Ballet has enjoyed something of a resurgence in the last decade, having tackled issues of elitism and snobbery head on. Audiences are now younger and far more diverse, as are the companies themselves, often incorporating modern dance or music elements into their repertoire. Here we round up six different ways to experience this wonderful artform in the coming months.
Romeo and Juliet Royal Ballet Company
Prokofiev’s setting of Shakespeare’s tragic love-story has become a staple in the repertoire of most major ballet companies, the Royal Ballet being no exception. The ballet has a huge variety of dances within it, from large scale ‘battle’ scenes to intimate duets: in the last of these Romeo dances helplessly with the seemingly-lifeless Juliet. The ‘Dance of the Knights’, in which the Montagues and Capulets face off, is probably the best known music from the ballet, not least thanks to being used as the theme for the BBC show The Apprentice.
1984 Northern Ballet
This new ballet, from composer Alex Baranowki and choreographer Jonathan Watkins, is based on the classic dystopian novel by George Orwell. Called ‘a brave new production’ by The Telegraph, the company promises to ‘change the way you think about ballet.’
With a twist:
Sleeping Beauty New Adventures and Matthew Bourne
Matthew Bourne has become famous (and infamous in some circles) for his all-male productions of classic ballet. Having had huge success with his recent production Car Man, Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky) promises another extraordinary experience.
Lest We Forget English National Ballet
Lest We Forget was concieved for the 100t-anniversary year of World War I. The ballet reflects on the experiences of soldiers and British citizens throughout the conflict in three separate works, two by contemporary composers Andy Cowton and Jocelyn Pook, and the third excerpted from music by Franz Liszt.
For the Kids:
Cinderella Ballet Cymru
Ballet Cymru is building up a reputation for fresh and intimate approach to dance. Its version of Cinderella is based on a brand new musical score by Jack White, and promises to incorporate circus elements with classical dance.
To celebrate #WorldBalletDay BBC Arts are live-streaming a full day of behind-the-scenes footage from five of the world’s leading ballet companies.