Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru said farewell to the Royal Ballet in Mayerling. Jann Parry was there for an emotional night, flower throw and standing ovation...
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.
A lasting impression of the performance was, as ever, the range of Cunningham’s vocabulary, from shape-making to intricate steps, leaps, spins and lifts, constantly surprising.
It’s a virtuoso accomplishment by all the collaborators. ...But Stravinsky’s score in this melodramatic recording, conducted by Kent Nagano, is too huge for a single figure.
At this stage, Raven Girl seems a work in transition. Its longueurs need tightening, an inexplicable ‘19th century couple’excised, solos for important characters expanded, and more light thrown on the goings-on.
Watson’s Rudolf is at the end of his tether: sex is a drug, suicide his only release. ...This formidable cast will be seen in a live cinema screening from the Royal Opera House on 13 June.
Rojo has declared that her ambition as artistic director of ENB is to make audiences hold their breath. I certainly did during Le Jeune Homme et la Mort...
The result is oddly old-fashioned - even more so than John Cranko’s version, which the Canadians had performed since 1964.
Well, the set is spectacular, by the ever-resourceful Steven Scott. Perhaps Igor Zelensky and Sergei Polunin had simply seen stills of Peter Schaufuss’s Midnight Express when they agreed to appear in the ballet.
Rawsthorne was painted by André Derain and Pablo Picasso, and later by Francis Bacon. She was the inspiration for Alberto Giacometti’s etiolated sculptures of walking figures...
When the Mikhailovsky Ballet first brought this production to London in 2010, Laurencia seemed a creakily old-fashioned Soviet drambalet. Now, with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev as the leads, it sparkles with fun, melodrama and commitment...
Osipova is tireless, impelled by a supernatural force until she fades away in a spine-tingling ending, a spirit no longer. Osipova’s Giselle has given every last atom of herself to Albrecht and to us, her witnesses.
Though this year it was Nijinsky’s turn to be reclaimed as a Russian icon, the contents of the gala had little to do with him. Very probably the choice of items – mainly pas de deux - depended on which dancers were available to perform whatever was in their repertoire.
This triple bill, with two world premieres, shows how ably choreographers 85 years apart can refresh the language of classical ballet without distorting it beyond recognition.
Jann Parry reports on a recent workshop seminar where 4 lighting and set designers talked about what they do...
Working backwards from the title song that ends Two Cigarettes in the Dark, it’s possible to discern a theme in Pina Bausch’s 1985 piece...
Essakow has continued to evolve as a choreographer, thanks to his association with The Print Room. Its high standards of presentation attract first-rate collaborators and performers, and by including spoken and projected words, Flow attracts non-dance-specialist audiences.
Alston’s response to music is scrupulous, but Kondo’s percussive clatters, not dissimilar to John Cage’s prepared-piano poundings, takes some getting used to – for audiences, as for dancers.
By abstracting and generalising the emotions in Pushkin’s verse-novel, Colker has rendered her account of the story completely incoherent.
Fallen, an exhilarating closer of the double bill, presents the company at its heart-stopping best.
Cojocaru is as great a dance-actress in the final scene as any I’ve been privileged to see – and that includes Lynn Seymour, Natalia Makarova and Ekaterina Maximova.