"Frederick Ashton" tag
Carlos Acosta CBE with Dance Section Charirman Graham Watts (left) and Mark Shenton, President of the Critics Circle.© Peter Hogan. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta splendidly summed up as he collects his Critics’ Circle Services to the Arts award

I was at the recent Critics’ Circle lunch when Carlos Acosta won his latest award and was struck by Graham Watts citation – it seemed to splendidly sum up Carlos, both the man and his illustrious career… and why exactly we all admire him. BM, Ed.

Ivan Putrov in Ashton's Dance of the Blessed Spirits.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Against the Stream – London

★★★★✰   Putov brought together remarkable performers whom we long to see again, and left us wanting more…

Ivan Putrov.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov on his latest night of ballet – Against the Stream

Ivan Putrov’s latest project, Against the Stream, gets its premiere on Sunday 7 April 2019 at the London Coliseum. Jann Parry finds out all about it…

Annette Page in Cinderella.© Roy Round, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Annette Page: Tribute to a Ballerina

This programme celebrated Annette Page’s career with the Royal Ballet and supported the Motor Neurone Disease Association. She died at the age of 84 of MND, a cruel disease for a former dancer and an articulate, witty woman…

Marcelo Gomes & The Sarasota Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton's Apparitions.© Frank Atura. (Click image for larger version)

Sarasota Ballet – Apparitions, Stars and Stripes – Sarasota

★★★★✰   As if an Ashton rarity weren’t reason enough to catch this program, there was also the presence of Marcelo Gomes, former much-admired principal dancer from American Ballet Theatre, to recommend it.

Wei Wang in Frankenstein.© Andrej Uspenski, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Frankenstein – London

★★✰✰✰   Could Liam Scarlett’s monstrous Frankenstein be fixed with more, better surgery? Evidently not, in this revival, three years after its creation.

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

The Royal Ballet School in The Cunning Little Vixen.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School & Royal Ballet – The Cunning Little Vixen, The Two Pigeons – London

★★★★✰ – Royal Ballet School in Liam Scarlett’s new Cunning Little Vixen. ★★✰✰✰ – Royal Ballet’s Yasmine Naghdi debut in Two Pigeons.

Araminta Wraith and Luke Schaufuss in Cinderella.© Rimbaud Patron. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Cinderella – Glasgow

★★★★✰   This is my second review of Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella this winter. Why? Well, it’s a production I like and I wanted to see more dancers in it, silly!

Marianela Nuñez and Ryoichi Hirano in Asphodel Meadows.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Asphodel Meadows, The Two Pigeons – London

★★★★✰   Liam Scarlett’s Asphodel Meadows has made a welcome return to the Opera House stage, reminding us exactly why his prodigious talent was given a main stage debut when the choreographer was just 24.

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.

Momoko Hirata and César Morales in The Nutcracker.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Autumn delights: La fille mal gardée & The Nutcracker – London & Birmingham

★★★★✰   I look forward to the changes inevitably coming to BRB, but I can’t believe any new director will turn their back on such repertoire gems as La fille mal gardee and their Peter Wright Nutcracker.

Darcey Bussell and Roberto Bolle in Sylvia on Opus Arte video from Amazon.© Opus Arte. (Click image for larger version)

Close up with Darcey Bussell and Ashton’s Sylvia at the Royal Opera House Cinema Festival

To celebrate 10 year of live relays the Royal Opera House is hosting a Cinema Festival of past works in the newly rebuilt Linbury Studio Theatre. Jann Parry was there for the screening of Ashton’s Sylvia (recorded in 2005) and which included Darcey Bussell reminiscing about dancing the lead role…

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…

Mayara Magri makes her debut as Gamzatti in La Bayadere on 14th November 2018.© and courtesy The Royal Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Mayara Magri, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet

Jann Parry talks to the recently promoted Mayara Magri at an important time – she is about to make her debut as Gamzatti in The Royal Ballet’s production of La Bayadere – her first major and leading role in the company she joined 6 years ago…

Polina Semionova in La Bayadère.© Yan Revazov. (Click image for larger version)

Staatsballett Berlin – La Bayadère (premiere of Ratmansky reconstruction) – Berlin

★★★★✰   In the last several years, the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has developed a sideline to his main choreographic efforts: the reviving of ballets by Marius Petipa in a way that represents the original choreography with as much fidelity as possible…

Lauren Post and José Sebastian in Zhongjing Fang's Seen by Two.© Rod Brayman. (Click image for larger version)

Co.Lab Dance – Seen by Two, Almost Ritual, The Bright Motion, Sketches – New York

★★★✰✰   What will Co.Lab become? I look forward to finding out. Meanwhile, it’s simply encouraging to see these dancers and emerging choreographers create something of their own.

Victoria Hulland, Ricardo Graziano and Ricardo Rhodes in Ashton's Monotones II.© Frank Atura. (Click image for larger version)

Sarasota Ballet – Monotones I & II, Symphony of Sorrows, There Where She Loved – New York

★★✰✰✰   After viewing Ashton on a bill with works by Ricardo Graziano and Christopher Wheeldon, I’m not worried about Ashton’s relevance nor his resonance with a future audience. …Both the Graziano and Wheeldon posed some problems from what some might consider a “female” perspective.

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…

Alina Cojocaru in The Sleeping Beauty.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   It’s a better Sleeping Beauty than the Royal Ballet’s, but it benefits enormously from a stellar performance at its heart, a reminder of how civilised ballet can be.

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