"Jorma Elo" tag
Still from NYCB's promotional video for Justin Peck's The Decalogue.© NYCB. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – HERE/NOW Festival No. 6 & 8 including Peck’s The Decalogue (premiere) – New York

★★★✰✰   With his latest, The Decalogue, which opened on May 12, Justin Peck seems to have turned a new page…

Zachary Kapeluck and Richard Villaverde in Big Ones by Trey McIntyre.© Alexander Iziliaev. (Click image for larger version)

BalletX – Show Me, Gran Partita, Big Ones – New York

★★★✰✰   The 10 dancers who graced the Joyce stage represented a powerhouse of talent and technique, on par with some of the best dancers at much larger companies – BalletX is worth checking out.

Birmingham Royal Ballet in The Dream.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Ashton bill: The Dream, A Month in the Country – Birmingham

★★★✰✰ When I think of Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) under David Bintley I think of tradition with a capital T and the latest double bill underlines that in spades.

Daniil Simkin in Alexander Ekman's Simkin and the Stage.© Yi-Chun Wu. (Click image for larger version)

Daniil Simkin – INTENSIO – New York

Just before intermission Simkin included two film-and-performance works by Alexander Ekman. Simkin and the City, which went viral with the Internet-savvy dance crowd a couple of years ago, always gets a good chuckle.

Zizi Strallen and Chris Trenfield in The Car Man.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – The Car Man – London

It is almost eight years to the day since The Car Man was last revived at Sadler’s Wells (having premiered in 2000) and it seems even better than I recall…

Bradley Schlagheck and Emily Mistretta in Jeffrey Cirio's fremd.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Thrill of Contact: Theme and Variations, The Concert, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, fremd – Boston

Boston Ballet closed its season with a generous offering of four ballets spanning almost 70 years… and including a world premiere and two company premieres…

Boston Ballet in Jorma Elo's Bach Cello Suites.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Edge of Vision: Bach Cello Suites, Eventide, Celts – Boston

The evening was full of surprises, not least that two of the three choreographers were women and that Jorma Elo broke radically new ground in his Bach Cello Suites…

Boston Ballet in Balanchine's Symphony in Three Movements.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Program B: Symphony in Three Movements, L’Apres-Midi d’un Faune, Plan to B, Bella Figura – New York

…the dancers seem able to handle whatever comes their way. It’s a quality that will serve them well in their travels.

Whitney Jensen and Jeffrey Cirio in Elo’s C. to C. (Close to Chuck) Reborn.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – C. to C. (Close to Chuck) Reborn, Resonance, Bella Figura – Boston

Elo’s Close to Chuck …this is a wonderful ballet and, I predict, a permanent addition to the repertory.

Ballet San Jose flyer for the 2013 Benefit Gala.© Ballet San Jose. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet San Jose – 2013 Benefit Gala – San Jose

This was an evening not to be missed. Newly appointed Artistic Director, José Manuel Carreño, made sure that the quality of the eighteen guest artists for Ballet San Jose’s Gala Performance would tantalise even the most skeptical dance fan.

Kathleen Breen Combes and Paulo Arrais in Symphony in Three Movements.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Serenade, Afternoon of a Faun, Plan to B, Symphony in Three Movements – London

The first bravo for the Boston Ballet’s return to London must go to artistic director Mikko Nissinen, for his clever and highly successful programming for opening night.

Elana Altman – San Francisco Ballet – Soloist

Muriel [Maffre] was an inspiration for me because she got so many great roles even though she was tall. After she retired I started to get some of her old parts.

Mikko Nissinen. © Eric Antoniou. (Click image for larger version)

Mikko Nissinen – Boston Ballet – Artistic Director

“I think for me the high point is that I don’t see Boston audiences as having any limitations. When I got here everybody was telling me what I couldn’t do and people warned me to play it safe. But I have found people extremely open and willing to explore and I’m really thrilled about that.”

Boston Ballet – Play with Fire triple bill – Boston

But in Sharper, aggressively awkward movements are kept to a minimum: the ugly is reduced, and the residue now acts like a tonic of wit. And for the first time in Elo’s work, at least in my experience, we find a lyricism and beauty so profound they sometimes took my breath away.

Kings of the Dance / Ardani Artists Management – New York

…so I will just conclude with noting that another depressing thing about the evening’s kitsch-ridden choreography was that it didn’t quite obscure the occasional glimmers of brilliance that reminded us that these men are, indeed, among the world’s best, despite this tawdry presentation.

From the book cover - Amy Watson in Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven. © Rene Erik Olsen.

Book – Royal Danish Ballet in Photographs

What a nice find! A casual Google search, a few weeks ago, led me to a book I’d never heard of but which has turned out to be doubly interesting as well as, already, a source of a lot of pleasure.

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