Oct/Nov 2023 - No. 269
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Birmingham Royal Ballet WP Black Sabbath ch: Pontus Lidberg Birmingham Hippodrome brb.org.uk

English National Ballet - Our Voices: Theme and Variations ch: Balanchine / Four Last Songs ch: Dawson / Les Noces ch: Miller www.ballet.org.uk

Kyiv City Ballet - A Tribute to Peace  - Peacock Theatre

Teatro alla Scala Ballet - Swan Lake pr: Nureyev.

Fall for Dance Festival - Program 1 - New York City Center

New York City Ballet - All Balanchine I: Western Symphony / The Unanswered Question / Tarantella / Stars and Stripes nycballet.com

Dancers of the Year 2023

Congratulations to our 12 wonderful Dancers of The Year -  Alina Cojocaru, Catherine Hurlin, Elisa Badenes, Emma Hawes, Fumi Kaneko, Giorgi Potskhishvili, Guillaume Diop, Laura Morera, Laurretta Summerscales, Lorenzo Trossello, Marianela Núñez and Victor Caixeta - who have been selected by Dance Europe's writers. Readers are invited to pick their 'Dancer of the Year' from the 12 nominees - please send by EMAIL before 31 October

Our Voices

English National Ballet has opened its first season under new artistic director Aaron Watkin with a triple bill, Our Voices, comprising the company premiere of Balanchine's Theme and Variations staged by Victoria Simon, Les Noces, Ascent to Days, a world premiere (commissioned by former director Tamara Rojo) choreographed by Andrea Miller, and a second world premiere, Four Last Songs (Watkin's first commission for the company) choreographed by David Dawson. Performances at Sadler's Wells until 30 September sadlerswells.com Photo GALLERY

Ako Kondo & Chengwu Guo

Ako Kondo and Chengwu Guo are both principal dancers with The Australian Ballet and delighted audiences with their performances  at the Royal Opera House in London this summer.  During a short break between matinée and evening performances, they shared stories of their dancing careers to date in this filmed interview.

Christian Spuck

The renowned German choreographer starts off his first season as director of the Staatsballett Berlin with the premiere of a new ballet inspired by Gustave Flaubert's novel Madame Bovary. In this filmed interview he explains how he was drawn to the novel and his ideas on how to tell the complex story on stage.

Jacques d'Amboise
on Jewels

New York City Ballet is celebrating its 75th Anniversary and the George Balanchine Foundation is posting gems from its archives and in this short clip the late Jacques d'Amboise recalls how Balanchine described the three sections - Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds - in his his ballet Jewels.

Paris Opera

The Paris Opera opened their season on 21 September with a Gala, which began with the traditional Défilé. The programme included new ballets - Marion Motin's The Last Call and Xie Xin's Horizon - and ended with Crystal Pite's The Seasons' Canon. Curtain call from the générale. Under dance director José Martinez, the company comprises 124 sujets, coryphées and quadrilles, plus 13 premier danseurs and 17 étoiles.

Anna Roberta

Anna Roberta was promoted to principal dancer, by artistic director Linnar Looris, after her performance in José Martinez's Le Corsaire on 17 September.



Northern Ballet's Generations bill includes two world premieres - Benjamin Ella's Joie de Vivre and Tiler Peck's Intimate Pages - with the company premiere of Hans Van Manen's Adagio Hammerklavier. Following performances at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre in Leeds, the programme can be seen at the ROH Linbury Theatre from 31 October - 2 November. Pictured - Jun Ishii, Dominique Larose, Joseph Brown, Sarah Chun, Harris Beattie and Kirica Takahashi in Benjamin Ella's Joie de Vivre.northernballet.com PHOTOS

Marcus Jarrell Willis

Phoenix Dance Theatre has announced the appointment of Marcus Jarrell Willis as its new artistic director. Born in Houston, Texas in 1985, he moved to New York at the age of 16 to study at The Ailey School. He performed with Ailey II and in 2008 joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has also performed with RIOULT, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza. He was appointed as Resident Choreographer for Ballet Cymru in Newport in 2021. Pictured - Marcus Jarrell Willis and Phoenix Company Dancers © Hugo Glendinning

