"Marius Petipa" tag
Katherine Barkman and Andile Ndlovu in Birthday Offering.© Victoria Pickering. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Balanchine + Ashton quad bill – Washington

★★★✰✰   The Washington Ballet new program titled Balanchine + Ashton showcased four works by the two great choreographers, who “forever shaped our art form,” as the company’s artistic director, Julie Kent, put it in her opening remarks.

Devon Teuscher as Myrta in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – Washington

★★★★✰   I saw two performances; each of them demonstrated why Giselle is still so popular even 180 years after the ballet’s premiere.

Megan Fairchild and NYCB in Ratmansky’s Voices.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Voices (new Ratmansky), and New Combinations bill – New York

★★★★✰   There was always something new around the corner, a surprising shape, a witty step, an unlikely transition. It’s clear that Ratmansky felt liberated by the unusual structure and soundscape…

Bijayini Satpathy in the Kalpana bill.© Anubhava. (Click image for larger version)

Some Memorable Performances of 2019 – New York

I don’t really believe in lists, but it’s admittedly fun to look back over the year and reflect on moments that have stayed with me. So here they are, in no particular order…

Francesca Hayward and Gary Avis in Coppélia.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Coppélia – London

★★★★✰   The dancing is so enjoyable, the comedy so appealing, that any flaws in the story telling are easily overlooked.

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.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in The Sleeping Beauty.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet’s current production of The Sleeping Beauty, dating back to 2006, is a homage to Ninette de Valois and her faith that Marius Petipa’s Imperial Russian ballet should be the flagship of her British company.

Ekaterina Kondaurova in La Bayadere.© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – La Bayadère – San Francisco

★★★★✰   the Mariinsky’s production was a welcome ravishment of vibrant costumes, shimmering jewels, romantic storytelling and sheer entertainment…

Mariinsky Ballet in Paquita.© Darian Volkova. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Paquita – Washington

★★★✰✰   This three-act three-hour-long Paquita is a brainchild of Smekalov, who is a second soloist with the company. He wrote his own libretto, largely borrowing from the Cervantes novella La Gitanilla…

Margarita Shrainer and Igor Tsvirko in Don Quixote (rehearsal).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★✰   The reason the Bolshoi’s Don Quixote is so enjoyable is the gusto with which it is performed. It doesn’t aim to be remotely authentically Spanish or even respectful of the original 1869 version…

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.

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.

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…

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…

Devon Teuscher in Swan Lake.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Swan Lake – New York

★★★★✰   Devon Teuscher has done her time, and the results are breathtaking…

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.

Dancers from Evgeny Panfilov Ballet Theatre with Vladimir Vasiliev at the end of the contemporary second half of the gala.© Nikita Chuntomov. (Click image for larger version)

Ekaterina Maximova Arabesque Ballet Competition Gala in Honour of Marius Petipa and Lev Tolstoy – Perm

The occasion was the 15th anniversary of the Ekaterina Maximova Arabesque Ballet Competition named, since 2012, after the late and much-loved Bolshoi ballerina, and organised by her husband, Vladimir Vasiliev…

Mariinsky Ballet in La Bayadere - Kingdom of the Shades.© Valentin Baranovsky. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – La Bayadѐre – Washington

★★★✰✰   Since its creation 140 years ago, La Bayadѐre has been one of the Mariinsky Ballet’s calling cards and the Russian company can make this enduring classic shine in all its stylistic glory and theatrical splendor.

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance in Bayadère: The Ninth Life.© Jane Hobson. (Click image for larger version)

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance – Bayadère: The Ninth Life – London

★★✰✰✰ …an intriguing idea inflated into unwieldy modern dance-theatre.

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