Reviews of Chroma triple bill
Reviews of Romeo and Juliet
RB 2013/14 period 3 casting
Reviews of Don Quixote
Matthew Golding joins the RB
Ballets Russes walk
Iana Salenko & Evgenia Obraztsova guesting with RB
David Howard died on August 11
Frederick Ashton Foundation Ashton Symposium
Royal Ballet School annual show 2013
New Royal Ballet School director announced
RB 2013/14 period 2 casting
David Wall dies
Alina Cojocaru & Johan Kobborg leave the Royal Ballet



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news: June - Nov 2013

November 10, 2013
RB reviews: Chroma / The Human Seasons / The Rite of Spring (November 2013)
Clement Crisp, Financial Times
Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph
Sarah Kent, The Arts Desk
Jann Parry, DanceTabs
Graham Watts, Londondance
Zoë Anderson, The Independent
Giannandrea Poesio, The Spectator
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide
Sanjoy Roy, The Guardian; Luke Jennings, The Observer
Gerald Dowler, Classical Source
Neil Norman, Daily Express
Sarah Frater, The Stage
Lyndsey Winship, Evening Standard
Keith Watson, Metro
photos by Dave Morgan, DanceTabs
photos by Emma Kauldhar, Dance Europe

October 21, 2013
RB reviews: Romeo and Juliet (October 2013)
Alastair Macaulay, New York Times (Obraztsova / McRae – Osipova / Acosta)
Clement Crisp, Financial Times (Osipova / Acosta)
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian (Osipova / Acosta)
Zoë Anderson, The Independent (Osipova / Acosta)
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph (Osipova / Acosta )
Margaret Willis, Bachtrack (Osipova / Acosta )
Luke Jennings, The Observer (Obratztsova / McRae)
Laura Thompson, The Telegraph (Cuthbertson / Bonelli – Obratztsova / McRae)
Jane Simpson, DanceTabs (Cuthbertson / Bonelli)
Zoë Anderson, The Independent (Cuthbertson / Bonelli)
Graham Watts, Londondance (Cuthbertson / Bonelli)
Sarah Frater, The Stage (Cuthbertson / Bonelli)
Siobhan Murphy, Metro (Cuthbertson / Bonelli)
Neil Norman, Daily Express (Cuthbertson / Bonelli)
photos by Dave Morgan, DanceTabs
photos by Alice Pennefather, The Ballet Bag

October 4, 2013
Royal Ballet 2013/14 period 3 casting
(m = matinée)

The Sleeping Beauty February 22 - April 9, 2014
Cuthbertson, Golding (Feb 22m, 27)
Lamb, McRae (Feb 22; Mar 13, 19‡)
Choe*, Hirano* (Feb 26; Mar 13m )
Kobayashi, Bonelli (Mar 15m, 21, 31)
Nuñez, Soares (Mar 22m, 28; Apr 1)
Marquez, Hirano (Mar 22; Apr 8)
Takada*, Muntagirov* (Mar 19m**, 25)
Choe, Golding* (Mar 27; Apr 5, 9)
Nuñez, Muntagirov (Mar 28; Apr 1)

NEW The Winter's Tale April 10 - May 8, 2014
Hermione / Leontes / Perdita / Florizel / Paulina / Polixenes
April 10, 12, 15, 23, 28‡ (Cuthbertson, Watson, Lamb, McRae, Yanowsky, Bonelli)
April 16, 22m, 26m, 29 (Nuñez, Gartside, Stix-Brunell, Muntagirov, Morera, Hristov)
May 1, 8 (Cuthbertson, Watson, Lamb, McRae, Yanowsky, Hristov)

†Casting is subject to change so please check on the Royal Opera House website
* first performance in role
‡ Live cinema relay
** Schools' matinée

October 1, 2013
RB reviews: Don Quixote (September 2013)
Clement Crisp, Financial Times
Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times
Judith Flanders, The Arts Desk
Judith Mackrell, The Guardian; Luke Jennings, The Observer
Jane Simpson, DanceTabs
Giannandrea Poesio, The Spectator
Mark Monahan, The Telegraph; Louise Levene, The Telegraph
Graham Watts, Londondance
Gerald Dowler, Classical Source
Neil Norman, The Stage
Lyndsey Winship, Evening Standard
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide
Lise Smith, Londonist
Sara Veale, Exeunt
photos by Dave Morgan, DanceTabs
photos by Johan Persson & Andrej Uspenski, ROH
photos by Alice Pennefather and thoughts from The Ballet Bag

September 24, 2013
Matthew Golding to join the Royal Ballet

(ROH press release)
Canadian dancer Matthew Golding is to join The Royal Ballet as a Principal in February 2014. His first performance will be on 27 March, dancing alongside Natalia Osipova in The Sleeping Beauty.

