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Thursday, February 7

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A review of the Paris Opera Ballet by Laura Cappelle in The Financial Times.

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Three years nearly to the day after her appointment, director Aurélie Dupont presented two of the handful of new works planned for the season. Both are fundamentally flawed, one more so than the other, but the issues are as much down to programming as they are to the artists involved.

 

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Reviews of  "New Work New Music" at the Royal Opera House.

The Financial Times

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Kristen McNally’s Based on “A” True Story was a quirky, cantankerous duet for Nadia Mullova-Barley and Harry Churches, who delivered spavined tics and splayed limbs in the Mats Ek manner to Samantha Fernando’s Formations. Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares lent the gloss of glamour to Goyo Montero’s Circular Ruins, a slightly corny powerplay set to a commissioned score by Owen Belton in which the always picture-perfect Nuñez evolves from lay figure to dominatrix in the hands of her Dr Coppelius/puppeteer. Lauren Cuthbertson and Marcelino Sambé did their ever-elegant best with Juliano Nunes’s Two Sides of (set to Luke Howard’s Bear Story II), but were often defeated by pairwork that looked like a man wrestling with a rogue deckchair.

The Times

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New work is the lifeblood of any dance company, but the Royal Ballet, in its first foray into the newly redeveloped Linbury Theatre, has taken that one step farther. The six world premieres in this programme are set to contemporary music never before used for dance. The result is a mixed bag, and one that feels more cobbled together than carefully planned. The musical resources — in the shape of the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Jonathan Lo, in the pit — are fantastic, but the evening is short on creditable choreography.

The Evening Standard

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There’s no discernible mood to the following two hours; pieces range from a meditation on creation and control made on two stars (Goyo Montero’s Circular Ruins for Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares) to a mini rave in rag-rugs (Something Borrowed by Calvin Richardson) and an all-women empowerment fest (Blue Moon by Aletta Collins).

The Guardian

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The most surprising debut is from Calvin Richardson, a 24-year-old Royal Ballet soloist who boldly throws together a lucky dip of styles in Something Borrowed: vogue, street, catwalk strut, gymnastic ballet and even Irish steps. Set to Anna Meredith’s clubby score, with fringed costumes that make the dancers look like human piñatas, it’s clearly an early work (and the young cast look way too polite in the less classical sections) but it’s confident, fun, and I can’t wait to see what Richardson does next. This is exactly the kind of talent that should be nurtured and showcased on this stage.

 

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A review of the Royal Ballet's "New Work New Music" program by Mark Monahan in The Daily Telegraph.

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he Royal Ballet was founded on – and has a uniquely rich tradition of – comic, dramatic and romantic storytelling in classical ballet. Along with its wonderful dancers, it is this that still, for my money, makes it the most consistently rewarding ballet company in the world. Its inaugural bill at the the Royal Opera House’s shiny new Linbury Theatre, however, has a very largely contemporary-dance feel, with pointe shoes absent from half the pieces, no traditional narrative, almost no comedy and not a single character.

 

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A review of New York City Ballet by Lauren Gallagher for DanceTabs.

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To say that New York City Ballet’s Taylor Stanley is having a moment would be a gross understatement. Lauded by the NY TImes and DanceTabs for his recent debut in Balanchine’s Apollo (the Times also gave him a profile), Stanley was put to work in all three ballets on Sunday’s “New Combinations” mixed bill. Major draws were the new Justin Peck and a revival of William Forsythe’s 1992 commission Herman Schmerman, not seen in full since the 90s. Although Kyle Abraham’s The Runaway debuted last fall, Stanley’s opening (and closing) solos in that ballet are what steal the show.
 

 

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