"James Hay" tag
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…

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…

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…

Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli in Marguerite and Armand.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – 3 casts in The Dream, Symphonic Variations, Marguerite and Armand – London

★★★★✰   In Marguerite and Armand the 3 casts reviewed are Zenaida Yanowsky and Roberto Bolle, Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli, Natalia Osipova and Valdimir Shklyarov.

Tristan Dyer, Yuhui Choe, Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nunez, James Hay and Yasmine Naghdi in Symphonic Variations.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Dream, Symphonic Variations, Marguerite and Armand

An all Frederick Ashton bill. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Zenaida Yanowsky in Symphonic Dances.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Symphonic Dances (premiere), The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Tarantella, Strapless – London

★★★★✰   Symphonic Dances is Scarlett’s farewell portrait of Yanowsky. Like her, the ballet is big and bold, beautiful and elusive.

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.

Akane Takada and James Hay in The Sleeping Beauty.© Bill Cooper, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   The grand pas de deux was the triumphant highlight of the fairytale festivities. Hay expressed the prince’s pride and pleasure in his variations; Takada was demure and regal in hers…

Anna Rose O'Sullivan and James Hay in The Nutcracker.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Francesca Hayward and James Hay in Rhapsody.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Rhapsody, The Two Pigeons – London

★★★★★ “What a joy to have Rhapsody back in its original setting…”

Steven McRae with Benjamin Ella and Yasmine Naghdi in Rhapsody.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Rhapsody (2 Casts: Osipova, McRae & Hayward, Hay)

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

James Hay.© Andrej Uspenski. (Click image for larger version)

James Hay – Royal Ballet First Soloist

The Royal Ballet’s 2015/2016 season is providing big opportunities for James Hay, promoted to First Soloist in June…

Marianela Nuñez and Nehemiah Kish in Song of the Earth.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – The Dream, Song of the Earth – New York

After an absence of eleven years, the Royal Ballet has finally returned to New York; they’re currently presenting two programs at the Koch Theatre,..

Rupert Pennefather and Emma Maguire in A Month in the Country.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Ashton quad bill – London

Jann Parry reviews Scènes de ballet, Five Brahms Waltzes, Symphonic Variations and A Month in the Country…

Lauren Cuthbertson in The Sleeping Beauty.© ROH / Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

….thanks and admiration to Francesca Hayward for a blithe, swift Songbird Fairy, probably the most pleasing I’ve ever seen…

Eric Underwood, Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares in Tetractys - The Art of Fugue.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Tetractys -The Art of Fugue, Rhapsody, Gloria – London

The Royal Ballet’s latest triple bill has a happy beginning and a sad ending and in the middle there’s Wayne McGregor’s new piece, Tetractys, an emotionally-neutral blank sheet on which you can write your own feelings – or more likely, your own thoughts.

Leanne Cope and James Hay in Liam Scarlett's Hansel and Gretel.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Hansel and Gretel – London

…we get a cleverly staged and very well danced psychodrama, scary both in what we see and what we further imagine. There are, though, two fundamental problems which hold the piece back from complete success.

Leane Cope and Steven McRae in Liam Scarlett's Hansel and Gretel.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Hansel and Gretel – London

It is a mixed experience: too long and overworked in places, a dark vision, unevenly realised, with some striking and chilling moments.

Leanne Cope and James Hay in Liam Scarlett's Hansel and Gretel.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Liam Scarlett’s Hansel and Gretel

Pictures by Dave Morgan…

Alina Cojocaru.© Andrej Uspenski. (Click image for larger version)

Alina Cojocaru Charity Gala – 12 May 2013, Sadler’s Wells

An evening of artists celebrating the past present and the future, with highlights from the classical repertoire along side new or rarely seen pieces including choreography by Marius Petipa, John Neumeier, Tim Rushton, Johan Kobborg and others.

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