Home Service with a smile
The ENB kicks up its heels in a tribute to the glory days of wireless. By Jann Parry in The Observer.
Since Matz Skoog took over the English National Ballet in 2001, the company has justified its title by commissioning works from homegrown choreographers. The latest, Michael Corder's Melody on the Move, slots neatly into a line of revue-style ballets to English music, ranging from Frederick Ashton's Facade to Matthew Bourne's Town and Country.
Add the names of David Bintley, John Cranko and Jack Carter and the British choreographic alphabet seems to stop at C. A notable exception is Kenneth MacMillan, whose 1956 Solitaire (to Malcolm Arnold's English Dances) has just been revived for the ENB School performances. What their light entertainment pieces have in common is an approach to ballet as a branch of musical comedy. Fun, provided English tweeness is avoided. click for more
****************************** Melody On The Move, Sadler's Wells, London, *****
By John Percival for The Independent
You know the term "wireless set"? Old-fashioned radios they may be, but those big, burnished boxes used to be much more assertive, dominating almost every home in pre-television days. How clever of Michael Corder to seize on their mannerisms and the evergreen music of their lighter programmes, from Housewives' Choice to In Town Tonight, to make one of the most entertaining new ballets for a long time.
Light it is, but not slight: Corder uses most of English National Ballet's dancers in his choreography for Melody on the Move, and his brilliant designer, Mark Bailey, provides dozens of glamorous, colourful costumes to evoke the 1930s-50s, but made prettier and more colourful than the originals. click for more
***************************** Don’t knock it
Michael Corder’s new work is an oldie and goodie. By David Dougall for The Sunday Times.
When the curtain rose for the premiere of Melody on the Move, Michael Corder’s delightful new creation for English National Ballet (Sadler’s Wells, Tuesday), and revealed Mark Bailey’s decor of a huge, old- fashioned Bakelite wireless set, I couldn’t help feeling a little proud that I still possess an original 1940s model (normal size). And the jaunty strains of Eric Coates’s Knightsbridge March, the signature tune for the BBC programme In Town Tonight, evoked my pretelevisual childhood image of London, long before I ever got to see it. click for more