“This is where I want to go,” he explains. “By the end of 2020, wouldn’t it be fantastic if every full-length ballet we presented was new in the past 10 years. I think we shouldn’t be afraid of that. Before, people were very nervous of taking the risk. I think it is worth taking the risk, and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.”
This courage springs from his sense that dancers need to make new work — and audiences need to see it. It is his answer to the perennial problem of keeping ballet, an art form freighted with history, alive in the 21st century. “It is exciting to come to the theatre and not know what you are going to see,” he says.
Wednesday, March 13
Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:31 AM
Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:33 AM
Steven McRae, the flame-haired dancer from Sydney and Principal with The Royal Ballet, is currently performing in one of a three-piece spectacle at Covent Garden. McRae, the dancer with a penchant for drag racing, features in the new work 24 Preludes by Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. Critics have praised McRae’s performance and at last Saturday’s matinee it prompted some of the loudest applause.
Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:36 AM
His new ballet, The Winter’s Tale, will be one of the highlights of the 2013-14 season announced at the Royal Opera House today. And again Wheeldon is turning to composer Joby Talbot and designer Bob Crowley to help him realise his Shakespeare adaptation, which opens next April.
The Evening Standard
A star-studded line-up across music and dance will see Acosta choreograph Covent Garden’s first home-grown version of the classic ballet Don Quixote. The Cuban star will dance the lead role of Basilio in some performances when it opens in September.
Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:39 AM
You might consider this a fundamental duty, but, alas, it is one nowadays not always honoured. With Ratmansky, even in the work for the corps de ballet, there’s none of the paint-by-numbers, filler-style choreography too often found in big, traditional story ballets. Whether it’s a ravishing romantic pas de deux full of soaring lifts or a geometrically complex ensemble number with dancers heading every which way in brilliantly resolving patterns, Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet is a choreographic delight, rich in detail, subtle in its musicality and always dramatically expressive.
Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:44 AM
The Royal Ballet's Artist in Residence, Liam Scarlett, began the task of choreographing his next work in front of an audience at the Royal Opera House's first Big Question evening, which discussed whether opera and ballet are elitist art forms.
Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:47 AM
Ballet is also a source of passion and pride among ordinary Russians. According to Xander Parish, the young British dancer who made history by joining the Mariinsky three years ago, "there are posters for ballet performances all around St Petersburg, and ballet documentaries are always being shown on TV. In the theatre, I see people who look as though they don't know where their next meal is coming from. But there's an expression on their faces, an intensity that I don't think I ever saw at Covent Garden."
Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:49 AM
Saturday evening opened with Mendelssohn's lush Scottish Symphony to which Balanchine created an entertaining pastiche of Romantic ballet and Scottish reeling with a hint of Ziegfeld Follies. Maria Kochetkova was a radiant sylph, and Joan Boada the ardent admirer of her sparkling footwork. He steadfastly ignored rebuffs by Kochetkova's stern-faced clansmen, who apparently disapproved of the color of his tartan. The real stars of Scotch Symphony however are the corps men, dashing in their kilts, and the ladies (led by the delightful, fleet-footed Courtney Elizabeth) who tore up the stage with their lightning-speed jetés battus, cabrioles, brisés, and skidding ballonnés.
Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:59 AM
The opening ballet, a pink confection to Faure, was charming, and he used the stage well. There were four women and three men, and the odd-woman-out scenario made for an interesting off-balance symmetry. Likolani Brown as the woman on her own danced an opening solo which used her expansive line well. The second work, "Gershwin Preludes", was a pas de deux danced by APT's Luciana Paris and Stephen Hanna, formerly with NYCB. There was a slight Twenties feel in the little jazzy accents. There was also a real connection between the dancers; the adagio was a dance and not an excuse to pretend that the female is a pretzel.
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