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Found 13 results

  1. Sarasota Ballet have announced a true 'Heritage' programme for their upcoming Autumn digital season and for which you can buy tickets to watch. I have a feeling that many hereabouts may want to do so as it features some true Ashton gems that we don't oft get to see hereabouts nowadays. PURITY IN MOTION (Program 1) 23 – 25 October 2020 FSU Center for the Performing Arts George Balanchine's Donizetti Variations Ricardo Graziano's Amorosa Paul Taylor's Company B BEYOND EXPRESSION (Program 2) 20 – 21 November 2020 Sarasota Opera House Sir Frederick Ashton's Birthday Offering Sir Frederick Ashton's Dante Sonata Sir David Bintley's The Spider's Feast ROMEO & JULIET (Program 3) 18 – 19 December 2020 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Sir Frederick Ashton's Romeo & Juliet Composed by Sergei Prokofiev
  2. Apparently New York City Ballet has announced the death of Sara Leland. She was a remarkable dancer in the last years of Balanchine, very fast and with a great personality, creating roles in Dances at a Gathering and Symphony in Three Movements, amongst others.
  3. The Allegro Youtube link is here. What a way to start the day. A defining reason for a 72 hour smile .... (Well, for me at any rate )
  4. Dansox, the research network for dance run from Oxford University, is hosting what looks like fascinating event on 5th March We are welcoming Alastair Macaulay, former Chief Dance Critic of the New York Times, back to St Hilda’s College to deliver a special guest lecture on George Balanchine, the great twentieth-century choreographer. Thursday 5 March, 5.30pm, Jacqueline du Pre Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford. The lecture is free and open to all and will be followed by a drinks reception. Please book places at Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dansox-guest-lecture-by-alastair-macaulay-on-georges-balanchine-tickets-89044930785
  5. This truly 'mixed bill' starts tonight and, on the basis of yesterday's rehearsal (where there were additional cast changes!), it's going to be a terrific end to a wonderful Royal Ballet Season.
  6. I was just in Berlin to see the performance of Jewels on 31st October. Hmm not sure what to make of it. Overall I felt rather disappointed with Emeralds and Rubies. Emeralds was nice but the second lady Weronika Frodyma did not manage the first set of clock movements which was a pity and I sensed that her partnership with Arshak Ghalumyan was not that great. For the clock moves my benchmark is the unforgettable performance I saw of this section by Leanne Benjamin at ROH years ago when they premiered Jewels. The lead couple was Aya Okumura, recently transferred from Dutch NB, with Cameron Hunter (below) and they were very nice. I felt Hunter was a very elegant dancer, so well suited to Emeralds. I enjoyed the pas de trois team of Iana Balova, Danielle Muir and Ulian Topor, whom I really liked watching. However I do wonder if this performance of Emeralds lacked the presence of a principal dancer? Just to raise it up a level? Rubies was a bit flat for me it lacked the excitement and fizz I witnessed when I have seen when McRae/Osipova with tall girls Yanowsky/Lamb dance and when I saw Nancy Osbaldeston and Osiel Guneo in Munich last year. Dinu Tamazlacaru is a favourite dancer of mine and the only principal dancer fielded in this piece, but I felt he needed a bit more speed in places. The 2 ladies were both performing their debuts and I thought Sarah Brodeck did a nice performance of Tall Girl/Solo and Yolanda Correa with Tamazlacaru did well but lacked the sass I have seen displayed by so many other dancers. I also felt the footwork which is quite "square" in Rubies could have been sharper. Correa/Tamazlacaru/Brodbeck I was also disappointed with the Rubies costumes because, as you can see, the pleats on the dresses have no big gems on them and therefore did not make the click clack noise you get with the original Karinska versions as the dresses move. That is somewhat a part of Rubies for me so I missed that. The set was quite striking for Rubies. For me the whole show was saved by Iana Salenko and Marian Walter who gave a good strong performance in Diamonds, and especially the Grand PDD. I thought Salenko looks on great form after her maternity leave and it was so nice to see her on stage again. The costumes worn by the corps and 4 couples did not quite do it for me again either. I did not see Walter kiss Salenko's hand at the very end though, as it usually ends with the lady being surprised by this? However, Salenko always does the most steady en pointe balances and great fouettes and pirouettes so It was lovely to see these and Walter did his circles of jetes really well with very quiet landings! This couple are just very good together and the partnering is spot on in my opinion. As you can see I had a stalls seat so the choreography does not show "quite" as well as when you sit higher up for Balanchine, but it was still OK. The music was very nice and I think played at the correct speed but there was one horn in Diamonds which seemed to totally dominate the whole sound! As I say I was not over enamoured by the overall performance which was a shame given the effort to get there to see it! At least I have now seen Berlin do Jewels, but really I think their Bayadere is much better and perhaps more them.
