"Giselle" tag
Natalia Osipova in the film Force of Nature Natalia.© Justine Waddell, Asterisk Films. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova Film – A Force of Nature Natalia

★★★★★   This is a superbly made film… It draws a portrait of a supreme artist, a woman with exceptional humility, all sensitively handled with warmth and humour.

Yang Liping's Rite of Spring.© Li Yijan. (Click image for larger version)

Yang Liping – Rite of Spring – London

★★★✰✰   As with most retellings, Liping’s centres on a young woman destined to dance herself to death. However, the dancemaker has invoked Buddhist principles, including the concept of reincarnation…

Wona Park and Angelo Greco in Ratmansky's Concerto #1.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Shostakovich Trilogy – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The choreography in Shostakovich Trilogy, which was co-commissioned by SFB and ABT and premiered in 2014, is as frustratingly capricious as the music.

Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg in Ratmansky’s Valse Triste.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance bill – New York

★★★✰✰   So, is Pure Dance a success? It depends on what you’re looking for. Osipova is as exciting, and as powerful, a dancer as ever. Among the commissions, only Valse Triste and Flutter are worthy of further exploration…

Wim Vanlessen in Boléro.© Filip Van Roe / Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet Flanders – Fall, Chronicle, Boléro – Antwerp

★★★★✰   For a very short while, Wim Vanlessen will enjoy the claim that he has performed for the Royal Ballet Flanders for more than half its existence. The company celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, later this year and Vanlessen joined in 1994. This performance was both a celebration of exceptional long service and a farewell…

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.

Thomas Bieszka in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2018 – London

Semperoper Ballett Dresden were another new visitor in the summer, with a programme of Forsythe works, some not seen here before. But Forsythe is a theme this year in himself.

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.

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…

Nicoletta Manni and Leonid Sarafanov in Don Quixote.© Darren Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

La Scala Ballet – Giselle and Don Quixote – Brisbane

★★★★✰   Nicoletta Manni’s performances in Don Quixote and Giselle on the last three days of Teatro alla Scala ballet company’s season in Australia was extraordinary, not just for her stamina and resilience, but her acting skills.

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…

Isabella Boylston and Jeffrey Cirio in La Bayadère.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – La Bayadère – Los Angeles

★★✰✰✰   …watching La Bayadère can feel like observing an artifact stuck in another era, and indicates the need for a conversation about what a contemporary, forward-thinking repertoire should look like.

National Ballet of Cuba in Giselle.© Carlos Quezada. (Click image for larger version)

National Ballet of Cuba – Giselle – Saratoga Springs

★★★✰✰   Ultimately, the best thing about Alonso’s Giselle is that it’s danced by Cubans, and that’s good enough for me.

Akram Khan in Xenos.© Jean-Louis Fernandez. (Click image for larger version)

Akram Khan Company – Xenos – London

★★★✰✰   Xenos, which apparently means “stranger” or, more aptly for this piece, “foreigner”, is a tangled mass of many things but, above all, it seems to be an essay on loneliness.

Hee Seo in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – New York

★★★★✰   Roberto Bolle, who played his usual striking Albrecht, responded to Seo with nuance and subtlety. The same goes for how Seo revealed Giselle’s madness…

Misty Copeland, Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in Afterite.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – 3 Bills: Giselle, Gala, Firebird/Afterite – New York

★★★★✰   After a week of Giselle, during which Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg had their much-awaited re-match, the company began its season in earnest on May 21, with a spring gala that included two new works and excerpts from a third…

The 2018 ENB Emerging Dancer finalists: Precious Adams, Fernando Carratalá Coloma, Giorgio Garrett, Daniel McCormick, Francesca Velicu and Connie Vowles.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer 2018 Competition – 5 Questions to 6 Finalists

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer Competition is unique in British ballet in throwing the spotlight on more junior dancers or “tomorrow’s stars” as ENB put it. This year’s competition is on the 11 June and ahead of the that we talk to the finalists – Precious Adams, Fernando Carratalá Coloma, Giorgio Garrett, Daniel McCormick, Francesca Velicu and Connie Vowles…

Melissa Hamilton.© Andrej Uspenski. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Melissa Hamilton, First Soloist, The Royal Ballet

“I knew that I had to seize my only chance to have a ballet career. Masha Mukhamedov agreed to teach me privately six days a week for ten months…”

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa rehearsing Guernica.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Annabelle Lopez Ochoa on creating Guernica for SF Ballet’s Unbound Festival

“I don’t know if we can make the world a better place, but we can definitely have the audience think about it.”

Publicity image for English National Ballet / Akram Khan's Giselle.© Jason Bell. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle – on cinema release

★★★★★   A total of 150 cinemas will show the ballet, which was filmed at the Liverpool Empire, in October 2017

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