"The Royal Ballet" tag
Jonathan Glazer's Strasbourg 1518.© Strasbourg 1518/Academy Films/BBC . (Click image for larger version)

BBC, Artangel and Sadler’s Wells – Jonathan Glazer’s Strasbourg 1518, featuring Pina Bausch dancers

★★✰✰✰   Strasbourg 1518 has been lauded as ‘head buttingly confrontational’ and an original ‘dance for today’. It isn’t. Familiar Bausch tropes don’t really reflect 1518’s psychogenic mania, which was communal, or today’s experience of isolation, stress and tedium.

Misty Copeland, Sara Mearns and Tiler Peck on the Studio 5: Great American Ballerinas flyer. © City Center. (Click image for larger version)

Studio 5: Great American Ballerinas – the City Center virtual series of master classes

New York City Center is streaming some ballet master classes, curated and hosted by Alastair Macaulay, and involving Misty Copeland, Sara Mearns and Tiler Peck. The coaches/guests include Nina Ananiashvili, Merrill Ashley, Alessandra Ferri, Stephanie Saland and Pam Tanowitz.

Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli in the Tuesday section of Woolf Works.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Woolf Works – streamed archive recording of 2017 performance

★★★✰✰   Wayne McGregor’s first full-length creation for the Royal Ballet, Woolf Works, inspired by Virginia Woolf, remains one of his best works to date.

James Streeter, Alina Cojocaru, Jane Haworth and Jeffrey Cirio in Manon.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Manon – streamed archive recording of 2018 performance

★★★★★   What we are fortunate to be able to witness in these constrained times is an intimate record of otherwise fleeting performances by exceptional artists.

Matthew Ball and Mayara Magri in Within the Golden Hour.© Ruairi Watson, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: Third Concert (27 June)

★★★★✰   The singers had the lions’ share of the concert, with just two pas de deux by Royal Ballet couples, Matthew Ball and Mayara Magri, Reece Clarke and Fumi Kaneko.

Tamara Rojo in Song of the Earth.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth – streamed archive recording of 2017 performance

★★★★✰   The recording reveals how unusual the choreography is, as it was in 1965… Dancers in pointe shoes have to adapt to flexed feet, flat-footed parallel positions, torsos bent forward, elbows and wrists held at angles.

Vadim Muntagirov in rehearsal for Dance of the Blessed Spirits.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: Second Concert (20 June)

★★★★★   Though the concert was a treat, could the Royal Opera House please try raising our spirits in future streamings, and give the Royal Ballet the prominence it deserves.

Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in La Fille mal gardée.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Fille mal gardée – streamed archive recording of 2005 performance

★★★★★   If you want an antidote to any miserable lockdown mood, La Fille mal gardée cannot fail to lift your spirits and allow you to marvel at some really first-rate dancing.

Dance Theatre of Harlem in Creole Giselle.© Dance Theatre of Harlem. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Theatre of Harlem – Creole Giselle – streamed archive recording of 1987 performance

★★★✰✰   Giselle was the first full-length classical ballet that Arthur Mitchell’s company of black American dancers would perform. He thought there would be no point in their pretending to be Rhineland peasants, so decided to set the 19th century ballet in pre-Civil War Louisiana.

Vadim Muntagirov.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Vadim Muntagirov on life under lockdown and dancing at the ROH again, to be seen this Saturday

The Royal Ballet’s Vadim Muntagirov talks about making the most of lockdown and getting ready to dance again for the Royal Opera House’s Live from Covent Garden transmission on Saturday night (20 June 2020), where he is dancing Ashton’s seldom-seen “Dance of the Blessed Spirits”…

Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales in Morgen.© Lara Cappelli, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Opera House/Royal Ballet – Live from Covent Garden: First Concert

★★★✰✰   The first concert was not much of a consolation for all that we have lost. So far, the Royal Ballet appears a token add-on to the opera’s contributions…

Marianela Núñez.© and courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Marianela Núñez on one of her fav ballets, La Fille mal gardée, and life under lockdown

Marianela Núñez talks about one of her favourite ballets, “La Fille mal gardée”, and life under lockdown, which for Marianela has been in Argentina. “La Fille mal gardee”, one of the most loved works in the Royal Ballet repertoire, streams this Friday, 12 June, from 19:00 BST

Lauren Cuthbertson and Matthew Ball in The Cellist.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Cellist – streamed recording

★★★★✰   Cathy Marston has achieved much in bringing the life of Jacqueline du Pré to the ballet stage and perhaps one of the things that becomes even clearer with repeated viewings, is that the music and the dance are inextricably linked.

BBC flyer for Men at the Barre: Inside the Royal Ballet.© BBC. (Click image for larger version)

Men at the Barre: Inside the Royal Ballet – BBC documentary

“If you missed ‘Men at the Barre – Inside the Royal Ballet’: a look behind the scenes at the male ballet dancers in the company, then do take the time to catch up on BBC iPlayer.”

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.

New Adventures in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Reel Adventures festival: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet

★★★★✰   Performances across the board are stupendous, reminding us that interpretations evolve and change, and do not disappoint.

Friedemann Vogel and Elisa Badenes in Mayerling.© Stuttgart Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Stuttgart Ballet – Mayerling – streamed archive recording of Stuttgart premiere

Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling in new Jürgen Rose designs – “I am not reviewing the recording so much as commenting on the differences between Stuttgart Ballet’s 2019 production and the Royal Ballet’s version that dates back to the ballet’s premiere in 1978…”

Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Ann Whitley and Merle Park at the Voices of Spring masterclass.© Rachel Hollings. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Ashton Rediscovered Masterclass: Voices of Spring, coached by Merle Park and Wayne Eagling

For anyone with an interest in the machinations of bringing a difficult pas de deux to performance standard, this was an experience to cherish.

Richard Alston Dance Company in Voices and Light Footsteps.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Final Edition – London

★★★★✰   8th March at Sadler’s Wells was the last time we were able to see Richard Alston’s work performed by his own company of dancers. Jann Parry with a full and perceptive review of Alston’s latest work and last company show.

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.

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