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Any suggested must-see choreographers/works?


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Hi, I'm new here.

I go to the theaters to see live ballets as well, but usually I watch ballet videos at home.

I would like to be advised because I felt there was a limit to find works through my own research.

Please see the list of my favorite works below and I would appreciate to let me know if you have any recommendations.

Thank you!

 

 

 

My Favorites:
Christian Spuck - POPPEA//POPPEA, Nussknacker und Mausekönig
Roland Petit - Notre Dame de Paris, Le Jeune Homme et La Mort
Kurt Jooss - The Green Table
Jean-Christophe Maillot - Roméo et Juliette
Akram Khan - Giselle, Dust
Matthew Bourne - The Car Man, Romeo and Juliet
Alexander Ekman - Midsummer Night's Dream, Play
Christopher Wheeldon - Cinderella, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Mauro Bigonzetti - The Trial, Mediterranea
Kenneth MacMillan - The Judas Tree
Lar Lubovitch - Othello
Boris Eifman - Onegin, Up & Down (Thender is the Night)
Maguy Marin - Coppélia, Cendrillon
Jerome Robbins - The Cage, The Concert (or The Perils of Everybody)
Eric Gauthier - Ballet 101
Edward Clug - Petrushka, Mutual Comfort
Alexei Ratmansky - Whipped Cream, Cinderella
Isabelle Fokine - Schéhérazade
Kang Hyohyung - Heo Nan Seol Heon
Carolyn Carlson - Signes
Angelin Preljocaj - Le Parc

 

Likes:
George Balanchine - The Nutcracker
Ninette de Valois - Coppélia
John Cranko - Onegin, Pineapple Poll
Thierry Malandain - Roméo et Juliette, Cendrillon
Amir Hosseinpour - Alice
Kenneth Tindall - Casanova
Pär Isberg - Pippi Långstrump
Yuri Grigorovich - Spartacus
Anna Hop - Husband and Wife
John Neumeier - A Midsummer Night's Dream, La Dame aux Camélias
Mats Ek - Appartement
Arthur Pita - The Metamorphosis, The Mother
Patrice Bart - Giselle
Eduardo Lao - Coppélia
Mikhail Fokine - The Dying Swan
Maurice Béjart - Boléro

Edited by Jenn
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Hi Jenn 

Great to have you on the Forum.  I'll take the plunge first but I don't know if our tastes really coincide. I tend to go for more traditional ballets and some of what you like is a bit modern for me, but here goes.

 

You mention a couple of Christopher Wheeldons ballets. Have you tried his Winters Tale? It's not a massive favourite of mine but it is very dramatic. There is one dvd with Edward Watson and the original cast.

 

I'm glad you mention enjoying Crankos Onegin as that's my favourite all time ballet. It's very dramatic and has some great choreography.  Have you tried MacMillan’s Manon or Mayerling? There are several great RB recordings available of both.

 

If you like Scherezade you must like the exotic. I love the 1990ish recording of the Kirovs Corsaire with Faroukh Ruzimatov. Also the Osipova RB or the Bolshoi recording of La Bayadere.

 

One modern ballet i do like is Christopher Maillots Taming of the Shrew. The Bolshoi cast is great but there may be others.

 

If you like Pineapple Poll and Coppelia you must appreciate humour in ballet.  Have you tried Ashtons  La Fille mal Gardee or Petipas Don Quixote? For the latter I would recommend the Bolshoi Osipova/Vasiiev version. Also Ashtons 2 Pigeons and his version of the Dream are both humouruous and beautiful.

 

If you don't want to splash out on dvds without knowing the ballets you can subscribe to Marquee TV or the new ROH streaming service.  The latter you can have for a 2 weeks trial before any money is taken out of your account so plenty of time to see if its for you. I think you can browse both services before purchasing so you can see what they have before committing yourself. Finally, YouTube is a great source for getting a taste of a ballet before committing yourself to purchase.

 

Good luck and happy discovering!

 

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4 hours ago, jmhopton said:

Hi Jenn 

Great to have you on the Forum.  I'll take the plunge first but I don't know if our tastes really coincide. I tend to go for more traditional ballets and some of what you like is a bit modern for me, but here goes.

 

You mention a couple of Christopher Wheeldons ballets. Have you tried his Winters Tale? It's not a massive favourite of mine but it is very dramatic. There is one dvd with Edward Watson and the original cast.

