"Ninette de Valois" tag
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.

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.

Royal Ballet School in David Bintley's Flowers of the Forest.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Summer Show, ROH Main Stage – London

★★★★✰   The choice of works emphasised ensembles more than individuals. It was interesting to see large numbers of young men dancing together, as well as a more usual female corps de ballet.

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…

Margot Fonteyn as Ondine, 1958.© Roger Wood, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Margot Fonteyn, A Celebration – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet did themselves a lot of good with the last new bill of the season – a one-off celebration of Margot Fonteyn. There was much to be reminded of and be proud of.

Annette Page in Cinderella.© Roy Round, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Annette Page: Tribute to a Ballerina

This programme celebrated Annette Page’s career with the Royal Ballet and supported the Motor Neurone Disease Association. She died at the age of 84 of MND, a cruel disease for a former dancer and an articulate, witty woman…

Marcelo Gomes & The Sarasota Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton's Apparitions.© Frank Atura. (Click image for larger version)

Sarasota Ballet – Apparitions, Stars and Stripes – Sarasota

★★★★✰   As if an Ashton rarity weren’t reason enough to catch this program, there was also the presence of Marcelo Gomes, former much-admired principal dancer from American Ballet Theatre, to recommend it.

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.

Sayaka Ichikawa and artists of Scottish Ballet and Ballet Black in House of Birds.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Viviana Durante Company – Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time bill – London

★★★★✰   All credit to Viviana Durante (supported by Royal Ballet, Ballet Black and Scottish Ballet dancers) for contributing to the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death with recreations of his early work.

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.

Sergei DiaghilevThe defining image for the "In Diaghilev’s Circle: The Phenomenon of Les Saisons Russes in the Context of European Culture" conference. ©/courtesy International Festival of Arts "Diaghilev. P.S."

Dipping in to the 8th International Festival of Arts ‘Diaghilev. P.S.’ in St. Petersburg

The aim of the annual festival is to celebrate Russian influence in international culture, thanks to Diaghilev’s productions in the first two decades of the 20th century… St Petersburg also wants to boost its reputation as ‘a great forum of the arts’, introducing contemporary creations from different nations to Russian audiences.

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2017 National Dance Awards – Announcement of Nominations

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle is pleased to announce the nominations for the 18th National Dance Awards…

Gary Harris' costume sketches for The Fairy's Kiss.© Gary Harris. (Click image for larger version)

Bringing back Kenneth MacMillan’s Le Baiser de la fée – The Fairy’s Kiss

Scottish Ballet will be performing Kenneth MacMillan’s “Le Baiser de la fée” as part of the celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of his death. It will be the first revival of the ballet in 30 years – Jann Parry on the return of an important work.

Emily Hoff in The Conservatory.© Johan Persson / RBS. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   It was a well-balanced programme, featuring different kinds of discipline for future corps de ballet dancers, and honouring veteran choreographers as well as contemporary ones.

Sarah Lane and Alban Lendorf in Souvenir d’un lieu cher.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Tchaikovsky Spectacular bills – New York

★★★✰✰   Ratmansky’s Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher turned out to be a mysterious little ballet, a double pas de deux that captures, …the complex history of a quartet of characters.

Sir Matthew Bourne with the Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Services to the Arts.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Matthew Bourne – An Appreciation on his winning the Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Services to the Arts

Graham Watts’ citation, made before the presentation – a major appreciation of a huge star of dance and theatre…

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2016 National Dance Awards – Winners Announced

The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for 2016 were presented today at a ceremony in London, hosted by Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE and Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, the creative team behind the highly successful dance company, Boy Blue Entertainment.

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…

Book cover - Peter Wright: Wrights and Wrongs – my life in dance.© Oberon Books. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Peter Wright: Wrights and Wrongs – my life in dance

His is an insider’s account, complete with waspish comments and cameos of the famous people he encountered…

Tim Hodges (Mr Hyde) in Jekyll & Hyde.© Manuel Harlan. (Click image for larger version)

The McOnie Company – Jekyll and Hyde – London

★★★✰✰   Drew McOnie’s aim in his dance-theatre version of Jekyll and Hyde is to tell a ripping yarn without the use of words. He’s very much a Matthew Bourne disciple…

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