"Rite of Spring" tag
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…

Calvin Richardson and Matthew Ball in Obsidian Tear. © Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Obsidian Tear, Marguerite and Armand, Elite Syncopations – London

★★★★✰   The ostensible link between the three works in this mixed bill is that they are by the Royal Ballet’s resident choreographers, past and present: Frederick Ashton. Kenneth MacMillan and Wayne McGregor. But none is typical of the choreographers’ work…

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.

Benjamin Ella and Isabella Gasparini in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2017 – London

Head and shoulders above other new work this year was Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern for the Royal Ballet…

Mikko Lampinen, Eero Vesterinen, Oskari Nyyssola and David Scarantinos in Morphed.© Darya Popova, courtesy Tero Saarinen Company. (Click image for larger version)

Catching up with Morphed – Tero Saarinen Soul Shifting in New York

Some dance can be really thought provoking and that seems to have been the case with Tero Saarinen’s “Morphed” – at least for Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer who recently caught up with the work at the Joyce in New York.

Constance Devernay and Sophie Martin in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – Le Baiser de la fee (SB), Concerto (BRB), Jeux (RB) – London

  In the first of the mixed bills celebrating Kenneth MacMillan’s ballets, 25 years after his death, “Le Baiser de la fée” intrigued me because the questions it posed about his development as a choreographer…

Marianna Krempeniou, Liam Riddick, Oihana Vesga Bujan, Nancy Nerantzi and Elly Braund in Richard Alston's Rejoice in the Lamb.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Fall For Dance Festival – Program 2: Richard Alston, Aszure Barton, Wendy Whelan, Edward Watson, Grupo Corpo – New York

★★★✰✰   One of this recurring festival’s strongest selling selling points is the serendipity of its pairings. You pay $15 and get a grab-bag of dance in return. You’re bound to like something.

Linda Celeste Sims in Alvin Ailey's Cry.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Programme C – London

★★★★✰   I saw Programme C at Sadler’s Wells and like practically everybody else, have to rave about the dancers.

Francesco Ventriglia.© Stephen A’Court. (Click image for larger version)

Francesco Ventriglia – Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet

Nearly 2 years into his directorship at RNZB, Michelle Potter talks to Francesco Ventriglia about his life before joining the company and broad hopes for the company.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Abraham's Untitled America: Second Movement.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Open Door, Untitled America: Second Movement, No Longer Silent, Exodus, Deep, Vespers, The Hunt, Revelations – New York

★★★✰✰   It’s a truism that any afternoon that includes Alvin Ailey’s Revelations is apt to leave you happy.

Gary Avis and Francesca Hayward in The Invitation.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Obsidian Tear (premiere), The Invitation, Within the Golden Hour – London

★★★★✰   The range of roles shows the Royal Ballet dancers, up-and-coming soloist, established principals and character artists, at their very best.

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance performing Agon.© Camilla Greenwell Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance – Agon, Rite of Spring, Symphonies of Wind Instruments – London

★★★✰✰   Esa-Pekka Salonen is conducting London’s Philharmonia Orchestra in a Stravinsky festival, the first concert of which included a collaboration with Karole Armitage’s company on “Agon” – famously originally choreographed by Balanchine…

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs Robert Battle's Awakening.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Open Door, Awakening, A Case of You, Revelations – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gave two new works their West Coast premieres on Tuesday at Zellerbach Hall, the opening night of its annual residency at Cal Performances in Berkeley.

Alice Renavand in Le Sacre du Printemps.© Julien Benhamou / Opéra national de Paris. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Polyphonia, Alea Sands, Le Sacre du printemps – Paris

Benjamin Millepied, the new director of the Paris Opera Ballet, made a daring choice of programme for the Christmas season at the opulent Palais Garnier opera house: a triple bill of contemporary works…

Linda Celeste Sims and Glenn Allen Sims in Alvin Ailey's Revelations.© Andrew Eccles. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Toccata, After the Rain pdd, Awakening, Revelations – New York

Every fall, just after Thanksgiving, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater sets up shop at City Center, as sure a sign of the season as Christmas carols at the grocery store.

Adam Kozal and Aneta Zbrzezniak in Moving Rooms.© Ewa Krasucka. (Click image for larger version)

Polish National Ballet – Adagio & Scherzo, Rite of Spring, Moving Rooms – New York

There was no rest for the weary at the Joyce on Tuesday night, where Polish National Ballet whipped through its New York debut with an adrenalin-packed program.

Mark Morris Dance Group in Spring, Spring, Spring.© Ken Friedman. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Pacific, Words, Whelm, Grand Duo, Crosswalk, Jenn and Spencer, and Spring, Spring, Spring – New York

Morris seems particularly interested in deploying turning and spinning movements these days; turns appear again and again in different forms in many of the new works, especially fast chaînés or dizzying rotations in one spot.

Benjamin Ella, Tomas Mock, Kristen McNally, James Hay and Solomon Golding in Hofesh Shechter's Untouchable.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Four Temperaments, Untouchable (Shechter premiere), Song of the Earth – London

It’s a truism that any startlingly new dance-maker without an early elite training will have based his (or her) choreography on their own physique…

Robert Kleinendorst and Michael Trusnovec in Sunset.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor – Sunset, Death and the Damsel, Brandenburgs, Company B, Passacaglia and Fugue, Piazzolla Caldera – New York

The Paul Taylor Dance Company, rechristened Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, is in the midst of its yearly three-week New York run at the Koch Theater. This is a pivotal time for the company…

Mariinsky Ballet in Le Sacre du Printemps.© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version

Mariinsky Ballet – Le Sacre du Printemps, Le Spectre de la Rose, The Swan, Paquita Grand Pas – Washington

In all, this was a tremendously entertaining and well-received program; but at the same time it left an unsettling impression that the Russian company is holding on to its eminent past with all its might, relying heavily on well-worn

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