February 2014
Ida Praetorius, Christina Michanek and Amalie Adrian in Act 3 of Napoli.© Costin Radu. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Napoli – Copenhagen

Most of this run of performances was sold out, or very nearly so, so the Copenhagen audience evidently appreciates what Hubbe is doing. To me, though, this latest revision of Napoli felt like a step too far…

Lauren Cuthbertson in The Sleeping Beauty.© ROH / Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

….thanks and admiration to Francesca Hayward for a blithe, swift Songbird Fairy, probably the most pleasing I’ve ever seen…

Huang Pei-hua and Tsai Ming-yuan in Pollen II from Rice.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in Rice

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Ballet Preljocaj in Les Nuits.© Jean-Claude Carbonne. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Preljocaj – Les Nuits – Cannes

Les Nuits is inspired by the Thousand and One Nights, stories which have come together from Indian, Persian, Arabian and North African sources. Preljocaj is quoted as being influenced by the erotic content of the stories…

Cira Robinson and Damien Johnson in A Dream Within a Midsummer Night's Dream.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Ballet Black in Arthur Pita’s A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Chen Wei-an (The God of the Clouds) in Nine Songs.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan – Nine Songs – London

Cloud Gate’s lotuses set the scene for a lengthy work which is meditative, poetic and often beautiful to look at.

Whitney Jensen and Jeffrey Cirio in Elo’s C. to C. (Close to Chuck) Reborn.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – C. to C. (Close to Chuck) Reborn, Resonance, Bella Figura – Boston

Elo’s Close to Chuck …this is a wonderful ballet and, I predict, a permanent addition to the repertory.

Sara Kestelman in Ignis.© Jane Hobson. (Click image for larger version)

Hubert Essakow – Ignis – London

This is top-notch, thoughtful and satisfyingly un-sensational dance drama.

Olivia Cowley, Fairy of the Crystal Fountain, in The Sleeping Beauty.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Sleeping Beauty

Gallery by Dave Morgan of the Yuhui Choe and Ryoichi Hirano cast

Virgil "Sky Chief" Dey in Blaze.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Blaze – London

It would appear that Blaze is to hip hop as Burn the Floor has been to the popularity of ballroom and Latin…

Janie Taylor and Sebastien Marcovici in Balanchine's La Valse.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Acheron, Afternoon of a Faun, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, La Valse – New York

George Balanchine’s favorite composers may have been Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, but it’s no secret that he also had an affinity for France and its music…

Huang Mei-ya in Nine Songs.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in Nine Songs

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Kimberley Rossi in Opus.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Circa and Debussy String Quartet in Opus

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Compagnie Philippe Genty in Forget Me Not.© Pascal Francois. (Click image for larger version)

Compagnie Philippe Genty – Forget Me Not (Ne M’Oublie Pas) – Grasse

These are not purely dance performances, but an imaginative and original mixture of dance, mime, marionettes, illusion, music, light and sound effects…

Jeffery "Machine" McCann in Blaze.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Blaze

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet as Yokai in The Prince of the Pagodas.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Prince of the Pagodas – Salford

Bintley has created a solidly entertaining family work that never bores but never soars to another emotional level, either…

Cindy Claes – Wild Card Dancehall Takeover – London

The highlight of the evening is Claes’ own piece, Is My Whining Winding You Up? Three female friends – portrayed by Claes, Andrea Queens and Natalie Baylie – meet for coffee and to unburden themselves

Maki Onuki and Luis R. Torres in Bird's Nest.© Paul Wegner. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Jazz/Blues Project: Bird’s Nest, PRISM, Blue Until June – Washington

Val Caniparoli’s Bird’s Nest – the first dance of the evening – is a vivid proof that ballet and jazz are meant for each other

Andrea Queens and Cindy Claes in Is My Whining Winding You Up?© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Cindy Claes – Dancehall Takeover bill

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

KAGE in Forklift.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

KAGE – Forklift – Melbourne

The forklift is a surprisingly versatile prop. The performers hang from its metal prongs, climb along the roof, contort across its lift, and shimmy down the sides to slip behind the wheel. The forklift rarely stops moving.

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