October 2012

Sadler’s Wells – Spring / Summer 2013 Programming

It’s the name of the game that one does not necessarily appreciate all plans (or indeed how they crystallise out in practice) but I have to say that Sadler’s Wells set a benchmark re new work/experiences and for where you want a progressive art to be.

Lost Dog in Home for Broken Turns.© Rob Hogeslag. (Click image for larger version)

Lost Dog – It Needs Horses, Home for Broken Turns – London

This is a work that is dark and deep, like a bottomless black pool requiring forensic exploration.

Lucy Guerin Inc dancers in Weather.© Leah Robertson. (Click image for larger version)

Lucy Guerin Inc – Weather at Melbourne Festival – Melbourne

This work has some powerful moments, such as when the dancers play amongst the fallen bags, sliding joyfully across the floor. However, Weather does not quite reach the heights of some of Guerin’s recent works, something that is sure to disappoint many of her fans.

Mariinsky Ballet in Swan Lake.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Swan Lake – San Francisco

That said, the company is still on top form. The corps de ballet is flawlessly unified technically, stylistically and musically down to their eyelashes.

Benjamin Millepied.© Alexander Wagner. (Click image for larger version)

L.A. Dance Project – Moving Parts, Winterbranch, Quintett – New York

It’s always been clear that Millepied is a man of intelligence and taste.

Laetitia Lo Sardo with Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet in Faster.© Bill Cooper

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Grand Tour, Faster, The Dream – London

The programme included works both old and new but it was not an altogether successful mixture. The dancers looked most at home, and at their most sleek and impressive, in Faster, a work made on them this year by their Artistic Director, David Bintley, evoking the striving of competitors in the Olympics.

Maureya Lebowitz with Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet in the March of the Trolls section of Lyric Pieces.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Take Five, Lyric Pieces, Grosse Fuge – London

Jessica Lang’s Lyric Pieces …is light-as-a-feather work of the utmost good taste – in fact just plain gorgeous.

Fundraising day for the Frank Freeman Scholarship fund - poster.© Royal Academy of Dance. (Click image for larger version)

RAD ‘Celebrating Dance 2012’ – Fundraising for the Frank Freeman Scholarship Fund

Dance students can participate in ‘Celebrating Dance 2012’ – a day of dance to be held at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) on Sunday 11 November to fundraise for the Frank Freeman Scholarship fund.

Amy Watson, as a La BayadereShade, and Nikolaj Hubbe.© Jacklyn Meduga. (Click image for larger version)

Works & Process at the Guggenheim – Royal Danish Ballet’s new La Bayadere – New York

Hubbe – handsome and captivating as ever in tight black jeans and an Errol Flynn mustache – assured the Works and Process audience that the famously elegiac Shades scene has not been tampered with…

Mariinsky Ballet – Cinderella – Washington

Ratmansky’s vision of Cinderella is bracingly fresh, and the ballet’s harsh, urban setting and grotesque choreography seem suitably attuned to Prokofiev’s darkly sardonic score. His concept, however, does not succeed completely.

Trocks in Walpurgisnacht.© Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Trocks) – Mixed bill (very) – Paris

The Cuban schooling of Hopuy is impressive and his variation was expertly danced, including the trademark Cuban flicking over of the take-off leg in a jeté en tournant…

Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season 2012/13 – 9 Productions, 32 Countries, Over 900 Cinemas

Opens on 23rd October with Swan Lake, followed by Nutcracker and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – all live. For completeness also include details of the 6 Operas being transmitted.

Chunky Move in An Act of Now.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Chunky Move – An Act of Now at Melbourne Festival – Melbourne

An Act of Now is a violent production – physically, emotionally and conceptually. …The material is challenging, both to watch and, no doubt, to perform.

Tamara Rojo and Vadim Muntagirov in Sleeping Beauty.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Sleeping Beauty

36 pictures by Dave Morgan…

Polina Semionova and Marcelo Gomes in Alexei Ratmansky's Symphony #9.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – New Ratmansky, Symphony #9 – New York

Tonight’s premiere of Ratmansky’s newest work for American Ballet Theatre, Symphony #9, was cause for celebration. In fact, it left me feeling almost lightheaded, and terribly eager to see it again, as soon as possible.

Kristi Boone in In the Upper Room.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Drink, Cruel World, Stars/Stripes, Rodeo, Pavane, Upper Room – New York

The highlight of the gala was the seventieth-anniversary performance of Agnes De Mille’s Rodeo, preceded by a short film describing its creation, with archival footage of the hilariously histrionic, diminutive choreographer.

Julia Gillespie & Adam Park in Marguerite Donlon's Labyrinth of Love.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert Dance Company – Labyrinth of Love, Roses, Dutiful Ducks, Sounddance – London

All up ‘Labyrinth of Love’ is a wonderful creative endeavour, a great looker, but an extra dash of audience accessibility is needed. We go “Wow”, rather than “Wow, I really loved what that had to say”

Rambert Dance Company in Marguerite Donlon's Labyrinth of Love.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Rambert Dance Company in Labyrinth of Love

27 pictures by Dave Morgan…

Shantala Shivalingappa in Gamaka.© C.P.Satyajit. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Shantala Shivalingappa – Dancer and Choreographer

Shivalingappa first caught my eye at the 2007 Fall For Dance festival, where she danced Varnam, a Kuchipudi solo. I was immediately struck by her musicality, the power and precision of her footwork, and the absolute clarity of her movements. And to the grace of her upper body and a jump that seems to comes out of nowhere, light and airy as a cat’s.

Thomas Lund as Tsar Dodon in The Golden Cockerel.© Per Morten Abrahamson. (Click image for larger version)

Danish Royal Ballet – The Golden Cockerel – Copenhagen

…cut down to a single act and shown as part of a properly-balanced double or triple bill it could work beautifully, rather than sending me home feeling hungry.

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