Virtual Stage

Under the artistic direction of Carlos Acosta, Birmingham Royal Ballet is pioneering Immersive Technology with view to introducing classical ballet to new audiences around the world. The company launched the groundbreaking project at its Birmingham base on 30 August enabling the curious to check out the new technology.Tom Rogers, BRB's Creative Digital Producer, is the driving force behind the programme and says: "I am delighted to be launching our Virtual Stage programme, having the opportunity to truly innovate within the confines of classical ballet has been both exciting and terrifying in equal measure." brb.org.uk/virtual-stage

Dutch National Ballet 

Dutch National Ballet has announced that Jacopo Tissi (pictured in The Ninth Wave in Nervi last summer) has joined the company as a principal dancer and that Michiel Nannen is the new business manager. Promotions have also been announced: Elisabeth Tonev to Soloist, Davi Ramos to Grand Sujet, Arianna Maldini, Alexandria Marx and Dingkai Bai to Coryphée and Skya Powney from the Junior Company to artist. New Junior Company members are: Ella Kolpakov, Frédérique Meewis, Ana Luísa Negrão, Sangwon Park, Hà Nhi Trân, Aafke Wolles, Alexander Alvarez, Patrik Benák, Vincent Fell and Vincent Vivet. www.operaballet.nl


International Ballet Gala - Palácio de Seteais

A glimpse of the dancers who participated in this year's International Ballet Gala that took place in the gardens of the 18th century Palácio de Seteais in Sintra, Portugal.

New Season

Companies already back in the studio after the summer break include Ballett Zürich which is starting the 2023-24 season under its new director, Cathy Marston with 17 new dancers in the main company and nine new recruits in the Junior Ballet - all pictured photo © Ballett Zürich. More details on companies' plans for the new season can be found HERE

HP_Zurich ballett group

Deborah MacMillan
and Kenneth's Ballets

Kenneth MacMillan's widow talks candidly and with much affection about her late husband's prolific legacy in this filmed interview, which also includes shorts clips of some of the choreographer's most famous ballets - Manon, Mayerling, Romeo and Juliet and Song of the Earth.

The Australian Ballet

A short film from The Australian Media Showcase with artistic director David Hallberg and principal dancers Ako Kondo and Brett Chynoweth in an excerpt from George Balanchine's Rubies. The Australian Ballet returned to the Royal Opera House for the first time since 1988 and presented Balanchine's Jewels at the beginning of August. A review of the season will be published din the Oct/Nov issue of Dance Europe.

60th Anniversary Celebration

Concluding its short London season, The Australian Ballet celebrated its 60th anniversary with a one-off performance at the Royal Opera House on 6 August The programme ended with an excerpt from Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote brilliantly led by Benedicte Bemet and Joseph Caley and conducted by Jonathan Lo. PHOTO GALLERY from the general rehearsal.

Danish Dancers in Sintra

Four couples made up the programme at this year’s International Ballet Festival held in the gardens of the Palacio de Seteais in Sintra. One partnership was that of Emma Riis-Kofoed and Jonathan Chmelensky, principals at the Royal Danish Ballet and a couple in real life. In this double interview, the two dancers share their stories to date

Roberto Bolle and Friends

Rain at the Arena di Verona was a challenge for the dancers in the gala at the Arena di Verona on 19 July but the show went on. This short clip, courtesy of the Fondazione Arena di Verona, shows Roberto Bolle in Mauro Bigonzetti's beautiful solo, Sphere, set to music by Alessandro Quarto. The cast included: Roberto Bolle, Nicoletta Manni, Madoka Sugai, António Casalinho, Melissa Hamilton, Yasmine Naghdi, William Bracewell, Toon Lobach, Timofej Andrijashenko, Casia Vengoechea, Bakhtiyar Adamzhan.


