"Christopher Saunders" tag
Natalia Osipova in Anastasia.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Anastasia – streamed archive recording of 2016 performance

★★★★✰   Osipova inhabits the role of Anna Anderson with gruelling sincerity. She appears deranged from the beginning with close-up camera angles revealing a depth of despair that is tremendously affecting.

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

Royal Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet’s current production of The Sleeping Beauty, dating back to 2006, is a homage to Ninette de Valois and her faith that Marius Petipa’s Imperial Russian ballet should be the flagship of her British company.

Sarah Lamb in Raymonda Act III.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Concerto, Enigma Variations, Raymonda Act III – London

★★★★✰   It is all too easy to assume that the first triple bill of the Royal Ballet’s autumn season celebrates its creative heritage from the 1960s. In fact, two of the ballets were made for other companies…

Lauren Cuthbertson and Matthew Ball in Romeo and Juliet.© Helen Maybanks. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Romeo and Juliet – London

★★★✰✰   Somehow, still at the start of the run, the production seems sanitised, nicely ‘English’ in spite of Nicholas Georgiadis’s imposing Italian Renaissance sets and costumes. Different casts yet to come might bring fresh discoveries…

Marianela Nuñez in Don Quixote.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★★   With Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov… Theirs was a performance that caught up everyone in the sheer pleasure and excitement of spectacular dancing.

Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell in Les Patineurs.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams, The Concert – London

★★★★✰   Now that we are all one more Nutcracker nearer death, as weary critic Richard Buckle used to bemoan, the Royal Ballet has given us a wintry bonne bouche of ballets to savour.

Christopher Saunders in Winter Dreams.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams and The Concert

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

The Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker.© Tristram Kenton, © 2015 Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★✰   Wright’s ending is the best ever, preserving the assurance of the Grand pas de deux that the future must surely be blissful.

Calvin Richardson and Matthew Ball in Obsidian Tear. © Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Obsidian Tear, Marguerite and Armand, Elite Syncopations – London

★★★★✰   The ostensible link between the three works in this mixed bill is that they are by the Royal Ballet’s resident choreographers, past and present: Frederick Ashton. Kenneth MacMillan and Wayne McGregor. But none is typical of the choreographers’ work…

Francesca Hayward, Christopher Saunders and Elizabeth McGorian in Manon.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Manon – London

★★★★✰   It’s a myth that Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon was ever regarded as a failure. Critics may initially have had reservations but audiences have enjoyed it from its first season in 1974 throughout its many revivals…

Christopher Saunders, Francesca Hayward and Alexander Campbell in Manon.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Manon

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

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.

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

Royal Ballet – Mayerling – London

★★★★★   Edward Watson and Steven McRae casts both reviewed. “…the Royal Ballet is doing MacMillan proud, coming up to the 25th anniversary of his death…”

Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae in Romeo and Juliet.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Romeo and Juliet – London (Lamb / McRae)

…a production that continues to set the standard against which later versions are measured.

Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta in Don Quixote.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – Don Quixote – Washington

At 42, Acosta is still a powerful presence. A much-loved artist around the world, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest male dancers of his generation.

Vadim Muntagirov and Laura Morera in La Fille mal gardée.© ROH, Tristram Kenton (Click image for larger version)

Laura Morera & Vadim Muntagirov – Royal Ballet Principals, on La Fille mal gardée

Jann Parry talks to Laura Morera and Vadim Muntagirov about all things La Fille mal gardée and a few other things too…

Rupert Pennefather and Emma Maguire in A Month in the Country.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Ashton quad bill – London

Jann Parry reviews Scènes de ballet, Five Brahms Waltzes, Symphonic Variations and A Month in the Country…

Christopher Saunders (Monsieur GM) and Marianela Nunez in Manon.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Manon (Nunez / Bonelli)

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

The Snowflakes in Peter Wright's The Nutcracker.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

Another December, another Royal Ballet Nutcracker: anything new to report? Not much, no. And for once that’s probably the answer most people are hoping to hear…

Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta in Don Quixote.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Don Quixote (Acosta production) – London

It’s especially challenging for the Royal Ballet, whose repertoire and style are built on the subtle understatement of Frederick Ashton and the deep psychological explorations of Kenneth MacMillan: hot-blooded Latin exuberance is not really their thing…

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