★★★★★ Thank you, Royal Ballet, for giving so much pleasure in trying times.
Author - Jann Parry
A long-established dance writer, Jann Parry was dance critic for The Observer from 1983 to 2004 and wrote the award-winning biography of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan: 'Different Drummer', Faber and Faber, 2009. She has written for publications including The Spectator, The Listener, About the House (Royal Opera House magazine), Dance Now, Dance Magazine (USA), Stage Bill (USA) and Dancing Times. As a writer/producer she worked for the BBC World Service from 1970 to 1989, covering current affairs and the arts. As well as producing radio programmes she has contributed to television and radio documentaries about dance and dancers.
★★★★✰ Kevin O'Hare, director of the Royal Ballet, came on stage to welcome the return of a paying audience for what turned out to be the opening and closing live performance of the season...
★★★✰✰ Carlos Acosta, ten months in to his directorship of BRB, has provided it with a mixed bunch of shoots for a fresh start. Their first flowering may have been cut short by the closure of theatres but the company has already shown its resilience, and will do so again...
This three-hour compilation of dance films, interviews and discussions celebrates Akram Khan's burning desire to speak out to a wide audience in the occasion of his company's 20th anniversary.
The entire Royal Ballet were back on stage and performing for a live audience last Friday in a gala style show which was/is also streamed. Jann Parry was mightily impressed with the dancing and repertoire (★★★★★) if not so much with the live audience experience in a Covid aware Opera House (★★★✰✰)
★★★★✰ Despite Covid-19 English National Ballet still ran their unique Emerging Dancer Competition and streamed the night in full to fans. The 2020 winner is Ivana Bueno - "Very evidently a talent to watch", says Jann Parry.
As lockdown eases ballet is getting out of streaming from living rooms and into the big wide world - Jann Parry looks at six happenings/films involving dancers from Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet & The Royal Ballet
★★★✰✰ Although An Evening with Scottish Ballet could have been better presented by the Edinburgh Festival, the programme showcases an enterprising company full of ideas...
★★✰✰✰ Strasbourg 1518 has been lauded as 'head buttingly confrontational' and an original 'dance for today'. It isn't. Familiar Bausch tropes don't really reflect 1518's psychogenic mania, which was communal, or today's experience of isolation, stress and tedium.
New York City Center is streaming some ballet master classes, curated and hosted by Alastair Macaulay, and involving Misty Copeland, Sara Mearns and Tiler Peck. The coaches/guests include Nina Ananiashvili, Merrill Ashley, Alessandra Ferri, Stephanie Saland and Pam Tanowitz.
★★★★★ Choreographers (Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Didy Veldman, Andrew McNicol) and performers are providing us with amazing records of what they can achieve in the strangest of times.
★★★✰✰ Wheeldon has woven a lot of narrative threads into his ballet spectacular.
★★★★★ What we are fortunate to be able to witness in these constrained times is an intimate record of otherwise fleeting performances by exceptional artists.
★★★★✰ The singers had the lions' share of the concert, with just two pas de deux by Royal Ballet couples, Matthew Ball and Mayara Magri, Reece Clarke and Fumi Kaneko.
★★★★✰ 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.
★★★★★ 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.
★★★✰✰ 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.
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"...
★★★✰✰ 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...
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...