Carlos at 50

Carlos Acosta celebrated his 50th birthday with a programme at the Royal Opera House. Dancers include Marianela Núnez, Céline Gittens, Lucy Waine, Laura Rodríquez, Alejandro Silva, Yonah Acosta, Laurretta Summerscales, Enrique Corrales, Yaoqian Shang, Brandon Lawrence. PHOTOS

The Royal Ballet School

The Royal Ballet School gave its annual Summer Performance at the Royal Opera House on 16 July. The programme included ballets by Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan, Robert Battle, Christopher Wheeldon, Goyo Montero, Jirí Kylián, August Bournonville, Carlos Acosta, Mikaela Polley and Tom Bosma. All 24 graduating students have secured contracts with professional companies. Gallery featuring some of the ballets performed LINK

Dutch National Ballet Academy

The Dutch National Ballet Academy presented its annual summer performance, Dansers van Morgen, at the National Opera & Ballet on 5 & 6 July. This short film gives a glimpse of the ballets the young dancers performed including Rachel Beaujean's staging of Paquita and director Ernst Meisner's Poulenc Suite as well as choreographies by Iva Lešić, Diddy Veldman, Remi Wörtmeyer, Ken Ossola and the students themselves.

Don Q in Cape Town
Cape Town City Ballet will be presenting the company premiere of Maina Gielgud's production of Don Quixote on 12 August with Kirstel Paterson and Jonathan Leyva as Kitty and Basilio. Subsequent casts include: Bayerisches Staatsballett soloists António Casalinho and Margarita Fernandes on 13, 16 & 19 Aug; Royal Ballet principals Vadim Muntagirov and Fumi Kaneko on 22, 25 & 27 Aug; Paris Opera sujet Inès McIntosh and Francisco Gomes on 23 Aug; Leane Theunissen and Leusson Muniz on 26, 30 Aug & 2 mat Sept; and Chante Daniels and Francisco Gomes 26 mat & 2 Sept. The production was first staged in Leiria in 2022 with Casalinho and Fernandes. Performances will take place at ArtsCape Theatre.

Manon in Paris

Kenneth MacMillan's Manon, drawing on the novel by Abbé Prévost and set to music by Jules Massenet is now running at the Palais Garnier until 15 July. Altogether, seven casts have been scheduled to perform the leading protagonists. Two of the company's newest étoiles, Guillaume Diop and Marc Moreau, who will be making their debuts as Des Grieux during the run, are featured in this short film (Diop partnered by Amandine Albisson) in rehearsals with Karl Burnett and Agnès Letestu. operadeparis.fr 


La Bayadère IN MUNICH

Bayerisches Staatsballett gave three performances of Patrice Bart's production of La Bayadère at the end of May. The performance on 29 May featured Osiel Gouneo, Madison Young and Maria Baranova as Solor, Nikiya and Gamzatti, with Margarita Grechanaia, Margarita Fernandes and Jeanette Kakareka as the three leading shades (pictured). Gallery and curtains calls from the performance  LINK

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Aaron S. Watkin

Following 17 years as the director of Semperoper Ballett, Aaron S. Watkin's successful tenure was celebrated following the performance on 3 June. PHOTOS

Brandon Lawrence

Brandon Lawrence joined Birmingham Royal Ballet on graduation from the Royal Ballet School 12 years ago and moved swiftly up the ranks to become a principal in 2019. However, he is now bidding BRB farewell and will be joining Ballett Zurich next season. He gave his farewell performance with BRB on 10 June, dancing in all three of the ballets - Apollo, Interlinked and 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café on the programme. PHOTOS and curtain calls LINK

Laura Morera

Laura Morera gave her farewell performance as a principal dancer at Covent Garden in Anastasia on 17 June on but will be giving her last performances with The Royal Ballet in Japan on 8 July. Next season she will take on the role of coach and repetiteur with the company.


