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- Season 2019 - 20
New Home for Milwaukee Ballet
The town was decorated with yards of ribbon and brightly coloured pointe shoes for the official opening of Milwaukee Ballet’s new, 52,000 sq. ft home in Milwaukee’s Third Ward on 4 September. The state-of-the-art building, named the Baumgartner Center for Dance after its lead donors Donna and Donald Baumgartner marks “the culmination of years of planning, daring and persistence” says artistic director Michael Pink. The new centre has seven studios and will accommodate the main company, second company and hundreds of young dancers studying at the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy. The public are invited to visit the Baumgartner Center during Doors Open MKE on 28 & 29 September. More info at www.milwaukeeballet.org/the-latest/doors-open/
Romeo + Juliet
The London premiere of Matthew Bourne's Romeo + Juliet took place this week at Sadler's Wells with Cordelia Braithwaite and Paris Fitzpatrick in the title roles. The action takes place in the Verona Institute where Tybalt, a monster guard, abuses his charges and terrifies them with his gun. The official press night on 9 August was stopped in Act I when Matthew Bourne came on to the stage to explain that Reece Causton had been injured and that Ben Brown - due to perform Mercutio later in the run - was hot-footing it back to the theatre. Amazingly, the performance continued, with a re-run of the last scene, within 20 minutes. The cast included Jackson Fisch as Balthasar (Mercutio's boyfried), Harrison Dowzell as Benvolio, Matt Petty and Daisy May Kemp as Senator and Mrs Montague (Romeo's ghastly parents who dump their troubled son at the Institute) and Kemp who doubles as the Rev. Bernadette Laurence. The production is unique in that six local young dancers are being engaged to join the company at each venue. Runs until 31 August. More INFO
Shale Wagman made history in July when he performed James in La Sylphide with the Mariinsky Ballet in St Petersburg - the youngest dancer to be invited to dance a principal role as a guest artist with the company. In this recent interview in London, he talks about his experiences in St Petersburg and explains why he is moving on from English National Ballet, which he joined last summer on graduation from the Princesse Grace Académie, after one year...
Bolshoi opens in London with Spartacus
The Bolshoi Ballet opened its London season at the Royal Opera House last night with Yuri Grigorovich's Spartacus led by Denis Rodkin in the title role, Anastasia Denisova as Phrygia. The production runs until 14 August. More INFO
Sergei Polunin on RT
Interview with Sergei Polunin on RT (starts after 6.30 min) in which he talks about the critics, audiences, the establishment, being blacklisted by Ukraine (his country of birth) and about his own production of Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by Johan Kobborg, that will premiere at the Arena di Verona on 26 August. TICKETS
Promotions, Leavers and Joiners at The Royal Ballet
Marcelino Sambé has been promoted to principal; Anna Rose O’Sullivan and Luca Acri hto first soloist; Romany Pajdak, Isabella Gasparini, Tomas Mock and David Yudes to soloist; Annette Buvoli, Mica Bradbury, Ashley Dean, Chisato Katsura, Leo Dixon and Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød to first artist; Katharina Nikelski, Amelia Townsend, Yu Hang, Harris Bell, Harrison Lee and Taisuke Nakao from the 2018/19 Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme, and formerly graduates of The Royal Ballet School, become artists; Sophie Allnatt, also a graduate of The Royal Ballet School, becomes an artist following a one-year contract with the company; Madison Bailey, Liam Boswell, Brayden Gallucci, Bomin Kim and Ginevra Zambon, all from The Royal Ballet School, are the new Aud Jebsen programme dancers; Sumina Sasaki joins as the Prix de Lausanne dancer; Gary Avis becomes senior ballet master and Samantha Raine senior ballet mistress - but Avis will continue to perform as a principal character artist; Nehemiah Kish retires after nine years with company; Helen Crawford has been appointed ballet mistress; first soloist Hikaru Kobayashi, soloist Emma Maguire and first artist Camille Bracher all leave the company; Lania Atkins leaves the Aud Jebsen Young Dancer Programme to join the National Norwegian Ballet; Prix de Lausanne dancer Davide Loricchio leaves to join the Mikhailovsky Ballet; ballet master and former first soloist Ricardo Cervera leaves to join the teaching staff of The Royal Ballet School.
New Director for NDT
11 July 2019 ... Nederlands Dans Theater has announced that Emily Molnar will succeed Paul Lightfoot as its director from August 2020. Molnar graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada, danced with the National Ballet of Canada, Ballet BC and the Frankfurt Ballet under the direction of William Forsythe. She has choreographed various works as a choreographer and since 2009, Molnar has been the artistic director of Ballet BC in Vancouver, Canada.
ENB at the Bolshoi
11 July 2019 ... English National Ballet will make history tonight when the company makes its debut on the New Stage of the Bolshoi Theatre as part of the Chekov International Festival. They will be performing Akram Khan's Giselle until 14 July.
