"Petipa" tag
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…

Sara Mearns and Daniel Ulbricht in George Balanchine’s Variations Pour Une Porte et Un Soupir.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Balanchine + Wheeldon bill & Jewels – New York

★★★★✰   It makes a noticeable difference when Litton, music director of the company, is in the pit; the orchestra has presence and sings, providing a convincing counterpart for the dancing.

Olga Smirnova and Semyon Chudin in Swan Lake.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Swan Lake – London

★★★✰✰   A 3 star production with 4 star performances…

The Royal Ballet School in Goyo Montero's Pulse.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Holland Park bill (mainly Upper School) – London

★★★★✰   The show overall gave us a good slice of what ballet is in 2019, and just how adaptable the students need to be these days – exciting times for them and exciting for us in the audience as well.

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.

Igor Tsvirko in Spartacus.© Darren Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Spartacus – Brisbane

★★★★✰   the man of the moment on opening night was Igor Tsvirko as Spartacus whose stamina, elevation, turns, partnering, and fouettés were staggering in their execution.

Devon Teuscher in Le Corsaire.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Le Corsaire – New York

★★★★✰   Days after the performance, I cannot get James Whiteside’s Ali out of my head. Devon Teuscher’s Medora is charming and warm, pulling off triple fouettées turns and her Italian fouettées with aplomb…

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.

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 Gala group photo.© Jack Devant. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 – London

★★★✰✰   The annual Ballet Icons gala, now in its 14th year, aims to promote Russian culture while providing a Sunday evening’s entertainment for Russians in London and ballet-lovers…

Marcelo Gomes & The Sarasota Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton's Apparitions.© Frank Atura. (Click image for larger version)

Sarasota Ballet – Apparitions, Stars and Stripes – Sarasota

★★★★✰   As if an Ashton rarity weren’t reason enough to catch this program, there was also the presence of Marcelo Gomes, former much-admired principal dancer from American Ballet Theatre, to recommend it.

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.

Joshua Hariette and Monique Jonas in Brahms Hungarian.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Detour, Quartermark, Proverb, Brahms Hungarian – London

★★★★✰ Alston’s choreography is formal in that it has structure, style and steps, instead of resorting to running in circles. Its partnering etiquette is courteous rather than abusive.

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…

Natalia Osipova and Vadim Muntagirov in La Bayadère.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – La Bayadère – London

★★★★✰   In the past, the Royal Ballet’s version, last performed five years ago, has sometimes seemed insubstantial. Not so this time, with a luxury cast in full dramatic mode: Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nuñez, Natalia Osipova and Gary Avis…

Robert Carter in The Dying Swan.© Emma Kauldhar. (Click image for larger version)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Trocks) – Les Sylphides bill – London

★★★★✰   The curtain calls for Robert Carter’s “Dying Swan” are nearly as long as the ballet itself and just as funny.

Isabella Boylston and Jeffrey Cirio in La Bayadère.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – La Bayadère – Los Angeles

★★✰✰✰   …watching La Bayadère can feel like observing an artifact stuck in another era, and indicates the need for a conversation about what a contemporary, forward-thinking repertoire should look like.

Third year students Breanna Foad and Rentaro Nakaaki, who join English National Ballet next season.© Jesus Vallinas. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet School – Summer Performance – London

★★★✰✰   This summer’s showcase of English National Ballet School’s students was the first under its new director, Carlos Valcarcel… The Wimbledon programme consisted of two creations by him, two by students, and excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty as a conclusion.

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.

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