Rhapsody review – heart-stopping Ashton from Francesca Hayward

Royal Opera House, London
Hayward is astonishing, easy perfection in classic Frederick Ashton. In the Royal Ballet’s second cast, Steven McRae takes command

The Royal Ballet’s revival of Frederick Ashton’s Rhapsody (currently in a double bill with The Two Pigeons) illustrates, unsparingly, the company’s strengths and deficiencies. The opening cast was led by James Hay and Francesca Hayward, both performers who represent the best of the new, while fully embodying old-school Royal Ballet values. Ashtonian dancing is not taught these days, but caught. Hay and Hayward have it running in their veins.

With a radiance of line that illuminates every corner of the stage, Hayward dances from within, outwards

Osipova doesn’t get Rhapsody. The steps give her no trouble, but she dances the piece without nuance

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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