"Bach" tag
Students of the Upper School in Aurora’s Wedding.© Tristram Kenton / Royal Ballet School. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Summer Performance, ROH Main Stage – London

★★★✰✰   A matinee in two halves: fine before the interval, with dire, dreary choreography in the second half. Thank goodness for the exhilarating Grand Défilé at the close.

Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili in Glass Pieces.© Cheryl Mann. (Click image for larger version)

Les Etés de la Danse, Paris – Homage to Jerome Robbins, Programme 1 – New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet

★★★★✰   The programme, performed by two very different American ballet companies, displayed Robbins’s versatility while revealing the similarities in his approach to music.

Aidan Gibson and Casey Ouzounis in Neue Suite (Berio 1-2-3).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Semperoper Ballett – In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Neue Suite, Enemy in the Figure – London

★★★✰✰   Semperoper’s dancers distort the classical ballet line more than the Paris Opera Ballet’s (or ENB’s) and don’t bother much with fifth positions or precise épaulement for Forsythe’s endless tendus. They seem contemporary dancers rather than étoiles being outrageous.

Paris Opera Ballet in The Seasons’ Canon.© Agathe Poupeney / OnP. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Thierrée /​ Shechter /​ Pérez /​ Pite – Paris

★★★★✰   Crystal Pite’s work stands out as the crowd-pleaser. With huge cheers and applause, we rise to our feet for the dancers.

Francesca Hayward and Matthew Ball (The Royal Ballet) in Bach Forms, choreography by Wayne McGregor.© Ravi Deepres. (Click image for larger version)

Dance@TheGrange – Curated by Wayne McGregor & Edward Watson – Grange Festival, Hampshire

★★★★✰   McGregor’s company dancers (in Bach Forms) brought a surging energy, buoying up jewel-like moments from the Royal Ballet stars…

New York City Ballet in Warren Carlyle’s Something to Dance About.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 2 and Tribute to Robbins bills – New York

★★★★✰   The centenary celebration bills are more than enough to give a sense of Robbins’ breadth, theatrical savvy, stylistic curiosities, and, perhaps most unique of all, his ability to present dancers as human beings onstage.

Ask la Cour in The Four Temperaments.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Concerto Barocco, Agon, The Four Temperaments – New York

★★✰✰✰   Last week, on Thursday night, with the exception of The Four Temperaments, the company’s thoughts appeared to be elsewhere…

Maria Kochetkova in Pita's Björk Ballet.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program D: works by Edwaard Liang, Dwight Rhoden, Arthur Pita – San Francisco

★★★★★   A hundred monkeys might eventually type out Hamlet, but only a herd of unicorns on Ecstasy could come anywhere near Arthur Pita’s Björk Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Guernica.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program C: works by Stanton Welch, Trey McIntyre, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Program C’s offerings spanned the choreographic spectrum, from pure movement to narrative threads to inventive theatricality. Every work on the bill impressed with its freshness and ingenuity.

Laura Halzack and Michael Trusnovec in Mercuric Tidings.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance – David H. Koch season – New York

★★★★✰   Even in stillness, Taylor dancers hold immense power in their bodies, the energy potential within them more nuclear than solar.

Tamara Rojo and Ivan Vasiliev in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, La Sylphide – London

★★★★✰   One great privilege of Rojo being both director and dancer must be the opportunity to choose her own partners and this year’s returning guest is Ivan Vasiliev…

Erica Felsch & the men of the company in Michael Smuin's Santa Baby, from The Christmas Ballet.© Keith Sutter. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Contemporary American Ballet – The Christmas Ballet – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   I’ve seen The Christmas Ballet five times over the years and it has always been and continues to be a lovely, celebratory afternoon or evening at the theatre. That said, I still struggle with the format.

Rena Butler in Pavement.© Steven Schreiber. (Click image for larger version)

Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion – Pavement – London

★★★✰✰   Pavement, from 2012, takes as its touchstone the 1991 film Boyz n the Hood, John Singleton’s hard-hitting coming-of-age drama…

Marijn Rademaker and Igone de Jongh in Sarcasmen.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Hans van Manen, Ode to the Master bill – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   An outstanding bill in showing Hans van Manen’s work for three companies and its rich contemporary diversity – it all looks so fresh and of today.

Scottish Dance Theatre in Botis Seva’s TuTuMucky.© Brian Hartley. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Dance Theatre – TuTuMucky, Dreamers – London

★★★✰✰   Both are bold, engaging commissions – always welcome from a regional UK dance troupe.

Nicholas Sciscione and Joshua Tuason in Untitled Touch.© Julie Lemberger. (Click image for larger version)

Stephen Petronio Company – Bloodlines: works by Rainer, Paxton, Halprin, Petronio – New York

★★★✰✰   Two interesting impulses have been evident in the modern and post-modern dance scene in New York of late….
(Works danced: Diagonal, Trio A With Flags, Chair-Pillow, Excerpt from Goldberg Variations, The Courtesan and the Crone, Untitled Touch)

Hamburg Ballet in "Nocturnes" from John Neumeier's Old Friends.© Holger Badekow. (Click image for larger version)

Hamburg Ballet – Old Friends – New York

★✰✰✰✰   Dancers roam around the stage connecting, disconnecting, clinging and separating in a drifting non-specific haze of memories. Who are the exes, who are the friends? Who are the never-weres? Who knows.

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.

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?

Lindsey Matheis and Joseph Kudra with Guzmán Rosado and Joseph Davis in Death Defying Dances by Arthur Pita.© Yi-Chun Wu. (Click image for larger version)

BODYTRAFFIC – Death Defying Dances, 3 Preludes, Private Games: Chapter One – New York

★★✰✰✰   BODYTRAFFIC, the Los Angeles-based contemporary dance troupe, drew a robust crowd to the Joyce on Friday night.

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