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La Scala Dancers Protest about New Season


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La Scala's new Artistic Director Mauro Bigonzetti, and new (first season planned since takeover) Intendant Alexander Pereira have suffered problems regarding plans for 2016/2017.

 

Dancer's originally objected to the appointment of modern style choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti for not being classical or experienced enough to take over the company.

 

Their worries have been realised with a season announced a few days ago. The only outside guest will be Marianela Nunez dancing Macmillan's Romeo & Juliet with Roberto Bolle. 

 

Around 50 dancers from the company protested to Pereira in front of press at the release of the new season, their issues being that there is not enough classical repertoire and the other 2 classical pieces: Balanchine's Midsummer's Night Dream, and Ratmansky's recreation of Swan Lake are at the end of the season. The dancer's said that it will be difficult to maintain condition until the end of the season. Source: GramMilano

 

Perreira shrugged off concerns and said it would be impossible to change the dates due to tours and other commitments.

 

Discussions are ongoing.

 

To be honest, I would wish that dancer's at Ballet Zurich would follow their example and express concern about increasingly modern repertoires with their modern choreographer directors.

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Around 50 dancers from the company protested to Pereira in front of press at the release of the new season, their issues being that there is not enough classical repertoire and the other 2 classical pieces: Balanchine's Midsummer's Night Dream, and Ratmansky's recreation of Swan Lake are at the end of the season. The dancer's said that it will be difficult to maintain condition until the end of the season.

 

 

Good for them!

 

I would wish that dancer's at Ballet Zurich would follow their example and express concern about increasingly modern repertoires with their modern choreographer directors.

 

I so agree with this sentiment. Traditions and repertoires that have take generations to build up can so easily fall by the wayside with the preoccupation for new works and styles, most of which will not survive beyond the initial or second year.

Edited by David
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To be honest, I would wish that dancer's at Ballet Zurich would follow their example and express concern about increasingly modern repertoires with their modern choreographer directors.

 

I think some of the Zurich dancers have followed Christian Spuck exactly because they like his choreography. And all those who he has hired in the meantime knew exactly what repertoire the Zurich Ballet dances. So why do you assume they don't want to dance modern ballet? I agree that some of the old Spoerli dancers might not like it, but most of them have left the company.

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I so agree with this sentiment. Traditions and repertoires that have take generations to build up can so easily fall by the wayside with the preoccupation for new works and styles, most of which will not survive beyond the initial or second year.

 

This may be true for La Scala Ballet, but not for Zurich, where there is no repertoire which has grown over the decades - each one of the past three, maybe four directors had built his own repertoire. Spoerli had the Russian classics, true, but they were all in his own, adapted versions. Frankly, though I am not really happy with the Ratmansky Swan Lake, it is much better than Spoerli's version. So much for Zurich, now back to La Scala, sorry for the parenthesis.

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I think some of the Zurich dancers have followed Christian Spuck exactly because they like his choreography. And all those who he has hired in the meantime knew exactly what repertoire the Zurich Ballet dances. So why do you assume they don't want to dance modern ballet? I agree that some of the old Spoerli dancers might not like it, but most of them have left the company.

 

 

Ok well, maybe then I might mean the audience as a proxy for that... Giselle was sold well, and all 14 Swan Lakes were sold out within hours of being released. The audience certainly want more classical, and it is the responsibility as the main (publicly funded) company of Switzerland to maintain some classical repertoire. It is also needed to keep the classical ballerina's (and in shape) to do this. So to me, one single classical piece in 16/17 repertoire isn't quite enough to do that.

 

For me it would be a real shame to lose the last of the Spoerli ballerina's and the tradition of technical excellence that he believed in. As it is apparent that it is not very easy to attract top (classical) talent to Zurich. 

 

This is relevant to La Scala, as it was a big issue about the Italian dancers not staying in Milan so much, and now I think this could be exacerbated with the new season, especially that the dancers came out publicly to face Pereira rather than using their rather powerful Union.

 

Spoerli's tradition built the very good name for the talent that was Zürcher Ballet, and although he may not have been popular with some dancers, it was well known that under him, the dancers were comparable to the best houses in the world. Also it was known that Pereira favoured Spoerli to take over as AD of La Scala, but the dancer's rejected this idea as his methods were seen to be too harsh.

 

For me, I see a lot of similarities in the choreographic style between Bigonzetti and Spuck, the major difference being that Bigonzetti doesn't have the Henry Ford attitude to costume and set design....It can be any colour as long as it's black.

 

I hope with a strong union maybe the scala dancers can win this fight for quality rather than succumbing to losing theirs, and La Scala's quality over time, as has happened in Zurich. 

 

PS Angela, I am not sure what you mean about the Swan Lakes, you prefer ratmansky's or Spoerli's`? It isn't clear to me. 

