"National Ballet of China" tag
Patrick de Bana.© and courtesy MuzArts. (Click image for larger version)

Patrick de Bana, Choreographer, on creativity and working with Svetlana Zakharova

“It’s like a game of tennis – I hit the ball and she returns it.”. Margaret Willis catches up with choreographer Patrick de Bana to talk about his choroegraphic life and latest project – contributing to Svetlana Zakharova’s show Amore – which tours to the UK in November.

Zhang Jian and Zhu Yan in The Peony Pavilion.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

National Ballet of China – The Peony Pavilion – London

★★★✰✰   Peony Pavilion has become a signature work for the National Ballet of China and it’s easy to see why it has come back.

Zhu Yan in The Peony Pavilion.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – National Ballet of China in The Peony Pavilion

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

National Ballet of China in the Red Detachment of Women.© National Ballet of China. (Click image for larger version)

National Ballet of China – Peony Pavilion, Red Detachment of Women – New York

The National Ballet of China dancers are beautifully trained, surprisingly tall, willowy – even the men – and delicately featured.

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.

Poster image for Jane Eyre.© Shanghai Ballet Company. (Click image for larger version)

Shanghai Ballet Company – Jane Eyre – London

“It is performed with great commitment…” says Lynette Halewood of a Jayne Eyre ruthlessly pruned for dance…

A 1973 poster for the ballet held on chineseposters.net

Shanghai Ballet – White-Haired Girl – Hong Kong

Ideological qualms aside, White Haired Girl is an odd bird. The choreography is a hybrid between textbook classical vocabulary and Chinese opera, an idea interesting in itself but here executed with a lack of imagination…

Austlian Ballet in David McAllister's Overture.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – 50th Anniversary Gala – Melbourne

It was a program that harkened back to the big international Galas of previous years, as well as a nice reference to the company’s first years, when artists including Sonia Arova, Erik Bruhn, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev guest-starred.

Uliana Lopatkina and Marat Shemiunov in Pavlova and Cecchetti. © Marc Haegeman.

Russian Ballet Icons – Anna Pavlova Gala – London

The ballerinas who made the greatest impact were Uliana Lopatkina and Tamara Rojo: regal, gracious, seemingly effortless…

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