Matthew Golding in Paquita with Dutch National Ballet. Photo ©Angela Sterling

Matthew is currently a Principal dancer with Dutch National Ballet. He trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Universal Ballet Academy in Washington D.C. In 2002, he was awarded the Grand Prix from the Youth American Ballet Competition and received a prize scholarship at The Prix de Lausanne to attend The Royal Ballet School. Graduating in 2003, he joined American Ballet Theatre before moving to his current company in 2009. Matthew first danced as a Guest Artist with The Royal Ballet, partnering Zenaida Yanowsky in La Bayadére, earlier this year.

Speaking about the appointment, Kevin O’Hare said: "I have very much enjoyed watching Matthew dance over last few years, and in particular, when he made his UK debut with us last Season. I am very pleased he is joining the Company and we look forward to welcoming him next year as the latest addition to our world class roster of Principals.”

September 23, 2013
Historical West End walk

For Sunday October 20th, we have organised a historical walk around London's West End with ballet costume historian, Caroline Hamilton (who last year showed us items that belonged to Anna Pavlova at the Museum of London). The walk will take in places of interest and landmarks relating to Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and the Anna Pavlova Company. London was an important city for both Companies and the West End provided not only the theatres in which they performed but also the costumiers, shoe makers, rehearsal spaces, artists’ studios and hotels that the company used.
Pavlova & Mordkin
The walk will go past the theatre in which Anna Pavlova first performed, and notoriously slapped Mikhail Mordkin on stage, as well the studio in which Diaghilev’s set painters Vladimir and Elizabeth Polunin painted the sets for La Boutique Fanstasque and Le Tricorne.

The walk will start at 10am and will cost £7.50. Please email balletassoc.events@gmail.com to reserve your place.

September 2, 2013
Iana Salenko & Evgenia Obraztsova guesting with the RB

(ROH press release)

Iana Salenko
, Principal of the Staatsoper Ballet Berlin, and Evgenia Obratsova, Principal of the Bolshoi Ballet, will perform with The Royal Ballet this Autumn.

Iana Salenko will dance the role of Kitri in two performances of Carlos Acosta’s Don Quixote with Steven McRae as Basilio on Saturday 5 and Tuesday 8 October. The Kiev-born dancer joined the Staatsoper Ballet Berlin in 2005 after dancing with the National Opera in Kiev.

Steven will be partnered on Friday 18 October by Royal Ballet Soloist Akane Takada, who makes her debut as Kitri.

Evgenia Obratsova will dance the role of Juliet alongside Steven McRae in Romeo and Juliet on Tuesday 22 October and Thursday 14 November. The Bolshoi Principal first performed with The Royal Ballet in 2009, dancing in The Sleeping Beauty at Covent Garden. Evgenia joined the Bolshoi in 2012 after dancing with the Mariinsky Ballet.

August 15, 2013
David Howard

The distinguished dance teacher David Howard died on August 11 at the age of 76. His association with the Royal Ballet started with an invitation from Ninette de Valois to join the Sadler's Wells Ballet in 1957 and he danced with the company until 1963. Later in his career the association was continued as guest teacher between 1997 and 2011 and mentor to several of the company's dancers.

Obituary in the Daily Telegraph
Interview in 2012 in the Daily Telegraph
Obituary in the New York Times
Report of demonstration for the Ballet Association in 2003
Royal Opera House news item
Obituary by Valerie Lawson
YouTube video of interview in 2011

August 9, 2013
Frederick Ashton Foundation - Ashton Symposium
September 22 2013, The Royal Ballet School, Covent Garden, London WC2

This one-day symposium organised by the Frederick Ashton Foundation and chaired by Christopher Cook, celebrates the continuing power and ambition of Ashton’s work, focusing on the role of Ashton today and into the future; the preservation of his work, and issues arising from the changing training and perceptions of today’s dancers

Scenes de ballet
The Royal Ballet in Frederick Ashton's Scènes de ballet. Photo ©ROH/Johan Persson 2011

08.45 - 09.30

Arrival and registration (tea/coffee available)

