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
Everyone Keeps Me by Pam Tanowitz: Fumi Kaneko, Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Hannah Grennell and Beatriz Stix-Brunell.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Merce Cunningham celebration: Cross Currents, Monotones II, Everyone Keeps Me – London

★★★★★   Quite some achievement by Pam Tanowitz, to have followed treasured works by Cunningham and Ashton with one that pays homage to both, yet stands on its own as her distinctive tapestry of dance.

Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov in Manon.© Alice Pennefather, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Manon – London

★★★★✰   Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov, as Des Grieux, are not new to the roles and their understanding of the characters and the choreography has deepened with experience.

Ballet Preljocaj in La Fresque.© Jean-Claude Carbonne. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Preljocaj – La Fresque – London

★★★✰✰   The key to La Fresque (The Wall Painting) is that it was originally commissioned in France as a piece to be seen by young people. Choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj, it’s based on a 14th century Chinese fable…

Sonia Sabri in Spill.© Simon Richardson. (Click image for larger version)

Gauri Sharma Tripathi, Sonia Sabri and Mayuri Boonham – Descendants bill – London

★★★★✰   As in all three pieces, these female artists and choreographers are formidable figures, descendants of dance pioneers from the Indian sub-continent.

Astana Ballet in The Heritage of the Great Steppe.© Askhat Nurekin. (Click image for larger version)

Astana Ballet – Love Fear Loss, A Fuego Lento, Heritage of the Great Steppe, Salomé – London

★★★✰✰   The extremely good-looking company members are well-trained, versatile dancers…

Margarita Shrainer and Igor Tsvirko in Don Quixote (rehearsal).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★✰   The reason the Bolshoi’s Don Quixote is so enjoyable is the gusto with which it is performed. It doesn’t aim to be remotely authentically Spanish or even respectful of the original 1869 version…

Daria Khokhlova & Igor Tsvirko in The Bright Stream (rehearsal).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Bright Stream – London

★★★★★   A wildly surreal comic turn involves a dog riding a bicycle, both cunningly choreographed. He’s actually a tractor driver in disguise, disrupting sexual assignations.

Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin in Swan Lake.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Swan Lake – London

★★★✰✰   A 3 star production with 4 star performances…

Bolshoi Ballet in Spartacus.© Elena Fetisova. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Spartacus – London

★★★★✰   The messages of Grigorovich’s Spartacus may have changed over the half-century since its creation but new generations revel in its theatricality – and the bolshoi power of its performers.

The Dancing Under The Southern Skies book cover, featuring Leanne Benjamin, in a photo © Jason Bell.© Australian Scholarly Publishing. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Dancing Under The Southern Skies: A History of Ballet in Australia – by Valerie Lawson

Although Valerie Lawson’s context is wide-ranging, she brings individuals into focus with personal details, shining a spotlight onto their roles in Australian dance history. Lavishly illustrated with photographs from Australian archives, her book gives vivid life to long-gone personalities.

Royal Ballet School in David Bintley's Flowers of the Forest.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Summer Show, ROH Main Stage – London

★★★★✰   The choice of works emphasised ensembles more than individuals. It was interesting to see large numbers of young men dancing together, as well as a more usual female corps de ballet.

Olga Smirnova in Swan Lake.© Damir Yusupov. (Click image for larger version)

The Bolshoi Ballet in London, Summer 2019 – All you need to know (and more!)

The Bolshoi Ballet are in London this summer with Spartacus, Swan Lake, The Bright Stream and Don Quixote. One of the world’s greatest companies, here are Jann Parry’s thoughts on an important visit…

Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh in Sadir: Dancing for Rajahs, Nawabs and the Officers of the Raj.© Courtesy Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh. (Click image for larger version)

Akademi, Sama Art and Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh – Sadir Āttam – Cambridge

★★★★✰   The subtitle for the night was “Sadir: Dancing for Rajahs, Nawabs and the Officers of the Raj”. Sadir dance is a controversial precursor to Bharatanatyam, the classical dance style of South Asia…

Yorke Dance Project in Kenneth MacMillan's Playground.© Pari Naderi. (Click image for larger version)

Yorke Dance Project – Twenty: Playground, Between and Within, Communion, Imprint – London

★★★★✰   By swelling the numbers of her small touring company, Yolande Yorke-Edgell was able to mount a revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s Playground and a 10-strong ensemble for Robert Cohan’s Communion. The programme also included new works by Sophia Stoller and Yorke-Edgell herself.

Viviana Durante and Mbulelo Ndabeni in 8.38.© David Scheinmann. (Click image for larger version)

Viviana Durante Company – THREE/8.38/SEVEN – London

★★✰✰✰   The show at Wilton’s Music Hall, produced and directed by former ballerina Viviana Durante, was originally billed as The Seven Deadly Sins by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht…

Natalia Osipova in Medusa by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Within the Golden Hour, Medusa, Flight Pattern – London

★★★✰✰   A very mixed bill… Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Medusa (★★✰✰✰), Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour (★★★★✰) and Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern (★★★★✰)

Yolande Yorke-Edgell.© Pari Naderi. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Yolande Yorke-Edgell of Yorke Dance Project on celebrating their 20th anniversary

Yorke Dance Project are celebrating their 20th anniversary with TWENTY – a bill of new works by Robert Cohan, Sophia Stoller and Yorke-Edgell coupled to the first ever restaging of Kenneth MacMillan’s Playground. We talk to director Yolande Yorke-Edgell…

Jasper Conran.(Click image for larger version)

Jasper Conran, designer, on working in ballet with David Bintley and now Christopher Wheeldon

Jasper Conran is producing new designs for Christopher Wheeldon’s “Within the Golden Hour”, to be premiered by the Royal Ballet on the 8 May 2019. Jann Parry talks to Conran about the designs and his earlier and extensive work for David Bintley at Birmingham Royal Ballet…

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…

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