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Friday, June 7

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A review of San Francisco Ballet by Lyndsey Winship in The Guardian.

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This is a company with a hunger for new work. The second week of their London run has brought six UK premieres, added to the four last week. Director Helgi Tomasson’s commissions made this tour a genuinely exciting event.

 

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A review of the Royal Ballet by Josephine Leask for DanceTabs.

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My favourite, The Firebird, doesn’t disappoint with Yasmine Naghdi’s debut as the fascinating, bird-woman. She effectively embodies the arrogant yet vulnerable essence of the magical, flaming red bird, flighty yet assertive as she commands the enchanted creatures of the forest as well as Edward Watson’s Ivan Tsarevich. Naghdi’s presence is a calmly mesmerizing one, she’s less fluttery and agitated than some other Firebirds that I’ve seen and Watson looks rather flat besdie her as does Christina Arestis as the beautiful but dull Tsarevna. Their roles look altogether more rustic and plodding than Naghdi’s highly articulate and refined one.
 

 

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A review of American Ballet Theatre's Tharp mixed bill by Leigh Witchel for dancelog.nyc.

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“Upper Room” started out very clean with articulated positions, but is that the objective? The cast was divided into squadrons, some in sneakers and some on pointe, with different styles of movement. The progression of the ballet is that of a workout or marathon, including the shedding of clothing. Hoven, Lyle and Aran Bell wound up bare-chested, and the more tired the dancers got the more they looked like themselves. Isabella Boylston looked most at home here; Tharp was asking her to be what she usually is: a contemporary ballerina, and she hit prodigious balances.

 

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Reviews of English National Ballet.

The Daily Telegraph

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Having previously made a terrific job of expanding Swan Lake for the vast Victorian cavern that is the Royal Albert Hall, English National Ballet are now giving Cinderella, another fantastical story with a great Russian score, the same in-the-round treatment. Christopher Wheeldon created this production in 2012 for San Francisco Ballet and Dutch National Ballet, who gave it its first, first-rate UK outing in 2015.

The Evening Standard

 

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A review of New York City Ballet by Robert Gottlieb for Observer.

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For many of us, however, Balanchine’s crowning achievement in Dream is the unique pas de deux he plants in the midst of the formal wedding celebrations that constitute Act II...................I was fortunate enough to see the same pair twice, Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar. There has been no lovelier, more exemplary, ballerina in this role since Violette Verdy, the original; I was holding my breath as she seamlessly spun out the thread of Balanchine’s intentions. Ramasar, an outstanding partner always, presented her generously and impeccably. He is back with the company after the recent scandals, now that an arbitrator has insisted that he be restored. The audience welcomed him with a smattering of applause and no sign of rebuff—an appropriate manifestation of healing, which is, finally, what A Midsummer Night’s Dream is all about.

 

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A review of the School of American Ballet's workshop performance by Rose Marija for Broadway World.

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First, on the program, which I attended on June 1, 8:00pm, was a Balanchine favorite, Concerto Barocco, staged by Suki Schorer (former principal dancer under Balanchine), music by Johann Sebastian Bach. This ballet was begun in class at SAB as an exercise in stagecraft. It premiered on June 27, 1941. At this performance, Brandi Steirn danced the first violin role, well partnered by Jackson Fort. The second violin part was beautifully danced by Shelby Tzung, despite working with a body type that is not the norm for Balanchine dancers. She gave an authentic, comfortable performance. Steirn looked happy to be performing, many smiles. Her best moments came while being partnered in the pas de deux. Principals and corps de ballet in this piece as well as the ballets to follow were musical and stayed in line, essential to professional performances.

 

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A review of San Francisco Ballet by Graham Watts for Bachtrack.

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The resultant triple bill was a lively evening of pure dance, largely untroubled by any narrative inclination. It is a worry to those of us who like story-based dance theatre that the future of ballet seems to be largely abstract. The two selections given here from Unbound gave me no insight into where ballet might be heading. In Bespoke, Stanton Welch set neoclassical movement, vaguely themed around the passing of time, to some beautiful pieces by Bach (his only surviving violin concertos); and in Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, Justin Peck’s nod to the future was a heavy slice of Americana based on his dancers performing in “sneakers” to a mix of electronic music. In both cases, they were works that could have been the next in these choreographers’ line of ideas, rather than meeting the specifics of Tomasson’s challenge.

 

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Houston Ballet revives "Marie."

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"In 2009, Stanton was creating this ballet for the first time as a world premiere and he chose to go with me as his Marie.  And he created the role entirely on me and I got to premiere it. It has really felt like my ballet," Mennite says.  It is a challenging role - she never leaves the stage except for intermissions in the three art - but it gives the dancer a welcome opportunity to dive deeply into the character of Marie Antoinette.

 

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