09.30 – 09.35

Welcome and Introduction

09.35 - 10.15

Session 1: The continuing power and ambition of Ashton’s work

Alastair Macaulay; Richard Alston

10.15 - 11.30

Session 2: What makes an Ashton work an Ashton work with Q&A

Geraldine Morris (movement style);  Stephanie Jordan (music); Jane Pritchard (designs)

11.30 - 12.00

Tea/coffee break

12.00 - 13.00

Session 3: The changing training and perceptions of dancers with Q&A

Focus on Rhapsody. Lesley Collier, with Laura Morera & Francesca Hayward (plus Ricardo Cervera)

13.00 - 14.15

 Lunch break

14.15 - 15.15

Session 4: Masterclass:
The Dream

Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell, with Akane Takada & Dawid Trzensimiech

15.15 - 16.45

Session 5: Staging an Ashton ballet with Q&A

Iain Webb & Margaret Barbieri; Wendy Ellis-Somes & Malin Thoors; Desmond Kelly

16.45 - 17.15

Tea/coffee break

17.15 - 18.00

Session 6: Conclusion: securing Ashton’s legacy for the future. Panel discussion & Q&A

Christopher Cook (chair) with Alastair Macaulay, Richard Alston, Stephanie Jordan, Liz Cunliffe, Jeanetta Laurence, Kevin O’Hare & Anthony Russell-Roberts

18.00 - 18.05


18.05 - 19.00

Drinks reception and departure

Participants to include Richard Alston, Margaret Barbieri, Ricardo Cervera, Lesley Collier, Christopher Cook, Liz Cunliffe, Anthony Dowell, Wendy Ellis-Somes, Francesca Hayward, Stephanie Jordan, Desmond Kelly, Jeanetta Laurence, Alastair Macaulay, Laura Morera, Geraldine Morris, Kevin O’Hare, Jane Pritchard, Anthony Russell-Roberts, Antoinette Sibley, Akane Takada, Dawid Trzensimiech, Iain Webb.

Tickets are £60 including tea/coffee, sandwich lunch and closing drinks reception. For a booking form, please contact ashtonfoundation@roh.org.uk

Subject to alteration. Information correct at 9.9.13

July 16, 2013
Royal Ballet School annual show 2013
The RBS annual show on the Opera House stage was held on July 14. The works performed were Youth Concerto by Antonio Castilla and Diane van Schoor, Canon in D Major by Otto Bubiniček, Sonata for Six by Valentino Zucchetti, Seven Greek Dances by Maurice Béjart, La Destinée by Mark Annear and the wonderful Grand Defilé.

7 Greek Dances
Seven Greek Dances. Photo by Johan Persson ©RBS/Johan Persson

La Destinée
La Destinée. Photo by Johan Persson ©RBS/Johan Persson

The Grand Defilé. Photo by Johan Persson ©RBS/Johan Persson

July 11, 2013
The Royal Ballet School announces new Artistic Director Designate
(RBS press release)

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Powney to the new post of Artistic Director Designate. Christopher will take up his position in April 2014. The summer term of 2014 will be a transitional period after which he will take over running the School from Gailene Stock CBE AM, who will retire on 31 August 2014.

A former teacher at The Royal Ballet Upper School, Christopher is currently Artistic Director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy and has danced with Northern Ballet, English National Ballet and Ballet Rambert. During his career he has worked with some of the world’s leading dancers and choreographers, including: Rudolf Nureyev, Christopher Gable, Jiri Kylian, Lynn Seymour, Christopher Bruce, Twyla Tharp, Frederick Franklin, Ohad Naharin and Glen Tetley.

Lady Douro, Chairman of the Board of Governors, said:
‘Gailene Stock’s work at the School has enabled it to become one of the top classical dance training centres in the world. Christopher is the unanimous choice of the Appointment Panel and they are convinced he will ensure the School’s continued success. He possesses the knowledge and skills we are looking for to take the School forward.’

Christopher Powney said:
‘I am thrilled and honoured to have been selected to direct one of the world’s most prestigious ballet schools and to return to my own country makes it even more special. This is a school full of exceptionally talented and motivated young dancers and it will be my pleasure to help them to realise their dreams. I look forward to working with the dedicated Board and team of The Royal Ballet School to ensure that the School remains at the forefront of dance education.’

Our current Artistic Director, Gailene Stock, is sadly still unwell. Jay Jolley continues in the role of Acting Director and will lead the School’s artistic programmes into the 2013/14 academic year.

