5 items from 2014
Like many of the best things in life, overindulgence, even with the classics, can lead to irritability. One could well be sated for life with A Midsummer Night’s Dream (probably the most frequently mounted of all Shakespeare comedies) after landmark productions by Max Reinhardt, Peter Brook and Peter Hall, the Benjamin Britten opera, the George Balanchine ballet, not to mention a classic Czech animated feature or a recent starry Hollywood version. That is to say, there had better be a compelling reason to tour any new version internationally. The novelty here is the puppetry of Capetown’s Handspring Puppet Company, which
- Myron Meisel
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 23 Mins.
More connect-the-dots detective thriller than traditional doc, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s revelatory riddle of a film unmasks a brilliant photographer who hid in plain sight for decades working as an eccentric French nanny. Her name was Vivian Maier, and judging from her haunting, humorous, and long-unseen street portraits, she was like Mary Poppins living a double life as Diane Arbus. (Also available on VOD) A- —Chris Nashawaty
Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 31 Mins.
A spooky, heartbreaking documentary about Tanny le Clercq, the solemnly intoxicating »
- EW staff
Dancers and their bodies: it's a story that is rarely out of the news right now, as those in the profession and the public argue about whether ballet has pushed the ideal of the slender, supple body type to such an extreme that the art form has become a breeding ground for anorexia.
On the one hand, we have Gillian Lynne suggesting in the Guardian that it's no big deal for dancers to watch their weight, that it's all part of the professional discipline. On the other side, we have an Italian dancer who in 2012 claimed there was an endemic culture of eating disorders at La Scala ballet. Meanwhile, English National Ballet School is still »
- Judith Mackrell
An exploration of the sexualisation of pre-adolescent girls, St Vincent winds up her tour, and Lars von Trier is back
Opening this week
■ Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model
Bryony Kimmings on fine kick-ass form as she explores the sexualised female role models pushed upon pre-adolescent girls and, with the help of her 10-year-old niece, considers whether there might be alternatives. Bristol Old Vic Studio (0117-987 7877), Thursday to Saturday. Then touring.
Everyone is in love with Orlando, a young boy in the court of Queen Elizabeth, including the old queen herself. But when Orlando wakes up one day as a woman, it is the start of an odyssey across countries and centuries. Virginia Woolf's novel is adapted by Sarah Ruhl. Royal Exchange, Manchester (0161-833 9833), Thursday to 22 March.
■ Birmingham Royal Ballet: Three of a Kind
When a dancer loses the use of her legs, is she still a dancer? That's the question implicitly asked and answered by Nancy Buirski's lithe documentary Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq.
Long-legged wonder ballerina Le Clercq was the star of the New York City Ballet until she was stricken with polio during the company's 1956 European tour, never to dance or walk again. Known to her fans and close friends alike as Tanny, Le Clercq was the kind of performer whose humor and mischievous spirit shone through in her dancing.
According to lore, balletmaster George Balanchine first met her when she was a student at the School of American Ballet, a scowling mite standing in a hall with her arms folded across her chest. "Why aren't you in class?" he asked. "Kicked ou »
5 items from 2014
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