Ballet

SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY JOINS THE MARDI GRAS PARADE

Sydney Dance Company is thrilled to be participating in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade for the first time on Saturday 2nd March.

Sydney Dance Company’s float, Turning 50, in honour of the Company’s 50th anniversary in 2019, features a high energy, tightly rehearsed dance routine with 80 members of Sydney Dance Company’s community, led by Dance Class Manager Ramon Doringo.

Ramon will lead the synchronised marching troupe from the back of a golden Sydney Dance Company Studio float, complete with ballet bar, mirrors and performing drag divas.

Participants will wear gold costumes designed by Aleisa Jelbart that reference our golden 50th anniversary and will be an explosion of gold glitter pom poms and retro styled dance wear as the troupe perform down Oxford Street to the disco beats of DJ Sveta. Continue reading SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY JOINS THE MARDI GRAS PARADE

THE NUTCRACKER AND I : A SUBLIME AND ENCHANTING EXPERIENCE

 

The Nutcracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu, with ballerina Désirée Ballantyne, animations by Yeast Culture, and choreography by Jenna Lee. Photo by Mark Allen

Blending a piano rendition of Tchaikovky’s romantic melodies with 35,000 digital images and a live ballerina THE NUTCRACKER AND I produces a purely enjoyable and magical creation. Having both a world renowned concert pianist and ballerina performing against constantly changing colourful backgrounds and characters is a sublime and enchanting experience.

The production of THE NUTCRACKER AND I is quite beautiful but an unusual format. Images are projected onto a see-through black gauze screen at the front of the stage. Pianist Alexandra Dariescu and ballerina Désirée Ballantyne are illuminated behind the screen. The images tell the classical Nutcracker story. Snow is falling as the Silberhaus family decorates their Christmas tree. The magician and toymaker Drosselmeyer arrives. Presents are exchanged including a nutcracker. Clara’s dream that night includes the nutcracker fighting with the Mouse King before being transformed into a prince. The familiar story continues with matching images, both static and dynamic, on screen.                                               Continue reading THE NUTCRACKER AND I : A SUBLIME AND ENCHANTING EXPERIENCE

DON QUIXOTE FOR CONCOURSE: AUDITIONING FOR YOUTH DANCERS

This image: Michael Braun with Rebekah Petty Act 3 – Kitri & Basilios Wedding VSB’s Don Quixote pic Michael Lean
Featured image: Don Quixote VSB photo by Michael Lean

DON QUIXOTE  is a spectacular festive and flamboyant ballet from the Victorian State Ballet.  VSB are seeking 28 male and female young dancers aged 10 to 17, to play gypsy dancers, towns children and on pointe dancers for the Dryad scene.

The story is retold through excellent  staging, mime, superb classical ballet skill and choreography, which honours the spirit of this great classical work. A cast of internationally recognized artists will bring to The Concourse the highly skilled ballet technique of original choreography by Petipa, which will be re-staged by the company’s director Michelle Sierra.  Continue reading DON QUIXOTE FOR CONCOURSE: AUDITIONING FOR YOUTH DANCERS

PARIS OPERA BALLET : A TRIBUTE TO JEROME ROBBINS

American master choreographer Jerome Robbins considered the Paris Opera Ballet as his second home after the New York City Ballet.

This production in his honour, to mark the centenary of his birth, brings together four works displaying his incredible range and versatility. All pieces are accompanied live by the splendid orchestra of the Paris Opera, meticulously and enthusiastically conducted by Valery Ovsyanikov.

Fancy Free opens the program .It inspired the musical On The Town. Nowadays it could possibly be regarded as quite dated and sexist, but the choreography is terrific.

The simple plot revolves around three boisterous sailors on 24-hour leave in New York City during the Second World War. They get drunk and try to chat up women. The French dancers , who are also splendid actors ,have a wonderful time with the jazz like moves and showy choreography which in some ways is reminiscent of Broadway /Hollywood musicals of the era. Those familiar with Robbin’s work will note the athletic and travelling steps already visible in this rather early work which is trademark ‘Robbins‘ , hinting at works such as West Side Story. Continue reading PARIS OPERA BALLET : A TRIBUTE TO JEROME ROBBINS

DARCEY BUSSELL EVOLVED

Released to tie in with her 50th birthday ( but a little early really as it is not until April next year ) this is a large heavy coffee table book, lavishly, exquisitely illustrated which follows the life of prima ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell from her student days at White Lodge through to now, where among other things she is a judge on Strictly Come Dancing and hosts the ROH Live screenings. Bussell officially retired from performing in 2007 but is busy with numerous other projects . DARCEY BUSSELL EVOLVED has a forward by Jasper Conran and an introduction by Bussell herself. There is a list of photo credits at the back but no index.

A visual biography in some ways, we see stunning photo spreads of various posters and advertising campaigns she has been involved with as well as rehearsal and performance photographs and learn some of her backstory. Some of the photos are intimate and revealing rehearsal shots,  some of the wonderful studio shots are fluid , flowing and sculptural almost taking flight .

