"The Royal Ballet" tag
Kimin Kim and Sofia Matyushenskaya in Don Quixote.© M Logvinov. (Click image for larger version)

Yacobson Ballet – Don Quixote – St. Petersburg

★★★★✰   Kobborg has deconstructed the work; mixing up the narrative’s building blocks before reassembling them in a masterpiece of balance that remains recognisably traditional but is also refreshingly new.

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…

Le Rossignol masterclass: Anna Rose O’Sullivan and William Bracewell with Anthony Dowell.© Rachel Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Frederick Ashton’s choreography for Le Rossignol – a masterclass with Sir Anthony Dowell

The Metropolitan Opera in New York staged “Le Rossignol” in December 1981 as part of a programme commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Stravinsky’s birth… the producer was John Dexter. He told Ashton, back in London, that he could choreograph two dancers as the Nightingale and the Fisherman on stage, while the roles would be sung by opera singers in the orchestra pit…

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…

Sergei Polunin and Natalia Osipova in rehearsals for Satori.© Srđan Srđenović. (Click image for larger version)

Sergei Polunin – Dancer, Choreographer & Actor – on his new London show and life…

On the eve of his new London show, which includes two premieres and a rarely seen piece of early Russian contemporary ballet, we catch up with Polunin about the shows and life in general. He’s clearly a man who wants to leave his mark…

Gary Avis and Francesca Hayward in The Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

J'aime Crandall in Raymonda.© Henrik Stenberg. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Raymonda – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   All up, I think this production demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of “Raymonda” as a ballet. It certainly is a fabulous looking (and listening) calling card which might tour well…

Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov in Sylvia.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Sylvia – London

★★★★✰   Sylvia makes a welcome return to the repertoire, reacquainting dancers and audiences with Ashton’s sensibility and complex choreography. It’s a joy but not a masterpiece, as he well knew…

Men in Motion flyer.© Nick Knight. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Men in Motion (2017) – London

★★✰✰✰   All the ingredients seemed promising but the evening was disappointing, struggling to recover from the tedium of the dire opening item…

Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov in Sylvia.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Sylvia

With Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov in the lead roles. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2017 National Dance Awards – Announcement of Nominations

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle is pleased to announce the nominations for the 18th National Dance Awards…

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…

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