"Petipa" tag
Isabella Boylston and Jeffrey Cirio in La Bayadère.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – La Bayadère – Los Angeles

★★✰✰✰   …watching La Bayadère can feel like observing an artifact stuck in another era, and indicates the need for a conversation about what a contemporary, forward-thinking repertoire should look like.

Third year students Breanna Foad and Rentaro Nakaaki, who join English National Ballet next season.© Jesus Vallinas. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet School – Summer Performance – London

★★★✰✰   This summer’s showcase of English National Ballet School’s students was the first under its new director, Carlos Valcarcel… The Wimbledon programme consisted of two creations by him, two by students, and excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty as a conclusion.

Isabella Boylston in Whipped Cream.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Whipped Cream – New York

★★★★✰   The audience laughs, the company looks great, the orchestra… sounds full and vibrant, and you leave the theatre with a rare feeling of joy. Lightness of spirit and complexity of execution in one delightful package.

Zurich Ballet in Swan Lake.© Carlos Quezada. (Click image for larger version)

Zurich Ballet – Swan Lake – Zurich

★★★✰✰   But, at least to my eye, the production’s triumph is its final lakeside act. There, the formations of swans, as originally choreographed by Lev Ivanov, become intricate, delicate, lyrical, and intensely moving.

Daniel McCormick, Emerging Dancer Competition winner, performing Le Corsaire.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

2018 English National Ballet Emerging Dancer Competition – performance and results

For the first time, English National Ballet’s competition for its junior members was held in the capacious London Coliseum, where the company has been performing The Sleeping Beauty…

Alina Cojocaru in The Sleeping Beauty.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   It’s a better Sleeping Beauty than the Royal Ballet’s, but it benefits enormously from a stellar performance at its heart, a reminder of how civilised ballet can be.

Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside in Harlequinade.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Harlequinade (premiere) – New York

★★★★✰   Harlequinade is pure entertainment, a work of art whose entire raison d’être rests on its charm and stylishness. If you require that your art contain deeper meanings, read no further…

Tiler Peck in Coppélia.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Coppélia – New York

★★★★✰   Tiler Peck, with her quick feet and sassy musicality, is perfectly suited to the role of Swanhilda. Her choreography has copious amounts of pointework, quick steps, requires adroitness in petit allegro and excellent mime technique – all of which Peck has in abundance.

Misty Copeland, Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in Afterite.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – 3 Bills: Giselle, Gala, Firebird/Afterite – New York

★★★★✰   After a week of Giselle, during which Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg had their much-awaited re-match, the company began its season in earnest on May 21, with a spring gala that included two new works and excerpts from a third…

Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nunez, Bennet Gartside and artists of the company in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake (Scarlett premiere) – London

★★★★★   Liam Scarlett has devised a visual and emotional treat for audiences, fully justifying Kevin O’Hare’s faith in him as a director and choreographer.

Jillian Vanstone in The Sleeping Beauty.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

The National Ballet of Canada – The Sleeping Beauty – Toronto

★★★★✰   Steeped in the company’s history, this Sleeping Beauty is a real treasure – a lavishly-outfitted and deeply absorbing spectacle which bears the indelible imprint of its creator, the legendary Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

National Ballet of Canada in Rudolf Nureyev's The Sleeping Beauty.© Aleksandar Antonijevic. (Click image for larger version)

Preview – The National Ballet of Canada & Rudolf Nureyev’s Sleeping Beauty – a special combination then and now.

This is a Beauty like no other – the most spectacular classical production in the National Ballet’s repertory and a true jewel of a ballet.

Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov in Nureyev.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2018 – London

★★★✰✰   This year’s Russian Ballet gala was ostensibly in honour of the 200th anniversary of Marius Petipa’s birth. Any choreography attributed to him was mostly a long way ‘after Petipa’, but it’s always fun to see excellent Russian dancers deliver pas de deux from Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Le Corsaire.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's The Sleeping Beauty.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – San Francisco

★★✰✰✰   The efforts of San Francisco Ballet’s artists are sadly misplaced in this largely joyless and wholly unsatisfying rendition of The Sleeping Beauty.

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.

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…

Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov in Sylvia.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Sylvia – London

★★★★✰   Sylvia makes a welcome return to the repertoire, reacquainting dancers and audiences with Ashton’s sensibility and complex choreography. It’s a joy but not a masterpiece, as he well knew…

Emma Maguire.© and courtesy The Royal Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Emma Maguire, RB Soloist, about the Ann Maguire Gala and Charity

We talk to Emma Maguire about the Gala that honours the life of her mum, Ann Maguire, and this year takes place at the Leeds Grand Theatre on 3 September. The proceeds go to support the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund – inspiring young people through the arts…

Diana Vishneva in Carmen Suite.© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Carmen Suite, Infra, Grand Pas from Paquita – London

★★★✰✰   When Maya Plisetskaya commissioned a Carmen-based ballet from Alberto Alonso, co-founder of the National Ballet of Cuba, she wanted to shake up Soviet ballet conventions…

Viktoria Tereshkina in Don Quixote.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★✰   Tereshkina and Kim match well physically and temperamentally. She has a lovely high-flying arabesque line and a wide range of slow and fast turns, small and expansive movements.

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