"Yasmine Naghdi" tag
Margot Fonteyn as Ondine, 1958.© Roger Wood, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Margot Fonteyn, A Celebration – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet did themselves a lot of good with the last new bill of the season – a one-off celebration of Margot Fonteyn. There was much to be reminded of and be proud of.

Gary Avis in The Firebird.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Firebird, A Month in the Country, Symphony in C – London

★★★★✰   Three short but densely packed ballets infused with a strong Russian flavour were at the heart of the Royal Ballet’s last bill of the season.

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 Gala group photo.© Jack Devant. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 – London

★★★✰✰   The annual Ballet Icons gala, now in its 14th year, aims to promote Russian culture while providing a Sunday evening’s entertainment for Russians in London and ballet-lovers…

Lauren Cuthbertson and Matthew Ball in Romeo and Juliet.© Helen Maybanks. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Romeo and Juliet – London

★★★✰✰   Somehow, still at the start of the run, the production seems sanitised, nicely ‘English’ in spite of Nicholas Georgiadis’s imposing Italian Renaissance sets and costumes. Different casts yet to come might bring fresh discoveries…

Wona Park in Tomasson's The Sleeping Beauty.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The performance was thrilling …because it marked the Aurora debut of soloist Wona Park, whose Kitri debut in the season-opening Don Quixote got loads of buzz. At just 19, she dances with an ease beyond her years…

The Royal Ballet School in The Cunning Little Vixen.© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School & Royal Ballet – The Cunning Little Vixen, The Two Pigeons – London

★★★★✰ – Royal Ballet School in Liam Scarlett’s new Cunning Little Vixen. ★★✰✰✰ – Royal Ballet’s Yasmine Naghdi debut in Two Pigeons.

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.

Thomas Bieszka in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2018 – London

Semperoper Ballett Dresden were another new visitor in the summer, with a programme of Forsythe works, some not seen here before. But Forsythe is a theme this year in himself.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in The Unknown Soldier.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Unknown Soldier (premiere), Infra, Symphony in C – London

★★★✰✰   If The Unknown Soldier is dispiritingly low-key, Wayne McGregor’s Infra remains assertively bold…

Yasmine Naghdi in The Unknown Soldier.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Royal Ballet in The Unknown Soldier, Infra, Symphony in C

Featuring Alastair Marriott’s new “The Unknown Soldier”, Wayne McGregor’s “Infra” and Balanchine’s “Symphony in C”. Gallery by Foteini Christofilopoulou…

Natalia Osipova and Vadim Muntagirov in La Bayadère.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Bayadère – London

★★★★✰   In the past, the Royal Ballet’s version, last performed five years ago, has sometimes seemed insubstantial. Not so this time, with a luxury cast in full dramatic mode: Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nuñez, Natalia Osipova and Gary Avis…

Sayaka Ichikawa and artists of Scottish Ballet and Ballet Black in House of Birds.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Viviana Durante Company – Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time bill – London

★★★★✰   All credit to Viviana Durante (supported by Royal Ballet, Ballet Black and Scottish Ballet dancers) for contributing to the 25th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s death with recreations of his early work.

Calvin Richardson and Joseph Sissons in Wayne McGregor's Yugen.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Bernstein Centenary: Yugen, The Age of Anxiety, Corybantic Games – London

★★★✰✰   Leonard Bernstein wrote (in 1949): “I have a deep suspicion that every work I write, for whatever medium, is really theatre music in some way.’ Many choreographers have taken up the challenge, though his quasi-metaphysical musings have usually eluded them: dance is more corporeal than music.

Marianela Nunez in Giselle.© Helen Maybanks, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Giselle – London

★★★★★   Peter Wright’s 1985 production for the Royal Ballet has had many interpreters, all subtly or extravagantly different. Nunez is amongst the finest, a perfectionist who seems realistically earthy as a country girl who loves dancing and ethereal as her defiant spirit.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Giselle.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Galleries – Royal Ballet in Giselle – Naghdi, Ball and Hayward, Campbell casts

Galleries by Dave Morgan of the Yasmine Naghdi, Matthew Ball and Francesca Hayward, Alexander Campbell casts.

Benjamin Ella and Isabella Gasparini in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2017 – London

Head and shoulders above other new work this year was Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern for the Royal Ballet…

Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb in The Nutcracker.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker – London

★★★★★   When Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker for the Royal Ballet was given its premiere on 20th December 1984, gala guests were treated to free champagne and souvenir booklets. No expense was spared…

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2017 National Dance Awards – Announcement of Nominations

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle is pleased to announce the nominations for the 18th National Dance Awards…

MacMillan Celebrations – Gloria (NB), The Judas Tree (RB), Elite Syncopations (RB+Guests) – London

★★★★✰   Elite Syncopations: Dancers from all five major British ballet companies took part, some doubling up roles in identical outfits so that identifying dancers was confusing. The stand-out solo in both the casts I saw was to the Calliope Rag, Monica Mason’s original role…

Karen Kain + Elena Lobsanva in The Dreamers Ever Leave You.© Karolina Kuras. (Click image for larger version)

‘The Dreamers Ever Leave You’ – Karen Kain on a unique Royal Ballet & National Ballet of Canada collaboration…

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada, on celebrating Canada’s 150th with a joint work that includes NBoCanada and Royal Ballet dancers in a unique London Docklands event on the 12/13 October… that and lots more

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