"Vivaldi" tag
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.

Arianna Maldini and pianist Jonathan Higgins in Mistake Waltz.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2016 – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet School in particular includes something very special in their show – the closing Grand Defile, which always brings a lump to the throat and a feeling of pride.

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