I couldn't interview Tchaikovsky about Swan Lake, but had a great time talking to Joby Talbot, who's written the first full-length original score commissioned for a new ballet at Covent Garden in 20 years. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland opens on 2 March and sounds, well, curiouser and curiouser. Joby tells me about writing a waltz that is like "Johann Strauss gone bananas" and what the White Rabbit will have in common with the Great Gonzo. All here in today's Independent.
Pity we went to print before I could grab @LondonBallerina Lauren Cuthbertson's latest tweets from rehearsals (she's dancing Alice on opening night), which involve the Duchess, a frying pan and a foot - hers. "Lesson learnt.... dont get your foot hit by a pan if you wanna get on point any day soon :(" and then "it wasnt hot.... the duchess did it in the kitchen scene!! Booooo!!!!" The Duchess is being danced by one Simon Russell Beale. Off with his head? (Pictured: Lauren in Balanchine's Serenade.)
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
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