  7. I very much enjoyed the live stream tonight. The Munich company gave a very good account of themselves in each piece. Ashley Bouder was fantastic, I thought, in Rubies. Alina Somova danced with cool precision and allure in Diamonds, just about coping with the brisk tempi in the final segment! A special mention for Vladimir Shklyarov who is really dancing on top form at the moment (appearing in The Little Humpbacked Horse last night at the Mariinsky and presumably flying to Munich this morning) - it was a great pleasure to see again his elan and musicality. I look forward to watching the performance all over again tomorrow!
  8. The Unknown Soldier Infra Symphony in C Opening Night tomorrow Tues 20th November Dress Rehearsal today - this lunchtime's stellar cast and performance were as per attached sheet, and presumably will be deployed again tomorrow night.
  9. I will kick this off, though in many ways I'd rather not. I enjoyed Vertiginous Thrill - I'd forgotten most of it except the tutu shapes, and it was fun and well danced - lots of turning and jumping. Tarantella: Hayward and Sambe brought the house down. Absolutely brilliant - superb technically, and so full of effortless charm. Strapless looked stylish, but was as problematic as last time round. But it was Symphonic Dances that really depressed me. As a tribute to the wonderful Yanowsky, it could have been thrilling. She was beautiful - how could she not be. But the work itself was, in my view, dire. (And also in black and red, like Strapless! Does no-one think of these things?). Lots of swirling and strutting and running, incredibly old fashioned, tawdry designs. Gosh. I could have wept. But the dancers did their best - James Hay and Reece Clarke stood out particularly. And there were from time to time a few moments of interest, even of beauty. But they were drowned in the awfulness of the rest. I must acknowledge that it got an excellent reception. Maybe it's just me.
  10. Anyone fearing withdrawal symptoms when the RB's run of Jewels ends on Friday could pop over to Copenhagen on Saturday and see the Royal Danish Ballet's first night! They haven't danced it before so everyone is new to it - there are some nice photos online and although unfortunately the company seems to have stopped adding captions to identify the dancers, anyone who's caught the recent online Giselle or R&J will recognise at least some of them,. I'm hoping to see a performance later in the run, but if someone sees it before then, please report back!
