"English National Ballet" tag
Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb in The Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★★   When Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker for the Royal Ballet was given its premiere on 20th December 1984, gala guests were treated to free champagne and souvenir booklets. No expense was spared…

Men in Motion flyer.© Nick Knight. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Men in Motion (2017) – London

★★✰✰✰   All the ingredients seemed promising but the evening was disappointing, struggling to recover from the tedium of the dire opening item…

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2017 National Dance Awards – Announcement of Nominations

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle is pleased to announce the nominations for the 18th National Dance Awards…

Cesar Morales.© Andres Cabezas. (Click image for larger version)

Cesar Morales – Principal Dancer, Birmingham Royal Ballet

So how did a good Chilean boy end up dancing ballet in Europe…

MacMillan Celebrations – Gloria (NB), The Judas Tree (RB), Elite Syncopations (RB+Guests) – London

★★★★✰   Elite Syncopations: Dancers from all five major British ballet companies took part, some doubling up roles in identical outfits so that identifying dancers was confusing. The stand-out solo in both the casts I saw was to the Calliope Rag, Monica Mason’s original role…

Thiago Soares and Lauren Cuthbertson in The Judas Tree.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – The Judas Tree (RB), The Song of the Earth (ENB) – London

★★★★✰   The second programme commemorating the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death revealed his very different responses to music, and to human nature.

Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernandez in La Sylphide.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth, La Sylphide – Manchester

★★★★✰   The ENB production of La Sylphide has been staged by three luminaries of Danish ballet, Frank Andersen, Eva Kloborg and Anne Marie Vessel Schlüter, and is, therefore, one supposes, as authentic to the August Bournonville ideals, as possible…

Constance Devernay and Sophie Martin in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – Le Baiser de la fee (SB), Concerto (BRB), Jeux (RB) – London

  In the first of the mixed bills celebrating Kenneth MacMillan’s ballets, 25 years after his death, “Le Baiser de la fée” intrigued me because the questions it posed about his development as a choreographer…

Scottish Ballet's Mia Thompson in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – MacMillan Celebrations – Concerto, Le Baiser de la fee, Elite Syncopations

Featuring dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Northern Ballet. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Javier Torres, Antoinette Brooks-Daw and Riku Ito in Kenneth MacMillan's Gloria.© Lauren Godfrey. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – MacMillan bill: Las Hermanas, Concerto, Gloria – Bradford

★★★★✰   Gloria was Nixon’s first choice because he felt it showed MacMillan at his moving best. It contrasts Poulenc’s choral setting of the Latin text from the mass in praise of God with the toll of human lives in the First World War.

Gary Harris' costume sketches for The Fairy's Kiss.© Gary Harris. (Click image for larger version)

Bringing back Kenneth MacMillan’s Le Baiser de la fée – The Fairy’s Kiss

Scottish Ballet will be performing Kenneth MacMillan’s “Le Baiser de la fée” as part of the celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of his death. It will be the first revival of the ballet in 30 years – Jann Parry on the return of an important work.

Tamara Rojo and James Streeter in Akram Khan's Giselle.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle – London

★★★★★   A production that seems destined to become a masterpiece of early 21st Century contemporary ballet.

Tiffany Hedman in Akram Khan's Giselle.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Giselle (by Akram Khan)

The Akram Khan version with Tamara Rojo in the lead. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Akane Takada in The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.© Robbie Jack. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Opening the New bill – Hull

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet’s away-day to Hull, this year’s UK Capital of Culture, was dramatic in its scale: 17 pieces presented over three hours…

English National Ballet – Romeo & Juliet – London

★★★★✰   Hoffalt brings an elegantly mature intelligence to the part… Laurretta Summerscales will leave a hole in the company when she takes her sabbatical next season…

Erina Takahashi and Isaac Hernández in Romeo & Juliet.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Romeo & Juliet

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

English National Ballet School publicity image for the 2017 Summer Performance.© ENB School. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet School – Summer Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   The highlight of the second half of the programme was Mats Ek’s Pas de Danse, staged by his assistant, Pompea Santoro.

Maureya Lebowitz as Swanilda in Coppélia.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Coppelia and Three Short Story Ballets – Bristol and Birmingham

★★★✰✰   I went to Bristol to catch Coppelia and the specific lead casting of Celine Gittens and Tyrone Singleton – who have now totally transitioned from being rising stars to fully risen Principals.

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…

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…

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