Reviews
Erin Yarbrough-Powell and Ben Needham-Wood in Indigo.© Chris Hardy. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Contemporary Ballet – Indigo – streamed archive recording of 2016 performance

★★★★✰   Indigo is one of those dances that doesn’t seem totally abstract, yet doesn’t follow a linear path either. It’s more about concept and emotions. Layers and extremes. Just like the colour indigo itself.

Matthew Ball and Mayara Magri in Within the Golden Hour.© Ruairi Watson, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: Third Concert (27 June)

★★★★✰   The singers had the lions’ share of the concert, with just two pas de deux by Royal Ballet couples, Matthew Ball and Mayara Magri, Reece Clarke and Fumi Kaneko.

Tamara Rojo in Song of the Earth.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth – streamed archive recording of 2017 performance

★★★★✰   The recording reveals how unusual the choreography is, as it was in 1965… Dancers in pointe shoes have to adapt to flexed feet, flat-footed parallel positions, torsos bent forward, elbows and wrists held at angles.

Christopher Harrison & Constant Vigier in Christopher Hampson’s The Rite of Spring.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Rite of Spring & The Fairy’s Kiss – streamed archive recordings of 2017 performance

With one common factor, music by Igor Stravinsky, Scottish Ballet (SB) deliver two excellent and very contrasting performances which were filmed at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh in 2017.

Vadim Muntagirov in rehearsal for Dance of the Blessed Spirits.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: Second Concert (20 June)

★★★★★   Though the concert was a treat, could the Royal Opera House please try raising our spirits in future streamings, and give the Royal Ballet the prominence it deserves.

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in La Fille mal gardée.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Fille mal gardée – streamed archive recording of 2005 performance

★★★★★   If you want an antidote to any miserable lockdown mood, La Fille mal gardée cannot fail to lift your spirits and allow you to marvel at some really first-rate dancing.

Dance Theatre of Harlem in Creole Giselle.© Dance Theatre of Harlem. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Theatre of Harlem – Creole Giselle – streamed archive recording of 1987 performance

★★★✰✰   Giselle was the first full-length classical ballet that Arthur Mitchell’s company of black American dancers would perform. He thought there would be no point in their pretending to be Rhineland peasants, so decided to set the 19th century ballet in pre-Civil War Louisiana.

Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales in Morgen.© Lara Cappelli, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: First Concert

★★★✰✰   The first concert was not much of a consolation for all that we have lost. So far, the Royal Ballet appears a token add-on to the opera’s contributions…

Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia in And Still You Must Swing.© AK47 Division. (Click image for larger version)

Dormeshia – And Still You Must Swing – streamed recording

★★★★★   Dormeshia’s And Still You Must Swing is the first online dance that made me want to write about it. I knew it would be good…

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

Royal Ballet – The Cellist – streamed recording

★★★★✰   Cathy Marston has achieved much in bringing the life of Jacqueline du Pré to the ballet stage and perhaps one of the things that becomes even clearer with repeated viewings, is that the music and the dance are inextricably linked.

Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernández in Swan Lake.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Swan Lake – streamed archive recording of 2018 performance

★★★✰✰   I do wonder why ENB chose this particular (acceptable but sometimes subdued) recording to stream, when we are all suffering from live performance withdrawal symptoms and this company so often produces spectacular performances, sending audiences away in raptures.

Natalia Osipova in Anastasia.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Anastasia – streamed archive recording of 2016 performance

★★★★✰   Osipova inhabits the role of Anna Anderson with gruelling sincerity. She appears deranged from the beginning with close-up camera angles revealing a depth of despair that is tremendously affecting.

Julie Gardette and Francois Rousseau in Where do the birds go?.© Julie Gardette / Francois Rousseau. (Click image for larger version)

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Francois Rousseau and Julie Gardette – Where do the birds go? – Streamed premiere

★★★✰✰   No lockdown for Annabelle Lopez Ochoa who has just choreographed “Where do the birds go?” over five Zoom sessions with Norwegian National Ballet’s Francois Rousseau and Julie Gardette in their Oslo living room…

Zizi Strallen and Chris Trenfield in The Car Man.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Reel Adventures festival: Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man

★★★★✰   It doesn’t get much steamier than Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man, the third of his productions to be presented and screened on Sky Arts during lockdown.

New Adventures in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Reel Adventures festival: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet

★★★★✰   Performances across the board are stupendous, reminding us that interpretations evolve and change, and do not disappoint.

Jonzi D in Aeroplane Man.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

SystemsLAB mixed bill, curated by Freddie Opoku-Addaie – London

★★★✰✰   Featuring works by Jonzi D, Theo Inart, Becky Namgauds and the due of Ffion Campbell-Davies and tyroneisaacstuart.

2Faced Dance Company's promotional image for the EVERYTHING [But the Girl] triple bill.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

2Faced Dance Company – EVERYTHING [But the Girl] triple bill – London

★★★✰✰   This triple bill marks 2Faced Dance Company’s 20th anniversary. EVERYTHING [but the girl], presents two new pieces alongside a reworked number from 2011…

Harriet Waghorn and Carmine De Amicis in Salomé.© Mark Lamb. (Click image for larger version)

EDIFICE Dance Theatre – Salomé – London

★★★✰✰   This inventive dance theatre summarises Oscar Wilde’s one-act play, which relates the Biblical story of Salomé and her unrequited feelings for Jokanaan…

Maxine Doyle's Bradley 4.18.© George Piper. (Click image for larger version)

BalletBoyz – Deluxe: The Intro, Bradley 4:18, Ripple – Online and TV

★★★★✰   Deluxe by BalletBoyz can be seen online on Sadler’s Wells Facebook Premieres from Friday 27 March, 7.30pm for one week only, and upcoming on BBC Four for BBC Culture in Quarantine (date tba).

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.

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