June 2020
Carlos Acosta.© Man Yee Lee. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta in Lockdown

Carlos Acosta chats to Graham Watts about how things are going after his first few months at the artistic helm of Birmingham Royal Ballet & the impact that Covid-19 has had on his plans…

Tamara Rojo in Song of the Earth.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth – streamed archive recording of 2017 performance

★★★★✰   The recording reveals how unusual the choreography is, as it was in 1965… Dancers in pointe shoes have to adapt to flexed feet, flat-footed parallel positions, torsos bent forward, elbows and wrists held at angles.

Christopher Harrison & Constant Vigier in Christopher Hampson’s The Rite of Spring.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Rite of Spring & The Fairy’s Kiss – streamed archive recordings of 2017 performance

With one common factor, music by Igor Stravinsky, Scottish Ballet (SB) deliver two excellent and very contrasting performances which were filmed at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh in 2017.

Vadim Muntagirov in rehearsal for Dance of the Blessed Spirits.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: Second Concert (20 June)

★★★★★   Though the concert was a treat, could the Royal Opera House please try raising our spirits in future streamings, and give the Royal Ballet the prominence it deserves.

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in La Fille mal gardée.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Fille mal gardée – streamed archive recording of 2005 performance

★★★★★   If you want an antidote to any miserable lockdown mood, La Fille mal gardée cannot fail to lift your spirits and allow you to marvel at some really first-rate dancing.

Dance Theatre of Harlem in Creole Giselle.© Dance Theatre of Harlem. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Theatre of Harlem – Creole Giselle – streamed archive recording of 1987 performance

★★★✰✰   Giselle was the first full-length classical ballet that Arthur Mitchell’s company of black American dancers would perform. He thought there would be no point in their pretending to be Rhineland peasants, so decided to set the 19th century ballet in pre-Civil War Louisiana.

Vadim Muntagirov.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Vadim Muntagirov on life under lockdown and dancing at the ROH again, to be seen this Saturday

The Royal Ballet’s Vadim Muntagirov talks about making the most of lockdown and getting ready to dance again for the Royal Opera House’s Live from Covent Garden transmission on Saturday night (20 June 2020), where he is dancing Ashton’s seldom-seen “Dance of the Blessed Spirits”…

Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales in Morgen.© Lara Cappelli, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: First Concert

★★★✰✰   The first concert was not much of a consolation for all that we have lost. So far, the Royal Ballet appears a token add-on to the opera’s contributions…

Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia in And Still You Must Swing.© AK47 Division. (Click image for larger version)

Dormeshia – And Still You Must Swing – streamed recording

★★★★★   Dormeshia’s And Still You Must Swing is the first online dance that made me want to write about it. I knew it would be good…

Marianela Núñez.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Marianela Núñez on one of her fav ballets, La Fille mal gardée, and life under lockdown

Marianela Núñez talks about one of her favourite ballets, “La Fille mal gardée”, and life under lockdown, which for Marianela has been in Argentina. “La Fille mal gardee”, one of the most loved works in the Royal Ballet repertoire, streams this Friday, 12 June, from 19:00 BST

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

Royal Ballet – The Cellist – streamed recording

★★★★✰   Cathy Marston has achieved much in bringing the life of Jacqueline du Pré to the ballet stage and perhaps one of the things that becomes even clearer with repeated viewings, is that the music and the dance are inextricably linked.

Wolfgang Stange and Amici Dance Theatre Company in the studio.© Turtle Key Arts. (Click image for larger version)

Amici Dance Theatre’s 40th Anniversary during lock-down

The six films in the 40th anniversary celebration provide tantalising glimpses of Amici’s considerable back catalogue, which includes short works as well as major productions…

BBC flyer for Men at the Barre: Inside the Royal Ballet.© BBC. (Click image for larger version)

Men at the Barre: Inside the Royal Ballet – BBC documentary

“If you missed ‘Men at the Barre – Inside the Royal Ballet’: a look behind the scenes at the male ballet dancers in the company, then do take the time to catch up on BBC iPlayer.”

Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernández in Swan Lake.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Swan Lake – streamed archive recording of 2018 performance

★★★✰✰   I do wonder why ENB chose this particular (acceptable but sometimes subdued) recording to stream, when we are all suffering from live performance withdrawal symptoms and this company so often produces spectacular performances, sending audiences away in raptures.

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