"Tchaikovsky" tag
Adrian Danchig-Waring and Emilie Gerrity in Cunningham’s Summerspace.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Summerspace, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

★★★★✰   On the penultimate day of the fall season, I managed to catch a performance of New York City Ballet’s revival of Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace. The 1958 piece, which had its City Ballet premiere in 1966, was last performed here in 2000.

Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin in Swan Lake.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Swan Lake – London

★★★✰✰   A 3 star production with 4 star performances…

Alyona Kovalyova and Jacopo Tissi in Diamonds.© Darren Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – Brisbane

★★★★★   As you would expect Diamonds was the highlight of the three part Jewels.

Ivan Putrov in Ashton's Dance of the Blessed Spirits.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Against the Stream – London

★★★★✰   Putov brought together remarkable performers whom we long to see again, and left us wanting more…

Ashley Bouder and Joseph Gordon in Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Mozartiana, Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

★★★✰✰   One of the earliest things I appreciated about Balanchine is that he made me feel okay about liking Tschaikovsky (as NYCB likes to spell it)…

Fumi Kaneko and William Bracewell in Les Patineurs.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Les Patineurs, Winter Dreams, The Concert – London

★★★★✰   Now that we are all one more Nutcracker nearer death, as weary critic Richard Buckle used to bemoan, the Royal Ballet has given us a wintry bonne bouche of ballets to savour.

Tenzin Niles and Ines Gout in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – The Nucracker – New York

★★★✰✰   Come hell or high water, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker will return to New York City Ballet, filling the theatre night after night. Balanchine made a ballet built to last, and it has not disappointed.

Company XIV in Nutcracker Rouge.© Mark Shelby Perry. (Click image for larger version)

Company XIV – Nutcracker Rouge – New York

★★★★✰   Austin McCormick’s Company XIV continues to maintain the highest bar in balletic, baroque burlesque.

The Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker.© Tristram Kenton, © 2015 Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★✰   Wright’s ending is the best ever, preserving the assurance of the Grand pas de deux that the future must surely be blissful.

Robert Carter in The Dying Swan.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Trocks) – Les Sylphides bill – London

★★★★✰   The curtain calls for Robert Carter’s “Dying Swan” are nearly as long as the ballet itself and just as funny.

Irina Kolesnikova and Denis Rodkin in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre – Swan Lake – London

★★✰✰✰   Although the first night audience was moved to a standing ovation, Swan Lake can and should be so much more than this stylised ritual…

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.

Devon Teuscher in Swan Lake.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Swan Lake – New York

★★★★✰   Devon Teuscher has done her time, and the results are breathtaking…

Zurich Ballet in Swan Lake.© Carlos Quezada. (Click image for larger version)

Zurich Ballet – Swan Lake – Zurich

★★★✰✰   But, at least to my eye, the production’s triumph is its final lakeside act. There, the formations of swans, as originally choreographed by Lev Ivanov, become intricate, delicate, lyrical, and intensely moving.

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.

Tiler Peck in Coppélia.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Coppélia – New York

★★★★✰   Tiler Peck, with her quick feet and sassy musicality, is perfectly suited to the role of Swanhilda. Her choreography has copious amounts of pointework, quick steps, requires adroitness in petit allegro and excellent mime technique – all of which Peck has in abundance.

Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nunez, Bennet Gartside and artists of the company in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake (Scarlett premiere) – London

★★★★★   Liam Scarlett has devised a visual and emotional treat for audiences, fully justifying Kevin O’Hare’s faith in him as a director and choreographer.

Kizzy Matiakis in the lead image for The Queen of Spades.© Camilla Winther. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – The Queen of Spades – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   The good news is that Queen of Spades is a good-looking crowd pleaser and the RDB dancers look fantastic in it – I can’t emphasise that enough. Also good that it’s a step up from his last commission, Frankenstein – thank goodness, really.

Jillian Vanstone in The Sleeping Beauty.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

The National Ballet of Canada – The Sleeping Beauty – Toronto

★★★★✰   Steeped in the company’s history, this Sleeping Beauty is a real treasure – a lavishly-outfitted and deeply absorbing spectacle which bears the indelible imprint of its creator, the legendary Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

National Ballet of Canada in Rudolf Nureyev's The Sleeping Beauty.© Aleksandar Antonijevic. (Click image for larger version)

Preview – The National Ballet of Canada & Rudolf Nureyev’s Sleeping Beauty – a special combination then and now.

This is a Beauty like no other – the most spectacular classical production in the National Ballet’s repertory and a true jewel of a ballet.

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