"Tchaikovsky" tag
Federico Bonelli and Akane Takada in Swan lake.© Tristram Kenton ROH. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Back on Stage – London

The entire Royal Ballet were back on stage and performing for a live audience last Friday in a gala style show which was/is also streamed. Jann Parry was mightily impressed with the dancing and repertoire (★★★★★) if not so much with the live audience experience in a Covid aware Opera House (★★★✰✰)

Tobias Praetorius.© Tom Mckenzie. (Click image for larger version)

RDB’s Tobias Praetorius on his new ballet, The Princess and the Pea

Royal Danish Ballet’s Tobias Praetorius is an anomaly, a young dancer – he’s only 24 – who is already interested in playing character roles. He is also a choreographer and Marina Harss catches up with him about his latest project – a ‘Pixiballet’ (aimed at children) based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea…

Wolfgang Stange and Amici Dance Theatre Company in the studio.© Turtle Key Arts. (Click image for larger version)

Amici Dance Theatre’s 40th Anniversary during lock-down

The six films in the 40th anniversary celebration provide tantalising glimpses of Amici’s considerable back catalogue, which includes short works as well as major productions…

Natalia Osipova in Anastasia.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Anastasia – streamed archive recording of 2016 performance

★★★★✰   Osipova inhabits the role of Anna Anderson with gruelling sincerity. She appears deranged from the beginning with close-up camera angles revealing a depth of despair that is tremendously affecting.

Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov in Swan Lake.© Bill Cooper, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake – London

★★★★✰   Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov’s account of Swan Lake is spellbinding… if Scarlett’s revision of the 1895 scenario makes even less sense than the original.

Katherine Barkman and Andile Ndlovu in Birthday Offering.© Victoria Pickering. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Balanchine + Ashton quad bill – Washington

★★★✰✰   The Washington Ballet new program titled Balanchine + Ashton showcased four works by the two great choreographers, who “forever shaped our art form,” as the company’s artistic director, Julie Kent, put it in her opening remarks.

Shanghai Ballet in Swan Lake.© North America Photography Association. (Click image for larger version)

Shanghai Ballet – Swan Lake – New York

★★★★✰   It’s comforting to know that at even my advanced age I can still be confounded even by hoary old Swan Lake.

Heather Ogden and Harrison James in The Sleeping Beauty.© Teresa Wood. (Click image for larger version)

The National Ballet of Canada – The Sleeping Beauty – Washington

★★★★✰   …undoubtedly one of the most visually stunning and dramatically meaningful Beauties you will ever find.

Ekaterina Kondaurova and Timur Askerov in Grand Pas Classique.© Kristyna Kashvili. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Icons Gala 2020 – London

★★★★✰   The annual Icons gala provides the chance to see dancers who don’t often appear in London…

Teresa Reichlen and Ask la Cour in Balanchine’s Firebird.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine: Allegro Brillante, La Source, Firebird – New York

★★★★✰   How is the company looking? …the company looks good so far.

Yijing Zhang as the Snow Fairy and Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet in the Waltz of the Snowflakes in The Nutcracker.© Andrew Ross. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★✰   In spite of all the problems with performing a proscenium arch ballet in an arena setting with a purpose-built stage, it is no less magical than any other production and in some ways, it works advantageously.

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.

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.

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