July 10, 2013
Royal Ballet 2013-2014 Period 2 casting
(m = matinée)

Jewels December 17-30
(Emeralds / Rubies / Diamonds)
Marquez, Watson, Morera*, Hirano / Yanowsky, Lamb, McRae / Nuñez, Soares (Dec 17, 28)
Stix-Brunell*, Hristov, Mendizabal, Edmonds / Yanowsky, Lamb, McRae / Nuñez, Soares (Dec 21m)
Stix-Brunell*, Hristov, Morera, Hirano / Hamilton*, Choe, Cervera / Cuthbertson, Pennefather (Dec 28m)
Marquez, Watson, Morera, Hirano / Hamilton, Osipova*, McRae / Nunez, Soares (Dec 30m)
Stix-Brunell, Hristov, Mendizabal, Edmonds / Yanowsky, Choe, Cervera / Cuthbertson, Pennefather (Dec 30)
Marquez, Watson, Morera, Hirano / Hamilton, Osipova*, McRae / Cuthbertson, Pennefather (Jan 7)

Giselle January 18 - February 10
Marquez, McRae* (Jan 18m, 30)
Osipova*, Acosta (Jan 18, 22, 27‡)
Lamb*, McRae (Jan 20, 25)
Nuñez, Soares (Jan 23; Feb 1m, 5)
Cuthbertson, Bonelli (Jan 25m; Feb 6)
Morera*, Bonelli (Jan 30m; Feb 10)

Hansel and Gretel January 24-28
Hay, Cope, Thom, Hirano, Morera, Gartside (Jan 24, 25, 27)
Acri, Harrod,Thom, Hirano, McNally, Stepanek (Jan 25m, 28)

Rhapsody, Tetractys - The Art of Fugue (NEW Wayne McGregor), Gloria February 7-15
Morera, McRae (Feb 7, 13, 15m)
Hayward*, Hay* (Feb 8m)
Choe*, Zucchetti* (Feb 8, 11)

Tetractys - The Art of Fugue
Cuthbertson, Lamb, Nuñez, Osipova, Takada, Bonelli, Edmonds, Kay, McRae, Soares, Underwood, Watson (all dates)
Osipova replaced by Cowley on Feb 11

Lamb, Soares, Acosta (Feb 7, 8, 13)
Hamilton*, Hirano*, Watson (Feb 8m, 11, 15m)

†Casting is subject to change so please check on the Royal Opera House website
* first performance in role
‡ Live cinema relay

June 19, 2013
David Wall, 15 March 1946 – 18 June 2013
David Wall, former Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet and latterly Ballet Master with English National Ballet, died on June 18, 2013.

David Wall
David Wall & Lynne Seymour in rehearsal with Kenneth MacMillan for Mayerling. ©Roy Round 1978, courtesy of ROH.

Royal Ballet press release and photo gallery
English National Ballet press release

The Telegraph obituary and also a memoir by Rupert Christiansen
Alastair Macaulay, New York Times
Judith Cruickshank, The Guardian
Marcus Williamson, The Independent
Alasdair Steven, The Scotsman

A life in pictures, The Guardian
Interview, 2005, Simonetta Dixon, ballet.co.uk
An appreciation by Jane Simpson, 1997, ballet.co.uk
'Castaway' on BBC's Desert Island Disks, 1978

June 3, 2013
Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg leaving the Royal Ballet
(Royal Opera House news announcement)

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg have announced they will leave The Royal Ballet at the end of the 2012/13 season to pursue other artistic challenges. Their last performance at the Royal Opera House as members of The Royal Ballet will be in Mayerling on 5 June. They will fulfil their touring engagement with the Company with their scheduled performances on 10 and 12 July in Tokyo. They will both continue dancing and will shortly announce their future plans.

Alina and Johan in Giselle. Photo by Tristram Kenton ©ROH/Tristram Kenton

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said:

‘Alina and Johan have given many memorable performances as members of The Royal Ballet both at the Royal Opera House and around the world. Over the past ten years I have greatly enjoyed watching their unique partnership develop, as I know our audiences have, and I wish them every success in the next phase of their careers.’

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg joined The Royal Ballet in 1999. Speaking about their decision to leave the Company, they said:

‘We have had wonderful experiences with The Royal Ballet over the years and feel fortunate to have worked alongside so many inspiring artists. We wish Kevin O’Hare and The Royal Ballet’s dancers and staff all the best for the future and would like to thank our loyal and supporting audience for sharing many magical moments with us.’