"Vivaldi" tag
Erin Yarbrough-Powell and Ben Needham-Wood in Indigo.© Chris Hardy. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Contemporary Ballet – Indigo – streamed archive recording of 2016 performance

★★★★✰   Indigo is one of those dances that doesn’t seem totally abstract, yet doesn’t follow a linear path either. It’s more about concept and emotions. Layers and extremes. Just like the colour indigo itself.

Antoinette Brooks-Daw and Kevin Poeung in Kenneth Tindall’s The Shape of Sound.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – The Kingdom of Back, Mamela…, The Shape of Sound – London

★★★✰✰   The works offer strong contrasts between the traditional story-telling strength of Northern Ballet and more abstract thematic dance.

Carina Howard, Shanelle Clemenson and Harriet Ellis in part 2 of Rosie Kay's Fantasia.© Brian Slater. (Click image for larger version)

Rosie Kay Dance Company – Rosie Kay’s Fantasia – Birmingham

★★★★✰   A bravo to Rosie Kay, who does it yet again, delivering thought provoking dance in a very smartly designed package. (but do read the programme!)

Savion Glover.© and courtesy Savion Glover. (Click image for larger version)

Savion Glover – Lady5 @ Savion Glover’s BaRoQUe’BLaK TaP CaFe – New York

★★★✰✰   Light on tap and heavy on concept, the show is inspired by an imaginary conversation between Glover and Gregg Burge – a multi-talented artist lost too young (23 years ago this 4 July) to brain cancer.

Yorke Dance Project in Kenneth MacMillan's Playground.© Pari Naderi. (Click image for larger version)

Yorke Dance Project – Twenty: Playground, Between and Within, Communion, Imprint – London

★★★★✰   By swelling the numbers of her small touring company, Yolande Yorke-Edgell was able to mount a revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s Playground and a 10-strong ensemble for Robert Cohan’s Communion. The programme also included new works by Sophia Stoller and Yorke-Edgell herself.

Natalia Osipova in Medusa by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Within the Golden Hour, Medusa, Flight Pattern – London

★★★✰✰   A very mixed bill… Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Medusa (★★✰✰✰), Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour (★★★★✰) and Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern (★★★★✰)

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.

New English Ballet Theatre in Remembrance by Wayne Eagling.© Deborah Jaffe. (Click image for larger version)

New English Ballet Theatre – The Four Seasons, Remembrance – London

★★★✰✰   Both pieces are demanding and elicit some impressively stylish moments, though there’s a fair amount of unevenness…

Antoinette Brooks-Daw and Javier Torres in Morgann Runacre-Temple's The Kingdom of Back.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Northern Ballet – The Kingdom of Back, Mamela…, The Shape of Sound – Leeds

★★★★✰   A good night of new work for Leeds coupling a rising star from outside with local and much-loved company talent.

Jenna Lee.© ASH. (Click image for larger version)

5 Questions to Jenna Lee, freelance choreographer, on her creative world and working with New English Ballet Theatre…

We talk to Jenna Lee about her work – The Four Seasons – for New English Ballet Theatre’s autumn tour this September and October. That and about her wider choreographic practice…

Choreographer Lauren Lovette working with Ashley Bouder on Red Spotted Purple.© Gibney/Ashley Bouder - from Instagram original.

Ashley Bouder Project – Red Spotted Purple, Duet, Alas, Symbiotic Twin, In Pursuit Of – New York

★★★✰✰   Bouder’s pick-up ensemble of eight, which she refers to as an arts collaborative, reflects her ideals. It is racially diverse; the choreographers include both men and women. Not all the choreographers are white. This should be par for the course, but it’s not.

Paris Opera Ballet in The Seasons’ Canon.© Agathe Poupeney / OnP. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Thierrée /​ Shechter /​ Pérez /​ Pite – Paris

★★★★✰   Crystal Pite’s work stands out as the crowd-pleaser. With huge cheers and applause, we rise to our feet for the dancers.

Erica Felsch & the men of the company in Michael Smuin's Santa Baby, from The Christmas Ballet.© Keith Sutter. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Contemporary American Ballet – The Christmas Ballet – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   I’ve seen The Christmas Ballet five times over the years and it has always been and continues to be a lovely, celebratory afternoon or evening at the theatre. That said, I still struggle with the format.

Rena Butler in Pavement.© Steven Schreiber. (Click image for larger version)

Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion – Pavement – London

★★★✰✰   Pavement, from 2012, takes as its touchstone the 1991 film Boyz n the Hood, John Singleton’s hard-hitting coming-of-age drama…

Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin de Luz in Ratmansky's Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Square Dance, Tarantella, Odessa, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – Washington

★★★★★   Alexei Ratmansky’s Odessa left me breathless. The dancing (I saw both casts) was phenomenal on all levels: assured, expressive, and thoroughly dramatic.

Kizzy Matiakis (Merteuil), Jon Axel Fransson (Valmont) and Andreas Kaas (Danceny) in Dangerous Liaisons.© Costin Radu. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Dangerous Liaisons (premiere) – Copenhagen

★★★★✰   …I was again struck by just how effortlessly a story can be communicated and emotions laid bare by ballet – it was a triumph.

Still from NYCB's promotional video for Justin Peck's The Decalogue.© NYCB. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – HERE/NOW Festival No. 6 & 8 including Peck’s The Decalogue (premiere) – New York

★★★✰✰   With his latest, The Decalogue, which opened on May 12, Justin Peck seems to have turned a new page…

Gandini Juggling in Smashed: Special Edition.© Kristy Meijers. (Click image for larger version)

Gandini Juggling – Smashed: Special Edition – London

★★★★✰   Bausch with added balls.

Kerala Kalamandalam in Dussasana Vadhom.© Kevin Yatarola. (Click image for larger version)

Sounds of India Festival – Mark Morris Dance Group & Kerala Kalamandalam – New York

★★★★✰   This year’s White Light Festival, at Lincoln Center, has spawned a mini-festival of its own, Sounds of India, curated by the modern-dance choreographer Mark Morris. Why Morris? Because he has been going to India since the eighties…

Edd Mitton, Amy Thake and Ben Warbis in Kenneth MacMillan's Sea of Troubles.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Yorke Dance Project – Rewind Forward: Sea of Troubles, Self, Twilight, Lacrymosa, Untethered – London

★★★✰✰   Yorke Dance Project is unusual, among small modern dance companies, in its respect for musicality and for the demands it makes for skilled partnering.

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