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Found 14 results

  1. After a 2 year delay the long-awaited première of Creature, Akram Khan’s new production dances tonight at Sadlers Wells. I, for one, am very excited.
  2. This opened yesterday evening, I was at the matinee today. I've seen it at every revival and I still find it a mesmerising, raw and powerful piece, perhaps even more than I did when I first saw it. Personally, I find it better not to spend too much time trying to work out the detail of what is happening; it wasn't entirely clear at the premiere and it still isn't. But for me the broad brush of the story line is there and is more than enough to be satisfying. The hypnotic beat of the music (brilliantly played by the ENB orchestra) drives the ballet forward and enhances the sense of raw and ferocious tribal energy in the opening choreography. I love the choreography: there is a frantic intensity for much of the corps in Act 1, but moments of stillness too. In Act 2 the Willis are terrifying, but the final pdd for Giselle and Albrecht is sublime, full of tenderness and forgiveness. I found this afternoon's principle performers simply superb: Giselle (Fernanda Oliveira), Albrecht (Aitor Arrieta), Erik Woolhouse making a stunning debut as Hilarion. The second circle was filled with many young teen school kids and it must be a huge tribute to the quality of the performance to note that even in the quiet moments you could have heard a pin drop (except for a mobile phone going off which I cannot say belonged to the kids) !
  3. Colours International Dance Festival is back in town. After a number of outdoor and interactive events, performances at the Theaterhaus in Stuttgart kicked off last Thursday. Full programme until 14 July here https://www.coloursdancefestival.com/en.html I saw Gauthier Dance in a quadruple bill “Classy Classics” on Saturday, consisting of the following works. Cayetano Soto: Malasangre. Jazzy, funky movements for 5 male and 2 female dancers in varying combinations (all male dancers, all female dancers, pairs, some, all) to Latin Soul music by Cuban singer La Lupe. The men dressed in knee-length skirts and knee-length black socks, the women in flesh-coloured tops and pants and also knee-length black socks. Rhythmic steps, arms stretched out wide, hip shaking. This was fast, energetic, electrifying. William Forsythe: Herman Schmerman Duet. This was the 2nd time that I saw this work, and I got a lot more out of it in terms of deconstruction than the 1st time, with the first part of the piece being closer to classical technique, and moving away a lot further once the dancers wear skirts. Marco Goecke: Aeffi. I love this piece more and more each time I see it. There is so much to discover, and I finally realised that the movements follow the tone and focus of each of the three songs by Jonny Cash. Stunning performance by Theophilus Vesely, and very happy to have seen this piece again. Eric Gauthier: Orchestra of Wolves. This was fun. A conductor’s (a chicken in a black suit) failed attempt to control an orchestra (a number of wolves in black suits). The players sit on desk chairs and initially follow the conductor. As the music progresses, they move closer around him and discuss how they can overpower him, and one of the wolves rubs his (own) tummy as indication that he’s looking forward to a delicious meal. The conductor still just about manages to keep things in order but increasingly, the players do what they want. The conductor flees, returns and briefly gets back in control; he chases off one of the players who then attacks and overpowers the conductor. The piece ends with the wolves plucking the chicken. Ohad Naharin: Decadance. I’d only seen Minus16 by Naharin before so couldn’t tell which of his works the extracts shown had been taken from. A presenter walked on stage and welcomed the audience, asked that mobile phones be switched off, etc. He later came back on stage and asked the audience to stand up. With each question that he read aloud, those who were able to answer the question in the affirmative were invited to sit down. After a few questions, all those who remained standing were invited to sit down, and those whose birthday it was on the day were asked to stand up. This person was invited to come on stage for a short interaction with two dancers (and the woman whose birthday it was did this admiringly well). Later on, a couple in red harem pants went through a mating ritual. Dancers walked to the front of the stage and performed specific movements e.g., falling down and getting up again, certain jumps, etc.- initially replicating the movement of the previous dancer whereas later on, each performed their own movements. Bearing in mind the presenter at the start and in the middle of this piece, this work was like a mini show of its own within the quadruple programme. It was bizarre and it was good to have seen it. The tags for Maguy Marin, Ballet BC and Akram Khan reflect the other companies that I am hoping to see during the festival. Fingers crossed things will work out as expected as two years ago, I had a ticket for Shechter’s Grand Finale, wasn’t able to attend and haven’t been able to see it since.
