Jane Simpson has written for DanceTabs/ Balletco since its very early days in 1997. She contributed regularly to Dance Now for its last 10 years and wrote for the Yearbook of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (2000 - 2009); she writes a 'London Letter' for the Washington-based quarterly, Dance View. She is based in London and also makes several trips to Copenhagen each season.
Update: In June 2014 Jane decided to retire from writing - see more on this page.
Under are the articles written for DanceTabs. Reviews on Balletco
In the Royal Ballet’s last programme for this season two old favourites frame the first performances of Alastair Marriott’s latest work, Connectome. It’s a well-balanced evening and gives the new piece every chance to shine.
It’s always good to get back to mixed programmes after one of the Royal Ballet’s long runs of blockbusters, and better still when the first item on the bill is Balanchine’s timeless Serenade.
The Royal Danish Ballet’s production of Manon is a rather different affair from the Covent Garden original which I fled from sometime in the 1990s and have never revisited….
Most of this run of performances was sold out, or very nearly so, so the Copenhagen audience evidently appreciates what Hubbe is doing. To me, though, this latest revision of Napoli felt like a step too far…
….thanks and admiration to Francesca Hayward for a blithe, swift Songbird Fairy, probably the most pleasing I’ve ever seen…
The Royal Ballet’s latest triple bill has a happy beginning and a sad ending and in the middle there’s Wayne McGregor’s new piece, Tetractys, an emotionally-neutral blank sheet on which you can write your own feelings – or more likely, your own thoughts.
…we get a cleverly staged and very well danced psychodrama, scary both in what we see and what we further imagine. There are, though, two fundamental problems which hold the piece back from complete success.
Another December, another Royal Ballet Nutcracker: anything new to report? Not much, no. And for once that’s probably the answer most people are hoping to hear…
So the company showed well enough to save the afternoon – but how much better they would look in a stronger piece.
Richard Alston’s devotion to Britten’s music goes back 50 years, and for his programme at the Barbican Theatre he’s made two new works to be shown alongside two from an earlier stage in his career.
…assuming that the company acquired Come Fly Away in the hopes of selling a lot of tickets and bringing in new audiences, it’s been a terrific success: the whole run is sold out …and I imagine that the standing ovation the night I was there is repeated every time.
Cuthbertson isn’t one of those tiny doll-like Juliets who can get through the first scene on sweetness alone. Instead she gives hints of gaucheness …you’’d bet heavily against her wardrobe being mainly pink.
…it’s actually a real pleasure to watch a company just working together for the good of the ballet.
It’s especially challenging for the Royal Ballet, whose repertoire and style are built on the subtle understatement of Frederick Ashton and the deep psychological explorations of Kenneth MacMillan: hot-blooded Latin exuberance is not really their thing…
The music for all three of the pieces on Richard Alston’s latest DVD may be ‘all American’ but the choreography isn’t: there’s nothing here to dilute Alston’s reputation as the most ‘all English’ of today’s major dancemakers…
The first bravo for the Boston Ballet’s return to London must go to artistic director Mikko Nissinen, for his clever and highly successful programming for opening night.
The performance was sold out and very warmly applauded and I hope the Festival authorities will take notice, and schedule a similar programme in future years.
2013 is the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth and Kim Brandstrup is part of the celebrations with important works at the Aldeburgh Festival (with the Royal Ballet) and in London (for ENO). Jane Simpson catches up with him…
…intelligent, well-structured and emotionally engaging… The more I think about Cathy Marston’s Witch-Hunt, the more I admire it.
In fact delight was the keynote of the whole evening …I was very happy to see the whole company reclaiming their ‘joy in dancing’, the Bournonville essence which is fundamentally what keeps these old ballets alive.