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  1. Below a first set of announcements for the 17/18 season at various companies and venues in France. Bordeaux will announce their 17/18 season on 22 May; Ballet Nice Mediterranee, Mandalain Ballet, Ballet Preljocaj & others tbc. Feel free to add others. Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris http://2018.theatrechampselysees.fr/saison/danse We’ve already known from toursenlair for some time that the National Ballet of Canada will perform Nijinsky in October. Further companies and works: St Petersburg Ballet Theatre (Swan Lake, Paquita, Chopiniana), LA Dance Project, a programme in honour of Ingmar Bergman, Tanztheater Wuppertal, and others Theatre Chaillot, Paris http://theatre-chaillot.fr/la-saison-2017-2018 Boris Charmatz, a flamenco festival, Angelin Preljocaj (La Fresque), a festival with dance from Scandinavia, Alonzo King, CNDC d’Angers with a Cunningham triple bill, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo (Le Songe), a number of contemporary works Theatre de la ville, Paris http://www.theatredelaville-paris.com/ Various works by Jerome Bel, a new work by Maguy Marin, a double bill by Shechter II, 2 triple bills with the Ballet de l’Opera de Lyon, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Taiwan, and a number of contemporary works Ballet de l’Opera de Paris https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-17-18/ballet Already known, so here just for completeness Maison de la danse, Lyon http://www.maisondeladanse.com/programmation-2017-2018 Alonzo King, Ailey II, Yacobson Ballet (Sleeping Beauty), Maguy Marin, de Keersmaeker (Rain), Sao Paulo Dance Company (a triple bill with works by Goecke/Oliveira/Scholz), and a long list of contemporary artists Ballet de l’Opera de Lyon http://www.opera-lyon.com/page/saison-17-18 Forsythe/Brown/Bel (The second detail, Set and reset/reset, a new work), Kylian (East shadow), Roland Petit (L’Arlesienne, Carmen), Maliphant/Millepied/Forsythe (Critical mass, Sarabande, Steptext), Inger/ Kylian (A new work, Petite More, No more play) Opera national du Rhin, Strasbourg/ Mulhouse/ Colmar http://www.operanationaldurhin.eu/danse-2017-2018.html Mario Schroeder’s Chaplin, various triple bills e.g., with Forsythe/ Kylian/ Scholz, and a ballet for children based on Sleeping Beauty Theatre du Capitole, Toulouse http://www.theatreducapitole.fr/1/saison-2017-2018/saison-2017-2018-2373.html?lang=fr Belarbi’s Giselle, Belarbi’s Nutcracker, a double bill with works by Bombana and Bigonzetti, a triple bill with works by Roland Petit (Les Forains, L’Arlesienne, Carmen) Ballet de Marseille http://www.ballet-de-marseille.com/fr/calendrier Choreographies by Greco and Scholten
  2. As an extension to seeing Giselle at POB last week, I travelled to Toulouse for a performance of Maurice Béjart’s Firebird the following day. Run by Kader Belarbi, this is a company of 35 dancers and with a repertoire that ranges from the classical to Forsythe and Marin, and with both story ballets and abstract pieces. The first part of the evening was the Grand Pas by Marius Petipa in the version by Oleg Vinogradov, a ballet that the company had danced previously. I was wowed by the two male dancers, Davit Galstyan as Lucien and Ramiro Samón in the pas de trois. L’Oiseau de feu is the first ballet by Béjart that enters the company’s repertoire. Takafumi Watanabe was an exquisite firebird with effortless and clean jumps and enormous energy, intensity and stamina. The fluidity of movement in his upper body and in particular his arms clearly evoked the movements of a bird, and the exhaustion and death of the bird was danced very convincingly. With good reason, Takafumi Watanabe received the loudest applause of the evening. I would be happy to see the company in that ballet and with Takafumi Watanabe in the lead role again just about any time, and not only as I am longing for more of Béjart’s ballets being performed in the UK. In the interim … there is a video of a POB performance of the Firebird with Benjamin Pech as lead on the web.
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