December 2013
Dusty Button in William Forsythe’s The Second Detail.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

2013 Dance Memories – London

Lynette Halewood with her personal selection of London dance memories this last year…

Linda Celeste Sims and Jamar Roberts in Aszure Barton's LIFT.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre – Chroma, D-Man in the Waters (Part I), LIFT – New York

I have yet to see a less than full-throttle performance, even when a choreographer’s style does not quite fit the company’s technique…

Poster for Mulan.© Hong Kong Dance Company. (Click image for larger version)

Hong Kong Dance Company – Mulan – Hong Kong

The production provides a welcome showcase for the power and virtuosity of the company’s men who are on magnificent form, led by the splendid Chen Jun.

Scott Wells & Dancers – Father On – San Francisco

Ah, the brilliance of brevity. Scott Wells & Dancers plunge straight into Father On with a thirty-second audio track that sums up courtship, marriage,and conception.

Roberta Marquez in Emeralds, part of Jewels.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – London

Fascinating to see the Royal Ballet’s production of Balanchine’s Jewels not long after the Bolshoi’s account at the Royal Opera House in summer. Unlike the Russians, the Royal Ballet dancers understand the different period conventions of the three ‘acts’…

Hannah Rudd in Malgorzata Dzierzon's Hikikomori.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert – An Evening of New Choreography 2013 – London

Strongest to emerge was Dzierzon’s ‘Hikikomori’ apparently about social reclusiveness, though Dzierzon’s treatment of her theme was not didactic…

Will Kemp (Ratty), Cris Penfold (Toad) and Clemmie Sveaas (Mole) in The Wind in the Willows.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House production – The Wind in the Willows – London

The’ Wind in the Willows’ is the Royal Opera House’s first transfer to the West End. I hope other shows will follow…

Hannah Rudd, Lucy Balfour, Mark Kimmett, Luke Ahmet and Adam Blyde in Dane Hurst's Reminiscence.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Rambert in An Evening of New Choreography 2013

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

The Snowflakes in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

The Nutcracker – from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Gelsey Kirkland Ballet – New York

So far this season I’ve seen three “traditional” Nutcrackers: Ratmansky’s version for American Ballet Theatre, Gelsey Kirkland’s, and the familiar and much-loved 1954 staging by George Balanchine for New York City Ballet. All three have their charms…

Zenaida Yanowsky in Rubies, part of Jewels.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Jewels

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Never Far from Dancing book cover.© Routledge. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Never Far from Dancing, Ballet artists in new roles by Barbara Newman

While some of the views expressed may not chime with your own, the fascination of this book is to understand how contentious maintaining and developing ballet as vibrant theatre often is.

David Hallberg at Sydney Opera House.© Wendell Levi Teodoro. (Click image for larger version)

David Hallberg with Australian Ballet – Cinderella – Sydney

…Hallberg’s entrance drew gasps and shouts of ‘bravo’ from the audience. His magnificently stretched jetés soared through the air…

Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in Martha Clarke's Cheri.© 2013 Joan Marcus. (Click image for larger version)

Martha Clarke Takes on Colette’s Chéri + Herman Cornejo interview

Novels are treacherous terrain for choreographers. So much of what draws us into a book and imprints itself in our imagination …is almost impossible to convey in the language of the body.

Jonathan Ollivier and Madelaine Brennan (the Queen) in Swan Lake.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – Swan Lake – London

I’m not ashamed to admit to a tear in my eye at the final curtain…

Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov in The Nutcracker.© Caroline Holden. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

Despite the frequency with which the work is performed, the company manage to retain a warmth and freshness in their presentation of it.

Sophie Martin and Constant Vigier in Christopher Hampson's Hansel & Gretel.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Hansel and Gretel (premiere) – Glasgow

Christopher Hampson’s production, set to Engelbert Humperdinck’s 1893 opera score, dances round traditional perceptions of good and evil, raising sinister notions about the invisibility of danger lurking in the real world.

Alicia Amatriain (Katherina) and Alexander Jones (Petruchio) in The Taming of the Shrew.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Stuttgart Ballet in The Taming of the Shrew

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Shiori Kase and Nathan Young in The Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in The Nutcracker

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

The hunter (Derrick Arthur) and his prey (Daniel Pettrow) in Peter and the Wolf.© Jacklyn Meduga. (Click image for larger version)

John Heginbotham and Isaac Mizrahi – Peter and the Wolf – New York

What made this Peter so right-feeling was that all elements of the show — storytelling, music, stage action — were so well integrated.

Mikhail Baryshnikov in Man in a Case.© T. Charles Erickson. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhail Baryshnikov / Big Dance Theater – Anton Chekhov’s Man in a Case – Washington

Baryshnikov has plenty of speaking lines, which he delivers with persuasion and notable dramatic skill… Yet his main strength here is his body language.

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