"Robert Helpmann" tag
Colin Peasley, Leanne Stojmenov and Andrew Killian in The Merry Widow.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – The Merry Widow – Sydney

★★★★✰   The Merry Widow is Robert Helpmann’s great gift to the Australian Ballet. It premiered in November 1975 and has been staged more than 400 times since.

Monica Mason and Lorraine Gregory consulting the notation.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Ashton Foundation Masterclass with Monica Mason coaching the Spanish Dance from Swan Lake and the Fairy of Joy from Sleeping Beauty

February’s masterclass, the fifth in the series, featured choreography from the start and end of Frederick Ashton’s tenure as artistic director of the Royal Ballet, 1963-1969.

Ashley Shaw in The Red Shoes.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes – London

★★★✰✰   If you remember the 1948 film, the plot is easy to follow. If you don’t, and can’t pick up the references to ballets, a printed scenario would be helpful, as would job-descriptions of the characters…

David Drew in his later years - here as the Duke of Courland in Giselle.© John Ross, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Obituary: David Drew, Royal Ballet Principal, with the company 56 years

David Drew, for 56 years a member of The Royal Ballet, has died after a long battle with illness. He described himself as one of a ‘bridge generation’ of dancers. The longevity of his career meant that he worked with many figures from the Ballets Russees – but also taught many dancers and choreographers working today.

Ako Kondo, Cristiano Martino, Robyn Hendricks and Amber Scott in Symphonic Variations.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Ashton bill: The Dream, Monotones II, Symphonic Variations – Sydney

After the long famine, Ashton’s ballets made a welcome return this week with the company’s triple bill under the umbrella title, The Dream.

Roman Zhurbin and Craig Salstein in Cinderella.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Cinderella – Washington

Both nights that I attended were blessed with an exquisite Cinderella. Gillian Murphy gave this production a beating heart with her tenderly expressive and incisive performance…

Delia Mathews (The Suicide) and Cesar Morales (The Stranger) in Miracle in the Gorbals.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – La Fin du jour, Miracle in the Gorbals, Flowers of the Forest – London

Gillian Lynne has made Helpmann and Benthall’s wartime collaboration into a gutsy dramatic ballet, probably with more choreography than Helpmann attempted.

Cesar Morales as the Stranger in Miracle in the Gorbals.© Roy Smiljanic. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – La Fin du jour, Miracle in the Gorbals, Flowers of the Forest – Birmingham

See these thoughts as a heads up and, ultimately, encouragement to Londoners to go and see an interesting bill…

Roman Zhurbin and Craig Salstein in Cinderella.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Cinderella – New York

To fully enjoy Ashton, one has to be willing to acquiesce to one’s own softer impulses, a sense of wonder and perhaps a little nostalgia, and to surrender the loveliness of small things.

Robert Helpmann offstage. Courtesy and © The Royal Ballet School Collections, White Lodge Museum. (Click image for larger version)

The Many Faces of Robert Helpmann Symposium – London

Eighty years after Robert Helpmann left Australia and joined the Sadler’s Wells Ballet company, a Royal Ballet School symposium celebrated his achievements as a man of the theatre.

Leanne Stojmenov in Cinderella.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Alexei Ratmansky Cinderella premiere – Melbourne

This Cinderella, the hotly anticipated centerpiece of the Australian Ballet’s 2013 season, is sensationally, luxuriantly, and extravagantly beautiful…

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.

Austlian Ballet in David McAllister's Overture.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – 50th Anniversary Gala – Melbourne

It was a program that harkened back to the big international Galas of previous years, as well as a nice reference to the company’s first years, when artists including Sonia Arova, Erik Bruhn, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev guest-starred.

Lana Jones, Rudy Hawkes, Adam Bull and Amber Scott in Gemini.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Icons bill: The Display, Gemini, Beyond Twelve – Melbourne

At the time of its premiere in 1964 The Display shocked its audiences. Highly sexualized, violent and thoroughly modern, the ballet divided audiences and critics. But, seen in the context of Helpman’s life, the choices within the work begin to make sense.

Amber Scott as Tatiana & Adam Bull as Onegin in Onegin. © Lynette Wills. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Onegin – Melbourne

Onegin has been part of the Australian Ballet repertoire since 1976, first introduced at the behest of Anne Woolliams, who worked with Cranko at the Stuttgart Ballet. Woolliams replaced Sir Robert Helpmann as artistic director of the Australian Ballet in 1976, a move that angered Helpmann…

Anna Pavlova and Nicholas Legat in Swan Lake. Published by Herm.Leiser. © and Courtesy of Dancing Times.

Anna Pavlova Gala – London Coliseum – 4 March 2012

Press Release London Coliseum to host tribute to Anna Pavlova Russian Ballet Icons Gala and Dinner 2012 Celebrating a centenary of Anna Pavlova making her home in London, at Ivy House The Russian…

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