"The Sleeping Beauty" tag
Melissa Hamilton.© Andrej Uspenski. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Melissa Hamilton, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet

“I knew that I had to seize my only chance to have a ballet career. Masha Mukhamedov agreed to teach me privately six days a week for ten months…”

Dancers from Evgeny Panfilov Ballet Theatre with Vladimir Vasiliev at the end of the contemporary second half of the gala.© Nikita Chuntomov. (Click image for larger version)

Ekaterina Maximova Arabesque Ballet Competition Gala in Honour of Marius Petipa and Lev Tolstoy – Perm

The occasion was the 15th anniversary of the Ekaterina Maximova Arabesque Ballet Competition named, since 2012, after the late and much-loved Bolshoi ballerina, and organised by her husband, Vladimir Vasiliev…

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.

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.

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…

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's The Sleeping Beauty.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – San Francisco

★★✰✰✰   The efforts of San Francisco Ballet’s artists are sadly misplaced in this largely joyless and wholly unsatisfying rendition of The Sleeping Beauty.

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…

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…

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…

Anastasia Soboleva and Victor Lebedev in Cinderella.© Stas Levshin. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhailovsky Ballet – Cinderella – St. Petersburg

★★★★★   It seems appropriate that I’ve travelled to Russia to find a Cinderella interpreter of movement and spectacle to match up to the genius of Prokofiev’s music.

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.

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.

Stella Abrera and David Hallberg in Whipped Cream.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Whipped Cream – New York

★★★★✰   Alexei Ratmansky’s new ballet for ABT, Whipped Cream, is like a Viennese confection: so layered and airy that it takes a moment to fully take in the flavor of its many ingredients.

Catherine Turocy, director New York Baroque Dance Company.© Courtesy New York Baroque Dance Company. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Catherine Turocy, artistic director of New York Baroque Dance Company

Meticulous reconstructions of Petipa, Cunningham, Graham, Taylor works are performance staples these days. Much rarer is a reconstruction like “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory) a 1745 political opera-ballet with music by Jean-Philippe Rameau and a libretto by the philosopher Voltaire….

Ivan Vassiliev and Kristina Kretova in Sceherazade.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – In the steps of the Ballets Russes – London

★★★★✰   The long gala (three and a half hours with one interval) was well organised, with no speeches and no protracted curtain calls.

Atlanta Ballet in 2014 feted its artistic director emeritus with a gala ball. Kelsey Ebersold, an apprentice with Atlanta Ballet at the time, is pictured along with Robert Barnett in costume for Barnett's Fascinatin' Rhythm.© Charlie McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Robert Barnett, former New York City Ballet dancer and longtime Artistic Director of Atlanta Ballet

Robert Barnett joined New York City Ballet in 1949. In those early years he worked closely with Balanchine and Robbins particularly before going on to direct Atlanta Ballet. Now 91 he is still actively involved in dance and passing on all he knows…

Simone Messmer and Miami City Ballet dancers in The Fairy’s Kiss. Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Miami City Ballet – The Fairy’s Kiss, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Polyphonia – Miami

★★★★✰   The Fairy’s Kiss (Ratmansky premiere): The final image is poetic, grand, inspiring. It takes one’s breath away.

Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin in La Belle.© Alice Blangero. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets de Monte Carlo – La Belle – Monte-Carlo

★★★★✰   Maillot has succeeded in giving perhaps the most authentic retelling of Perrault’s story in dance with his tale of love overcoming the darkest evil…

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