January 2018
San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's The Sleeping Beauty.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – San Francisco

★★✰✰✰   The efforts of San Francisco Ballet’s artists are sadly misplaced in this largely joyless and wholly unsatisfying rendition of The Sleeping Beauty.

Adrian Danchig-Waring, Tiler Peck and Ashly Isaacs in George Balanchine’s Apollo.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine No. 1 & 2, 21st Century Choreographers bills – New York

★★★★✰   After much tumult over the holidays, New York City Ballet has begun its first post-Peter Martins season. If you’re just catching up, the company’s “ballet master in chief” – ie artistic director – of over thirty years retired on New Years Day, in the midst of an investigation into allegations of physical abuse and sexual harassment.

Heather Arnett, Nell Suttles, Allegra Bautista and Anna Greenberg in EAMES.© George Baker. (Click image for larger version)

Kristin Damrow & Company – EAMES – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Before heading to the premiere of Kristin Damrow & Company’s EAMES, which mines the life, work and relationship of legendary designers Ray and Charles Eames, some background research seemed a good idea…

Ekaterina Petina and Matej Urban in The Taming of the Shrew.© Alice Blangero. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets de Monte – The Taming of the Shrew – Monte Carlo

★★★★✰   Maillot’s work is generally replete with a sense of irony and eroticism and Shakespeare gave him enormous scope for both!

Marie Gyselbrecht and Hun-Mok Jung in Mother (Moeder).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Peeping Tom in Mother (Moeder)

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Livia Massarelli's (Un)Changed.© Lidia Crisafulli. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Place Resolution 2018: Livia Massarelli – (Un)Changed

Gallery by Lidia Crisafulli…

J7s Dance Company in The Other Self.© Lidia Crisafulli. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Place Resolution 2018: J7s Dance Company in The Other Self

Gallery by Lidia Crisafulli…

Marianela Nunez in Giselle.© Helen Maybanks, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Giselle – London

★★★★★   Peter Wright’s 1985 production for the Royal Ballet has had many interpreters, all subtly or extravagantly different. Nunez is amongst the finest, a perfectionist who seems realistically earthy as a country girl who loves dancing and ethereal as her defiant spirit.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Giselle.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Galleries – Royal Ballet in Giselle – Naghdi, Ball and Hayward, Campbell casts

Galleries by Dave Morgan of the Yasmine Naghdi, Matthew Ball and Francesca Hayward, Alexander Campbell casts.

Ella&co in #Nofilter.© Lidia Crisafulli. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Place Resolution 2018: Ella&co in #Nofilter

Gallery by Lidia Crisafulli…

Lucy Palmer Dance in The left Hand Path.© Lidia Crisafulli. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Place Resolution 2018: Lucy Palmer Dance in The Left Hand Path

Gallery by Lidia Crisafulli…

Ballet de Lorraine in Relâche.© Laurent Philippe. (Click image for full version)

Ballet de Lorraine – Relache – St. Petersburg

★★★★★   Ballet de Lorraine have reconstructed Relâche, a fascinating work first performed by the Ballets Suédois in 1924-25. It had caused almost as great a scandal as the 1913 premiere of The Rite of Spring in the same Théâtre des Champs-Elysées…

Lani Dickinson of AXIS Dance Company at the SF Movement Arts Festival.© Jane Hu. (Click image for full version)

San Francisco Movement Arts Festival – Stations of the Movement at Grace Cathedral – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   2018’s edition of the festival boasted over two hundred artists performing fifty-five pieces. The Festival is committed to welcoming a range of performing experience, from new faces to seasoned veterans, students to professionals…

Tamara Rojo and Ivan Vasiliev in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, La Sylphide – London

★★★★✰   One great privilege of Rojo being both director and dancer must be the opportunity to choose her own partners and this year’s returning guest is Ivan Vasiliev…

Tamara Rojo in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

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

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

★★★★✰   The pairing cannily indulges our need for vivid material on these bleak mid-winter nights while also steering us down from the high of the Christmas circuit, with its sugary Nutcrackers and other family-friendly fare.

Tamara Rojo, Joseph Caley and Fernando Carratala Coloma in Song of the Earth.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Song of the Earth and La Sylphide

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Sergei DiaghilevThe defining image for the "In Diaghilev’s Circle: The Phenomenon of Les Saisons Russes in the Context of European Culture" conference. ©/courtesy International Festival of Arts "Diaghilev. P.S."

Dipping in to the 8th International Festival of Arts ‘Diaghilev. P.S.’ in St. Petersburg

The aim of the annual festival is to celebrate Russian influence in international culture, thanks to Diaghilev’s productions in the first two decades of the 20th century… St Petersburg also wants to boost its reputation as ‘a great forum of the arts’, introducing contemporary creations from different nations to Russian audiences.

Arancha Baselga and Brandon Lawrence in The Nutcracker.© Annabel Moeller. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★✰✰   Peter Wright’s glorious ballet might not shine quite so magically in its Bintley/Albert Hall version but the dancers certainly do…

Kimin Kim and Sofia Matyushenskaya in Don Quixote.© M Logvinov. (Click image for larger version)

Yacobson Ballet – Don Quixote – St. Petersburg

★★★★✰   Kobborg has deconstructed the work; mixing up the narrative’s building blocks before reassembling them in a masterpiece of balance that remains recognisably traditional but is also refreshingly new.

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