Saturday, December 19, 2009

2009 - of births, deaths and dancing

Sasha Waltz and Guests, Korper. Photo: Bernd Uhlig

2009 has been a pretty big year for me. My son was born, my mentor and friend Hilary Crampton passed away, and in between all the living and dying, there was work.

You can read the summary of the year's dance performances that I wrote for The Age here, but I also thought I'd share the replies I made to the Dance Australia Magazine's critics survey. They're brief, but at least give an overview of how I saw the year.

Highlight of the year:
Sasha Waltz and Guests, K├Ârper (my review for The Age here)

Most significant dance event:
The deaths of Merce Cunningham, Pina Bausch and Hilary Crampton

Most interesting Australian group or artist
Meryl Tankard and Paul White - The Oracle

Most interesting overseas group or artist:
Sasha Waltz and Guests

Most outstanding choreography
Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker – The Story of Clara for the Australian Ballet.

Best new work (can be local or international)
The Oracle

Most outstanding dancer
Sergei Polunin – Royal Ballet – performing in the International Ballet Gala
Paul White – The Oracle
Harriet Ritchie – Lucy Guerin Inc - Structure & Sadness
Lana Jones – Australian Ballet - One of the only dancers to nail Dyad 1929 in the Concord program

Dancer to watch
Annabel Knight – Sydney Dance Company (my review of Rafael Bonachela's 360 for The Age here)
Daniel Gaudiello – he was outstanding in the Australian Ballet’s Concord Program

Critic's gripe:
The misconception held by the general public that any ballet company from Russia must be wonderful. And the generally low performance standard of said companies. (My review of the Imperial Russian Ballet Company's Swan Lake here)


  1. Have to say I agree about 1,000% with your opinion of the IRBC and its Swan Lake.

  2. Sorry can't edit previous comment - but had to add "have been watching Daniel Gaudiello for about 5 years now and strongly feel he is one of the best all-round male dancers currently with the AB."

  3. Glad to hear it jesssoph! The IRBC really did stink. Here's hoping that we get to see Daniel Gaudiello in more leading roles this year.