May 2019
Sara Mearns as Titania in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

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

★★★★✰   For Balanchine, Shakespeare’s characters are two-dimensional types, exemplary but wholly unreal. They are shadows in a shadow-play, representing this or that quality…

San Francisco Ballet in Piano Concerto #1.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – San Francisco Ballet in Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy

Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy comprises Symphony #9, Chamber Symphony and Piano Concerto #1. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Cai Glover in 9.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Cas Public – 9 – London

★★✰✰✰   Cas Public’s 9, now at the Linbury Theatre is a curious mix, big ideas but flawed execution.

Rosie Kay Dance Company in 10 Soldiers.© Birmingham Hippodrome. (Click image for larger version)

Rosie Kay Dance Company – 10 Soldiers – Birmingham

★★★★✰   “Ultimately both versions of “Soldiers” have the same impact of sending you home aware of the sacrifice involved and proud of what the military does.”

TAO Dance Theater in 9.© Fan Xi. (Click image for larger version)

TAO Dance Theater – 4 & 9 – London

★★★★✰   There is something verging on the mystical about Tao Ye’s rigorously minimalist dance creations. The Beijing-based choreographer’s Numerical Series has stripped back dance to an almost forensic study…

Alexander Ellison, Daphnée Laurendeau and Cai Glover in 9.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Cas Public in 9

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Pam Tanowitz Dance in the Little Gidding section of Four Quartets.© Maria Baranova. (Click image for larger version)

Pam Tanowitz Dance – Four Quartets (T.S. Eliot) – London

★★★✰✰   Tanowitz is ideally placed to translate poetry into dance. Her vocabulary is effortlessly fluid with clear Cunningham/Graham/Brown influences and yet her own voice is strongly established.

Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside in The Seasons.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Gala with The Seasons premiere + Ratmansky Trio bill – New York

★★★★✰   It’s impossible not to be impressed by the range of these works, from introspective and conversational (Symposium) to brilliantly classical (The Seasons) to dramatic (Dnieper).

The Rite of Spring by Seeta Patel.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Seeta Patel – The Rite of Spring, Dance Dialogues – London

★★★✰✰   Rite of Spring: Through the perspective of a South Asian gaze, the brutality and finality of the original ballet’s pagan sacrifice is tempered by a rich spirituality and the optimistic suggestion of an after-life. It’s still scary but less barbaric.

Sarah Lane and Carlos Gonzalez in Harlequinade.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Harlequinade – New York

★★★★★   To my eye, this Harlequinade may be the most well-rounded of Ratmansky’s historically-minded stagings of Petipa.

Yorke Dance Project in Kenneth MacMillan's Playground.© Pari Naderi. (Click image for larger version)

Yorke Dance Project – Twenty: Playground, Between and Within, Communion, Imprint – London

★★★★✰   By swelling the numbers of her small touring company, Yolande Yorke-Edgell was able to mount a revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s Playground and a 10-strong ensemble for Robert Cohan’s Communion. The programme also included new works by Sophia Stoller and Yorke-Edgell herself.

Lydia Clinton and Cauveri Suresh in Dance Exhibit.© Robbie Sweeny. (Click image for larger version)

Lauren Simpson Dance – Dance Exhibit – San Francisco

★★★★✰   I caught the show on closing night and saw a terrific company debut filled with collaboration, rigor and a connection to the visual art community.

Brooke Ray (Duck) and Tzu-Chai Chou (Bird) in Ruth Brill's Peter and the Wolf.© Andrew Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Seasons in our World, Peter and the Wolf – Cheltenham

★★★✰✰   Bintley feels strongly about tradition (much more so than most other directors) and the commissions are his way of saying what’s important and passing that baton on.

Myles Thatcher on set for Frontiers.© Mihaela Bodlovic. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Myles Thatcher about a different take on ballet and working on Scottish Ballet’s Digital Season

www.instagram.com/mylesthatcher   www.sfballet.org Scottish Ballet’s Digital Season: 16 May – 16 June 2019 Myles Thatcher is a choreographer and dancer with San Francisco Ballet who’s created a stir there, and elsewhere in North…

Rambert in Marion Motin's Rouge.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert – PreSentient, Rouge, In Your Rooms – London

★★★✰✰   The bill is a bold statement of intent – but a little underwhelming in reality.

Zoey Anderson and Katie Garcia in Trey McIntyre's Eight Women.© Yi-Chun Wu. (Click image for larger version)

Parsons Dance – Round My World, Eight Women, Runes, Caught, Nascimento – New York

★★★★✰   I can’t recall ever leaving a theater after seeing a Trey McIntyre work, and not feeling better about things.

Deborah Colker Dance Company in Dog Without Feathers.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Deborah Colker Dance Company in Dog Without Feathers

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Viviana Durante and Mbulelo Ndabeni in 8.38.© David Scheinmann. (Click image for larger version)

Viviana Durante Company – THREE/8.38/SEVEN – London

★★✰✰✰   The show at Wilton’s Music Hall, produced and directed by former ballerina Viviana Durante, was originally billed as The Seven Deadly Sins by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht…

Yang Liping's Rite of Spring.© Li Yijan. (Click image for larger version)

Yang Liping – Rite of Spring – London

★★★✰✰   As with most retellings, Liping’s centres on a young woman destined to dance herself to death. However, the dancemaker has invoked Buddhist principles, including the concept of reincarnation…

Natalia Osipova in Medusa by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Within the Golden Hour, Medusa, Flight Pattern – London

★★★✰✰   A very mixed bill… Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Medusa (★★✰✰✰), Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour (★★★★✰) and Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern (★★★★✰)

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