"Mayerling" tag
Melissa Hamilton.© Andrej Uspenski. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Melissa Hamilton, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet

“I knew that I had to seize my only chance to have a ballet career. Masha Mukhamedov agreed to teach me privately six days a week for ten months…”

Sayaka Ichikawa and artists of Scottish Ballet and Ballet Black in House of Birds.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Viviana Durante Company – Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time bill – London

★★★★✰   All credit to Viviana Durante (supported by Royal Ballet, Ballet Black and Scottish Ballet dancers) for contributing to the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death with recreations of his early work.

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.

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…

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…

Constance Devernay and Andrew Peasgood in Kenneth MacMillan's The Fairy's Kiss.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Fairy’s Kiss, The Rite of Spring – Glasgow

★★★★✰   Absolutely fascinating… Scottish Ballet should feel very proud of celebrating MacMillan in such a thoughtful way…

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.

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in Mayerling.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Mayerling – London

★★★★★   Edward Watson and Steven McRae casts both reviewed. “…the Royal Ballet is doing MacMillan proud, coming up to the 25th anniversary of his death…”

Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson in Mayerling.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Mayerling

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Mara Galeazzi.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Interview – Mara Galeazzi on Woolf Works, her wider career and dancing on…

She found that she came back to perform with the company she left five years ago with a different approach. ‘I know more about why I love to perform…’

Viviana Durante.© David Scheinmann, courtesy Viviana Durante. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Viviana Durante: Ballerina, mother, teacher and coach of MacMillan’s Anastasia

One of the leading interpreters of Kenneth MacMillan’s dramatic ballets Viviana Durante’s leaving of the Royal Ballet at the height of her powers was a sad loss to London, if the gain of those who saw her perform elsewhere all around the world. Well now she’s back at the Royal Opera House, this time to coach MacMillan’s Anastasia, which is where Jann Parry caught up with her…

Natalia Osipova in Anastasia.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Anastasia – London

★★★✰✰   The last act redeems the evening. We learn more about the characters in the final 40 minutes than in the two preceding acts.

Poster for the film Dancer staring Sergei Polunin.© West End Films. (Click image for larger version)

Film: “Dancer” – Sergei Polunin documentary

“Dancer” has been given a few screenings in London, most recently as part of the BFI London Film Festival, with Polunin and the director, Steven Cantor, in attendance for Q&A sessions…

Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez in Apollo.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta – The Classical Farewell – London

★★★★✰   “Thank you, Carlos,” boomed one audience member as Acosta ended his performance by changing out of his dance gear, sitting meditatively on stage…

David Drew in his later years - here as the Duke of Courland in Giselle.© John Ross, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Obituary: David Drew, Royal Ballet Principal, with the company 56 years

David Drew, for 56 years a member of The Royal Ballet, has died after a long battle with illness. He described himself as one of a ‘bridge generation’ of dancers. The longevity of his career meant that he worked with many figures from the Ballets Russees – but also taught many dancers and choreographers working today.

Zizi Strallen and Chris Trenfield in The Car Man.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – The Car Man – London

It is almost eight years to the day since The Car Man was last revived at Sadler’s Wells (having premiered in 2000) and it seems even better than I recall…

Russian Ballet Icons Gala front cloth with Olesya Novikova.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – Dedicated to the History of Russian Ballet – London

The gala opened with the Act III wedding pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, performed by Ekaterina Osmolkina and Guiseppe Picone. No fish-dives in this version – the Russians regard them as vulgar, and Osmolkina could never be vulgar.

Ashley Shaw and Dominic North in Edward Scissorhands.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – Edward Scissorhands – London

Though it has a downbeat ending, Bourne raises audiences’ spirits with cheerily choreographed curtain calls, a heavenly chorale and drifting snowflakes.

Bohemia in Christopher Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Winter’s Tale – London

Wheeldon has honed his craft in making a story ballet, much better constructed than his Alice in Wonderland. His core characters account for themselves in revealing solos and his pas de deux are no longer over-ingenious.

Akram Khan and ENB dancers in Khan's Dust.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Lest We Forget: No Man’s Land, Second Breath, Dust, Firebird – London

Dust is a resounding success for Khan as creator, Rojo as artistic director and both as performers.

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