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
The 2019 Gala Flamenca.© Juan Conca/David Mudarra. (Click image for larger version)

Mercedes Ruiz, Eduardo Guerrero and María Moreno – Gala Flamenca – London

★★★★★   As the gala’s artistic director, Liñán brought together four great talents (three dancers and a singer), backed up by an outstanding group of musicians…

Rocio Molina in Fallen From Heaven.© Simone Fratini. (Click image for larger version)

Rocío Molina – Fallen From Heaven – London

★★★★✰   Fallen From Heaven (Caido del Cielo) is referenced as the celebration of being a woman, and it is certainly all about one woman.

Tilda Marriage Massey in Ballet Shoes.© Alice Pennefather. (Click image for larger version)

London Children’s Ballet – Ballet Shoes – London

★★★✰✰   The great achievement of LCB is to mount professional productions, complete with full orchestra, without charging parents for the privilege.

Naulaq LeDrew and Avatara Ayuso in No Woman's Land.© Adam Dreeseen. (Click image for larger version)

AVA Dance Company – ORIGINS Festival: No Woman’s Land – London

★★★★✰   Ava Dance Company’s essay on the tribulations of the Inuit people from the northern-most reaches of Canada is appropriately a mix of dance theatre and spoken text…

Sayaka Ichikawa, Mthuthuzeli November, Isabela Coracy and Cira Robison in Cathy Marston’s The Suit.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – The Suit, Ingoma – London

★★★★✰   Merging these two works onto the same bill created a powerful double-header of impressive and arresting dance theatre.

Alina Cojocaru in Cinderella.© Ian Gavan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Cinderella – London

★★★★✰   A spectacular show, full of colour, humour and romance…

Carmela Mayo in Björk Ballet by Arthur Pita.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – The Infinite Ocean, Snowblind, Björk Ballet – London

★★★★✰   Ballet companies across the globe are in a new age of commissioning …but none can match the pioneering zeal of this, the oldest American ballet company.

Antonia Naouele and Ahmed Soura in Kalakuta Republik.© Doune Photo. (Click image for larger version)

Faso Danse Théâtre – Kalakuta Republik – London

★★★✰✰   Without help, which was certainly not forthcoming in the programme, most of the action was a mystery in relation to Kuti and the Kalakuta Republik.

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.

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