Standout Performances of 2022: Readers’ Choice

December 27, 2022

We asked for your favorite performances this year, and you delivered!

2022 was filled with outstanding onstage moments that left an impression on our readers. While classics like Dracula and Swan Lake were especially popular this year, a variety of performances by dancers and companies made the list. We are thrilled to see what stood out to you in theaters across the globe.

Without further ado, here are your 2022 audience favorites. Thank you to all who nominated!

Liang Fu, dressed as Dracula in dark, gothic clothing, does a wide a la seconde sauté onstage, looking down at Lamin Pereira, who lies prone on the floor. There is a bed and old trunk behind them onstage.
Liang Fu and Lamin Pereira in Michael Pink’s Dracula. Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios, courtesy Kansas City Ballet.

Kansas City Ballet in Michael Pink’s Dracula

“I have seen many many ballet performances, but the sophistication of the choreography and the fine artistry of the dancers will live with me for a long time as the most beautiful piece of art I’ve ever seen.” —Nora

Boston Ballet’s Viktorina Kapitonova guesting in Alexei Ratmansky’s Swan Lake at Miami City Ballet

“She embodied the Swan Queen, illuminating the strength of Odette as a leader who must protect her flock. The choreographic details added depth to the story, and the beautiful Miami City Ballet corps was polished to perfection.” —Deanna

American Ballet Theatre’s Skylar Brandt (Odette/Odile debut) in Kevin McKenzie’s Swan Lake

“Absolutely incredible dynamics, and the energy from the audience was through the roof.” —Noa

Milwaukee Ballet’s Parker Brasser-Vos and Lizzie Tripp in Michael Pink’s Swan Lake

“Incredible, moving and stunningly beautiful.” —Victoria

Dores André smiles brightly as she saut de chats across the stage in a wispy white romantic tutu. She performs the title role of "La Sylphide."
Dores André in August Bournonville’s La Sylphide. Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet’s Dores André in August Bournonville’s La Sylphide

“Exquisite.” —Nicole

Maria Caruso’s Metamorphosis

“Best ‘ballet’ I’ve seen all year. The woman next to me, who was a former professional dancer, commented that Caruso was like Sylvie Guillem, Martha Graham and Isadora Duncan inside a Balanchine ballet. I had to agree!” —Jane

New York Theatre Ballet in Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies

“They are doing a great job of keeping masterpieces like that alive and staying true to the integrity of the piece. I can’t find any other company that’s doing a better job of preserving these gems!” —Nick

Staatsballett Munich’s Shale Wagman and Ksenia Ryzhkova in Roland Petit’s Coppélia

“Shale’s technical and acting skills met the funny, mischievous and proud character of Franz perfectly. Long applause, bravi and many curtain calls for Franz and Swanilda were highly deserved.” —Sabine

Amanda Fairweather and Joamanuel Velazquez wear flowy teal pants (Amanda also wears a teal bra top) as they dance together indoors in front of a wall of windows and a staircase. Joamanual lifts Amanda as she does a double attitude position, pressing down on his shoulders for support.
Amanda Fairweather and Joamanuel Velazquez in Alexandra Light’s Inside Voices. Photo by Alfred Lockwood, courtesy Light.

Alexandra Light’s Inside Voices

“She strives to bring [professional-level] work to the community at no cost to the audience. Her work itself is beautiful, innovative, steeped in the classical dance vocabulary, but is still fresh and original.” —Rayleigh

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Marisa Grywalski in Susan Jaffe’s Swan Lake

“The artistry and expression exhibited on that day was one that should go down in the books as one to be remembered. I will always remember that night—just stunning!” —Alejandro

Orlando Ballet’s Dahlia Denicore in Michael Pink’s Dracula

“[She was] spectacular! The artistry was inspiring and mesmerizing. It was a dramatic and emotional ballet that still gives me chills when I think about it.” —Daisy

Vadim Muntagirov, dressed in rich costume, lunges forward on the diagonal with a distressed look on his face, eyes closed and left arm extended forward as if reaching for something. Behind him, an elegant woman in an elaborate evening gown stands and watches, hand rested on an ornate chair. They perform onstage amid other ornate scenic design.
Vadim Muntagirov in Mayerling. Photo by Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy The Royal Ballet.

Other Favorites

Vadim Muntagirov, as Rudolf, in Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling (The Royal Ballet)

Emilie Gerrity in Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace (New York City Ballet)

New York City Center’s all-Twyla Tharp program, TWYLA NOW

New Jersey Ballet’s New Direction program

The Australian Ballet in Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go

Kansas City Ballet in Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz and Devon Carney’s The Nutcracker

American Ballet Theatre’s James Whiteside in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in Terrence S. Orr’s The Nutcracker

New York City Ballet in George Balanchine’s Vienna Waltzes

Colorado Ballet in Michael Pink’s Dracula

BalletMet in David Nixon’s Dracula

São Paulo Companhia de Dança in Marcia Haydée’s The Nutcracker in the Dream World

Ballet Ariel in Michel Fokine’s Carnaval