October 2017
Hannah Burfield and Londiwe Khoza in Rays, Spark, Beating Glows.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Umbrella – Shoreditch Takeover – London

★★★★✰   Wrapping up Dance Umbrella, “Shoreditch Takeover” was a celebration of cross-disciplinary work. It featured two dance works, poetry and a film, not to mention a DJ…

Marcelo Gomes and Sara Mearns in The Red Shoes.© Daniel Coston. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes – New York

★★★★✰   It’s always exciting to discover a new side of an artist. For this, and for an immensely entertaining show, we have to thank Matthew Bourne.

Clod Ensemble's Under Glass.© Manuel Vason. (Click image for larger version)

Clod Ensemble – Under Glass – London

★★★✰✰   The director Suzie Willson plays well with our fascination with people-watching…

Byron Tittle, Michelle Dorrance and Matthew West in Three to One.© Kevin Parry. (Click image for larger version)

Dorrance Dance – Jungle Blues, Three to One, Myelination – San Francisco

★★★★★   Dorrance Dance is received with such universal enthusiasm and love that reviewing them feels like an exercise in redundancy, like piling on to a scrum that’s already 30 players deep.

Nick Coutsier and Stephanie McMann in This Bright Field.© Stephen Wright. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Theo Clinkard’s This Bright Field

Gallery by Stephen Wright…

Sean Suozzi and Lauren King in Orange.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

BalletCollective – The Answer, Orange, The Last Time This Ended, Translation – New York

★★★✰✰   What’s different about Schumacher’s dances isn’t so much the end result as the process. He always commissions new music and builds the ballet up from the bottom, with the help of an external source of inspiration.

MacMillan Celebrations – Gloria (NB), The Judas Tree (RB), Elite Syncopations (RB+Guests) – London

★★★★✰   Elite Syncopations: Dancers from all five major British ballet companies took part, some doubling up roles in identical outfits so that identifying dancers was confusing. The stand-out solo in both the casts I saw was to the Calliope Rag, Monica Mason’s original role…

Anna Martine Freeman - part of Shoreditch Takeover.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Shoreditch Takeover: featuring choreography by Julie Cunningham

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

American Ballet Theatre in I Feel The Earth Move.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher, I Feel the Earth Move, Daphnis and Chloe – New York

★★★✰✰   The choreographer and L.A. Dance Project director Benjamin Millepied is a mover and a shaker, a clever curator, a man of taste, a force in the dance world. But is he good choreographer?

China National Peking Opera Company in A River All Red.© Sinolink Productions. (Click image for larger version)

China National Peking Opera Company – A River All Red, The Phoenix Returns Home – London

★★★✰✰   Peking opera’s blend of highly stylised acting, singing, music and movement is always a feast for the senses. The costumes are reason enough to watch in themselves…

Eun-me Ahn's Let Me Change Your Name.© Eunji Park. (Click image for larger version)

Eun-me Ahn – Let Me Change Your Name – London

★★✰✰✰   It started sedately enough, with the three men and three women emerging in stretchy black dresses…

Thiago Soares and Lauren Cuthbertson in The Judas Tree.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – The Judas Tree (RB), The Song of the Earth (ENB) – London

★★★★✰   The second programme commemorating the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death revealed his very different responses to music, and to human nature.

Gillian Murphy in Her Notes.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Her Notes, Symphonic Variations, Other Dances, Serenade After Plato’s Symposium – New York

★★★✰✰   The program opened and closed with the most recent works: Jessica Lang’s Her Notes and Alexei Ratmansky’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium. Both premiered at ABT in 2016, and both are works whose inspiration largely comes from their scores.

Anne Juren's Anatomie.© Karolina Miernik. (Click image for larger version)

Anne Juren – Anatomie – London

★★✰✰✰   Beautiful, calming imagery is not in the vocabulary of Anatomie.

Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernandez in La Sylphide.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth, La Sylphide – Manchester

★★★★✰   The ENB production of La Sylphide has been staged by three luminaries of Danish ballet, Frank Andersen, Eva Kloborg and Anne Marie Vessel Schlüter, and is, therefore, one supposes, as authentic to the August Bournonville ideals, as possible…

Michael Clark Company in to a simple rock 'n' roll... song.© Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Michael Clark Company – to a simple rock ‘n’ roll… song – London

★★★★★   …the dancing is life enhancing and the audience leaves on a high of pleasure.

Elsa Monguillot de Mirman and Jacqueline Bâby in Maguy Marin's Trois Grandes Fugues.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Lyon Opera Ballet – Trois Grandes Fugues – London

★★★★✰   How many ways can you hear the same piece of music? This inspired programme by Lyon Opera Ballet suggested, with elegant simplicity, that there are as many ways to hear something as there are people to hear it.

Constance Devernay and Sophie Martin in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – Le Baiser de la fee (SB), Concerto (BRB), Jeux (RB) – London

  In the first of the mixed bills celebrating Kenneth MacMillan’s ballets, 25 years after his death, “Le Baiser de la fée” intrigued me because the questions it posed about his development as a choreographer…

Mariinsky Ballet in La Bayadere - Kingdom of the Shades.© Valentin Baranovsky. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – La Bayadѐre – Washington

★★★✰✰   Since its creation 140 years ago, La Bayadѐre has been one of the Mariinsky Ballet’s calling cards and the Russian company can make this enduring classic shine in all its stylistic glory and theatrical splendor.

Scottish Ballet's Mia Thompson in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – MacMillan Celebrations – Concerto, Le Baiser de la fee, Elite Syncopations

Featuring dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Northern Ballet. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

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