Showing posts with label The Royal Ballet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Royal Ballet. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"He believed that you can say anything through dance"

It's 20 years since Sir Kenneth MacMillan died and the Royal Ballet is about to open a triple bill of his works to mark the anniversary. I had a wonderful talk the other week with his widow, Lady Deborah MacMillan, and my piece is out today. Read it in the Indy, here.

In this film, made to introduce the cinecast of Romeo and Juliet earlier this year, and fronted by its Juliet, the lovely Lauren Cuthbertson, the great and good of the company explore the work that is regarded by countless fans as the choreographer's prime masterpiece.

Today I am off to meet someone who could yet turn out to be one of his successors. Watch this space.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A tiger at the ballet: meet Sergei Polunin


He's 21, he's been called "better than Baryshnikov" and he has tiger scratches tattooed into his torso. Sergei Polunin, the youngest star of the Royal Ballet, makes his debut tonight as Des Grieux in MacMillan's ManonHis extraordinary roller-coaster of a story, from rags to incipient riches, as told to me a couple of weeks ago by the lad himself, is in today's Independent.

He's rather lovely - intelligent and self-aware, under that youthful bravado - and I couldn't help teasing him a little when he started talking about how he envies the street life of his former school friend back in Kherson, Ukraine, whom he encountered "walking around in a gang, looking cool". I asked where he lives and he named a reasonably rough bit of north London. Plenty of gangs there, I said. I'm sure they'd have you, what with the tattoos and all. Fortunately he recognises that he can't risk breaking a leg. Still, he's already seen more of real life in his 21 short years than many of ballet (and music)'s practitioners will experience in twice that.

Just look at this... an extract from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in which he dances Jack, with Lauren Cutherbertson - his Manon tonight and his Aurora for the upcoming cinecast of The Sleeping Beauty - as Alice.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kafka at the ballet

Here's my piece from yesterday's Independent about Arthur Pita's new dance theatre work based on The Metamorphosis by Kafka. One day Edward Watson awoke to find that he had been transformed into a giant insect.... It's at ROH2 all this week.

The Metamorphosis is the book of the moment. I've been in Paris for a couple of days to do an interview and while there I also met up for tea and tarte aux framboises on the Place des Vosges with Mikhail Rudy (he of The Pianist and the animated Kandinsky Pictures at an Exhibition). His next collaborative project, due for premiere in Paris in March 2012, is based on...yes, The Metamorphosis, and will involve film projections by the Quay Brothers to a selection of Janacek piano music. Meanwhile he's bringing Pictures to the UK in November - performances in Southampton (17 Nov) and at the Wimbledon Festival (19 Nov). Well worth the train ride, imho.

Meanwhile, my interviewee - an intergalactic opera star - talked to me for two hours, then sent me home with a red nose. That is a first. I hasten to add that it's made of foam. It is now perching on my desk lamp, smiling at me (in a manner of speaking), while I think of his unforgettable performance as Werther earlier this year.