsworth played magnificently. Continue reading Royal Opera House Live : The Royal Ballet perform Sir Peter Wright’s ‘The Nutcracker’

The Royal Ballet in Alice in Wonderland

THE ROYAL BALLET IN ALICE IN WONDERLAND
NOVEMBER 2017

Bold, bright, colourful and exotic this is a wonderful revival by the Royal Ballet of Christopher Wheeldon’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND first seen in 2011. It is part of the Royal Opera House 2017/18 Live Cinema Season. Visually stunning it showcases some fabulous theatrical effects, wonderful dancing, and Wheeldon’s inspired, outstanding choreography. The work feels, at times, perhaps a little dominated by set and visual design values but it is a stunning visual feast and full of delightful whimsy.

Continue reading The Royal Ballet in Alice in Wonderland

PALACE OPERA AND BALLET :  ROYAL BALLET PRESENTS AN ASHTON TRIPLE BILL

 

As part of the Palace Opera and Ballet season, celebrating 70 years at the Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet brings it season to a close with a tribute to its founder choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton.

The tribute comprised a marvellous triple bill featuring The Dream (1964), based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the non-narrative work Symphonic Variations (1946) to music by Franck (Ashton’s first work after World War 2), and then finally the 1963 passionate, tempestuous Marguerite and Armand (1963), based on La Dame Aux Camellias, created for the legendary partnership of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev to a Lizst sonata.

This particular performance also marks the retirement from the stage of principal Zenaida Yanowsky and at the end we see the extended curtain calls and appearances by several of her leading men who have partnered her over the years in various roles.

Opening the program was a delightful revival of The Dream. The forest clearing set was enchanting and beautifully lit, the Mendelssohn music gloriously played by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under the energetic baton of Emmanuel Plasson with the London Oratory Junior Choir giving a fine performance. The fairies were absolutely enchanting. Continue reading PALACE OPERA AND BALLET :  ROYAL BALLET PRESENTS AN ASHTON TRIPLE BILL

THE ROYAL BALLET IN BALANCHINE’S ‘JEWELS’

 

We were privileged to see absolutely dazzling dancing in this revival of Balanchine’s Jewels by the Royal Ballet.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Balanchine’s work and a decade since it became part of the Royal Ballet’s repertoire.

The three works, all without a clear narrative structure, are a homage by Balanchine to French Romanticism (Emeralds) America and Broadway (Rubies) and the Imperial Russian ballet of Petipa ( Diamonds). The works feature scores by three composers – Faure , Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.

Continue reading THE ROYAL BALLET IN BALANCHINE’S ‘JEWELS’

WOOLF WORKS : THE ROYAL BALLET REIMAGINING SOME CLASSIC VIRGINIA WOOLF STORIES

Ferri and Bonelli in The Waves

Originally created in 2015 this is a welcome return of resident choreographer Wayne McGregor’s three part work based on the life and works of Virginia Woolf.

McGregor’s three acts delve into three of Woolf’s novels, interwoven with images from her own life. The choreography is athletic and extremely demanding at times with death defying leaps and catches in the partnering and laser sharp legs .The Royal Ballet dancers are AMAZING.

Continue reading WOOLF WORKS : THE ROYAL BALLET REIMAGINING SOME CLASSIC VIRGINIA WOOLF STORIES

Palace Opera and Ballet: The Royal Ballet in Swan Lake

Swan Lake- insetThis particular version by Sir Anthony Dowell for the Royal Ballet is now almost thirty years old. I have previously seen it with other casts, both live in London at the Royal Opera House and on screen, and it is still enthralling.

SWAN LAKE is now regarded as one of the definitive classical romantic ballet, and this is a magnificent ‘traditional’ version, using the well known Ivanov/Petipa choreography. The story of doomed love and an evil sorcerer is elegantly portrayed. Continue reading Palace Opera and Ballet: The Royal Ballet in Swan Lake

The Royal Ballet: Manon

Federico Bonelli and Marianela Nunez in MANON. Pics by Alice Pennefather
Federico Bonelli and Marianela Nunez in MANON. Pics by Alice Pennefather

I  have just been privileged to see a stunning, lavish and opulent production by the Royal Ballet of Sir Kenneth Macmillan’s masterpiece MANON. McMillan’s work was photographed with plenty of close ups so you feel as if you are almost on stage with the Company.

This is the 40th anniversary year for this ballet and quite a few companies around the world have included it in their 2014 subscription program, including the Australian Ballet earlier in the year.

MANON tells a cautionary tale of love, greed and corruption, a major three act work requiring a huge cast and the Royal Ballet,  the Company with which it was originally created, did itself proud. Continue reading The Royal Ballet: Manon

THE WINTER’S TALE

(c)JohanPersson/www.perssonphotography.com

Three years in the making, this new, specially commissioned work by Christopher Wheeldon is a major landmark production. It is only the second new full length narrative ballet commissioned by the Royal Ballet in the past twenty years. Technically it dazzles and at times it is emotionally shattering.

One of Shakespeare’s difficult ‘problem plays’ with a very complicated plot, it has never been adapted for the ballet stage before. Wheeldon returns to the Royal Ballet’s history of full length narrative works , following in the footsteps of Macmillan and Ashton for example , in this splendid work ( not forgetting his own ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. )There are six main roles and lots for the corps de ballet ensemble to do – especially in Act2 in Bohemia as bucolic shepherd/esses in an enchanting pastoral setting.

Continue reading THE WINTER’S TALE

SLEEPING BEAUTY

The Royal Ballet's 2006 revival of THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
The Royal Ballet’s 2006 revival of THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

In this huge production by the Royal Ballet the dancing is superb, especially by the two leads. It has an extremely ‘traditional’ feel about it and is a 2006 attempt to reconstruct the famous 1946 Oliver Messell production that reopened the Royal Opera House after World War 11, starring Fonteyn and Helpmann.

This current production was always all about remembering the company’s immensely rich heritage. Monica Mason, then artistic director, set out to restore most aspects of the now legendary 1946-67 production by Ninette de Valois (director), Oliver Messel (designer), Ashton (coach and supplementary choreographer) and Fonteyn (prima ballerina).

Continue reading SLEEPING BEAUTY