"Ravel" tag
Washington Ballet in Les Sylphides.© Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Les Sylphides, Le Corsaire pdd, Bolero, Prodigal Son – Washington

★★★★✰   It was a pleasure to see this company in such a smart and wide-ranging program. It was even more rewarding to see the Washington Ballet dancers masterly navigating the numerous challenges…

Julie Cunningham and Hannah Burfield in Returning.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Julie Cunningham and Company – Returning, To Be Me – London

★★★✰✰   A final poem, ‘Man Down’, calls for compassion and acceptance that we are all combinations of male and female. The message is in the words rather than in the bodies of the dancers.

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.

American Ballet Theatre in Jessica Lang's Her Notes.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Jessica Lang’s Her Notes prmeiere + others – New York

★★★★✰   Jessica Lang’s Her Notes is a lovely and poetic work, though one with a slightly subdued effect. It is almost too tasteful.

Daniil Simkin and Blaine Hoven in Alexei Ratmansky's Serenade after Plato’s Symposium.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, Symphonic Variations, Brahms-Haydn Variations + Fall Gala – New York

★★★★✰   A second look at Alexei Ratmansky’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium confirms the impression formed last season. It is a fascinating work that represents a new direction for the choreographer.

Maya Plisetskaya.© Ensemble Productions. (Click image for larger version)

Ave Maya Gala in Memory of Maya Plisetskaya – London

★★★✰✰ Every gala needs a revelation, and this one was provided by Sergio Bernal, a Spanish dancer who dominated the stage in an imperious farruca solo from Antonio’s flamenco version of The Three Cornered Hat…

Sterling Hyltin in Mozartiana.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Sonatine, Mozartiana, Symphony in C – New York

★★★★✰ Some nights at the ballet you just get lucky: all the works are beautiful and the program is well balanced, and each of the casts is led by a ballerina who seems just right for the role.

Georgina Pazcoguin and Meagan Mann in Justin Peck's New Blood, in costumes by Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Fall Gala, with 4 premieres – New York

Nobody surpasses New York City Ballet in sleekness and urbanity. The company is like a glistening skyscraper: sharp-edged, diamantine and, sometimes, a little cold…

Martha Clarke.© Martha Clarke, courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Martha Clarke – Director and Choreographer, on Chéri

Martha Clarke talks to Jann Parry about Chéri – at the ROH Linbury Studio Theatre, 29 Sept – 4 Oct 2015…

Poster for 35 Amici Drive.© Turtle Key Arts. (Click image for larger version)

Amici Dance Theatre Company – 35 Amici Drive – London

Amici’s production celebrating its 35th anniversary is its first for five years, during which time the company for able-bodied and disabled performers had somewhat slipped from public awareness.

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.

Sara Mearns and Ask La Cour in Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Sonatine, La Valse, Symphony in C – New York

After a week of modernist works by Balanchine set mostly to Stravinsky, Hindemith, Webern, there’s no denying that a night of French music falls sweetly on the ear.

Ashley Bouder in Donizetti Variations.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Agon, Symphony in C, Donizetti Variations, La Valse, Chaconne – New York

In recent seasons New York City Ballet has gotten into the habit of starting things off with a week or two of Balanchine. It’s an excellent idea.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Matthew Rushing's Odetta.© Steve Wilson. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey – Uprising, Suspended Women, Odetta – New York

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is making a big deal out of its premieres this year, but at the company’s “All New” program during its City Center residency, Matthew Rushing’s Odetta was the standout work.

Delia Mathews (The Suicide) and Cesar Morales (The Stranger) in Miracle in the Gorbals.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – La Fin du jour, Miracle in the Gorbals, Flowers of the Forest – London

Gillian Lynne has made Helpmann and Benthall’s wartime collaboration into a gutsy dramatic ballet, probably with more choreography than Helpmann attempted.

Gonzalo Garcia and NYCB, opening section of Ratmansky's Pictures at an Exhibition.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version

New York City Ballet – Ratmansky’s Pictures at an Exhibition premiere – New York

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, is there a ballet choreographer working today who is more imaginative, more wholly himself, than Alexei Ratmansky?

Danielle Brown and Ricardo Rhodes in Frederick Ashton's Birthday Offering.© Frank Atura. (Click image for larger version)

Sarasota Ballet – Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, Programmes 1-4 – Sarasota

Both as a tribute to Ashton and as a coming-out party, it’s hard to imagine how the festival could have gone better. The ballets are in good hands.

Lyubov Andreyeva and Oleg Gabyshev in Eifman's Rodin.© Souheil Michael Khoury. (Click image for larger version)

Eifman Ballet – Rodin – St. Petersburg

Boris Eifman can never be accused of shying away from the obvious… His representation of the life and times of Auguste Rodin creates spectacular and absorbing dance theatre…

Janie Taylor and Sebastien Marcovici in Balanchine's La Valse.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Acheron, Afternoon of a Faun, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, La Valse – New York

George Balanchine’s favorite composers may have been Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, but it’s no secret that he also had an affinity for France and its music…

Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in Martha Clarke's Cheri.© 2013 Joan Marcus. (Click image for larger version)

Martha Clarke Takes on Colette’s Chéri + Herman Cornejo interview

Novels are treacherous terrain for choreographers. So much of what draws us into a book and imprints itself in our imagination …is almost impossible to convey in the language of the body.

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