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Found 12 results

  1. I'm back from Munich and was lucky to see both Triple Bill performances which opened the Ballet Festival Week. Here are some impressions: The 3 pieces complimented each other. Dawson's "Affairs of the heart" is an essence of " l'art pour l'art" for me. "Pictures at an exhibition" by A. Ratmansky showed a colorful interpretation of life, with a strong political reference to the war in Ukraine, and Marco Goecke's "Sweet bones melody" had a more subtle, very touching message about the need for peace. Affairs of the heart" by David Dawson (world premiere on Saturday) The beautiful and haunting music by Marjan Mozetich (violin concert, same title as choreo) served the breathtaking beauty of the choreography in perfection, and vice versa. Stage setting was just a wall with geometric forms and changing colors from yellow, pink, blue to grey. All dancers were dressed in lightblue/grey leotards (with long legs for the men). 4 couples, three female and 2 male soloists presented this new creation. The program book contains insightful interviews with Dawson and dancers Shale Wagman, Carollina Bastos and Emilio Pavan about the process of creating this piece, that is a wonderful addition to the performance. I felt indeed the heart all dancers put into this piece. They danced it with so much, grace, elegance and dedication (abandon ? I struggle with translation here ), it really made me forget the outside world. Soloist Shale Wagman was a kind of a virtuous and elegant cupido, inspiring and spreading love across the stage and between the couples. He had 2 solos alone onstage as well. His fluidity in dancing and excellent classical technique, e.g. long manege jumps, illuminated the stage, and I am very grateful to David Dawson that he saw and "used" Shale's artistry to the maximum. On the Staatsballett website is also a 7 minutes video with interviews and dance clips about this production. "Pictures at an exhibition" by A. Ratmansky (created in 2014 for NYC ballet). Music: M. Mussorgski, piano: D. Mayboroda Stage setting was also just a wall with video projections of partial Kandinsky paintings. The costumes complimented these projections, for the ladies with featherlight transparent dresses with color patterns, their male partners in sleeveless shirts and long pants w matching color patterns. It was pretty colorful onstage, lol. A highlight was seeing Amar Ramasar, former dancer with NYC ballet. He was only meant to coach in this production but ended up onstage as replacement for Osiel Gouneo who was ill. Prisca Zeisel, principal dancer, danced the solo parts but was obviously already injured (although I noticed it only at curtain call). For the second night, Rebecca Horn from Wiener Staatsballett jumped in for her, which was another blessing to see her very strong, mischevious solo. I should know the paintings/musical parts Amar and Rebecca interpreted but I'm so tired...sorry. I also noticed some choreographic nods to Ballet Russes. My favorite part was the PDD danced by Jinhao Zhang and Kristina Lind (who jumped in for Madison Young, she is injured). Very tender, light and lyrical. In the very end, the Ukrainian flag was projected on stage wall, as final picture. It was a strong signal, and raised of course lots of applause. For curtain call, Ratmansky held the Ukrainian flag above his head, again and again and again. I know that Munich is partner city for Kijev, but I had a hard time accepting that he used this evening as a political statement in such an overwhelming manner. It caused a lot of applause just for this statement and distracted from the piece and the dancers, imo. But well. On second night, the applause was dedicated to the dancers. "Sweet bones' melody" by Marco Goecke (world premiere on Saturday) Sorry I cannot describe what pulls me into Marco Goecke's pieces. It's certainly an "either you love it, or you hate it" stuff he creates. Here, we had a dark foggy stage, dark confetti (like ashes) falling from the "sky", costumes dark long wide trousers and dark top with glitter. I wonder why none of the dancers stumbled because the trousers were far too long. Top solo by Jonah Cook and ehm...yes Shale Wagman😀. I literally searched for the ice skates he must have had on his feet (not, of course). The many many whirlwind turns across the stage were executed with SUCH a speed and precision, it was unbelievable. My neighbors in row gasped. And then he stopped dead where/when he had to and moved on with his solo...boah. Altogether, I applause all dancers who trip, run, bend, cramp etc in the usual speedy, hasty Goecke moves. It's a marathon from A to Z, but I hear the dancers love his pieces. Well me too but I can sit. The magic moment was when all dancers were on stage, standing heads down immobilized, and from the off, Florian Sollfrank's voice whispered a poem by Else Lasker-Schueler, "Weltenende". OMG that was so moving. Could have been the end of the piece, but it wasn't. The piece went on then a bit more, and in the end, a single dancer emerged from the dark back with a white dove in his hands. For premiere night, the bird even flapped the wings a bit but was attached to the dancers hand by a string, so it could not escape. It was the final scene, a far more subtle but very moving and powerful longing for peace and hint what has been lost in so many parts of the world. A very very wonderful new triple bill for Bayerisches Staatsballett, if you can, go see it. Check out the videos on their website, and or instagram/Facebook. The company is in top form (minus the poor injured) and have a great week ahead. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
  2. Per the Bolshoi Theatre's Instagram, the premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's The Art of Fugue has been postponed. It will be replaced with performances of Don Quixote.
