Reviews
Miriam Miller and Anthony Huxley in Midsummer Night’s Dream.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Midsummer Night’s Dream – New York

★★★★✰   But the kids are just one element of what makes Midsummer tick. Another is the intelligence and efficiency with which the ballet tells its story.

Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo in La Fille mal gardée.© MIRA. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – La Fille Mal Gardée – New York

★★★★★   La Fille Mal Gardée is a ballet that glows from within, lighthearted, tender and bursting with happy ideas.

Tim Hodges (Mr Hyde) in Jekyll & Hyde.© Manuel Harlan. (Click image for larger version)

The McOnie Company – Jekyll and Hyde – London

★★★✰✰   Drew McOnie’s aim in his dance-theatre version of Jekyll and Hyde is to tell a ripping yarn without the use of words. He’s very much a Matthew Bourne disciple…

Andrew Bartee, Scott Fowler, Christoph von Riedemann, Alexis Fletcher, Emily Chessa, Kirsten Wicklund and Brandon Alley in Crystal Pite's Solo Echo.© Michael Slobodian. (Click image for larger version)

International Dance Festival Birmingham 2016 – Ballet BC, Shun Ito/Kei Miyata/EEIH, Motionhouse & free events

★★★✰✰   IDFB is great for Birmingham and I hope those in and around the city filled their boots.

Publicity picture for Ben Duke in Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me).© Zoe Manders. (Click image for larger version)

Lost Dog / Ben Duke – Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) – London

★★★★✰   The work is proof that inventiveness is more important than a huge budget.

Tobias Batley in Jonathan Watkins' 1984.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – 1984 – London

★★★★✰   …an excellent reminder of how enduring Orwell’s work is, and how powerful a channel ballet can be for complex human emotions like distrust and defeat.

Gelsey Kirkland Ballet in Harlequinade.© Anna Kuzmina. (Click image for larger version)

Gelsey Kirkland Ballet – Harlequinade, The Wedding Procession, Walpurgis Night – New York

★★★✰✰   This is no second-rate student group. The Gelsey Kirkland Academy is doing something right.

Olga Smirnova amd Semyon Chudin in The Sleeping Beauty.© Damir Yusupov. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – Moscow

★★★✰✰   Olga Smirnova danced the role of Aurora. Smirnova is a dancer with impressive physical gifts: beautiful proportions, a long elegant line, a supple back and expressive arms…

Dreda Blow (Jane) in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – Jane Eyre – Doncaster

★★★★✰   It’s actually the best new narrative work I’ve seen Northern Ballet do in many years.

American Ballet Theatre in Chamber Symphony part of Shostakovich Trilogy. © Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Shostakovich Trilogy – New York

★★★✰✰   Shostakovich Trilogy is a rich work, containing too much to take in at a single sitting. It reveals some of its secrets, but not all.

Gregory Lau in Hans van Manen’s Solo.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (NDT2) – Schubert, Sad Case, Some Other Time, mutual comfort, Solo, Cacti – London

★★✰✰✰   Hans van Manen’s Solo for three men comes as a blessed relief for its luscious co-ordination and witty response to Bach’s Violin Partita.

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

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Hallelujah Junction, Duo Concertant, Western Symphony – New York

★★★★✰   Balanchine himself once said that Serenade is “many things to many people.” If it is one thing to City Ballet, it is the single ballet which they are expected to do perfectly every time.

Mark Morris Dance Group in The.© Mat Hayward. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Cargo, A Forest, Foursome, The – New York

★★★✰✰   Every few years the Mark Morris Dance Group presents an evening of dances at the company’s Brooklyn headquarters, a nondescript brick building across from BAM…

Hofesh Shechter Company in Political Mother.© Gabriele Zucca. (Click image for larger version)

Hofesh Shechter Company at IDFB – Political Mother – Birmingham

★★★★✰   Hofesh Shechter created Political Mother in 2010 as a rebuke to totalitarianism and oppressive propaganda.

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance performing Agon.© Camilla Greenwell Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance – Agon, Rite of Spring, Symphonies of Wind Instruments – London

★★★✰✰   Esa-Pekka Salonen is conducting London’s Philharmonia Orchestra in a Stravinsky festival, the first concert of which included a collaboration with Karole Armitage’s company on “Agon” – famously originally choreographed by Balanchine…

American Ballet Theatre in Ratmansky's Serenade after Plato’s Symposium.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Spring Gala – New York

★★★★✰   It isn’t often that a gala program proves satisfying, but this one was the exception.

BalletBoyz in Javier De Frutos' Fiction.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

BalletBoyz – Life: Rabbit, Fiction – London

★★★★✰   Having missed the opening night of the BalletBoyz tour, at Sadler’s Wells, a few weeks ago, I caught up with it, just three bus stops away from my home…

BRB in Jessica Lang's Wink.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Shakespeare midscale tour: Wink, Three pas de deux, The Moor’s Pavane – Durham

★★★✰✰   “… Wink is a 4 star piece. We need to see more of Jessica Lang’s work…”

Carlos Acosta as Actaeon.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta at IDFB – A Classical Farewell – Birmingham

★★★★✰   Winks, finger wags, flamboyant leaps in a criminally short leather skirt – Carlos Acosta gives the people what they want in this winsome bill, a mix of variations he’s assembled to mark his retirement after more than 25 years on stage.

Maria Kochetkova in Ashton's Sylvia.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Sylvia (Kochetkova, Cornejo) – New York

More from ABT’s run of Ashton’s “Sylvia” – the time Marina Harss reviews Maria Kochetkova and Herman Cornejo…

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