"Prokofiev" tag
Cordelia Braithwaite and Paris Fitzpatrick in Romeo and Juliet.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet – London

★★★✰✰   Our setting is the Verona Institute in the near future. Here disturbed young people have been locked up for an opaque purpose under the eye of a sadistic jailer… A traumatised Juliet meets a troubled Romeo, and it ends as badly as you might expect.

Ben Duke and Solene Weinachter in Juliet & Romeo.© Jane Hobson. (Click image for larger version)

Lost Dog – Juliet & Romeo – London

★★★★✰   Juliet and Romeo is a clever work on many different levels.

Alina Cojocaru in Cinderella.© Ian Gavan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Cinderella – London

★★★★✰   A spectacular show, full of colour, humour and romance…

Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside in The Seasons.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Gala with The Seasons premiere + Ratmansky Trio bill – New York

★★★★✰   It’s impossible not to be impressed by the range of these works, from introspective and conversational (Symposium) to brilliantly classical (The Seasons) to dramatic (Dnieper).

Ruth Brill.© courtesy Birmingham Royal Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to choreographer Ruth Brill, about to unveil ‘Peter & The Wolf’ for Birmingham Royal Ballet

We quickly catch up with choreographer Ruth Brill about her latest work for BRB, how she creates and what else she is up to… she’s a busy bee!

Sterling Hyltin and Gonzalo Garcia in Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/The Dreamer.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Balanchine, Robbins & Reisen quad bill – Washington

★★★✰✰   Opus 19 feels at once nostalgic, mysterious and dreamy…

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.

Scottish Ballet in Cinderella.© Andy Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – Cinderella – Edinburgh

★★★★✰   The cast I saw at the first performance of this year’s Christmas touring season were the best (Ugly) Step-Sisters I’ve ever seen – take a bow Constance Devernay and Aisling Brangan.

Didy Veldman.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Didy Veldman, Choreographer and Umanoove Director

Didy Veldman’s Umanoove are about to tour her latest work – The Knot – an examination of the social and personal significance of marriage in contemporary Western society. Diane Parkes has a word about the work and what makes Veldman tick

Natalia Osipova in ISADORA: A Tribute to Isadora Duncan in Two Acts.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – ISADORA: A Tribute to Isadora Duncan in Two Acts (world premiere) – Costa Mesa

★★★✰✰   Half-narrative and semi-abstract, ISADORA hop-skips through the dancer’s life; it’s described in the program notes as a “freely interpreted biography,” and it cherry-picks around unsavory elements…

Pacific Northwest Ballet in Opus19/The Dreamer.© Angela Sterling. (Click image for larger version)

Les Etés de la Danse, Paris – Jerome Robbins Homage, Programme 2 – Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Perm Opera Ballet

★★★★✰   It’s been a very enjoyable homage to Robbins’s versatility…

Momoko Hirata in Romeo and Juliet.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Romeo and Juliet – London

★★★★✰   It was a fine team performance from the company but particular honours go to Momoko Hirata’s Juliet who let us know what she was thinking and feeling at every moment.

Kevin Emerton and Mayara Magri in Piggy in the Middle.© Alice Pennefather, ROH, 2018. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet / Charlotte Edmonds – Piggy in the Middle, Sink or Swim – London

★★★✰✰   Piggy in the Middle is, in part, Edmonds’ tribute to Kenneth MacMillan, the 25th anniversary of whose death has been marked during the Royal Ballet’s 2017/2018 season.

San Francisco Ballet in Robbins' The Cage.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Robbins: Ballet & Broadway quad bill – San Francisco

★★★★✰   There’s nothing like watching a woman crush a man’s neck with her thighs to make you go hmm, maybe that whole #MeToo thing has legs.

EunWon Lee and Gian Carlo Perez in Romeo and Juliet.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Romeo and Juliet – Washington

★★★✰✰   A strikingly beautiful ballerina, with a lissome body and expressive features, EunWon Lee is an ideal Juliet…

Ben Duke and Solene Weinachter in Juliet and Romeo - A Guide to Long Life and Happy Marriage.© Jane Hobson. (Click image for larger version)

Lost Dog – Juliet and Romeo: A Guide to Long Life & Happy Marriage – London

★★★✰✰   Ben Duke’s speciality, in the works he devises for Lost Dog, the company he founded in 2004 with Raquel Meseguer, is conflating high art with low life – epic literature with everyday banalities.

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…

Ashley Shaw in Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella – London

★★★✰✰   While the production is supremely stylish and the characters well-observed with expressive and romantic choreography, the narrative is padded out in order to fill the music, particularly where traditional elements of “Cinderella” have been excised.

Washington Ballet in Les Sylphides.© Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Les Sylphides, Le Corsaire pdd, Bolero, Prodigal Son – Washington

★★★★✰   It was a pleasure to see this company in such a smart and wide-ranging program. It was even more rewarding to see the Washington Ballet dancers masterly navigating the numerous challenges…

Anastasia Soboleva and Victor Lebedev in Cinderella.© Stas Levshin. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhailovsky Ballet – Cinderella – St. Petersburg

★★★★★   It seems appropriate that I’ve travelled to Russia to find a Cinderella interpreter of movement and spectacle to match up to the genius of Prokofiev’s music.

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