By the age of five Bussell was taking dancing lessons. She enrolled at the Royal Ballet Lower School at the age of 13. She joined the then Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet at 18 (now Birmingham Royal Ballet) and became the youngest principal dancer in the Royal Ballet two years later. Continue reading DARCEY BUSSELL EVOLVED

LA BAYADERE STARRING STEVEN McRAE FROM ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LIVE. GIVEAWAY

The Royal Ballet production of La Bayadère.                                                                                                         Credit: Tristram Kenton / Royal Opera House / ArenaPAL

Set in India, Marius Petipa’s stunning ballet La Bayadère, starring Australian dancer Steven McRae, tells the story of a noble warrior betrothed to a princess but in love with a temple dancer. The famous moonlit ‘white act’ – the Kingdom of the Shades – is a corps de ballet highlight as multiple images of the prince’s lost love haunt his mind.

The choreography allows two opposing ballerinas to shine, while a
bronze idol comes vividly to life in a stunning solo. Throughout, the melody and moods of Minkus’s music perfectly match the fluidity
and precision of the classical choreography and the drama of the storytelling. Continue reading LA BAYADERE STARRING STEVEN McRAE FROM ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LIVE. GIVEAWAY

BALLET: THE DEFINITIVE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY – MARVELLOUS

BALLET: THE DEFINITIVE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY. This marvellous book is a rather large and heavy coffee table/reference book that dance lovers will pounce on with delight.

With ballet legend Viviana Durante as Editorial Consultant , the book is divided chronologically into six sections, from the earliest historical performances through to current ones .It is clearly , simply and elegantly presented and lavishly illustrated. We are taken through the history of ballet from the earliest performances (Ballet Comique de la Reine etc ) right through to now with the latest cutting edge works of Christopher Wheeldon and others.It has an international coverage but concentrates on Europe and America.     Continue reading BALLET: THE DEFINITIVE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY – MARVELLOUS

SWAN LAKE ON ICE @ THE CAPITOL THEATRE

 

When an irresistible force converges with its irrepressible match, heaven and earth meet.

Cross classical ballet with figure skating on ice and you get a tantalizing blend. Add some of the most accomplished performers in this seductive genre, and the result is shameless delight.

Swan Lake on Ice, performed on Wednesday 25th July by the Imperial Ice Stars at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, showcased the innovative choreography of Tony Mercer. In the course of developing the company, the Imperial Ice Stars, Mercer had assembled a first class creative team for each production, from such eminent athletes as dual Olympic figure skating gold medallist and four-time World Champion Evgeny Platov, quadruple Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Alexei Nemov, and former ice dancing pairs World Champions Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski. Continue reading SWAN LAKE ON ICE @ THE CAPITOL THEATRE

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LIVE: SWAN LAKE – A GLORIOUS NEW PRODUCTION

This is a glorious new production, the first new version of SWAN LAKE for 30 years for the Royal Ballet, replacing the 1987 Antony Dowell/ Yolanda Sonnabend production.  It is visually spectacular and magnificently danced – an enthralling, gripping production by Liam Scarlett that transfers wonderfully from stage to screen .

The Royal Ballet’s new production sticks to the traditional story of this much loved ballet classic with its central themes of love and betrayal: of Prince Siegfried falling in love with Odette, a Princess transformed into a swan by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart, before being tricked into swearing to marry Rothbart’s daughter, Odile.

Like most productions today, it also reverentially references the Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s 1895 version.  But that 1895 version has been reworked and reconstructed in many different ways, so much so that any idea of complete authenticity to the ‘original’ are  rather immaterial. The expected ‘set pieces’ ( eg the Black Swan pas de deux) have been retained. Here, the lakeside Act 2 has mostly been left untouched, while Acts I and IV have been deftly reworked with a new waltz for Act 1 and three new national dances in Act 3 where Ashton’s Neapolitan dance has been kept.  Continue reading ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LIVE: SWAN LAKE – A GLORIOUS NEW PRODUCTION

LA SCALA – BALLET LE CORSAIRE: THRILLINGLY TRADITIONAL

For I am a Pirate King! 
Hurrah for our Pirate King! 
And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be a Pirate King. 

Sorry , but I just had to start with the above from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. Conrad our hero is a pirate and at times you could just imagine him and his band of followers singing this .

This is La Scala’s first staging of LE CORSAIR since the 19th century, where Giovanni Galzerani’s production was presented on the Piermarini stage in 1826, and Domenico Ronzani’s in 1857. Based on ‘The Corsair‘ by Lord Byron, the narrative follows a dashingly handsome pirate, Conrad (Timofej Andrijashenko), as he journeys across the high seas to save his love, the beautiful harem slave Medora (Nicoletta Manni).The work is packed with passion, action and romance. The antiquated ballet LE CORSAIR has an absolutely ridiculous plot but is a fabulous example of nineteenth century Russian ballet glitz and glamour, an excuse to showcase bravura spectacular dancing , and the dancing in this production is absolutely incredible , totally jaw dropping at times . Continue reading LA SCALA – BALLET LE CORSAIRE: THRILLINGLY TRADITIONAL

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LIVE CINEMA SEASON

Royal Opera House 2017/18 Live Cinema Season begins in February with RIGOLETTO.

Featuring filmed performances from the world-renowned Royal Opera House in London, the program presents the very best opera and ballet from the iconic venue, captured in jaw-dropping detail for Australian audiences to enjoy as if they were there themselves. Continue reading ROYAL OPERA HOUSE LIVE CINEMA SEASON