Alessandra Ferri is singlehandedly reinventing the world of the older ballerina. A mercurial temperament with a rococo line—beloved as Juliet, Giselle, and Manon—Ferri retired in 2017 at age 44, and then returned to the stage at 50. But she didn’t come back in The Dying Swan, one of those chestnuts reserved for a waning technique. Ferri has sought new and recent works with age-appropriate narratives. L’Heure Exquise (The Exquisite Hour), by Maurice Béjart, is one such piece. Inspired by Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, it was made for Carla Fracci in 1998. It begins with Ferri standing in a waist-high mountain of pink pointe shoes (over 2,000) and goes on to see her remembering her performing life in fragments of dance. This engagement marks the 40th anniversary of Ferri’s association with the Royal Ballet. —L.J.
Linbury Theatre 35-36 Bow St, London WC2E 9DD, United Kingdom Get Directions »