"Damian Smith" tag
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.

Sarah Van Patten and Anthony Spaulding in Hans van Manen's Variations for Two Couples.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – 2014 Opening Night Gala – San Francisco

The best all-round piece of the evening is Hans van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples, from the exquisitely concise choreography by this still-relevant master…

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.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith in Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Liang / Maliphant / Wheeldon – Featuring Fang-Yi Sheu and Yuan Yuan Tan

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

San Francisco Ballet in Wheeldon's Ghosts.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Trio, Ghosts and Borderlands – New York

San Francisco Ballet is in town for two weeks, and on the evidence of opening night, this should be an invigorating visit. The company looks to be in top form.

Maria Kochetkova in Cranko's Onegin.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Onegin (3 casts) – San Francisco

I first saw Onegin with Marcia Haydée and Richard Cragun when the Stuttgart Ballett made its New York debut in 1969. So when San Francisco Ballet premiered it in the 2011-12 season I was happy to meet an old acquaintance again.

San Francisco Ballet in Ratmansky's From Foreign Lands.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – From Foreign Lands, Scotch Symphony, Golden Hour – San Francisco

From Foreign Lands: “This amusing, yet subtle send-up of classical ballet is rewarding in its expertly-shaped choreography, and made all the more appealing by the slight wackiness of the costumes and visual jokes.”

© 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.

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.

Austlian Ballet in David McAllister's Overture.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – 50th Anniversary Gala – Melbourne

It was a program that harkened back to the big international Galas of previous years, as well as a nice reference to the company’s first years, when artists including Sonia Arova, Erik Bruhn, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev guest-starred.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith in Wheeldon's Ghosts.© Dave Morgan and courtesy of San Francisco Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Programme B: Tomasson, Wheeldon, Page – London

San Francisco’s second programme was better balanced than the first, with contrasting works created for the company within the past two years.

Zhang Si Yuan and Kostyantyn Keshyev in Giselle. © Conrad Dy-Liacco. (Click image for larger version)

Hong Kong Ballet – Giselle – Hong Kong

Keshyshev made a remarkable debut as Albrecht, partnering Zhang Si Yuan who was also dancing Giselle for the very first time. Both dancers were so confident, and assured, that it was hard to believe that they were actually making debuts…

Frances Chung and Pascal Molat in Page's Guide To Strange Places. © Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Programs 5 and 6 (Liang/Page premieres) – San Francisco

Calling this ballet a guide (Guide To Strange Places) is not really precise because it’s more like a portal that lets you in and then leaves you on your own to figure out where you are. Whether you have absolutely no sense of direction or can find your way anywhere blindfolded could determine how you explore this terrain

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