Even the sternest critic can’t resist Fredrick Ashton’s charming ballet. As Sarah Frater says in the London Evening Standard:
Only the flinty hearted could resist Frederick Ashton’s ballet version of the Tales of Beatrix Potter.
Admittedly, it does include pigs on pointe and it’s paired with Matthew Hart’s Peter and the Wolf, making this an evening of cute furry animals. But Christmas is the time to cast off your criticisms and enjoy the innocence and endless summers implicit in these two.
The dancing is pure Ashton — gentle, light of touch, and with an aim to please in every step. His trick is to take the creatures seriously — he doesn’t spoof them, or mock our attachment to these nursery stories, but sweetly reminds us of the joy of Peter Rabbit dancing with cabbages.
And as Luke Jennings in the Observer wryly notes:
These are trying times, but a world in which Laura Morera is dancing Pig-Wig can’t be all bad.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.