"Gary Avis" tag
Lauren Cuthbertson and Marcelino Sambé in The Cellist.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – The Cellist (premiere), Dances at a Gathering – London

★★★✰✰   In The Cellist, Cathy Marston has taken on a challenging subject for her first commission for the Royal Opera House stage: the real-life story of a much-loved musician Jacqueline Du Pré…

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…

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

Royal Ballet – Onegin – London

★★★★✰   The ballet works as a conflicted love story centred on the heroine, Tatiana. When Natalia Osipova dances the role, she brings home how Russian the character is.

Natalia Osipova and Gary Avis in Onegin.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Onegin

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Francesca Hayward and Gary Avis in Coppélia.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Coppélia – London

★★★★✰   The dancing is so enjoyable, the comedy so appealing, that any flaws in the story telling are easily overlooked.

Francesca Hayward in Coppélia.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Francesca Hayward and Gary Avis in a scene from the Royal Ballet’s Coppélia

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov in Manon.© Alice Pennefather, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Manon – London

★★★★✰   Sarah Lamb and Vadim Muntagirov, as Des Grieux, are not new to the roles and their understanding of the characters and the choreography has deepened with experience.

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.

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…

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…

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.

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.

Natalia Osipova and Vadim Muntagirov in La Bayadère.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Bayadère – London

★★★★✰   In the past, the Royal Ballet’s version, last performed five years ago, has sometimes seemed insubstantial. Not so this time, with a luxury cast in full dramatic mode: Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nuñez, Natalia Osipova and Gary Avis…

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.

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…

Le Rossignol masterclass: Anna Rose O’Sullivan and William Bracewell with Anthony Dowell.© Rachel Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Frederick Ashton’s choreography for Le Rossignol – a masterclass with Sir Anthony Dowell

The Metropolitan Opera in New York staged “Le Rossignol” in December 1981 as part of a programme commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Stravinsky’s birth… the producer was John Dexter. He told Ashton, back in London, that he could choreograph two dancers as the Nightingale and the Fisherman on stage, while the roles would be sung by opera singers in the orchestra pit…

Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb in The Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★★   When Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker for the Royal Ballet was given its premiere on 20th December 1984, gala guests were treated to free champagne and souvenir booklets. No expense was spared…

Gary Avis and Francesca Hayward in The Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

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