"Christopher Marney" tag
Liam Lindsay and Amy McEntee in Christopher Bruce's Mya.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2017 Tour – London

★★★✰✰   At the end of the evening was what you might call the blockbuster piece of the tour – 30 minutes of Matthew Bourne in the form of Act II of his “Highland Fling”. Bourne’s take on “La Sylphide” is a wonderful piece of work, full of wit, style and pathos…

Mark Samaras and Mia Labuschagne in Sharon Watson's Repetition (2) Change.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2016 Tour – Tonbridge

★★★✰✰   Ballet Central’s 2016 tour visits 17 theatres with 8 diverse works. Bruce Marriott catches up with one of the paciest nights of dance you will find…

Cira Robinson and Mthuthuzeli November in Arthur Pita's Cristaux.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – Cristaux, To Begin, Begin, Storyville – London

★★★★✰   I’ve long admired Ballet Black’s efforts to make ballet a more accessible art form to both dancers and audiences who’ve historically been excluded from it.

Ashley Shaw and Adam Maskell in Sleeping Beauty.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – Sleeping Beauty – London

It’s a modern and sometimes rather busy retelling, but it ends as every fairy tale should do…

Ivan Putrov.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Men in Motion – Lodz Ballet Festival

The most impressive (if not, incredible) thing is that his scratch company exudes the professionalism that one would expect from a tight-knit group that has lived, trained, rehearsed and performed together for seasons.

Ballet Black in Dogs Don't Do Ballet.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – Dogs Don’t Do Ballet – London

So how did it go with the young audience? Answer, jolly well…

Jinhao Zhang in The Dying Swan.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Emerging Dancer Competition 2015

Like ENB at large, the eight finalists for 2015 are a noticeably international bunch, representing Germany, America, Ukraine, Brazil, China and the UK between them.

Scottish Ballet: Jealousy, choreography James Cousins, performed by Brenda Lee Grech & Lewis Landini (both Central alumni).© Martin Bell. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central and Friends Gala – London

This glitzy evening proved that the Central School of Ballet has friends in abundance (or perhaps that should be hyphenated to “a-bun-dance”) but the aim of this gala event was clearly to encourage a few more.

Zoe White, John O'Gara and Alice Handford in Leanne King's Toots Goes to Charleston.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2014 Tour – London

Of all the school shows I most appreciate the one by Central School of Ballet. Their show, under the name Ballet Central, invariably has the widest range of dance, from ballet to contemporary to musical theatre and more. And importantly they tour it…

Isabela Coracy in A Dream Within a Midsummer Night's Dream.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Black – A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Limbo, Two of a Kind – London

Now in its thirteenth year, Ballet Black’s specialness is not the colour of its performers’ skin but the quality and quantity of the works its director, Cassa Pancho, commissions: over 30 new ballets to date. Where else could ballet dancers experience such a cornucopia of creativity?

Poster image for Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.© Image by Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – Sleeping Beauty – Washington

Throughout the piece, Bourne’s choreography is highly theatrical and vigorous but only intermittently compelling …the chief pleasure of the evening was the highly-spirited and convincing performance of the entire cast.

Hannah Vassallo as Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty.© Simon Annand. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – Sleeping Beauty – New York

For all Bourne’s imagination, his version makes even less sense than the original.

Thomas Edwards and Bethany Pike in Mapping #3.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2013 Tour with Bhuller, Marney, Gable and others – London

While I wasn’t wowed by the closer, as I left I couldn’t stop talking about the Bhuller and Gable and wishing to see major companies put them both on in full. That and the usual thought: Another year, another fine night from Ballet Central – well done all.

© Ballet Black

Ballet Black – Egal, Dopamine, One Played Twice, War Letters – London

Of this year’s 4 premieres, 2 very much connected with me and 2 didn’t.

2012 UK National Dance Awards – Winners Announced

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle announced the winners of the 13th National Dance Awards at The Place on 28th January 2013.

Hannah Vassallo as Aurora in Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty.© Simon Annand. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – Sleeping Beauty – London

He knows he can’t surpass Petipa (or Ivanov for ‘Swan Lake’) – but he can tweak their scenarios into something uniquely his own. And he’s magnificently served by a cast of just 17, capable of switching roles at the twitch of a fairy’s wing.

2012 National Dance Awards – Announcement of Nominations

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle announced the nominations for the 13th National Dance Awards at a reception held at The Place on 9th November 2012. The winners will be announced 28th January 2013.

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