"Kenneth MacMillan" tag
Book cover - Peter Wright: Wrights and Wrongs – my life in dance.© Oberon Books. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Peter Wright: Wrights and Wrongs – my life in dance

His is an insider’s account, complete with waspish comments and cameos of the famous people he encountered…

Igor Tsvirko and Ekaterina Krysanova in Flames of Paris.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Flames of Paris – London

★★★★✰   The great pleasure of Alexei Ratmansky’s version of Vasily Vainonen’s 1932 ballet is the cornucopia of steps to which both choreographers had access: danse d’école, folk and character dances, as well as expressive acting.

Sonia Rodriguez in The Winter's Tale.© Aleksandar Antonijevic. (Click image for larger version)

National Ballet of Canada – The Winter’s Tale – New York

★★★✰✰   Every choreographer has their voice, and if Wheeldon’s current oeuvre satisfies you then this will too, but don’t expect a significant departure.

Arianna Maldini and pianist Jonathan Higgins in Mistake Waltz.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2016 – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet School in particular includes something very special in their show – the closing Grand Defile, which always brings a lump to the throat and a feeling of pride.

Baltic Dance Theatre in Tristan and Izolde.© K Mystkowski. (Click image for larger version)

Baltic Dance Theatre – Tristan and Izolde, Death and the Maiden – Gdansk

★★★✰✰   What is different is the profound impact of Weiss’s choreography over this sixty-minute piece. Her movement is always busy and intensely musical but generally it is a means to an end…

Karina Gonzalez and Connor Walsh in Romeo and Juliet.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Houston Ballet – Romeo and Juliet – Melbourne

★★★★★   This R&J gives the audience so much to admire, so much to be immersed in, and so much to delight in and even laugh over.

Alessandra Ferri in Romeo and Juliet.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Romeo and Juliet with Alessandra Ferri – New York

★★★★✰   One can only imagine the satisfaction of dancing such a role at the age of 53, to a full house, among friends. The ovations were rapturous and went on for a long time.

Gary Avis and Francesca Hayward in The Invitation.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Obsidian Tear (premiere), The Invitation, Within the Golden Hour – London

★★★★✰   The range of roles shows the Royal Ballet dancers, up-and-coming soloist, established principals and character artists, at their very best.

Daniel White in Suite Saint-Saens.© Lucas Chilczuk. (Click image for larger version)

Joffrey Ballet Concert Group – An Evening of Dance – New York

★★★✰✰   The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, a pre-professional troupe of young dancers under the direction of David Robertson, performed a mixed but very split bill on Thursday night, roughly dividing the six-work program into two moods: spring/summer and dark and stormy.

Calvin Richardson and Edward Watson in Obsidian Tear.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Obsidian Tear and The Invitation

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance performing Agon.© Camilla Greenwell Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance – Agon, Rite of Spring, Symphonies of Wind Instruments – London

★★★✰✰   Esa-Pekka Salonen is conducting London’s Philharmonia Orchestra in a Stravinsky festival, the first concert of which included a collaboration with Karole Armitage’s company on “Agon” – famously originally choreographed by Balanchine…

American Ballet Theatre in Ratmansky's Serenade after Plato’s Symposium.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Spring Gala – New York

★★★★✰   It isn’t often that a gala program proves satisfying, but this one was the exception.

BRB in Jessica Lang's Wink.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Shakespeare midscale tour: Wink, Three pas de deux, The Moor’s Pavane – Durham

★★★✰✰   “… Wink is a 4 star piece. We need to see more of Jessica Lang’s work…”

Carlos Acosta as Actaeon.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta at IDFB – A Classical Farewell – Birmingham

★★★★✰   Winks, finger wags, flamboyant leaps in a criminally short leather skirt – Carlos Acosta gives the people what they want in this winsome bill, a mix of variations he’s assembled to mark his retirement after more than 25 years on stage.

Brooklyn Mack and Venus Villa in Hamlet.© Theo Kossenas. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Hamlet – Washington

★★✰✰✰   There is, however, one undeniably compelling personage in this somewhat flat production of Hamlet – the quiet and fragile Ophelia, as portrayed by Venus Villa…

Maya Plisetskaya.© Ensemble Productions. (Click image for larger version)

Ave Maya Gala in Memory of Maya Plisetskaya – London

★★★✰✰ Every gala needs a revelation, and this one was provided by Sergio Bernal, a Spanish dancer who dominated the stage in an imperious farruca solo from Antonio’s flamenco version of The Three Cornered Hat…

Federico Bonelli and Natalia Osipova in Strapless.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Wheeldon bill: Strapless, After the Rain, Within the Golden Hour – London

★★★✰✰ Wheeldon’s talents are on display, as well as the Royal Ballet’s dancers. A pity, then, that Strapless has been exposed without previews to sort out its weaknesses.

Laura Morera in Song of the Earth (with Edward Watson in full version).© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Laura Morera – Principal, The Royal Ballet

“I’ve never won a prize before…” on the day Laura Morera won an Outstanding award at the National Dance Awards, Margaret Willis had a long chat with the excited, and much loved, Royal Ballet principal…

Sylvie Guillem. © Gilles Tapie. (Click image for larger version)

2015 Dance Memories – London

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

Beata Giza and Beniamin Citkowski in Phaedra.© K Mystkowski. (Click image for larger version)

Baltic Dance Theatre – Phaedra, The Tempest – Gdansk

It seems now to be a given that any new work by Izadora Weiss will combine dramatic, narrative-based dance theatre with a profound visual impact, danced to challenging, powerful music.

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