"Leanne Benjamin" tag
World Ballet Live - 2 October 2018.

World Ballet Day, 2 October 2018 – an insight into what The Royal Ballet will be doing

Jann Parry talks to The Royal Ballet about what’s happening on World Ballet Day this year and just what it means for some of those involved… Kristen McNally, James Hay and Assistant director Anthoula Syndica-Drummond.

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…

Jinhao Zhang in The Dying Swan.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Emerging Dancer Competition 2015

Like ENB at large, the eight finalists for 2015 are a noticeably international bunch, representing Germany, America, Ukraine, Brazil, China and the UK between them.

Alicia Alonso at the Gala.© Margaret Willis. (Click image for larger version)

24th International Ballet Festival of Havana, 2014

This time, I made 15 trips to the theatres – there were performances at 5pm and 9pm each day – and saw 82 different full-length ballets or extracts in the eight days I was in Havana.

Steven McRae (with Marcelino Sambe, Matthew Ball, Luca Acri and Tomas Mock) in Alastair Marriott's Connectome.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Dream, Connectome, Concert – London

In the Royal Ballet’s last programme for this season two old favourites frame the first performances of Alastair Marriott’s latest work, Connectome. It’s a well-balanced evening and gives the new piece every chance to shine.

An elated Matthew Bourne and Leanne Benjamin.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

National Dance Awards 2013 – Leanne Benjamin and Matthew Bourne’s citations for outstanding achievement in dance

At Monday’s National Dance Awards two de Valois awards were given for outstanding achievement in dance. Here are Graham Watts citations for Leanne Benjamin and Matthew Bourne, as given on the day.

Christopher Wheeldon, Classical Choreography winner.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – UK National Dance Awards 2013

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2013 National Dance Awards – Winners Announced

The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for 2013 took place today in London at The Place’s Robin Howard Dance Theatre.

Dusty Button in William Forsythe’s The Second Detail.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

2013 Dance Memories – London

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

Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru at their farewell curtain calls.© Ellen West, courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Royal Ballet – Mayerling – Kobborg/Cojocaru farewell performances – London

Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru said farewell to the Royal Ballet in Mayerling. Jann Parry was there for an emotional night, flower throw and standing ovation…

Russian Ballet Icons – Nijinsky Gala – London

Though this year it was Nijinsky’s turn to be reclaimed as a Russian icon, the contents of the gala had little to do with him. Very probably the choice of items – mainly pas de deux – depended on which dancers were available to perform whatever was in their repertoire.

Vaslav Nijinsky as the Golden Slave in ScheherazadeCourtesy of Dancing Times. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2013 dedicated to Nijinsky – 10 March, London

On Sunday 10 March the Russian Ballet Icons Gala, this year dedicated to the legendary Vaslav Nijinsky, will take place at the London Coliseum.

Edward Watson in Alexei Ratmansky's 24 Preludes.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Apollo, 24 Preludes, Aeternum – London

This triple bill, with two world premieres, shows how ably choreographers 85 years apart can refresh the language of classical ballet without distorting it beyond recognition.

Sergei Polunin and Tamara Rojo in Marguerite & Armand.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Ashton Bill including Marguerite & Armand with Rojo and Polunin – London

But it was Rojo who really surprised me, with the most emotionally open performance I’ve ever seen from her. …a swansong, indeed: what a way to go!

Marianela Nuñez in Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins' Diana & Actaeon.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Titian 2012: Machina, Trespass, Diana & Actaeon – London

Seeing the programme twice confirmed my initial impression that Trespass is the best-wrought work. The other two ballets are interesting as concepts rather than as polished productions. But the programme’s emphasis on creativity and collaboration means that Monica Mason’s farewell contribution to the art form in which she has invested her considerable energy will carry on germinating ideas long after she leaves.

Johan Kobborg as Walter Sickert, Steven McRae as Jack in Liam Scarlett's Sweet Violets. © Bill Cooper, courtesy of ROH. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Polyphonia, Sweet Violets, Carbon Life – London

‘Sweet Violets’, though over-ambitious, is the best stab at a psychologically complex narrative ballet the company has commissioned for years.

Melissa Hamilton and Edward Watson in Romeo and Juliet. © Bill Cooper and courtesy of ROH.

Royal Ballet – Melissa Hamilton debut in Romeo and Juliet – London

They were at last in tune with each other in the bedroom pas de deux, both despairing at his departure. Hamilton came into her own as an actress in her cumulative rage at her parents’ lack of understanding; her resentment at being forced to be Paris’s puppet was compelling. She’d changed from a helpless child to an inwardly defiant young woman…

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