"Federico Bonnelli" tag
Maya Plisetskaya.© Ensemble Productions. (Click image for larger version)

Ave Maya Gala in Memory of Maya Plisetskaya – London

★★★✰✰ Every gala needs a revelation, and this one was provided by Sergio Bernal, a Spanish dancer who dominated the stage in an imperious farruca solo from Antonio’s flamenco version of The Three Cornered Hat…

Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta in his Carmen.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Carmen, Viscera, Afternoon of a Faun, Tchaikovsky pas de deux – London

Acosta’s Carmen is far from a disaster, propelled by committed performances and Tim Hatley’s dramatic designs…

Russian Ballet Icons Gala front cloth with Olesya Novikova.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – Dedicated to the History of Russian Ballet – London

The gala opened with the Act III wedding pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, performed by Ekaterina Osmolkina and Guiseppe Picone. No fish-dives in this version – the Russians regard them as vulgar, and Osmolkina could never be vulgar.

Edward Watson in Alexei Ratmansky's 24 Preludes.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Apollo, 24 Preludes, Aeternum – London

This triple bill, with two world premieres, shows how ably choreographers 85 years apart can refresh the language of classical ballet without distorting it beyond recognition.

Roberta Marquez and Steven McRae in The Nutcracker.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – Nutcracker live screening in cinemas – Everywhere

There were revelations on-screen, too. …How many first-time spectators spot that the Biedermeyer-period Christmas cake in the Act 1 party provides the marzipan-and-icing set for Act II?

Marianela Nuñez in Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins' Diana & Actaeon.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Titian 2012: Machina, Trespass, Diana & Actaeon – London

Seeing the programme twice confirmed my initial impression that Trespass is the best-wrought work. The other two ballets are interesting as concepts rather than as polished productions. But the programme’s emphasis on creativity and collaboration means that Monica Mason’s farewell contribution to the art form in which she has invested her considerable energy will carry on germinating ideas long after she leaves.

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