The Royal Ballet

The Royal Ballet's final programme of the season comprised the premiere of Untitled 2023 by Wayne McGregor to music by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, set designs by Carmen Herrera, costumes by Burberry and lighting by Lucy Carter along with revivals of Christopher Wheeldon's Corybantic Games and Kenneth MacMillan's Anastasia. www.roh.org.uk Photos

Brandon Lawrence

Born in Hull, Brandon Lawrence joined Birmingham Royal Ballet on graduation from the Royal Ballet School 11 years ago and moved swiftly up the ranks to become a principal in 2019. He reflects on his career to date and explains why he has decided to move to the Ballett Zurich next season. The interview is published in the June/July 2023 issue of Dance Europe. 

Songs of a Wayfarer

Songs of a Wayfayer / Le Chant du compagnon errant  is currently being performed by the Paris Opera as part of a Maurice Béjart programme at the Opera Bastille. This film features the company's newest étoiles, Guillaume Diop and Marc Moreau, in an early rehearsal for the ballet with guest répétiteur Maina Gielgud, who shares her personal memories of working with the legendary French choreographer.

Alice Renavand

Alice Renavand gave her farewell performance at the Paris Opera in Béjart's Boléro on 29 May to tremendous applause.

National Youth Dance Company

After performing Wayne McGregor's Novacene at Sadler's Wells on 3 June, the National Youth Dance Company will tour  to Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich 8 July; The House, Plymouth, 15 July; De Montfort University, Leicester 18 July; and New Stage, Newcastle 23 July. Photos from the general rehearsal. GALLERY

Ballet Gala in Seteais

This year’s International Ballet Gala in Seteais, near Sintra in Portugal, will take place on 1 & 2 July in the beautiful gardens of the Hotel-Palácio de Seteais. Video features excerpts from last year. More info in EVENTS

Three Artistic Directors

In the June/July issue, Dance Europe features Stanton Welch who is celebrating two decades as Houston Ballet's director; Aaron S. Watkin, who reflects on his years in Dresden as he prepares to take over English National Ballet in August; and David Hallberg, who talks about his new life off-stage at the helm of The Australian Ballet as he prepares his company for its London seasons at the Royal Opera House in August.

Grand Audition Budapest

A short film shot at the Grand Audition in Budapest featuring Sachiya Takata, Kirill Mobereo de la Sota, Diede Schuur, Otto Eltell and Gvendolin Nagy, who were among the dancers offered contracts. The event was held at the Hungarian Dance University and is introduced by artistic director David Makhateli.

Gvendolin Nagy

Following her participation in the Grand Audition in Budapest, Gvendolin Nagy, who studies at the  Hungarian Dance University, has been offered a contract with the National Moravian - Silesian Theatre in Ostrava.

Grand Audition Paris

The second Grand Audition this year was held in Paris on 25 & 26 March at the Paris Opera Ballet School. Read more... 


This short documentary on Requiem, a new work by Dane Hurst, features dancers from the Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre and Jazzart Dance Theatre from South Africa. Set to the Mozart Requiem, the work will  be premiered at the Leeds Grand Theatre from 26 May - 4 June 2023.  Phoenix Dance Theatre's ‘Requiem’ is a collaboration with Opera North, Jazzart Dance Theatre & Cape Town Opera.



BRB2 will give its final performances off its programme - Carlos Acosta's Classical Selection - at the Linbury, Royal Opera House, on 13 & 14 June, and at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on 4 June. Review coming in the June/July issue. Photo GALLERY

Paris Opera - Maurice Béjart

The Paris Opera presented a triple bill of ballets by Maurice Béjart at the Opera Bastille from 20 April until 28 May. PHOTO GALLERY

Victor Caixeta Promotion

Following his debut as Prince Siegfried, partnering Maia Makhateli in Swan Lake, Victor Caixeta was promoted to principal dancer by Dutch National Ballet director Ted Brandsen on 4 April. The announcement took place backstage at the National Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam. PHOTO GALLERY