  4. Gauthier Dance on Saturday night at the Colours International Dance Festival, the Royal Ballet on Sunday afternoon in a cinema broadcast, and to start the weekend, Stuttgart Ballet in a new triple bill “Breath-taking” last Friday evening (ballet & dance events like busses … a bit of a wait followed by three at once?) with works by Itzik Galili, Johan Inger and Akram Khan. Itzik Galili: Hikarizatto was created for the company in 2004. Galili was inspired by the movement of people that he saw when he was in Tokyo – lots of fast movements within constrained spaces and with a mix of light and shadow. The piece thus comes with striking light design that makes the stage resemble a chess board. The dancers perform within light shafts, and when they quickly move to another imagined square on the stage, the light moves there within a split second, too. The remainder of the stage is dark as night. Sometimes the appearance of a new light shaft drives the change of the dancer’s positions on stage whereas at other times, the dancers moving across the stage will drive where the light will go to next. Initially just one female, then one male dancer, followed by several female/ male duos and groups of male & female dancers, further solos, etc. Dancing comes with e.g., female dancers on pointe, high extensions, balances and wriggling bodies in PDDs as well as some group sections that reminded me of some simple centre exercises. All this to fast percussion music, requiring meticulous timing and coordination between musicians, dancers and light technicians. Rhythmic, pulsating, break taking, wow. The ovations didn’t seem to end for this first piece of the evening, even the musicians applauded the dancers, and the light design with its shifting light shafts continued for the curtain calls. Johan Inger: Out of Breath, an addition to the company’s repertoire, and quite a change in atmosphere from Hikarizatto. This piece took its inspiration from the medical complications that occurred during the birth of a child of Johan Inger. And so the centre piece on stage is a curved wall that symbolises the edge between life and death/ that represents life’s challenges and struggles. Even though this is an abstract piece, aspects of events and relationships can be seen. Female dancers in ballet flats now. Some dancers on stage are on their own. A female dancer runs around the wall a number of times until she is held up by a male dancer. There’s a couple that is in a quite passionate state of their relationship. A male dancer tries hard several times to climb the wall and fails every time. The piece ends as a male dancer helps a female dancer reach the top of the wall – has she reached her aim, or is she now truly at the edge of things? This piece was received enthusiastically, too, and in particular the solo violinist received massive ovations. Akram Khan: Kaash, another addition to the company’s repertoire, making Stuttgart Ballet the first company in Germany that performs a work by Akram Khan. The percussion music is played live, supplemented by recorded samples of syllables. Movements switch between fast and slow and between edgy and soft (e.g., arms shaping a flower). Repeatedly lunges to the side with arms swinging from side to side, turns in parallel. Dancers are barefoot and wear long wide black skirts over black trousers, male dancers with bare torsos. At the start, Friedemann Vogel stands still, his back facing the audience, in the midst of the dancers, before he joins in. The work ends with a prolonged solo in complete silence by Vogel. His back is again towards the audience, and he twists and turns his fingers, arms, shoulders, upper body in all possible directions. Statuesque and, it seemed, making every single muscle fibre visible as and when these were activated by his ever-changing twists and turns. Statuesque and spectacular, the whole piece inducing a trance-like atmosphere. Great dancing, superb music played live. Luckily, this programme will feature next season, too. Much looking forward to seeing this triple bill again (just wondering currently how many performances I might look to attend). A preview with extracts of the three works here https://www.ardmediathek.de/ard/player/Y3JpZDovL3N3ci5kZS9hZXgvbzExMzE0MjA/
  5. This opened last night with a stunning first performance. I loved it. More thoughts from me when I've seen other casts.
  6. Thought we might as well use the Poll feature for a change! I'm thinking probably the Rojo/Streeter/Corrales/Quagebeur cast, but open to alternatives. All views welcome, no included, so as to get an accurate idea of potential interest. You can add any comments below.
  7. This just through on the email: http://chinaexchange.uk/events/60-minutes-akram-khan
  8. Have just seen on the BBC news that Akram Khan is creating his first full classical ballet with a new version of Giselle. It is being made for ENB in co-production with Sadler's Wells and the Manchester International Festival and will open in Manchester next year. I can't find anything else about it as yet. Does anyone know more?
  9. Well, tonight was the start of a repeat London run of this programme, at Sadler's Wells. Previous threads on the subject are: Photos from the original 2014 London run: http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/6470-english-national-ballet-lest-we-forget-london-april-2014/?tab=comments#comment-86727 Discussion of the run itself: http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/6462-english-national-ballet-lest-we-forget-april-2014/?tab=comments#comment-86645 The 2015 run: http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/10515-english-national-ballet-lest-we-forget-2015/?tab=comments#comment-141214 And photos therefor: http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/10520-english-national-ballet-lest-we-forget-september-2015/?tab=comments#comment-141338
  10. Just released by ENB: http://www.ballet.org.uk/media/filer_public/2016/09/08/akram_khan_giselle_principal_casting.pdf
  11. ... replete with two different versions of Giselle (Khan/World Premiere ... and the lovely Skeaping) See link here.
  12. I think this may be the wrong place to post this but as this is up and running I will just show you some pictures from yesterday evening's rehearsal. First night is tonight and I will leave comments to the critics, just to say that all three ballets were very dark. Liam Scarlett's No Man's Land Russell Maliphant's - Second Breath Akram Khan's - Dust More pictures on www.johnrossballetgallery.co.uk
  13. Spotted while I was trawling through the tv guide yesterday was a half-hour programme on Akram Khan on BBC4. I think it's this Wednesday at 8 pm, but don't have the details to hand to confirm.
  14. ENB's run of performances at the Barbican Theatre starts tonight: is anyone going? If so, please could you report back on running time and running order (as well as everything else)? Thanks.
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