Review: Ballet

Cork City Ballet: 21st Anniversary Gala, Cork Opera House

Balletomanes have it good in Cork this week, with a three-night spectacular at the Opera House, including visiting stars and the best local performance.

For 21 years, Cork City Ballet has been flying the flag of classical dance. For the current show, which has its last performance tonight, artistic director, Alan Foley, has broken previous records. This was ballet at its very best.

Patricia Crosbie’s superb Playboy of the Western World, which opened the programme, is so full of earthy energy and raw emotion — the essence of Irish island life — that it leaves you dazed.

The music, too, sourced from traditional songs and melodies, is deeply powerful. This should be the iconic showpiece that we proudly export to far-off corners of the world, to represent our ‘true nature’, not some icing-sugared-glittering-smiles confection.

A brilliantly polished Don Quixote excerpt saw dazzling lifts and leaps from Erina Takahashi and Yosvani Ramos, which brought spontaneous applause from the audience. We had the lovely ‘Spring Waters’ pas de deux, and the entertaining ‘Perrot’ pas de quatre, while the lively ‘Bodyguard’, to music by Paul Simon, showed the versatility of the company in embracing modern, as well as classical, moves.

But what to say of visiting stars, Lucia Lacarra and Marlon Dino, in the Swan Lake adagio? It’s hard to express perfection, except to say that the hushed house hung on every, unbelievably beautiful movement. Lacarra was not just playing an enchanted swan. She became that tortured human soul in a bird’s body, half-fluttering her wings to escape, half-yearning to yield to her passionate partner. This was an experience to be long-remembered.

Star Rating: 5/5


Lifestyle

I’d always promised myself a day off school when Gay Bryne died.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I’ve been thinking about my students, wondering who their ‘Gay Byrne’ will be

In an industry where women battle ageism and sexism, Meryl Streep has managed to decide her own destiny – and roles, writes Suzanne HarringtonJeepers Streepers: Hollywood royalty, all hail queen Meryl

'Ask Audrey' has been the newspaper's hysterical agony aunt “for ages, like”.Ask Audrey: Guten tag. Vot the f**k is the story with your cycle lanes?

Daphne Wright’s major new exhibition at the Crawford addresses such subjects as ageing and consumerism, writes Colette SheridanFinding inspiration in domestic situations

More From The Irish Examiner