"Sergei Diaghilev" tag
Ivan Vassiliev and Kristina Kretova in Sceherazade.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala – In the steps of the Ballets Russes – London

★★★★✰   The long gala (three and a half hours with one interval) was well organised, with no speeches and no protracted curtain calls.

Akane Takada and James Hay in The Sleeping Beauty.© Bill Cooper, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   The grand pas de deux was the triumphant highlight of the fairytale festivities. Hay expressed the prince’s pride and pleasure in his variations; Takada was demure and regal in hers…

Harry Alexander and Benjamin Warbis in the Satie Studs, Ogive 4, section of to a simple, rock ‘n’ roll… song.© Hugo Glendinning. (Click image for larger version)

Michael Clark Company – to a simple, rock ‘n’ roll… song – London

★★★★✰   Whenever I see Michael Clark’s company I usually come away energised and uplifted. Nobody fuses ballet to a youthful modern world like Clark does or reminds you that it’s a tough technique that’s been around a long time.

David Rodriguez (as Diaghilev) in NIJINSKI.© Regina Brocke. (Click image for larger version)

Gauthier Dance – NIJINSKI – Stuttgart

★★★✰✰   NIJINSKI neatly lassos this altogether using Goecke’s avant garde movement style …to give the Stuttgart audience an abstract impression of Nijinsky’s life and contribution to Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.

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

New York City Ballet – Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Duo Concertant, Symphony in Three Movements – Paris

★★★★✰   The pleasure, above all, in watching this company is their fearless super-charge of energy and their commitment as the inheritors of Balanchine’s ballets.

Xander Parish in Apollo.© Valentin Baranovsky. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2015 – 10th anniversary, Sunday 8 March 2015 at London Coliseum

30 dancers already confirmed include Natalia Osipova, Olga Smirnova, Semyon Chudin, Kim Kimin, Sarah Lamb, Xander Parish, Aline Cojocaru, Tamara Rojo, Marianela Nuňez and Thiago Soares.

Tina Sutton.© Tina Sutton. (Click image for larger version)

Tina Sutton, writer and author of ‘The Making of Markova’

Tina Sutton’s book “The Making of Markova: Diaghilev’s Baby Ballerina to Groundbreaking Icon” is about to be released in paperback – Jann Parry talks to Sutton about unearthing one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century…

Detail from the book cover of Constant Lambert - Beyond The Rio Grande.© Boydell & Brewer. (Click image for full version of cover)

Book – Constant Lambert, Beyond The Rio Grande – by Stephen Lloyd

Lloyd has written widely on English composers and is meticulous in combing together many fragmentary impressions of Lambert. The book weighs over 1.5 kilos, 419 pages of small print, most heavily annotated in smaller print still, with a further 150 pages of appendices.

Mariinsky Ballet in Concerto DSCH.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – The Firebird, Marguerite and Armand, Concerto DSCH – London

“This is how ecstasy is danced.” Kimin Kim in Concerto DSCH.

Vicktoria Tereshkina in A Midsummer Night's Dream.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Apollo, A Midsummer Night’s Dream – London

Viktoria Tereshkina has a warm personality and this enhances her dancing. She has long thin limbs and offers expansive port de bras, while her legs whip up effortlessly but with control.

Mikhail Fokine.© & courtesy of Isabelle Fokine and Fokine Estate Archive. (Click image for larger version)

The Work of Mikhail Fokine – Q&A with Isabelle Fokine

Born in Paris in 1958, Isabelle Fokine is the daughter of Vitale Fokine and granddaughter of choreographer Mikhail Fokine. She is artistic director of the Fokine Estate Archive, which holds the worldwide copyright to his work.

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.

Georgy Isaakyan and Andris Liepa.© Georgy Isaakyan and Andris Liepa. (Click image for larger version)

Andris Liepa and Georgy Isaakyan – Bringing Diaghilev Back: Recreating the Russian Seasons

Graham Watts, visited the Natalia Sats Theatre in Moscow, earlier this year, to talk to both Liepa and Isaakyan about their new production of Le Coq d’Or.

Virginia Johnson.© Rachel Neville. (Click image for larger version)

Virginia Johnson – Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem

Wherever Virginia Johnson goes, she seems to travel on a cloud, with a kind of regal composure few possess in our day. She appears imperturbable…

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.

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.

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.

English National Ballet – Beyond Ballet Russes, Programme 1 – London

Firebird: To Williamson’s credit, the action, though baffling, never palls. He knows how to deploy a diverse cast, using an interesting vocabulary of classical ballet steps and partnering. He’s obviously fired up his dancers to commit themselves to their roles, flaunting their glitzy costumes with panache. But it’s a muddled piece, overpowered by Stravinsky’s myth-making music.

Boston Ballet – Simply Sublime triple bill – Boston

Symphony in Three Movements: This collaboration of two of the giants of 20th century art (Balanchine, Stravinsky) was clearly a marriage made in heaven, and thanks to Boston Ballet’s newest production, we got to attend the nuptials.

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