Reviews
Jonathan Goddard and Gemma Dixon in The Days The Nights The Wounds and The Night.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

HeadSpaceDance – If Play is Play: Two, Before the Interval, The Days The Nights The Wounds and The Night – London

All up there was lot of thoughtful and thought-provoking contemporary movement on stage made by some of the best dramatic dancers you will see. The approach is all very grown-up and I hope they do more.

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg in Manon, from The Royal Ballet Tour of Japan in 2013.© Kiyonori Hasegawa. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Manon (Cojocaru/Kobborg ) – Sydney

The presence of Cojocaru and Kobborg in Manon, apart from giving such pleasure in itself, lifted the Australian Ballet’s production and took it to a different level. And bouquets to Steven Heathcote for a remarkable performance as well.

Erik Cavallari and Sophie Martin in Romeo and Juliet.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Romeo & Juliet – Glasgow

Perhaps it’s the case that our receptors for beauty lie close in the brain to those for horror: what else could explain how a story about two young lovers dying a needless, violent death should be so passionately, tragically beautiful.

National Youth Dance Company promotional picture.© NYDC. (Click image for larger version)

National Youth Dance Company – The Rashomon Effect, Vertical Road – London

This programme exploits their open-hearted zest for dancing and gives them some meaty choreographic challenges.

Maude Sabourin (Her Majesty of the Night) with Asier Edeso and Bruno Roque (Archangels of Darkness) in LAC.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets de Monte Carlo – LAC (after Swan Lake) – London

All up it’s an entertaining and chic-looking take on Swan Lake, and one where you don’t have to know the original to enjoy it. But I’m glad I have seen a pukka Swan Lake or three…

Les ballets C de la B in Alain Platel’s tauberbach.© Les ballets C de la B. (Click image for larger version)

Les ballets C de la B – tauberbach – London

Alain Platel was inspired to make this work by the life of an elderly Brazilian woman named Estamira. Suffering from schizophrenia, yet charismatic and philosophical, she lived on a municipal rubbish dump…

Bohemia in Christopher Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Winter’s Tale – London

Wheeldon has honed his craft in making a story ballet, much better constructed than his Alice in Wonderland. His core characters account for themselves in revealing solos and his pas de deux are no longer over-ingenious.

Anastasia Soboleva and Victor Lebedev in La Fille mal gardée.© Stas Levshin. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhailovsky Ballet – La Fille mal gardee – St. Petersburg

…the audience was in thrall to the bucolic genius of Ashton’s production with as many curtain calls at the premiere as I can recall witnessing for a very long time.

Maria Kowroski in George Balanchine's Diamonds from Jewels.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – Washington

In many ways, Jewels is Balanchine’s choreographic résumé – a retrospective and a vivid showcase of his aesthetics and creative genius…

Tom Pecinka in The Soldier’s Tale.© Dana Astmann. (Click image for larger version)

Yale School of Music & Yale School of Drama – The Soldier’s Tale – New York

Stravinsky’s is a bitter tale with folk roots, about a soldier (played by the convincingly guileless, agile Tom Pecinka) returning home from the front who is sidetracked by the devil….

Savion Glover in SoLe Sanctuary.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Savion Glover – SoLe Sanctuary – London

Savion Glover’s latest show is the ultimate exposition of world-beating virtuosity, performed as an act of spiritual devotion that venerates past leaders of the Hoofer faith.

Akram Khan and ENB dancers in Khan's Dust.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Lest We Forget: No Man’s Land, Second Breath, Dust, Firebird – London

Dust is a resounding success for Khan as creator, Rojo as artistic director and both as performers.

Trisha Brown Company in Set and Reset.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Dance at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2014: Trisha Brown, Akram Khan, Pina Bausch, Jockey Club Series

The 2014 Arts Festival offered contemporary dance from established international masters along with new wave work from Asia, Scandinavia and Hong Kong itself.

Aurelia Thierree in Murmurs.© Richard Haughton. (Click image for larger version)

Aurelia Thierree & Victoria Thierree Chaplin – Murmurs (Murmures des murs) – Nice

Murmurs, bears all the hallmarks of Victoria Thierrée Chaplin’s fantasy-rich imagination. The performance opens on a stage littered with packing cases…

James Sanson and Laura Halzack in Byzantium.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor Dance Company – NY Spring Season – New York

Taylor’s dancers continue to move with their particular combination of generosity and tirelessness. They come in different sizes and types, like the rest of us…

James Thiérrée and Katell Le Brenn in Tabac Rouge.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Compagnie du Hanneton / James Thierree – Tabac Rouge – London

It takes Thiérrée a long time to make each new work. Tabac Rouge is his fourth production in a decade…

Momoko Hirata (Princess Belle Sakuma) and Joseph Caley (Salamander Prince) in The Prince of the Pagodas.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Prince of the Pagodas (Caley/Hirata) – London

In his programme note, Bintley claims to have foregone sexual romance in favour of ‘something more mystical and subtle’, connected with Japanese veneration of its Imperial family. It doesn’t resonate in this royal kingdom.

Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet as Yokai in The Prince of the Pagodas.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Prince of the Pagodas (Bracewell/Roberts) – London

One of Bintley’s other notable commitments as Director is the rapid development of young dancers. For a graduating dance student, hungry for big roles, BRB is the company to aim for….

Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio in Cinderella.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Cinderella – Boston

Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella is one of the great ballets of the 20th century and a triumph of his career.

Lusymay Di Stefano and Claudio Coviello in [I]Giselle[/I].© Marco Brescia and Rudy Amisano, Teatro alla Scala. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2014: La Scala Ballet in Giselle & Scottish Ballet in Highland Fling

The Festival kicked off with two classical ballet companies presenting very different versions of the oldest and most celebrated Romantic ballets in the repertoire: a classic rendering of Giselle and a radically different take on La Sylphide…

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