"John Macfarlane" tag
Tzu-Chao Chou in ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Arcadia, Le Baiser de la fée, ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café – London

★★✰✰✰   Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café saves a dispiriting evening by providing nimble demi-character dancing with a timely message, first delivered nearly 20 years ago.

Maureya Lebowitz as Swanilda in Coppélia.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Coppelia and Three Short Story Ballets – Bristol and Birmingham

★★★✰✰   I went to Bristol to catch Coppelia and the specific lead casting of Celine Gittens and Tyrone Singleton – who have now totally transitioned from being rising stars to fully risen Principals.

Vitor Luiz in Scarlett's Frankenstein.© Erik Tomasson.

San Francisco Ballet – Frankenstein – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   It was a dark and stormy night – San Francisco Ballet couldn’t have designed a more apt and ominous atmosphere for the opening of Liam Scarlett’s Frankenstein.

Thomas Whitehead in Liam Scarlett's Frankenstein.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Frankenstein – London

★★★✰✰   Liam Scarlett treats Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic horror novel, Frankenstein, as essentially a domestic drama.

Dimity Azoury and Chengwu Guo in Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Forgotten Land, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and DGV: Danse a grande vitesse – Sydney

★★★★✰   In music, mood and dynamics the Australian Ballet’s new triple bill, Vitesse, represents three elements, water, fire and air.

Peter Todd, Sir Peter Wright, Marion Tait and Kit Holder celebrating the BRB Nutcracker's Silver Anniversary.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Celebrating the Birmingham Royal Ballet / Peter Wright Nutcracker at 25

Birmingham Royal Ballet have been celebrating the Silver Anniversary of Sir Peter Wright’s great Nutcracker production and the company’s move to Birmingham that same year.

Mathilde Froustey In Robbins' Dances at a Gathering.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Dances at a Gathering, Hummingbird – San Francisco

San Francisco Ballet’s Program 4 is a double bill coupling a welcome return of Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering with a Liam Scarlett’s Hummingbird.

Edward Watson, Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Alexander Campbell in Kim Brandstrup's Ceremony of Innocence.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Ceremony of Innocence, The Age of Anxiety, Aeternum – London

The programme was so underwhelming that I went twice in succession, to see whether alternative casts could make a difference.

San Francisco Ballet in Liam Scarlett's Hummingbird.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Caprice, Hummingbird, Symphonic Dances – Paris

Audience applause during the evening recognised that Scarlett’s Hummingbird was the starry centrepiece of the three Paris premieres.

Jacqueline Clark, Yuhui Choe, Leticia Stock and Francesca Hayward in Liam Scarlett's Sweet Violets.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Serenade, Sweet Violets, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse – London

It’s always good to get back to mixed programmes after one of the Royal Ballet’s long runs of blockbusters, and better still when the first item on the bill is Balanchine’s timeless Serenade.

Sergei Polunin in Narcisse.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

2012 Dance Memories – London

Lynette Halewood with her personal selection of London dance memories this last year…

Johan Kobborg as Walter Sickert, Steven McRae as Jack in Liam Scarlett's Sweet Violets. © Bill Cooper, courtesy of ROH. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Polyphonia, Sweet Violets, Carbon Life – London

‘Sweet Violets’, though over-ambitious, is the best stab at a psychologically complex narrative ballet the company has commissioned for years.

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