"John Adams" tag
Jessica Lang.© Kazu. (Click image for larger version)

Jessica Lang – Catching up with the Choreographer and Director

Answer: “Do it!” Question: “What advice would you give to a young dancer who aspires to choreograph?”

New York City Ballet – Stars & Stripes, Fearful Symmetries, The Times Are Racing – Saratoga Springs

★★★✰✰   Stars and Stripes premiered in 1958, and the Russian emigree demonstrates his affection for the quintessential writer of om-pah music in his adopted country by subverting the common association that marching is all about knee action.

English National Ballet School publicity image for the 2017 Summer Performance.© ENB School. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet School – Summer Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   The highlight of the second half of the programme was Mats Ek’s Pas de Danse, staged by his assistant, Pompea Santoro.

Gabriella Domini, supported by Maxwell Read and Jackson Fort, in Scotch Symphony. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

School of American Ballet – Workshop Performance: Scènes de Ballet, Hallelujah Junction, Scotch Symphony – New York

★★★★✰   New York City Ballet’s seemingly endless stream of new talent has a source, and that source is the School of American Ballet…

BBC Young Dancer Award 2017: Ore Oduba, Anita Rani, Kate Prince, Nahid Siddiqui, Nafisah Baba, Kenneth Tharp, Jasmin Vardimon, Kevin O'Hare, Marc Brew, Darcey Bussell.© BBC/Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

BBC Young Dancer Award 2017

★★★★✰   Nafisah Baba is the BBC Young Dancer for 2017. The 20 year-old contemporary dancer from West London won the award with a diverse trio of dances that grew stronger through the rounds.

Dores André and Aaron Robison in Pita's Salome.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Fusion, Salome (premiere), Fearful Symmetries – San Francisco

★★★★★   Pita’s Salome is pure postmodern dance-theater, and a five-star surprise on the Opera House stage.

Lucinda Childs Dance Company in Available Light.© JJ Tiziou. (Click image for larger version)

Lucinda Childs Dance Company – Available Light – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Available Light is merciless, and in the best way…

Tiler Peck in Justin Peck's The Times are Racing.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – The Times are Racing, The Shimmering Asphalt, Fearful Symmetries – New York

★★★✰✰   More than anything, Peck’s “The Times are Racing” reminded me of the movie Rebel Without a Cause. These kids are uneasy, but what is the object of their unease?

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

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Hallelujah Junction, Duo Concertant, Western Symphony – New York

★★★★✰   Balanchine himself once said that Serenade is “many things to many people.” If it is one thing to City Ballet, it is the single ballet which they are expected to do perfectly every time.

Sofiane Sylve in Scarlett's Fearful Symmetries.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Fearful Symmetries (premiere), Rubies, Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ “But despite his high concept, Scarlett seemed to lose the thread halfway through, resorting to lascivious theatrics to complete the work…”

Thomas Edwards, Constance Devernay and Victor Zarallo in Javier de Frutos’ Elsa Canasta.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Maze, Motion of Displacement, Elsa Canasta – Glasgow

Scottish Ballet’s autumn bill is an uplifting affair with everything on it new to the company…

Derrick Agnoletti and Aaron Rogers in Alexander Ekman's Episode 31.© Cheryl Mann. (Click image for larger version)

Joffrey Ballet – Incantations, Son of Chamber Symphony, Bells, Episode 31 – San Francisco

As always, it’s a pleasure to see the Joffrey Ballet, especially since 2007 when artistic director Ashley Wheater assumed his post and began a terrific revival of the company…

Ballet de Lorraine in Shaker Loops.© Arno Paul. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet de Lorraine – Shaker Loops and Cover – London

Nancy-based Ballet de Lorraine arrives as a bit of an unknown quantity; led by Swedish ex-Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet principal Peter Jacobsson, its work is avowedly experimental…

New York City Ballet in Jerome Robbins' Interplay.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Hear The Dance: America bill – New York

The most obvious, and pleasurable aspect of New York City Ballet’s mixed bill Hear the Dance: America is its juxtaposition of two very different works by Jerome Robbins.

Laura Mead and Kirk Henning of Jessica Lang Dance performing Scape with the National Symphony Orchestra.© Kyle Manfredi. (Click image for larger version)

Jessica Lang Dance – Program 3, National Symphony Orchestra: NEW MOVES: symphony + dance season – Washington

JLD is a relatively young troupe, but it consists of nine experienced and established dancers, some of them well-known and admired in Washington. Take for example, Clifton Brown…

Janie Taylor and Anthony Huxley in George Balanchine's Ivesiana.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Who Cares?, Ivesiana, Tarantella, Stars & Stripes – New York

But stuck in the middle of all this brightness was Ivesiana, like a ghost at a birthday party. It is a most unsettling ballet.

Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels in Stanton Welch's Son of Chamber Symphony.© Herbert Migdoll. (Click image for larger version)

Joffrey Ballet – American Legends bill – Chicago

The second movement (of Son Of Chamber Symphony) is a sumptuous duet, performed by Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels, an on-stage pair made in heaven.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith in Wheeldon's Ghosts.© Dave Morgan and courtesy of San Francisco Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Programme B: Tomasson, Wheeldon, Page – London

San Francisco’s second programme was better balanced than the first, with contrasting works created for the company within the past two years.

San Francisco Ballet – Primer and London Season Preview

Aimée Tsao, watching San Francisco Ballet for over 35 years now, with a general primer on the company and some thoughts on the repertoire they are bring to London in September 2012…

NYCB in Jerome Robbins' West Side Story Suite. © Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All American bill – Washington

Fortunately, Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite, the final dance of the evening, was anything but tedious. One of the greatest entertainers in ballet, Robbins knew how to keep his audiences awake, engaged, and excited.

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