Promotions at ABT
7 July 2019 ... Joo Won Ahn and Aran Bell have been promoted to the rank of soloist with American Ballet Theatre. The promotions, announced by ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, become effective on 1 September. Additionally, ABT apprentices Jacob Clerico, Jarod Curley, Michael de la Nuez, Léa Fleytoux, Abbey Marrison and Ingrid Thoms have been named members of company’s corps de ballet for the 2019–20 season, and ABT Studio Company dancers Leah Baylin, Kanon Kimura, Melvin Lawovi, Joseph Markey, Duncan McIlwaine and Chloe Misseldine will become apprentices with the company.
Astana Ballet in the Linbury
Booking for Astana Ballet's first ever London season at the ROH Linbury Theatre is now open. More info HERE
Promotions at BRB
3 July 2019 ... Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced the following promotions for the new season: Brandon Lawrence to principal; Kit Holder, Rory Mackay and Valentin Olovyannikov to first soloists; and Laura Day and Beatrice Parma to soloists. Congratulations to all.
DeNada Dance Theatre
DeNada Dance Theatre (choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra) seeks one female and three male dancers with excellent contemporary and classical technique and unique personalities for the creation and UK national tour of Mariposa: a Transgender Tragedy Inspired by Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, the company’s new full length narrative production set in the Hispanic Caribbean. See AUDITIONS
Resolution 2020 - Applications Open
2 July 2019 ... Resolution is The Place’s annual festival of new choreography and performance works by emerging artists. The next festival will take place from 9 January - 22 February 2020 at The Place theatre in London. Applications from choreographers and companies are now open and will close on 5 September 2019 at midday. More info: www.theplace.org.uk
Nijinsky Gala XLV in Hamburg
1 July 2019 - Hamburg Ballet closed its season in Hamburg on Sunday evening with a spectacular Nijinsky Gala XLV. Running for five hours and hosted by artistic director John Neumeier, the programme featured many guest artists including Alessandra Ferri, Svetlana Lunkina and Alina Cojocaru, who danced in excerpts from Neumeier’s Bernstein Dances and Duse, Fifth Symphony of Gustav Mahler and Liliom respectively. Félix Paquet, who performed in an excerpt from Anna Karenina, will be joining the company as a soloist next season from the National Ballet of Canada, while Mayo Arii, Dario Franconi, Carolina Agüero and Carsten Jung will be leaving Hamburg – the last after a 25 year career with the company. The complete programme can be read HERE.
1 July 2019 - Happy Birthday to American choreographer Twyla Tharp who celebrates her 78th birthday today. Tharp staged her ballet Push Comes To Shove at the Mariinsky Theatre in March this year and is creating a new ballet to be premiered in American Ballet Theatre's fall season at the David H. Koch Theater.
30 June 2019 ...Royal Ballet first soloist has announced that he will be performing Mercutio in Johan Kobborg's new production of Romeo and Juliet that will be premiered at the Arena di Verona on 26 August. The roles of Juliet and Romeo will be danced by Alina Cojocaru and Sergei Polunin respectively. Booking: TICKETS
Tree of Codes
29 June 2019 ... With dancers from the Paris Opera and Company Wayne McGregor, McGregor's Tree of Codes features a spectacular set of mirrors created by Olafur Eliasson and a sound space by Jamie xx. It is the last Paris Opera dance programme of the season and can be seen at the Opera Bastille until 13 July. Casting and more info: operadeparis.fr
Rambert wins €100,000 Fedora Van Cleef & Arpels Prize
28 June 2019 ... Rambert scooped the 100,000€ FEDORA Van Cleef & Arpels Prize for Ballet at the Awards Ceremony held today at La Fenice di Venezia for Invisible Cities. Directed by Leo Warner and choreographed/co-directed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, the piece centres on "the edgy relationship between Kublai Khan, the volatile head of a vast empire, and explorer Marco Polo.". The jury comprised Ted Brandsen - Director at Dutch National Ballet, Laurent Hilaire - Director at Stanislavsky Ballet, Nicolas Le Riche - Artistic Director at Royal Swedish Ballet, Judith Mackrell - Dance Writer at The Guardian UK, Kevin O’Hare - Director at The Royal Ballet, Johannes Öhman - Director at Staatsballett Berlin and Nicholas Payne - Director at Opera Europa. Invisible Cities will be performed by Rambert at the Manchester International Festival from 5 - 14 July (with previews from 2 - 4 July). mif.co.uk
Mariinsky in Granada
28 June 2019 ... The Mariinsky Ballet will be presenting two programmes at the Festival de Granada as part of its Spanish tour. Ilya Zhivoi's innovative The Four Seasons will be performed on 29 June and a diverse triple bill comprising Fokine's Chopiniana, Robbins' In the Night and Ashton's Marguerite and Armand - with Ekaterina Kondaurova and Xander Parish as the fated lovers - will be shown on 1 July. More info at www.granadafestival.org
Changes in Munich
28 June 2019 ... Bayerisches Staatsballet has announced changes in the company for next season. Joining are Virna Toppi from La Scala, Milan, Maria Baranova from Boston Ballet and Denis Vieira from Staatsballett Berlin, and returning from maternity are Ivy Amista and Mia Rudic. In turn, Ksenia Ryzhkova and Jonah Cook are leaving to join Zurich Ballet, and Arianna Maldini and Jan Špunda are joining Dutch National Ballet.
