"Thom Willems" tag
Aidan Gibson and Casey Ouzounis in Neue Suite (Berio 1-2-3).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Semperoper Ballett – In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Neue Suite, Enemy in the Figure – London

★★★✰✰   Semperoper’s dancers distort the classical ballet line more than the Paris Opera Ballet’s (or ENB’s) and don’t bother much with fifth positions or precise épaulement for Forsythe’s endless tendus. They seem contemporary dancers rather than étoiles being outrageous.

English National Ballet in Forsythe's Playlist (Track 1, 2).© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Voices of America bill – works by Forsythe, Robbins & Barton – London

★★★★✰   Altogether, a cunningly judged programme that shows off the company at its most engaging…

Washington Ballet in Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Kylián, Peck, Forsythe – Washington

★★★✰✰   Forsythe’s emblematic In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated was created 30 years ago. Still, the ballet retains its explosive spirit and irresistible urgency, as well as its ability to thrill.

English National Ballet in Pina Bausch's The Rite of Spring.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Pina Bausch, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen bill – London

★★★★★   One cannot help but observe that while the programmes of other companies both hit and miss, in terms of their critical appreciation and popular appeal, ENB is continually raising the bar…

Lorena Feijoo in Possokhov's Optimistic Tragedy.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Seven Sonatas, Optimistic Tragedy (premiere), Pas/Parts 2016 – San Francisco

★★✰✰✰   The trouble with Program 2 is its centerpiece, choreographer-in-residence Yuri Possokhov’s new work ‘Optimistic Tragedy’.

Madeline Skelly and Connor Walsh of Houston Ballet in Forsythe's Artifact Suite.© Amitava Sarkar. (Click image for larger version)

Celebrate Forsythe – Pas/Parts 2016, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Artifact Suite – Los Angeles

★★★★✰   San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet have come together in LA to celebrate William Forsythe probably the most influential ballet choreographer of his generation. Claudia Bauer reports on a fine night…

Andrew Bartee, Scott Fowler, Christoph von Riedemann, Alexis Fletcher, Emily Chessa, Kirsten Wicklund and Brandon Alley in Crystal Pite's Solo Echo.© Michael Slobodian. (Click image for larger version)

International Dance Festival Birmingham 2016 – Ballet BC, Shun Ito/Kei Miyata/EEIH, Motionhouse & free events

★★★✰✰   IDFB is great for Birmingham and I hope those in and around the city filled their boots.

Maria Kochetkova and Francisco Mungamba in Forsythe's Pas/Parts.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – 7 for Eight, Magrittomania, Pas/Parts – San Francisco

★★★★✰ “….that is what is marvelous about Forsythe’s Pas/Parts. Would that more choreographers would offer that kind of brisk and bracing slap in the face.”

San Francisco Ballet School students in the Waltz of the Hours from Balanchine's Coppélia.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Opening Night Gala – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ By way of a défilé, the evening opened with the “Waltz of the Hours” from Balanchine and Danilova’s Coppélia …Soloist Jennifer Stahl led two dozen girls from the SFB School, adorable in cotton-candy tutus.

Yakatarina Verbosovich and Chase Johnsey.© Zoran Jelenic. (Click image for larger version)

Chase Johnsey, Dancer, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Yet again the Trocks had a fabulous critical reception during their Autumn UK tour and mentioned in nearly every review was Chase Johnsey, or in Trocks speak their petite ballerina Yakatarina Verbosovich. So what makes Chase/Yakatarina tick? Time for an interview…

Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang in AP15.© Nika Kramer. (Click image for larger version)

Fall For Dance Festival – Program 2: Lucinda Childs, Semperoper Ballett, Wang Ramirez, Alvin Ailey – New York

“AP15, an award-winning work choreographed and danced by urban dance collaborators Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang, brought the other “wow” factor to Program 2.”

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Nacho Duato's Gnawa.© Todd Rosenberg. (Click image for larger version)

Fall for Dance at the Delacorte Theatre – New York

For the second year in a row, the Fall for Dance Festival began with a pair of performances at the outdoor Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, one of the most enchanting spots in the city.

Zoe White, John O'Gara and Alice Handford in Leanne King's Toots Goes to Charleston.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2014 Tour – London

Of all the school shows I most appreciate the one by Central School of Ballet. Their show, under the name Ballet Central, invariably has the widest range of dance, from ballet to contemporary to musical theatre and more. And importantly they tour it…

Perm Ballet in The Second Detail.© Anton Zavialov. (Click image for larger version)

Perm Ballet – Serenade, Concerto Barocco, The Second Detail – Paris

The Perm Ballet has become a regular fixture in France over the past six years… the company embarks every winter on a countrywide tour akin to a Ballets Russes expedition. This year, they visited 19 different venues…

Lia Cirio and Lasha Khozashvili in Christopher Wheeldon's Polyphonia.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – Polyphonia, Bella Figura, The Second Detail – London

I hope the company return to London, and if they do, I hope they bring some other Forsythe work.

The Forsythe Company in Study #3.© Dominik Mentzos. (Click image for larger version)

The Forsythe Company – N.N.N.N., Study #3 – London

What Merce Cunningham devised as an Event, William Forsythe calls a Study. In both cases, the choreographer has combined selections from his back catalogue to make a ‘new’ work…

Thomas Edwards and Bethany Pike in Mapping #3.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2013 Tour with Bhuller, Marney, Gable and others – London

While I wasn’t wowed by the closer, as I left I couldn’t stop talking about the Bhuller and Gable and wishing to see major companies put them both on in full. That and the usual thought: Another year, another fine night from Ballet Central – well done all.

Agnès Letestu and Hervé Moreau in Woundwork 1.© Anne Deniau / Opéra national de Paris. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – William Forsythe / Trisha Brown bill, Don Quixote – Paris

The middle piece, O Zlozony/O Compsite, is a beautiful work by Trisha Brown, made for the company in 2004. Bizarely it always reminds me of Ashton’s Monotones…

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