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

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

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…

Carousel with choreography by Justin Peck.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (choreography by Justin Peck) – New York

★★★★✰   One of the most attractive things about the production is the way it brings together various worlds: ballet, Broadway, and opera.

Houston Dance Collective in The Purple Jigsaw.© Camilla Greenwell. (Click image for larger version)

East London Dance / Tony Adigun – IDENTITY – London

★★★✰✰   Identity is a celebration of East London’s diverse creativity – a dazzling clash of fashion, dance and music… and featuring Houston Dance Collective, Avant Garde Dance Company, House of Absolute, & Rugged Estate.

National Youth Dance Company in Sharon Eyal's Used To Be Blonde.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

National Youth Dance Company – Used To Be Blonde – London

★★★★✰   The title is oblique, but the choreography is an explicit punch of intensity, fusing vigour and angularity with a velvety slinkiness.

Kevin Emerton and Mayara Magri in Piggy in the Middle.© Alice Pennefather, ROH, 2018. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet / Charlotte Edmonds – Piggy in the Middle, Sink or Swim – London

★★★✰✰   Piggy in the Middle is, in part, Edmonds’ tribute to Kenneth MacMillan, the 25th anniversary of whose death has been marked during the Royal Ballet’s 2017/2018 season.

Brett Chynoweth and artists of The Australian Ballet in Firebird.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Murphy (Graeme Murphy tribute bill of 6 works) – Sydney

★★★✰✰   Within this potpourri of Graeme Murphy’s works, the highlight was “Grand”, a charming and poignant tribute he created in 2005 for his mother, a pianist, who died the previous year.

Dada Masilo's Giselle - The Dance Factory, Johannesburg (2017).© John Hogg. (Click image for larger version)

Dada Masilo / The Dance Factory – Giselle – New York

★★★✰✰   Masilo’s is an uncompromising, ritualistic version of the story, with little room for redemption, and in its final scene, in which the spirits amass and advance upon Giselle’s seducer again and again, it tips over into a kind of animistic brutality…

Francesca Hayward, Christopher Saunders and Elizabeth McGorian in Manon.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Manon – London

★★★★✰   It’s a myth that Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon was ever regarded as a failure. Critics may initially have had reservations but audiences have enjoyed it from its first season in 1974 throughout its many revivals…

Wende and Dutch National Ballet in Last Resistance.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Dutch Doubles: Impermanence, Two and Only, Déjà vu, Last Resistance – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   Dutch National Ballet’s Dutch Doubles quad bill features 3 new works by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Ernst Meisner and Wubkje Kuindersma plus a classic piece, new to the company, from the legend that is Hans van Manen.

Sutra, by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley with monks from the Shaolin Temple.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Antony Gormley, Szymon Brzoska with monks from the Shaolin Temple – Sutra – London

★★★★★   It still has the power to surprise and delight – and let the imagination fly.

Laura Halzack and Michael Trusnovec in Mercuric Tidings.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance – David H. Koch season – New York

★★★★✰   Even in stillness, Taylor dancers hold immense power in their bodies, the energy potential within them more nuclear than solar.

Nicholas Bodych and Elly Braund in Carnaval.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Mid Century Modern, Carnaval, Cut and Run – London

★★★★★   It must be tempting to get carried away by sentiment when it comes to celebrating both a 70th birthday and fifty years as a choreographer in a programme that also marks the departure of a special muse.

Jillian Vanstone in The Sleeping Beauty.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

The National Ballet of Canada – The Sleeping Beauty – Toronto

★★★★✰   Steeped in the company’s history, this Sleeping Beauty is a real treasure – a lavishly-outfitted and deeply absorbing spectacle which bears the indelible imprint of its creator, the legendary Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

Fergus Early, Maria Ghoumrassi, Ursula Early, Ingrid MacKinnon and Vincent Ebrahim in About Us.© Sarah Covington. (Click image for larger version)

Jacky Lansley – About Us – London

★★★✰✰   About Us is a collection of personal stories and political musings communicated through a multidisciplinary framework of movement, music, singing, text and film and performed by an equally eclectic group of multigenerational artists.

DanceTabs © 2018 All Rights Reserved

© All here is copyright DanceTabs and the author concerned. Do not steal our words or pictures please. Thank you.