"Johan Kobborg" tag
Kizzy Matiakis in the lead image for The Queen of Spades.© Camilla Winther. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – The Queen of Spades – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   The good news is that Queen of Spades is a good-looking crowd pleaser and the RDB dancers look fantastic in it – I can’t emphasise that enough. Also good that it’s a step up from his last commission, Frankenstein – thank goodness, really.

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.

English National Ballet in Pina Bausch's The Rite of Spring.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Pina Bausch, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen bill – London

★★★★★   One cannot help but observe that while the programmes of other companies both hit and miss, in terms of their critical appreciation and popular appeal, ENB is continually raising the bar…

San Francisco Ballet School students in the Waltz of the Hours from Balanchine's Coppélia.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Opening Night Gala – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ By way of a défilé, the evening opened with the “Waltz of the Hours” from Balanchine and Danilova’s Coppélia …Soloist Jennifer Stahl led two dozen girls from the SFB School, adorable in cotton-candy tutus.

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…

Dawid Trzensimiech.© Opera National Bucharest. (Click image for larger version)

Dawid Trzensimiech – Principal, Romanian National Ballet

Graham Watts talks to an ex-RB Soloist doing well as a Principal at Romanian National Ballet…

Luke Schaufuss and Sarah Thompson in La Sylphide.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Queensland Ballet – La Sylphide – London

Australian audiences are lucky to have La Sylphide in Queensland Ballet’s repertoire…

Sarah Thompson in Schaufuss' La Sylphide.© David Kelly. (Click image for larger version)

A Heads-Up on Queensland Ballet, La Sylphide and company director Li Cunxin

Jann Parry on the award winning Peter Schaufuss “La Sylphide”, not seen in the UK in decades, and Li Cunxin’s Queensland Ballet who are bringing it to London this summer. Includes an interview with Cunxin…

Bianca Fota and Dawid Trzensimiech in Ashton's Marguerite and Armand.© Cristian Lazarescu. (Click image for larger version)

Romanian National Ballet – Classical Symphony, Petite Mort, Marguerite and Armand, Tango, Radio and Juliet – Bucharest

Johan Kobborg took over as Director of Bucharest National Ballet just over a year ago. Time for Graham Watts to go and see how they are looking – in two very different bills…

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.

Ethan Stiefel.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Ethan Stiefel – Freelance director, choreographer…

Following 3 years directing Royal New Zealand Ballet, Ethan Stiefel is now back in New York – which is where Marina Harss caught up with him…

Shiori Kase.© ENB. (Click image for larger version)

Shiori Kase – First Soloist, English National Ballet

5 Questions to Shiori Kase. ENB soloist Shiori Kase is on a roll – only yesterday promoted to First Soloist (as of September), she’s just won a Gold Medal at the prestigious Jackson International Ballet Competition in the USA and is about to make her debut in Coppelia…

Danielle Brown and Ricardo Rhodes in Frederick Ashton's Birthday Offering.© Frank Atura. (Click image for larger version)

Sarasota Ballet – Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, Programmes 1-4 – Sarasota

Both as a tribute to Ashton and as a coming-out party, it’s hard to imagine how the festival could have gone better. The ballets are in good hands.

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg in Manon, from The Royal Ballet Tour of Japan in 2013.© Kiyonori Hasegawa. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Manon (Cojocaru/Kobborg ) – Sydney

The presence of Cojocaru and Kobborg in Manon, apart from giving such pleasure in itself, lifted the Australian Ballet’s production and took it to a different level. And bouquets to Steven Heathcote for a remarkable performance as well.

Ethan Stiefel in the studio.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ethan Stiefel is standing down as Royal New Zealand Ballet Artistic Director after just 3 years

A shame – not long for either him or the company to know one another. Three years is not the normal tenure for being artistic director of a company – 5 would be…

Sarah Van Patten and Anthony Spaulding in Hans van Manen's Variations for Two Couples.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – 2014 Opening Night Gala – San Francisco

The best all-round piece of the evening is Hans van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples, from the exquisitely concise choreography by this still-relevant master…

Andrej Uspenski.© Andrej Uspenski, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Andrej Uspenski – Photographer, Royal Ballet First Artist

Words with the man and thoughts on the Behind the Scenes at The Royal Ballet book from Graham Watts. Details of his next book too – on Natalia Osipova…

Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru at their farewell curtain calls.© Ellen West, courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Royal Ballet – Mayerling – Kobborg/Cojocaru farewell performances – London

Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru said farewell to the Royal Ballet in Mayerling. Jann Parry was there for an emotional night, flower throw and standing ovation…

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg in Romeo and Juliet (from a 2010 gallery by John Ross on Balletco).© John Ross, courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg to leave The Royal Ballet at the end of 2012/13 season

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg have announced they will leave The Royal Ballet at the end of the 2012/13 season to pursue other artistic challenges.

Charlie Siem, Steven McRae, Alina Cojocaru and Marcelino Sambe in Johan Kobborg's Les Lutins rehearsals.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Alina Cojocaru Gala – Preparations and Rehearsals

Picture above is from Dave Morgan: Alina Cojocaru Gala – Preparations and Rehearsals – 30 pictures These are pics of the preparations and practise runs in the afternoon before the show. Many thanks…

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