"George Balanchine" tag
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.

Ethan Fuller in The Four Temperaments (First Variation: Melancholic), choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

School of American Ballet – Workshop Performance: Danses Concertantes, Les Gentilhommes, The Four Temperaments – New York

★★★★✰   Each spring, the School of American Ballet, New York City Ballet’s breeding-ground, holds a series of “Workshop” performances to show off the crème de la crème of its upper-level students.

Daniel White in Suite Saint-Saens.© Lucas Chilczuk. (Click image for larger version)

Joffrey Ballet Concert Group – An Evening of Dance – New York

★★★✰✰   The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, a pre-professional troupe of young dancers under the direction of David Robertson, performed a mixed but very split bill on Thursday night, roughly dividing the six-work program into two moods: spring/summer and dark and stormy.

Miriam Miller and Anthony Huxley in Midsummer Night’s Dream.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Midsummer Night’s Dream – New York

★★★★✰   But the kids are just one element of what makes Midsummer tick. Another is the intelligence and efficiency with which the ballet tells its story.

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance performing Agon.© Camilla Greenwell Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance – Agon, Rite of Spring, Symphonies of Wind Instruments – London

★★★✰✰   Esa-Pekka Salonen is conducting London’s Philharmonia Orchestra in a Stravinsky festival, the first concert of which included a collaboration with Karole Armitage’s company on “Agon” – famously originally choreographed by Balanchine…

New York City Ballet in Vienna Waltzes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Ballo della Regina, Kammermusik No. 2, Vienna Waltzes – New York

★★★★✰   Vienna Waltzes is a sure-fire hit. It seduces on many fronts: the ridiculously flattering gowns by Karinska (her last for the company), the sumptuous music, the multitudes of dancers…

Teresa Reichlen and Russell Janzen in Diamonds.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – New York

★★★✰✰   What do you do with a problem like Jewels? This 1967 blockbuster by George Balanchine is a hard one to pull off…

Kevin Jackson, Vivienne Wong and Rudy Hawkes in Alice Topp’s Little Atlas.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Symphony in C, divertissements and new works bill – Sydney

★★★✰✰   The first thing to say about Symphony in C is that the Australian Ballet’s corps and soloists had been rehearsed and coached with technical perfection in mind and there was little to fault with their execution of the steps.

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