World Premiere: Casanova

MIKE DIXON appraises Northern Ballet's outstanding premiere

When Northern Ballet reaches its 50th Anniversary in a few years’ time, I am confident the company will be aware that Casanova is one of the landmark ballets that have signposted significant plateaux and new directions in the history of this remarkable ensemble. Kenneth Tindall is home-grown talent, insofar as he was a company member and principal dancer who made his first choreographic experiments within the company’s structure and has been successfully mentored by his director, David Nixon. His style, like Nixon’s, is fast-paced and cinematic. However, Tindall has his own unique voice and seems to draw upon a colourful hinterland of knowledge and experience to augment everything he has learned in Leeds. Read Mike Dixon's review in  the April issue.

Northern Ballet - Dreda Blow and Giuliano Contadini in Kenneth Tindall's Casanova


World Premiere: Flight Pattern

AMANDA JENNINGS is moved by Crystal Pite's inaugural work for The Royal Ballet

“It’s my way of coping with the world at the moment,” Crystal Pite has said of her new work, Flight Pattern, the world premiere of which constitutes the main attraction on The Royal Ballet’s latest triple bill. Pite has, however, created much, much more than a coping mechanism for herself: she has made a work of art in the true sense of the word, a work that speaks of what it means to be a human being. It is her response to the refugee crisis of today, but it encompasses all man-made world crises that rip lives apart and create diaspora. Read Amanda Jennings' review in  the April issue.

The Royal Ballet in Crystal Pite's Flight Pattern.
Photo: Emma Kauldhar by courtesy of the ROH


Made in Amsterdam

SUSAN POND enjoys two bills of new and revised pieces created by choreographers with an Amsterdam connection

Over a hundred ballet programmers, company directors, choreographers and journalists from all over the world met up in Amsterdam for a conference weekend entitled Positioning Ballet, to discuss the state of the art form and possible future paths. Ambitiously, the weekend aimed to tackle three hugely complex themes: heritage, diversity and identity. The latter theme linked up well with the performances attended by the participants – a double programme totalling eight ballets: Made in Amsterdam 1 & 2. As the title suggests, all eight works were created especially for Dutch National Ballet, by choreographers who either have their roots in the company or have very strong ties with it. What better way to showcase the company’s identity?  Read Susan Pond's review in  the March issue.


Dutch National Ballet - Igone de Jongh and Daniel Camargo in Ernst Meisner’s In Transit. Photo: Hans Gerritsen


Fear of the Fouetté...

MAINA GIELGUD presents sound rationale for encouraging young students to ‘go for it’ at an early age 

From my experience, as a coach and teacher working regularly in a number of different countries’ ballet companies and schools, I have come to the conclusion that despite great advances in pedagogy, in some countries one aspect is often overlooked through an overcautiousness of approach. Talented children who have the drive to become classical ballet dancers should, I am sure all directors and teachers agree, be provided with training which gives them the tools enabling them to acquire the artistic and technical skills necessary to become the best dancers they can possibly be. Yet, so often when coaching students or professional dancers, even principal dancers, I come across what I call the ‘fear of the fouetté’! - of being in pointe shoes, of manèges and many of the virtuosic jumps and pirouettes in the classical vocabulary.  Read Maina Gielgud’s article in the March issue.

Vaganova Academy students perforimg in the Sleeping Beauty with the Mariinsky Ballet © Emma Kauldhar