"Serge Diaghilev" tag
Cassandra Trenary in The Sleeping Beauty.© John Grigaitis. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Sleeping Beauty – Paris

★★★✰✰   I was eager to see American Ballet Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty, mounted by Alexei Ratmansky last year, because of the enthusiastic reviews it has received in the United States. The Paris premiere, however, met with muted acclaim…

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…

Joaquin De Luz, Friedemann Vogel, Denis Matvienko and Marcelo Gomes in Tristesse.© Michael Khoury. (Click image for larger version)

Ardani 25 Dance Gala – Clay, Tristesse, Le Divertissement du Roi – New York

★★✰✰✰   So bravo for Danilian. All the dancing at the gala was very fine – who could expect any less from these dancers? One can (and should) question his taste but it’s clear that he’s willing to go out on a limb…

Skylar Brandt and Duncan Lyle in The Golden Cockerel publicity image.© Fabrizio Ferri. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Golden Cockerel – New York

★★★★✰   American Ballet Theatre’s spring season has turned into a kind of voyage into the mind of Alexei Ratmansky, its choreographer-in-residence since 2009.

New York City Ballet in Justin Peck's The Most Incredible Thing.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – The Most Incredible Thing (premiere), Polaris, The Blue of the Distance, Common Ground, Estancia – New York

★★★✰✰ “Incredible is Peck’s first narrative, and this fact was obvious Tuesday night, particularly in the opening scenes which lacked clarity…”

Isabella Boylston in The Sleeping Beauty.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – Washington

★★★★✰ “Ratmansky’s new staging is a Beauty like you have never seen before: it uncovers the original ballet’s genuine beauty, which faded over the years under the clutter of modern revisions.”

Alexei Ratmansky.© Fabrizio Ferri. (Click image for larger version)

Alexei Ratmansky – Simple and Wise, a Q&A about Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty for ABT

Q: What have you learned about Petipa from the notations? Ans: Looking at the notations changed my taste. Honestly, I just can’t stand seeing productions of the classics any more, because I know how far it is from Petipa’s intentions…

Ivan Putrov.© Elliott Franks. (Click image for larger version)

Ivan Putrov – Men in Motion – Lodz Ballet Festival

The most impressive (if not, incredible) thing is that his scratch company exudes the professionalism that one would expect from a tight-knit group that has lived, trained, rehearsed and performed together for seasons.

American Ballet Theatre in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – New York

Perhaps the most striking element in Alexei Ratmansky’s new Sleeping Beauty for American Ballet Theatre is its musicality, the way the steps, peppered with accents and breaths, unspool within the music.

Sterling Hyltin and Taylor Stanley in Symphony in Three Movements.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Apollo, Agon, Duo Concertant, Symphony in Three Movements – New York

The New York City Ballet spring season is off to the races with a week devoted to George Balanchine, specifically the “black-and-white” ballets that for many have come to define his style.

Ballet Nice Mediterranee in Pas de Dieux.© Dominique Jaussein. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Nice Mediterranee – Soir de Fête, Pas de Dieux – Nice

Vu-An writes in the programme that he has chosen the two ballets Soir de Fete and Pas de Dieux to make up an entertaining and enjoyable programme for the festive season. However, he has chosen two very contrasting and rather curious works…

The Making of Markova: Diaghilev’s Baby Ballerina to Groundbreaking Icon, book cover.© Pegasus Books. (Click image for larger version)

Book – The Making of Markova – by Tina Sutton

Sutton was originally asked to write a brief account of Markova’s career for the Gotlieb Centre but soon realised that her subject’s life, personal and public, was so fascinating that she undertook a substantial biography

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….

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…

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…

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company in A Rite.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

Bill T. Jones and SITI Company – A Rite, /Time:Study 1 – San Francisco

A Rite, in the hands of Jones, Bogart, and Wong, is the most startling and insightful version I have seen…

Shevelle Dynott and Nancy Osbaldeston in Petrushka.© Dave Morgan (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev – London

The Tribute bill is a well-chosen one… The season has been so short that the dancers haven’t had time to grow into their roles. They look as though they’re remembering instructions rather than relishing the ballets.

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.

A funny moment from Petrushka (violinist Lisa Kim).© Chris Lee. (Click image for larger version)

New York Philharmonic – A Dancer’s Dream: Le Baiser de la Fee, Excerpts from Neige, Petrushka – New York

…what joy to see a performance turn into a kind of rave, …to feel the music overflow the boundaries of convention and habit and feel, well, intensely alive.

Slava Samodurov, surrounded by his company after their Five Tangos premiere.© Sergei Gutnik. (Click image for larger version)

Slava Samodurov: bringing Yekaterinburg Ballet in from the cold

Graham Watts braved 21 hours of flights and missed connections just to spend a night at the Yekaterinburg Opera House followed by a meeting with its new(ish) Director of Ballet, Slava Samodurov, a former Principal at The Royal Ballet…

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