"Matthew Ball" tag
Calvin Richardson and Matthew Ball in Obsidian Tear. © Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Obsidian Tear, Marguerite and Armand, Elite Syncopations – London

★★★★✰   The ostensible link between the three works in this mixed bill is that they are by the Royal Ballet’s resident choreographers, past and present: Frederick Ashton. Kenneth MacMillan and Wayne McGregor. But none is typical of the choreographers’ work…

Sarah Lamb, Ryoichi Hirano in Elite Syncopations.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Obsidian Tear, Marguerite and Armand, Elite Syncopations

A triple bill of works by Wayne McGregor, Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Francesca Hayward, Christopher Saunders and Elizabeth McGorian in Manon.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Manon – London

★★★★✰   It’s a myth that Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon was ever regarded as a failure. Critics may initially have had reservations but audiences have enjoyed it from its first season in 1974 throughout its many revivals…

Calvin Richardson and Joseph Sissons in Wayne McGregor's Yugen.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Bernstein Centenary: Yugen, The Age of Anxiety, Corybantic Games – London

★★★✰✰   Leonard Bernstein wrote (in 1949): “I have a deep suspicion that every work I write, for whatever medium, is really theatre music in some way.’ Many choreographers have taken up the challenge, though his quasi-metaphysical musings have usually eluded them: dance is more corporeal than music.

Ryoichi Hirano and Laura Morera in The Winter’s Tale.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Winter’s Tale – London

★★★✰✰   The return of Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale in its third revival since 2014 brings newcomers to its many meaty roles. It also introduces new audience members to one of Shakespeare’s late plays, with its convoluted plot.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Giselle.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Galleries – Royal Ballet in Giselle – Naghdi, Ball and Hayward, Campbell casts

Galleries by Dave Morgan of the Yasmine Naghdi, Matthew Ball and Francesca Hayward, Alexander Campbell casts.

Benjamin Ella and Isabella Gasparini in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2017 – London

Head and shoulders above other new work this year was Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern for the Royal Ballet…

Men in Motion flyer.© Nick Knight. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Men in Motion (2017) – London

★★✰✰✰   All the ingredients seemed promising but the evening was disappointing, struggling to recover from the tedium of the dire opening item…

Natalia Osipova in Arthur Pita's The Wind.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Illustrated ‘Farewell’, The Wind, Untouchable – London

★★★✰✰   Kevin O’Hare is commissioning choreographers who want to make use of what the Opera House can offer; he’s not setting out to declare where ballet ought to be heading and he’s not playing safe.

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…

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…

News – Royal Ballet Promotions, Joiners and Leavers, 2017/18 Season

Hightlight – Yasmine Nagdhi promoted to Principal dancer. Full press release with all Promotions, Joiners and Leavers

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.

Alessandra Ferri and Francesca Hayward in the I Now, I Then section of Woolf Works.© Tristam Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Woolf Works – London

★★★✰✰   The ballet’s narrative interest depends on the dancer, and both performers are magnificent – different in tone and physicality, though not markedly so.

Matthew Ball and Marianela Nunez in Wayne McGregor's Multiverse.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Wayne McGregor bill: Chroma, Multiverse, Carbon Life – London

★★★✰✰   Multiverse: McGregor and his dramaturg may know what they want to convey about life and the universe(s) but despite the dancers’ efforts, the result is baffling.

Matthew Ball and Marianela Nuñez in Wayne McGregor's Multiverse.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet’s Wayne McGregor bill featuring Chroma, Multiverse, Carbon Life

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Francesca Hayward in The Invitation.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet: Promotions and joiners for the 2016/17 season

Four Royal Ballet dancers promoted to Principal from the start of the 2016/17 Season – Alexander Campbell, Francesca Hayward, Ryoichi Hirano and Akane Takada

Gary Avis and Francesca Hayward in The Invitation.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Obsidian Tear (premiere), The Invitation, Within the Golden Hour – London

★★★★✰   The range of roles shows the Royal Ballet dancers, up-and-coming soloist, established principals and character artists, at their very best.

Gary Avis and Friends Flyer - 2016

The Royal Ballet’s Gary Avis & Friends – Dance for Suffolk

Led by Gary Avis and a Royal Ballet all-star cast, the company will perform an especially created programme of Royal Ballet classics, hosted by BBC Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke.

Federico Bonelli and Natalia Osipova in Strapless.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Wheeldon bill: Strapless, After the Rain, Within the Golden Hour – London

★★★✰✰ Wheeldon’s talents are on display, as well as the Royal Ballet’s dancers. A pity, then, that Strapless has been exposed without previews to sort out its weaknesses.

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