"Giselle" tag
Dance Theatre of Harlem in Creole Giselle.© Dance Theatre of Harlem. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Theatre of Harlem – Creole Giselle – streamed archive recording of 1987 performance

★★★✰✰   Giselle was the first full-length classical ballet that Arthur Mitchell’s company of black American dancers would perform. He thought there would be no point in their pretending to be Rhineland peasants, so decided to set the 19th century ballet in pre-Civil War Louisiana.

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…

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.

Devon Teuscher as Myrta in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – Washington

★★★★✰   I saw two performances; each of them demonstrated why Giselle is still so popular even 180 years after the ballet’s premiere.

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…

Megan Fairchild and NYCB in Ratmansky’s Voices.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Voices (new Ratmansky), and New Combinations bill – New York

★★★★✰   There was always something new around the corner, a surprising shape, a witty step, an unlikely transition. It’s clear that Ratmansky felt liberated by the unusual structure and soundscape…

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.

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…

Bijayini Satpathy in the Kalpana bill.© Anubhava. (Click image for larger version)

Some Memorable Performances of 2019 – New York

I don’t really believe in lists, but it’s admittedly fun to look back over the year and reflect on moments that have stayed with me. So here they are, in no particular order…

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.

Olga Smirnova and Artemy Belyakov in Giselle.© Damir Yusupov/ Bolshoi Theatre. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Giselle (Ratmansky premiere) – Moscow

★★★★✰   This is a Giselle that is both familiar and new. Watching it on opening night was like seeing a faded painting regain its colors.

Momoko Hirata, Cesar Morales and Marion Tait in Giselle.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Giselle – London

★★★★✰   …exemplary performances from Momoko Hirata as Giselle and César Morales as Albrecht make for a richly rewarding and moving experience.

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…

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