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
Mayara Magri makes her debut as Gamzatti in La Bayadere on 14th November 2018.© and courtesy The Royal Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Mayara Magri, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet

Jann Parry talks to the recently promoted Mayara Magri at an important time – she is about to make her debut as Gamzatti in The Royal Ballet’s production of La Bayadere – her first major and leading role in the company she joined 6 years ago…

Natalia Osipova and Vadim Muntagirov in La Bayadère.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Bayadère – London

★★★★✰   In the past, the Royal Ballet’s version, last performed five years ago, has sometimes seemed insubstantial. Not so this time, with a luxury cast in full dramatic mode: Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nuñez, Natalia Osipova and Gary Avis…

Delia Mathews and artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet in Ignite.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Fire and Fury: The King Dances, Ignite – London

★★★✰✰   David Bintley, who steps down as director of Birmingham Royal Ballet at the end of the 2018/2019 season, describes the current double bill as ‘two ballets fuelled by power and politics’.

Federico Bonelli and Laura Morera in Mayerling.© Alice Pennefather, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Mayerling (Bonelli, Morera) – London

★★★★✰   The partnership in Mayerling between Morera and Bonelli is a fine example of how experience can illumine the nuances of a dramatic ballet.

Natalia Osipova and Ryoichi Hirano in Mayerling.© Helen Maybanks, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Mayerling (Hirano, Osipova) – London

★★★★✰   Osipova is lethally orgasmic… Never has MacMilllan’s choreography for the death duet seemed so astounding as in her account of it.

Rauf Yasitin Epilogue.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

William Forsythe – A Quiet Evening of Dance – London

★★★★✰   Forsythe is surprising himself and his audience with new discoveries of what bodies and ballets can do.

Paul Lazar in 17c.© Manuel Harlan. (Click image for larger version)

Big Dance Theater – 17c – London

★★★✰✰   Big Dance Theater company, based in New York, set about turning Samuel Pepys priapic confessions into a dance theatre piece, mashing up past and present….

World Ballet Live - 2 October 2018.

World Ballet Day, 2 October 2018 – an insight into what The Royal Ballet will be doing

Jann Parry talks to The Royal Ballet about what’s happening on World Ballet Day this year and just what it means for some of those involved… Kristen McNally, James Hay and Assistant director Anthoula Syndica-Drummond.

Joshua Thake.© Zoran Jelenic. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Trocks) – Programme A, Swan Lake bill – London

★★★★★   The Trocks’ version of Swan Lake (or Lac, as it used to be known) restores some Soviet era removals. Benno, the hero’s best friend and supporter, is back, as are mime sequences, mostly mystifying the participants…

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Shantala Shivalingappa in Play.© Koen Broos. (Click image for larger version)

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Shantala Shivalingappa – Play – London

★★✰✰✰   Cherkaoui looks older than his years, so much so that his relationship in Play with Shivalingappa risks being unsettling. As dancers, they are no longer equals, as they must have been in 2008.

Irina Kolesnikova and Denis Rodkin in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre – Swan Lake – London

★★✰✰✰   Although the first night audience was moved to a standing ovation, Swan Lake can and should be so much more than this stylised ritual…

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

Jean Abreu Dance – An Other Solo for Two – London

★★★✰✰   Abreu is a remarkable performer, with a technique developed from forms of Brazilian dance and martial arts that enables him to sink into the floor and rise with resilience.

Students of the Upper School in Aurora’s Wedding.© Tristram Kenton / Royal Ballet School. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Summer Performance, ROH Main Stage – London

★★★✰✰   A matinee in two halves: fine before the interval, with dire, dreary choreography in the second half. Thank goodness for the exhilarating Grand Défilé at the close.

Third year students Breanna Foad and Rentaro Nakaaki, who join English National Ballet next season.© Jesus Vallinas. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet School – Summer Performance – London

★★★✰✰   This summer’s showcase of English National Ballet School’s students was the first under its new director, Carlos Valcarcel… The Wimbledon programme consisted of two creations by him, two by students, and excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty as a conclusion.

Pacific Northwest Ballet in Opus19/The Dreamer.© Angela Sterling. (Click image for larger version)

Les Etés de la Danse, Paris – Jerome Robbins Homage, Programme 2 – Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Perm Opera Ballet

★★★★✰   It’s been a very enjoyable homage to Robbins’s versatility…

Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili in Glass Pieces.© Cheryl Mann. (Click image for larger version)

Les Etés de la Danse, Paris – Homage to Jerome Robbins, Programme 1 – New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet

★★★★✰   The programme, performed by two very different American ballet companies, displayed Robbins’s versatility while revealing the similarities in his approach to music.

Aidan Gibson and Casey Ouzounis in Neue Suite (Berio 1-2-3).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Semperoper Ballett – In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Neue Suite, Enemy in the Figure – London

★★★✰✰   Semperoper’s dancers distort the classical ballet line more than the Paris Opera Ballet’s (or ENB’s) and don’t bother much with fifth positions or precise épaulement for Forsythe’s endless tendus. They seem contemporary dancers rather than étoiles being outrageous.

Daniel McCormick, Emerging Dancer Competition winner, performing Le Corsaire.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

2018 English National Ballet Emerging Dancer Competition – performance and results

For the first time, English National Ballet’s competition for its junior members was held in the capacious London Coliseum, where the company has been performing The Sleeping Beauty…

Alina Cojocaru in The Sleeping Beauty.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   It’s a better Sleeping Beauty than the Royal Ballet’s, but it benefits enormously from a stellar performance at its heart, a reminder of how civilised ballet can be.

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.

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