"Ballets Russes" tag
Tom Pecinka in The Soldier’s Tale.© Dana Astmann. (Click image for larger version)

Yale School of Music & Yale School of Drama – The Soldier’s Tale – New York

Stravinsky’s is a bitter tale with folk roots, about a soldier (played by the convincingly guileless, agile Tom Pecinka) returning home from the front who is sidetracked by the devil….

Alice Renavand in Fall River Legend.© Anne Deniau. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Fall River Legend, Miss Julie – Paris

…an unusual choice of bill. Unusual firstly as the work of two women choreographers, and secondly in that it gives audiences a rare chance to see ballets from the extremely interesting and creative period of the 1940’s and 1950’s, now sadly neglected.

Janie Taylor and Sebastien Marcovici in Balanchine's La Valse.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Acheron, Afternoon of a Faun, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, La Valse – New York

George Balanchine’s favorite composers may have been Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, but it’s no secret that he also had an affinity for France and its music…

Rudolf Nureyev, La Bayadère, Kingdom of the Shades Act, Palais Garnier, 1974.© André Chino. (Click image for larger version)

The Nureyev Collection – Centre national du costume de scène et de la scénographie – Moulins

The triumph of the Nureyev collection at CNCS Moulins is to make the many facets of his profligately talented, maddening personality so vividly alive still.

Ormsby Wilkins.© John Lauener/National Ballet of Canada. (Click image for larger version)

Ormsby Wilkins – Britten’s Sylphs and other Musical Questions for ABT’s Music Director

ABT’s run of Les Sylphides this season are different – after research, the company, under their musical director Ormsby Wilkins, have rediscovered a 1941 orchestration by Benjamin Britten. Marina Harss reveals all in conversation with Wilkins…

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Les Saisons Russes of XXI Century – Firebird, Scheherazade – London

An apologetic Liepa promised to return for a week next time and bring the new Cleopatra with him, but this was an unsatisfying evening in its current form.

Alexandra Timofeyeva and Mikhail Lobukhin in The Firebird.© Valeria Komissarova. (Click image for larger version)

Les Saisons Russes of XXI Century – Le Spectre de la rose, Firebird, Scheherazade – London

But altogether, this was an evening of historical curios that lacked consistent vibrancy.

Valentine Gross pastel of the original trio in “the fountain” grouping, 1913. First published in Comoedia Illustré, the souvenir programme of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. From Millicent Hodson, Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet, Jeux (Pendragon, New York, 2008), p. 8. (Click image for larger version)

Games People Play: ‘Jeux’ Young at 100

Nijinsky’s ‘Jeux’, like ‘Rite’, is in its centenary year – lesser known it may be but Archer & Hodson give fascinating detail on its creation and the thought that went into putting on, at UNCSA, their reconstructed version earlier this year.

Edward Burra: Design for William Chappell as Creole Boy in Rio Grande.From James L. Gordon Collection and ©. (Click image for larger version)

Exhibition of 1930′s British Ballet Design – Saffron Walden

Obscurer corners of early British ballet are connected in the exhibition ‘An Outbreak of Talent’, at the Fry gallery in Saffron Walden, Essex until June 30 2013.

Nadia Nerina as The Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty (1951) and Isabel Rawsthorne.© Roger Wood (NN), courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Nadia Nerina and Isabel Rawsthorne exhibitions at the Royal Opera House

Rawsthorne was painted by André Derain and Pablo Picasso, and later by Francis Bacon. She was the inspiration for Alberto Giacometti’s etiolated sculptures of walking figures…

Jennifer Stahl, Garen Scribner and James Sofranko in Possokhov's The Rite of Spring.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Guide to Strange Places, Beaux, Rite of Spring – San Francisco

Possokhov’s Rite of Spring is a mixture of mostly good choices with a few that seem rather odd to me.

Hélène Bouchet, Alexandre Riabko and Carsten Jung in Neumeier's Nijinsky.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

Hamburg Ballet – Nijinsky – San Francisco

It’s Valentine’s Day and I wish I could write a “love letter” review to the Hamburg Ballet. I am not being sentimental – this company is full of incredible dancers, from principals to corps de ballet…

Mikhail Baryshnikov.© Annie Leibowitz. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhail Baryshnikov – the Art Collector

What one does not see much of, at least at first glance, is nostalgia for the motherland. “I never had nostalgia about anything,” Baryshnikov says.

Rachel Rawlins and Colin Peasley farewell curtain calls.© Jess Bialek. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Rachel Rawlins and Colin Peasley bid farewell

Rawlins, 39, shared the numerous curtain calls with Colin Peasley, who must surely have broken some records for the longest full-time dancing career with one ballet company in history. His first appearance with the Australian Ballet was in Swan Lake in November 1962…

Elisabeth Holowchuk, Michael Cook and company in Slaughter On Tenth Avenue.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

Suzanne Farrell Ballet – Autumn 2012 Program B – Washington

The company premiere of The Prodigal Son was the centerpiece and highlight of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet’s second all-Balanchine program at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater – a program that also included Divertimento No. 15 and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.

Julia Gillespie & Adam Park in Marguerite Donlon's Labyrinth of Love.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Rambert Dance Company – Labyrinth of Love, Roses, Dutiful Ducks, Sounddance – London

All up ‘Labyrinth of Love’ is a wonderful creative endeavour, a great looker, but an extra dash of audience accessibility is needed. We go “Wow”, rather than “Wow, I really loved what that had to say”

Chase Finlay in Apollo.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Apollo, Orpheus, Agon – New York

What is there to say about Orpheus, except that it seems to slip deeper into the recesses of time? I’ve read that at the première, the critic and poet Edwin Denby was so moved by it that he sat dumbfounded during intermission, unable to stand. It is difficult to imagine such a reaction today.

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.

Nicolas Le Riche and Paris Opera Ballet in Maurice Bejart's Bolero.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Suite en Blanc, L’Arlesienne, Bolero – New York

Nicolas Le Riche was fabulously predatory in Bolero, a raging furnace of self-love and sex appeal. One imagines that after the show he must have ravaged a hundred virgins, but maybe he simply went home and soaked his feet in the tub, but in any case, he was magnificent, good taste (and choreography) be damned.

Kevin Jackson and Lana Jones in Dyad 1929 (Infinity mixed bill). © Lisa Tomasetti. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Infinity Mixed Bill & Swan Lake – New York

How can a company make good impression with just a few performances of one or two programs? The pieces have to be representative, interesting, and show the company in a the best possible light. It’s not easy, as the recent Lincoln Center performances of Australian Ballet have shown.

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