Reviews
English National Ballet in Pina Bausch's The Rite of Spring.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Pina Bausch, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen bill – London

★★★★★   One cannot help but observe that while the programmes of other companies both hit and miss, in terms of their critical appreciation and popular appeal, ENB is continually raising the bar…

Sean Mahoney, Parisa Khobdeh and Heather McGinley in Martha Graham's Diversion of Angels.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance & Lyon Opera Ballet – Icons: Graham, Cunningham, Taylor – New York

★★★★✰   Sunday night, the New York dance scene flocked to see three of America’s dance pioneers side by side in “Icons: Graham, Cunningham, Taylor.

Haydn Oakley in An American in Paris.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Christopher Wheeldon – An American in Paris – London

★★★★★   The ballet is a triumph, of course. It really is… Wheeldon and his collaborators have reclaimed the Gershwins’ music and songs for a five-star production…

The Royal Ballet in Crystal Pite's Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Flight Pattern (premiere), After the Rain, The Human Seasons – London

Flight Pattern: ★★★★★, After the Rain: ★★★✰✰, Human Seasons: ★★✰✰✰.   Like Gorecki, Crystal Pite has created a memorable and moving work full of meaning…

Eran Bugge and Robert Kleinendorst in Esplanade.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance – Book of Beasts, The Word, Esplanade – New York

★★★★✰   What is it about Esplanade that makes us so elated, so satisfied, so moved?

Daniil Simkin and Alexei Agoudine in Ratmansky's Whipped Cream.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Whipped Cream – Costa Mesa

★★★✰✰   Be careful what you wish for. The Boy in Alexei Ratmansky’s Whipped Cream wishes for unlimited sweets; overfulfillment sends him to the hospital with sugar hallucinations.

Ivan Vassiliev and Kristina Kretova in Sceherazade.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – In the steps of the Ballets Russes – London

★★★★✰   The long gala (three and a half hours with one interval) was well organised, with no speeches and no protracted curtain calls.

Chihiro Kawaski in Rosalind publicity image.© David Foulkes. (Click image for larger version)

James Cousins Company – Rosalind – London

★★★★✰   Cousins has made a bold, complex, intelligent and invigorating piece…

Sergei Polunin and Natalia Osipova in Narcissus and Echo.© Alastair Muir. (Click image for larger version)

Project Polunin – Icarus, The night before the Flight; Tea or Coffee; Narcissus and Echo – London

★★✰✰✰   I begin this notice with a codicil. Let this preamble show my unbounded admiration for the spirit and rationale of Project Polunin.

Company Wayne McGregor / Paris Opera Ballet in Tree of Codes.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Company Wayne McGregor / Paris Opera Ballet – Tree of Codes – London

★★★★✰   Tree of Codes …shows McGregor as an out-and-out showman who dazzles us senseless with design, music, dancers and dance. I’m not sure if he really planned it that way, but I’ll take it every time.

Julie Cunningham and Hannah Burfield in Returning.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Julie Cunningham and Company – Returning, To Be Me – London

★★★✰✰   A final poem, ‘Man Down’, calls for compassion and acceptance that we are all combinations of male and female. The message is in the words rather than in the bodies of the dancers.

Aakash Odedra in Echoes.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Aakash Odedra – Echoes, I Imagine – London

★★★★✰   At first sight the two works in Aakash Odedra’s solo show at Sadler’s Wells Lilian Baylis Studio could hardly be more unalike.

Dores André and Aaron Robison in Pita's Salome.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Fusion, Salome (premiere), Fearful Symmetries – San Francisco

★★★★★   Pita’s Salome is pure postmodern dance-theater, and a five-star surprise on the Opera House stage.

Cira Robinson in Red Riding Hood by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – House of Dreams, Captured, Red Riding Hood – London

★★★✰✰   It’s rather a scandal that Ballet Black get no regular Arts Council support and yet proportionally they do far more to put new work out there and also before a public that is not your usual ballet crowd.

Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham in Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Prodigal Son, Diamonds – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The soloists and principals of San Francisco Ballet brought unique interpretations to George Balanchine classics for the company’s fourth program of the season, a varied survey of Balanchine’s oeuvre.

Washington Ballet in Giselle.© Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Giselle – Washington

★★★✰✰   On Friday night, the title role was danced by EunWon Lee, a new name on the Washington Ballet’s roster…

Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks in Some of a Thousand Words.© Nir Arieli. (Click image for larger version)

Wendy Whelan & Brian Brooks – Some of a Thousand Words – New York

★★★✰✰   Over two years after her retirement from New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan remains a sight to behold.

Tommy Franzen and Dickson Mbi in The Wall.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Russell Maliphant Company – maliphantworks: Wall, One part II, Two, Afterlight (Part One) – London

★★★★★   The hour-long evening is a magical experience, a testament to the decades-long collaboration between Maliphant and Hulls…

Fujikage Shizuhisa as the tree in Oshukubai (The Nightingale in the Plum Tree).© Courtesy of Geimaruza. (Click image for larger version)

Geimaruza – Nihon Buyo Dance – New York

★★★★★   The varied program included three dance works and one musical interlude. Each section was excellent…

Corey Claire Annand in Stepmother.© Stephen Wright. (Click image for larger version)

Arthur Pita & HeadSpaceDance – Stepmother / Stepfather – London

★★★★✰   Those of a nervous disposition, look away now. The dark, twisted inventiveness of Arthur Pita runs riot across this double-bill of bad parenting, sweeping up murder, suicide, incest and a little light cannibalism as it goes.

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