“Honestly, I just can’t stand seeing productions of the classics any more, because I know how far it is from Petipa’s intentions,” Alexei Ratmansky told me a few months back, when we began discussing preparations for his new Sleeping Beauty, based largely on his interpretation of historical sources. He said many other things too. You’ll find them here, in this extensive q&a.
The Yale departments of drama and music and “Yale in New York” teamed up for a performance of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat at Zankel Hall, a bitter story that perfectly captures the hopelessness felt in Europe after the end of the First World War. Stravinsky was eking out a meager existence at the time (1918), separated from his former life and his bank accounts by war and revolution. He turned to a format he know from his childhood, the fairground theatrical, creating a lean, acidic little story. What’s surprising is how timely it still feels. The Yale players performed it well; the new choreography, by Emily Coates, was well-suited to the tale, and the young actors flung themselves into the tricky, folk-inflected steps. You can read my review for DanceTabs here.
American Ballet Theatre announced today that for it’s seventy-fifth anniversary season (in 2015) the company will unveil a new staging of Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, with designs by Richard Hudson inspired by the Léon Bakst designs for the Ballets Russes. It will replace the recent Gelsey Kirlkand staging, which was marred by a frankly ghastly sorbet-colored palette and languid pacing. Hudson did the Beidermeier-inspired sets and costumes for Ratmansky’s Nutcracker as well as those for the Royal Danish Ballet’s recent La Bayadère (set in colonial India).