Populist Eifman Ballet en route to Southern California

Choreographer Boris Eifman is the Donald Trump of the ballet world. His fans love him for his provocative, populist appeal while his critics find him unsophisticated and far from coherent. And then there’s the Russia thing. Eifman is Russian and his narrative ballets, while modernist in story line, have the old-school Bolshoi tendency to go ...

Who was Olga Spessivtseva?

Olga Spessivtseva (1895 – 1991) was the quintessence of a Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet romantic ballerina whom George Balanchine famously called “a beautiful diamond, cool, distant, and perfect.” The legendary Russian ballerina, who died in the United States, is the subject of choreographer Boris Eifman’s full-evening work, Red Giselle, coming soon to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. ...

An easy nut to crack: City Ballet of Los Angeles in “The Nutcracker Swings”

City Ballet of Los Angeles (CBLA) continues its mission to reflect the diversity of its city and bring classical ballet to new audiences with its winter program, The Nutcracker Swings, a twist on the holiday favorite set in 1942 Los Angeles during World War II. The Nutcracker Swings is CBLA’s tribute to the classic tale ...

Nacho Duato rehearses his new Sleeping Beauty in Petersburg

It’s hard to not be smitten by the deeply artistic looks of the Spanish choreographer, Nacho Duato, who headed up Spain’s Compania Nacional de Danza for 20 years before making the radical move of joining a Russian company, the Mikhailovsky Ballet. Duato is the second foreign choreographer to run a major Russian company—the Frenchman Marius ...

The Juilliard School tells you everything you always wanted to know about Swan Lake but were afraid to ask

Dance · Ideas & Opinion · Music
The survival, let alone the mystique, of the ballet, Swan Lake, is a phenomenon few would have predicted at its premiere in Moscow in 1877 — which was a flop. Wikipedia notes [with added commentary]: The premiere of Swan Lake on March 4, 1877, was given as a benefit performance for the ballerina Pelageya Karpakova ...

Pytor Ilyich Tchai-copy-cat 1

Dance · Music
A fun musical post contributed to arts·meme by Erica Miner . . . Sound familiar? That’s Tamara Milashkina and Eugeny Raikov, singing Undina and Huldbrand’s duet from Undina by Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky wrote this early opera in 1869, and though it was not one of his two ‘hit’ operas — Eugene Onegin in 1879 and The Queen of ...

Sugarplum heart attack

Dance · Music
arts•meme thanks Lou Beach Like Pytor Illych? I love him. Read more: Ken Russell & Dr. Kildare tackle Tchaikovsky

Ken Russell & Dr. Kildare tackle Tchaikovsky

It was touching to see Richard Chamberlain with his wild-man director of forty years ago, Ken Russell, at Sunday’s screening of the octogenarian’s exuberant Tchaikovsky biopic, “The Music Lovers” (1970). The reversal of the usual post-screening Q&A set-up also seemed fitting. The actor and the white-haired cinema maestro sat not before the audience, on a stage, but ...