Reviews
Zeleidy Crespo and Carlos Luis Blanco in Juliano Nunes's Mundo Interpretado.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Acosta Danza – Up Close bill – London

★★★✰✰   This was indeed a case of Up Close and personal with five intimate pieces variously dosed with Cuban fire and flair…

Devon Teuscher as Myrta in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – Washington

★★★★✰   I saw two performances; each of them demonstrated why Giselle is still so popular even 180 years after the ballet’s premiere.

Jean-Guihen Queyras, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Boštjan Antončič in Mitten Wir Im Leben Sind (In the Midst of Life).© Ian Douglas. (Click image for larger version)

Anne Teresa De Keersmaker / Rosas – Mitten Wir in Leben Sind – New York

★★★✰✰   The dance is spare and pedestrian, as is De Keersmaeker’s way, and lasts two hours, without intermission. And yet it’s not really a challenge to experience it all in one sitting.

San Francisco Ballet in Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Program 2, Classical Re(Vision) bill – San Francisco

★★★★✰   San Francisco Ballet’s Program 2 was dubbed Classical Re(Vision) – a remembering of and reconnection with choreography in SFB’s existing repertory catalogue.

Russell Maliphant and Dana Fouras in Duet.© Julian Broad. (Click image for larger version)

Russell Maliphant – Maliphantworks3: The Space Between, Film One & Two, Duet – London

★★★★✰   In this magical programme of two duets and two short films, Maliphant is investigating weightlessness – not so much defying gravity as conjuring its non-existence.

Maia Makhateli in Frida.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Frida – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   This was much more than my expectation of an update to Broken Wings. Part prequel, part sequel; it now stands proudly alone as an excellent new addition to the Dutch ballet repertoire.

Adrian Danchig-Waring, Jovani Furlan, Teresa Reichlen in Robbins’ Concertino.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Classic NYCB I including Haieff Divertimento & Episodes – New York

★★★★✰   The four ballets make for a slightly over-long evening (both Episodes and Rodeo are substantial works). But it’s a small price to pay for seeing these rarities back onstage.

Heather Ogden and Harrison James in The Sleeping Beauty.© Teresa Wood. (Click image for larger version)

The National Ballet of Canada – The Sleeping Beauty – Washington

★★★★✰   …undoubtedly one of the most visually stunning and dramatically meaningful Beauties you will ever find.

Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker in Cāo Sem Plumas/Dog Without Feathers.© Cafi. (Click image for larger version)

Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker – Cāo Sem Plumas – New York

★★✰✰✰   At times the striking images and lithe, hyper-flexible dancers are enough to seduce the eye. But Cāo Sem Plumas is a frustrating piece, in which the live dancing is overshadowed by film…

Tsveta Doycheva's Hang in There.© Boryana Dzhivdzhanova. (Click image for larger version)

Tsveta Doycheva – Hang in There – Sofia

★★★✰✰   Doycheva’s first project explores a complex topic – the long-lasting trauma of gender-based physical violence.

Galactik Ensemble in Optraken.© N Martinez. (Click image for larger version) nm-optraken-group-one-aloft_1000.jpg

Galactik Ensemble – Optraken – London

★★★✰✰   Hats in the air for these five guys from France for coming up with something new, which requires nothing but their own ability to dodge things and stay alive!

Ekaterina Kondaurova and Timur Askerov in Grand Pas Classique.© Kristyna Kashvili. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Icons Gala 2020 – London

★★★★✰   The annual Icons gala provides the chance to see dancers who don’t often appear in London…

Megan Fairchild and NYCB in Ratmansky’s Voices.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Voices (new Ratmansky), and New Combinations bill – New York

★★★★✰   There was always something new around the corner, a surprising shape, a witty step, an unlikely transition. It’s clear that Ratmansky felt liberated by the unusual structure and soundscape…

Teresa Reichlen and Ask la Cour in Balanchine’s Firebird.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine: Allegro Brillante, La Source, Firebird – New York

★★★★✰   How is the company looking? …the company looks good so far.

Noaya Ebe in The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

The National Ballet of Canada – Works by Forsythe, Kylián and Ratmansky – Washington

★★★✰✰   The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, the opening dance of the first program, is Forsythe burrowing into the neoclassical cannon and a nod to the style and traditions of George Balanchine.

Lauren Lovette and Joseph Gordon in George Balanchine’s Stravinsky Violin Concerto.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Stravinsky & Balanchine bill – New York

★★★★✰   New York City Ballet is off to a fine start when it opens the winter season with a very well-danced all Balanchine, all Stravinsky program.

Araminta Wraith and Jerome Barnes in The Snow Queen.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Snow Queen – Glasgow

★★★★✰   Bruce Marriott takes a second look at Scottish Ballet’s new Christmas hit – one day, two shows, many different dancers…

Rambert in Aisha and Abhaya.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, ROH and Rambert. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert – Aisha and Abhaya – London

★★✰✰✰   Rambert dancers on stage perform with great energy and commitment but the whole thing doesn’t manage to live up to its ambitious objectives…

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

Royal Ballet – Onegin – London

★★★★✰   The ballet works as a conflicted love story centred on the heroine, Tatiana. When Natalia Osipova dances the role, she brings home how Russian the character is.

Vuyani Dance Theatre in Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro.© John Hogg. (Click image for larger version)

Gregory Maqoma – Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro – New York, Joyce Theater

★★★★✰   The dance style is a fusion of many elements of South African dance, other African and African diaspora influences, and modern and postmodern dance. It can be both liquid and percussive and has a complexity that is hard to take apart.

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