Reviews
Tilda Marriage Massey in Ballet Shoes.© Alice Pennefather. (Click image for larger version)

London Children’s Ballet – Ballet Shoes – London

★★★✰✰   The great achievement of LCB is to mount professional productions, complete with full orchestra, without charging parents for the privilege.

Sara Baras.© Santana de Yepes. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras – Sombras – London

★★★★★   Baras’s improvisations were not outpourings of emotion, but concentrated bursts of pure skill, passionately channelled.

Isabella Boylston in The Sleeping Beauty.© John Grigaitis. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – New York

★★★★✰   This production proposes that Sleeping Beauty is not really the story of a love quest – as it’s often depicted – but rather a fable about order and disorder, harmony and disharmony, the balance between good and evil.

Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh in Sadir: Dancing for Rajahs, Nawabs and the Officers of the Raj.© Courtesy Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh. (Click image for larger version)

Akademi, Sama Art and Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh – Sadir Āttam – Cambridge

★★★★✰   The subtitle for the night was “Sadir: Dancing for Rajahs, Nawabs and the Officers of the Raj”. Sadir dance is a controversial precursor to Bharatanatyam, the classical dance style of South Asia…

Igor Tsvirko in Spartacus.© Darren Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Spartacus – Brisbane

★★★★✰   the man of the moment on opening night was Igor Tsvirko as Spartacus whose stamina, elevation, turns, partnering, and fouettés were staggering in their execution.

Alyona Kovalyova and Jacopo Tissi in Diamonds.© Darren Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – Brisbane

★★★★★   As you would expect Diamonds was the highlight of the three part Jewels.

Samara Downs and Lachlan Monaghan in Hobson’s Choice.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Hobson’s Choice – London

★★★★✰   Big-hearted, whimsical, suffused with equal parts romance and drollness, Hobson’s Choice is a gem of the BRB repertoire – long may it keep being revived.

Natalie Alleston in Jeanguy Saintus' The Rite of Spring.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Phoenix Dance Theatre – Left Unseen and The Rite of Spring – London

★★✰✰✰   Phoenix Dance Theatre’s The Rite of Spring came with tantalising credentials: the company’s first collaboration with Opera North, and a UK debut for the Haitian choreographer Jeanguy Saintus…

A picture supplied to illustrte RBS at the Young Talent Festival - Aurora’s Wedding from the 2018 Royal Ballet School Summer Performance.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – ROH, Young Talent Festival, mixed bill – London

★★★★✰   Royal Ballet School at the ROH Young Talent Festival with a mixed bill of over 10, new and old works…

Céline Gittens and Brandon Lawrence in Sense of Time.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – [Un]leashed: Lyric Pieces, Sense of Time, Peter and the Wolf – London

★★★✰✰   Overall, invigorating; a demonstration of the company’s healthy enthusiasm for innovation and playing with the form…

Norwegian National Ballet 2 in Some See Stages.© Erik Berg. (Click image for larger version)

Norwegian National Ballet 2 – ROH, Young Talent Festival, Quint Bill – London

★★★✰✰   Norwegian National Ballet 2 at the ROH Young Talent Festival with 5 works – Departures, Valse-Fantaisie, Pas de Sept from A Folk Tale, Some See Stages, Left from Write

Natalia Osipova in The Mother.© Kenny Mathieson. (Click image for larger version)

Arthur Pita, Natalia Osipova and Jonathan Goddard – The Mother – London

★★★★✰   The Mother takes already dark source material (a Hans Christian Andersen tale) and plunges even deeper into the nightmare scenario it proposes, giving everything a convincing Russian twist along the way.

Laura Halzack and Devon Louis in Tanowitz's all at once.© Paula Lobo. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor Dance Company – Junction, all at once, Promethean Fire – New York

★★★★✰   In her ‘all at once’, Tanowitz seems to have taken Taylor’s ‘Junction’ as her starting point. Like that work, it is a paean to awkwardness…

Misty Copeland and Cory Stearns in Manon.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Manon – New York

★★★★★   As someone who cries easily, it’s a wonder that Manon remains a favorite ballet of mine… Misty Copeland and Cory Stearns were passionate and persuasive in their respective roles as Manon and Des Grieux.

Devon Teuscher in Le Corsaire.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Le Corsaire – New York

★★★★✰   Days after the performance, I cannot get James Whiteside’s Ali out of my head. Devon Teuscher’s Medora is charming and warm, pulling off triple fouettées turns and her Italian fouettées with aplomb…

Dancers Maria Bruguet González, Esme Calcutt, Tuva Svendsen and Isabella Zych-Watson in Ashley Page's Meadowdown.© Alex Fine. (Click image for larger version)

Images Ballet Company – Interplay, Mirrors, On Lineage, Meadowdown – London

★★★✰✰   Images has done an excellent job of commissioning appropriate, innovative choreographers, allowing the company to exceed their expectations…

Naulaq LeDrew and Avatara Ayuso in No Woman's Land.© Adam Dreeseen. (Click image for larger version)

AVA Dance Company – ORIGINS Festival: No Woman’s Land – London

★★★★✰   Ava Dance Company’s essay on the tribulations of the Inuit people from the northern-most reaches of Canada is appropriately a mix of dance theatre and spoken text…

Junior Ballett Zürich in Wounded.© Gregory Batardon. (Click image for larger version)

Junior Ballett Zürich – Young Talent Festival: Echo of Elements, Wounded, Submerge – London

★★★✰✰   The twelve dancers are a mix of nationalities, attractive, lively and energetic, fortunately possessing the stamina required to get through a demanding programme.

Ben Duke and Solene Weinachter in Juliet & Romeo.© Jane Hobson. (Click image for larger version)

Lost Dog – Juliet & Romeo – London

★★★★✰   Juliet and Romeo is a clever work on many different levels.

Company of Elders at the 2019 Elixir Extracts Festival.© Ellie Kurttz. (Click image for larger version)

Company of Elders – Dare I Speak, Natural 2019 – London

★★★★✰   Over the years that I’ve seen them, this extraordinary company of quirky individuals have become more adventurous about what they perform and flexible in how they perform…

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