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.

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs. Reviews on Balletco
Night of 100 Solos at London's Barbican Theatre.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Merce Cunningham Trust – Night of 100 Solos, Centennial Event – London

★★★★✰   A quote from The Observer’s dance critic, Nigel Gosling, in 1964: ‘Merce Cunningham and his company have burst on the British scene like a bomb …heart-warming proof that here is an art with a future…’

Ivan Putrov in Ashton's Dance of the Blessed Spirits.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Against the Stream – London

★★★★✰   Putov brought together remarkable performers whom we long to see again, and left us wanting more…

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 Gala group photo.© Jack Devant. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 – London

★★★✰✰   The annual Ballet Icons gala, now in its 14th year, aims to promote Russian culture while providing a Sunday evening’s entertainment for Russians in London and ballet-lovers…

Ivan Putrov.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov on his latest night of ballet – Against the Stream

Ivan Putrov’s latest project, Against the Stream, gets its premiere on Sunday 7 April 2019 at the London Coliseum. Jann Parry finds out all about it…

Lauren Cuthbertson and Matthew Ball in Romeo and Juliet.© Helen Maybanks. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Romeo and Juliet – London

★★★✰✰   Somehow, still at the start of the run, the production seems sanitised, nicely ‘English’ in spite of Nicholas Georgiadis’s imposing Italian Renaissance sets and costumes. Different casts yet to come might bring fresh discoveries…

Annette Page in Cinderella.© Roy Round, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Annette Page: Tribute to a Ballerina

This programme celebrated Annette Page’s career with the Royal Ballet and supported the Motor Neurone Disease Association. She died at the age of 84 of MND, a cruel disease for a former dancer and an articulate, witty woman…

Wei Wang in Frankenstein.© Andrej Uspenski, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Frankenstein – London

★★✰✰✰   Could Liam Scarlett’s monstrous Frankenstein be fixed with more, better surgery? Evidently not, in this revival, three years after its creation.

Joshua Hariette and Monique Jonas in Brahms Hungarian.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Detour, Quartermark, Proverb, Brahms Hungarian – London

★★★★✰ Alston’s choreography is formal in that it has structure, style and steps, instead of resorting to running in circles. Its partnering etiquette is courteous rather than abusive.

Marianela Nuñez in Don Quixote.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★★   With Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov… Theirs was a performance that caught up everyone in the sheer pleasure and excitement of spectacular dancing.

The Royal Ballet School in The Cunning Little Vixen.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School & Royal Ballet – The Cunning Little Vixen, The Two Pigeons – London

★★★★✰ – Royal Ballet School in Liam Scarlett’s new Cunning Little Vixen. ★★✰✰✰ – Royal Ballet’s Yasmine Naghdi debut in Two Pigeons.

Akram Khan and Christine Joy Ritter in Until the Lions.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Akram Khan Company – Until the Lions – London

★★★★✰   As an almost abstract dance work Until the Lions is outstanding, a spectacular collaboration between dancers, musicians, designers and technicians.

Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell in Les Patineurs.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams, The Concert – London

★★★★✰   Now that we are all one more Nutcracker nearer death, as weary critic Richard Buckle used to bemoan, the Royal Ballet has given us a wintry bonne bouche of ballets to savour.

Darcey Bussell and Roberto Bolle in Sylvia on Opus Arte video from Amazon.© Opus Arte. (Click image for larger version)

Close up with Darcey Bussell and Ashton’s Sylvia at the Royal Opera House Cinema Festival

To celebrate 10 year of live relays the Royal Opera House is hosting a Cinema Festival of past works in the newly rebuilt Linbury Studio Theatre. Jann Parry was there for the screening of Ashton’s Sylvia (recorded in 2005) and which included Darcey Bussell reminiscing about dancing the lead role…

The Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker.© Tristram Kenton, © 2015 Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★✰   Wright’s ending is the best ever, preserving the assurance of the Grand pas de deux that the future must surely be blissful.

Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang in Dystopian Dream.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Nitin Sawhney / Sébastien Ramirez & Honji Wang — Dystopian Dream – London

★★✰✰✰   According to a programme note by the Wang Ramirez duo, they have turned Sawhney’s album into ‘a fully choreographed show. What will be shown on stage is the result of our interpretation of what has been discussed, researched, felt and exchanged during our meetings.’

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in The Unknown Soldier.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Unknown Soldier (premiere), Infra, Symphony in C – London

★★★✰✰   If The Unknown Soldier is dispiritingly low-key, Wayne McGregor’s Infra remains assertively bold…

Mark Morris Dance Group / Silkroad Ensemble: Layla and Majnun.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group / Silkroad Ensemble – Layla and Majnun – London

★★★✰✰   Mark Morris’s Layla and Majnun is a music concert with dancing, lamenting a love that cannot be. It’s an age-old story, spread across continents and centuries.

Mayara Magri makes her debut as Gamzatti in La Bayadere on 14th November 2018.© and courtesy The Royal Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Mayara Magri, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet

Jann Parry talks to the recently promoted Mayara Magri at an important time – she is about to make her debut as Gamzatti in The Royal Ballet’s production of La Bayadere – her first major and leading role in the company she joined 6 years ago…

Natalia Osipova and Vadim Muntagirov in La Bayadère.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Bayadère – London

★★★★✰   In the past, the Royal Ballet’s version, last performed five years ago, has sometimes seemed insubstantial. Not so this time, with a luxury cast in full dramatic mode: Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nuñez, Natalia Osipova and Gary Avis…

Delia Mathews and artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet in Ignite.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Fire and Fury: The King Dances, Ignite – London

★★★✰✰   David Bintley, who steps down as director of Birmingham Royal Ballet at the end of the 2018/2019 season, describes the current double bill as ‘two ballets fuelled by power and politics’.

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