  11. The latest Royal Ballet mixed bill opened tonight, with Viscera, Afternoon of a Faun, Tchaikovsky pdd and the new Carmen (from Carlos Acosta). Was at the dress rehearsals last week, to put together a gallery of the opening night cast: Viscera - Nehemiah Kish, Leticia Stock © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Carmen - Marianela Nunez © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Carmen - Marianela Nunez, Carlos Acosta © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Set from DanceTabs: RB - Carmen, Viscera, etc mix bill Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr By kind permission of the Royal Opera House
  12. The Royal Ballet's latest mixed bill, featuring new commission from Hofesh Shechter, opens tonight (March 27th, 2015). Alongside this new work, 'Untouchable' are masterworks from Balanchine ('The Four Temperaments') and MacMillan (the mighty 'Song of the Earth'). Was at the Friends general rehearsal, so here are a few photos: The Four Temperaments - Lara Turk, Nathalie Harrison, Edward Watson, Annette Buvoli, Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Untouchable - Hannah Grenell, Isabella Gasparini © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr Song of the Earth - Carlos Acosta, Marianela Nunez, Thiago Soares © Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr See more... Set from DanceTabs: RB mix bill (Four Temperaments etc) Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr By kind permission of the Royal Opera House
  13. I'm not perhaps the best equipped technically to actually start a thread on a performance, but as no-one else has on BRB's latest mixed bill, here goes! I saw the matinee performance at the Birmingham Hippodrome yesterday and the first thing that has to be said is what a terrible title it is. Surely no-one says 'Stateside' these days? It sounds awfully like '60s DJ-speak! The good thing is, however, that the title was the only thing that was terrible about it. What we saw were three ballets, totally different in character, but all with a vivid American sheen. First off was Balanchine's Serenade, set to Tchaikovsky's sublime Serenade for Strings. I'd read lots about this work in my stumbling efforts at a ballet education, so I appreciated its iconic status in the history of American ballet. The Telegraph review mentions occasional lapses of unity which my untutored eye picked up occasionally, but as an ensemble piece it worked wonderfully well, full of graceful neo-classicism but filled with the quirky little touches that came from the ad hoc way in which Balanchine created it. Altogether lovely, as were the women's costumes, a feature of all three ballets. The second piece was Jessica Lang's Lyric Pieces, premiered by the company in 2012 and being given a second outing. The mood here again was classical, but with a modern twist in the black folded kraft paper props that the cast manipulated during the course of the piece. At first these seemed a distraction, but as the dances stretched them, fanned them, sat on them and generally played with them they became increasingly an integral part of the piece. I particularly liked they formed the backdrop for a number of tableaux that from time to time interrupted the general movement of the piece. The Grieg piano pieces, played expertly by Jonathan Higgins, were lovely in themselves, and the choreography captured the folk elements in the music in a number of the pieces, particularly in the well-known March of the Trolls. The highlight though was the wonderful pas de deux by Jenna Roberts and Iain Mackay that preceded the finale - simply gorgeous. The final piece was Twyla Tharp's In The Upper Room. I'd never seen any of her work (though she'd been on bucket list for a while), but I was surprised to see it listed as the final work in the programme given the far more well known Serenade was also on the bill. When I saw the piece, however, I understood why - it's such a demanding piece to dance that it must almost impossible to follow it with something else. It's hard to describe it except that it is a complete tour de force, a constant driving, pulsating dynamo of a piece that mixes just about every style you can thing of from contemporary through jazz, taking in a bit of aerobics on the way, to pure ballet steps. It's also one of the sexiest ballets I've yet seen, and the red pointe shoes that four of the dancers wore will live long in my memory! I'm guessing some might have found the smoke effects distracting but the way the groups of dancers emerged out of it was particularly affecting. The work was set to a recorded score by Philip Glass. Glass isn't one of my favourite composers - if I want minimalism I find much more depth and feel in composers like Steve Reich and John Adams. I'm afraid this didn't make me any more of a fan of him, though it fulfilled its task of driving the piece forward relentlessly, if perhaps a bit too loudly at times. A final thought: the title of the piece of course relates to the Last Supper and the programme notes make the point that there are no overt biblical references in the piece. However, I did notice that there were 13 dancers, which of course is the same number that sat together at the Last Supper. Maybe Tharp intended that to be significant or maybe it's just a coincidence! All in all a wonderful afternoon out, though as with the WW1 programme I saw at the Hippodrome before Christmas there were a disappointing number of empty seats. One final comment: it was refreshing to see a programme with two female choreographers, especially in the light of ENB's announcement of an all-female programme at Sadler's Wells next season.
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