WHAT WENT ON IN THE BALLET WORLD…Category: Theatre
Thanks to the management of the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, who make available seats in the front stalls at knockdown prices to parties of local schoolchildren.
I sat in the middle of a row full of junior secondary boys and girls at a near-perfect performance of Giselle last week and the concentration and enjoyment were intense.
Margaret Barbieri, the Royal Ballet touring company’s new Giselle, is a dark-haired, wide-eyed beauty with a heartbreak fragility, and Michael Coleman, her Albrecht, is one of the finest actor-dancers I have ever seen in this role.
Thank you, Royal Ballet, for making this production, with its beautiful designs by Peter Farmer, available to audiences in the provinces.
And thanks again for adding to the touring repertoire a new ballet b the best contemporary British choreographers, the Ballet Rambert’s Christopher Bruce.
Unfamiliar Playground is a more or less abstract work with severely geometrical designs by Nadine Baylis, and less severe music from outer space by Anthony Hyams and Brian Hodgson.
It presents a series of beautiful, sculptural images, mysteriously lit and performed by the dancers of the Royal Ballet with a selfless absorption, which transforms them from the arch entertainers of “Solitaire” and “A Wedding Bouquet” into artists of real quality.
A Convent Garden Kenneth MacMillan’s new ballet, Elite Syncopations, loses much of its impact by being the fourth or fifth dance work this year to cash in on the Scott Joplin revival.
It is the technical brilliance and high spirits of the dancers, especially Merle Park, Monica Mason, Michael Coleman, Vergie
Derman and Wayne Sleep, of the musicians (on stage) and the liquorishallsort costumes of Ian Spurling, which drew the applause.
(Morning Star, October, 1974)