May 2018
Ingoma KwaZulu-Natal Dance Company.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

DanceAfrica Festival 2018 – New York

★★★★✰   DanceAfrica is a welcome reminder of the uniquely universal powers of dance and music.

Akram Khan in Xenos.© Jean-Louis Fernandez. (Click image for larger version)

Akram Khan Company – Xenos – London

★★★✰✰   Xenos, which apparently means “stranger” or, more aptly for this piece, “foreigner”, is a tangled mass of many things but, above all, it seems to be an essay on loneliness.

Hee Seo in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – New York

★★★★✰   Roberto Bolle, who played his usual striking Albrecht, responded to Seo with nuance and subtlety. The same goes for how Seo revealed Giselle’s madness…

Liam Francis in Life is a Dream.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert – Life is a Dream – London

★★★✰✰   Brandstrup keeps so many options open that the narrative thread of Life is a Dream is hard to pin down, even if you have read the programme notes and mugged up the 1635 play of the same name.

Jean Abreu and Rita Carpinteiro in Solo for Two.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Jean Abreu’s Solo for Two

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Misty Copeland, Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in Afterite.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – 3 Bills: Giselle, Gala, Firebird/Afterite – New York

★★★★✰   After a week of Giselle, during which Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg had their much-awaited re-match, the company began its season in earnest on May 21, with a spring gala that included two new works and excerpts from a third…

The 2018 ENB Emerging Dancer finalists: Precious Adams, Fernando Carratalá Coloma, Giorgio Garrett, Daniel McCormick, Francesca Velicu and Connie Vowles.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer 2018 Competition – 5 Questions to 6 Finalists

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer Competition is unique in British ballet in throwing the spotlight on more junior dancers or “tomorrow’s stars” as ENB put it. This year’s competition is on the 11 June and ahead of the that we talk to the finalists – Precious Adams, Fernando Carratalá Coloma, Giorgio Garrett, Daniel McCormick, Francesca Velicu and Connie Vowles…

Edit Domoszlai and Miguel Altunaga in Life is a Dream.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Rambert in Life is a Dream

Life is a Dream is Kim Brandstrup’s new work for Rambert. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Zenaida Yanowsky in Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth – London

★★★★✰   Was she passionate as well as imperious? Her own letters and poems suggest so: contemporary accounts by others are not to be trusted. Her position of power in turbulent times generated a lot of fake news…

Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nunez, Bennet Gartside and artists of the company in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake (Scarlett premiere) – London

★★★★★   Liam Scarlett has devised a visual and emotional treat for audiences, fully justifying Kevin O’Hare’s faith in him as a director and choreographer.

Jodi Lomask, Cari Delaplane and Mayuko Hosoai of Capacitor.© RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Capacitor – Left To Her Own Devices: 20 Years of Sculpture in Motion – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Artistic Director and Founder Jodi Lomask describes Capacitor as a “dance, cirque, sculpture company that often works with scientists…” The program excerpted seven works created from 2000 to 2014.

Jinyeob Cha in Riverrun: interface of the unstable body.© Kii Studios Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Festival of Korean Dance – Jinyeob Cha X Vakki and Lyon Eun KWON – London

★★★★✰   Two works by up-and-coming female Korean choreographers hint at South Korea’s progressive and rich dance culture.

New York City Ballet in The Concert.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 4 bill – New York

★★★★✰   It was a good night for Afternoon of a Faun, in particular. Chase Finlay, débuting in the role of the young dancer sensually lolling about a ballet studio, brought back the eroticism this ballet often lacks.

Vadim Muntagirov in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Swan Lake

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Zenaida Yanowsky and Katie Deacon in Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Dreda Blow and Javier Torres in Jane Eyre.© Caroline Holden. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – Jane Eyre – London

★★★✰✰   This excellent ballet is clearly a “keeper” and a work I would like to see again and again.

Melissa Hamilton.© Andrej Uspenski. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Melissa Hamilton, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet

“I knew that I had to seize my only chance to have a ballet career. Masha Mukhamedov agreed to teach me privately six days a week for ten months…”

Julie Cunningham & Company in Sarah Kane’s Crave.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Julie Cunningham & Company – Sarah Kane’s Crave – London

★★✰✰✰   The dancing feels surprisingly lifeless given the fiery potential of the subject matter. Instead of engaging with the text’s furious, pitiful laments, it gives the impression of simply occurring alongside them…

Kizzy Matiakis in the lead image for The Queen of Spades.© Camilla Winther. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – The Queen of Spades – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   The good news is that Queen of Spades is a good-looking crowd pleaser and the RDB dancers look fantastic in it – I can’t emphasise that enough. Also good that it’s a step up from his last commission, Frankenstein – thank goodness, really.

New York City Ballet in Warren Carlyle’s Something to Dance About.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 2 and Tribute to Robbins bills – New York

★★★★✰   The centenary celebration bills are more than enough to give a sense of Robbins’ breadth, theatrical savvy, stylistic curiosities, and, perhaps most unique of all, his ability to present dancers as human beings onstage.

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