"Harlequinade" will play the Kennedy Center this week. Here are a few links to articles and reviews on danceviewtimes about the ballet that opened in New York last spring.
"Alexei Ratmansky's Harlequinade"
January 22, 2018
by Mary Cargill
City Center's Studio 5 presentations, like the Guggenheim's Works & Process series, offer glimpses into the creative process, but the City Center's are held in a working studio, with the audience forming a U-shape around the speakers, which gives a casual, immediate air to the presentations. The most recent featured the Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky and ABT Director Kevin McKenzie discussing the upcoming production of Ratmansky's reconstruction of Marius Petipa's 1900 two act comedy "Harlequinade",which was based on the traditional commedia dell'arte characters. It tells the story of Columbine, a young girl who defies her father's choice of a rich suitor in favor of a poor but charming young man, Harlequin, who in this case, happens to end up with money too.
Look Back in Joy
"Harlequinade" American Ballet Theatre
June 4, 2018 by Mary Cargill
"Harlequinade" is a cornucopia of dance styles, with extensive mime, broad physical comedy, folk dances, demi-caractère frolicking, and a radiant abstract ballet, another of Petipa's hymns to female beauty. The story is taken care of in Act I, with a wedding (always a good excuse for dancing) in Act II. James Whiteside, the rogue Harlequin with his iconic diamond patterned tights, was in love with Isabella Boylston's Columbine, who was guarded, completely ineptly by Thomas Forster's lazy Pierrot and helped by Gillian Murphy's Pierrette, Pierrot's sprightly wife.
Hop To It
"Harlequinade" June 5, 2018 by Mary Cargill
The Petipa/ Ratmansky soufflé "Harlequinade" has many ingredients, chief among them the older terre à terre style, with its sharp, fast footwork; making lace with their feet is a frequent description of those Imperial ballerinas. Columbine, the heroine of the comic ballet, has choreography packed with these terre à terre moves, as she hops almost continually -- slow hops, fast hops, backwards, forwards, in circles, even little jumps behind the back of the kneeling Harlequin. Those Imperial dancers had ankles of steel. Despite one slight slip, Sarah Lane, the second night Columbine, was a very fine lacemaker, especially in her second act solo where she had series of slow hops on point with rond de jambes, pausing for arabesques, as her upper body opened easily outward, signaling her complete happiness.
A New, Young Cast Delights in "Harlequinade"
June 4, 2018 by Gay Morris
American Ballet Theatre is offering four casts in eight performances of Alexei Ratmansky’s reconstruction of Marius Petipa’s “Harlequinade” this week at the Metropolitan Opera House. The cast I saw was particularly interesting because nearly all the major roles were taken by dancers from the company’s lower ranks. This gave them a chance to prove themselves, and they more than met the challenge. Harlequin was portrayed by corps de ballet member, Gabe Stone Shayer, while his love, Columbine was soloist Cassandra Trenary, and Pierrot was soloist Blaine Hoven. The only principal dancer in the cast was Christine Shevchenko as Pierrot’s wife, Pierrette.