ABT Fall Season
27 June 2019 ... ABT will present its autumn season at the David H Koch Theater from 16 – 27 October. The repertoire will include two world premieres – one by Twyla Tharp and another by former Royal Ballet dancer Gemma Bond, who has danced with ABT since 2008. Principal dancers for the season will include Stella Abrera, Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, Sarah Lane, Alban Lendorf, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Cory Stearns, Devon Teuscher and James Whiteside, and a special performance on 26 October, for which Cornejo will perform in Apollo, the new Tharp and a pièce d’occasion, will celebrate the dancer’s 20th anniversary with the company. Tickets on sale from 22 July. More info: www.abt.org
Akram Khan's Giselle
27 June 2019... English National Ballet open a short run of Akram Khan's Giselle at Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg tonight. Casting for the four performances can be found HERE. The company will also be performing the ballet as part of the Chekhov International Theatre Festival at the Bolshoi Theatre from 11 - 14 July.
Sydney Dance Company - Barcelona
26 June 2019 ... Sydney Dance Company will be performing Rafael Bonachela's ab [intra] as part of the Grec Festival de Barcelona on 2, 3 & 4 July. More info: www.barcelona.cat/grec
ENB's Swan Lake in-the-round
25 June 2019... English National Ballet has announced that its popular production of Derek Deane's Swan Lake in-the-round will be returning to the Royal Albert Hall next summer - 17 - 28 June 2020. Tickets go on sale this week from 28 June 2019. Photo gallery features the production at the Royal Albert Hall in 2016. More info at https://www.ballet.org.uk/production/swan-lake-round
24 June 2019 … After 20 years with the National Ballet of Canada, senior ballet mistress Mandy-Jayne Richardson is leaving the company at the end of the 2018/19 season to pursue opportunities as a répétiteur and coach, but will return as a guest to set ballets. Richardson joined the National Ballet’s artistic staff in 1998 and was appointed senior ballet mistress in 2005. During her two decades with the company, she has staged numerous ballets for the company including Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, John Neumeier’s Anna Karenina, Alexei Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet, James Kudelka’s Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Cinderella, which she also set on American Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet. Originally from London, Richardson studied dance at the Royal Ballet School before joining Sadler’s Wells Ballet, where her repertoire included leading roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Elite Syncopations, Brouillards and Five Tangos. In 1986, she became a member of Dutch National Ballet before joining New York City Ballet in 1988 until her retirement from the stage in 1991.
Northern Ballet - Promotions Joiners and Leavers for 2019-20
Northern Ballet will welcome five new dancers for its 50th anniversary 2019/20 season and has also announced promotions for existing members of the Company.
Joining the Corps de Ballet are: Wesley Branch (English National Ballet School); and Alessandra Bramante (John Cranko School). Aurora Piccininni and Albert Gonzalez Orts join as Apprentices from the Academy of Northern Ballet’s Professional Graduate Programme, while Leandro Olcese also joins as an Apprentice from English National Ballet School.
In addition, many of Northern Ballet’s existing company dancers have been promoted: Antoinette Brooks-Daw to Premier Dancer; Hannah Bateman, Ashley Dixon and Abigail Prudames to Principal Soloists; Joseph Taylor, Mlindi Kulashe and Ayami Miyata to Leading Soloists; Matthew Koon, Kevin Poeung, Sean Bates, Nicola Gervasi, Rachael Gillespie, Sarah Chun, Minju Kang and Dominique Larose to First Soloists; Riku Ito, Matthew Topliss, Jonathan Hanks and Nina Queiroz da Silva to Soloists; Filippo Di Vilio and Lorenzo Trossello to Junior Soloists; Gavin McCaig, Miki Akuta and Mariana Rodrigues to Coryphée; and Matthew Morrell and Julie Nunès to Corps de Ballet.
Premier Dancer Pippa Moore has retired from performing after 23 years with the Company but will remain working with Northern Ballet to support Company rehearsals, educational outreach and the Academy of Northern Ballet. Northern Ballet has also said goodbye to Teresa Saavedra Bordes, Adam Ashcroft, Eneko Amorós Zaragoza and Conner Jordan-Collins who move on to new challenges.
Semperoper Ballett nominated for Helpmann Award
Semperoper Ballet in Dresden has been nominated for the Helpmann Award 2019 in the category Best Ballet« for its performances of Carmen at the Adelaide Festival. Founded in 2001 by the Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA), the annual Helpmann Awards recognize outstanding achievements in various areas of live performance in Australia. The award ceremony takes place in Melbourne on 15 July 2019 and will be broadcast by ABC. As part of its South Pacific tour, the company presented Johan Inger’s interpretation of Carmen in Australia on 8, 9 and 10 March 2019. Other nominees for this year’s award are West Australian Ballet, The Australian Ballet and Teatro alla Scala together with QPAC.