"George Balanchine" tag
Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Valeri Hristov in Emeralds.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – London

★★★★✰   The first Emeralds ballerina, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, could be a water nymph, touching the hands of her suitor, Valeri Hristov, in the opening pas de deux before drifting out of reach.

Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae in Rubies.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Jewels – Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Atlanta Ballet in 2014 feted its artistic director emeritus with a gala ball. Kelsey Ebersold, an apprentice with Atlanta Ballet at the time, is pictured along with Robert Barnett in costume for Barnett's Fascinatin' Rhythm.© Charlie McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Robert Barnett, former New York City Ballet dancer and longtime Artistic Director of Atlanta Ballet

Robert Barnett joined New York City Ballet in 1949. In those early years he worked closely with Balanchine and Robbins particularly before going on to direct Atlanta Ballet. Now 91 he is still actively involved in dance and passing on all he knows…

Simone Messmer and Miami City Ballet dancers in The Fairy’s Kiss. Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Miami City Ballet – The Fairy’s Kiss, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Polyphonia – Miami

★★★★✰   The Fairy’s Kiss (Ratmansky premiere): The final image is poetic, grand, inspiring. It takes one’s breath away.

Taylor Stanley, Anthony Huxley and Brittany Pollack in Justin Peck's Scherzo Fantastique.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Stravinsky x Five bill – New York

★★★✰✰   Alongside George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, one could argue that the third most important voice at New York City Ballet in the twentieth century was that of Igor Stravinsky.

Sara Mearns and Jared Angle in Swan Lake.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – La Sonnambula, Prodigal Son, Firebird, Allegro Brillante, Swan Lake, Four Temperaments – New York

★★★★✰   Sara Mearns, who made her name as Swan Queen at the age of nineteen, is still the most thrilling Odette around.

Kerala Kalamandalam in Dussasana Vadhom.© Kevin Yatarola. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2016 – New York

Marina Harss with her personal selection of New York dance memories this last year…

Lauren Cuthbertson in The Nutcracker.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★★   The Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker has undergone various changes since its gala premiere in 1984, not least in the central roles of Clara and Drosselmeyer…

Miami City Ballet in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Miami City Ballet – Giselle – Fort Lauderdale

★★★★✰   From start to finish, this Giselle was superbly realized: stylistically accurate, visually enchanting and emotionally poignant.

Viviana Durante.© David Scheinmann, courtesy Viviana Durante. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Viviana Durante: Ballerina, mother, teacher and coach of MacMillan’s Anastasia

One of the leading interpreters of Kenneth MacMillan’s dramatic ballets Viviana Durante’s leaving of the Royal Ballet at the height of her powers was a sad loss to London, if the gain of those who saw her perform elsewhere all around the world. Well now she’s back at the Royal Opera House, this time to coach MacMillan’s Anastasia, which is where Jann Parry caught up with her…

Isabella Boylston and Calvin Royal III in Wheeldon's This Bitter Earth.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

Vail Dance Festival – ReMix NYC – New York

★★★★✰   After watching two of the four programs, a few things stand out. Firstly, it is clear that this is no simple gala, despite the format; there is a strong personal esthetic and philosophy at work behind the programs.

Suzanne Farrell Ballet in Danses Concertantes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Suzanne Farrell Ballet – Danses Concertantes, Gounod Symphony, Stars and Stripes – Washington

★★★★✰   Watching this immensely entertaining program one realizes that even a minor Balanchine ballet is still a great ballet.

Daniil Simkin and Blaine Hoven in Alexei Ratmansky's Serenade after Plato’s Symposium.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, Symphonic Variations, Brahms-Haydn Variations + Fall Gala – New York

★★★★✰   A second look at Alexei Ratmansky’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium confirms the impression formed last season. It is a fascinating work that represents a new direction for the choreographer.

Julie Kent and Washington Ballet.© Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists. (Click image for larger version)

The Washington Ballet – 40th Anniversary Celebration – Washington

★★★✰✰   “Hi! I am Julie Kent, artistic director of the Washington Ballet.” Looking ravishing in her long strapless slivery-white gown, her hair immaculately styled, the new director of the Washington Ballet introduced herself to the audience of the fully-packed Eisenhower Theater…

Silas Riener, Jimena Paz and Eleanor Hullihan of Tere O'Connor Dance.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Tere O’Connor Dance – Undersweet, Transcendental Daughter – New York

★★★★✰   Structure and meaning lie at the heart of O’Connor’s work. With Undersweet he has achieved a perfect balance.

Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez in Apollo.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta – The Classical Farewell – London

★★★★✰   “Thank you, Carlos,” boomed one audience member as Acosta ended his performance by changing out of his dance gear, sitting meditatively on stage…

Lauren King, Abi Stafford, Megan Fairchild, Ana Sophia Scheller and Sterling Hyltin in Divertimento No. 15.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Divertimento No. 15, Episodes, Vienna Waltzes – New York

★★★★✰   Divertimento’s aura still shines; you want to see it again, to figure out its fluid, almost magical transitions. It’s a shame it will only be performed four times this season; it takes more than that for the audience, and the dancers, to really get to know it.

Stephanie Amuro in Helix.© Rose Eichenbaum. (Click image for larger version)

L.A. Dance Project – Harbor Me, 3 Marth Graham duets, Helix, On the Other Side – New York

L.A. Dance Project Harbor Me, Marth Graham duets (White, Star, Moon), Helix, On the Other Side ★★★✰✰ New York, Joyce Theater 27 July 2016 www.ladanceproject.com www.joyce.org LA Story Since his quick exit from…

Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar in Symphony in Three Movements.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Duo Concertant, Symphony in Three Movements – Paris

★★★★✰   The pleasure, above all, in watching this company is their fearless super-charge of energy and their commitment as the inheritors of Balanchine’s ballets.

Michael Hulls LightSpace.© Heathcliff O'Malley. (Click image for larger version)

No Body – Installations by Lucy Carter, Michael Hulls, Nitin Sawhney, Siobhan Davies and Russell Maliphant – London

★★★✰✰   No Body was an interesting diversion, that confirms the artistic chops of the technical talent that makes so many shows pop and zing. As an exercise I hope it might be repeated every few years.

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