"Adolphe Adam" tag
Jeffrey Cirio in Le Corsaire.© MIRA. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Le Corsaire – New York

★★★✰✰   Le Corsaire, a ballet loosely based on Lord Byron’s poem about a chivalrous pirate, has more action than the latest Bond film. There are pirates! Abductions! Beautiful women in distress! The list goes on and on…

Polina Semionova and David Hallberg in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – New York

Few nineteenth-century story ballets are as satisfying as Giselle, with its simple and poetic plot, compact structure and starkly contrasting moods. This week I watched four Giselles, with four distinctly different casts…

Svetlana Zakharova and David Hallberg in Giselle.© Elena Fetisova. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Giselle (Zakharova, Hallberg) – Washington

David Hallberg is a rarity in today’s classical ballet. Tall, lean and strikingly handsome, with pure classical line and impeccable dancing prowess, he is a genuine danseur noble.

Alina Cojocaru and Vadim Muntagirov in Le Corsaire.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Le Corsaire (premiere) – Milton Keynes

A first night of superlatives and Tamara Rojo’s done the country (not just London) a terrific service in her first full-evening commission. You’d be daft to miss Le Corsaire as it tours the UK. Bravo all.

Virginia Johnson.© Rachel Neville. (Click image for larger version)

Virginia Johnson – Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem

Wherever Virginia Johnson goes, she seems to travel on a cloud, with a kind of regal composure few possess in our day. She appears imperturbable…

Greta Hodgkinson and Guillaume Cote in Giselle.© Aleksandar Antonijevic. (Click image for larger version)

National Ballet of Canada – Giselle – Saratoga

Quibbling and Côté aside, these were both terrific performances, bursting with energy …I wouldn’t mind seeing the Canadians become regular visitors to Saratoga

Gillian Murphy and Qi Huan in Giselle.© Evan Li. (Click image for larger version)

Royal New Zealand Ballet – Giselle – Wellington

What this creative and glorious revisiting has achieved is an enrichment and revitalization of everything the work holds dear and, at the same time, a wonderful showcase for this company of 32 talented young dancers.

Paris Opera Ballet in Giselle.© Sebastien Mathé. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Giselle – New York

The arrival of the wilis takes one’s breath away. Not only are they individually beautiful, with their soft port-de-bras and milky-white shoulders, but they are all eerily the same, in every way: same size, same build, same arms, same tilt of the head, same gaze, same feet.

Paris Opera Ballet in Giselle.© Sebastien Mathé. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Giselle – Washington

With its exquisite staging, and most importantly with its understanding and respect of the Romantic ballet style, and whole-hearted dedication of the dancers to their roles, the Paris Opera Ballet demonstrated just how Giselle should be produced and performed.

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