"Giselle" tag
Adrian Danchig-Waring and Emilie Gerrity in Cunningham’s Summerspace.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Summerspace, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

★★★★✰   On the penultimate day of the fall season, I managed to catch a performance of New York City Ballet’s revival of Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace. The 1958 piece, which had its City Ballet premiere in 1966, was last performed here in 2000.

Mariinsky Ballet in Paquita.© Darian Volkova. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Paquita – Washington

★★★✰✰   This three-act three-hour-long Paquita is a brainchild of Smekalov, who is a second soloist with the company. He wrote his own libretto, largely borrowing from the Cervantes novella La Gitanilla…

Dada Masilo in Giselle.© Laurent Phillipe. (Click image for larger version)

Dada Masilo – Giselle – London

★★★★✰   Masilo and company unpack this famous story of a wronged woman, establishing a refreshingly black, South African and feminist perspective.

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

English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle – London

★★★★★   Everything about this production is topical, very real and will probably be so for many years to come. Absolutely five stars to the company…

Tamara Rojo in Giselle.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – English National Ballet in Akram Khan’s Giselle

Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin in Swan Lake.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Swan Lake – London

★★★✰✰   A 3 star production with 4 star performances…

The Dancing Under The Southern Skies book cover, featuring Leanne Benjamin, in a photo © Jason Bell.© Australian Scholarly Publishing. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Dancing Under The Southern Skies: A History of Ballet in Australia – by Valerie Lawson

Although Valerie Lawson’s context is wide-ranging, she brings individuals into focus with personal details, shining a spotlight onto their roles in Australian dance history. Lavishly illustrated with photographs from Australian archives, her book gives vivid life to long-gone personalities.

Olga Smirnova in Swan Lake.© Damir Yusupov. (Click image for larger version)

The Bolshoi Ballet in London, Summer 2019 – All you need to know (and more!)

The Bolshoi Ballet are in London this summer with Spartacus, Swan Lake, The Bright Stream and Don Quixote. One of the world’s greatest companies, here are Jann Parry’s thoughts on an important visit…

Chloe Keneally in Kenneth Tindall's Solo for C.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet School – 2019 Summer Performance, Celebrating 30 Years – London

★★★✰✰   English National Ballet School is celebrating 30 years since its inception in 1989 – it had just 12 students in that inaugural year. The numbers are ever increasing and there is evidence of significant talents among the graduates this year.

Isabella Boylston in The Sleeping Beauty.© John Grigaitis. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – New York

★★★★✰   This production proposes that Sleeping Beauty is not really the story of a love quest – as it’s often depicted – but rather a fable about order and disorder, harmony and disharmony, the balance between good and evil.

Devon Teuscher in Le Corsaire.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Le Corsaire – New York

★★★★✰   Days after the performance, I cannot get James Whiteside’s Ali out of my head. Devon Teuscher’s Medora is charming and warm, pulling off triple fouettées turns and her Italian fouettées with aplomb…

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…

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