"Tchaikovsky" tag
Robert Carter in The Dying Swan.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Trocks) – Les Sylphides bill – London

★★★★✰   The curtain calls for Robert Carter’s “Dying Swan” are nearly as long as the ballet itself and just as funny.

Irina Kolesnikova and Denis Rodkin in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre – Swan Lake – London

★★✰✰✰   Although the first night audience was moved to a standing ovation, Swan Lake can and should be so much more than this stylised ritual…

Students of the Upper School in Aurora’s Wedding.© Tristram Kenton / Royal Ballet School. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Summer Performance, ROH Main Stage – London

★★★✰✰   A matinee in two halves: fine before the interval, with dire, dreary choreography in the second half. Thank goodness for the exhilarating Grand Défilé at the close.

Devon Teuscher in Swan Lake.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Swan Lake – New York

★★★★✰   Devon Teuscher has done her time, and the results are breathtaking…

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kizzy Matiakis in the lead image for The Queen of Spades.© Camilla Winther. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – The Queen of Spades – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   The good news is that Queen of Spades is a good-looking crowd pleaser and the RDB dancers look fantastic in it – I can’t emphasise that enough. Also good that it’s a step up from his last commission, Frankenstein – thank goodness, really.

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.

Dores André and Ulrik Birkkjaer in Peck's Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Serenade, The Chairman Dances, Rodeo – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Not all, but many pas de deuxs have a romantic subtext, whether intentional or not. But in Rodeo Peck has crafted a pas de deux celebrating introductions and the process of getting to know another person.

Arancha Baselga and Brandon Lawrence in The Nutcracker.© Annabel Moeller. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★✰✰   Peter Wright’s glorious ballet might not shine quite so magically in its Bintley/Albert Hall version but the dancers certainly do…

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…

Mark Morris Dance Group in The Hard Nut.© Frank Wing. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – The Hard Nut – San Francisco

★★★★★   The house was abuzz on Friday evening for the opening performance of Mark Morris Dance Group’s The Hard Nut. It’s been five years since Cal Performances hosted the production, and clearly fans had been anxiously awaiting its reappearance.

Barnaby Rook Bishop, Thomas Edwards and Simon Schilgen in The Nutcracker.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Nutcracker – Edinburgh

★★★★✰   A charming, uplifting ballet that truly sets the scene for Christmas. A large part of the heart-warming effect was Darrell’s decision to populate the stage with children…

Company XIV in Nutcracker Rouge.© Mark Shelby Perry. (Click image for larger version)

Company XIV – Nutcracker Rouge – New York

★★★★✰   Nutcracker Rouge is a lush, flesh-fueled frenzy of sensuality and spectacle. McCormick’s gift for erotic elegance is mesmerizing. Any raunch manages to be a good dose of the subversive while also being good plain fun.

Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb in The Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★★   When Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker for the Royal Ballet was given its premiere on 20th December 1984, gala guests were treated to free champagne and souvenir booklets. No expense was spared…

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…

Svetlana Zakharova and Bolshoi friends in Strokes Through the Tail.© Jack Davant. (Click image for larger version)

Svetlana Zakharova – Amore: Francesca da Rimini, Rain before it Falls, Strokes Through the Tail – London

★★★✰✰   Happy for Zakharova who ultimately curated an interesting night, very happy to see her retinue of Bolshoi dancers and happy to see Donlon provide such final good cheer.

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