"Shostakovich" tag
Christine Shevchenko and Calvin Royal III in Alexei Ratmansky's Songs of Bukovina.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Gift, Songs of Bukovina, Thirteen Diversions – New York

★★★✰✰   In between the speeches and the short films came the dancing. The main attraction was the new Ratmansky work, Songs of Bukovina…

Javier Torres, Antoinette Brooks-Daw and Riku Ito in Kenneth MacMillan's Gloria.© Lauren Godfrey. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – MacMillan bill: Las Hermanas, Concerto, Gloria – Bradford

★★★★✰   Gloria was Nixon’s first choice because he felt it showed MacMillan at his moving best. It contrasts Poulenc’s choral setting of the Latin text from the mass in praise of God with the toll of human lives in the First World War.

Emily Hoff in The Conservatory.© Johan Persson / RBS. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   It was a well-balanced programme, featuring different kinds of discipline for future corps de ballet dancers, and honouring veteran choreographers as well as contemporary ones.

Unity Phelan and Zachary Catazaro in Polyphonia.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – HERE/NOW Festival, Wheeldon Quad bill – New York

★★★✰✰   It’s a shame that the company didn’t choose to revive some Wheeldon rarities from its back catalogue…

Alexandre Riabko in Nijinsky.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Nijinsky – Melbourne

★★★✰✰   Even after his death, Vaslav Nijinsky suffered from the power and control of others…

Ekaterina Krysanova and Vladislav Lantratov in Taming of the Shrew.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Taming of the Shrew – London

★★★✰✰   Maillot’s ballet… belongs to Krysanova and Lantratov, who succeed in conveying that Kate and Petruchio are wildly, equally in love, however crassly they treat each other…

Gelsey Kirkland Ballet – Harlequinade, The Wedding Procession, Walpurgis Night – New York

★★★✰✰   This is no second-rate student group. The Gelsey Kirkland Academy is doing something right.

American Ballet Theatre in Chamber Symphony part of Shostakovich Trilogy. © Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Shostakovich Trilogy – New York

★★★✰✰   Shostakovich Trilogy is a rich work, containing too much to take in at a single sitting. It reveals some of its secrets, but not all.

NYCB in Christopher Wheeldon's American Rhapsody.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala with American Rhapsody (Wheeldon premiere) – New York

★★★✰✰   It wouldn’t be spring without ballet galas. This week it was New York City Ballet’s turn. On the program were two new works, by Christopher Wheeldon and the relatively unknown Nicolas Blanc, the latter a veteran of the New York Choreographic Institute.

Joshua Beamish.© David Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Joshua Beamish and MOVE: the company – Pierced, burrow, Stay, Surface Properties – New York

Dancing alone, Beamish introduces his movement: silky smooth shifts, surprising twitches, lines of energy rolling through the body…

Ruth Brill's Matryoshka at its Symphony Hall premiere.© BRB.

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Quatrain, Matryoshka, Beauty and the Beast pdd, Swan Lake pdq, Facade – High Wycombe

Ruth Brill’s Matryoshka showed a lot of sense and maturity I thought – she clearly thinks about entertaining the audience.

Cover of the Dance Open 2015 Gala programme.© Dance Open. (Click image for larger version)

International Ballet Festival 2015 Dance Open and Tsiskaridze at the Vaganova Academy – St Petersburg

Margaret Willis has just been in St. Petersburg, catching up with the Dance Open Festival and also visiting the Vaganova Academy where she had some words with director Nikolai Tsiskaridze…

Nicol Edmonds and Matthew Ball in Joshua Beamish's Burrow.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Draft Works 2015 – London

This year‘s highlight was an exuberant piece from Marcelino Sambé which provided a lively closer to an otherwise rather downbeat programme.

NYCB in Justin Peck’s ‘Rode,o: Four Dance Episodes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Pictures at an Exhibition, ‘Rōdē,ō: Four Dance Episodes, Mercurial Maoeucres – New York

‘Rōdē,ō: Four Dance Episodes premiere: It turns out that this combination of male vigor, Copland, and Peck is a felicitous one.

Ivan Vasiliev in Flames of Paris.© Costas. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhailovsky Ballet – Flames of Paris – New York

But, for the ballet to work it has to be danced with conviction and joy, and this is what the Mikhailovsky pulls off marvelously well.

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in Don Quixote.© Stas Levshin, courtesy the Mikhailovsky Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

The Mikhailovsky Ballet’s American Debut at the Lincoln Center

Having wowed London with three acclaimed seasons over the last six years, at last the Mikhailovsky Ballet make their American debut in NY. Lisa Snyder introduces the company and its repertoire…

Mariinsky Ballet in Concerto DSCH.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – The Firebird, Marguerite and Armand, Concerto DSCH – London

“This is how ecstasy is danced.” Kimin Kim in Concerto DSCH.

Boris Eifman.© Eifman Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Boris Eifman – Artistic Director, Eifman Ballet

Graham Watts met up with the choreographer on a recent visit to St Petersburg to discuss his career and to ask what London audiences might expect from Rodin…

Alexei Ratmansky.© Fabrizio Ferri. (Click image for larger version)

Alexei Ratmansky – Balletic Musings, a Continuing Conversation

Do you perceive a difference between the musicality of American dancers and that of Russian dancers? AR: There is a huge difference in the musicality. I often found Russian dancers unmusical… But they have other qualities…

Julie Kent and Roberto Bolle in Marcelo Gomes' Apothéose.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Spring Gala – New York

Symphony in C, a luminous outpouring of legs and arms, crisp geometries, bobbing rhythms, and articulate patter-like conversations for the feet, is a vivid reminder of why one goes to the ballet at all. Luminosity and classical logic, laced with wit and intelligence.

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