"Serge Diaghilev" 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….

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…

Irina Dvorovenko in "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue", On Your Toes.© Joan Marcus. (Click image for larger version)

City Center – On Your Toes – New York

Along the way, the show strings together some memorably ravishing songs and knock-out dance numbers while having fun…

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.

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.

Marie-Agnes Gillot and Stephane Bullion in Orpheus and Eurydice.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Orpheus and Eurydice – New York

Bausch is a mystery. To some, she represents the summit of poetry and expression, worthy of a cult-like following. Clearly, these dancers derive great emotional sustenance from performing her work. And it suits them. But, with the exception of Gillot’s solo and a few moments here and there, it left me cold.

Marianela Nuñez in Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins' Diana & Actaeon.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Titian 2012: Machina, Trespass, Diana & Actaeon – London

Seeing the programme twice confirmed my initial impression that Trespass is the best-wrought work. The other two ballets are interesting as concepts rather than as polished productions. But the programme’s emphasis on creativity and collaboration means that Monica Mason’s farewell contribution to the art form in which she has invested her considerable energy will carry on germinating ideas long after she leaves.

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.

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