"Bizet" tag
English National Ballet School publicity image for the 2017 Summer Performance.© ENB School. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet School – Summer Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   The highlight of the second half of the programme was Mats Ek’s Pas de Danse, staged by his assistant, Pompea Santoro.

Zaloa Fabbrini and Alessio Passaquindici in Roland Petit's L'Arlésienne.© Dominique Jaussein. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Nice Mediterranee – Grand Pas Classique from Raymonda, Gnawa, L’Arlesienne – Nice

★★★✰✰   The most interesting item of the programme was definitely the revival of Roland Petit’s L’Arlésienne, created in 1974 when he was director of the National Ballet of Marseille.

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…

Sterling Hyltin in Mozartiana.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Sonatine, Mozartiana, Symphony in C – New York

★★★★✰ Some nights at the ballet you just get lucky: all the works are beautiful and the program is well balanced, and each of the casts is led by a ballerina who seems just right for the role.

Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta in his Carmen.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Carmen, Viscera, Afternoon of a Faun, Tchaikovsky pas de deux – London

Acosta’s Carmen is far from a disaster, propelled by committed performances and Tim Hatley’s dramatic designs…

Zizi Strallen and Chris Trenfield in The Car Man.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – The Car Man – London

It is almost eight years to the day since The Car Man was last revived at Sadler’s Wells (having premiered in 2000) and it seems even better than I recall…

Sara Mearns and Ask La Cour in Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Sonatine, La Valse, Symphony in C – New York

After a week of modernist works by Balanchine set mostly to Stravinsky, Hindemith, Webern, there’s no denying that a night of French music falls sweetly on the ear.

Ashley Bouder in Donizetti Variations.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Agon, Symphony in C, Donizetti Variations, La Valse, Chaconne – New York

In recent seasons New York City Ballet has gotten into the habit of starting things off with a week or two of Balanchine. It’s an excellent idea.

Janie Taylor and Sebastien Marcovici in Balanchine's La Valse.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Acheron, Afternoon of a Faun, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, La Valse – New York

George Balanchine’s favorite composers may have been Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, but it’s no secret that he also had an affinity for France and its music…

Julie Kent and Roberto Bolle in Marcelo Gomes' Apothéose.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Spring Gala – New York

Symphony in C, a luminous outpouring of legs and arms, crisp geometries, bobbing rhythms, and articulate patter-like conversations for the feet, is a vivid reminder of why one goes to the ballet at all. Luminosity and classical logic, laced with wit and intelligence.

Jeffrey Cirio in Wayne McGregor’s Chroma.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Chroma, Serenade, Symphony in C – Boston

Chroma: Perhaps it’s meant as a kind of sherbet to clear the palate between the Balanchine pieces… In short, I found the ballet dazzling but soulless.

Ashley Bouder in Year of the Rabbit.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Two Hearts, Year of the Rabbit, Les Carillons – New York

There should be more nights like this at New York City Ballet.

Nicolas Le Riche and Paris Opera Ballet in Maurice Bejart's Bolero.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Suite en Blanc, L’Arlesienne, Bolero – New York

Nicolas Le Riche was fabulously predatory in Bolero, a raging furnace of self-love and sex appeal. One imagines that after the show he must have ravaged a hundred virgins, but maybe he simply went home and soaked his feet in the tub, but in any case, he was magnificent, good taste (and choreography) be damned.

In Paris: Mikhail Baryshnikov. © Maria Baranova. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhail Baryshnikov / Dmitry Krymov – In Paris – San Francisco

Baryshnikov, now 64, still moves with style and finesse, but the choreography doesn’t offer any opportunities beyond a pseudo-Spanish cliché.

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