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Dance review: Aladdin at Sadler’s Wells

first night

There are standout performances in David Bintley’s full-blown classical ballet version, but the score is kitsch and the storytelling weak


Debra Craine

Tzu-Chao Chou offers a thrilling performance as the Djinn of the magic lampBILL COOPER

There is much to like in David Bintley’s three-act Arabian Nights adaptation. The wonderful sets by Dick Bird fill the stage with a sense of magic and faraway lands, from a bustling “souk in old Arabia” (crammed with colourful hanging carpets) to a mysterious desert cave filled with treasure and the royal palace where Aladdin marries his beloved Princess. Sue Blane’s costumes — an exuberant display of orientalism from Morocco to China — are a knockout; Mark Jonathan’s lighting positively glows.

And Bintley wisely eschews the temptation to go all pantomime with his tale. Instead he gives us a full-blown classical ballet, complete with Sleeping Beauty-type vision scene and a grand divertissement. The performances on opening night were another plus, led by Mathias Dingman’s likeable…

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