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.
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.
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...
'Storyville' is a familiar morality tale, but Cira Robinson’s heartfelt commitment as Lola makes us care anew. Hampson has indeed turned her into a star... 'Captured' is a triumph for the company and Martin Lawrance, the choreographer.
After all the fuss about Sergei Polunin abruptly leaving the Royal Ballet, guess who stole the Men in Motion show? Daniel Proietto, in the AfterLight solo Russell Maliphant made for him in 2010. Admittedly, you could read the 15-minute solo as a warning of the fate awaiting a troubled dancer deprived of the support of a company of colleagues