"Alexei Ratmansky" tag
San Francisco Ballet in London: Jennifer Stahl in Snowblind by Cathy Marston. © Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Some Memorable Performances of 2019 – London

Lynette Halewood with some reflections on London dance performances over the last year – the good and the less good…

Bijayini Satpathy in the Kalpana bill.© Anubhava. (Click image for larger version)

Some Memorable Performances of 2019 – New York

I don’t really believe in lists, but it’s admittedly fun to look back over the year and reflect on moments that have stayed with me. So here they are, in no particular order…

Olga Smirnova and Artemy Belyakov in Giselle.© Damir Yusupov/ Bolshoi Theatre. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Giselle (Ratmansky premiere) – Moscow

★★★★✰   This is a Giselle that is both familiar and new. Watching it on opening night was like seeing a faded painting regain its colors.

Natalia Osipova and Jason Kittelberger in Six Years Later.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance bill – London

★★★✰✰   Once again, Osipova gave it her all – and Osipova’s all is quite something to behold.

Mariinsky Ballet in Paquita.© Darian Volkova. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Paquita – Washington

★★★✰✰   This three-act three-hour-long Paquita is a brainchild of Smekalov, who is a second soloist with the company. He wrote his own libretto, largely borrowing from the Cervantes novella La Gitanilla…

Georgina Pazcoguin and Company in Lauren Lovette’s The Shaded Line.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Fall Fashion Gala with The Shaded Line, Lineage, Symphony in C – New York

★★★✰✰   Kudos to Lovette for really going out on a limb… The Shaded Line feels truly her own, and it’s clear that she has much to say about her chosen profession…

Joseph Sissens in Charlotte Edmonds' jojo.© Maria Baranova. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet dancers at the Joyce Ballet Festival – Program A, An Evening of Solos and Duets – New York

★★★✰✰   Program A consisted of a string of solos and duets representing a slice of the company’s choreographic trajectory, from Frederick Ashton through Kenneth MacMillan to Liam Scarlett, Wayne McGregor, and Charlotte Edmonds.

Daria Khokhlova & Igor Tsvirko in The Bright Stream (rehearsal).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Bright Stream – London

★★★★★   A wildly surreal comic turn involves a dog riding a bicycle, both cunningly choreographed. He’s actually a tractor driver in disguise, disrupting sexual assignations.

Olga Smirnova in Swan Lake.© Damir Yusupov. (Click image for larger version)

The Bolshoi Ballet in London, Summer 2019 – All you need to know (and more!)

The Bolshoi Ballet are in London this summer with Spartacus, Swan Lake, The Bright Stream and Don Quixote. One of the world’s greatest companies, here are Jann Parry’s thoughts on an important visit…

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.

Carmela Mayo in Björk Ballet by Arthur Pita.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – The Infinite Ocean, Snowblind, Björk Ballet – London

★★★★✰   Ballet companies across the globe are in a new age of commissioning …but none can match the pioneering zeal of this, the oldest American ballet company.

Mathilde Froustey, Ulrik Birkkjaer, Yuan Yuan Tan and Sasha De Sola in Chamber Symphony.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy – London

★★★★✰   A gleaming triptych of imaginative and remarkably demanding choreography. The production is textured in every aspect, plumbing deep wells of emotion and revelling in a multiplicity of tones, tempers and movement styles.

San Francisco Ballet in Piano Concerto #1.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – San Francisco Ballet in Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy

Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy comprises Symphony #9, Chamber Symphony and Piano Concerto #1. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside in The Seasons.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Gala with The Seasons premiere + Ratmansky Trio bill – New York

★★★★✰   It’s impossible not to be impressed by the range of these works, from introspective and conversational (Symposium) to brilliantly classical (The Seasons) to dramatic (Dnieper).

Sarah Lane and Carlos Gonzalez in Harlequinade.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Harlequinade – New York

★★★★★   To my eye, this Harlequinade may be the most well-rounded of Ratmansky’s historically-minded stagings of Petipa.

Wona Park and Angelo Greco in Ratmansky's Concerto #1.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Shostakovich Trilogy – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The choreography in Shostakovich Trilogy, which was co-commissioned by SFB and ABT and premiered in 2014, is as frustratingly capricious as the music.

Megan LeCrone in Reisen’s Judah.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Hallelujah Junction, Judah, The Exchange, Concerto DSCH – New York

★★★✰✰   The vitality and drive of the troupe was palpable Wednesday night, as was a sense of collective energy to move forward – however rocky that movement might be.

Sara Mearns in Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Pictures at an Exhibition, Oltremare, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – New York

★★★★✰   There is a palpable sense of hope among the dancers; again and again, they rise to the occasion. The opening-night program reflected this resilience and gave reason for hope.

Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg in Ratmansky’s Valse Triste.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance bill – New York

★★★✰✰   So, is Pure Dance a success? It depends on what you’re looking for. Osipova is as exciting, and as powerful, a dancer as ever. Among the commissions, only Valse Triste and Flutter are worthy of further exploration…

Washington Ballet in the The Sleeping Beauty.© XMB Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – Washington

★★★★✰   When Kent took the helm of Washington Ballet …one of her goals was to raise the standard of classical technique and shape the company into a world-class ballet institution. Judging by this production, she is on the right track.

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