Image: Pilgrim's Progress: UK Tour Update
Pilgrim's Progress: UK Tour Update
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Royal NZ Ballet company performing critic's favourite Milagros
Rock stars have Wembley; rugby players, Twickenham; for dancers, the dream venue in the UK is Sadler's Wells Theatre in London.
The Royal New Zealand Ballet made its debut at the legendary theatre on April 27, an achievement its artistic director likens to a "dance pilgrimage".
"Sadler's Wells is the holy grail of dance," says Gary Harris. "Companies from all over the world want to perform there. We really are up against the best and faring incredibly well."
The company is currently touring the UK with Romeo and Juliet plus a triple bill programme of FrENZy, Saltarello and Milagros.
"This tour has done exactly what we wanted in terms of exposing the company to the audiences and critics of one of the world's dance capitals. Audience reaction has been amazing - cheers and bravos at the end of every show. Again and again, people have said what a warm, energetic company we are, and what fabulous dancers we have."
Highlights from the latest reviews: "The fact that all the ballets were commissioned within the past three years reflects even better on the company's own creative health and on the nerve of its director Gary Harris... Milagros ranks as one of the great Rites." - Judith Mackrell in The Guardian (29 April 2004), reviewing the Sadler's Wells triple bill. "If this were the only R&J I ever saw, I'd die happy." - Jenny Gilbert in The Independent (9 May 2004), reviewing a Sadler's Wells performance.
"By most standards, what's going on in Wellington these past few years amounts to a hotbed of creativity." - Debra Craine in The Times (10 May 2004), reviewing the triple bill at Sadler's Wells.
"All the dancers, not just those featured, look great in everything they do - excellent technique and lots of feeling. This is something New Zealand can be really proud of." - John Percival in The Stage (10 May 2004), reviewing the triple bill at Sadler's Wells.
"This is thoroughbred ballet." - Kelly Apter in The Scotsman (6 May 2004), reviewing Romeo and Juliet in Glasgow.
UK dance website Ballet.co (www.ballet.co.uk) hosts a tour hub, which features a weblog from dancer Nadine Tyson, and links to the latest articles and reviews in full.