"Don Quixote" tag
Nicoletta Manni and Leonid Sarafanov in Don Quixote.© Darren Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

La Scala Ballet – Giselle and Don Quixote – Brisbane

★★★★✰   Nicoletta Manni’s performances in Don Quixote and Giselle on the last three days of Teatro alla Scala ballet company’s season in Australia was extraordinary, not just for her stamina and resilience, but her acting skills.

Mayara Magri makes her debut as Gamzatti in La Bayadere on 14th November 2018.© and courtesy The Royal Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Mayara Magri, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet

Jann Parry talks to the recently promoted Mayara Magri at an important time – she is about to make her debut as Gamzatti in The Royal Ballet’s production of La Bayadere – her first major and leading role in the company she joined 6 years ago…

Polina Semionova in La Bayadère.© Yan Revazov. (Click image for larger version)

Staatsballett Berlin – La Bayadère (premiere of Ratmansky reconstruction) – Berlin

★★★★✰   In the last several years, the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has developed a sideline to his main choreographic efforts: the reviving of ballets by Marius Petipa in a way that represents the original choreography with as much fidelity as possible…

Melissa Hamilton.© Andrej Uspenski. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Melissa Hamilton, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet

“I knew that I had to seize my only chance to have a ballet career. Masha Mukhamedov agreed to teach me privately six days a week for ten months…”

Dancers from Evgeny Panfilov Ballet Theatre with Vladimir Vasiliev at the end of the contemporary second half of the gala.© Nikita Chuntomov. (Click image for larger version)

Ekaterina Maximova Arabesque Ballet Competition Gala in Honour of Marius Petipa and Lev Tolstoy – Perm

The occasion was the 15th anniversary of the Ekaterina Maximova Arabesque Ballet Competition named, since 2012, after the late and much-loved Bolshoi ballerina, and organised by her husband, Vladimir Vasiliev…

Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov in Nureyev.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2018 – London

★★★✰✰   This year’s Russian Ballet gala was ostensibly in honour of the 200th anniversary of Marius Petipa’s birth. Any choreography attributed to him was mostly a long way ‘after Petipa’, but it’s always fun to see excellent Russian dancers deliver pas de deux from Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Le Corsaire.

Kimin Kim and Sofia Matyushenskaya in Don Quixote.© M Logvinov. (Click image for larger version)

Yacobson Ballet – Don Quixote – St. Petersburg

★★★★✰   Kobborg has deconstructed the work; mixing up the narrative’s building blocks before reassembling them in a masterpiece of balance that remains recognisably traditional but is also refreshingly new.

Benjamin Ella and Isabella Gasparini in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2017 – London

Head and shoulders above other new work this year was Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern for the Royal Ballet…

J'aime Crandall in Raymonda.© Henrik Stenberg. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Raymonda – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   All up, I think this production demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of “Raymonda” as a ballet. It certainly is a fabulous looking (and listening) calling card which might tour well…

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance in Bayadère: The Ninth Life.© Jane Hobson. (Click image for larger version)

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance – Bayadère: The Ninth Life – London

★★✰✰✰ …an intriguing idea inflated into unwieldy modern dance-theatre.

Viktoria Tereshkina and Kimin Kim in La Bayadere.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – La Bayadere – London

★★★★✰   From the moment Kimin Kim enters with a flourish as Solor in Act I of La Bayadère, we know we’re in for a treat.

Diana Vishneva in Carmen Suite.© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Carmen Suite, Infra, Grand Pas from Paquita – London

★★★✰✰   When Maya Plisetskaya commissioned a Carmen-based ballet from Alberto Alonso, co-founder of the National Ballet of Cuba, she wanted to shake up Soviet ballet conventions…

Viktoria Tereshkina in Don Quixote.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★✰   Tereshkina and Kim match well physically and temperamentally. She has a lovely high-flying arabesque line and a wide range of slow and fast turns, small and expansive movements.

Ekaterina Chebykina in Don Quixote.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Mariinsky Ballet in Don Quixote

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Sarah Lane and Alban Lendorf in Souvenir d’un lieu cher.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Tchaikovsky Spectacular bills – New York

★★★✰✰   Ratmansky’s Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher turned out to be a mysterious little ballet, a double pas de deux that captures, …the complex history of a quartet of characters.

San Francisco Ballet School students in Balanchine’s Serenade.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet and School – Student Showcase, Promotions and Company Joiners

San Francisco exists in its own world, out here on the distant West Coast. The San Francisco Ballet, though, just became more global than ever, with new 2017-18 members joining from around the world. The company school, which presented its annual Student Showcase 31 May through 2 June at YBCA Theater, draws international students as well…

Stella Abrera and David Hallberg in Whipped Cream.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Whipped Cream – New York

★★★★✰   Alexei Ratmansky’s new ballet for ABT, Whipped Cream, is like a Viennese confection: so layered and airy that it takes a moment to fully take in the flavor of its many ingredients.

Misty Copeland and Jeffrey Cirio in Don Quixote.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Don Quixote – New York

★★★★✰   Don Q is pure entertainment, the kind of extroverted spectacle that the ballet is so very good at.

Ivan Vassiliev and Kristina Kretova in Sceherazade.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – In the steps of the Ballets Russes – London

★★★★✰   The long gala (three and a half hours with one interval) was well organised, with no speeches and no protracted curtain calls.

Tamara Rojo in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Broken Wings.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2016 – London

Lynette Halewood with her personal selection of London dance memories from the past year…

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