English National Ballet is changing: Tamara Rojo, as Artistic Director, has brought a new focus on building technique while developing younger talent. At Saturday night’s performance of The Sleeping Beauty in Oxford I noticed consistently sharper footwork and technical accuracy, although I felt that some of the cast were so concerned with precision that at times they risked becoming almost static. I was impressed by their control and stability but thought that they sometimes held their backs too rigidly upright, and that there is a need now to acquire a greater flow of movement. (more…)

The Sleeping Beauty is one of my favourite fairy-tales, Disney films, music scores… well, one of my favourite just about anything. For me, the ballet The Sleeping Beauty sums up everything that first delights any newcomer to ballet – young or old, the magic of the story and music has a mesmerising effect, and it rightfully maintains its position as one of the world’s most-loved ballets. I have seen it performed before by a small touring company, and was rather disappointed after a lacklustre production, but the English National Ballet quickly reaffirmed my faith in their performance at Oxford’s  New Theatre. (more…)