  3. One of our contributors found the triple bill to be "nostalgic, sublime, and flirtatious"(here's her review). I'm looking forward to watching it this weekend.
  4. Aside from Skylar Brandt's performances, I was not as wowed as I was hoping to be by this performance. I was especially unenthused about the premiere of Bernstein in a Bubble...Here's my review; has anyone else watched this yet?
  5. Well, this is a very unusual Don Quixote that I'm currently streaming. I had a look for an existing thread but couldn't find one, but I'm sure Don Q Fan must have written about it before? Is it a Ratmansky creation rather than a re-creation?
  6. This evening is the premiere of Ratmansky's new Giselle for the Bolshoi. This news video is in Russian so even though I can't understand it's still interesting to see the costumes and staging. https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ru&sp=nmt4&u=https://tvrain.ru/teleshow/vechernee_shou/meldonij_dlja_balerin-497766/&xid=25657,15700023,15700186,15700190,15700256,15700259,15700262,15700265,15700271,15700283&usg=ALkJrhij0y84wnEnM-Z0c4iIy9RMP_FSFg
  7. La Bayadère Berliner Staatsballett. Ratmanksy - amazing production! Seminova as Nikiya, Virelles as Solor, Correa as Gamzatti. I love the way Ratmansky does Grand Ballet Kitsch with total seriousness and commitment. It was on the one hand watching the 19th. Century come alive, but with Bakst’s spirit hovering throughout, and a witty, knowing but academically informed 21st century approach. His use of mime is perfect - no other does it as well. It was truly a language in itself. The dancing first rate throughout (....although first night wobbles visible amongst the Shades, when they were on solid ground not the slope), Polina and Yolanda totally nailed it. Alejandro’s solo a little underpowered, but still a great performance. Loved the sets - the Himalayas in the background, great palace destruction, and fabulous costumes. Riotous applause!
  8. So, a brief run of Ratmansky's The Bright Stream starts tonight. If you're lucky enough to have a ticket, do let us know how it goes!
  9. San Francisco Ballet's season of four mixed bills begins at Sadler's Wells tonight. All thoughts here, please. The bills are: 1. Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy: "In a triptych of works, world renowned choreographer Alexei Ratmansky pays homage to Dmitri Shostakovich. Attracted by the theatricality of his music, Ratmansky has returned time and time again to the work of the Russian composer. The three works, Symphony #9, Chamber Symphony and Piano Concerto #1 reflect Shostakovich’s life and experiences in abstract form." 2. Liang / Marston / Pita: "In The Infinite Ocean, Taiwanese-born American choreographer Edwaard Liang interprets loss and letting go. Cathy Marston adapts Edith Wharton’s haunting tale of adultery, Ethan Frome, in Snowblind. And, in a match made in Wonderland, the fantastically surreal choreographer Arthur Pita is inspired by the music of the Icelandic icon, Björk Guðmundsdóttir for his Björk Ballet." 3. Welch / Scarlett / Peck: "Set to the violin concertos of Johann Sebastian Bach, Stanton Welch’s Bespoke explores dance itself in a love letter to ballet. The critically acclaimed Hummingbird by British choreographer Liam Scarlett is accompanied by Philip Glass’ Tirol Concerto, with shadowy designs by regular collaborator John Macfarlane. “Virtuoso of the form” (New York Times) Justin Peck uses the electronic music of M83 for Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming." 4. McIntyre / Wheeldon / Dawson: "With the title lifted from the work of Walt Whitman, Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem inhabits the eccentric world of Trey McIntyre’s grandfather. Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Christopher Wheeldon joins forces once again with the composer Keaton Henson to take on the modern world in Bound To. And, in his first work for the company, David Dawson’s Anima Animus is ballet technique stretched to its outer limit, set to Ezio Bosso’s Esoconcerto."
