"Mahler" tag
Tobias Praetorius.© Tom Mckenzie. (Click image for larger version)

RDB’s Tobias Praetorius on his new ballet, The Princess and the Pea

Royal Danish Ballet’s Tobias Praetorius is an anomaly, a young dancer – he’s only 24 – who is already interested in playing character roles. He is also a choreographer and Marina Harss catches up with him about his latest project – a ‘Pixiballet’ (aimed at children) based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea…

Vadim Muntagirov in rehearsal for Dance of the Blessed Spirits.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: Second Concert (20 June)

★★★★★   Though the concert was a treat, could the Royal Opera House please try raising our spirits in future streamings, and give the Royal Ballet the prominence it deserves.

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…

Joseph Gordon and David Hallberg in Maurice Béjart's Song of a Wayfarer.© Maria Baranova. (Click image for larger version)

RB, ABT, NYCB & NYTB dancers at the Joyce Ballet Festival – Prog C, curated by Jean-Marc Puissant – New York

★★★★✰   Starwise, Bejart’s Wayfarer bumps this program from two stars to four.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in Since She.© Julian Mommert. (Click image for larger version)

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – Since She – London

★★★★✰   Papaioannou weaves in many references to Bausch’s work and deliberately asks us to find them, the work is fuelled by his love for her. But he also invites us to move on from the nostalgia trip.

Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov in Nureyev.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2018 – London

★★★✰✰   This year’s Russian Ballet gala was ostensibly in honour of the 200th anniversary of Marius Petipa’s birth. Any choreography attributed to him was mostly a long way ‘after Petipa’, but it’s always fun to see excellent Russian dancers deliver pas de deux from Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Le Corsaire.

Amanda Treiber and Erez Milatin in Optimists.© Rachel Neville. (Click image for larger version)

New York Theatre Ballet – Beethoven/1999, Optimists, Dark Elegies, Double Andante – New York

★★★✰✰   All was danced with the quiet focus, lucidity, and unfussy delivery that characterize the company. No attention-grabbing fireworks…

Isaac Hernandez and Jurgita Dronina in La Sylphide.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth, La Sylphide – London

★★★★✰   The pairing cannily indulges our need for vivid material on these bleak mid-winter nights while also steering us down from the high of the Christmas circuit, with its sugary Nutcrackers and other family-friendly fare.

Thiago Soares and Lauren Cuthbertson in The Judas Tree.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

MacMillan Celebrations – The Judas Tree (RB), The Song of the Earth (ENB) – London

★★★★✰   The second programme commemorating the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death revealed his very different responses to music, and to human nature.

Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernandez in La Sylphide.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth, La Sylphide – Manchester

★★★★✰   The ENB production of La Sylphide has been staged by three luminaries of Danish ballet, Frank Andersen, Eva Kloborg and Anne Marie Vessel Schlüter, and is, therefore, one supposes, as authentic to the August Bournonville ideals, as possible…

Marijn Rademaker and Igone de Jongh in Sarcasmen.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Hans van Manen, Ode to the Master bill – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   An outstanding bill in showing Hans van Manen’s work for three companies and its rich contemporary diversity – it all looks so fresh and of today.

Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin de Luz in Ratmansky's Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Square Dance, Tarantella, Odessa, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – Washington

★★★★★   Alexei Ratmansky’s Odessa left me breathless. The dancing (I saw both casts) was phenomenal on all levels: assured, expressive, and thoroughly dramatic.

Alexander Ekman.© Peter Greig. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Alexander Ekman, Director / Choreographer, on Cacti and other things

One of the go-to international choreographers, particularly if you want something arresting and unusual, is Alexander Ekman. His “Cacti”, appropriately featuring a stage full of Cacti, is about to be presented by Royal New Zealand Ballet and Sydney Dance Company – Valerie Lawson catches up with a dance maverick…

Beata Giza and Beniamin Citkowski in Phaedra.© K Mystkowski. (Click image for larger version)

Baltic Dance Theatre – Phaedra, The Tempest – Gdansk

It seems now to be a given that any new work by Izadora Weiss will combine dramatic, narrative-based dance theatre with a profound visual impact, danced to challenging, powerful music.

Filip Michalak and Beata Giza in Body Master.© K Mystkowski. (Click image for larger version)

Baltic Dance Theatre – Fun, Death and the Maiden, Body Master – Warsaw

Unlike Kylián, Weiss generally works from an overt storyline and her own libretto for Body Master is loosely based on the life of Gordon Craig, the English pioneer of modernist theatre…

Vivian Aragon, Michael Galloway and Tegan Schwab in promotional shot for The Luminous Edge.© RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Garrett + Moulton Dance – The Luminous Edge – San Francisco

I’ve seen Garrett + Moulton’s The Luminous Edge three times now, and I’ve yet to plumb its deepest currents…

Marianela Nuñez and Nehemiah Kish in Song of the Earth.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

The Royal Ballet – The Dream, Song of the Earth – New York

After an absence of eleven years, the Royal Ballet has finally returned to New York; they’re currently presenting two programs at the Koch Theatre,..

New York Theatre Ballet in Ashton's Capriol Suite.© Yi-Chun Wu. (Click image for larger version)

New York Theatre Ballet – Capriol Suite, Two Timing, Cat’s Cradle, Such Longing, Dark Elegies – New York

The program presented at St. Mark’s this past week reflects all of these positive developments; even more, it seemed infused with a new sense of assurance and identity.

Tura Gomez Coll as Ariel in The Tempest.© K. Mystkowski. (Click image for larger version)

Baltic Dance Theatre – The Tempest – Gdansk

Weiss is taking Baltic Dance Theatre on a journey that needs to be seen outside as well as inside Poland.

Federico Bonelli and Sarah Lamb in Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Afternoon of a Faun, In the Night, Song of the Earth – London

The final triple bill of the Royal Ballet’s season reverts to its founder’s faith in classical ballet as an expressive language.

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