Author: Graham Watts

Dance Writer/Critic. Member of the Critics' Circle, Chairman of the Dance Section and National Dance Awards Committee. Writes for leading dance magazines & websites - in UK, Europe, USA, Japan & cyberspace. Graham is based in London.

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs. Reviews on Balletco
Kiera Martin, curator of the Where Ye From Wild Card event.© Pari Naderi. (Click image for larger version)

Kiera Martin – Sadler’s Wells Wild Card series: Where Ye From – London

★★★✰✰   It was one of those evenings without an obvious beginning or end…

Carlos Acosta CBE with Dance Section Charirman Graham Watts (left) and Mark Shenton, President of the Critics Circle.© Peter Hogan. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta splendidly summed up as he collects his Critics’ Circle Services to the Arts award

I was at the recent Critics’ Circle lunch when Carlos Acosta won his latest award and was struck by Graham Watts citation – it seemed to splendidly sum up Carlos, both the man and his illustrious career… and why exactly we all admire him. BM, Ed.

Julia Conway - Emerging Dancer Award winner.© ASH. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Emerging Dancer Competition 2019 – London

★★★✰✰   The 2019 winner is London-born Julia Conway and her success was well deserved.

Elly Braund in Inala.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Sisters Grimm – Inala – London

★★★★✰   This third iteration of Inala under the Sadler’s Wells umbrella seems refreshingly new and the abundance of goodwill promised by the Zulu title was all-pervasive.

Clod Ensemble in On The High Road.© Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Clod Ensemble – On The High Road – London

★★★✰✰   This is the stuff of which nightmares are made. A frightful storm from which sundry strangers take refuge to spend the night in an isolated place provides the essence of On The High Road…

The Kids Are Alright pubicity image.© Love Oh Love Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Fuel and Encounter – The Kids Are Alright – London

★★✰✰✰   The main story revolved around bereaved parents who had lost their ten-year old daughter, Sophie, on a daytrip to the Natural History Museum, in London….

Albert Quesada & Zoltán Vakulya in OneTwoThreeOneTwo.© Benjamin Sommabere. (Click image for larger version)

Albert Quesada & Zoltán Vakulya – OneTwoThreeOneTwo – London

★✰✰✰✰   There may have been an intelligent premise to this show but, if there was, it remained inaccessible to me….

Crystal Costa and 5 Voices (Adela Ramirez, Angela Wood, James Forbat, Francisco Bosch and Henry Dowden) in Stina Quagebeur's Nora. © Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – She Persisted: Broken Wings, Nora, Le Sacre du printemps – London

★★★★✰   Grouping this diverse triple bill under the title She Persisted works in so many ways…

Alleyne Dance in A Night’s Game.© Driftnote. (Click image for larger version)

Alleyne Dance – The Other Side of Me, A Night’s Game – London

★★★★✰   Both sisters were competitive athletes before turning to dance and catching a flying chair is just one of many signs of their mutual sporting prowess…

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…

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.

Wim Vanlessen in Boléro.© Filip Van Roe / Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet Flanders – Fall, Chronicle, Boléro – Antwerp

★★★★✰   For a very short while, Wim Vanlessen will enjoy the claim that he has performed for the Royal Ballet Flanders for more than half its existence. The company celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, later this year and Vanlessen joined in 1994. This performance was both a celebration of exceptional long service and a farewell…

Cirque Éloize in Hotel.© Pierre Manning. (Click image for larger version)

Cirque Éloize – Hotel – London

★★✰✰✰   Yes, these are incredibly talented artists, doing exceptional things, but their circus skills were presented within an envelope that needed a lot more theatrical clarity.

Spring by Gandini Juggling and Alexander Whitley.© Lidia Crisafulli. (Click image for larger version)

Gandini Juggling & Alexander Whitley – Spring – London

★★★✰✰   Choreographed juggling is by definition a one-trick pony although in the hands of Gandini Juggling, inspired by the imaginative choreography of Alexander Whitley, the potential of that artform appears limitless.

Marie Gyselbrecht, Leo De Beul and Yi-Chun Liu in Father (Vader).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Peeping Tom – Father (Vader) – London

★★★★✰   The stand-out moments in this show came in dynamic bursts of extraordinary movement in which the form of propulsion seemed to be any part of the body but the feet.

Matthew Ball in Swan Lake.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – London

★★★★✰   Matthew Bourne has reworked his famous “Swan Lake” and it’s now touring. Graham Watts wrestles with iconic and uber definitions in a long look at a much-loved work.

Aris Papadopoulos and Martha Pasakopoulou in touching.just.© Manos Arvanitakis. (Click image for larger version)

Andrea Costanzo Martini and Aris Papadopoulos / Martha Pasakopoulou – Aerowaves 2bill – London

★★★✰✰   After all these years, here is evidence – if any were needed – that the Aerowaves experiment continues to showcase great talent.

Eddie Nixon, Artistic Director of The Place.© Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Eddie Nixon, new Artistic Director of The Place

Eddie Nixon has just been appointed as The Place’s Artistic Director – Graham Watts is first to interview him about his new role and plans…

Isaac Hernandez and Jurgita Dronina in rehearsals for Manon.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Manon – Milton Keynes Theatre

★★★★✰   English National Ballet can once more reflect triumphally on another significant success.

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