April 2018
Wayne Parsons' Vestige.© Nicole Guarino. (Click image for larger version)

Wayne Parsons Dance – Meeting, Vestige – London

★★★✰✰   Although I haven’t seen Parsons’ work before, I can see very quickly why it’s riveting.

Colin Peasley, Leanne Stojmenov and Andrew Killian in The Merry Widow.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – The Merry Widow – Sydney

★★★★✰   The Merry Widow is Robert Helpmann’s great gift to the Australian Ballet. It premiered in November 1975 and has been staged more than 400 times since.

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa rehearsing Guernica.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Annabelle Lopez Ochoa on creating Guernica for SF Ballet’s Unbound Festival

“I don’t know if we can make the world a better place, but we can definitely have the audience think about it.”

Maria Kochetkova in Pita's Björk Ballet.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program D: works by Edwaard Liang, Dwight Rhoden, Arthur Pita – San Francisco

★★★★★   A hundred monkeys might eventually type out Hamlet, but only a herd of unicorns on Ecstasy could come anywhere near Arthur Pita’s Björk Ballet.

Mark Morris Dance Group in Pacific.© Hilary Schwab. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Lou 100: Pacific, Numerator, Serenade, Grand Duo – New York

★★★★✰   It’s one of the most striking characteristics of the Mark Morris Dance Group. A common sense of focus, an alertness to the music and to each other.

Alleyne Dance in A Night’s Game.© Driftnote. (Click image for larger version) dn-game-2-bend-back_1000.jpg

James Finnemore, Alleyne Dance – TERRA, A Night’s Game – London

James Finnemore: TERRA Alleyne Dance: A Night’s Game ★★★✰✰ London, The Place 24 April 2018 www.jamesfinnemore.co.uk www.alleynedance.com For some reason, the intended (or, at least, promoted) order of this double bill was reversed…

San Francisco Ballet in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Guernica.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program C: works by Stanton Welch, Trey McIntyre, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Program C’s offerings spanned the choreographic spectrum, from pure movement to narrative threads to inventive theatricality. Every work on the bill impressed with its freshness and ingenuity.

Promotional image for Malavika Sarukkai's Thari - The Loom.© Shalini Jain. (Click image for larger version)

Malavika Sarukkai – Thari, The Loom – London

★★★✰✰   The inspiration for bharatanatyam dancer Malavika Sarukkai to create her group work Thari – The Loom came from the hand weavers of Kanchipuram in India and the elaborately patterned saris that they produce.

DFS by Cecilia Bengolea & Francois Chaignaud.© Hervé Véronèse. (Click image for larger version)

Cecilia Bengolea & François Chaignaud – DFS – London

★★✰✰✰   Jamaican dancehall and traditional Georgian vocal polyphony are not two things you expect to see in the same sentence, let alone on the same stage.

Uchenna Dance in The Head Wrap Diaries.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Uchenna Dance – The Head Wrap Diaries – London

★★★★✰   Hair is a fraught subject for most women. For black women, the struggle with their locks (braids, weaves, relaxed or natural) can be titanic – getting your hair done can be a day-long ordeal…

Nikki and JD in Knot.© Laurent Cahu. (Click image for larger version)

Nikki & JD – Knot – London

★★★★✰   An hour in the company of Nikki and JD is well spent.

Sarah Van Patten, Mathilde Froustey and Ulrik Birkkjaer in Marston's Snowblind.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program B: works by Myles Thatcher, Cathy Marston, David Dawson – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Snowblind is a great narrative ballet – the source material is striking and Marston’s interpretation of it, equally so.

Sayaka Ichikawa and artists of Scottish Ballet and Ballet Black in House of Birds.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Viviana Durante Company – Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time bill – London

★★★★✰   All credit to Viviana Durante (supported by Royal Ballet, Ballet Black and Scottish Ballet dancers) for contributing to the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death with recreations of his early work.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Carlo Di Lanno in Wheeldon's Bound To.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program A: works by Alonzo King, Christopher Wheeldon, Justin Peck – San Francisco

★★★★✰   If Helgi Tomasson was hoping that Unbound: A Festival of New Works would generate heated debate on the state of ballet today, his wish has already been fulfilled just one night into the massive festival…

Tessa Barbour and John Speed Orr in Val Caniparoli's If I Were A Sushi Roll.© Chris Hardy. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Contemporary American Ballet – Dance Series 02: Falling Up, If I Were a Sushi Roll, Oasis – San Francisco

★★★★✰   A title like “If I Were a Sushi Roll” suggests that some whimsy may be in store, and indeed, Caniparoli’s new nine-part dance suite had whimsy to spare…

Calvin Richardson and Matthew Ball in Obsidian Tear. © Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Obsidian Tear, Marguerite and Armand, Elite Syncopations – London

★★★★✰   The ostensible link between the three works in this mixed bill is that they are by the Royal Ballet’s resident choreographers, past and present: Frederick Ashton. Kenneth MacMillan and Wayne McGregor. But none is typical of the choreographers’ work…

Publicity image for English National Ballet / Akram Khan's Giselle.© Jason Bell. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle – on cinema release

★★★★★   A total of 150 cinemas will show the ballet, which was filmed at the Liverpool Empire, in October 2017

Francesca Hayward in Laiderette.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Viviana Durante Company in Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time

Works performed: House of Birds, Danses Concertantes and Laiderette by dancers from The Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet and Ballet Black. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Viviana Durante.© David Scheinmann. (Click image for larger version)

Viviana Durante on her company and its showcasing of early Kenneth MacMillan works at the Barbican

Viviana Durante on her company and its showcasing of early Kenneth MacMillan works at London’s Barbican on 18 — 21 Apr 2018. Bruce Marriott talks to one of the foremost MacMillan interpreters about her MacMillan celebration showcasing 3 very rarely seen works.

English National Ballet in Forsythe's Playlist (Track 1, 2).© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Voices of America bill – works by Forsythe, Robbins & Barton – London

★★★★✰   Altogether, a cunningly judged programme that shows off the company at its most engaging…

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