"English National Ballet" tag
Scottish Ballet in the filmed performance of Catalyst by Nicholas Shoesmith.© Mihaela Bodlovic. (Click image for larger version)

An Evening with Scottish Ballet – part of Edinburgh International Festival 2020

★★★✰✰   Although An Evening with Scottish Ballet could have been better presented by the Edinburgh Festival, the programme showcases an enterprising company full of ideas…

Meng-Ke Wu in She Remembers.© Nederlands Dans Theater. (Click image for larger version)

Nederlands Dans Theater – Paul Lightfoot and Sol León lockdown streamed premieres

★★★★✰ / ★★★★★   If there have been better examples of substantial dance films made during these trying times then I have yet to see them.

Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernandez in Cinderella.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Cinderella – streamed archive recording of 2019 performance

★★★✰✰   Wheeldon has woven a lot of narrative threads into his ballet spectacular.

James Streeter, Alina Cojocaru, Jane Haworth and Jeffrey Cirio in Manon.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Manon – streamed archive recording of 2018 performance

★★★★★   What we are fortunate to be able to witness in these constrained times is an intimate record of otherwise fleeting performances by exceptional artists.

Tamara Rojo in Song of the Earth.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth – streamed archive recording of 2017 performance

★★★★✰   The recording reveals how unusual the choreography is, as it was in 1965… Dancers in pointe shoes have to adapt to flexed feet, flat-footed parallel positions, torsos bent forward, elbows and wrists held at angles.

Vadim Muntagirov in rehearsal for Dance of the Blessed Spirits.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: Second Concert (20 June)

★★★★★   Though the concert was a treat, could the Royal Opera House please try raising our spirits in future streamings, and give the Royal Ballet the prominence it deserves.

Vadim Muntagirov.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Vadim Muntagirov on life under lockdown and dancing at the ROH again, to be seen this Saturday

The Royal Ballet’s Vadim Muntagirov talks about making the most of lockdown and getting ready to dance again for the Royal Opera House’s Live from Covent Garden transmission on Saturday night (20 June 2020), where he is dancing Ashton’s seldom-seen “Dance of the Blessed Spirits”…

Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernández in Swan Lake.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Swan Lake – streamed archive recording of 2018 performance

★★★✰✰   I do wonder why ENB chose this particular (acceptable but sometimes subdued) recording to stream, when we are all suffering from live performance withdrawal symptoms and this company so often produces spectacular performances, sending audiences away in raptures.

Viviana Durante Company in Unda.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Viviana Durante Company – Isadora Now triple bill – London

★★★★✰   Isadora Duncan’s spirit has been honoured, even if the impact of her presence remains elusive.

Alina Cojocaru in Marguerite and Armand publicity image.© Moran Norman. (Click image for larger version)

Alina Cojocaru – Alina at Sadler’s Wells – London

★★★★✰   Alina Cojocaru’s choice of works for her brief season at Sadler’s Wells provided an insight into her priorities as she reflected on her career: live music-making and dance-making that has something to say.

Katja Khaniukova - Winner of the Outstanding Female Classical Performance award for Frida in Broken Wings, English National Ballet.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – UK National Dance Awards 2019

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Shanghai Ballet in Swan Lake.© North America Photography Association. (Click image for larger version)

Shanghai Ballet – Swan Lake – New York

★★★★✰   It’s comforting to know that at even my advanced age I can still be confounded even by hoary old Swan Lake.

Maia Makhateli in Frida.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Frida – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   This was much more than my expectation of an update to Broken Wings. Part prequel, part sequel; it now stands proudly alone as an excellent new addition to the Dutch ballet repertoire.

Ekaterina Kondaurova and Timur Askerov in Grand Pas Classique.© Kristyna Kashvili. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Icons Gala 2020 – London

★★★★✰   The annual Icons gala provides the chance to see dancers who don’t often appear in London…

English National Ballet in Etudes.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala – Etudes

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Isaac Hernandez, Shiori Kase, Joseph Caley & ENB artists in Harold Lander's Etudes.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – 70th Anniversary Gala – London

★★★★✰   For those of us that have been involved with the company, no matter how small a part, it is clear that the ‘happy family’ that is English National Ballet, reveres and appreciates all who have been part of its 70 year existence.

Francesco Gabriele Frola in Le Corsaire.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Le Corsaire – London

★★★★✰   It’s not the kind of work that will persuade anyone that ballet can be a subtle, nuanced and poetic art, but it is cracking entertainment and a treat in a dreary month.

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…

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

English National Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★✰✰   Having premiered in 2010, it is now two years’ past the median lifespan of an ENB Nutcracker and – despite many attributes – the show has reached its sell-by date.

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…

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