THIS WEEK

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WORLD BALLET DAY
19 October SCHEDULE



The Dante Project

Dante Alighieri died on 14 September 700 years ago and the aptly timed premiere of Wayne McGregor's new ballet, The Dante Project, is inspired by the Italian poet's The Divine Comedy and Vita Nuova. The creation was premiered by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House on 14 October and comprises three acts - Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. Set to a score by Thomas Adès, who also conducted the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the ballet has designs by Tacita Dean, lighting by Lucy Carter and Simon Bennison, and dramaturgy by Uzma Hameed. The title role has been created on Edward Watson who will be retiring at the end of the season after an illustrious career with the company. Performances continue at the ROH until 30 October and a streaming on 29 October will be available online for 30 days. www.roh.org.uk 



Dancer of the Year

Dance Europe's writers nominated 12 very special dancers as the Dancer of the Year in the annual Critics' Choice featured in the current issue. We are now inviting our readers to select an ultimate Dancer of the Year from the nominations. Please send your vote to media@danceeurope.net before 1 November.


The Royal Ballet Romeo and Juliet


The opening night of a new season at the Royal Ballet is always an occasion to savour, but this year it felt particularly special to be at the beginning of what will, hopefully, be a full season for the first time in what seems like aeons. It was an excellent choice to open with Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, a glorious full-scale production with all the lavish sets and costumes, lush music and superb choreography we have all been missing during the pandemic. Balletgoers of more than a few years’ standing will have their own favourite Romeos and Juliets. There have certainly been many extraordinary interpretations of the roles from Seymour and Gable onwards: one thinks of Sibley, Dowell, Alessandra Ferri, David Wall, Viviana Durante, Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Cope, to name just a few. So it is refreshing to find, in Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales, a couple who bring a new, vibrant interpretation of the characters, making the whole ballet seem to glow under a new light. Their young lovers are real people, a young man and a girl swept away

on a tide of passion, their need for each other driving them to desperate measures in their quest to be together. It’s crystal clear that Juliet could never marry Paris: indeed, she could never be with anyone other than Romeo, and he could never be with anyone but her. The tragedy of the ending becomes inevitable, which only adds to the poignancy. No matter how many times you see this ballet, it will tear at your heartstrings every time.Corrales is a heart-and-soul dancer. He gives his all in every role, immersing himself in the character and never losing the connection. He is also a marvellous technician, and the 'dream team' trio of his Romeo alongside the Mercutio of Marcelino Sambé (one of the truly great performances in ballet) and James Hay’s immaculate Benvolio presented a feast of precise batterie, elegant jumps and fizzing turns that had the audience gasping. There is plenty of marvellous casting to come: Kaneko/Bracewell and O’Sullivan/Sambé are two I am particularly looking forward to, but there are plenty of others to enjoy too. Choose your favourites! And celebrate our return to the Royal Opera House in full splendour.   Amanda Jennings


Diana and Actaeon

A short film with Francesco Gabriele Frola and Natalia de Froberville who perfromed the Diana and Actaeon pas de deux in the Ukrainian Ballet Gala presented by Putrov Productions - featured in the current issue.


DANE HURST

Phoenix Dance Theatre's new artistic director shares his life story and talks about his first choreography for the company West Side Story: Symphonic Dances, which will be premiered on a Bernstein double bill with Opera North's Trouble in Tahiti. 

DIDY VELDMAN

The dancer, choreographer and director shares her story and talks @HOME - her new work for Humanoove which premieres on 7 October in Canterbury. Filmed at White Lodge with dancers Hannah Ekholm, Melody Tamiz, Theo Arran, Oliver Chapman and Nicholas Tredrea, the piece is set to a commissioned score by Sabio Janiak.

WAYNE EAGLING

Formerly a principal with The Royal Ballet and artistic director of Dutch National Ballet and English National Ballet, Wayne Eagling shares his life story, his passion for photography and talks about his recent choreographies.



Merlin

Drew McOnie's Merlin was premiered at the Theatre Royal Nottingham on 25 September with Kevin Poeung as Merlin, Antoinette Brooks-Daw as Morgan, Lorenzo Trossello as Uther, Rachael Gillespie as Ygraine, Javier Torres as Vortigern, Minju Kang as Blacksmith, Abigail Prudames as Lady of the Lake, Greig Matthews as Helios and Ashley Dixon as the Dragon. The Northern Ballet Sinfonia was conducted by Jonathan Lo. Performances continues this week in Nottingham followed by a tour until 4 December. Casting, venues and more info HERE


Giselle in Lisbon