During Arpino’s lifetime, his work was dismissed as facile. The Joffrey had a populist streak, and Arpino was not above exploiting his dancers’ sensuality and their twice-underscored technical prowess. The chest-clawing and final spasm of a pas de deux like “Light Rain” left little to the imagination; while the improvised title of a romp like “Fanfarita” says it all. In Balanchine’s work, virtuosity is always tempered by considerations of style; but an Arpino ballet shoots adrenalin directly into the vein.
Still, it’s well worth taking another look at ARB’s revival of his 1970 “Confetti.” For though he was American-born—a strike against him in ballet’s snobbish, Eurocentric world—Arpino was also that rare thing, a master of the classical vocabulary.
Tuesday, May 22
Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:28 AM
Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:35 AM
Millepied is a warmly accommodating interview, just not chatty. He's protective. No questions about his private life, he warns, even though his personal and artistic lives are still mixed together. Portman was the honorary chair of New York City Ballet's May 10 spring gala performance, at which Millepied premiered his fourth work for the company.
He reads inferences into questions that were never intended. Asked what makes his style unique, for instance, he begins by talking about the attributes of the ballets by Britain's Christopher Wheeldon and Russian Alexei Ratmansky. They are the other internationally prominent dance makers to whom Millepied is most often compared -- and not always favorably. But then, Millepied, 34, has risen quickly, and sniping is to be expected.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:46 AM
As the Sylph, Alina Cojocaru is in her natural territory. Her dancing is translucent, butterfly-fast, as she flutters in and out of James's mesmerised reach; her reading of the Sylph's character is pitch-perfect. Cojocaru is always an eloquent actor, emotions welling up from deep inside her body. But as the inhuman Sylph, she's all pure, thoughtless reaction: delight, sorrow and confusion flitting across the dazzled surface of her face. She manages to give us a character who is both ineffably touching and yet has no heart.
The evening opened with Balanchine’s Ballo Della Regina, a sea-flavoured morsel to Verdi’s ballet music for Don Carlos. It isn’t a major piece, but it is a glory, full of surprising footwork, quicksilver jumps and filigree arms. Marianela Nuñez illuminated the stage with the sheer precision and infectious joy of her dancing; Nehemiah Kish reached the ceiling in broad, generous leaps; the soloists shone. It was a pleasure.
The Royal Ballet’s latest double bill pairs George Balanchine’s Ballo Della Regina from the 1970s with the early 19th century La Sylphide by August Bournonville. Together they provide very considerable value to audiences - the Balanchine is a sparkling display of virtuoso dancing while Bournonville’s La Sylphide offers both dancing and drama in the form of the story of the luckless James who chases after an imaginary women rather than settle for a more ordinary flesh and blood girl.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:51 AM
But it is the piece itself where the trouble lies. It has no real impetus, no forward motion driven by the music. A ballet number from the opera Don Carlos, it stops and starts in for a drama that no longer takes place; it rises to a climax, hails a procession that does not materialise; the brass bombast must sound wonderful accompanied by opera staging, but when wisps of dancers skim the stage, it seems foolishly overblown. All credit, therefore, to everyone on stage for making the action seem more purposeful than it is.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:36 AM
The Brisbane Times
The music is cherry-picked from a selection of other works including familiar pieces like Pachelbel's Canon in D Major, as well as the less familiar but no less excellent excerpts from Minkus' original Don Quixote score, and some of Dvořák's finer movements.
Klaus's version focuses on the character of Don Quixote far more than the traditional tale, but most of the spectacular dancing is seen in the performances of Hao Bin as Basilio and Clare Morehen as Kitri. Hao has an expert technique with effortless jumps and thrilling turns, a joy to watch in performance. Morehen is adept technically but doesn't manage to dazzle as Kitri and lacks vivaciousness on stage, her dancing too safe and quiet for this role.
With the recent retirement of Christian Tatchev, today's Queensland Ballet senior male ranks are much younger, and Klaus has taken the bold step of casting a junior member, Blair Wood, in the dual role of the Don, and the performer playing him in a film of the traditional ballet.
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