"Nutcracker" tag
Arancha Baselga and Brandon Lawrence in The Nutcracker.© Annabel Moeller. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★✰✰   Peter Wright’s glorious ballet might not shine quite so magically in its Bintley/Albert Hall version but the dancers certainly do…

Erica Felsch & the men of the company in Michael Smuin's Santa Baby, from The Christmas Ballet.© Keith Sutter. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Contemporary American Ballet – The Christmas Ballet – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   I’ve seen The Christmas Ballet five times over the years and it has always been and continues to be a lovely, celebratory afternoon or evening at the theatre. That said, I still struggle with the format.

Mark Morris Dance Group in The Hard Nut.© Frank Wing. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – The Hard Nut – San Francisco

★★★★★   The house was abuzz on Friday evening for the opening performance of Mark Morris Dance Group’s The Hard Nut. It’s been five years since Cal Performances hosted the production, and clearly fans had been anxiously awaiting its reappearance.

Shiori Kase and Joseph Caley in Nutcracker.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Nutcracker – London

★★★✰✰   One of the ballet’s biggest departures from tradition is having the same dancer play Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The reasoning is unclear, but Kase proves versatile enough to pull it off…

Barnaby Rook Bishop, Thomas Edwards and Simon Schilgen in The Nutcracker.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Nutcracker – Edinburgh

★★★★✰   A charming, uplifting ballet that truly sets the scene for Christmas. A large part of the heart-warming effect was Darrell’s decision to populate the stage with children…

Senri Kou in Nutcracker.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Nutcracker

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

J'aime Crandall in Raymonda.© Henrik Stenberg. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Raymonda – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   All up, I think this production demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of “Raymonda” as a ballet. It certainly is a fabulous looking (and listening) calling card which might tour well…

Sarah Lane and Alban Lendorf in Souvenir d’un lieu cher.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Tchaikovsky Spectacular bills – New York

★★★✰✰   Ratmansky’s Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher turned out to be a mysterious little ballet, a double pas de deux that captures, …the complex history of a quartet of characters.

Maureya Lebowitz as Swanilda in Coppélia.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Coppelia and Three Short Story Ballets – Bristol and Birmingham

★★★✰✰   I went to Bristol to catch Coppelia and the specific lead casting of Celine Gittens and Tyrone Singleton – who have now totally transitioned from being rising stars to fully risen Principals.

Interviewed - Isabelle Brouwers, Rina Kanehara, Madison Keesler and Guilherme Menezes - 4 of the 6 Emerging Dancer 2017 finalists.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer 2017 Competition – 5 Questions to 4 Finalists

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer Competition is unique in British ballet in throwing the spotlight on more junior dancers or “tomorrow’s stars” as ENB put it. This year’s competition is on the 25 May and ahead of the that we talk to 4 of the 6 finalists – Isabelle Brouwers, Rina Kanehara, Madison Keesler and Guilherme Menezes…

Amelia Soh, Leanne Stojmenov and Ai-Gul Gaisina in Nutcracker – Story of Clara.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Nutcracker: The Story of Clara – Sydney

★★★★✰   “…the emotional impact of this uniquely Australian Nutcracker remains as powerful as ever.”

Sir Matthew Bourne with the Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Services to the Arts.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne – An Appreciation on his winning the Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Services to the Arts

Graham Watts’ citation, made before the presentation – a major appreciation of a huge star of dance and theatre…

Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks in Some of a Thousand Words.© Nir Arieli. (Click image for larger version)

Wendy Whelan & Brian Brooks – Some of a Thousand Words – New York

★★★✰✰   Over two years after her retirement from New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan remains a sight to behold.

Taylor Stanley, Anthony Huxley and Brittany Pollack in Justin Peck's Scherzo Fantastique.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Stravinsky x Five bill – New York

★★★✰✰   Alongside George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, one could argue that the third most important voice at New York City Ballet in the twentieth century was that of Igor Stravinsky.

Sara Mearns and Jared Angle in Swan Lake.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – La Sonnambula, Prodigal Son, Firebird, Allegro Brillante, Swan Lake, Four Temperaments – New York

★★★★✰   Sara Mearns, who made her name as Swan Queen at the age of nineteen, is still the most thrilling Odette around.

Dew Drop fairies in Hansel and Gretel.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Hansel and Gretel – Glasgow

★★★★✰   …a great communal effort by the whole company and one that stretches out to embrace kids in the cities it plays to – showing new generations how relevant and effortlessly entertaining ballet can be.

Alina Cojocaru and Cesar Corrales in Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Nutcracker – London

★★★✰✰   For all the recent innovations that Tamara Rojo has brought to the English National Ballet, including three stunning full-evening programmes of her own devising, the Nutcracker is still the heart of every season…

Alina Cojocaru and James Forbat in Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Nutcracker

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Aleksandra Mijalkova (Cleopatra), Vasil Chichiashvili (Cesar) and Boban Kovachevski (Mark Antony) in Cleopatra.© Macedonian Opera and Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Macedonian Ballet – Cleopatra in rehearsal – Skopje

How do you review a world premiere that you have spent seven hours flying to, and then find that it has been postponed until you are back home after another eight hours of travel?

Julie Kent and Washington Ballet.© Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists. (Click image for larger version)

The Washington Ballet – 40th Anniversary Celebration – Washington

★★★✰✰   “Hi! I am Julie Kent, artistic director of the Washington Ballet.” Looking ravishing in her long strapless slivery-white gown, her hair immaculately styled, the new director of the Washington Ballet introduced herself to the audience of the fully-packed Eisenhower Theater…

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