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Les étoiles de la danse

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Hi all, new member, first post.

La Scala will be performing in Brussels 23rd-26th november with a show called "Les étoiles de la danse".

Now, having already searched the site for info and finding nothing (except for the weird fact that you have to register in order to use the search functionality) I'll ask about it here.

(The forum said "Galas" so I hope it's in the right place)

Thing is, I've never been to a ballet.

I've been planning to though, for like the past 15 years or something, but seeing as I've hit 30 now it's time to get sophisticated and cultivated (either that or a Porche and a 18-year-old blond girlfriend).

There are however not many ballets in Brussels, we don't have a company as far as I know.

So now I see this gala coming up, and there's still tickets (albeit expensive) and I'm thinking, why not?

So can anyone tell me if this might be a good ballet to go see?

The search found some posts regaring La Scala from 2005 saying that they weren't really that good.

Also, if I'm reading the info right (can be found on www.ballets.be) it says there will be pieces from 16 different coreographies. At one night? Is that 16*10min?

Anyone seen La Scala perform recently?

And do you like these "show-off"-ish galas or recommend holding out for a full performance?

Because I guess I do have the alternative to hop on the TGV and see the POB. That would require some planning though and knowing me it won't happen.

Anyways, thoughts would be appreciated and best regards and such


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According to the website, the description of the gala is:

"From Marius Petipa to Jiri Kylian – from Balanchine to Rudolf Nureyev – from Kenneth Mac Millan to William Forsythe. These famous choreographers have left their mark on the most legendary stage of the world and will be remembered during the Brussels Dance Gala."

This means you will see a wide range of choreography, which is one great way to get an introduction to ballet. In a gala format, you know that if you don't like a particular style, it won't last very long, and if you do like something, you know what choreographers to watch for in the future when you do get on the TGV to see Paris Opera Ballet or take the train to Amsterdam to see the Dutch National Ballet.

The Monnaie Theater has concentrated on modern dance for many years now, so that travel and the occasional tour from a classical company are your options. Luckily you are in a transportation hub, as Brussels is so central to the Euopean Union, which means ready access to European cities where ballet is presented over an entire season. You could even venture to Germany, where there are a number of companies like Stuttgart, situated on the Rhine Line.

La Scala Ballet isn't one of the top tier companies, but they've had loyal guest stars for many years and the occasional world-class dancer. Carla Fracci no longer dances, but Alexandra Ferri has guested over the years, and Roberto Bolle is the company's bright young star now. Friedemann Vogel is guesting in the company's Nutcracker, and while I don't see any cast list for the gala, and it isn't guaranteed you'll see Bolle, you'll see a wide range of dance by professionals.

Plus, even if the tickets are a bit pricey, you save on the train fare.

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Thank you for your reply Helene.

I did a bit of digging and none of the names you mentioned are in the cast, unfortunatly.

The cast is:

Sabrina Brazzo

Gilda Gelati

Marta Romagna

Riccardo Massimi

Mick Zeni

Alessandro Grillo

Antonino Sutera

Deborah Gismondi

The pieces include:

The Cage - Jeremy Robbins

La Chauve-Souris - Roland Petit

Apollon Musagete - Balanchine

Casse-Noisette - Rudolf Nureyev

The River - Alvin Ailey

Le Corsair - Marius Petiba

Excelsior - Ugo dell'Ara

Giselle - Yvette Chauviré

Lots of new stuff for me, out of those I've only seen Le Corsair and Giselle. Though I understand that The Cage is (perhaps) Giselle? I might have seen Apollon Musagete, I saw a tape of "ABT does Balanchine" or some other name which included a piece from Apollo.

Anywho, it seems like a rather small cast and nowhere can I see a corps being mentioned, is it going to be only solos and pdds?

ugh, I'm feeling kinda cheap here but 175€ is alot to fork out when I have absolutely no idea what I'm getting. But it feels like I haven't done anything in a long time and I'm getting desperate!

Also angry with La Monnaie as usual, they're doing La Traviata in dec. which I have never seen and would like to see, but the whole "sung in Italian, subtitled in french/dutch"-part is not something I like when I see an opera for the first time.

