Reviews
Richard Alston Dance Company in Voices and Light Footsteps.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Final Edition – London

★★★★✰   8th March at Sadler’s Wells was the last time we were able to see Richard Alston’s work performed by his own company of dancers. Jann Parry with a full and perceptive review of Alston’s latest work and last company show.

Francesca Harper at the Nona Hendryx and Disciples of Sun Ra in the Temple show.© Paula Lobo. (Click image for larger version)

Nona Hendryx and Disciples of Sun Ra in the Temple – New York

★★★✰✰   “Space is the Place,” was the Sun Ra anthem. And those were the words for the last song in a tribute to the late pianist and Arkestra leader, conceived by Nona Hendryx and presented by Met Live Arts and Harlem Stage, at the Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum…

Dane Hurst and Eleanor Duval in Return to Heaven.© Mark Bruce. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Bruce Company – Return to Heaven – London

★★★✰✰   Trying to understand a holistic approach to the narrative was like compiling a jigsaw where some of the pieces are missing and others don’t fit.

Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov in Swan Lake.© Bill Cooper, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake – London

★★★★✰   Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov’s account of Swan Lake is spellbinding… if Scarlett’s revision of the 1895 scenario makes even less sense than the original.

Alonso Tepetzi, Dara Holmes and Jose Pablo Castro Cuevas in Commedia.© Cheryl Mann. (Click image for larger version)

Joffrey Ballet – Commedia, Bliss!, Beyond the Shore, The Times Are Racing – San Fransisco

★★★✰✰   The Joffrey Ballet brought a program of four diverse works. Peck’s Times was a hit as was Christopher Wheeldon’s Commedia. The other two works weren’t misses per se…

Rena Narumi and Jermaine Spivey in Revisor.© Michael Slobodian. (Click image for larger version)

Crystal Pite, Jonathan Young, Kidd Pivot – Revisor – London

★★★★✰   Revisor is a strange and complicated piece of dance theatre. Watching it requires peeling away the many layers that constitute the work and it feels like trying to find someone hidden under many different disguises.

Kloé Dean in Man Up.© Camilla Greenwell. (Click image for larger version)

Linda Hayford and Kloé Dean – AlShe/Me and Man Up Aerowaves 2 bill – London

★★★★✰   Family ties were explored in two markedly different ways in this hip hop dance double bill.

Che Malambo in action.© Slawek Przerwa. (Click image for larger version)

Gilles Brinas’ Che Malambo – New York

★★★✰✰   Lasting 75 minutes the Che Malambo show is quite spectacular, if unevenly so…

Solène Weinachter for Scottish Dance Theatre in Antigone, Interrupted.© Maria Falconer. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Dance Theatre presents Joan Clevillé – Antigone, Interrupted – London

★★★★✰   Joan Clevillé’s direction deserves much praise. A solo show for more than an hour on such an esoteric subject is a difficult framework to sustain and Clevillé’s structure is expertly paced with quick transitions and surprising interludes.

Dust by Lin Hwai-min.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan – 13 Tongues & Dust – London

★★★★✰   Although starkly different in theme and intention, both 13 Tongues and Dust showcased the company’s unique blend of movement, drawn from classical and modern traditions…

New York City Ballet in Justin Peck’s Rotunda.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Classic NYCB II bill with new Justin Peck – New York

★★★✰✰   In the last week of its winter season, New York City Ballet unveiled a new work by its resident choreographer, Justin Peck, to a score by the popular neo-Minimalist composer Nico Muhly. It was a homecoming of sorts for Peck…

Amy Lewis in piano piano.© John Hefti. (Click image for larger version)

Nancy Karp + Dancers – piano piano – San Francisco

★★★★✰   the phrase ‘piano piano’ translates as “slowly, slowly, gradually, gently, carefully; quietly; take your time; don’t rush – you’ll figure it out.”

Viviana Durante Company in Unda.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Viviana Durante Company – Isadora Now triple bill – London

★★★★✰   Isadora Duncan’s spirit has been honoured, even if the impact of her presence remains elusive.

Katherine Barkman and Andile Ndlovu in Birthday Offering.© Victoria Pickering. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Balanchine + Ashton quad bill – Washington

★★★✰✰   The Washington Ballet new program titled Balanchine + Ashton showcased four works by the two great choreographers, who “forever shaped our art form,” as the company’s artistic director, Julie Kent, put it in her opening remarks.

Alina Cojocaru in Marguerite and Armand publicity image.© Moran Norman. (Click image for larger version)

Alina Cojocaru – Alina at Sadler’s Wells – London

★★★★✰   Alina Cojocaru’s choice of works for her brief season at Sadler’s Wells provided an insight into her priorities as she reflected on her career: live music-making and dance-making that has something to say.

Jennifer Stahl and Luke Ingham in McIntyre's The Big Hunger.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Dance Innovations, Big Hunger (premiere) bill – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   There were parts I adored and elements that didn’t resonate as much.

Natasha Gooden in Message in a Bottle.© Helen Maybanks. (Click image for larger version)

Kate Prince and Sting – Message in a Bottle – London

★★★✰✰   The idea of setting a story about a refugee family to the songs of Sting was inevitably an enforced marriage of his diverse lyrics with a narrative for which they were never intended.

Paul Taylor Dance Company in Esplanade.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor Dance Company – Concertiana, Company B, Esplanade – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Paul Taylor Dance Company shone in the two older works on the program, Esplanade and Company B.

Lauren Cuthbertson and Marcelino Sambé in The Cellist.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – The Cellist (premiere), Dances at a Gathering – London

★★★✰✰   In The Cellist, Cathy Marston has taken on a challenging subject for her first commission for the Royal Opera House stage: the real-life story of a much-loved musician Jacqueline Du Pré…

Shanghai Ballet in Swan Lake.© North America Photography Association. (Click image for larger version)

Shanghai Ballet – Swan Lake – New York

★★★★✰   It’s comforting to know that at even my advanced age I can still be confounded even by hoary old Swan Lake.

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