The swan: #roofseries
Two of the first films made during the British close of spring captured the moment of sudden confinement, the spirit of DIY, and the simple need for connection and hope. Birmingham Royal Ballet Director Céline Gittens danced Fokine’s Dying Swan in her living room, connected with musicians at home. Meanwhile, former New York City Ballet dancer Robbie Fairchild and his roommate Chris Jarosz threw juicy shapes on his rooftop in Manhattan. They brought a tear and a radiant smile, respectively. Read the full review.
Our bodies back
Among a number of artists tackling themes that Black Lives Matter brought to the fore this summer, Jonzi D’s Our Bodies Back was particularly powerful. It had a strong anchor in the defiant text of the Detroit poet. jessica care moore, mourning the lost lives of Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and other black women. And it featured three distinctive and powerful performers: Nafisah Baba, Bolegue Manuela, and the indescribable intensity of Axelle “Ebony” Munezero.
Sadler’s Wells, London
Irish choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan creates worlds to get caught up in, and this one is full of community connection and infectious rhythm. Mám was a subtly masterful piece that spoke of modernity invading a traditional Irish community through a musical culture clash between concertina Cormac Begley and contemporary Stargaze musicians. Meanwhile, the dance unfolded like a night locked in a pub, rich with relationships, memories, and a bit of magical realism. Read the full review.
Alonzo King: Do not stand still
You can find many shorts of permissionless dancers moving wonderfully in empty cities or in their own backyards, but few were as stunning as No Stop. San Francisco choreographer Alonzo King nurtures some glorious moving bodies of great integrity in his company, and these five films saw dancers in forests, mountains, beaches, and against urban concrete becoming part of their surroundings, gleaming in the sunshine of the city. West Coast.
Buzzard and kestrel
Highlights of Sadler’s Wells Global Gala It was a William Forsythe premiere, directed by New York City Ballet’s Tiler Peck, one of the stars of his Instagram ballet class, here showing what all those daily exercises allow him to do. Set on one of James Blake’s earliest tracks, it’s a ballet of fast feet and gliding torsos, fun, excitement and speed, barely leaving the bar, with effortless technician Peck fully in control.
Royal Ballet Live: within the golden hour
Royal Opera House, London and online
An absolute class gala evening, performed live at the opera house but with spectators at home thanks to lockdown 2.0. The digital presentation failed to make a dent in the effect of the art on display and the top dancers were in full flight despite their forced pause from the stage, from leading stars like Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov to younger company dancers like Reece. Clarke. , Nicol Edmonds and William Bracewell. Read the full review.
Message in a Bottle
For a genius choreographer who has built her career on hip-hop and funk, the detour to a show based on Sting’s music seemed like an unlikely move, but Kate Prince’s message in a bottle proved her powers of judgment theatrical were working well. A fiercely committed cast told the story of a family separated by war who became a refugee in a new land, and they did so in a performance full of heart and bursting with incredible energy. Read the full review.
Richard Alston Dance Company
Tour the UK
In 2020, we sadly said goodbye to the Richard Alston Dance Company, disbanded after 25 years due to that old enemy, money. However, the final farewell, which took place at Sadler’s Wells just before closing in March, rose above those earthly concerns by offering windows to the choreographic world of Alston’s grace, light and harmony and a declaration of intent in a final premiere. called Shine On. Alston continues to choreograph, but the company will be greatly missed. Read the full review.
Intended to be an immersive installation, Wilkie Branson’s TOM was repackaged as a small screen film with a huge punch. Technically, the intricate animation using photogrammetrically digitized hand-made models was accomplished, but it was the slow emotional imprint of this tale of desolation, loneliness and depression that was most moving. Dance was just one of the many elements and textures used by b-boy Branson to create an evocative world that got under your skin. Read the full review.
Natalia Osipova in Onegin
Royal Opera House, London
Long ago, in what feels like another life (aka January), a couple thousand people gathered, comfortably seated together at the Royal Opera House to watch John Cranko’s ballet Onegin. What was then an ordinary evening out now seems extraordinary, for obvious reasons, but even then it was exceptional thanks to Natalia Osipova’s central performance as the heroine Tatiana. Osipova’s characters are so full of emotional power that they transform her body and dance every time. Turn up the volume and make the entire audience sit and watch.
Osipova took Tatiana from a girl feverishly in love, throwing herself almost shamefully into Reece Clarke’s distant Onegin, a polite and pragmatic woman, maturing before our eyes. But in an exciting climactic pas de deux, when Onegin returned too late to offer his love, great confusion could be seen shaking Tatiana’s body: she resisted, gave in, froze and pounced, hormones bristling as if the smell of Onegin will seep into her consciousness and send her back to her teenage self. There was no question that it was Osipova’s show, but she had a solid company to support her, especially Gary Avis as her doting husband, Prince Gremin, an artist so adept at making small parts count. They brought a 50-year-old ballet, based on a 200-year-old book, alive in 2020. Read the full review.
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