"Vivaldi" tag
Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin de Luz in Ratmansky's Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Square Dance, Tarantella, Odessa, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – Washington

★★★★★   Alexei Ratmansky’s Odessa left me breathless. The dancing (I saw both casts) was phenomenal on all levels: assured, expressive, and thoroughly dramatic.

Kizzy Matiakis (Merteuil), Jon Axel Fransson (Valmont) and Andreas Kaas (Danceny) in Dangerous Liaisons.© Costin Radu. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Dangerous Liaisons (premiere) – Copenhagen

★★★★✰   …I was again struck by just how effortlessly a story can be communicated and emotions laid bare by ballet – it was a triumph.

Still from NYCB's promotional video for Justin Peck's The Decalogue.© NYCB. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – HERE/NOW Festival No. 6 & 8 including Peck’s The Decalogue (premiere) – New York

★★★✰✰   With his latest, The Decalogue, which opened on May 12, Justin Peck seems to have turned a new page…

Gandini Juggling in Smashed: Special Edition.© Kristy Meijers. (Click image for larger version)

Gandini Juggling – Smashed: Special Edition – London

★★★★✰   Bausch with added balls.

Kerala Kalamandalam in Dussasana Vadhom.© Kevin Yatarola. (Click image for larger version)

Sounds of India Festival – Mark Morris Dance Group & Kerala Kalamandalam – New York

★★★★✰   This year’s White Light Festival, at Lincoln Center, has spawned a mini-festival of its own, Sounds of India, curated by the modern-dance choreographer Mark Morris. Why Morris? Because he has been going to India since the eighties…

Edd Mitton, Amy Thake and Ben Warbis in Kenneth MacMillan's Sea of Troubles.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Yorke Dance Project – Rewind Forward: Sea of Troubles, Self, Twilight, Lacrymosa, Untethered – London

★★★✰✰   Yorke Dance Project is unusual, among small modern dance companies, in its respect for musicality and for the demands it makes for skilled partnering.

Arianna Maldini and pianist Jonathan Higgins in Mistake Waltz.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2016 – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet School in particular includes something very special in their show – the closing Grand Defile, which always brings a lump to the throat and a feeling of pride.

Gary Avis and Francesca Hayward in The Invitation.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Obsidian Tear (premiere), The Invitation, Within the Golden Hour – London

★★★★✰   The range of roles shows the Royal Ballet dancers, up-and-coming soloist, established principals and character artists, at their very best.

National Youth Dance Company in Michael Keegan-Dolan's In – Nocentes.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

National Youth Dance Company –   In- Nocentes   – London

★★★★✰   They say that the best cooks take the ingredients and do the least to them to create a magnificent meal, and that’s what Michael Keegan-Dolan has done…

Jerome Tisserand and Lesley Rausch in Stravinsky Violin Concerto.© Lindsay Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Pacific Northwest Ballet – Square Dance, Prodigal Son, Stravinsky Violin Concerto – New York

★★★★✰ Clarity of execution is a hallmark of this Seattle-based company, which has been led since 2005 by the former New York City Ballet star, Peter Boal.

Daniil Simkin in Alexander Ekman's Simkin and the Stage.© Yi-Chun Wu. (Click image for larger version)

Daniil Simkin – INTENSIO – New York

Just before intermission Simkin included two film-and-performance works by Alexander Ekman. Simkin and the City, which went viral with the Internet-savvy dance crowd a couple of years ago, always gets a good chuckle.

Cannes Dance Festival – Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse: The Beast and Beauty, Lyon Opera Ballet: Kylian bill – Cannes

For the festival Brigitte Lefèvre chose an eclectic mixture of popular and audacious programmes from twelve different companies – mainly regional French companies… some smaller independent groups and international companies from Korea, Argentina and Spain.

Filip Michalak and Beata Giza in Body Master.© K Mystkowski. (Click image for larger version)

Baltic Dance Theatre – Fun, Death and the Maiden, Body Master – Warsaw

Unlike Kylián, Weiss generally works from an overt storyline and her own libretto for Body Master is loosely based on the life of Gordon Craig, the English pioneer of modernist theatre…

Ruth Brill's Matryoshka at its Symphony Hall premiere.© BRB.

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Quatrain, Matryoshka, Beauty and the Beast pdd, Swan Lake pdq, Facade – High Wycombe

Ruth Brill’s Matryoshka showed a lot of sense and maturity I thought – she clearly thinks about entertaining the audience.

DNB Junior Company in Blink by Juanjo Arques.© Michel Schnater. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet, Junior Company – 2015 Tour – London

The programme stretches and shows off the young graduates to good advantage in a well-chosen assortment.

Adrienne Canterna as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Rasta Thomas’ Dance Company – Romeo and Juliet – London

Canterna’s Romeo and Juliet is certainly different; and it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but – some quibbles aside – I enjoyed the energy and the entertainment.

New York City Ballet in Harlequinade.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Square Dance, Harlequinade – New York

If Harlequinade is somewhat less than the sum of its parts, Square Dance (1957), which preceded it on the program, never fails to lift the heart.

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.”

Eve Mutso & Daniel Kirspuu in Mutso’s elEven.© Merlin Bonning. (Click image for larger version)

VTDance & Scottish Ballet Dance Artists – iWitness & Special Edition – Edinburgh

One of the most interesting things about Scottish Ballet’s changing double bill …is the way it subtly changes the atmosphere of the show as a whole, re-contextualising the first piece, iWitness

Isaac Mizrahi designs for Acis and Galatea.© Isaac Mizrahi. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Acis and Galatea – New York

As he has shown again and again, the choreographer Mark Morris has a way with Baroque music. He clearly adores it…

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