★★★★★ "Thank you, Sarasota Ballet, and Michael Trusnovec, licensee of Paul Taylor’s works, for making two of his lovely pieces available to a virtual audience bereft of live performances."
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.
★★✰✰✰ Episode Two of Dancing Nation contains works by Humanhood (Júlia Robert and Rudi Cole), Botis Seva for Far From the Norm, Will Tuckett for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Oona Doherty, Boy Blue and Akram Khan with Natalia Osipova (for which ★★★★★).
★★★★✰ Program 3 features all-British choreographers: Peter Wright, Peter Darrell, Christopher Wheeldon, Matthew Bourne and Kenneth MacMillan. The exception is a solo by American Dominic Walsh, created for his own contemporary dance company. ...Some of the selections are probably unfamiliar to American audiences, as well as to British ballet fans of a younger vintage.
★★★✰✰ Russell Maliphant's 12-minute contribution to English National Ballet's digital season is a mass of contradictions. ...The result is familiar if you know Maliphant's work, but must be mesmerising for viewers who've never seen dancers appear as evanescent as fireflies.
★★★★✰ Yuri Possokhov's contribution to ENB's digital season is based on the novel Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman – a War and Peace about the Soviet Union during World War II
★★★★✰ There's no reason to feel short-changed by the Royal Ballet's Covid-compliant Nutcracker. The magic of Tchaikovsky's music and the beauty of the dancing still enchant spectators of all ages.
★★★★✰ The streamed in-house recording of the premiere on 24 October 2020 features Ida Praetorius as the Sylph, Jon Axel Fransson as James and Kizzy Matiakis as the witch, Madge – her last role with the company.
★★★★★ Thank you, Royal Ballet, for giving so much pleasure in trying times.
★★★★✰ 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.