"Duke Ellington" tag
Arcell Cabuag in Upside Down.© Ayodele Casel. (Click image for larger version)

Evidence, A Dance Company – Come Ye, March, Den of Dreams, Upside Down, Dancing Spirit – New York

★★★★✰   Ronald K. Brown is one of those choreographers who returns to a similar mode in piece after piece, so it’s easy to take him for granted. But what a powerful mode it is.

Company XIV in Nutcracker Rouge.© Mark Shelby Perry. (Click image for larger version)

Company XIV – Nutcracker Rouge – New York

★★★★✰   Nutcracker Rouge is a lush, flesh-fueled frenzy of sensuality and spectacle. McCormick’s gift for erotic elegance is mesmerizing. Any raunch manages to be a good dose of the subversive while also being good plain fun.

Yijing Zhang, Céline Gittens, Matthias Dingman and Tyrone Singleton in Jessica Lang’s Wink.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Wink, The Moor’s Pavane, The Shakespeare Suite – London

★★★★✰   Wink, best seen from above, is a valuable addition to BRB’s repertoire. So is José Limon’s The Moor’s Pavane, created in 1949.

Brandon Lawrence in Wink.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Wink, The Moor’s Pavane, The Shakespeare Suite – Birmingham

★★★✰✰   Jessica Lang’s Wink is an attractive piece, well designed and well made with a clear structure.

Jacqueline Green in Kyle Abraham's Untitled America: First Movement.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Memoria, Piazzolla Caldera, Grace, Polish Pieces, Untitled America: First Movement, Awakening, Revelations – New York

Warmth, exuberance, power, finesse – all these qualities infuse everything they do.

Shelly Watson and Laura Careless in Nutcracker Rouge.© Mark Shelby Perry. (Click image for larger version)

Company XIV – Nutcracker Rouge – New York

There are many alternative Nutcrackers out there, but hands down, Nutcracker Rouge has got to be one of the all-time best.

Rachael McLaren and Yannick Lebrun in Bad Blood.© Steve Wilson. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey – Odetta, Uprising, Night Creature, Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, Bad Blood, After the Rain pas de deux, Revelations – Boston

The second night… this was by far the best program I’ve ever seen Ailey offer: five pieces, each as good as the others in its different way…

Rachael McLaren and Kirven Douthit-Boyd in Wayne McGregor's Chroma.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Lincoln Center Programs A & B – New York

Since becoming artistic director at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011, Robert Battle has been steadily mixing up the company’s repertory, adding works by choreographers beyond its usual range: Paul Taylor, Ohad Naharin, and Wayne McGregor, to name just three.

New Ballet Ensemble at the National Symphony Orchestra: NEW MOVES program.© Scott Suchman. (Click image for larger version)

New Ballet Ensemble – Program 2, National Symphony Orchestra: NEW MOVES: symphony + dance season – Washington

Smythe’s Harlem was a riot of imagination, movement and color. The choreography blended together three seemingly unmixable styles of dance – classical ballet, jookin’ and flamenco…

Janie Taylor and Anthony Huxley in George Balanchine's Ivesiana.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Who Cares?, Ivesiana, Tarantella, Stars & Stripes – New York

But stuck in the middle of all this brightness was Ivesiana, like a ghost at a birthday party. It is a most unsettling ballet.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Renee Robinson Farewell and Ailey Classics bill – Washington

The evening felt like a big party, with the Opera House filled to the brim by a cheering, adoring audience. …”Renee Robinson, We celebrate her tonight!” said Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Renee Robinson.© Andrew Eccles. (Click image for larger version)

Renee Robinson – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Oksana Khadarina talks to one of Alvin Ailey company’s leading lights on the eve of her retirement…

Sean Kelly ©

Sean Kelly – From Ballet to Musical Theatre and Diablo Ballet’s A Swingin’ Holiday

Sean Kelly enjoyed a nearly two decades-long career as a principal dancer with Houston Ballet, and then decided to try his hand at Musical Theater. He joined the casts and/or became Dance Captain in such shows as Carousel, Swing, Moving On and Billy Elliot. He was recently in the San Francisco Bay Area to set a new holiday swing-themed premiere on Diablo Ballet…

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