"The Royal Ballet" tag
Kevin Emerton and Mayara Magri in Piggy in the Middle.© Alice Pennefather, ROH, 2018. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet / Charlotte Edmonds – Piggy in the Middle, Sink or Swim – London

★★★✰✰   Piggy in the Middle is, in part, Edmonds’ tribute to Kenneth MacMillan, the 25th anniversary of whose death has been marked during the Royal Ballet’s 2017/2018 season.

Francesca Hayward, Christopher Saunders and Elizabeth McGorian in Manon.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Manon – London

★★★★✰   It’s a myth that Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon was ever regarded as a failure. Critics may initially have had reservations but audiences have enjoyed it from its first season in 1974 throughout its many revivals…

Wende and Dutch National Ballet in Last Resistance.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Dutch Doubles: Impermanence, Two and Only, Déjà vu, Last Resistance – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   Dutch National Ballet’s Dutch Doubles quad bill features 3 new works by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Ernst Meisner and Wubkje Kuindersma plus a classic piece, new to the company, from the legend that is Hans van Manen.

Christopher Saunders, Francesca Hayward and Alexander Campbell in Manon.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Manon

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Nicholas Bodych and Elly Braund in Carnaval.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Mid Century Modern, Carnaval, Cut and Run – London

★★★★★   It must be tempting to get carried away by sentiment when it comes to celebrating both a 70th birthday and fifty years as a choreographer in a programme that also marks the departure of a special muse.

Calvin Richardson and Joseph Sissons in Wayne McGregor's Yugen.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Bernstein Centenary: Yugen, The Age of Anxiety, Corybantic Games – London

★★★✰✰   Leonard Bernstein wrote (in 1949): “I have a deep suspicion that every work I write, for whatever medium, is really theatre music in some way.’ Many choreographers have taken up the challenge, though his quasi-metaphysical musings have usually eluded them: dance is more corporeal than music.

David Donnelly, Charlotte Tonkinson, David Yudes, Isabella Gasparini, Kevin Emerton and Camille Bracher in Christopher Wheeldon's Corybantic Games.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Bernstein Centenary triple bill incl new McGregor & Wheeldon

The Bernstein Centenary bill includes new works by Christopher Wheeldon (Corybantic Games) and Wayne McGregor (Yugen). Liam Scarlett’s The Age of Anxiety completes the bill. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov in Nureyev.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2018 – London

★★★✰✰   This year’s Russian Ballet gala was ostensibly in honour of the 200th anniversary of Marius Petipa’s birth. Any choreography attributed to him was mostly a long way ‘after Petipa’, but it’s always fun to see excellent Russian dancers deliver pas de deux from Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Le Corsaire.

Monica Mason and Lorraine Gregory consulting the notation.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Ashton Foundation Masterclass with Monica Mason coaching the Spanish Dance from Swan Lake and the Fairy of Joy from Sleeping Beauty

February’s masterclass, the fifth in the series, featured choreography from the start and end of Frederick Ashton’s tenure as artistic director of the Royal Ballet, 1963-1969.

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2017 National Dance Awards – Winners Announced

Congratulations to all from DanceTabs…

Ryoichi Hirano and Laura Morera in The Winter’s Tale.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Winter’s Tale – London

★★★✰✰   The return of Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale in its third revival since 2014 brings newcomers to its many meaty roles. It also introduces new audience members to one of Shakespeare’s late plays, with its convoluted plot.

Tierney Heap in The Winter’s Tale.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Winter’s Tale

Pictures of 2 casts: Nuñez, Soares, Stix-Brunell, Muntagirov, Mendizabal and Kaneko, Bonelli, Takada, Campbell, Heap. Photographed by Foteini Christofilopoulou.

Isabella Gasparini during coaching of the Fairy of Joy from Sleeping Beauty.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Ashton Foundation Masterclass with Monica Mason coaching the Spanish Dance from Swan Lake and the Fairy of Joy from Sleeping Beauty

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Gandini Juggling and Alexander Whitley's Spring.© Simon Carter. (Click image for larger version)

Gandini Juggling & Alexander Whitley – Spring – Cambridge

★★★✰✰   Whitley has merged the different disciplines so successfully that there’s relatively little distinction between dancers and jugglers.

Francesca Hayward in Giselle.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet/ROH Learning and Participation – Giselle, schools’ matinee – London

★★★★✰   This was indeed a Giselle to treasure as a first encounter with ballet.

Marianela Nunez in Giselle.© Helen Maybanks, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Giselle – London

★★★★★   Peter Wright’s 1985 production for the Royal Ballet has had many interpreters, all subtly or extravagantly different. Nunez is amongst the finest, a perfectionist who seems realistically earthy as a country girl who loves dancing and ethereal as her defiant spirit.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Giselle.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Galleries – Royal Ballet in Giselle – Naghdi, Ball and Hayward, Campbell casts

Galleries by Dave Morgan of the Yasmine Naghdi, Matthew Ball and Francesca Hayward, Alexander Campbell casts.

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…

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