"Mats Ek" tag
Bethany Kingsley-Garner in The Snow Queen.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Snow Queen – Edinburgh

★★★★✰   Hampson has created a naturalistic and, above all, a graceful and harmonious set of steps. It’s all so unforced, but it feels right and creates a beautifully rounded and satisfying production.

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.

The Royal Ballet School in Goyo Montero's Pulse.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Holland Park bill (mainly Upper School) – London

★★★★✰   The show overall gave us a good slice of what ballet is in 2019, and just how adaptable the students need to be these days – exciting times for them and exciting for us in the audience as well.

A picture supplied to illustrte RBS at the Young Talent Festival - Aurora’s Wedding from the 2018 Royal Ballet School Summer Performance.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – ROH, Young Talent Festival, mixed bill – London

★★★★✰   Royal Ballet School at the ROH Young Talent Festival with a mixed bill of over 10, new and old works…

Javier Andreu and Aaron Venegas in Laplane's Dextera.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Dextera, Elite Syncopations – Inverness

★★★★✰   It’s the company’s 50th Anniversary season and rather than start it, as you might expect, in Glasgow or Edinburgh, they opened in Scotland’s most northerly city, Inverness, with a special premiere and a full-on party for all.

Dane Hurst.© Nic Guttridge. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Dane Hurst about his creative life and dancing in Didy Veldman’s The Knot…

I’m really enjoying being different things throughout the year. Sometimes a dancer, then choreographer and teacher and most recently I had a go at acting again in a feature film by Clara Van Gool…

Alina Cojocaru in The Sleeping Beauty.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   It’s a better Sleeping Beauty than the Royal Ballet’s, but it benefits enormously from a stellar performance at its heart, a reminder of how civilised ballet can be.

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…”

English National Ballet School publicity image for the 2017 Summer Performance.© ENB School. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet School – Summer Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   The highlight of the second half of the programme was Mats Ek’s Pas de Danse, staged by his assistant, Pompea Santoro.

Ana Laguna and Yvan Auzely in Mats Ek's Axe.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sadler’s Wells Elixir Festival – KnowBody II – London

★★★✰✰   Mats Ek’s “Axe” could be the beginning to a new Scandi Noir TV series. There is a man, an axe, a huge pile of wood that he starts to chop with repressed intensity and a visibly distressed wife. It doesn’t look like it will end well.

Mara Galeazzi.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House.

Interview – Mara Galeazzi on Woolf Works, her wider career and dancing on…

She found that she came back to perform with the company she left five years ago with a different approach. ‘I know more about why I love to perform…’

Tamara Rojo and James Streeter in Akram Khan's Giselle.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Akram Khan’s Giselle – London

★★★✰✰   Jann Parry with an alternative view and detailed account of the Akram Khan Giselle for English National Ballet…

Didy Veldman.© Mia-Bo Powney. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Didy Veldman – on forming and touring her new company, Umanoove

Choreographer Didy Veldman has just formed her own company – Umanoove – and is off touring her latest work, called “The Happiness Project”. Time for a brief 5 questions interview we thought…

Mariko Kida and Anthony Lomuljo in Mats Ek's Juliet and Romeo.© Gert Weigelt. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Swedish Ballet – Juliet and Romeo – Washington

★★★✰✰   The production nevertheless intrigues the eye and is fueled by the exceptional dancing of the company’s talented and dedicated dancers.

BalletBoyz in Javier De Frutos' Fiction.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

BalletBoyz – Life: Rabbit, Fiction – London

★★★★✰   Having missed the opening night of the BalletBoyz tour, at Sadler’s Wells, a few weeks ago, I caught up with it, just three bus stops away from my home…

Sophie Martin and Christopher Harrison in David Dawson's Swan Lake.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Swan Lake (Dawson premiere) – Glasgow

★★★✰✰   Sophie Martin’s Odette/Odille, despite the costume, steals the show with layers of dramatic nuance on top of the pushed lines of Dawson’s steps.

Brooklyn Mack and Venus Villa in Hamlet.© Theo Kossenas. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Hamlet – Washington

★★✰✰✰   There is, however, one undeniably compelling personage in this somewhat flat production of Hamlet – the quiet and fragile Ophelia, as portrayed by Venus Villa…

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…

Sylvie Guillem. © Gilles Tapie. (Click image for larger version)

2015 Dance Memories – London

Lynette Halewood with her personal selection of London dance memories this last year…

Sylvie Guillem in Akram Khan’s technê.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Sylvie Guillem – Life in Progress – New York

More than one dancer has been dubbed a “punk ballerina” but no one deserves it more than Sylvie Guillem, who has ruffled feathers at the world’s best companies, and at 50 years old is still on top.

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