"Shostakovich" tag
Sarah Lamb in Raymonda Act III.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Concerto, Enigma Variations, Raymonda Act III – London

★★★★✰   It is all too easy to assume that the first triple bill of the Royal Ballet’s autumn season celebrates its creative heritage from the 1960s. In fact, two of the ballets were made for other companies…

Joseph Sissens in Charlotte Edmonds' jojo.© Maria Baranova. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet dancers at the Joyce Ballet Festival – Program A, An Evening of Solos and Duets – New York

★★★✰✰   Program A consisted of a string of solos and duets representing a slice of the company’s choreographic trajectory, from Frederick Ashton through Kenneth MacMillan to Liam Scarlett, Wayne McGregor, and Charlotte Edmonds.

Daria Khokhlova & Igor Tsvirko in The Bright Stream (rehearsal).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Bright Stream – London

★★★★★   A wildly surreal comic turn involves a dog riding a bicycle, both cunningly choreographed. He’s actually a tractor driver in disguise, disrupting sexual assignations.

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…

Wona Park and Angelo Greco in Ratmansky's Concerto #1.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Shostakovich Trilogy – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The choreography in Shostakovich Trilogy, which was co-commissioned by SFB and ABT and premiered in 2014, is as frustratingly capricious as the music.

Megan LeCrone in Reisen’s Judah.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Hallelujah Junction, Judah, The Exchange, Concerto DSCH – New York

★★★✰✰   The vitality and drive of the troupe was palpable Wednesday night, as was a sense of collective energy to move forward – however rocky that movement might be.

Students of the Upper School in Aurora’s Wedding.© Tristram Kenton / Royal Ballet School. (Click image for larger version)

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

★★★✰✰   A matinee in two halves: fine before the interval, with dire, dreary choreography in the second half. Thank goodness for the exhilarating Grand Défilé at the close.

Ekaterina Petina and Matej Urban in The Taming of the Shrew.© Alice Blangero. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets de Monte – The Taming of the Shrew – Monte Carlo

★★★★✰   Maillot’s work is generally replete with a sense of irony and eroticism and Shakespeare gave him enormous scope for both!

Christine Shevchenko and Calvin Royal III in Alexei Ratmansky's Songs of Bukovina.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Gift, Songs of Bukovina, Thirteen Diversions – New York

★★★✰✰   In between the speeches and the short films came the dancing. The main attraction was the new Ratmansky work, Songs of Bukovina…

Javier Torres, Antoinette Brooks-Daw and Riku Ito in Kenneth MacMillan's Gloria.© Lauren Godfrey. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – MacMillan bill: Las Hermanas, Concerto, Gloria – Bradford

★★★★✰   Gloria was Nixon’s first choice because he felt it showed MacMillan at his moving best. It contrasts Poulenc’s choral setting of the Latin text from the mass in praise of God with the toll of human lives in the First World War.

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.

Unity Phelan and Zachary Catazaro in Polyphonia.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – HERE/NOW Festival, Wheeldon Quad bill – New York

★★★✰✰   It’s a shame that the company didn’t choose to revive some Wheeldon rarities from its back catalogue…

Alexandre Riabko in Nijinsky.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Nijinsky – Melbourne

★★★✰✰   Even after his death, Vaslav Nijinsky suffered from the power and control of others…

Ekaterina Krysanova and Vladislav Lantratov in Taming of the Shrew.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Taming of the Shrew – London

★★★✰✰   Maillot’s ballet… belongs to Krysanova and Lantratov, who succeed in conveying that Kate and Petruchio are wildly, equally in love, however crassly they treat each other…

Gelsey Kirkland Ballet in Harlequinade.© Anna Kuzmina. (Click image for larger version)

Gelsey Kirkland Ballet – Harlequinade, The Wedding Procession, Walpurgis Night – New York

★★★✰✰   This is no second-rate student group. The Gelsey Kirkland Academy is doing something right.

American Ballet Theatre in Chamber Symphony part of Shostakovich Trilogy. © Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Shostakovich Trilogy – New York

★★★✰✰   Shostakovich Trilogy is a rich work, containing too much to take in at a single sitting. It reveals some of its secrets, but not all.

NYCB in Christopher Wheeldon's American Rhapsody.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala with American Rhapsody (Wheeldon premiere) – New York

★★★✰✰   It wouldn’t be spring without ballet galas. This week it was New York City Ballet’s turn. On the program were two new works, by Christopher Wheeldon and the relatively unknown Nicolas Blanc, the latter a veteran of the New York Choreographic Institute.

Joshua Beamish.© David Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Joshua Beamish and MOVE: the company – Pierced, burrow, Stay, Surface Properties – New York

Dancing alone, Beamish introduces his movement: silky smooth shifts, surprising twitches, lines of energy rolling through the body…

Ruth Brill's Matryoshka at its Symphony Hall premiere.© BRB.

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Quatrain, Matryoshka, Beauty and the Beast pdd, Swan Lake pdq, Facade – High Wycombe

Ruth Brill’s Matryoshka showed a lot of sense and maturity I thought – she clearly thinks about entertaining the audience.

Cover of the Dance Open 2015 Gala programme.© Dance Open. (Click image for larger version)

International Ballet Festival 2015 Dance Open and Tsiskaridze at the Vaganova Academy – St Petersburg

Margaret Willis has just been in St. Petersburg, catching up with the Dance Open Festival and also visiting the Vaganova Academy where she had some words with director Nikolai Tsiskaridze…

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