 

I'm glad you mention enjoying Crankos Onegin as that's my favourite all time ballet. It's very dramatic and has some great choreography.  Have you tried MacMillan’s Manon or Mayerling? There are several great RB recordings available of both.

 

If you like Scherezade you must like the exotic. I love the 1990ish recording of the Kirovs Corsaire with Faroukh Ruzimatov. Also the Osipova RB or the Bolshoi recording of La Bayadere.

 

One modern ballet i do like is Christopher Maillots Taming of the Shrew. The Bolshoi cast is great but there may be others.

 

If you like Pineapple Poll and Coppelia you must appreciate humour in ballet.  Have you tried Ashtons  La Fille mal Gardee or Petipas Don Quixote? For the latter I would recommend the Bolshoi Osipova/Vasiiev version. Also Ashtons 2 Pigeons and his version of the Dream are both humouruous and beautiful.

 

If you don't want to splash out on dvds without knowing the ballets you can subscribe to Marquee TV or the new ROH streaming service.  The latter you can have for a 2 weeks trial before any money is taken out of your account so plenty of time to see if its for you. I think you can browse both services before purchasing so you can see what they have before committing yourself. Finally, YouTube is a great source for getting a taste of a ballet before committing yourself to purchase.

 

Good luck and happy discovering!

 

 

Thank you for your recommendations, jmhopton!

 

I admit I'm prone to watch more modern/contemporary ballets, but I'm glad I can discuss the ballet works we mutually watched. I'd like to let you know English is not my first language, so if you find any ambiguous expressions of mine, feel free to check with me.

 

Yes, I watched Christopher Wheeldon's Winter's Tale. I don't think I particularly like his choreographic body movements, but I really love the ideas of scenography in his ballets. Both Wheeldon's Cinderella and Alice are like fairy tales, and I was really amazed by his understanding of theatre itself. I think Winter's Tale was a bit lack of innovative ideas unlike his two other ballets, but I'll definitely check if he creates any new full-length ballet.

 

The very first Cranko's ballet I watched was The Taming of the Shrew. I thought it was funny, but at the same time, I felt uncomfortable as a woman. You know the story. Obviously, The Taming of the Shrew is not my favorite of Shakespeare's works. The third Cranko's ballet I watched was Pineapple Poll, and yes, I had to admit I liked his sense of humor. (The second was Romeo and Juliet, but I prefer Leonid Lavrovsky's.) So when I first watched Cranko's Onegin, it really surprised me! Unlike the Taming of the Shrew and Pineapple Poll, there was no humor, but It was a serious, dramatic ballet and all scenes were beautifully choreographed. I was so into it, and I also looked up if there were any contemporary versions of Onegin. I found two -- the first one was John Neumeier's Tatijana and the second one was Boris Eifman's Onegin. If you haven't watched Boris Eifman's version, I highly recommend it. This one can be only enjoyed by the people who already fell in love with Cranko's Onegin. Neumeier's Tatijana was not bad, but not fabulous either, though there are some good parts.

 

I think I prefer MacMillan's short ballets, like Elite Syncopation or the Song of the Earth, while my favorite remains as The Judas Tree so far. I specifically loved the idea of using a chalk to trace the dead body in The Judas Tree. It reminded me of the movie Dogville somehow. I watched Monon with the castings of Misty Copland and Roberto Bolle in New York. I remember it only because it was the farewell performance of Bolle in American Ballet Theatre, but I think the work was not my taste. (I don't quite remember it) I don't mind retrying to watch RB's Manon and Meyerling, and hope I become to like those this time.

 

I'm happy to tell you I own the DVD of Kirov's Le Corsaire! Altynai Asylmuratova as Medora showed one of the most beautiful port de bras I've ever watched, and Ruzimatov's Ali was marvelous. (Although my favorite Ruzimatov's role is Prince Désiré, I still love his Ali.) I also watched Maria Khoreva and Kimin Kim's Le Corsaire in D.C. when Mariinsky Ballet annually visited the Kennedy Center. (Good days have gone and all Russian ballet companies cancelled their US tour schedule.) I also watched Victoriya Tereshkina and Kimin Kim's La Bayadère as a live performance, and also watched Vladimir Shklyrov and Tereshkina's version via online streaming. Both were revised by Vladimir Ponomarev. I watched Natalia Makarova's La Bayadère with America Ballet Theatre production, and I think the Royal Ballet perform Natalia Makarova's as well. It's funny those two versions of La Bayadère have totally opposite ending. I'll check the La Bayadère performed by Osipova, thank you!

