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  1. I, too, was surprised at the darkness, compared to the bright and crisp filming of the previous DVD ROH release of this ballet with Rojo as Nikiya.
  2. I can’t wait to see The Cellist in cinemas, even if we in the USA have to wait a bit longer. Thanks for the link to the touching and insightful BBC review, Bridiem! I couldn’t agree more with the concept that Beauty is not treasured as it was in years past. When did “Beauty” become an ugly word?
  3. The St Petersburg Theatre Museum, near the Vaganova/behind the Alexandrinsky Theater, has a sizable ballet collection and often holds special ballet-themed exhibitions, such as the one celebrating Petipa’s 200th birthday. If you dig into their website (Eng and Russian), you’ll see that they currently have a 19th-C ballet exhibit in one of their satellite spaces (a private mansion). Check this site: theatruseum.ru
  4. All I have to say: Thank goodness for Sarasota Ballet and Mr& Mrs Iain Webb...not just in their regular season but in an upcoming tour to NY’s Joyce Theater, August 18-23, 2020, in which the troupe will present an all-Ashton Triple bill consisting of Birthday Offering, Dante Sonata and Varii Capricci. How cool is that? www.joyce.org
  5. An additional thought occurred: Imagine seeing a richly-decorated classical full-evening work that has nary a projection. Yes, it has some lovely mood lighting that varies with each scene but all of the design elements are solid and real. Real staircase, real palace walls, real foliage, etc. The old-fashioned way.
  6. Oh, Canada has delivered. Balletomanes in London are truly in for a treat next summer with this magnificently-luxurious and impeccably performed Sleeping Beauty. I caught last night’s repeat starring first-cast Heather Ogden and Harrison James. Oozing charm as well as technique - oh those balances and multiple pirouettes! - Ogden performed as Washingtonians have long known, from her years as a guest artist with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Ogden is a true gem of a ballerina. The big surprise was the aplomb and razor-sharp technique of James’ essaying of Nureyev’s five (5!) ultra-difficult solos for Prince Florimund. Bravo! Kudos, too, to gracious Hannah Fischer as the lady who dances what’s normally the Lilac Fairy variation; Miyoko Koyasu and Siphesihle November as the most charismatic Pussycats to tread a stage; and the ravishing Elena Lobsanova and Naoya Ebe in the Bluebird pdd. The corps de ballet acquitted itself extraordinarily. Rudolf Nureyev must be smiling from a special place, seeing the luscious production restored and this company, which he championed for so long, performing so well! Perhaps one small caveat would be also my one complaint: the stately Sarabande that normally opens the final act (and is led by the monarchs and Sr courtiers) was cut. Hopefully it will be restored for London. Not-to-be-missed luxurious visuals seldom seen on any balletic stage nowadays, coupled with high-level classical dancing — the Canadian troupe’s Sleeping Beauty is one for the ages! Davis Briskin led the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.
  7. Right...so maybe in the 20/21 season? I guess that it will depend on the wishes of the incoming AD and his/her budget. I, for one, am grateful for not only Bayadere having been kept/returned by Ohman but also the historically-designed Nutcracker (the Duato out). AND some of the newer soloists are magnificent, e.g., Evelina Godunova! I hope to keep up my Lufthansa frequent flier miles between Washington DC and Berlin. Great city in so many ways, not just ballet. 🇩🇪
  8. I’m wondering what these changes might mean for the fate of Marcia Haydee’s Sleeping Beauty - originally on tap for this spring in Berlin, then cancelled (postponed?) and replaced with performances of the existing Swan Lake.
  9. Sad. Everything looked so promising after the premiere of Ratmansky’s La Bayadere in November 2018.
  10. I’m looking forward to seeing the Ogden/James cast in DC on the evening of Feb 1. Also, the designs should be treat, from what I’ve read...this level of luxury is rare in the 21st century. Report forthcoming!
  11. Ah...just one top performance in 2019. Sorry, Bruce! APPARITIONS revival in Sarasota. Marcello Gomes and Victoria Hulland starred.
  12. Just one more, very dear to my heart, in my Puerto Rico: 🇵🇷 April 2018. Attending the first ballet evening produced in the wake of Hurricane Maria (which ravaged our island in Sept 2017), at the Centro Bellas Artes. San Juan: Ballets de San Juan in three new classical works, including a fascinating Carmen set in a sugar mill. Sobrevivimos, senores!
  13. General best-trends observed during a decade of traveling for ballet, including performances on all continents minus Antarctica, eg, the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia. No worries, as I’ll stick to generalities. * Historical Petipa-era reconstructions galore! - from the Berlin Ratmansky Bayadere, to his Zurich Swan Lake, to his Beauty & Harlequinade In NY. Even his very own The Seasons for ABT continued the evocation of Tsarist aesthetics (in steps). I also attended the latter Vikharev premieres, most notably Raymonda in Milan. * Sarasota & Ashton. Need we say more? The 2014 Ashton Festival, for starters. Dante Sonata & R&J coming soon...but that’s the next decade. * The ever-turning kaleidoscope of invention at NYCB, particularly the emergence of Justin Peck (Principia, Belles Lettres, etc), plus Ratmansky’s spot-on creations for the troupe (Odessa, Namouna). * Artists? Natalia Osipova my ballerina of the decade. Aplomb and versatility. ‘Nuff said. * Stanton Welch’s creativity-within-classics. Bayadere in Sydney 2014 comes to mind. * AD Marcia Haydee’s stewardship of the Cranko oeuvre in Chile’s Teatro Municipal Santiago. Kudos too to Paloma Herrera’s newish directorship of the Colon in Buenos Aires...and a special honor to Mme Tatiana Leskova’s guidance of recent revival of Les Sylphides in Rio’s Teatro Municipal. (May they survive current challenges.) * Witnessing first-hand Asia’s love for ballet. The Korean Natl Ballet and Universal Ballet’s - both seen in Seoul - spotlight the nation’s commitment to classical excellence. Also loved witnessing the passion of Japanese ballet fans at the last Tokyo Quadrennial Ballet Festival! * Last but not least: Ballets in Cinemas! Thanks for the memories. Vive le Ballet! I’ll ignore the few lowlights.
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