An utterly vicious review of ENB’s The Canterville Ghost in today’s Financial Times from that publication’s second-string critic Gerald Dowler:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/064a1952-d109-1 ... 10621.html
Having seen this production only a couple of weeks ago I would like to say that everything written in this review is complete rubbish, and if Mr Dowler is so totally ignorant of what a ballet actually is he has no business writing on the subject at all.
This ballet was conceived as an entertainment for children, that often neglected but vitally important group that makes up the dance audiences of tomorrow. I saw the ballet (yes, ballet
, Mr Dowler) at a Sunday matinee at High Wycombe in the intimate Swan Theatre where the auditorium was packed with children, in fact my friend and I began to feel self conscious that we were the only adult pair unaccompanied by a small person. With such a high ratio of kids to grown-ups there is usually a fair amount of fidgeting, talking and noisy sweet eating. But not on this occasion as all those children were clearly spellbound by what they were watching onstage. A children’s ballet that so completely engrosses its target audience is a total triumph in my book.
The plot is based on an Oscar Wilde story about an American family buying a stately pile complete with the ghost of former owner Sir Simon de Canterville, who falls for Virginia, the pretty daughter of the house. Sexy Sir Simon carries Virginia off to the underworld and she is eventually rescued (after a fashion) by her gormless boyfriend Cecil.
Was there anything for adults to enjoy? Indeed there was, as the work was highly entertaining, ingeniously designed, has impressively creepy music and was very well danced. Was it a masterpiece? No it wasn’t, but I don’t think it ever set out to be one and for the FT reviewer to compare choreographer Will Tuckett to Ashton simply because Tuckett finds Ashton’s work inspirational is very harsh.
I saw Elena Glurdjidze, about whom sensible people have been raving recently, as Virginia and Ivan Dinev as Sir Simon, both brilliantly supported by a cast of eccentric ghosts and humans. Glurdjidze, formerly with St Petersburg Ballet Theatre, was every bit as impressive as I had heard and if she is as good in other works as she was in this, I can see myself becoming a fan.
Go to this ballet if you have a sense of humour and just sit back and enjoy it. Take a child with you too if you can and they might just develop a love of ballet for life.