"Ballets Russes" tag
Svetlana Zakharova in Gabrielle Chanel.© Jack Devant. (Click image for larger version)

Svetlana Zakharova – Modanse: Gabrielle Chanel, Come un Respiro – London

★★★✰✰   Stunning images of Bolshoi ballerina Svetlana Zakahrova dressed as Coco Chanel whetted the appetite for the London Premiere of her latest how, Modanse.

Olga Smirnova and Artemy Belyakov in Giselle.© Damir Yusupov/ Bolshoi Theatre. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Giselle (Ratmansky premiere) – Moscow

★★★★✰   This is a Giselle that is both familiar and new. Watching it on opening night was like seeing a faded painting regain its colors.

The Dancing Under The Southern Skies book cover, featuring Leanne Benjamin, in a photo © Jason Bell.© Australian Scholarly Publishing. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Dancing Under The Southern Skies: A History of Ballet in Australia – by Valerie Lawson

Although Valerie Lawson’s context is wide-ranging, she brings individuals into focus with personal details, shining a spotlight onto their roles in Australian dance history. Lavishly illustrated with photographs from Australian archives, her book gives vivid life to long-gone personalities.

Isabella Boylston in The Sleeping Beauty.© John Grigaitis. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – New York

★★★★✰   This production proposes that Sleeping Beauty is not really the story of a love quest – as it’s often depicted – but rather a fable about order and disorder, harmony and disharmony, the balance between good and evil.

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.

Wim Vanlessen in Boléro.© Filip Van Roe / Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet Flanders – Fall, Chronicle, Boléro – Antwerp

★★★★✰   For a very short while, Wim Vanlessen will enjoy the claim that he has performed for the Royal Ballet Flanders for more than half its existence. The company celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, later this year and Vanlessen joined in 1994. This performance was both a celebration of exceptional long service and a farewell…

Brett Chynoweth and artists of The Australian Ballet in Firebird.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Murphy (Graeme Murphy tribute bill of 6 works) – Sydney

★★★✰✰   Within this potpourri of Graeme Murphy’s works, the highlight was “Grand”, a charming and poignant tribute he created in 2005 for his mother, a pianist, who died the previous year.

Ballet de Lorraine in Relâche.© Laurent Philippe. (Click image for full version)

Ballet de Lorraine – Relache – St. Petersburg

★★★★★   Ballet de Lorraine have reconstructed Relâche, a fascinating work first performed by the Ballets Suédois in 1924-25. It had caused almost as great a scandal as the 1913 premiere of The Rite of Spring in the same Théâtre des Champs-Elysées…

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.

Le Rossignol masterclass: Anna Rose O’Sullivan and William Bracewell with Anthony Dowell.© Rachel Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Feature – Frederick Ashton’s choreography for Le Rossignol – a masterclass with Sir Anthony Dowell

The Metropolitan Opera in New York staged “Le Rossignol” in December 1981 as part of a programme commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Stravinsky’s birth… the producer was John Dexter. He told Ashton, back in London, that he could choreograph two dancers as the Nightingale and the Fisherman on stage, while the roles would be sung by opera singers in the orchestra pit…

Svetlana Zakharova and Bolshoi friends in Strokes Through the Tail.© Jack Davant. (Click image for larger version)

Svetlana Zakharova – Amore: Francesca da Rimini, Rain before it Falls, Strokes Through the Tail – London

★★★✰✰   Happy for Zakharova who ultimately curated an interesting night, very happy to see her retinue of Bolshoi dancers and happy to see Donlon provide such final good cheer.

Marcelo Gomes and Sara Mearns in The Red Shoes.© Daniel Coston. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes – New York

★★★★✰   It’s always exciting to discover a new side of an artist. For this, and for an immensely entertaining show, we have to thank Matthew Bourne.

Washington Ballet in Les Sylphides.© Theo Kossenas Media 4 Artists. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Les Sylphides, Le Corsaire pdd, Bolero, Prodigal Son – Washington

★★★★✰   It was a pleasure to see this company in such a smart and wide-ranging program. It was even more rewarding to see the Washington Ballet dancers masterly navigating the numerous challenges…

Patrick de Bana.© and courtesy MuzArts. (Click image for larger version)

Patrick de Bana, Choreographer, on creativity and working with Svetlana Zakharova

“It’s like a game of tennis – I hit the ball and she returns it.”. Margaret Willis catches up with choreographer Patrick de Bana to talk about his choroegraphic life and latest project – contributing to Svetlana Zakharova’s show Amore – which tours to the UK in November.

Sara Mearns and Jared Angle in Justin Peck's Pulcinella Variations.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Fall Gala: new work by Schumacher, Reisen, Lovette, Peck – New York

★★★✰✰   At New York City Ballet, the fall fashion gala has become a showcase for work by young choreographers. Each one is paired up with a fashion designer and voilà, it’s an event.

Emily Hoff in The Conservatory.© Johan Persson / RBS. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2017 – London

★★★★✰   It was a well-balanced programme, featuring different kinds of discipline for future corps de ballet dancers, and honouring veteran choreographers as well as contemporary ones.

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.

Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham in Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Prodigal Son, Diamonds – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The soloists and principals of San Francisco Ballet brought unique interpretations to George Balanchine classics for the company’s fourth program of the season, a varied survey of Balanchine’s oeuvre.

Yi-Wei Tien and Chen-Chih Liao in Tschüss!! Bunny.© Julie Lemberger. (Click image for larger version)

Japan Society – 17th Contemporary Dance Showcase: Japan + East Asia – New York

★★★✰✰   Hosted by the Japan Society on the east side of midtown Manhattan, this year’s showcase concentrated on the theme of two: the dynamics of duos. Featuring works from Japan, Korea and Taiwan…

Ashley Shaw in The Red Shoes.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

New Adventures – Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes – London

★★★✰✰   If you remember the 1948 film, the plot is easy to follow. If you don’t, and can’t pick up the references to ballets, a printed scenario would be helpful, as would job-descriptions of the characters…

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