Forward to Petipa

“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.

 

Alexei Ratmansky in Sleeping Beauty rehearsal.Photo by Rosalie O'Connor.
Alexei Ratmansky in Sleeping Beauty rehearsal.Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

Swans at the Met, Fairies at the Koch

 

Misty Copeland (Odette) and James Whiteside (Prince Siegfried) in Swan Lake.  Photo: Gene Schiavone.
Misty Copeland (Odette) and James Whiteside (Prince Siegfried) in Swan Lake. Photo: Gene Schiavone.

Misty Copeland had her long-awaited New York début in Swan Lake on June 24, with ABT. How did she do? Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.

And here’s my review of the Royal Ballet—visiting New York for the first time in 11 years— in a double-bill at the Koch. The two works were Ashton’s The Dream and Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth.

Marianela Nuñez and Nehemiah Kish in Song of the Earth. Photo by Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House
Marianela Nuñez and Nehemiah Kish in Song of the Earth. Photo by Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House

 

 

Chopin Dances

Yekaterina Kondaurova and Yevgeny Ivanchenko in Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, by Julieta Cervantes.
Yekaterina Kondaurova and Yevgeny Ivanchenko in Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, by Julieta Cervantes.

You can read my review of the Mariinsky’s all Chopin, all piano triple bill, for DanceTabs, here.

 

 

Ballet as Pop Art

Maria Alexandrova in Bolshoi Ballet's production of Don Quixote. Photo by Damir Yusupov.
Maria Alexandrova in Bolshoi Ballet’s production of Don Quixote. Photo by Damir Yusupov.

I think it’s safe to say that no-one dances Don Quixote like the Bolshoi. The ballet is shallow, it’s showy, but, particularly in the first act, its exuberance is a kind of paean to the art form itself, the joy of the stage, the stirring effect of dozens of bodies moving with the kind of amplitude and produced by years and years of training. Here’s my review of one of the Bolshoi casts, for DanceTabs.

Swan Problems

Svetlana Zakharova and DAvid Hallberg in hte Bolshoi's "Swan Lake." Photo by Stephanie Berger.
Svetlana Zakharova and DAvid Hallberg in hte Bolshoi’s “Swan Lake.” Photo by Stephanie Berger.

What is it with Swan Lake? There don’t see to be any good ones around. The Bolshoi’s version, currently being performed as part of the Lincoln Center Festival, is no exception. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs. And a short excerpt:

“What the company hasn’t brought this time around is any new choreography. It’s rather a disappointment. Instead, we get three of its most well-worn ballets – Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Spartacus. It is even more disappointing that the troupe should open its run with a Swan Lake so lackluster that it fails to improve upon the two sub-par Swan Lakes we see here regularly, at ABT and at New York City Ballet.”

 

Ballet Faceoff

Last week, ABT had company at Lincoln Center, with Boston Ballet celebrating its fiftieth season across the way at the former State Theatre. Their programs could not have been more different. ABT gave a week’s worth of performances of its tired production of Swan Lake; each year it becomes more clear that it is time for this un-enlightening staging to go. Because of a last minute casting change, I saw Hee Seo and Roberto Bolle in the leads, and reviewed them here.

Meanwhile, Boston Ballet offered eclectic mixed bills—very mixed. I reviewed the second, which included works by Balanchine—a very strong Symphony in Three Movements—and Jiri Kylian (the highly theatrical Bella Figura).

Kathleen Breen Combes in Symphony in Three Movements. Photo by Gene Schiavone.
Kathleen Breen Combes of Boston Ballet in Symphony in Three Movements. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

 

Aléxandre Hammoudi as the Purple Seducer (aka Von Rothbart) in ABT's Swan Lake. Photo by Gene Schiavone.
Aléxandre Hammoudi as the Purple Seducer (aka Von Rothbart) in ABT’s Swan Lake. Photo by Gene Schiavone.