 

Oh, and I watched Jean-Christophe Maillot's Taming of the Shrew as well. Maybe I have watched all of Maillot's works if they ever streamed online or published as DVDs. I used to love his works. He created unique characters in his ballets -- mature Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, dominatrix fairy godmother, bare foot Cinderella and foot-fetish pervert Prince in Cinderella, brave Princess Aurora who fights against Caraboss for abused Prince Désiré in Sleeping Beauty. Well, since Maillot's Aurora doesn't sleep, Maillot named this ballet as The Beauty (La Belle), but anyway. So when I first watched his Taming of the Shrew, I expected a more twisted libretto, like a gender-switched version or the shrew kicking the rude husband's butt. None of them happened, and I was very, very disappointed. The most recent Maillot's work I watched was Coppél-i.A., Maillot's SF version of Coppélia, and I didn't like it either. If someone is looking for SF Coppélia, I would definitely recommend Eduardo Lao's version instead of Maillot's. To be honest, I want to watch more of his own ballets rather than twisted fairy tales. One of his works, Choré, was partially amazing, but not good enough as a full-length ballet. I thought he could do better, and I'm still waiting for his new ballets.

 

I haven't watched La Fille mal gardée yet! It was always on my list, but got pushed back somehow. Now it's the time to watch it.

 

For Don Quixote, yes, I watched Osipova and Vasiliev's (choreographed by Alexey Fadeyechev), though my favorite version is Mikhail Baryshnikov's. (He performed Basil with his own choreography) I feel bad American Ballet Theatre doesn't perform Misha's version anymore (now they perform Alexander Gorsky's) but I do understand it because there's no young Baryshnikov in the ballet world anymore. I don't think anybody can perform the famous drinking scene as he did.

 

I used to subscribe all Marquee TV, Stringray Classica, Medici TV, and Broadway HD, but now I only subscribe them when I feel like it since I watched most of the ballet videos in those platforms. When they stream the new ballets, I always get back my subscriptions. I also borrow the ballet DVD's from my local library, but thank you for your kind suggestion!

Edited by Jenn
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37 minutes ago, Jenn said:

 

Thank you for your recommendations, jmhopton!

 

I admit I'm prone to watch more modern/contemporary ballets, but I'm glad I can discuss the ballet works we mutually watched. I'd like to let you know English is not my first language, so if you find any ambiguous expressions of mine, feel free to check with me.

 

Yes, I watched Christopher Wheeldon's Winter's Tale. I don't think I particularly like his choreographic body movements, but I really love the ideas of scenography in his ballets. Both Wheeldon's Cinderella and Alice are like fairy tales, and I was really amazed by his understanding of theatre itself. I think Winter's Tale was a bit lack of innovative ideas unlike his two other ballets, but I'll definitely check if he creates any new full-length ballet.

 

The very first Cranko's ballet I watched was The Taming of the Shrew. I thought it was funny, but at the same time, I felt uncomfortable as a woman. You know the story. Obviously, The Taming of the Shrew is not my favorite of Shakespeare's works. The third Cranko's ballet I watched was Pineapple Poll, and yes, I had to admit I liked his sense of humor. (The second was Romeo and Juliet, but I prefer Leonid Lavrovsky's.) So when I first watched Cranko's Onegin, it really surprised me! Unlike the Taming of the Shrew and Pineapple Poll, there was no humor, but It was a serious, dramatic ballet and all scenes were beautifully choreographed. I was so into it, and I also looked up if there were any contemporary versions of Onegin. I found two -- the first one was John Neumeier's Tatijana and the second one was Boris Eifman's Onegin. If you haven't watched Boris Eifman's version, I highly recommend it. This one can be only enjoyed by the people who already fell in love with Cranko's Onegin. Neumeier's Tatijana was not bad, but not fabulous either, though there are some good parts.

 

I think I prefer MacMillan's short ballets, like Elite Syncopation or the Song of the Earth, while my favorite remains as The Judas Tree so far. I specifically loved the idea of using a chalk to trace the dead body in The Judas Tree. It reminded me of the movie Dogville somehow. I watched Monon with the castings of Misty Copland and Roberto Bolle in New York. I remember it only because it was the farewell performance of Bolle in American Ballet Theatre, but I think the work was not my taste. (I don't quite remember it) I don't mind retrying to watch RB's Manon and Meyerling, and hope I become to like those this time.

