"Damien Johnson" tag
Choreographer Lauren Lovette working with Ashley Bouder on Red Spotted Purple.© Gibney/Ashley Bouder - from Instagram original.

Ashley Bouder Project – Red Spotted Purple, Duet, Alas, Symbiotic Twin, In Pursuit Of – New York

★★★✰✰   Bouder’s pick-up ensemble of eight, which she refers to as an arts collaborative, reflects her ideals. It is racially diverse; the choreographers include both men and women. Not all the choreographers are white. This should be par for the course, but it’s not.

Liam Lindsay and Amy McEntee in Christopher Bruce's Mya.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2017 Tour – London

★★★✰✰   At the end of the evening was what you might call the blockbuster piece of the tour – 30 minutes of Matthew Bourne in the form of Act II of his “Highland Fling”. Bourne’s take on “La Sylphide” is a wonderful piece of work, full of wit, style and pathos…

Cira Robinson in Red Riding Hood by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – House of Dreams, Captured, Red Riding Hood – London

★★★✰✰   It’s rather a scandal that Ballet Black get no regular Arts Council support and yet proportionally they do far more to put new work out there and also before a public that is not your usual ballet crowd.

Cira Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November in Arthur Pita's Cristaux.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – Cristaux, To Begin, Begin, Storyville – London

★★★★✰   I’ve long admired Ballet Black’s efforts to make ballet a more accessible art form to both dancers and audiences who’ve historically been excluded from it.

Ballet Black in Mark Bruce's Second Coming.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – To Fetch a Pail of Water?, Depouillement, Second Coming – London

All up, another win for Ballet Black – a strong double bill of consequence and contrast preceded by a short amuse-bouche.

Damien Johnson and Kanika Carr in Mark Bruce's Second Coming.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Ballet Black in Second Coming and To Fetch a Pail of Water?

Two brand new Ballet Black works, by Mark Bruce and Kit Holder, photographed by Dave Morgan…

Isabela Coracy in A Dream Within a Midsummer Night's Dream.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Limbo, Two of a Kind – London

Now in its thirteenth year, Ballet Black’s specialness is not the colour of its performers’ skin but the quality and quantity of the works its director, Cassa Pancho, commissions: over 30 new ballets to date. Where else could ballet dancers experience such a cornucopia of creativity?

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