"Koen Kessels" tag
George Williamson.© Arnaud Stephenson. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to George Williamson – freelance choreographer and recipient of the first BRB Ballet Now commission

Ballet Now is an initiative between Birmingham Royal Ballet and Sadler’s Wells to develop the (classical) choreographers, composers and designers of the future. It’s a 5-year programme with 2 commissions each year, made possible by the Oak Foundation, matched BRB funding and driven by a Creative Consortium.

Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli in the Tuesday section of Woolf Works.© Darren Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Woolf Works – Brisbane

★★★★✰   For the Royal Ballet, there could not have been a better start to their Australian tour than Ferri’s performance as Clarissa Dalloway in the first act of Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works.

Celine Gittens and Tyrone Singleton in Swan Lake.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Swan Lake – London

Opening night cast of Celine Gittens and Tyrone Singleton reviewed + some thoughts on Delia Mathews and Brandon Lawrence…

Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae in Romeo and Juliet.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Romeo and Juliet – London (Lamb / McRae)

…a production that continues to set the standard against which later versions are measured.

Momoko Hirata (Princess Belle Sakuma) and Joseph Caley (Salamander Prince) in The Prince of the Pagodas.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Prince of the Pagodas (Caley/Hirata) – London

In his programme note, Bintley claims to have foregone sexual romance in favour of ‘something more mystical and subtle’, connected with Japanese veneration of its Imperial family. It doesn’t resonate in this royal kingdom.

Marion Tait as Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

…it’s actually a real pleasure to watch a company just working together for the good of the ballet.

Dorothee Gilbert in Giselle.© Michel Lidvac. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Giselle – Sydney

During the season, and over five nights, I saw each of the five Giselles – Dorothee Gilbert, Myriam Ould-Braham, Ludmila Pagliero, Isabelle Ciaravola and Melanie Hurel, and four Albrechts…

Nicolas Le Riche and Paris Opera Ballet in Maurice Bejart's Bolero.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Suite en Blanc, L’Arlesienne, Bolero – New York

Nicolas Le Riche was fabulously predatory in Bolero, a raging furnace of self-love and sex appeal. One imagines that after the show he must have ravaged a hundred virgins, but maybe he simply went home and soaked his feet in the tub, but in any case, he was magnificent, good taste (and choreography) be damned.

Paris Opera Ballet in Giselle.© Sebastien Mathé. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Giselle – Washington

With its exquisite staging, and most importantly with its understanding and respect of the Romantic ballet style, and whole-hearted dedication of the dancers to their roles, the Paris Opera Ballet demonstrated just how Giselle should be produced and performed.

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