 

I'm happy to tell you I own the DVD of Kirov's Le Corsaire! Altynai Asylmuratova as Medora showed one of the most beautiful port de bras I've ever watched, and Ruzimatov's Ali was marvelous. (Although my favorite Ruzimatov's role is Prince Désiré, I still love his Ali.) I also watched Maria Khoreva and Kimin Kim's Le Corsaire in D.C. when Mariinsky Ballet annually visited the Kennedy Center. (Good days have gone and all Russian ballet companies cancelled their US tour schedule.) I also watched Victoriya Tereshkina and Kimin Kim's La Bayadère as a live performance, and also watched Vladimir Shklyrov and Tereshkina's version via online streaming. Both were revised by Vladimir Ponomarev. I watched Natalia Makarova's La Bayadère with America Ballet Theatre production, and I think the Royal Ballet perform Natalia Makarova's as well. It's funny those two versions of La Bayadère have totally opposite ending. I'll check the La Bayadère performed by Osipova, thank you!

 

Oh, and I watched Jean-Christophe Maillot's Taming of the Shrew as well. Maybe I have watched all of Maillot's works if they ever streamed online or published as DVDs. I used to love his works. He created unique characters in his ballets -- mature Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, dominatrix fairy godmother, bare foot Cinderella and foot-fetish pervert Prince in Cinderella, brave Princess Aurora who fights against Caraboss for abused Prince Désiré in Sleeping Beauty. Well, since Maillot's Aurora doesn't sleep, Maillot named this ballet as The Beauty (La Belle), but anyway. So when I first watched his Taming of the Shrew, I expected a more twisted libretto, like a gender-switched version or the shrew kicking the rude husband's butt. None of them happened, and I was very, very disappointed. The most recent Maillot's work I watched was Coppél-i.A., Maillot's SF version of Coppélia, and I didn't like it either. If someone is looking for SF Coppélia, I would definitely recommend Eduardo Lao's version instead of Maillot's. To be honest, I want to watch more of his own ballets rather than twisted fairy tales. One of his works, Choré, was partially amazing, but not good enough as a full-length ballet. I thought he could do better, and I'm still waiting for his new ballets.

 

I haven't watched La Fille mal gardée yet! It was always on my list, but got pushed back somehow. Now it's the time to watch it.

 

For Don Quixote, yes, I watched Osipova and Vasiliev's (choreographed by Alexey Fadeyechev), though my favorite version is Mikhail Baryshnikov's. (He performed Basil with his own choreography) I feel bad American Ballet Theatre doesn't perform Misha's version anymore (now they perform Alexander Gorsky's) but I do understand it because there's no young Baryshnikov in the ballet world anymore. I don't think anybody can perform the famous drinking scene as he did.

 

I used to subscribe all Marquee TV, Stringray Classica, Medici TV, and Broadway HD, but now I only subscribe them when I feel like it since I watched most of the ballet videos in those platforms. When they stream the new ballets, I always get back my subscriptions. I also borrow the ballet DVD's from my local library, but thank you for your kind suggestion!

 

+ Oops, I forgot to mention about Two Pigeons and The Dream. I watched them both and liked them all. Two Pigeons was so cute and I wish I can watch it as a live performance one day. I first watched George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, then I watched Ashton's The Dream. Balanchine's version was beautiful but I thought it didn't have to be that long. I do prefer Ashton's. My favorite is Neumeier's A Midsummer Night's Dream among Shakespeare based ones, it has very acrobatic choreography in the fairy realm scenes. I think it's worth to give a try if you haven't watched it yet. Neumeier also changed the libretto a bit.

Edited by Jenn
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Just now, Sim said:

Hi Jenn, and welcome to the forum.  If you liked Ashton’s Two Pigeons and The Dream, it’s definitely time for you to watch Fille!  

 

I can't wait to watch it! Thank you!!

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Antony Tudor - the English choreographer who rivalled Ashton before the war, when he was a leading choreographer for Rambert, but went to America at the outbreak of World War II and forged a second career with ABT.  He is sadly neglected in his native land.

 

Lilac Garden is a very subtle ballet set to Chausson's ravishing Poeme for violin and orchestra, dating from his English period.  There is a commercial video by ABT; but you can find a complete performance on you tube by the National Ballet of Cuba and about half of the ballet from The Royal Ballet in 2000 with Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Cope.  Check on the story, before you watch it.

