"Edward Watson" tag
Federico Bonelli and Akane Takada in Swan lake.© Tristram Kenton ROH. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Back on Stage – London

The entire Royal Ballet were back on stage and performing for a live audience last Friday in a gala style show which was/is also streamed. Jann Parry was mightily impressed with the dancing and repertoire (★★★★★) if not so much with the live audience experience in a Covid aware Opera House (★★★✰✰)

Winner of the 2020 Emerging Dancer Award, Ivana Bueno, dancing with William Yamada in Mthuthuzeli November's Full Out.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

2020 English National Ballet Emerging Dancer Competition – performance and results

★★★★✰   Despite Covid-19 English National Ballet still ran their unique Emerging Dancer Competition and streamed the night in full to fans. The 2020 winner is Ivana Bueno – “Very evidently a talent to watch”, says Jann Parry.

Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli in the Tuesday section of Woolf Works.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Woolf Works – streamed archive recording of 2017 performance

★★★✰✰   Wayne McGregor’s first full-length creation for the Royal Ballet, Woolf Works, inspired by Virginia Woolf, remains one of his best works to date.

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.

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…

Edward Watson and Olga Smirnova in McGregor + Mugler.© Sasha Gusov. (Click image for larger version)

MuzArts – Radio & Juliet, Faun, McGregor + Mugler – London

★★✰✰✰   There was certainly some spectacle and some good dancing, and not just from the big stars. However, the most heavily promoted piece and world premiere was an excruciating fifteen minutes of disappointment…

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.

Margot Fonteyn as Ondine, 1958.© Roger Wood, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Margot Fonteyn, A Celebration – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet did themselves a lot of good with the last new bill of the season – a one-off celebration of Margot Fonteyn. There was much to be reminded of and be proud of.

Gary Avis in The Firebird.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Firebird, A Month in the Country, Symphony in C – London

★★★★✰   Three short but densely packed ballets infused with a strong Russian flavour were at the heart of the Royal Ballet’s last bill of the season.

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 Gala group photo.© Jack Devant. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 – London

★★★✰✰   The annual Ballet Icons gala, now in its 14th year, aims to promote Russian culture while providing a Sunday evening’s entertainment for Russians in London and ballet-lovers…

Natalia Osipova and Ryoichi Hirano in Mayerling.© Helen Maybanks, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Mayerling (Hirano, Osipova) – London

★★★★✰   Osipova is lethally orgasmic… Never has MacMilllan’s choreography for the death duet seemed so astounding as in her account of it.

Francesca Hayward and Matthew Ball (The Royal Ballet) in Bach Forms, choreography by Wayne McGregor.© Ravi Deepres. (Click image for larger version)

Dance@TheGrange – Curated by Wayne McGregor & Edward Watson – Grange Festival, Hampshire

★★★★✰   McGregor’s company dancers (in Bach Forms) brought a surging energy, buoying up jewel-like moments from the Royal Ballet stars…

Kizzy Matiakis in the lead image for The Queen of Spades.© Camilla Winther. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – The Queen of Spades – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   The good news is that Queen of Spades is a good-looking crowd pleaser and the RDB dancers look fantastic in it – I can’t emphasise that enough. Also good that it’s a step up from his last commission, Frankenstein – thank goodness, really.

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…

Benjamin Ella and Isabella Gasparini in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2017 – London

Head and shoulders above other new work this year was Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern for the Royal Ballet…

Men in Motion flyer.© Nick Knight. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Men in Motion (2017) – London

★★✰✰✰   All the ingredients seemed promising but the evening was disappointing, struggling to recover from the tedium of the dire opening item…

Natalia Osipova in Arthur Pita's The Wind.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Illustrated ‘Farewell’, The Wind, Untouchable – London

★★★✰✰   Kevin O’Hare is commissioning choreographers who want to make use of what the Opera House can offer; he’s not setting out to declare where ballet ought to be heading and he’s not playing safe.

Thiago Soares and Lauren Cuthbertson in The Judas Tree.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – The Judas Tree (RB), The Song of the Earth (ENB) – London

★★★★✰   The second programme commemorating the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death revealed his very different responses to music, and to human nature.

Lauren Cuthbertson, Edward Watson and Thiago Soares in The Judas Tree.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Judas Tree

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Lauren Cuthbertson in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.© Johan Persson, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – London

★★★✰✰   Wheeldon and his scenarist, Nicholas Wright, have made theatrical sense of a nonsensical children’s classic. This Alice, though, is a modern pantomime, not a classic ballet.

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