I'm just gonna stop bothering you now.


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The dancers are good and honest professionals, but I wouldn’t spend more than 50 euros, to be really generous, to see that show. :(

175 euros is a crazy price, I think it could be better to save money to travel to Paris...

The Cage is a modern and quite intersting piece by Jerome Robbins.

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There is indeed a sort of link between "The Cage" and "Giselle" (in terms of plot), but as Geier wrote, "The Cage" is a modern work with a different style and also a very different music (Stravinsky instead of Adam).

I'm a bit puzzled about the "Giselle- Yvette Chauviré" bit: are there more details about it ? Chauviré was one of the great interprets of the role, but as far as I know she isn't a choreographer- so is it a video of her, or is she mentioned because she staged a pas de deux or coached the dancers ?

(By the way, trying to get some information about it, I came across two pages- one in the French wikipedia and one in MSN Encarta saying that Chauviré died in 1996. Well, I guess that then the people who saw her taking bows on stage at the end of the POB "Homage to Chauviré" program in 1998 saw a ghost ? )

dave23, yes indeed 175 euros is not a small price for a ballet ticket... Perhaps you could try to take tickets in a cheaper category so you'd have less regrets if the program isn't so interesting (but well, on the web site the cheapest category I see still cost 75,5 euros, and I don't know about the sight lines in that theater...)

As far as I know, there is no company in Brussels, but in Belgium there is the Royal Ballet of Flanders, perhaps you could try to see if they tour in your region and their tickets might be more affordable...

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I'm a bit puzzled about the "Giselle- Yvette Chauviré" bit: are there more details about it ? Chauviré was one of the great interprets of the role, but as far as I know she isn't a choreographer- so is it a video of her, or is she mentioned because she staged a pas de deux or coached the dancers ?

La Scala is dancing Chauviré version of Giselle, as you can see in their recent DVD.

It is difficult to say it without seeming indelicate, but, as Helene wrote “La Scala Ballet isn't one of the top tier companies” and the cast includes just first soloist and not the etoile (Alessandra Ferri, Roberto Bolle and Massimo Murru) and not only 175, but even 75,5 euros are a quite a lot of money. In my opinion, it is really difficult to understand how they can dare selling tickets at those prices especially for a gala like that: the higher price for Sleeping Beauty with London Royal Ballet is 87 pounds (130 euros, and you can have great dancers, including the magnificent Alina Cojocaru) and for the next mixed bill (with two world premieres and lots of principal dancers on stage) just 37,5 pounds (56 euros), you can have Coppelia or Don Quixote with Opera Paris and its etoiles for just 75 euros.

If you want to start with ballet and you are not ready to travel from the real beginning, maybe you can invest 175 euros in 6-7 good DVDs and find out which are your preferences.

I’ve seen La Scala ballet a few times and, with respect but also with honesty, I really don’t think that after the show you, Dave, could be happy to have spent 75-175 euros for that ticket… :(

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175 Euros? Yikes!!!!

You could use that to go to Paris, and being there is reason enough to take the train.

I would also go to the Traviata. It's hard to get away from supertitles (which I love, but understand not everyone does). I'm horrible with languages, but it was fun to try to make out 2% of the Catala titles to "Makropolous Affair" at the Liceu in Barcelona based on high school French from 35 years ago. The last opera house I was at that didn't have titles was the Bolshoi (or at least they didn't use them for Eugene Onegin).

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Thanks for all the replies!

Guess it's pretty much like I expected then, unfortunately.

I'll just stick to my DVDs for the time being then (which I had forgotten include on of La Scala - Giselle with Alessandra Ferri).

Funny thing this whole ballet-business, all my ballet-loving friends (well, both of them) say "just go see one" but it's not that easy, now is it?

And about the Giselle choregraphy, La Scalas homepage actually says:

"Choreography Jean Coralli - Jules Perrot"...


The program says Yvette Chauviré though.



It also says that La Scala are sending their Etoilés (Primi Ballerini)!!

Their homepage doesn't even mention this tour... Somthing's very strange about this show.

Anyway, looks like I'll be going to the opera instead, again. Seems to end up there every time I'm thinking about ballet...

Thanks again!

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