Dance

Ballet West closes with compelling visions of the future – May 13, 2019

Beckanne Sisk and Christopher Ruud in Edwaard Liang’s “Constant Light” at Ballet West. Photo: Beau Pearson

Ballet West’s performance Saturday night at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center was not just the final one for the annual Choreographic Festival, but also the closing night for the company’s 2018-19 season. So it made sense that the audience burst into applause after Christopher Ruud performed a duet in the closing ballet, since Ruud is retiring after 21 years of performances with Ballet West.

At the end … Read More

Poetry on pointe: Ballet West presents a powerful, heart-rending “Onegin” – Apr 09, 2019

Beckanne Sisk and Chase O’Connell in Ballet West’s “Onegin.” Photo: Beau Pears

Classic ballet stories tend to be one-dimensional. There is a prince in search of his true love. He will meet her in the first act and each will be star-struck by the other. Their goal, to be together for eternity, will hit some snags because of a witch or sorcerer. They will overcome this obstacle and be together, even if in death.

Onegin is not that kind of ballet.

Ballet West’s artistic director, … Read More

Ballet West unfolds a Terpsichorean feast for 2019-2020 season – Feb 27, 2019

Two major anniversaries will highlight Ballet West’s 2019-20 season.

The first commemorates the 110th anniversary of the legendary Ballets Russes and spotlights three works choreographed by Georges Balanchine. Originally a member of Sergei Diaghilev’s troupe, Balanchine emigrated to the United States and founded the New York City Ballet.

The triple bill, “Balanchine’s Ballets Russes,” opens the company’s new season, running from October 25-November 2, and features three early works Balanchine choreographed for the company. The first, Igor Stravinsky’s Le chant du rossignol (The … Read More

Sisk’s shining performance makes Ballet West’s “Swan Lake” a revival to treasure – Feb 11, 2019

Beckanne Sisk (with Christopher Ruud behind) in Ballet West’s production of “Swan Lake.” Photo: Luke Isley

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is a celebrated and beloved ballet classic. And while most companies will stick to the tried and true traditional staging. not every dance company hews closely to the ballet’s origins.

Matthew Bourne’s staging scandalized audiences when he turned the part of the swan maidens into a piece for male dancers in feathered harem pants. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, created for the Pennsylvania  Ballet, makes major … Read More

Ballet West’s shiny new “Nutcracker” is a holiday treat for all seasons – Dec 14, 2018

Beckanne Sisk and Chase O’Connell in Ballet West’s production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” Photo: Luke Isley

[Note: This review originally appeared on Washington Classical Review.]

‘Tis the season for the annual run of The Nutcracker in the Kennedy Center Opera House. This is the area’s only performances of this evergreen ballet this year with full staging and live music, down to the magical children’s choir in the snow scene. In the venue’s rotation of prominent American companies, Ballet West was back with its classic version of Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous score, based on the … Read More

Ballet West’s “Jewels” shines brightly and memorably – Nov 05, 2018

Ballet West’s “Jewels” runs through November 10. Photo: Beau Pearson

For Ballet West audiences, Jewels is starting to feel like an old friend – pleasant but also familiar.

It seems like only yesterday that Ballet West included Jewels in their programming. It has, in reality, been five years since the company last performed the work in its entirety. But, even after half a decade, Jewels is the kind of ballet that lingers in memory.

Fifty-one years after its New York City Ballet premiere, … Read More

– Aug 22, 2018

Watch this space.