"Melissa Hamilton" 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…”

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…

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

Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Valeri Hristov in Emeralds.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – London

★★★★✰   The first Emeralds ballerina, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, could be a water nymph, touching the hands of her suitor, Valeri Hristov, in the opening pas de deux before drifting out of reach.

Tamara Rojo.© Rick Guest. (Click image for larger version)Taken from: What Lies Beneath - portraits of dancers by Rick GuestAvailble at: rg-books.com

“What Lies Beneath” – A book of dancers portraits by Rick Guest

“I wanted to make a series of portraits of the dancers themselves, as opposed to dancers dancing, to show the character that underpins their performance, to see the determination and sacrifice that it…

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.

Cover of the Dance Open 2015 Gala programme.© Dance Open. (Click image for larger version)

International Ballet Festival 2015 Dance Open and Tsiskaridze at the Vaganova Academy – St Petersburg

Margaret Willis has just been in St. Petersburg, catching up with the Dance Open Festival and also visiting the Vaganova Academy where she had some words with director Nikolai Tsiskaridze…

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…

Melissa Hamilton and Gary Avis in Alastair Marriott's Lieder pas de deux.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Ann Maguire Gala – pieces by Alastair Marriott and Wayne McGregor

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares in Diamonds.© ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2011. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House – A Gala Celebration: Life Reimagined – London

Both Royal Ballet premieres, one by Kim Brandstrup, the other by Liam Scarlett, were surely keepers, bound to be seen again.

Vladimir Malakhov and Beatrice Knopp in Hans van Manen’s The Old Man and Me.© Sergei Andreetsev. (Click image for larger version)

Two Russian Galas – Dance Open in St. Petersburg, Soul of Dance in Moscow

Margaret Willis has been busy: in St. Petersburg at the Dance Open Festival Gala and 2 days later in Moscow at the Soul of Dance Ballet Gala. And important awards were given at both…

Eric Underwood, Melissa Hamilton and Marcelino Sambe in Alexander Whitley's All That is Solid Melts Into Air.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Alexander Whitley – All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, The Measures Taken – London

But this is a really enterprising and unusual use of the Linbury space that leaves you with an intense curiosity to see what Whitley does next.

Alexander Whitley Dance Company in Whitley's The Measures Taken.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Alexander Whitley: The Measures Taken and All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

Featuring The Royal Ballet and Alexander Whitley Dance Company. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Jacqueline Clark, Yuhui Choe, Leticia Stock and Francesca Hayward in Liam Scarlett's Sweet Violets.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Serenade, Sweet Violets, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse – London

It’s always good to get back to mixed programmes after one of the Royal Ballet’s long runs of blockbusters, and better still when the first item on the bill is Balanchine’s timeless Serenade.

Sergei Polunin.© Bryan Adams. (Click image for larger version)

The 13th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN – 23-28 April 2014, St. Petersburg

The Festival is held from April 23 to April 28, 2014 on stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater, St. Petersburg. The main focus of the 13th International Ballet Festival DANCE OPEN, which performances will be held on stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater, is on original contemporary choreography.

Lauren Cuthbertson in The Sleeping Beauty.© ROH / Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

….thanks and admiration to Francesca Hayward for a blithe, swift Songbird Fairy, probably the most pleasing I’ve ever seen…

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).

Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta in Don Quixote.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Don Quixote (Acosta production) – London

It’s especially challenging for the Royal Ballet, whose repertoire and style are built on the subtle understatement of Frederick Ashton and the deep psychological explorations of Kenneth MacMillan: hot-blooded Latin exuberance is not really their thing…

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