And so ends another year of dance, and plenty of performances memorable for the right reasons. Looking back on evenings in the theatre at home and on my travels to the US and Asia, my unofficial ‘awards’ for 2013 - in no particular order - are as below. Why not add your own...
Stuttgart Ballet - in London and Germany, quite outstanding.
Best male dancer:
Marijn Rademaker (for just about everything I saw him in for Stuttgart Ballet).
Jonathan Goddard (in Mark Bruce's Dracula and the New Movement Collective's Nest).
David Hallberg (ABT, in Alexei Ratmasky’s Chamber Symphony).
Best female dancer:
Sheu Fang-yi (許芳宜).
Debora Maiques Marin (Ballett Basel).
Clemmi Sveaas (Bern Ballett).
Wow! Awards for best all-round performances:
National Dance Company of Wales in Angelin Preljocaj’s Noces.
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (雲門舞集) in Lin Hwai-min’s (林懷民) Rice (稻禾). Catch it in London in February.
National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sport (國立臺灣體育運動大學) in Strive - the eternal cycle of gain and loss (掙 -人生競逐 虛實幻象).
Mark Bruce Company in Dracula. And in Wilton’s Music Hall, what a venue too.
New Movement Collective in Nest.
Frederik Rydman’s Swan Lake Reloaded.
Boston Ballet in William Forsythe’s The Second Detail and Jiri Kylian’s Bella Figura.
Cloud Gate 2 in Cheng Tsung-lung’s (鄭宗龍) Blue Hour (一個藍色的地方).
The School of American Ballet in their all-Balanchine triple bill (Divertimento No.15, Le Tombeau de Couperin, Walpurgisnacht Ballet).
Assembly Dance Theatre (組合語言舞團) in Lai Tsui-shuang’s (賴翠霜) Survive (存在).
The Smile Your Way Through Award for the most fun performance:
Northern Ballet’s Ugly Duckling. OK it’s for young kids, but so what. It was sheer delight.
What Went Wrong? Awards for the most disappointing performances:
ABT’s Don Quixote featuring Veronika Part. It was a decidedly overcast day at the Met!
Yuan Yuan Tan at Sadler’s Wells, although not helped in part by Edwaard Liang’s decidedly average choreography. On the same programme, Sheu Fang-yi was marvellous, by the way.
Alexei Ratmanksy’s Symphony #9 for ABT. Why all the hype?
Wake Me Up When It’s Over Awards for the most numbing choreography:
Hou Ying’s (侯瑩) Infinite 冉. Programmes like the Asia Round Table are always hit and miss - a bit like Resolution in London, but this missed by a long, long way. Thank goodness it was only an excerpt.
Hiroaki Umeda’s Haptic (觸•覺).
Also never to be forgotten for the wrong reasons:
Peter Shaufuss Ballet in Swan Lake.
Barak Marshall’s Rooster.