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Richmond Ballet at the Linbury

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Did anyone else see this absorbing and well-performed bill? I saw it last night and was part of a very appreciative audience. The evening started with Balanchine's Valse Fantasie which is a sparkling continuous dance piece which reminded me of Ballo della Regina. Then there was John Butler's After Eden which is one of those very physical "writhing around" type pieces for one couple. In parts it reminded me of The Rite of Spring.


After the interval came Ma Cong's very lyrical piece danced by several couples to some very haunting Klezmer or Klezmer type songs. It was slightly reminiscent of Nacho Duato's Cor Perdut which Zakharova performed at the recent Pavlova Gala. The women wore dresses with long full skirts in a mixture of yellows, oranges and reds/pinks. The piece was supposed to reference Jewish prisoners dancing in the concentration camps.


The final piece was a very new Val Caniparoli piece to some music by Gabriel Prokoviev (one of his string quartets remixed). It's hard to describe it There were elements of street dance and hip-hop and some of the pdds reminded me of those in Artifact. What I liked about this piece and the previous two was that they were still recognisably ballet with the women dancing on pointe.


All the dancers danced very well but there was one who really stood out for his strong and lithe dancing and great stage presence. His name was Fernando Sabino and he had something of Carlos Acosta about him. The programme was sold out, as I understand it was the previous evening. I would definitely like to see this company again. As well as performing some of the classics they commission and perform a lot of new work which is very impressive for a relatively small company. Sadler's Wells would also be a good venue for them. It was interesting to see how effective an evening of dance could be without elaborate staging and specialist musicians. Oh, and Monica Mason was there last night.



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Hi Aileen I loved the dancers - thought them all lovely both technically and to look at but for me the programme after the Balanchine/Glinka was a bit heavy on the modern - musically, choreographically & stylistically - I yearned to see maybe Symphonic or a Diverts "Act" or say The Concert or even (do they have enough bodies?) Dances at a Gathering just to lift the meringue but I very much enjoyed the evening - I had the impression the theatre was not quite full - maybe some house seats freed up last minute or people did not turn up or was I mistaken?

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tim b, I'd love to see the Balanchine Valse Fantaisie again, perhaps danced by ENB, but, according to one of the articles which I read, it is not yet licensed in the UK. I doubt that the RB would do it any time soon, having done Ballo this season and last.

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The performance yesterday in the Margot Fonteyn theatre at White Lodge comprised the following items:


Richmond Ballet: Valse Fantaisie.

RBS: Pas de Trois from "Paquita"

Richmond Ballet: Swipe.


RBS: Un Ballo (Kylian)

Richmond Ballet: Ershter Vals.

RBS: Fractals.


I think that the RBS items will probably turn up in one or more of their end-of-year performances in July.

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