Ballet Nacional de España in Suite Sevilla.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Nacional de España – Grito and Suite Sevilla – London

Flamenco in the hands of Ballet Nacional de España is far from the rough and ready peña experience: Antonio Najarro’s Madrid-based company offers instead precision-tooled dance…

Norika Matsuyama and Steven Morse in Thatcher's Manifesto.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Program 3 including Myles Thatcher premiere – San Francisco

Program 3 features Hans van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples, William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Manifesto by Myles Thatcher and “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère.

Nicol Edmonds and Matthew Ball in Joshua Beamish's Burrow.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Draft Works 2015 – London

This year‘s highlight was an exuberant piece from Marcelino Sambé which provided a lively closer to an otherwise rather downbeat programme.

Carmen Cortés with Gerardo Núñez and musicians In Concert.© Grzegorz Ziemianski, (Click image for larger version)

Gerardo Núñez with guest dancer Carmen Cortés – In Concert – London

For dance fans, the chance to see Carmen Cortés is an unalloyed joy. When she abandons providing palmeos and steps to the front of the stage, she prowls cat-like around the music…

Julian De Leon and Nicole Diaz in Unstruck.© Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang. (Click image for larger version)

Kate Weare Company – 10th Anniversary Season – New York

There’s something almost too private about the way these dancers handle each other. Weare’s natural habitat is the duet, which in many cases has the flavor of a mortal combat.

New York City Ballet in Jerome Robbins' Interplay.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Hear The Dance: America bill – New York

The most obvious, and pleasurable aspect of New York City Ballet’s mixed bill Hear the Dance: America is its juxtaposition of two very different works by Jerome Robbins.

Cirque Eloise in Cirkopolis.© 2012 Productions Neuvart/Valerie Remise.

Cirque Eloise – Cirkopolis – London

The whole ensemble had a refreshing zest for performance …Although perhaps lacking in theatrical drama…

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

New York City Ballet – Square Dance, Harlequinade – New York

If Harlequinade is somewhat less than the sum of its parts, Square Dance (1957), which preceded it on the program, never fails to lift the heart.

Ballet Black in Mark Bruce's Second Coming.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – To Fetch a Pail of Water?, Depouillement, Second Coming – London

All up, another win for Ballet Black – a strong double bill of consequence and contrast preceded by a short amuse-bouche.

Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild in Peter Martins' Romeo + Juliet.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Romeo + Juliet – New York

The balcony pas de deux, what all the paramours have come to see, is decent. There are the sweeping, leg splitting lifts, drippy back drapes (so much so that Hyltin at times looks dead), and romantic clutches in abundance.

Ballet Next in Ushuaia.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Next – Outswirl, Ushuaia, Something Sampled – New York

It is hard to know where to start with “Baroque’d”, Ballet Next’s latest season, but it’s safe to say Something Sampled, one of the program’s three world premieres, is, for better or worse, what most people will talk about.

Marianela Núñez in Swan Lake.© ROH, Alice Pennefather.

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake – London

It is somewhat extraordinary that Anthony Dowell’s staging of Swan Lake is almost thirty years old, given the amount of reservations and mixed feelings it still elicits.

Ultima Vez in What the Body Does Not Remember.© Danny Willems. (Click image for larger version)

Ultima Vez / Wim Vandekeybus – What The Body Does Not Remember – London

… 28 years on, what strikes you is how vital and of the moment the piece still seems.

NYCB in Justin Peck’s ‘Rode,o: Four Dance Episodes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Pictures at an Exhibition, ‘Rōdē,ō: Four Dance Episodes, Mercurial Maoeucres – New York

‘Rōdē,ō: Four Dance Episodes premiere: It turns out that this combination of male vigor, Copland, and Peck is a felicitous one.

LCDS in Sally Marie's I am 8.© Danilo Moroni. (Click image for larger version)

Questions and Dancers, dance for the young – Sally Marie and John Ross – London

I’m a sucker for a children’s show. The audience are just as demanding as grownups but there is the additional frisson of not knowing what they will get up to if excited… or just bored stiff.

Anne Plamondon and Peter Chu in Crystal Pite's A Picture of You Falling.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

The Associates of Sadler’s Wells: Crystal Pite, Kate Prince, Hofesh Shechter – London

If the brand new works were something of a disappointment then Crystal Pite’s A Picture of You Falling, created on her own company dancers in 2008, was the outstanding hit.

Imre Van Opstal in Sara.© Rahi Rezvani. (Click image for larger version)

Nederlands Dans Theater 2 – I New Then, Shutters Shut, Sara, Subject to Change – New York

There are some companies that are always worth seeing just to watch them move: NDT is one of them, and NDT 2 – at the Joyce through Sunday – is no different.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Hofesh Shechter's Uprising.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Uprising, Grace, Revelations – New York

On the 13 December 2014, as the Millions March protest – on the shooting of unarmed African-American men by police – was happening in NY, Shanti Crawford was at City Center seeing Alvin Ailey perform Hofesh Shechter’s Uprising. It really hit home…

Justin Peck and Sterling Hyltin in The Cage.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Bach and Hear the Dance: Russia bills – New York

More from the NYCB Winter Season with Marina Harss reviewing 2 bills made up of 6 works: Concerto Barocco, The Goldberg Variations, Symphonic Dances, The Cage, Andantino and Cortege Hongrois…

Mariinsky Ballet in Le Sacre du Printemps.© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version

Mariinsky Ballet – Le Sacre du Printemps, Le Spectre de la Rose, The Swan, Paquita Grand Pas – Washington

In all, this was a tremendously entertaining and well-received program; but at the same time it left an unsettling impression that the Russian company is holding on to its eminent past with all its might, relying heavily on well-worn

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