"English National Ballet" tag
San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's The Sleeping Beauty.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – San Francisco

★★✰✰✰   The efforts of San Francisco Ballet’s artists are sadly misplaced in this largely joyless and wholly unsatisfying rendition of The Sleeping Beauty.

Marianela Nunez in Giselle.© Helen Maybanks, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Giselle – London

★★★★★   Peter Wright’s 1985 production for the Royal Ballet has had many interpreters, all subtly or extravagantly different. Nunez is amongst the finest, a perfectionist who seems realistically earthy as a country girl who loves dancing and ethereal as her defiant spirit.

Tamara Rojo and Ivan Vasiliev in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, La Sylphide – London

★★★★✰   One great privilege of Rojo being both director and dancer must be the opportunity to choose her own partners and this year’s returning guest is Ivan Vasiliev…

Tamara Rojo in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

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

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

★★★★✰   The pairing cannily indulges our need for vivid material on these bleak mid-winter nights while also steering us down from the high of the Christmas circuit, with its sugary Nutcrackers and other family-friendly fare.

Tamara Rojo, Joseph Caley and Fernando Carratala Coloma in Song of the Earth.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Song of the Earth and La Sylphide

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Arancha Baselga and Brandon Lawrence in The Nutcracker.© Annabel Moeller. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★✰✰   Peter Wright’s glorious ballet might not shine quite so magically in its Bintley/Albert Hall version but the dancers certainly do…

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…

Shiori Kase and Joseph Caley in Nutcracker.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Nutcracker – London

★★★✰✰   One of the ballet’s biggest departures from tradition is having the same dancer play Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The reasoning is unclear, but Kase proves versatile enough to pull it off…

Senri Kou in Nutcracker.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Nutcracker

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

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…

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