"Scheherazade" tag
Sergei DiaghilevThe defining image for the "In Diaghilev’s Circle: The Phenomenon of Les Saisons Russes in the Context of European Culture" conference. ©/courtesy International Festival of Arts "Diaghilev. P.S."

Dipping in to the 8th International Festival of Arts ‘Diaghilev. P.S.’ in St. Petersburg

The aim of the annual festival is to celebrate Russian influence in international culture, thanks to Diaghilev’s productions in the first two decades of the 20th century… St Petersburg also wants to boost its reputation as ‘a great forum of the arts’, introducing contemporary creations from different nations to Russian audiences.

Seated nude folding forward. Auguste Rodin, 1910/11. Pencil with stump on paper.© Musée Rodin, Paris, France. (Click image for larger version)

Exhibition – Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement – London

★★✰✰✰   …of more interest to Rodin scholars than dance-lovers.

Alexandre Riabko in Nijinsky.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Nijinsky – Melbourne

★★★✰✰   Even after his death, Vaslav Nijinsky suffered from the power and control of others…

Uliana Lopatkina in The Dying Swan.© Jack Vartoogian. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – A Tribute to Maya Plisetskaya, Program B – New York

★★✰✰✰ What’s going on in the head office at the Mariinsky Ballet?

Russian Ballet Icons Gala front cloth with Olesya Novikova.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – Dedicated to the History of Russian Ballet – London

The gala opened with the Act III wedding pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, performed by Ekaterina Osmolkina and Guiseppe Picone. No fish-dives in this version – the Russians regard them as vulgar, and Osmolkina could never be vulgar.

Natalia Savelieva (Queen of Shamakha) in Le Coq d'Or.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Les Saisons Russes / Natalia Sats Opera & Ballet – Le Coq d’Or (The Golden Cockerel) – London

…it’s very Russian in its mixture of comedy, satire and luscious spectacle – and first-class performances.

Zoe Ashe-Browne and Dominic Harrison in Carmen.© Ewa Figaszewska. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Ireland – Carmen – London

Ballet Ireland have danced several times in London but never at Sadler’s Wells and never with the Irish ambassador as a warm-up, I fancy.

Xander Parish in Chopiniana (Les Sylphides).© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Mikhail Fokine bill: Chopiniana, The Firebird, Scheherazade – St. Petersburg

The corps (in Chopiniana) must be congratulated for the ball-bearing precision in their soft gentle boureeing, gliding gently back to their original positions as the music ended. A real treat to see it done so beautifully.

Ballet Preljocaj in Les Nuits.© Jean-Claude Carbonne. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Preljocaj – Les Nuits – Cannes

Les Nuits is inspired by the Thousand and One Nights, stories which have come together from Indian, Persian, Arabian and North African sources. Preljocaj is quoted as being influenced by the erotic content of the stories…

Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez in Scheherazade.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez in Scheherazade

Carlos Acosta’s very short photocall in the Golden Slave duet captured by Dave Morgan…

Xander Parish in Scheherazade.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Gallery – Les Saisons Russes of XXI Century in Spectre, Firebird, Scheherazade

18 pictures by Dave Morgan…

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 Ilya Kuznetsov 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.

Russian Ballet Icons – Nijinsky Gala – London

Though this year it was Nijinsky’s turn to be reclaimed as a Russian icon, the contents of the gala had little to do with him. Very probably the choice of items – mainly pas de deux – depended on which dancers were available to perform whatever was in their repertoire.

Thomas Lund as Tsar Dodon in The Golden Cockerel.© Per Morten Abrahamson. (Click image for larger version)

Danish Royal Ballet – The Golden Cockerel – Copenhagen

…cut down to a single act and shown as part of a properly-balanced double or triple bill it could work beautifully, rather than sending me home feeling hungry.

Print Room and AP Productions – Jealousy – London

Come the end of 2012, this is likely to be one of my highlights of the year. It’s not often I see a show and then book to see the same cast immediately again or pester others to go. The reason is that Jealousy works on so many different levels…

Ekaterina Kondaurova in The Firebird. © Natasha Razina.

Marrinsky Ballet – Chopiniana, The Firebird, Scheherazade – Washington

Balancing spectacular dancing with stirring drama, the Mariinsky dancers delivered a riveting, unforgettable performance. I left the Opera House with wonderful memories…

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