"Ravel" tag
New York City Ballet in The Concert.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 4 bill – New York

★★★★✰   It was a good night for Afternoon of a Faun, in particular. Chase Finlay, débuting in the role of the young dancer sensually lolling about a ballet studio, brought back the eroticism this ballet often lacks.

Brett Chynoweth and artists of The Australian Ballet in Firebird.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Murphy (Graeme Murphy tribute bill of 6 works) – Sydney

★★★✰✰   Within this potpourri of Graeme Murphy’s works, the highlight was “Grand”, a charming and poignant tribute he created in 2005 for his mother, a pianist, who died the previous year.

Le Rossignol masterclass: Anna Rose O’Sullivan and William Bracewell with Anthony Dowell.© Rachel Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Frederick Ashton’s choreography for Le Rossignol – a masterclass with Sir Anthony Dowell

The Metropolitan Opera in New York staged “Le Rossignol” in December 1981 as part of a programme commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Stravinsky’s birth… the producer was John Dexter. He told Ashton, back in London, that he could choreograph two dancers as the Nightingale and the Fisherman on stage, while the roles would be sung by opera singers in the orchestra pit…

Suzanne Farrell Ballet, with Heather Ogden and Thomas Garrett, center, and the corps de ballet, in Chaconne, choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. (phew!)Image © Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Suzanne Farrell Ballet – Forever Balanchine: Farewell Performances – Washington

★★★★★   As artistic director of her own troupe, Farrell was able to take her devotion to Balanchine and her aspiration to promote and preserve his legacy to a new level. For nearly 20 years, Washington audiences have enjoyed an annual mini-festival of Balanchine’s works…

Natalia Magnicaballi in Tzigane.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Suzanne Farrell Ballet’s Final Performances in Washington

This season the Suzanne Farrell Ballet is bidding farewell to its audiences with final performances at the Kennedy Center Opera House, December 7-9. There will be two programs, each featuring a selection of George Balanchine’s choreographic gems…

American Ballet Theatre in I Feel The Earth Move.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher, I Feel the Earth Move, Daphnis and Chloe – New York

★★★✰✰   The choreographer and L.A. Dance Project director Benjamin Millepied is a mover and a shaker, a clever curator, a man of taste, a force in the dance world. But is he good choreographer?

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.

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