July 2012
Mikko Nissinen. © Eric Antoniou. (Click image for larger version)

Mikko Nissinen – Boston Ballet – Artistic Director

“I think for me the high point is that I don’t see Boston audiences as having any limitations. When I got here everybody was telling me what I couldn’t do and people warned me to play it safe. But I have found people extremely open and willing to explore and I’m really thrilled about that.”

World Stars of Ballet line-up (l to r): Lisa Macuja, Paloma Herrera, Yevgeny Ivanchenko, Daria Pavlenko, Maxim Beloserkovsky, David Makhateli, Aleksandra Timofeeva, Dmitri Gruzdev, Yolanda Correa Frias and Yoel Carreno.© Ocs Alvares. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Manila – World Stars of Ballet Gala – Manila

A 40-hour round trip to watch a ballet gala on the other side of the world might be seen as a trifle obsessive by some and perhaps it is. But galas tend to be two a penny these days and this one was certainly very different, both in terms of being in aid of a unique and wonderful cause and in the spectacular diversity of remarkable dancing…

Marie-Agnes Gillot and Stephane Bullion in Orpheus and Eurydice.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Orpheus and Eurydice – New York

Bausch is a mystery. To some, she represents the summit of poetry and expression, worthy of a cult-like following. Clearly, these dancers derive great emotional sustenance from performing her work. And it suits them. But, with the exception of Gillot’s solo and a few moments here and there, it left me cold.

Monica Mason after the last Royal Ballet performance of the 2012/13 season (20 July 2012) and her retirement as Artistic Director of the company she has worked in for over 50 years.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Monica Mason retires from the Royal Ballet – curtain call pictures

18 pictures by Dave Morgan…

Tamara Rojo (with Carlos Acosta) after her last performance with the Royal Ballet before she becomes Artistic Director at English National Ballet. © Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Tamara Rojo leaving Royal Ballet – curtain call pictures

pictures by Dave Morgan…

Marianela Nuñez in Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins' Diana & Actaeon.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Titian 2012: Machina, Trespass, Diana & Actaeon – London

Seeing the programme twice confirmed my initial impression that Trespass is the best-wrought work. The other two ballets are interesting as concepts rather than as polished productions. But the programme’s emphasis on creativity and collaboration means that Monica Mason’s farewell contribution to the art form in which she has invested her considerable energy will carry on germinating ideas long after she leaves.

Myriam Ould-Braham and Josua Hoffalt in La Fille mal Gardée.© Julien Benhamou. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – La Fille mal Gardee – Paris

Ould-Braham had just been made étoile and her performance seemed, to me, buoyed by an extra layer of joy and happiness. Hoffalt was completely at ease in both technique and characterization. When they celebrated their wedding onstage, the audience went crazy.

Royal Ballet Announces Guest Artists For 2012/13 Season – Osipova, Rojo, Acosta, Polunin

Principal of the Mikhailovsky Ballet, Natalia Osipova, will make her Royal Ballet debut in Swan Lake later this year…

Luana Georg and Sergei Upkin in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.© Harri Rospu. (Click image for larger version)

Estonian National Ballet – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Hong Kong

The story is clearly narrated and easy to follow. Harangozo’s choreography is proficient overall though not particularly inventive. The two pas de deux are warm though lacking emotional depth.

Julie Shanahan and Michael Strecker in Wiesenland. © Bettina Stob.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Wiesenland – London

‘We do not describe a city’, Bausch is quoted as saying. ‘We describe the feelings we have picked up there.’

Paris Opera Ballet in Giselle.© Sebastien Mathé. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Giselle – New York

The arrival of the wilis takes one’s breath away. Not only are they individually beautiful, with their soft port-de-bras and milky-white shoulders, but they are all eerily the same, in every way: same size, same build, same arms, same tilt of the head, same gaze, same feet.

Belinda Lee Chapman and Richard Winsor in Play Without Words.© Sheila Burnett. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne – Play Without Words – London

It is a fabulous evening, funny, sexy and as fast paced as a thriller. This is Bourne’s finest and most inventive work.

Ashley Bouder in Firebird.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Concerto Barocco, Kammermusik No. 2, Firebird, Symphony in C – Saratoga Springs

After the dreary bombast of Alexei Ratmansky’s recent Firebird for American Ballet Theatre, the Balanchine/Robbins version, with its blessedly shorter score (Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite), heavenly Chagall designs and the great Ashley Bouder in one of her first great roles, was a welcome palliative.

Christopher Wheeldon and Alastair Marriott's Trespass with Yasmine Nagdhi and Melissa Hamilton. © Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet’s Metamorphosis – Titian 2012 bill

36 pictures by Dave Morgan…

Nicolas Le Riche and Paris Opera Ballet in Maurice Bejart's Bolero.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Suite en Blanc, L’Arlesienne, Bolero – New York

Nicolas Le Riche was fabulously predatory in Bolero, a raging furnace of self-love and sex appeal. One imagines that after the show he must have ravaged a hundred virgins, but maybe he simply went home and soaked his feet in the tub, but in any case, he was magnificent, good taste (and choreography) be damned.

Gennadi Saveliev as Conrad in Le Corsaire.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Gennadi Saveliev farewell in Le Corsaire – New York

Ten or so years ago, I was watching ABT soloist Gennadi Saveliev dance Lankendem, the red-pajamad slave-dealer in ABT’s nicely condensed Le Corsaire, when he uncorked a step that made my jaw drop.

Wayne McGregor’s “Big Dance Trafalgar Square 2012” – spectacular finale for Big Dance

Wayne McGregor’s spectacular new dance piece, BIG DANCE TRAFALGAR SQUARE 2012, involving 1,000 performers from 30 London groups will take place on Saturday 14 July in Trafalgar Square, as the finale of Big Dance 2012…

Chicago Dancing Festival – Free Tickets Available

The Chicago Dancing Festival today announces that free tickets for the Festival’s 6th annual series of dance performances will become available to the general public beginning Tuesday, July 17.

Malgorzata Dzierzion, Renaud Wiser and Joe Walkling in Casting Traces.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

New Movement Collective – Casting Traces – London

Half-hidden behind pillars or leaning against brick walls were isolated figures in Tyvek paper suits, nursing private angst, waiting their turn to claim our space. Sometimes only the dancers’ coloured outfits distinguished them from disoriented white-clad spectators, dazzled by beams of light.

Royal Ballet: Promotions, joiners and leavers for the 2011/12 season

For Immediate Release The Royal Ballet’s Ryoichi Hirano and Alexander Campbell have been promoted to First Soloists in the recent Company promotions. Ryoichi, 28 from Japan, joined The Royal Ballet in 2002 and…

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