June 2012
Norma Fong and Brendan Barthel of Robert Moses' Kin (work unamed). © RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Robert Moses’ KIN Dance Company – ODC and Novellus Theater bills – San Francisco

In a world where choreographers with their own eponymous companies prevail, I am happy to see that Moses sees the value of feeding his dancers a diverse diet of artistic experiences, definitely a situation where everyone wins, audience included.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in ...como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si... © Ursula Kaufmann. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – …como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si… – London

I have had some of the best dreams ever while wide awake and watching Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. The company conjures imagery that no conscious mind seems capable of assembling.

Teresa Reichlen as Titania, with Bottom (Henry Seth) in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night’s Dream. © Paul Kolnik.

New York City Ballet – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – New York

In the second act, storytelling gives way to pure dance, the highpoint of which is one of the most delicate, poetic pas de deux ever made – an allegory of love, danced by an unidentified couple. It is a Balanchinean vision of absolute trust and partnership…

Anna Wehsarg, Pablo Aran Gimeno, Regina Advento in Nur Du. © Bettina Stob. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Nur Du (Only You), part of World Cities 2012 – London

With every Bausch work some of the images and sketches stick in the mind and linger as the particular flavour of the piece, and these will vary for every audience member. For me, it was how tough it is being a woman in Nur Du.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Viktor, part of World Cities 2012 – London

…the 30-strong company, which has one of the widest ranges in dancer age I’ve seen, is sensational to watch… For these cameos, and others, I’m glad I caught up with Viktor, but once is enough for a good while.

Alison McWhinney and Leroy Dias dos Santos (and Nathan 'Neo' Gordon) in Against Time. © Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Flawless and English National Ballet in Against Time

27 Pictures by Dave Morgan.

Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes in Onegin. © Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Onegin – New York

And yet, even on its own terms, it leaves one wanting, despite the performances of two excellent casts… And it does not blossom with repeated viewing. Much to the contrary. What are its short-comings? First, the music…

Marianela Nunez and Nehemiah Kish in The Prince of the Pagodas. © Johan Persson, courtesy of ROH. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Prince of the Pagodas – London

Barry Wordsworth conducted the trimmed and re-ordered score as though it were great ballet music. If only.

Flawless and English National Ballet publicity image. © Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

Flawless and English National Ballet – Against Time – London

This is a show that you can bitch about at length – so much seems wrong. And yet I came out without a long face and was rather thrilled to have been part of a very different audience, many high as kites, screaming at every opportunity…

Eleanor Duval and Rick Bland in Made in Heaven. © Stephen Berkeley White. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Bruce Company – Made in Heaven – London

My goodness what a fabulously surreal and wonderful night Made in Heaven proved. Like a vivid dream you recall snatches of a mad roller-coaster ride where the whole is totally unfathomable as any kind of coherent story or message about life, the universe, or anything…

Sarah Lamb & Federico Bonelli in Prine of the Pagodas. © Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Prince of the Pagodas

A gallery of 36 images by Dave Morgan.

Gurpreet Sing and Sheena Patel in Wah! Wah! Girls. © Steve Tanner. (Click image for larger version)

Wah! Wah! Girls – London

I have a feeling that there may be a musical in here good enough to match the strength of the comedy and set design; if the level of the bar of song and dance can be raised to make a better impact against this over-bearing story.

Noe Soulier. © Benedict Johnson. (Click image for larger version)

Noe Soulier / Frauke Requardt & Freddie Opoku-Addaie – Mixed Bill – London

Soulier has created two thoughtful and captivating dance works from the ingenious simplicity of systematically cataloguing the building blocks of ballet and then having some deconstructive fun by shifting these basic elements around.

Finale tableau with Marianela Nunez and Nehemiah Kish split by Alexander Campbell. © Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet Revival of Prince of the Pagodas – Opening Night Curtain Calls

27 Pictures by Dave Morgan.

La Tania in Despertar es Un Color. © Christine Fu. (Click image for larger version)

La Tania Baile Flamenco – Esencia and Despertar es un Color – San Francisco

La Tania is the only flamenco dancer I have seen that effects me as intensely as does the brilliant Eva Yerbabuena. Ultimately, the most important point, as with any art form, is whether you are moved. And I am, very deeply, by this truly gifted performer.

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