 

The Leaves are Fading is a beautiful ballet from his American period, set to melodious Dvorak chamber works.  I am not aware of a complete commercial recording, but I recommend a beautiful performance on you tube of one of the pas de deux from the 1990s by Altynai Asylmuratova and her husband Konstantin Zaklinsky, at a time when the Mariinsky began to explore western choreographers.  It gives a taste of the fragile lyricism of this ballet.

Edited by li tai po
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Russell Maliphant, a choreographer who has his own small company, is a favourite of mine.  His choreography is inspired by capoeira and is very fluent and (to me) memerising.  He collaborates closely with lighting designers and composers to create short works that are a marvel of integrated artistry (again to me).  Worth seeking him out especially now it would seem that the Arts' Council no longer offers funding.

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On 07/11/2022 at 07:49, li tai po said:

Antony Tudor - the English choreographer who rivalled Ashton before the war, when he was a leading choreographer for Rambert, but went to America at the outbreak of World War II and forged a second career with ABT.  He is sadly neglected in his native land.

 

Lilac Garden is a very subtle ballet set to Chausson's ravishing Poeme for violin and orchestra, dating from his English period.  There is a commercial video by ABT; but you can find a complete performance on you tube by the National Ballet of Cuba and about half of the ballet from The Royal Ballet in 2000 with Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Cope.  Check on the story, before you watch it.

 

The Leaves are Fading is a beautiful ballet from his American period, set to melodious Dvorak chamber works.  I am not aware of a complete commercial recording, but I recommend a beautiful performance on you tube of one of the pas de deux from the 1990s by Altynai Asylmuratova and her husband Konstantin Zaklinsky, at a time when the Mariinsky began to explore western choreographers.  It gives a taste of the fragile lyricism of this ballet.

 

Thank you for telling me the behind story of Anthony Tudor! I have watched his works several times but I haven't known that he used to work at Rambert. I watched Lilac Garden performed by New York Theatre Ballet and I loved it. I also watched Tudor's Pillar of Fire, Dark Elegies, and Judgement of Paris but haven't watched The Leaves are Fading. Thank you again for letting me know his new work and I'll def check it.

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On 07/11/2022 at 11:01, AnneMarriott said:

Russell Maliphant, a choreographer who has his own small company, is a favourite of mine.  His choreography is inspired by capoeira and is very fluent and (to me) memerising.  He collaborates closely with lighting designers and composers to create short works that are a marvel of integrated artistry (again to me).  Worth seeking him out especially now it would seem that the Arts' Council no longer offers funding.

 

I never heard of Russell Maliphant! I'm so glad a new choreographer was finally introduce. Thank you so much and I already found some of his works in youtube. I'll watch them this weekend!!

Edited by Jenn
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On 07/11/2022 at 11:55, zxDaveM said:

Balanchine - any of his 'blue back drop' abstract works (Symphony in C, Serenade, Apollo, etc), and Jewels

 

Ohhh I watched them all but I haven't known those works were called as 'blue back drop.' I currently live in New York City so thankfully I could watch the most of Balanchine's works lively performed by New York City Ballet. New York City Center used to invite European ballet dancers for Balanchine festival annually before COVID, but I'm not sure if they do it anymore. I was always thrilled when Balanchine's works performed by European ballet companies/dancers, because it felt so different even though they performed the exact same pieces as New York City Ballet dancers did. I love them all. My favorite Balanchine's work is Garland Waltz in Sleeping Beauty (all other parts are choreographed by Peter Martins). I wish New York City Ballet records more videos of George Balanchine's works. (And stop recording his Nutcracker! I still love it but I've watched enough...)

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10 hours ago, Jenn said:

 

Ohhh I watched them all but I haven't known those works were called as 'blue back drop.' I currently live in New York City so thankfully I could watch the most of Balanchine's works lively performed by New York City Ballet.

 

ha! - that's just my made-up shortcut name for them, it's not an actual 'thing' 🙂

But as you're in NYC - go see (I'm jealous!)

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I am jealous too.  We see NYCB in London once in a generation.  During lockdown, we had a feast of NYCB performances online and I became acquainted with more repertoire and an entirely new generation of wonderful dancers.  Vienna Waltzes is not allowed to be performed by any other company and it was a joy to see a complete performance in good quality.

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