December 2018
Rosas in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s The Six Brandenburg Concertos.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Some Memorable Performances of 2018 – New York

Other years have been more exciting, I think, but this one has had its share of remarkable performances, including a few thrilling ones. Here, in no particular order, are the ones that really stood out, for one reason or another.

Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell in Les Patineurs.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams, The Concert – London

★★★★✰   Now that we are all one more Nutcracker nearer death, as weary critic Richard Buckle used to bemoan, the Royal Ballet has given us a wintry bonne bouche of ballets to savour.

Thomas Bieszka in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2018 – London

Semperoper Ballett Dresden were another new visitor in the summer, with a programme of Forsythe works, some not seen here before. But Forsythe is a theme this year in himself.

Christopher Saunders in Winter Dreams.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams and The Concert

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Momoko Hirata and César Morales in The Nutcracker.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Autumn delights: La fille mal gardée & The Nutcracker – London & Birmingham

★★★★✰   I look forward to the changes inevitably coming to BRB, but I can’t believe any new director will turn their back on such repertoire gems as La fille mal gardee and their Peter Wright Nutcracker.

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

San Francisco Ballet – Nutcracker – San Francisco

★★★★✰   I’m a Nutcracker fan. And I’m a fan of San Francisco Ballet’s current production, choreographed in 2004 by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson…

Scottish Ballet in Cinderella.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Cinderella – Edinburgh

★★★★✰   The cast I saw at the first performance of this year’s Christmas touring season were the best (Ugly) Step-Sisters I’ve ever seen – take a bow Constance Devernay and Aisling Brangan.

Tenzin Niles and Ines Gout in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – The Nucracker – New York

★★★✰✰   Come hell or high water, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker will return to New York City Ballet, filling the theatre night after night. Balanchine made a ballet built to last, and it has not disappointed.

Forced Entertainment's That Night Follows Day.© Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Forced Entertainment – That Night Follows Day – London

★★★★✰   Performed by a cast of seventeen children ranging from ages 5 – 15, Forced Entertainment’s delightfully humorous and poignant work reveals how adults shape children through their projection of values and beliefs.

Company XIV in Nutcracker Rouge.© Mark Shelby Perry. (Click image for larger version)

Company XIV – Nutcracker Rouge – New York

★★★★✰   Austin McCormick’s Company XIV continues to maintain the highest bar in balletic, baroque burlesque.

Matthew Ball in Swan Lake.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – London

★★★★✰   Matthew Bourne has reworked his famous “Swan Lake” and it’s now touring. Graham Watts wrestles with iconic and uber definitions in a long look at a much-loved work.

Fabian Reimair in Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Nutcracker

With Rina Kanehara and Jeffrey Cirio in the lead roles. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Darcey Bussell and Roberto Bolle in Sylvia on Opus Arte video from Amazon.© Opus Arte. (Click image for larger version)

Close up with Darcey Bussell and Ashton’s Sylvia at the Royal Opera House Cinema Festival

To celebrate 10 year of live relays the Royal Opera House is hosting a Cinema Festival of past works in the newly rebuilt Linbury Studio Theatre. Jann Parry was there for the screening of Ashton’s Sylvia (recorded in 2005) and which included Darcey Bussell reminiscing about dancing the lead role…

Luke Brown Dance in the For You I Long the Longest bill.© Luke Brown Dance. (Click image for larger version)

Luke Brown Dance – For You I Long the Longest: Second Self, Princess – London

★★★★✰   Luke Brown Dance’s For You I Long the Longest is an intense and intimate work that needs to be experienced in a small, contained theatre.

The Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker.© Tristram Kenton, © 2015 Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★✰   Wright’s ending is the best ever, preserving the assurance of the Grand pas de deux that the future must surely be blissful.

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani in Noetic.© Mats Backer. (Click image for larger version)

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Antony Gormley – Noetic – London

★★★★✰   Noetic was created in 2014 for the company by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui working with his frequent collaborator sculptor Antony Gormley.

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Antony Gormley's Icon.© Mats Backer. (Click image for larger version)

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Antony Gormley – Icon – London

★★★★✰   Sidi Larbi Cherkaouis’s work is full of surprises. Icon, first premiered in 2016 is another fruitful collaboration between Anthony Gormley and Cherkaoui in which clay moulds both the theme and the dancers.

AAADT in Rennie Harris' Lazarus.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Lazarus, Revelations – New York

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Lazarus, Revelations ★★★★✰ New York, City Center 30 November 2018 www.alvinailey.org www.nycitycenter.org Forward to Ailey In March of 1958, Alvin Ailey presented his first evening of dance, at…

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