"La Sylphide" tag
Daniel McCormick, Emerging Dancer Competition winner, performing Le Corsaire.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

2018 English National Ballet Emerging Dancer Competition – performance and results

For the first time, English National Ballet’s competition for its junior members was held in the capacious London Coliseum, where the company has been performing The Sleeping Beauty…

The 2018 ENB Emerging Dancer finalists: Precious Adams, Fernando Carratalá Coloma, Giorgio Garrett, Daniel McCormick, Francesca Velicu and Connie Vowles.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer 2018 Competition – 5 Questions to 6 Finalists

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer Competition is unique in British ballet in throwing the spotlight on more junior dancers or “tomorrow’s stars” as ENB put it. This year’s competition is on the 11 June and ahead of the that we talk to the finalists – Precious Adams, Fernando Carratalá Coloma, Giorgio Garrett, Daniel McCormick, Francesca Velicu and Connie Vowles…

Scottish Ballet – Highland Fling – Lerwick

★★★★★   What Scottish Ballet wanted to do was take the full experience out to the Highlands and Islands. So the good folks in Lerwick (capital of the Shetland Isles, population 7,500) saw was the same show they got in Edinburgh and Glasgow…

Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov in Nureyev.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2018 – London

★★★✰✰   This year’s Russian Ballet gala was ostensibly in honour of the 200th anniversary of Marius Petipa’s birth. Any choreography attributed to him was mostly a long way ‘after Petipa’, but it’s always fun to see excellent Russian dancers deliver pas de deux from Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Le Corsaire.

Marianela Nunez in Giselle.© Helen Maybanks, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Giselle – London

★★★★★   Peter Wright’s 1985 production for the Royal Ballet has had many interpreters, all subtly or extravagantly different. Nunez is amongst the finest, a perfectionist who seems realistically earthy as a country girl who loves dancing and ethereal as her defiant spirit.

Tamara Rojo and Ivan Vasiliev in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, La Sylphide – London

★★★★✰   One great privilege of Rojo being both director and dancer must be the opportunity to choose her own partners and this year’s returning guest is Ivan Vasiliev…

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

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

★★★★✰   The pairing cannily indulges our need for vivid material on these bleak mid-winter nights while also steering us down from the high of the Christmas circuit, with its sugary Nutcrackers and other family-friendly fare.

Tamara Rojo, Joseph Caley and Fernando Carratala Coloma in Song of the Earth.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Song of the Earth and La Sylphide

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Kimin Kim and Sofia Matyushenskaya in Don Quixote.© M Logvinov. (Click image for larger version)

Yacobson Ballet – Don Quixote – St. Petersburg

★★★★✰   Kobborg has deconstructed the work; mixing up the narrative’s building blocks before reassembling them in a masterpiece of balance that remains recognisably traditional but is also refreshingly new.

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…

Liam Lindsay and Amy McEntee in Christopher Bruce's Mya.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2017 Tour – London

★★★✰✰   At the end of the evening was what you might call the blockbuster piece of the tour – 30 minutes of Matthew Bourne in the form of Act II of his “Highland Fling”. Bourne’s take on “La Sylphide” is a wonderful piece of work, full of wit, style and pathos…

Gabriella Domini, supported by Maxwell Read and Jackson Fort, in Scotch Symphony. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

School of American Ballet – Workshop Performance: Scènes de Ballet, Hallelujah Junction, Scotch Symphony – New York

★★★★✰   New York City Ballet’s seemingly endless stream of new talent has a source, and that source is the School of American Ballet…

Sir Matthew Bourne with the Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Services to the Arts.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne – An Appreciation on his winning the Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Services to the Arts

Graham Watts’ citation, made before the presentation – a major appreciation of a huge star of dance and theatre…

BBC Young Dancer Award 2017: Ore Oduba, Anita Rani, Kate Prince, Nahid Siddiqui, Nafisah Baba, Kenneth Tharp, Jasmin Vardimon, Kevin O'Hare, Marc Brew, Darcey Bussell.© BBC/Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

BBC Young Dancer Award 2017

★★★★✰   Nafisah Baba is the BBC Young Dancer for 2017. The 20 year-old contemporary dancer from West London won the award with a diverse trio of dances that grew stronger through the rounds.

Zaloa Fabbrini and Alessio Passaquindici in Roland Petit's L'Arlésienne.© Dominique Jaussein. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Nice Mediterranee – Grand Pas Classique from Raymonda, Gnawa, L’Arlesienne – Nice

★★★✰✰   The most interesting item of the programme was definitely the revival of Roland Petit’s L’Arlésienne, created in 1974 when he was director of the National Ballet of Marseille.

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.

New York City Ballet in Peter Martins’ staging of August Bournonville’s La Sylphide.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – La Sylphide, Bournonville Divertissements – Washington

★★★✰✰ In his staging of La Sylphide, Martins not only removes the intermission, thus shortening the performance time, he also accelerates the pace of the events. It feels as if the story rushes at you with…

New York City Ballet in the Scottish Reel section of La Sylphide.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – La Sylphide, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

★★★✰✰ The Bournonville footwork and even the mime are there, but there’s little sense of joy or pathos of any kind.

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…

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