"The Royal Ballet" tag
Natalia Osipova in Arthur Pita's The Wind.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Illustrated ‘Farewell’, The Wind, Untouchable – London

★★★✰✰   Kevin O’Hare is commissioning choreographers who want to make use of what the Opera House can offer; he’s not setting out to declare where ballet ought to be heading and he’s not playing safe.

Sarah Lamb in Twyla Tharp's The Illustrated 'Farewell’.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Illustrated ‘Farewell’, The Wind, Untouchable

Works by Twyla Tharp, Arthur Pita and Hofesh Shechter. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

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.

Cesar Morales.© Andres Cabezas. (Click image for larger version)

Cesar Morales – Principal Dancer, Birmingham Royal Ballet

So how did a good Chilean boy end up dancing ballet in Europe…

MacMillan Celebrations – Gloria (NB), The Judas Tree (RB), Elite Syncopations (RB+Guests) – London

★★★★✰   Elite Syncopations: Dancers from all five major British ballet companies took part, some doubling up roles in identical outfits so that identifying dancers was confusing. The stand-out solo in both the casts I saw was to the Calliope Rag, Monica Mason’s original role…

Thiago Soares and Lauren Cuthbertson in The Judas Tree.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – The Judas Tree (RB), The Song of the Earth (ENB) – London

★★★★✰   The second programme commemorating the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death revealed his very different responses to music, and to human nature.

Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernandez in La Sylphide.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth, La Sylphide – Manchester

★★★★✰   The ENB production of La Sylphide has been staged by three luminaries of Danish ballet, Frank Andersen, Eva Kloborg and Anne Marie Vessel Schlüter, and is, therefore, one supposes, as authentic to the August Bournonville ideals, as possible…

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…

Scottish Ballet's Mia Thompson in Le Baiser de la fee (The Fairy's Kiss).© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – MacMillan Celebrations – Concerto, Le Baiser de la fee, Elite Syncopations

Featuring dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Northern Ballet. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance in Bayadère: The Ninth Life.© Jane Hobson. (Click image for larger version)

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance – Bayadère: The Ninth Life – London

★★✰✰✰ …an intriguing idea inflated into unwieldy modern dance-theatre.

Lauren Cuthbertson, Edward Watson and Thiago Soares in The Judas Tree.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Judas Tree

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Yasmine Naghdi and Ryoichi Hirano in The Dreamers Ever Leave You.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet – The Dreamers Ever Leave You – London

★★★✰✰   Binet’s aspiration is that audiences should see beautifully trained dancers in a spiritual light, embodying Lawren Harris’s quest for the divine in nature.

Heather Ogden in The Dreamers Ever Leave You.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Canada in The Dreamers Ever Leave You

Photographed at Printworks. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Karen Kain + Elena Lobsanva in The Dreamers Ever Leave You.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

‘The Dreamers Ever Leave You’ – Karen Kain on a unique Royal Ballet & National Ballet of Canada collaboration…

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada, on celebrating Canada’s 150th with a joint work that includes NBoCanada and Royal Ballet dancers in a unique London Docklands event on the 12/13 October… that and lots more

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.

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.

Akane Takada in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

With Akane Takada in the lead role. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Twyla Tharp.© Robert Whitman. (Click image for larger/full version)

Twyla Tharp Dance – The Raggedy Dances, The Fugue, Entr’acte, Dylan Love Songs – New York

★★✰✰✰   It all sounds terribly promising, and yet the evening falls as flat as a soufflé left in the oven for too long.

Akane Takada in The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.© Robbie Jack. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Opening the New bill – Hull

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet’s away-day to Hull, this year’s UK Capital of Culture, was dramatic in its scale: 17 pieces presented over three hours…

Emma Maguire.© and courtesy The Royal Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Emma Maguire, RB Soloist, about the Ann Maguire Gala and Charity

We talk to Emma Maguire about the Gala that honours the life of her mum, Ann Maguire, and this year takes place at the Leeds Grand Theatre on 3 September. The proceeds go to support the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund – inspiring young people through the arts…

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