"After the Rain" tag
Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin De Luz in Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala with Odessa, Ratmansky premiere – New York

★★★✰✰   With only four works, no intermissions and a run time of less than two hours, New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala was short and to the point.

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…

Kristen McNally and company dancers in Crystal Pite's Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Human Seasons, After the Rain, Flight Pattern

The Royal Ballet in perhaps the most eagerly anticipated premiere of the season – Crystal Pite’s “Flight Pattern”. Also on the bill are Christopher Wheeldon’s “After the Rain” and David Dawson’s “Human Seasons”. Dave Morgan was at the photocall for us…

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.

Complexions in Star Dust.© Breeann Birr. (Click image for larger version)

Complexions Contemporary Ballet – Gutter Glitter, So Not A…, Star Dust – New York

★★✰✰✰   Slated as a “rock opera style production” created in the late David Bowie’s honour, Star Dust is a lengthy, razzle dazzle suite of dances set to Bowie’s most popular tunes.

Jessica Lang Dance in Thousand Yard Stare.© Todd Rosenberg. (Click image for larger version)

Jessica Lang Dance – Thousand Yard Stare, Solo Bach, Among the Stars, Sweet Silent Thought, i.n.k. – New York

★★★✰✰   The beefiest work on the program was a New York premiere, Thousand Yard Stare, a work honoring war veterans…

Kevin Jackson, Vivienne Wong and Rudy Hawkes in Alice Topp’s Little Atlas.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Symphony in C, divertissements and new works bill – Sydney

★★★✰✰   The first thing to say about Symphony in C is that the Australian Ballet’s corps and soloists had been rehearsed and coached with technical perfection in mind and there was little to fault with their execution of the steps.

Dimity Azoury and Chengwu Guo in Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Forgotten Land, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and DGV: Danse a grande vitesse – Sydney

★★★★✰   In music, mood and dynamics the Australian Ballet’s new triple bill, Vitesse, represents three elements, water, fire and air.

Maya Plisetskaya.© Ensemble Productions. (Click image for larger version)

Ave Maya Gala in Memory of Maya Plisetskaya – London

★★★✰✰ Every gala needs a revelation, and this one was provided by Sergio Bernal, a Spanish dancer who dominated the stage in an imperious farruca solo from Antonio’s flamenco version of The Three Cornered Hat…

Amar Ramasar and NYCB in Justin Peck’s The Most Incredible Thing.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Works By Balanchine, Martins, Peck and Wheeldon – Washington

★★★✰✰ The first of two mixed programs that New York City Ballet presented at the Kennedy Center Opera House in March offered a wide variety of works…

Federico Bonelli and Natalia Osipova in Strapless.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Wheeldon bill: Strapless, After the Rain, Within the Golden Hour – London

★★★✰✰ Wheeldon’s talents are on display, as well as the Royal Ballet’s dancers. A pity, then, that Strapless has been exposed without previews to sort out its weaknesses.

Federico Bonelli and Natalia Osipova in Strapless.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet Wheeldon bill – Strapless, After the Rain, Within the Golden Hour

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Linda Celeste Sims and Glenn Allen Sims in Alvin Ailey's Revelations.© Andrew Eccles. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Toccata, After the Rain pdd, Awakening, Revelations – New York

Every fall, just after Thanksgiving, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater sets up shop at City Center, as sure a sign of the season as Christmas carols at the grocery store.

Jamar Roberts in Exodus.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Exodus bill – New York

Harris’s Exodus, on the other hand, felt just right. Like so many pieces in the Ailey repertory, it suggests a spiritual quest, a journey toward the light…

Rachael McLaren and Yannick Lebrun in Bad Blood.© Steve Wilson. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey – Odetta, Uprising, Night Creature, Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, Bad Blood, After the Rain pas de deux, Revelations – Boston

The second night… this was by far the best program I’ve ever seen Ailey offer: five pieces, each as good as the others in its different way…

New York City Ballet in George Balanchine's Chaconne.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Chaconne, Interplay, After the Rain, Everywhere We Go – New York

“…it’s hard not to get the impression that New York City Ballet is on a roll.”

Ballet San Jose flyer for the 2013 Benefit Gala.© Ballet San Jose. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet San Jose – 2013 Benefit Gala – San Jose

This was an evening not to be missed. Newly appointed Artistic Director, José Manuel Carreño, made sure that the quality of the eighteen guest artists for Ballet San Jose’s Gala Performance would tantalise even the most skeptical dance fan.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith in Edwaard Liang's Finding Light.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Liang / Maliphant / Wheeldon – An evening Featuring Fang-Yi Sheu and Yuan Yuan Tan – London

No sets – just glorious lighting designs playing essential roles in the performances.

Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Christopher Wheeldon's A Place for Us.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala with Wheeldon premiere – New York

But ‘A Place for Us’ (new Wheeldon) feels like a bauble, not quite a jewel.

© Joffrey Ballet

The Joffrey Ballet – Age of Innocence, After the Rain, The Green Table – San Francisco

Closing the program is Kurt Jooss’s anti-war ballet from 1932,The Green Table, one of the greatest pieces of choreography ever created and still relevant after more than 80 years.

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