"James Hay" tag
Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in The Sleeping Beauty.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet’s current production of The Sleeping Beauty, dating back to 2006, is a homage to Ninette de Valois and her faith that Marius Petipa’s Imperial Russian ballet should be the flagship of her British company.

Everyone Keeps Me by Pam Tanowitz: Fumi Kaneko, Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Hannah Grennell and Beatriz Stix-Brunell.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Merce Cunningham celebration: Cross Currents, Monotones II, Everyone Keeps Me – London

★★★★★   Quite some achievement by Pam Tanowitz, to have followed treasured works by Cunningham and Ashton with one that pays homage to both, yet stands on its own as her distinctive tapestry of dance.

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…

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.

World Ballet Live - 2 October 2018.

World Ballet Day, 2 October 2018 – an insight into what The Royal Ballet will be doing

Jann Parry talks to The Royal Ballet about what’s happening on World Ballet Day this year and just what it means for some of those involved… Kristen McNally, James Hay and Assistant director Anthoula Syndica-Drummond.

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…

Benjamin Ella and Isabella Gasparini in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2017 – London

Head and shoulders above other new work this year was Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern for the Royal Ballet…

MacMillan Celebrations – Gloria (NB), The Judas Tree (RB), Elite Syncopations (RB+Guests) – London

★★★★✰   Elite Syncopations: Dancers from all five major British ballet companies took part, some doubling up roles in identical outfits so that identifying dancers was confusing. The stand-out solo in both the casts I saw was to the Calliope Rag, Monica Mason’s original role…

Akane Takada in The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.© Robbie Jack. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Opening the New bill – Hull

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet’s away-day to Hull, this year’s UK Capital of Culture, was dramatic in its scale: 17 pieces presented over three hours…

Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli in Marguerite and Armand.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – 3 casts in The Dream, Symphonic Variations, Marguerite and Armand – London

★★★★✰   In Marguerite and Armand the 3 casts reviewed are Zenaida Yanowsky and Roberto Bolle, Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli, Natalia Osipova and Valdimir Shklyarov.

Tristan Dyer, Yuhui Choe, Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nunez, James Hay and Yasmine Naghdi in Symphonic Variations.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Dream, Symphonic Variations, Marguerite and Armand

An all Frederick Ashton bill. Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Zenaida Yanowsky in Symphonic Dances.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Symphonic Dances (premiere), The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Tarantella, Strapless – London

★★★★✰   Symphonic Dances is Scarlett’s farewell portrait of Yanowsky. Like her, the ballet is big and bold, beautiful and elusive.

Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Valeri Hristov in Emeralds.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – London

★★★★✰   The first Emeralds ballerina, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, could be a water nymph, touching the hands of her suitor, Valeri Hristov, in the opening pas de deux before drifting out of reach.

Akane Takada and James Hay in The Sleeping Beauty.© Bill Cooper, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   The grand pas de deux was the triumphant highlight of the fairytale festivities. Hay expressed the prince’s pride and pleasure in his variations; Takada was demure and regal in hers…

Anna Rose O'Sullivan and James Hay in The Nutcracker.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

Francesca Hayward and James Hay in Rhapsody.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Rhapsody, The Two Pigeons – London

★★★★★ “What a joy to have Rhapsody back in its original setting…”

Steven McRae with Benjamin Ella and Yasmine Naghdi in Rhapsody.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in Rhapsody (2 Casts: Osipova, McRae & Hayward, Hay)

Gallery by Dave Morgan…

James Hay.© Andrej Uspenski. (Click image for larger version)

James Hay – Royal Ballet First Soloist

The Royal Ballet’s 2015/2016 season is providing big opportunities for James Hay, promoted to First Soloist in June…

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