March 2019
Warren Craft in Harlequin and Pantalone© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Dorrance Dance – Jungle Blues, Basses Loaded bill – New York

★★★✰✰   Dorrance is a darling of festivals, presenters and audiences, and has recently crossed over into the realm of ballet. But how much crossover and reinvention is too much?

Abigail Prudames as Victoria, Mlindi Kulashe as John Brown with Pippa Moore as older Princess Beatrice and Miki Akuta as younger Beatrice in Victoria.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – Victoria – London

★★★✰✰   Despite these reservations, I am certain that Victoria will repay multiple viewings, since there is much excellent work to consider…

Aaron Robison and Joseph Walsh in Possokhov's "...two united in a single soul...".© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem, Bound To, “…two united in a single soul…” – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Program 5, titled Lyric Voices, welcomed back Trey McIntyre’s Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem and Christopher Wheeldon’s Bound To and the new work came from Yuri Possokhov…

The Thread: Russell Maliphant and Vangelis.© Nikiforos. (Click image for larger version)

Russell Maliphant and Vangelis – The Thread – London

★★★✰✰   Sometimes a meeting of diverse dance styles can illuminate both – at other times, it’s not clear what benefit either has gained from the encounter.

Saburo Teshigawara in The Idiot.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Some dance in London – thoughts on Saburo Teshigawara, Diana Vishneva’s CONTEXT Festival & Introdans

Saburo Teshigawara & Rihoko Sato in ‘The Idiot’ at The Print Room (★★★✰✰), Diana Vishneva’s CONTEXT Festival of Russian contemporary choreography at Sadler’s Wells (★★★✰✰), Introdansm ‘Dutch Masters’ bill at ROH (★★★★✰)

Mark Morris Dance Group in Pepperland.© Mat Hayward. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Pepperland – London

★★★✰✰   Morris has added two performers to the line-up since the Liverpool premiere, which now stands at seventeen dancers, spreading the load for his continual torrent of flowing, elegant, musical choreography.

Yamato.© Masa Ogawa. (Click image for larger version)

Yamato – Passion – London

★★★★✰   The Taiko drumming is pure, tightly co-ordinated rhythmic energy, controlled by the beat and accented by the boom.

Sarah Cecilia and David Calhoun in Another Time.© Matt Haber. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Foehringer Dance Project | SF – Like an Ox on the Roof quad bill – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Foehringer’s ambitious mixed repertory program of three premieres (all with live music) and one restaging revealed a company with deep artistic breadth…

The Yonis.© Alex Gent. (Click image for larger version)

Woman SRSLY – Takeover: Wildlife in Strange Waters – London

★★★✰✰   Woman SRSLY’s feminist energy exploded all over the Place last Thursday. The foyer and bar area were transformed into a colourful pink fun-fair.

Sophie Laplane.© Eve McConnachie. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Sophie Laplane – a Scottish Ballet Artist in Residence – about her new work, Dextera

Sophie Laplane, former company dancer, is now a Scottish Ballet Artist in Residence and her first main stage commission opens the companies 2019 season in Inverness on the 28 March, before touring to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. We catch up with her about the new work and what else she is up to…

José Alves and Cira Robinson in Ingoma by Mthuthuzeli November.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – Pendulum, Click!, Ingoma – London

★★★✰✰   It’s the spring and Ballet Black has just premiered its latest triple bill. It included new works by Sophie Laplane and Mthuthuzeli November, the former engagingly light and the latter movingly heartfelt…

Virgin Territory Film Installation, here at the Brighton Festival.© Bosie Vincent. (Click image for larger version)

Vincent Dance Theatre – Virgin Territory Film Installation – Margate

★★★★✰   Vincent Dance Theatre’s visceral and timely response to how social media is wrecking our children, hypersexualising them and stealing their childhood co-opts the very technology that it warns us about.

Wona Park in Tomasson's The Sleeping Beauty.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The performance was thrilling …because it marked the Aurora debut of soloist Wona Park, whose Kitri debut in the season-opening Don Quixote got loads of buzz. At just 19, she dances with an ease beyond her years…

Annette Page in Cinderella.© Roy Round, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Annette Page: Tribute to a Ballerina

This programme celebrated Annette Page’s career with the Royal Ballet and supported the Motor Neurone Disease Association. She died at the age of 84 of MND, a cruel disease for a former dancer and an articulate, witty woman…

BalletBoyz in Christopher Wheeldon’s Us.© George Piper. (Click image for larger version)

BalletBoyz – Them/Us – London

★★★★✰   There’s lots to savour in this burst of creative expression from the present crop of Boyz.

Abigail Prudames (Victoria) and Pippa Moore (older Princess Beatrice) in Victoria.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – Victoria (Marston premiere) – Leeds

★★★✰✰   Where the ballet takes off is when there are only two or three major characters on stage and then Marston clearly shows intentions and emotions and the dancing becomes rich and telling, clever and gorgeous.

Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu publicity image.© Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu. (Click image for larger version)

Various Artists – D.I.R.T. Festival, storm SURGE edition – San Francisco

★★★★✰   This year’s festival, titled storm SURGE …brought together eight local and visiting artists with connections to coastal and island communities that are on the front line of rising oceans.

Ed Myhill in Revellers' Mass.© Rhys Cozens. (Click image for larger version)

National Dance Company Wales – Awakening: Tundra, Afterimage, Revellers’ Mass – London

★★★✰✰   It’s quite a mixed evening. The standout item is the final piece, Revellers’ Mass by the company’s resident choreographer, Caroline Finn.

Marcelo Gomes & The Sarasota Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton's Apparitions.© Frank Atura. (Click image for larger version)

Sarasota Ballet – Apparitions, Stars and Stripes – Sarasota

★★★★✰   As if an Ashton rarity weren’t reason enough to catch this program, there was also the presence of Marcelo Gomes, former much-admired principal dancer from American Ballet Theatre, to recommend it.

Ultima Vez in Mockumentary of a Contemporary Saviour.© Danny Willems. (Click image for larger version)

Ultima Vez – Mockumentary of a Contemporary Saviour – London

★★✰✰✰   Ultima Vez’s latest show, a devised piece of dance-theatre that tries to explore the nature of faith and religion, …ends up about as awkward and unwieldy as its title.

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