Rupert Christiansen

Rupert Christiansen is the chief dance critic of The Spectator

Lucid and lean: Metamorphoses, at the Theatre Royal Bath, reviewed

Literate, thoughtful and serious, Kim Brandstrup ranks as one of the most honest and honourable of contemporary choreographers. A proper grown-up, scorning bad-boy sensationalism or visual gimmickry, he compensates in solid consistent craft for whatever he may lack in striking originality, and the double bill he presented earlier this month as part of Deborah Warner’s

Giselle is lovingly revived at the London Coliseum

Two archetypal ballet heroines have been facing each other across WC2: at the Coliseum, Giselle the blameless virgin, wronged in the first act, disembodied in the second; at Covent Garden, Manon the seductive, manipulative courtesan who can’t choose between love and money. Both in different ways are victims of a cruel world, and both must

The best British Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is one of those Christmas traditions that turns out to be not very traditional at all. First performed in St Petersburg in 1892, it didn’t catch on outside Russia until the late 1950s, when Balanchine’s version for New York City Ballet was repeatedly screened on network television in the USA and Festival Ballet’s

The award-winning choreographer who fell foul of the mob

Ebullient, articulate and eminently sensible, Rosie Kay never wanted to be a martyr to the culture wars. A modern dance choreographer with an impressive track record – including 5 Soldiers, an award-winning exploration of army life, contributions to the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics and a fellowship at Oxford – she would rather be

Can everyone please shut up about Maria Callas?

One thing that exasperated me intensely during my many years as an opera critic was the assumption that I must be a passionate admirer of Maria Callas. She is the only prima donna who most people have heard of, and her supreme status has long been taken for granted, to the point at which the

Can ballet survive the culture wars?

Through several phases of the culture wars, ballet has served as a canary in the coal mine, its intense and exposed physicality highlighting all the issues surrounding sexuality, gender and power that have currently become our unhealthily narcissistic preoccupation. Perhaps the warnings started with the phenomenon of Vaslav Nijinsky. Against the defined masculinity and femininity