Reviews
Scottish Dance Theatre in Botis Seva’s TuTuMucky.© Brian Hartley. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Dance Theatre – TuTuMucky, Dreamers – London

★★★✰✰   Both are bold, engaging commissions – always welcome from a regional UK dance troupe.

Nicholas Shikkis, Nancy Nerantzi, Ihsaan de Banya, Elly Braund and Nicholas Bodych in Gypsy Mixture.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Glint, Tangent, Chacony, Gypsy Mixture – London

★★★★★   The programme ended with a revival of the ebullient and uplifting Gypsy Mixture…

Jessica Harding and Courtney Reading in Morgann Runacre-Temple's Handsfree.© Fiona Whyte. (Click image for larger version)

Images Ballet Company – Distant Beauties, Concerto for Joyce and Dennis, Handsfree, Scenes of Death and Disaster – London

★★★★✰   This year’s Images Ballet Company is 8 strong, small in the graduate school scheme of things, and yet their show was one of the most exciting I’ve seen in years with a wonderful and eclectic choice of repertoire, danced with passion and verve.

Tiler Peck and the company in The Times Are Racing.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – American Rhapsody, The Four Temperaments, The Times Are Racing – Washington

★★★✰✰   To watch works created by the 29-year old Justin Peck, resident choreographer of New York City Ballet, is to experience what it feels like to be young.

AAADT in Billy Wilson's The Winter in Lisbon.© Christopher Duggan. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – The Winter in Lisbon, Mass, Ella, Revelations – New York

★★★✰✰   I often get the feeling that the Ailey dancers transcend the choreography they’re asked to dance. With the exception of the inescapable Revelations, the company’s repertory can be hit or miss.

Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin de Luz in Ratmansky's Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Square Dance, Tarantella, Odessa, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – Washington

★★★★★   Alexei Ratmansky’s Odessa left me breathless. The dancing (I saw both casts) was phenomenal on all levels: assured, expressive, and thoroughly dramatic.

Rosas in Rain.© Anne Van Aerschot. (Click image for larger version)

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker / Rosas – Rain – London

★★★★★ It’s utterly captivating, full of unexpected, joyous exuberance.

Devon Tesucher in Swan Lake.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Swan Lake – New York

★★★★✰   2 casts reviewed Isabella Boylston / Alban Lendorf and Devon Teuscher / Aléxandre Hammoudi.

Liam Lindsay and Amy McEntee in Christopher Bruce's Mya.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2017 Tour – London

★★★✰✰   At the end of the evening was what you might call the blockbuster piece of the tour – 30 minutes of Matthew Bourne in the form of Act II of his “Highland Fling”. Bourne’s take on “La Sylphide” is a wonderful piece of work, full of wit, style and pathos…

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.

An image of Sardoville's "A Matter of Impression" bill.© Darren Goldsmith. (Click image for larger version)

Sardoville – A Matter of Impression: Impressed Upon, Attempting to Impress – London

★★★★✰   A Matter of Impression is touching and riveting while Sardoville is a company that exudes energy, skill and inquisitive minds.

Vicky Shick's Let it Linger.© Paula Court. (Click image for larger version)

Vicky Shick at the Lumberyard in the City festival – Let it Linger – New York

★★★✰✰   Vicky Shick’s dances are a little bit like silent family movies, a series of scenes from a life, edited together in no apparent order.

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.

Gabriella Domini, supported by Maxwell Read and Jackson Fort, in Scotch Symphony. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

School of American Ballet – Workshop Performance: Scènes de Ballet, Hallelujah Junction, Scotch Symphony – New York

★★★★✰   New York City Ballet’s seemingly endless stream of new talent has a source, and that source is the School of American Ballet…

Liane Burns and Charles Slender-White in FACT/SF's Platform.© Andrew Weeks. (Click image for larger version)

FACT/SF and The Foundry – Platform, Deep South (premieres) – San Francisco

★★★★✰   It can be fascinating to see how two artists, starting with the same media, create completely unique works.

Kizzy Matiakis (Merteuil), Jon Axel Fransson (Valmont) and Andreas Kaas (Danceny) in Dangerous Liaisons.© Costin Radu. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Dangerous Liaisons (premiere) – Copenhagen

★★★★✰   …I was again struck by just how effortlessly a story can be communicated and emotions laid bare by ballet – it was a triumph.

Akram Khan in DESH.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Akram Khan Company – Desh – London

★★★★★   This is Khan’s own personal story, but it achieves a much wider resonance about how we can learn to reconcile ourselves to our past, and to acknowledge where and what we come from as we mature.

Sarah Steele in Ethan Stiefel's Frontier.© Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Lilac Garden, The Dream, Frontier (premiere) – Washington

★★★✰✰   Ethan Stiefel’s Frontier, his first significant commission, had all the right ingredients… Yet the ballet, with its space travel theme, didn’t leave much of an impression…

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…

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