  10. Saw no one has yet lifted this topic off, so I thought I would jump in. I wrote a review of the production itself the last time round so I will leave that to historical record. In many ways I thought last night's outing was more fair to the the variety of Ratmansky's choreographic outlines - and certainly Burlaka's 'Dramatic Conception' - such as it exists in this particular 're-imagining'. Indeed - and perhaps more to the point - it was the Bolshoi Ballet Company - itself - as a whole - that here now shone minus its originating - and focus stealing - 'Vasipova' effect, as thrilling as that historic moment in balletic time was. That is perhaps ironic given much of the Bolshoi's own history ... but there is no question but that it is more fitting just now. (The Shrew of the last two nights has made that vividly clear. This is a Company set sail with a differing - if not an entirely different charge.) In many ways I felt that Ekaterina Krysanova bettered her predecessor as Jeanne in that she seemed a tad more comfortable in the many character dance aspects and was certainly determined in her character observations throughout. Her stare as she progressed forward at the end pierced through with steel. What a gloriously versatile artist this young dancer is. Certainly you could feel that in the clearly distinct differences in her own O/O framework. She is, in fact, the ONLY female principal who will have appeared in principal roles in ALL FIVE of the ballets being presented in London's 2016 Bolshoi season. This surely is HER season and hers - at least as far as I'm concerned - is very much a well deserved showcase ... as was it on this occasion for the dramatically thrilling Igor Tsvirko (looking - as arrayed here - every inch the Bolshoi's answer to John Travolta of yore) - who threw his own eye popping - both literally and figuratively - blaze into last night's mix as Philippe. Denis Rodkin was replaced 'due to injury' (as announced) last night by the arduously svelte Artem Ovcharenko and his real-life fiancee (it has been publicly announced they will be getting married later this month) the always enticingly exquisite Anna Tikhomirova - surely a principal in waiting. They dazzled as Mireille de Poitiers and Antoine Mistral and the oh, so difficult partnering of that central adagio - even inclusive here of a very small slip by Tihomirova which Ovcharenko make almost entirely unnoticable. Theirs was a heart-rendering love knot and oh, so very musically enhanced. Outstanding too - once again - in the role he originated - was that phenomenal character artist in a company of world leading character dancers, Vitaly Biktimiov. Once more he proffered a distinctly 'David-Niven-like' air as Gilbert, Captain of the Marseillais. How lucky we are to be able to watch his ever present and always uniquely stunning detail of his life enriching creations much as we are with our very own and equally vivid Gary Avis. Denis Savin once again brought keen heart to Jerome as did the effervescent Nina Kaptsova as Adeline (much as she had in the performance now incarcerated on DVD). I felt that Chudin - in an act of wholly unnecessary luxury casting - was a tad wasted in the role of The Marquis Costa de Beauregard - for short of his revelatory bristling brises - there is not a great deal of dance for this character and otherwise Chudin did appear somewhat out of place at times - (and the wig too certainly does him no favours much as it historically didn't a younger Wayne Eagling - who every year he seems to facially resemble more and more - in the RB's Nutcracker). This may well, of course, have been an appropriate character choice given that this role is largely written out as the proceedings progress; a bit like David Cameron after Brexit. That said I was entranced once more by the gloriously witty account Denis Medvedev gave as King Louis XVI in his one scene. During this you could well see why Stalin - zealously puffing smoke from his Bolshoi box - would reportedly guffaw with such bucolic mirth. Indeed at one point therein I thought I could hear the trace of his echo. In all though it was the stunning character dances - here in such an abundantly rich array - that tied this fanciful delight up with a distinctly charged ribbon. Georgy Gusev's precision in placement alone in the thrilling Marseillaise Dance almost cried out 'Liberte, egalite ... and certainly fraternite' and the adoring audience once again detonated in the explosive thunder of their admiration.
  11. I apologise for being late, but I guess as the Swiss member of the forum I should finally give a review of Alexei Ratmansky's Swan Lake reconstruction. I was lucky enough to have tickets for the Premiere, and I have to say it was a wonderful performance by Viktorina Kapitonova. Alexander Jones was also very nice and was a great Prince Siegfried too. The movements were very feminine, and the circus-like acrobatics of modern versions was replaced by the story of Maidens rather than swans, and faster, lower, more natural movements by the main characters. The italian style was very much welcomed by the Zurich Crowds, and there were some tears at the very dramatic (not happy) ending. The evening passed like a beautiful fairy tale as was Ratmansky's Sleeping Beauty. All performances are sold out, though I am sure there will be tickets at La Scala, where Ms Zakharova will no longer be guesting, instead the Principals of the italian company will dance it. Maybe this is a sign of a change in direction at La Scala, which I imagine will have a big impact on ticket sales. The costumes were delightful and you can see the photographs and summary of reviews on Ms Kapitonova's personal website here The FT gave the performance 5 stars The trailer has been posted on another thread, but the direct youtube video is here
  12. I've just been reading Alastair Macaulay's review of ABT's "new" Sleeping Beauty as revised/restored by Ratmansky: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/arts/dance/review-ratmanskys-the-sleeping-beauty-has-premiere-in-california.html?ref=dance&_r=1 He sounds pretty taken with it. Would love to read feedback from anyone who's been to see it.
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