"Mahler" tag
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.

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

MacMillan Celebrations – The Judas Tree (RB), The Song of the Earth (ENB) – London

★★★★✰   The second programme commemorating the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death revealed his very different responses to music, and to human nature.

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…

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.

Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin de Luz in Ratmansky's Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Square Dance, Tarantella, Odessa, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – Washington

★★★★★   Alexei Ratmansky’s Odessa left me breathless. The dancing (I saw both casts) was phenomenal on all levels: assured, expressive, and thoroughly dramatic.

Alexander Ekman.© Peter Greig. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Alexander Ekman, Director / Choreographer, on Cacti and other things

One of the go-to international choreographers, particularly if you want something arresting and unusual, is Alexander Ekman. His “Cacti”, appropriately featuring a stage full of Cacti, is about to be presented by Royal New Zealand Ballet and Sydney Dance Company – Valerie Lawson catches up with a dance maverick…

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.

Filip Michalak and Beata Giza in Body Master.© K Mystkowski. (Click image for larger version)

Baltic Dance Theatre – Fun, Death and the Maiden, Body Master – Warsaw

Unlike Kylián, Weiss generally works from an overt storyline and her own libretto for Body Master is loosely based on the life of Gordon Craig, the English pioneer of modernist theatre…

Vivian Aragon, Michael Galloway and Tegan Schwab in promotional shot for The Luminous Edge.© RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Garrett + Moulton Dance – The Luminous Edge – San Francisco

I’ve seen Garrett + Moulton’s The Luminous Edge three times now, and I’ve yet to plumb its deepest currents…

Marianela Nuñez and Nehemiah Kish in Song of the Earth.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – The Dream, Song of the Earth – New York

After an absence of eleven years, the Royal Ballet has finally returned to New York; they’re currently presenting two programs at the Koch Theatre,..

New York Theatre Ballet in Ashton's Capriol Suite.© Yi-Chun Wu. (Click image for larger version)

New York Theatre Ballet – Capriol Suite, Two Timing, Cat’s Cradle, Such Longing, Dark Elegies – New York

The program presented at St. Mark’s this past week reflects all of these positive developments; even more, it seemed infused with a new sense of assurance and identity.

Tura Gomez Coll as Ariel in The Tempest.© K. Mystkowski. (Click image for larger version)

Baltic Dance Theatre – The Tempest – Gdansk

Weiss is taking Baltic Dance Theatre on a journey that needs to be seen outside as well as inside Poland.

Federico Bonelli and Sarah Lamb in Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Afternoon of a Faun, In the Night, Song of the Earth – London

The final triple bill of the Royal Ballet’s season reverts to its founder’s faith in classical ballet as an expressive language.

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in the Becomings section of Woolf Works.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Woolf Works – London

Woolf Works is a chimera, an illusory creation made up of disparate elements…

Benjamin Ella, Tomas Mock, Kristen McNally, James Hay and Solomon Golding in Hofesh Shechter's Untouchable.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Four Temperaments, Untouchable (Shechter premiere), Song of the Earth – London

It’s a truism that any startlingly new dance-maker without an early elite training will have based his (or her) choreography on their own physique…

Boston Ballet in Alexander Ekman's Cacti.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Program A: The Second Detail, Resonance, Cacti – New York

Like the best comedians, Ekman is as facetious as he is profound, leaving the viewer with plenty to ponder post-performance.

Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae in David Dawson's The Human Seasons.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Chroma, The Human Seasons, The Rite of Spring – London

The Royal Ballet’s autumn season triple bill offered very different ways of presenting bodies in space: anatomical studies in an architectural limbo (Chroma); flying figures in constant flux (The Human Seasons); a tribal community following ritual patterns (The Rite of Spring).

The Dance Odysseys poster image.© Graham Wylie. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Odysseys at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival – 4 days of total dance immersion with Scottish Ballet and others…

Dance Odysseys at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival with reviews on 20 dance works by Scottish Ballet, Scottish Dance Theatre, Gelabert Azzopardi Companyia de Dansa, James Cousins and Rosie Kay. Also thoughts on 4 rare films and links to much video material and many other reviews. It’s big!

Shevelle Dynott and Nancy Osbaldeston in Petrushka.© Dave Morgan (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev – London

The Tribute bill is a well-chosen one… The season has been so short that the dancers haven’t had time to grow into their roles. They look as though they’re remembering instructions rather than relishing the ballets.

Valeria Martynyuk in Don Quixote.© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Gala – Baden-Baden

The Mariinsky Ballet’s annual Baden-Baden tour is something of a balletomane’s winter retreat and, with mild weather to boot over Christmas, provided yet another opportunity this season to catch up with the St. Petersburg company.

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