March 2019
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.

Chihiro Kawasaki and Rhys Dennis in Within Her Eyes.© Camilla Greenwell. (Click image for larger version)

James Cousins Company – Epilogues bill of duets – London

★★★★✰   Cousins and company both surprise and stir us.

ODC/Dance in World's on Fire.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

ODC/Dance – World’s on Fire (premiere) – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The music was striking. And ODC’s company dancers shone. Though as an overall experience, I would describe Fire as mixed.

Wei Wang in Frankenstein.© Andrej Uspenski, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Frankenstein – London

★★✰✰✰   Could Liam Scarlett’s monstrous Frankenstein be fixed with more, better surgery? Evidently not, in this revival, three years after its creation.

Cathy Marston.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Cathy Marston on her new work for Northern Ballet, Victoria, the creative process and more…

Marston has been working at Northern Ballet creating Victoria for the company (premiere this month) and we wanted to find out more, also catch up on other commissions and discuss just how she works creatively and manages to juggle it all so effortlessly…

Washington Ballet in the The Sleeping Beauty.© XMB Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – Washington

★★★★✰   When Kent took the helm of Washington Ballet …one of her goals was to raise the standard of classical technique and shape the company into a world-class ballet institution. Judging by this production, she is on the right track.

Elizabeth Kurtzman.© Elizabeth Kurtzman. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Pepperland designer Elizabeth Kurtzman about collaborating with Mark Morris

With Pepperland about to tour the UK for 6 weeks we talk to designer Elizabeth Kurtzman about her striking costumes and what it’s like working with Mark Morris…

Joshua Hariette and Monique Jonas in Brahms Hungarian.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Detour, Quartermark, Proverb, Brahms Hungarian – London

★★★★✰ Alston’s choreography is formal in that it has structure, style and steps, instead of resorting to running in circles. Its partnering etiquette is courteous rather than abusive.

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

New York City Ballet – Prodigal Son, Liebeslieder Walzer – New York

★★★✰✰   Liebeslieder Walzer is one of the most precious of all Balanchine’s ballets; within its fifty-minute span it seems to contain a world of emotion, both profound and infinitely civilized.

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