Edited by SwissBalletFan
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But some very fine dancers have moved to Zurich following Spuck from Stuttgart, William Moore, Kadja Wunche and Alexander Jones and some more. 

 

Spuck is not a bad choreographer, and he had commissioned Ratmansky for Swan Lake (not Spuck's choreography) so his tastes are not bad at all. 

 

Although I agree that what's happening at the Scala is a mess and they should have had Laurent Hilaire who was the runner-up for the AD race. 

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Also it was known that Pereira favoured Spoerli to take over as AD of La Scala, but the dancer's rejected this idea as his methods were seen to be too harsh.

Oh wow, I did know that he can be cruel, but I did not know that the Italian dancers rejected him. On the other hand, Spoerli is 74 years old, which with every regard to the fine ballets he has created in the past maybe a bit too old to start a new era?

 

 

For me, I see a lot of similarities in the choreographic style between Bigonzetti and Spuck, the major difference being that Bigonzetti doesn't have the Henry Ford attitude to costume and set design....It can be any colour as long as it's black.. 

 

I've seen some ballets by Bigonzetti and I can remember very colourful ones among them! He may not like such lavish costumes as Spuck does, because he likes to show the legs of his dancers, but it depends on the piece. I think Bigonzetti's vocabulary of steps is richer than Spuck's, his pas de deux are more inventive.

 

 

PS Angela, I am not sure what you mean about the Swan Lakes, you prefer ratmansky's or Spoerli's`? It isn't clear to me. 

 

I prefer Ratmansky, of course, Spoerli had some hotchpotch Europeanized Petipa version with - for my taste - very cold, aseptic sets. 

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Oh wow, I did know that he can be cruel, but I did not know that the Italian dancers rejected him. On the other hand, Spoerli is 74 years old, which with every regard to the fine ballets he has created in the past maybe a bit too old to start a new era?

 

 

 

I've seen some ballets by Bigonzetti and I can remember very colourful ones among them! He may not like such lavish costumes as Spuck does, because he likes to show the legs of his dancers, but it depends on the piece. I think Bigonzetti's vocabulary of steps is richer than Spuck's, his pas de deux are more inventive.

 

 

 

I prefer Ratmansky, of course, Spoerli had some hotchpotch Europeanized Petipa version with - for my taste - very cold, aseptic sets. 

 

I wonder if La Scala will film the Ratmansky Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty - as I am sure that a lot of people would love to see them. I do hope that that is a plan for the future.

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I wonder if La Scala will film the Ratmansky Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty - as I am sure that a lot of people would love to see them. I do hope that that is a plan for the future.

 

 

I hope if at all it will be the Zurich dancers, as the principal roles have a physicality and technique that will be superior to any of La Scala's principals.

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I hope if at all it will be the Zurich dancers, as the principal roles have a physicality and technique that will be superior to any of La Scala's principals.

 

But Zurich doesn't have the Ratmansky SB, and I think that La Scala has some great dancers.

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They do have Swan Lake, and I look forward to learning all about the great dancers you mention.

 

Roberto Bollo, Nicoletta Manni, Marta Romagna,  Claudio Coviello, Massino Murru and the great Alessandra Ferri herself came from La Scala.

Edited by CHazell2
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Roberto Bollo, Nicoletta Manni, Marta Romagna,  Claudio Coviello, Massino Murru and the great Alessandra Ferri herself came from La Scala.

 

 

 

Roberto Bolle did not and would not dance SB or SW as you note them, neither Massimo Murri nor Ferri.

So we are left with Manni and Romagna, (the prince doesn't have so much to dance). Great doesn't quite cover it, I saw Manni's LF and she was very nice. However without star guests/ etoiles, the milanese are not in the least interested. There are still 425 tickets available for the premiere in Milan.

 

I am sure MS Manni is lovely, as Romagna, however they are not quite 'Great'.

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Besides there is still time for ticket sales to pick up. How do you know the Milanese aren't interested?

 

Ok, well I can take it you are a fan, however, maybe I preserve the word 'great' for well...greatness.

 

I was at the premiere of Sleeping Beautywith Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle at La Scala and it was not well received at all. Also I saw Nicoletta Manni as the Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and the theatre was a third empty, and again not so well received.

 

Zurich Ballet received 5 star reviews from the Financial times and rave reviews from the New York Times and Swiss press for Viktorina Kapitonova's performance at the world premiere, particularly for her physical aspects, technique and long lines, none of which are shared by Ms Manni nor Martegna, although they have wonderful features in their own right,

 

However if I had my choice, it would be ABT for Sleeping Beauty and Zurich for Swan Lake

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As it happens I agree with you about ABT and Zurich but I also think that La Scala does have some good dancers. Besides La Scala may choose to film them. I can't see ABT filming as they haven't done any since Swan Lake in 2004.

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