"Anthony Dowell" tag
Sara Mearns and Jared Angle in Jerome Robbins' In the Night.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Robbins bill: Interplay, In the Night, N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz – New York

★★★✰✰   There was virtually nothing to fault with “In the Night” on Saturday — each couple was well matched, and Robbins’ unique capacity to imbue classical form with the richness of human experience again seems unparalleled

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

English National Ballet – Manon – London

★★★★✰   The entire cast is committed to the MacMillan idea of everyone having their own character and story, and the result is a richly detailed picture of the conflicts between poverty and wealth, love and lust.

Thomas Bieszka in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2018 – London

Semperoper Ballett Dresden were another new visitor in the summer, with a programme of Forsythe works, some not seen here before. But Forsythe is a theme this year in himself.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in The Unknown Soldier.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Unknown Soldier (premiere), Infra, Symphony in C – London

★★★✰✰   If The Unknown Soldier is dispiritingly low-key, Wayne McGregor’s Infra remains assertively bold…

Federico Bonelli and Laura Morera in Mayerling.© Alice Pennefather, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Mayerling (Bonelli, Morera) – London

★★★★✰   The partnership in Mayerling between Morera and Bonelli is a fine example of how experience can illumine the nuances of a dramatic ballet.

Students of the Upper School in Aurora’s Wedding.© Tristram Kenton / Royal Ballet School. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Summer Performance, ROH Main Stage – London

★★★✰✰   A matinee in two halves: fine before the interval, with dire, dreary choreography in the second half. Thank goodness for the exhilarating Grand Défilé at the close.

Pacific Northwest Ballet in Opus19/The Dreamer.© Angela Sterling. (Click image for larger version)

Les Etés de la Danse, Paris – Jerome Robbins Homage, Programme 2 – Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Perm Opera Ballet

★★★★✰   It’s been a very enjoyable homage to Robbins’s versatility…

Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nunez, Bennet Gartside and artists of the company in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake (Scarlett premiere) – London

★★★★★   Liam Scarlett has devised a visual and emotional treat for audiences, fully justifying Kevin O’Hare’s faith in him as a director and choreographer.

Kevin Emerton and Mayara Magri in Piggy in the Middle.© Alice Pennefather, ROH, 2018. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet / Charlotte Edmonds – Piggy in the Middle, Sink or Swim – London

★★★✰✰   Piggy in the Middle is, in part, Edmonds’ tribute to Kenneth MacMillan, the 25th anniversary of whose death has been marked during the Royal Ballet’s 2017/2018 season.

Le Rossignol masterclass: Anna Rose O’Sullivan and William Bracewell with Anthony Dowell.© Rachel Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Frederick Ashton’s choreography for Le Rossignol – a masterclass with Sir Anthony Dowell

The Metropolitan Opera in New York staged “Le Rossignol” in December 1981 as part of a programme commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Stravinsky’s birth… the producer was John Dexter. He told Ashton, back in London, that he could choreograph two dancers as the Nightingale and the Fisherman on stage, while the roles would be sung by opera singers in the orchestra pit…

Emily Hoff in The Conservatory.© Johan Persson / RBS. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   It was a well-balanced programme, featuring different kinds of discipline for future corps de ballet dancers, and honouring veteran choreographers as well as contemporary ones.

Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli in Marguerite and Armand.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – 3 casts in The Dream, Symphonic Variations, Marguerite and Armand – London

★★★★✰   In Marguerite and Armand the 3 casts reviewed are Zenaida Yanowsky and Roberto Bolle, Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli, Natalia Osipova and Valdimir Shklyarov.

Sarah Steele in Ethan Stiefel's Frontier.© Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Lilac Garden, The Dream, Frontier (premiere) – Washington

★★★✰✰   Ethan Stiefel’s Frontier, his first significant commission, had all the right ingredients… Yet the ballet, with its space travel theme, didn’t leave much of an impression…

Mara Galeazzi.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Interview – Mara Galeazzi on Woolf Works, her wider career and dancing on…

She found that she came back to perform with the company she left five years ago with a different approach. ‘I know more about why I love to perform…’

Alessandra Ferri and Francesca Hayward in the I Now, I Then section of Woolf Works.© Tristam Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Woolf Works – London

★★★✰✰   The ballet’s narrative interest depends on the dancer, and both performers are magnificent – different in tone and physicality, though not markedly so.

Viviana Durante.© David Scheinmann, courtesy Viviana Durante. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Viviana Durante: Ballerina, mother, teacher and coach of MacMillan’s Anastasia

One of the leading interpreters of Kenneth MacMillan’s dramatic ballets Viviana Durante’s leaving of the Royal Ballet at the height of her powers was a sad loss to London, if the gain of those who saw her perform elsewhere all around the world. Well now she’s back at the Royal Opera House, this time to coach MacMillan’s Anastasia, which is where Jann Parry caught up with her…

Book cover - Peter Wright: Wrights and Wrongs – my life in dance.© Oberon Books. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Peter Wright: Wrights and Wrongs – my life in dance

His is an insider’s account, complete with waspish comments and cameos of the famous people he encountered…

Zenaida Yanowsky.© Rob Moore, ROH. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Zenaida Yanowsky – Principal, The Royal Ballet

The Royal Ballet’s Zenaida Yanowsky talks about her long career and also about the joys of working with Carlos Acosta – part of which is appearing with him in ‘Cubania’ this summer…

Ako Kondo, Cristiano Martino, Robyn Hendricks and Amber Scott in Symphonic Variations.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Ashton bill: The Dream, Monotones II, Symphonic Variations – Sydney

After the long famine, Ashton’s ballets made a welcome return this week with the company’s triple bill under the umbrella title, The Dream.

Marianela Núñez in Swan Lake.© ROH, Alice Pennefather.

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake – London

It is somewhat extraordinary that Anthony Dowell’s staging of Swan Lake is almost thirty years old, given the amount of reservations and mixed feelings it still elicits.

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