"Tchaikovsky" tag
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.

Tzu-Chao Chou in ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Arcadia, Le Baiser de la fée, ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café – London

★★✰✰✰   Bintley’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café saves a dispiriting evening by providing nimble demi-character dancing with a timely message, first delivered nearly 20 years ago.

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…

Constance Devernay and Andrew Peasgood in Kenneth MacMillan's The Fairy's Kiss.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Fairy’s Kiss, The Rite of Spring – Glasgow

★★★★✰   Absolutely fascinating… Scottish Ballet should feel very proud of celebrating MacMillan in such a thoughtful way…

Gary Harris' costume sketches for The Fairy's Kiss.© Gary Harris. (Click image for larger version)

Bringing back Kenneth MacMillan’s Le Baiser de la fée – The Fairy’s Kiss

Scottish Ballet will be performing Kenneth MacMillan’s “Le Baiser de la fée” as part of the celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of his death. It will be the first revival of the ballet in 30 years – Jann Parry on the return of an important work.

Lauren Cuthbertson in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.© Johan Persson, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – London

★★★✰✰   Wheeldon and his scenarist, Nicholas Wright, have made theatrical sense of a nonsensical children’s classic. This Alice, though, is a modern pantomime, not a classic ballet.

Paris Opera Ballet in Emeralds.© Agathe Poupeney. (Click image for larger version)Jewels, choreography by George Balanchine, ©The George Balanchine Trust.

Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet – Jewels – New York, Lincoln Center Festival

★★★★✰   It’s not often that one gets to see three such companies side by side, or to experience a work as familiar as Jewels with new eyes…

Sarah Lane and Alban Lendorf in Souvenir d’un lieu cher.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Tchaikovsky Spectacular bills – New York

★★★✰✰   Ratmansky’s Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher turned out to be a mysterious little ballet, a double pas de deux that captures, …the complex history of a quartet of characters.

Nina Kaptsova and Ruslan Skvortsov in Onegin.© Damir Yusupov. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Onegin – Moscow

★★★✰✰   Nina Kaptsova and Ruslan Skvortsov reviewed – There were few dry eyes in the auditorium as the opulent gold and red curtains of the Bolshoi Theatre closed on the petite distraught figure of Pushkin’s heroine, Tatiana.

Hee Seo and David Hallberg in Onegin.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Onegin – New York

★★★✰✰   It is the melodrama that people remember and are drawn to in Onegin. But his kind of melodrama isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…

Jessica Harding and Courtney Reading in Morgann Runacre-Temple's Handsfree.© Fiona Whyte. (Click image for larger version)

Images Ballet Company – Distant Beauties, Concerto for Joyce and Dennis, Handsfree, Scenes of Death and Disaster – London

★★★★✰   This year’s Images Ballet Company is 8 strong, small in the graduate school scheme of things, and yet their show was one of the most exciting I’ve seen in years with a wonderful and eclectic choice of repertoire, danced with passion and verve.

Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin De Luz in Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala with Odessa, Ratmansky premiere – New York

★★★✰✰   With only four works, no intermissions and a run time of less than two hours, New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala was short and to the point.

Amelia Soh, Leanne Stojmenov and Ai-Gul Gaisina in Nutcracker – Story of Clara.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Nutcracker: The Story of Clara – Sydney

★★★★✰   “…the emotional impact of this uniquely Australian Nutcracker remains as powerful as ever.”

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