Author: Jann Parry

A long-established dance writer, Jann Parry was dance critic for The Observer from 1983 to 2004 and wrote the award-winning biography of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan: 'Different Drummer', Faber and Faber, 2009. She has written for publications including The Spectator, The Listener, About the House (Royal Opera House magazine), Dance Now, Dance Magazine (USA), Stage Bill (USA) and Dancing Times. As a writer/producer she worked for the BBC World Service from 1970 to 1989, covering current affairs and the arts. As well as producing radio programmes she has contributed to television and radio documentaries about dance and dancers.

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs. Reviews on Balletco
Reece Causton, Oliver Russell, Luke Bradshaw and Harriet Ellis in 5 Soldiers.© Brian Slater. (Click image for larger version)

Rosie Kay Dance Company – 5 Soldiers: the Body is the Frontline – London

★★★★✰   The physicality of 5 Soldiers during the hour-long performance brings home the breaking of bodies…

Viktoria Tereshkina and Kimin Kim in La Bayadere.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – La Bayadere – London

★★★★✰   From the moment Kimin Kim enters with a flourish as Solor in Act I of La Bayadère, we know we’re in for a treat.

Diana Vishneva in Carmen Suite.© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Carmen Suite, Infra, Grand Pas from Paquita – London

★★★✰✰   When Maya Plisetskaya commissioned a Carmen-based ballet from Alberto Alonso, co-founder of the National Ballet of Cuba, she wanted to shake up Soviet ballet conventions…

Viktoria Tereshkina in Don Quixote.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★✰   Tereshkina and Kim match well physically and temperamentally. She has a lovely high-flying arabesque line and a wide range of slow and fast turns, small and expansive movements.

English National Ballet School publicity image for the 2017 Summer Performance.© ENB School. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet School – Summer Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   The highlight of the second half of the programme was Mats Ek’s Pas de Danse, staged by his assistant, Pompea Santoro.

Emily Hoff in The Conservatory.© Johan Persson / RBS. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   It was a well-balanced programme, featuring different kinds of discipline for future corps de ballet dancers, and honouring veteran choreographers as well as contemporary ones.

Scottish Ballet in Crystal Pite's Emergence.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Emergence, MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) – London

★★★★✰   Both are pre-existing ensemble works, the performers virtually anonymous on stage, though named on cast sheets: the company is the star, not the soloists.

Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli in Marguerite and Armand.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – 3 casts in The Dream, Symphonic Variations, Marguerite and Armand – London

★★★★✰   In Marguerite and Armand the 3 casts reviewed are Zenaida Yanowsky and Roberto Bolle, Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli, Natalia Osipova and Valdimir Shklyarov.

Amici Dance Theatre Company in Tightrope.© Sheila Burnett. (Click image for larger version)

Amici Dance Theatre Company – Tightrope – London

★★★★✰   In between the comically incompetent turns – strongmen who can’t lift, a snake charmer who cheats – come poignant dance numbers.

Mark Morris Dance Group in Pepperland.© Gareth Jones. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Pepperland (premiere) – Liverpool

★★★✰✰   Morris is not the man to create a Beatles tribute show, choreographing 1960s dance routines to the original songs. Instead, he commissioned an hour-long score from Ethan Iverson…

Zenaida Yanowsky in Symphonic Dances.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Symphonic Dances (premiere), The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Tarantella, Strapless – London

★★★★✰   Symphonic Dances is Scarlett’s farewell portrait of Yanowsky. Like her, the ballet is big and bold, beautiful and elusive.

Clare Halse and the company of 42nd Street.© Brinkhoff & Moegenburg. (Click image for larger version)

42nd Street / An American in Paris – London

42nd Street ★★★★★ / An American in Paris ★★★★✰ – Jann Parry reviews “42nd Street” and takes another look at “An American in Paris”, this time with Ashley Day partnering Leanne Cope…

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in Mayerling.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Mayerling – London

★★★★★   Edward Watson and Steven McRae casts both reviewed. “…the Royal Ballet is doing MacMillan proud, coming up to the 25th anniversary of his death…”

Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures - The Infernal Galop.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures – London

★★★★✰   Matthew Bourne celebrates the 30th anniversary of his own company at the same time as Tate Britain has launched “Queer British Art 1861-1967” to mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality. “Early Adventures” could be a theatrical coda to the exhibition…

Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Valeri Hristov in Emeralds.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – London

★★★★✰   The first Emeralds ballerina, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, could be a water nymph, touching the hands of her suitor, Valeri Hristov, in the opening pas de deux before drifting out of reach.

Haydn Oakley in An American in Paris.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Christopher Wheeldon – An American in Paris – London

★★★★★   The ballet is a triumph, of course. It really is… Wheeldon and his collaborators have reclaimed the Gershwins’ music and songs for a five-star production…

The Royal Ballet in Crystal Pite's Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Flight Pattern (premiere), After the Rain, The Human Seasons – London

Flight Pattern: ★★★★★, After the Rain: ★★★✰✰, Human Seasons: ★★✰✰✰.   Like Gorecki, Crystal Pite has created a memorable and moving work full of meaning…

Ivan Vassiliev and Kristina Kretova in Sceherazade.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – In the steps of the Ballets Russes – London

★★★★✰   The long gala (three and a half hours with one interval) was well organised, with no speeches and no protracted curtain calls.

Julie Cunningham and Hannah Burfield in Returning.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Julie Cunningham and Company – Returning, To Be Me – London

★★★✰✰   A final poem, ‘Man Down’, calls for compassion and acceptance that we are all combinations of male and female. The message is in the words rather than in the bodies of the dancers.

Tommy Franzen and Dickson Mbi in The Wall.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Russell Maliphant Company – maliphantworks: Wall, One part II, Two, Afterlight (Part One) – London

★★★★★   The hour-long evening is a magical experience, a testament to the decades-long collaboration between Maliphant and Hulls…

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