February 2013
Peter Boal.© Angela Sterling. (Click image for larger version)

Peter Boal – Pacific Northwest Ballet – Artistic Director

So how long does he see himself staying on the far side of America? “Well, I am just about to sign another six year contract,” he grinned…

Blakeley White-McGuire in Martha Graham's Imperial Gesture.© Charles Eilber. (Click image for larger version)

Martha Graham Dance Company – “Fall and Recovery” Gala – New York

Even more than with other choreographers, the costumes and sets are essential elements of Graham’s dance imagination. Think of Martha’s stretchy sack-dress in Lamentation, or the prickly metal tree-dress by Noguchi in Cave of the Heart. They are extensions of the dancers’ bodies, and of Graham’s Jungian world-view.

Edward Watson in Alexei Ratmansky's 24 Preludes.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Apollo, 24 Preludes, Aeternum – London

This triple bill, with two world premieres, shows how ably choreographers 85 years apart can refresh the language of classical ballet without distorting it beyond recognition.

Full stage shot of the courtyard in Don Quixote.© Robert Shomler. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet San Jose – Don Quixote – San Jose

The good news is that I had a very pleasant afternoon, mostly the result of the dancers actually having a splendid time on stage.

Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonnelli in Christopher Wheeldon's Aeternum.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Apollo, 24 Preludes, Aeternum

27 pictures by Dave Morgan…

Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels in Stanton Welch's Son of Chamber Symphony.© Herbert Migdoll. (Click image for larger version)

Joffrey Ballet – American Legends bill – Chicago

The second movement (of Son Of Chamber Symphony) is a sumptuous duet, performed by Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels, an on-stage pair made in heaven.

José Manuel Carreño.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Jose Manuel Carreno – former American Ballet Theatre Principal and freelance dancer

Toba Singer talks to José Manuel Carreño: “Coming from Cuba, with the Cuban school you end up with a very strong foundation because you train so much in technique and partnering. These are two things that were very strong from the Cuban school, but on top of that, there was a lot of attention paid to the theatrical elements…”

Tamara Rojo at her final Royal Ballet curtain call.© Alistair Muir, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Tamara Rojo – Final Royal Ballet Curtain Call Pictures

Pictures of Tamara Rojo’s final curtain calls at The Royal Opera House last night – 21 February 2013. She danced in Marguerite and Armand alongside Sergei Polunin.

Tadej Brdnik and Blakeley White-McGuire in Phaedra.© Costas. (Click image for larger version)

Martha Graham Dance Company – Phaedra, The Show (Achilles Heels) – New York

To preserve or to progress? And if the latter, how? These questions seem to come up increasingly often as companies grapple with the death of their founding choreographers, artists who created importantant schools of dance in their own image.

José Manuel Carreño and Alexandra Meijer in Don Quixote.© Robert Shomler. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet San Jose – Don Quixote – San Jose

The overall spirit is vivacious, the ensemble committed, on task and fully present. As this company moves along its new trajectory… there is every reason to believe that its partnership with ABT will be celebrated…

Dancers: Behind the Scenes with The Royal Ballet – Book Cover.© Andrej Uspenski, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Behind the Scenes with The Royal Ballet – photographed by Andrej Uspenski

The release of his book Dancers: Behind the Scenes with The Royal Ballet brings together Andrej’s images for the first time, revealing an intimate photographic record of The Royal Ballet.

Lighting control desk.Creative Commons image from Flickr. By Rob Sayer, On Stage Lighting (original image)

What do Lighting and Set Designers do?

Jann Parry reports on a recent workshop seminar where 4 lighting and set designers talked about what they do…

Wet Hot Beauties in Swan Song.© www.stevedykesphoto.com. (Click image for larger version)

Wet Hot Beauties – Swan Song – Auckland

Nothing could be more delightful than a relaxing hour watching the Wet Hot Beauties conjuring up an aqueous version of Swan Lake in the azure waters of the Parnell Baths…

Vincent and Flavia in Midnight Tango.© Manuel Harlan. (Click image for larger version)

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace – Midnight Tango – London

The good thing about Midnight Tango is that it doesn’t feel like a production that has been skimped on in any way. …So are these ingredients deployed to good affect? Well I’d hoped for a little more, to be honest

Teresa Reichlen.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Teresa Reichlen – New York City Ballet – Principal

Teresa Reichlen – known as Tess by friends and colleagues – is an immediately striking dancer: tall, pale, preternaturally serene. She could be a Madonna in a painting by Botticelli.

Hélène Bouchet, Alexandre Riabko and Carsten Jung in Neumeier's Nijinsky.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

Hamburg Ballet – Nijinsky – San Francisco

It’s Valentine’s Day and I wish I could write a “love letter” review to the Hamburg Ballet. I am not being sentimental – this company is full of incredible dancers, from principals to corps de ballet…

Carla Körbes and Seth Orza in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette.© Angela Sterling & courtesy of Pacific Northwest Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Pacific Northwest Ballet – Romeo et Juliette – New York

Without Körbes’s natural, radiant dancing, Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, which dominated the company’s four-day run, would have been hard to bear.

Julie Shanahan and Eddie Martinez in Two Cigarettes in the Dark.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Two Cigarettes in the Dark – London

Working backwards from the title song that ends Two Cigarettes in the Dark, it’s possible to discern a theme in Pina Bausch’s 1985 piece…

Dominique Mercy in Two Cigarettes in the Dark.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Two Cigarettes in the Dark

18 pictures by Dave Morgan as part of our overall review…

Sergei Polunin and Tamara Rojo in Marguerite & Armand.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Ashton Bill including Marguerite & Armand with Rojo and Polunin – London

But it was Rojo who really surprised me, with the most emotionally open performance I’ve ever seen from her. …a swansong, indeed: what a way to go!

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