Reviews
Isaac Hernandez, Shiori Kase, Joseph Caley & ENB artists in Harold Lander's Etudes.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – 70th Anniversary Gala – London

★★★★✰   For those of us that have been involved with the company, no matter how small a part, it is clear that the ‘happy family’ that is English National Ballet, reveres and appreciates all who have been part of its 70 year existence.

Gabrielle Revlock's Nuptial Blitz.© Dave Ratzlow. (Click image for larger version)

Gabrielle Revlock – SEX TAPE, Nuptial Blitz – New York

★★★✰✰   Revlock “is a dance-maker whose work often depicts complicated but relatable interpersonal relationships using a vocabulary that embraces the pedestrian, abstracted by degrees.”

Yuan Yuan Tan and Vitor Luiz in pas de deux from Possokhov's Bells.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Opening Night Gala – San Francisco

★★★★✰   ‘Spellbound’ delivered in every regard – opulent grandeur, terrific people watching and above all, marvelous dance.

Edisa Weeks in 3 RITES: Liberty.© Leo Jimenez for 651 ARTS. (Click image for larger version)

DELIRIOUS Dances / Edisa Weeks – 3 RITES: Liberty – New York

★★★★✰   DELIRIOUS Dances / Edisa Weeks’ “3 RITES: Liberty” is a solo that graphically shows why the Declaration of Independence did not, & does not, mean “liberty” for many African Americans…

Francesco Gabriele Frola in Le Corsaire.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Le Corsaire – London

★★★★✰   It’s not the kind of work that will persuade anyone that ballet can be a subtle, nuanced and poetic art, but it is cracking entertainment and a treat in a dreary month.

Faye Driscoll in Thank You For Coming: Space.© Maria Baranova. (Click image for larger version)

Faye Driscoll – Thank You For Coming: Space – New York

★★★✰✰   A sense of very controlled chaos accumulates. I’m sometimes reminded of the videos and installations of the artist Bruce Nauman. Her actions and interactions, including snatches of willfully, wonderfully contorted dancing…

Yijing Zhang as the Snow Fairy and Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet in the Waltz of the Snowflakes in The Nutcracker.© Andrew Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★✰   In spite of all the problems with performing a proscenium arch ballet in an arena setting with a purpose-built stage, it is no less magical than any other production and in some ways, it works advantageously.

Faith Prendergast in The Little Prince.© Jane Hobson. (Click image for larger version)

Luca Silvestrini’s Protein – The Little Prince – London

★★★★✰   Silvestrini has fashioned a striking theatrical experience in perfect harmony with this timeless story, capped by a triumphal performance in the title role.

Arthur Pita's The Little Match Girl.© 2016 Cesare De Giglio. (Click image for larger version)

Arthur Pita – The Little Match Girl – London

★★★★★   Think comic opera meets dance theatre, with choreography so animated there’s no translation needed.

Ashley Shaw and Adam Cooper in The Red Shoes.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes – London

★★★★★   …this revival of The Red Shoes, coming with a number of tweaks, appears even tighter and slicker than the original.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Jamar Roberts' Ode.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Busk, Ode, Ounce of Faith – New York

★★★★✰   Jamar Roberts’ Ode was the centerpiece and the highlight of the company’s performance, which also included Aszure Barton’s Busk (a company premiere) and Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Ounce of Faith (a premiere).

English National Ballet in The Nutcracker.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★✰✰   Having premiered in 2010, it is now two years’ past the median lifespan of an ENB Nutcracker and – despite many attributes – the show has reached its sell-by date.

Bethany Kingsley-Garner in The Snow Queen.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Snow Queen – Edinburgh

★★★★✰   Hampson has created a naturalistic and, above all, a graceful and harmonious set of steps. It’s all so unforced, but it feels right and creates a beautifully rounded and satisfying production.

Last Yearz Interesting Negro/Jamila Johnson-Small and Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome in Heavy handed, we crush the moment.© Maurizio Martorana, Jamila Johnson-Small. (Click image for larger version)

Jamila Johnson-Small and guests – Heavy Handed We Crush the Moment – London

Heavy Handed We Crush the Moment, an immersive performance is fittingly programmed late at the Barbican Pit. It’s a relaxed and fluid set-up with dim lighting, a DJ’s deck and sculpted podiums on which the audience can sit.

Edward Watson and Olga Smirnova in McGregor + Mugler.© Sasha Gusov. (Click image for larger version)

MuzArts – Radio & Juliet, Faun, McGregor + Mugler – London

★★✰✰✰   There was certainly some spectacle and some good dancing, and not just from the big stars. However, the most heavily promoted piece and world premiere was an excruciating fifteen minutes of disappointment…

Chester Hayes as Billy in Kes Reimagined.© Marv Martin. (Click image for larger version)

Film: Kes Reimagined, by Jonathan Watkins

★★★★✰   In Watkins’ choreography and MacGibbon’s mastery of camera angles and close-ups the narrative is crystal clear.

Svetlana Zakharova in Gabrielle Chanel.© Jack Devant. (Click image for larger version)

Svetlana Zakharova – Modanse: Gabrielle Chanel, Come un Respiro – London

★★★✰✰   Stunning images of Bolshoi ballerina Svetlana Zakahrova dressed as Coco Chanel whetted the appetite for the London Premiere of her latest how, Modanse.

Dormeshia.© Eduardo Patino. (Click image for larger version)

Dormeshia – And Still You Must Swing – New York

★★★★✰   Some have called Dormeshia the greatest tapper of her generation. I’m wary of such titles, but what I can say is that she is a dancer of enormous sophistication, finesse, variety, and subtlety.

Pierre Tappon, Nancy Nerantzi, Liam Riddick and Nathan Goodman in Isthmus.© Tony Nandi. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Alston at Home – London

★★★★✰   Richard Alston’s title for his company’s last tour before it closes in 2020 is Final Edition. The autumn run ended with four performances at The Place, in a programme aptly called Alston At Home.

Madhavi Mudgal's Vistar.© Rehmat Rayatt. (Click image for larger version)

Madhavi Mudgal – Vistar – London

★★★✰✰   There is a mannered and refined gentility in the movement style; bodies and arms beautifully shaped with the eloquent symmetry of body bends…

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