March 2017
Hamburg Ballet in "Nocturnes" from John Neumeier's Old Friends.© Holger Badekow. (Click image for larger version)

Hamburg Ballet – Old Friends – New York

★✰✰✰✰   Dancers roam around the stage connecting, disconnecting, clinging and separating in a drifting non-specific haze of memories. Who are the exes, who are the friends? Who are the never-weres? Who knows.

English National Ballet in Pina Bausch's The Rite of Spring.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Pina Bausch, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen bill – London

★★★★★   One cannot help but observe that while the programmes of other companies both hit and miss, in terms of their critical appreciation and popular appeal, ENB is continually raising the bar…

Tamara Rojo and Isaac Hernandez in Hans van Manen's Adagio Hammerklavier.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Adagio Hammerklavier & In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Sean Mahoney, Parisa Khobdeh and Heather McGinley in Martha Graham's Diversion of Angels.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance & Lyon Opera Ballet – Icons: Graham, Cunningham, Taylor – New York

★★★★✰   Sunday night, the New York dance scene flocked to see three of America’s dance pioneers side by side in “Icons: Graham, Cunningham, Taylor.

Haydn Oakley in An American in Paris.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Christopher Wheeldon – An American in Paris – London

★★★★★   The ballet is a triumph, of course. It really is… Wheeldon and his collaborators have reclaimed the Gershwins’ music and songs for a five-star production…

The Royal Ballet in Crystal Pite's Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Flight Pattern (premiere), After the Rain, The Human Seasons – London

Flight Pattern: ★★★★★, After the Rain: ★★★✰✰, Human Seasons: ★★✰✰✰.   Like Gorecki, Crystal Pite has created a memorable and moving work full of meaning…

Eran Bugge and Robert Kleinendorst in Esplanade.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance – Book of Beasts, The Word, Esplanade – New York

★★★★✰   What is it about Esplanade that makes us so elated, so satisfied, so moved?

Trisha Brown.© Marc Ginot and courtesy Trisha Brown Company. (Click image for larger version)

Obituary: Trisha Brown, 1936-2017

Trisha Brown leaves the most enormous legacy of repertoire and ideas, such that it is impossible to imagine the development of modern dance without her…

Chihiro Kawasaki and Heejung Kim in Rosalind.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – James Cousins Company in Rosalind

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Daniil Simkin and Alexei Agoudine in Ratmansky's Whipped Cream.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Whipped Cream – Costa Mesa

★★★✰✰   Be careful what you wish for. The Boy in Alexei Ratmansky’s Whipped Cream wishes for unlimited sweets; overfulfillment sends him to the hospital with sugar hallucinations.

Ivan Vassiliev and Kristina Kretova in Sceherazade.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – In the steps of the Ballets Russes – London

★★★★✰   The long gala (three and a half hours with one interval) was well organised, with no speeches and no protracted curtain calls.

Kristen McNally and company dancers in Crystal Pite's Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Human Seasons, After the Rain, Flight Pattern

The Royal Ballet in perhaps the most eagerly anticipated premiere of the season – Crystal Pite’s “Flight Pattern”. Also on the bill are Christopher Wheeldon’s “After the Rain” and David Dawson’s “Human Seasons”. Dave Morgan was at the photocall for us…

Chihiro Kawaski in Rosalind publicity image.© David Foulkes. (Click image for larger version)

James Cousins Company – Rosalind – London

★★★★✰   Cousins has made a bold, complex, intelligent and invigorating piece…

Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild in An American in Paris.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Christopher Wheeldon’s An American in Paris

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Sergei Polunin and Natalia Osipova in Narcissus and Echo.© Alastair Muir. (Click image for larger version)

Project Polunin – Icarus, The night before the Flight; Tea or Coffee; Narcissus and Echo – London

★★✰✰✰   I begin this notice with a codicil. Let this preamble show my unbounded admiration for the spirit and rationale of Project Polunin.

Company Wayne McGregor / Paris Opera Ballet in Tree of Codes.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Company Wayne McGregor / Paris Opera Ballet – Tree of Codes – London

★★★★✰   Tree of Codes …shows McGregor as an out-and-out showman who dazzles us senseless with design, music, dancers and dance. I’m not sure if he really planned it that way, but I’ll take it every time.

Yamato Drummers of Japan in Chousensha.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Yamato Drummers of Japan: Chousensha – The Challengers

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Yulia Makhalina and Xander Parish in Le Spectre de la Rose (Mikhail Fokine).© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Russian Ballet Icons Gala – rehearsals

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Julie Cunningham and Hannah Burfield in Returning.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Julie Cunningham and Company – Returning, To Be Me – London

★★★✰✰   A final poem, ‘Man Down’, calls for compassion and acceptance that we are all combinations of male and female. The message is in the words rather than in the bodies of the dancers.

Aakash Odedra in Echoes.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Aakash Odedra – Echoes, I Imagine – London

★★★★✰   At first sight the two works in Aakash Odedra’s solo show at Sadler’s Wells Lilian Baylis Studio could hardly be more unalike.

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