February 2020
Katherine Barkman and Andile Ndlovu in Birthday Offering.© Victoria Pickering. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Balanchine + Ashton quad bill – Washington

★★★✰✰   The Washington Ballet new program titled Balanchine + Ashton showcased four works by the two great choreographers, who “forever shaped our art form,” as the company’s artistic director, Julie Kent, put it in her opening remarks.

Alina Cojocaru in Marguerite and Armand publicity image.© Moran Norman. (Click image for larger version)

Alina Cojocaru – Alina at Sadler’s Wells – London

★★★★✰   Alina Cojocaru’s choice of works for her brief season at Sadler’s Wells provided an insight into her priorities as she reflected on her career: live music-making and dance-making that has something to say.

Jennifer Stahl and Luke Ingham in McIntyre's The Big Hunger.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Dance Innovations, Big Hunger (premiere) bill – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   There were parts I adored and elements that didn’t resonate as much.

Viviana Durante in Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Viviana Durante Company, Isadora Now triple bill

Featuring Dance of the Furies, Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan & Unda. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou.

Natasha Gooden in Message in a Bottle.© Helen Maybanks. (Click image for larger version)

Kate Prince and Sting – Message in a Bottle – London

★★★✰✰   The idea of setting a story about a refugee family to the songs of Sting was inevitably an enforced marriage of his diverse lyrics with a narrative for which they were never intended.

Paul Taylor Dance Company in Esplanade.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor Dance Company – Concertiana, Company B, Esplanade – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Paul Taylor Dance Company shone in the two older works on the program, Esplanade and Company B.

Lauren Cuthbertson and Marcelino Sambé in The Cellist.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – The Cellist (premiere), Dances at a Gathering – London

★★★✰✰   In The Cellist, Cathy Marston has taken on a challenging subject for her first commission for the Royal Opera House stage: the real-life story of a much-loved musician Jacqueline Du Pré…

Katja Khaniukova - Winner of the Outstanding Female Classical Performance award for Frida in Broken Wings, English National Ballet.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – UK National Dance Awards 2019

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Shanghai Ballet in Swan Lake.© North America Photography Association. (Click image for larger version)

Shanghai Ballet – Swan Lake – New York

★★★★✰   It’s comforting to know that at even my advanced age I can still be confounded even by hoary old Swan Lake.

Zeleidy Crespo and Carlos Luis Blanco in Juliano Nunes's Mundo Interpretado.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Acosta Danza – Up Close bill – London

★★★✰✰   This was indeed a case of Up Close and personal with five intimate pieces variously dosed with Cuban fire and flair…

Lauren Cuthbertson and Marcelino Sambé in The Cellist.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Cellist and Dances at a Gathering

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Devon Teuscher as Myrta in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – Washington

★★★★✰   I saw two performances; each of them demonstrated why Giselle is still so popular even 180 years after the ballet’s premiere.

Acosta Danza in Juliano Nunes's Mundo Interpretado.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Acosta Danza in Up Close: Mundo Interpretado and Two

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Jean-Guihen Queyras, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Boštjan Antončič in Mitten Wir Im Leben Sind (In the Midst of Life).© Ian Douglas. (Click image for larger version)

Anne Teresa De Keersmaker / Rosas – Mitten Wir in Leben Sind – New York

★★★✰✰   The dance is spare and pedestrian, as is De Keersmaeker’s way, and lasts two hours, without intermission. And yet it’s not really a challenge to experience it all in one sitting.

Russell Maliphant and Dana Fouras in The Space Between.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Russell Maliphant & Dana Fouras in The Space Between (Maliphantworks3)

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

San Francisco Ballet in Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Program 2, Classical Re(Vision) bill – San Francisco

★★★★✰   San Francisco Ballet’s Program 2 was dubbed Classical Re(Vision) – a remembering of and reconnection with choreography in SFB’s existing repertory catalogue.

Dickson Mbi in Enowate.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Dickson Mbi in Enowate

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Russell Maliphant and Dana Fouras in Duet.© Julian Broad. (Click image for larger version)

Russell Maliphant – Maliphantworks3: The Space Between, Film One & Two, Duet – London

★★★★✰   In this magical programme of two duets and two short films, Maliphant is investigating weightlessness – not so much defying gravity as conjuring its non-existence.

Maia Makhateli in Frida.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Frida – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   This was much more than my expectation of an update to Broken Wings. Part prequel, part sequel; it now stands proudly alone as an excellent new addition to the Dutch ballet repertoire.

Trey McIntyre.© Kyle Morck. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Trey McIntyre on creating The Big Hunger for San Francisco Ballet

Trey McIntyre talks to Claudia Bauer about creating “The Big Hunger” for San Francisco Ballet – to some particularly devilish Prokofiev it explores the little and big hungers of life and is premiered this week, on 13 February 2020.

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