"Bournonville" tag
Carlos Acosta as Actaeon.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta at IDFB – A Classical Farewell – Birmingham

★★★★✰   Winks, finger wags, flamboyant leaps in a criminally short leather skirt – Carlos Acosta gives the people what they want in this winsome bill, a mix of variations he’s assembled to mark his retirement after more than 25 years on stage.

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…

Ida Praetorius, Christina Michanek and Amalie Adrian in Act 3 of Napoli.© Costin Radu. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Napoli – Copenhagen

Most of this run of performances was sold out, or very nearly so, so the Copenhagen audience evidently appreciates what Hubbe is doing. To me, though, this latest revision of Napoli felt like a step too far…

Susan Jones.© Sarah Sterner. (Click image for larger version)

Susan Jones – Ballet Mistress, American Ballet Theatre

My father asked my original teacher in Rockville, Ms. Hood, whether it was viable for me to become a dancer, and she said she thought I could, even though I wasn’t blessed with beautiful legs and feet. But I had a lot of other assets…

Denis Medvedev and Elena Bukanova (King and Marie Antoinette) in The Flames of Paris.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Flames of Paris – London

“Alexei Ratmansky’s Flames of Paris is a lot like Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake…” starts Jann Parry’s review…

Alexei Ratmansky.© Fabrizio Ferri. (Click image for larger version)

Alexei Ratmansky – Balletic Musings, a Continuing Conversation

Do you perceive a difference between the musicality of American dancers and that of Russian dancers? AR: There is a huge difference in the musicality. I often found Russian dancers unmusical… But they have other qualities…

Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru at their farewell curtain calls.© Ellen West, courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Royal Ballet – Mayerling – Kobborg/Cojocaru farewell performances – London

Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru said farewell to the Royal Ballet in Mayerling. Jann Parry was there for an emotional night, flower throw and standing ovation…

© Dance Open

International Ballet Festival 2013 – Dance Open – St Petersburg

The 12th International Ballet Festival – Dance Open – was held over 4 days in St Petersburg. Margaret Willis (our Ms Expressivity) was there to report on much ballet and not a little award giving…

Ida Praetorius as Eleonore in Kermessen in Bruges, with Louise Ostergaard, Josee Bowman and Fernando Mora.© Costin Radu. (Click image for larger version) cr Kermessen

Royal Danish Ballet – La Ventana, Kermesse in Bruges – Copenhagen

In fact delight was the keynote of the whole evening …I was very happy to see the whole company reclaiming their ‘joy in dancing’, the Bournonville essence which is fundamentally what keeps these old ballets alive.

Sergei Polunin and Tamara Rojo in Marguerite & Armand.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Ashton Bill including Marguerite & Armand with Rojo and Polunin – London

But it was Rojo who really surprised me, with the most emotionally open performance I’ve ever seen from her. …a swansong, indeed: what a way to go!

Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith in Wheeldon's After The Rain.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – 80th Season Gala Opening – San Francisco

Perhaps the best pas de deux of the evening, judging by the audience reaction, is one from Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain.

The Shades in La Bayadere.© Costin Radu. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – La Bayadere – Copenhagen

So far as I know, no major company has ever before attempted a time-shifted Bayadère, so Hübbe had the whole of history to pick from. He chose the later years of the British Raj…

Special programme cover - Thomas Lund and Gudrun Bojesen in La Sylphide.© Huset Mydtskov. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Thomas Lund’s farewell: The Lesson/La Sylphide – Copenhagen

Several times during the evening I wondered how much anyone who happened never to have seen Lund before would have understood about him from this performance. They would have learnt about his peerless Bournonville technique, and about his ability to get under the skin of the character he’s playing…

Leticia Stock in Ballo della regina. © Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Sylphide & Ballo della Regina – London

Balanchine famously described a choreographer’s job as being like a chef’s, and his Ballo della Regina perfectly fulfils the role of amuse-bouche in the Royal Ballet’s latest double bill, waking us up and sharpening our appetites for the more serious fare of Bournonville’s lovely La Sylphide. It’s the fourth ballet the company has tried out in this role and I think it’s the most successful.

Nina Ananiashvili – 30 years on stage gala – Tbilisi

So what has made her a ballet legend? The simple fact that she lives, breathes and demonstrates the finest techniques of Russian classical ballet. She is fastidious in her footwork, has the most beautiful pliable back, expressive arms and has perfect proportions and great sensitivity…

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