Alston is going to develop Isthmus, thank goodness, as soon as he has the opportunity – it’s a stunner.
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.
It’s finally happening: Rambert Dance company’s new headquarters on the South Bank is under way, its foundations well and truly sunk. Before the next phase of building goes ahead above ground, a time capsule in a stainless steel tube was buried in concrete
San Francisco’s second programme was better balanced than the first, with contrasting works created for the company within the past two years.
I loved the way the SFB dancers were so confident with the choreography (of Divertimento No 15), at ease after an understandably tense start.
Rambert provided the marvellous quote: ‘Pavlova excited in people the desire to dance where Diaghilev inspired in people a love of ballet and a love of choreography’.
Seeing the programme twice confirmed my initial impression that Trespass is the best-wrought work. The other two ballets are interesting as concepts rather than as polished productions. But the programme’s emphasis on creativity and collaboration means that Monica Mason’s farewell contribution to the art form in which she has invested her considerable energy will carry on germinating ideas long...
‘We do not describe a city’, Bausch is quoted as saying. ‘We describe the feelings we have picked up there.’
Half-hidden behind pillars or leaning against brick walls were isolated figures in Tyvek paper suits, nursing private angst, waiting their turn to claim our space. Sometimes only the dancers’ coloured outfits distinguished them from disoriented white-clad spectators, dazzled by beams of light.
Sometimes Água’s moving images are dizzyingly beautiful, undulating palm fronds echoing the women’s waving tresses; sometimes they seem reminders that civilisation is only skin deep; or that the untamed jungle is indifferent to human concerns.
Pina Bausch and her designer, Peter Pabst, appear to have thrown in the Turkish towel when it came to the company’s evocation of Istanbul. Maybe they were overwhelmed by the overlay of cultures, past and present.
The compere of the evening was Anthony Dowell, in fine voice. He spoke the narration, enacted several of the characters and gallantly danced the ‘Fred step’ from Pavlova’s 'Gavotte' with Ursula Hageli as Anna.
Ten Chi is like a musical composition mostly in a minor key – an accumulation of moments and motifs without a strong sense of purpose. In fact, much of the recorded music seems half-heard in sleep. There’s a pervasive feeling of melancholy, of a culture beyond comprehension except in crass tourist terms.
Barry Wordsworth conducted the trimmed and re-ordered score as though it were great ballet music. If only.
That said, the narrative is graphic and gripping. Scottish Ballet’s dancers prove themselves dramatic actors in supporting roles as well as principal ones....
Bob Lockyer must be truly proud of his birthday gift: not a dud amongst the commissions he has brought about, sending three young choreographers on their way to a promising future.
'Sweet Violets', though over-ambitious, is the best stab at a psychologically complex narrative ballet the company has commissioned for years.
Boris Eifman is described in his company’s programme notes as a ‘choreographer-philosopher’ who wants to ‘draw spectators into the inexhaustible world of human passions’. His aim is to reinterpet the work of past geniuses to bring out their relevance to us today. ...Eifman is the Ken Russell of St Petersburg.
Firebird: To Williamson’s credit, the action, though baffling, never palls. He knows how to deploy a diverse cast, using an interesting vocabulary of classical ballet steps and partnering. He’s obviously fired up his dancers to commit themselves to their roles, flaunting their glitzy costumes with panache. But it’s a muddled piece, overpowered by Stravinsky’s myth-making music.
They were at last in tune with each other in the bedroom pas de deux, both despairing at his departure. Hamilton came into her own as an actress in her cumulative rage at her parents’ lack of understanding; her resentment at being forced to be Paris’s puppet was compelling. She’d changed from a helpless child to an inwardly defiant young woman...
The ballerinas who made the greatest impact were Uliana Lopatkina and Tamara Rojo: regal, gracious, seemingly effortless...