"Kenneth MacMillan" 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.

Cesar Morales.© Andres Cabezas. (Click image for larger version)

Cesar Morales – Principal Dancer, Birmingham Royal Ballet

So how did a good Chilean boy end up dancing ballet in Europe…

MacMillan Celebrations – Gloria (NB), The Judas Tree (RB), Elite Syncopations (RB+Guests) – London

★★★★✰   Elite Syncopations: Dancers from all five major British ballet companies took part, some doubling up roles in identical outfits so that identifying dancers was confusing. The stand-out solo in both the casts I saw was to the Calliope Rag, Monica Mason’s original role…

Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernandez in La Sylphide.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth, La Sylphide – Manchester

★★★★✰   The ENB production of La Sylphide has been staged by three luminaries of Danish ballet, Frank Andersen, Eva Kloborg and Anne Marie Vessel Schlüter, and is, therefore, one supposes, as authentic to the August Bournonville ideals, as possible…

Constance Devernay and Sophie Martin in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – Le Baiser de la fee (SB), Concerto (BRB), Jeux (RB) – London

  In the first of the mixed bills celebrating Kenneth MacMillan’s ballets, 25 years after his death, “Le Baiser de la fée” intrigued me because the questions it posed about his development as a choreographer…

Scottish Ballet's Mia Thompson in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – MacMillan Celebrations – Concerto, Le Baiser de la fee, Elite Syncopations

Featuring dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Northern Ballet. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Lauren Cuthbertson, Edward Watson and Thiago Soares in The Judas Tree.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Judas Tree

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Constance Devernay and Andrew Peasgood in Kenneth MacMillan's The Fairy's Kiss.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Fairy’s Kiss, The Rite of Spring – Glasgow

★★★★✰   Absolutely fascinating… Scottish Ballet should feel very proud of celebrating MacMillan in such a thoughtful way…

Karen Kain + Elena Lobsanva in The Dreamers Ever Leave You.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

‘The Dreamers Ever Leave You’ – Karen Kain on a unique Royal Ballet & National Ballet of Canada collaboration…

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada, on celebrating Canada’s 150th with a joint work that includes NBoCanada and Royal Ballet dancers in a unique London Docklands event on the 12/13 October… that and lots more

Javier Torres, Antoinette Brooks-Daw and Riku Ito in Kenneth MacMillan's Gloria.© Lauren Godfrey. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – MacMillan bill: Las Hermanas, Concerto, Gloria – Bradford

★★★★✰   Gloria was Nixon’s first choice because he felt it showed MacMillan at his moving best. It contrasts Poulenc’s choral setting of the Latin text from the mass in praise of God with the toll of human lives in the First World War.

Gary Harris' costume sketches for The Fairy's Kiss.© Gary Harris. (Click image for larger version)

Bringing back Kenneth MacMillan’s Le Baiser de la fée – The Fairy’s Kiss

Scottish Ballet will be performing Kenneth MacMillan’s “Le Baiser de la fée” as part of the celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of his death. It will be the first revival of the ballet in 30 years – Jann Parry on the return of an important work.

Marijn Rademaker and Igone de Jongh in Sarcasmen.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Hans van Manen, Ode to the Master bill – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   An outstanding bill in showing Hans van Manen’s work for three companies and its rich contemporary diversity – it all looks so fresh and of today.

Akane Takada in The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.© Robbie Jack. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Opening the New bill – Hull

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet’s away-day to Hull, this year’s UK Capital of Culture, was dramatic in its scale: 17 pieces presented over three hours…

Reece Causton, Oliver Russell, Luke Bradshaw and Harriet Ellis in 5 Soldiers.© Brian Slater. (Click image for larger version)

Rosie Kay Dance Company – 5 Soldiers: the Body is the Frontline – London

★★★★✰   The physicality of 5 Soldiers during the hour-long performance brings home the breaking of bodies…

Emma Maguire.© and courtesy The Royal Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Emma Maguire, RB Soloist, about the Ann Maguire Gala and Charity

We talk to Emma Maguire about the Gala that honours the life of her mum, Ann Maguire, and this year takes place at the Leeds Grand Theatre on 3 September. The proceeds go to support the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund – inspiring young people through the arts…

Ekaterina Krysanova and Vladislav Lantratov in The Taming of the Shrew.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Taming of the Shrew – New York

★★★✰✰   It wouldn’t be a complete exaggeration to say that the Bolshoi’s U.S. premiere of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s The Taming of the Shrew set the Koch Theater on fire Wednesday night…

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.

Scottish Ballet in Crystal Pite's Emergence.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Emergence, MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) – London

★★★★✰   Both are pre-existing ensemble works, the performers virtually anonymous on stage, though named on cast sheets: the company is the star, not the soloists.

Zenaida Yanowsky in Symphonic Dances.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Symphonic Dances (premiere), The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Tarantella, Strapless – London

★★★★✰   Symphonic Dances is Scarlett’s farewell portrait of Yanowsky. Like her, the ballet is big and bold, beautiful and elusive.

Mara Galeazzi.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Interview – Mara Galeazzi on Woolf Works, her wider career and dancing on…

She found that she came back to perform with the company she left five years ago with a different approach. ‘I know more about why I love to perform…’

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