Sunday, December 20, 2009


Royal Ballet


A rink in a forest glade. Chinese lanterns. Assorted skaters preened, pirouetted and took the occasional tumble on the ice in Frederick Ashton's magical evocation of an Edwardian skating party. The finale saw snow, and left us with a single dancer, the Blue Boy, spinning in the spotlight like a doll in a snow-storm dome.

After the interval, Sir Fred's other Christmas hit, the perennially popular Tales of Beatrix Potter, with Philip Mosley as Mrs Tiggywinkle and Ryoichi Hirano as a lithe Jeremy Fisher.

A tale of two audiences, and little girls out for a Christmas treat. Flashing baubles, plastic trays of greasy chips. Bratz. Lamé boleros [and in one family, three lads in matching knickerbocker outfits] and a surreptitious satsuma. Ballet Shoes. The only point in common between this evening and last the “skating” and the ticket price. We're a long way from the classless society.

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