"Alexei Ratmansky" tag
Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside in The Seasons.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Gala with The Seasons premiere + Ratmansky Trio bill – New York

★★★★✰   It’s impossible not to be impressed by the range of these works, from introspective and conversational (Symposium) to brilliantly classical (The Seasons) to dramatic (Dnieper).

Sarah Lane and Carlos Gonzalez in Harlequinade.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Harlequinade – New York

★★★★★   To my eye, this Harlequinade may be the most well-rounded of Ratmansky’s historically-minded stagings of Petipa.

Wona Park and Angelo Greco in Ratmansky's Concerto #1.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Shostakovich Trilogy – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The choreography in Shostakovich Trilogy, which was co-commissioned by SFB and ABT and premiered in 2014, is as frustratingly capricious as the music.

Megan LeCrone in Reisen’s Judah.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Hallelujah Junction, Judah, The Exchange, Concerto DSCH – New York

★★★✰✰   The vitality and drive of the troupe was palpable Wednesday night, as was a sense of collective energy to move forward – however rocky that movement might be.

Sara Mearns in Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Pictures at an Exhibition, Oltremare, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – New York

★★★★✰   There is a palpable sense of hope among the dancers; again and again, they rise to the occasion. The opening-night program reflected this resilience and gave reason for hope.

Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg in Ratmansky’s Valse Triste.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance bill – New York

★★★✰✰   So, is Pure Dance a success? It depends on what you’re looking for. Osipova is as exciting, and as powerful, a dancer as ever. Among the commissions, only Valse Triste and Flutter are worthy of further exploration…

Washington Ballet in the The Sleeping Beauty.© XMB Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – Washington

★★★★✰   When Kent took the helm of Washington Ballet …one of her goals was to raise the standard of classical technique and shape the company into a world-class ballet institution. Judging by this production, she is on the right track.

New York City Ballet in Liebeslieder Walzer.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Prodigal Son, Liebeslieder Walzer – New York

★★★✰✰   Liebeslieder Walzer is one of the most precious of all Balanchine’s ballets; within its fifty-minute span it seems to contain a world of emotion, both profound and infinitely civilized.

Alexei Ratmansky - a MacArthur Fellow in 2013.© John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation - used with permission. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Thinking About Petipa – A Conversation with Alexei Ratmansky

Marina Harss talks to a legend about another legend and the greatest classical choreographer of them all – Marius Petipa. Full of interesting insights…

Rosas in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s The Six Brandenburg Concertos.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Some Memorable Performances of 2018 – New York

Other years have been more exciting, I think, but this one has had its share of remarkable performances, including a few thrilling ones. Here, in no particular order, are the ones that really stood out, for one reason or another.

Polina Semionova in La Bayadère.© Yan Revazov. (Click image for larger version)

Staatsballett Berlin – La Bayadère (premiere of Ratmansky reconstruction) – Berlin

★★★★✰   In the last several years, the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has developed a sideline to his main choreographic efforts: the reviving of ballets by Marius Petipa in a way that represents the original choreography with as much fidelity as possible…

ABT in Jessica Lang's Garden Blue.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Fall Gala + Symphonie Concertante & Garden Blue 3bills – New York

★★★✰✰   The fall season is too brief, particularly because it always feels as though it takes the company a few days to warm itself up. The dancing at the gala on Oct. 17 was a little slapdash, but by Friday things had begun to settle.

Joshua Thake.© Zoran Jelenic. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Trocks) – Programme A, Swan Lake bill – London

★★★★★   The Trocks’ version of Swan Lake (or Lac, as it used to be known) restores some Soviet era removals. Benno, the hero’s best friend and supporter, is back, as are mime sequences, mostly mystifying the participants…

Natalia Osipova in in the studio preparing for Pure Dance.© Alastair Muir. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – Pure Dance – London

★★★✰✰   No trade description problems, here. This was exactly what it said on the tin: Natalia Osipova performing pure dance, enhanced only by recorded music and lighting designs varying from the merest of subtle tints to an explosion of floodlights…

Natalia Osipova in ISADORA: A Tribute to Isadora Duncan in Two Acts.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

Natalia Osipova – ISADORA: A Tribute to Isadora Duncan in Two Acts (world premiere) – Costa Mesa

★★★✰✰   Half-narrative and semi-abstract, ISADORA hop-skips through the dancer’s life; it’s described in the program notes as a “freely interpreted biography,” and it cherry-picks around unsavory elements…

Isabella Boylston in Whipped Cream.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Whipped Cream – New York

★★★★✰   The audience laughs, the company looks great, the orchestra… sounds full and vibrant, and you leave the theatre with a rare feeling of joy. Lightness of spirit and complexity of execution in one delightful package.

Zurich Ballet in Swan Lake.© Carlos Quezada. (Click image for larger version)

Zurich Ballet – Swan Lake – Zurich

★★★✰✰   But, at least to my eye, the production’s triumph is its final lakeside act. There, the formations of swans, as originally choreographed by Lev Ivanov, become intricate, delicate, lyrical, and intensely moving.

Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside in Harlequinade.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Harlequinade (premiere) – New York

★★★★✰   Harlequinade is pure entertainment, a work of art whose entire raison d’être rests on its charm and stylishness. If you require that your art contain deeper meanings, read no further…

Misty Copeland, Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in Afterite.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – 3 Bills: Giselle, Gala, Firebird/Afterite – New York

★★★★✰   After a week of Giselle, during which Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg had their much-awaited re-match, the company began its season in earnest on May 21, with a spring gala that included two new works and excerpts from a third…

Tiler Peck and Zachary Catazaro in Peter Walker’s Dance Odyssey.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Dance Odyssey, The Red Violin, Russian Seasons – New York

★★★✰✰   Like Walker’s first work for the company “Dance Odyssey” shows a lot of promise. It has warmth and humor, a good grasp of stage geometry and a sensitive musicality.

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