I don’t really believe in lists, but it’s admittedly fun to look back over the year and reflect on moments that have stayed with me. So here they are, in no particular order…
Tag - Ulrik Birkkjaer
★★★★✰ You can tell the Danes are in town by the fact that the Joyce Theater has been packed night after night this week.
★★★★✰ Ballet companies across the globe are in a new age of commissioning ...but none can match the pioneering zeal of this, the oldest American ballet company.
★★★★✰ A gleaming triptych of imaginative and remarkably demanding choreography. The production is textured in every aspect, plumbing deep wells of emotion and revelling in a multiplicity of tones, tempers and movement styles.
★★★✰✰ The choreography in Shostakovich Trilogy, which was co-commissioned by SFB and ABT and premiered in 2014, is as frustratingly capricious as the music.
★★★✰✰ I was thrilled to see Snowblind returning. It was by far my favorite offering of last year’s Unbound Festival because it captivates on every level: potent storytelling, emotive choreography, fitting design tropes and deep character development.
★★★★✰ A triple bill joining George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, the San Francisco Ballet premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s Appassionata and Justin Peck’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.
★★★★★ A hundred monkeys might eventually type out Hamlet, but only a herd of unicorns on Ecstasy could come anywhere near Arthur Pita’s Björk Ballet.
★★★✰✰ Snowblind is a great narrative ballet – the source material is striking and Marston’s interpretation of it, equally so.
★★★✰✰ Not all, but many pas de deuxs have a romantic subtext, whether intentional or not. But in Rodeo Peck has crafted a pas de deux celebrating introductions and the process of getting to know another person.
San Francisco exists in its own world, out here on the distant West Coast. The San Francisco Ballet, though, just became more global than ever, with new 2017-18 members joining from around the world. The company school, which presented its annual Student Showcase 31 May through 2 June at YBCA Theater, draws international students as well...
To watch Bournonville is to see visages of Marie Taglioni or Carlotta Grisi lifted straight from a lithograph, complete with the sloping shoulders, the torso tipping from the waist and the demure demeanor. As to the men, Bournonville gave them stuff to do,..
...we really are short-changed in not seeing these dancers more regularly.
Gallery by Dave Morgan...
Most of this run of performances was sold out, or very nearly so, so the Copenhagen audience evidently appreciates what Hubbe is doing. To me, though, this latest revision of Napoli felt like a step too far...
The Royal Danish Ballet's Dans2Go, year 3. As previously, the aim is to give newcomers a taste of different types of dance, at low prices...
So far as I know, no major company has ever before attempted a time-shifted Bayadère, so Hübbe had the whole of history to pick from. He chose the later years of the British Raj...
...cut down to a single act and shown as part of a properly-balanced double or triple bill it could work beautifully, rather than sending me home feeling hungry.
It's said that for financial reasons there will be no more performances of Lady of the Camellias here after this run – that would be a little tragedy of its own: these dancers deserve the chance to grow in their roles and their audience deserves the opportunity to see them do it. Let's hope some way will be found to make it happen.