Reviews
Carlos Acosta and Pieter Symonds in Miguel Altunaga's Derrumbe.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta – Cubania – London

It’s not a perfect show by any means, but come the end you still love Acosta, his spirit and his smile. He remains a potent name, doing potent things for ballet, like filling the ROH…

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Bolshoi Ballet – Don Quixote – New York

…the real star of Don Quixote is the Bolshoi itself.

Wendy Whelan in Joshua Beamish's Waltz Epoca.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Wendy Whelan – Restless Creature bill – London

It would be invidious to compare Wendy Whelan’s brave attempt to reinvent herself as a contemporary dancer with Sylvie Guillem’s far more mature achievement.

Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham in Christopher Wheeldon's Within The Golden Hour.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Maelstrom, Within the Golden Hour, Glass Pieces – Paris

Great to see so many of San Francisco Ballet’s dancers enjoying themselves and enthusing their audience in a steamy summer evening in Paris.

San Francisco Ballet in Liam Scarlett's Hummingbird.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Caprice, Hummingbird, Symphonic Dances – Paris

Audience applause during the evening recognised that Scarlett’s Hummingbird was the starry centrepiece of the three Paris premieres.

Joseph Taylor, Kevin Poeung, Giuliano Contadini and Nicola Gervasi in Kennth Tindall's The Architect.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – Concerto Six Twenty-Two, Concertante, The Architect – Leeds

Overall I thought this was another move forward for Tindall – he can grab our attention theatrically and also provide visceral choreographic texture.

Svetlana Zakharova in Swan Lake.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Swan Lake – New York

It is even more disappointing that the troupe should open its run with a Swan Lake so lackluster… It’s not the dancers’ fault. At every level, the Bolshoi dancers move with thrilling force and fullness.

Rosas in Elena's Aria.© Herman Sorgeloos. (Click image for larger version)

Rosas / Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker – Elena’s Aria and Bartok/Mikrokosmos – New York

…I think it’s safe to say that she is an artist who follows her obsessions with a tenacity that is both admirable and frequently defeating.

Les Saisons Russes / Natalia Sats Opera & Ballet - Polovtsian Dances.© Elena Lapina. (Click image for larger version)

Les Saisons Russes / Natalia Sats Opera & Ballet – Petrushka, Chopiniana, Polovtsian Dances – London

The triumph of the triple bill was the rip-roaring account of the Polovtsian Dances, with the choir exulting from boxes at the side of the Coliseum stage.

Chisato Katsura and Reece Clarke in Raymonda Act III.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance – London

Question… What’s the biggest audience noise you will ever hear in ballet? Answer… The roar of the audience at the end of the Royal Ballet School show at the Opera House.

Elaine Lucia and James Batista in Brasil Brasileiro.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Brasil Brasileiro – London

I feel that I now know what an end-of-pier seaside special looks like in Brazil.

Rosas in Rosas danst Rosas.© Herman Sorgeloos. (Click image for larger version)

Rosas / Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker – Rosas danst Rosas – New York

Watching Rosas danst Rosas this weekend it was easy to understand why it still stands as a prime example of De Keersmaeker’s choreographic approach.

Nicolas Le Riche farewell - final curtain calls.© Sébastien Mathé / Opéra national de Paris. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Nicolas Le Riche Farwell Gala – Paris

Only the official retirement age of 42 requires him to leave the company, alas, though he may be invited back as a guest.

Paul White in the studio preparing Anatomy of an Afternoon.© Paul Hyde. (Click image for larger version)

Paul White – Anatomy of an Afternoon – London

It’s a really demanding work, and the intimate setting of the Purcell Room brings you up close to every drop of sweat.

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Tale Dolven in Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Rosas / Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker – Fase – New York

Reich’s score is, of course, a constant pulse. De Keersmaeker provides no rest for the senses. She matches Reich in density and motion. It is mimicry of the highest order.

Natalia Savelieva (Queen of Shamakha) in Le Coq d'Or.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Les Saisons Russes / Natalia Sats Opera & Ballet – Le Coq d’Or (The Golden Cockerel) – London

…it’s very Russian in its mixture of comedy, satire and luscious spectacle – and first-class performances.

Scottish Ballet: Jealousy, choreography James Cousins, performed by Brenda Lee Grech & Lewis Landini (both Central alumni).© Martin Bell. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central and Friends Gala – London

This glitzy evening proved that the Central School of Ballet has friends in abundance (or perhaps that should be hyphenated to “a-bun-dance”) but the aim of this gala event was clearly to encourage a few more.

Xiomara Reyes and Sascha Radetsky in Coppélia.© MIRA. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Coppélia – New York

The three dancers who took their leave this week – Sascha Radetsky, Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews – are all soloists. Each led a different cast of the company’s 1997 production of Coppélia.

Louise Lecavalier in So Blue.© Andre Cornellier. (Click image for larger version)

Louise Lecavalier – So Blue – London

If there’s a linking rationale between the sequences, other than one of physical contrasts, it’s not evident. Lecavalier cannot fail to be riveting because of her compelling presence, as androgynous as David Bowie, as vulnerable as Wendy Houstoun…

Mercedes Schindler and Joshua Barwick in Valentino Zucchetti's Orbital Motion.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

New English Ballet Theatre – Tryst: Devotion and Betrayal bill – London

If you are keen on seeing new work, this is an attractive package of five varied pieces which is very well presented.

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