Story ballets are all the rage. They're bubbling and brewing everywhere. The whiny abstractionists are either climbing on board or fading away. It is a joint-wrenching choice for some of them.
The Scottish Ballet just premiered its version of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire to major critical praise. Directed by native New Yorker, Nancy Meckler, who works out of the U.K., and contemporary choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa in her debut dabbling in narrative dance, Streetcar was conceived by outgoing AD Ashley Page. The Telegraph critic just reported that "The result is a brilliantly bold and sensitive ballet which is full of memorable set pieces."
Here's a little promo blurb. While there appears to be some of the "same old same old splitzy stuff" going on, at about 50 secs into the video, check out the leap, lift, and lighting of "Stella" bending her back over "Stanley's" shoulder - steamy:
Hey, Lincoln Center Festival Folks, we need to see THIS right here next year!!
Several months ago, Haglund caught a performance of Satellite Ballet in the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and was wowed by the efforts of directors Troy Schumacher and Kevin Draper along with the dancers (from NYCB), musicians, and designers. Satellite Ballet and Collective is a serious collaborative model that workshops it productions in Michigan before presenting them on major stages.
In the works and hopefully for the October 2012 performance in NYC is a new "Ballet and Song Cycle" which the group describes as:
Set in New York, it's the story of a young woman who meets a thief who has collected her past and offers it to her in exchange for her future.
Hooked. Totally. Would love to see it produced at BAC.
Venti Petrov, whose ballet El Cid was received so well last year, has thrown himself head-first into another intriguing story for the Lumiere Ballet's performance on April 28 at Baruch Performing Arts Center's Mason Hall. DEAR NADEZHDA is a one-act ballet based on the story of Tchaikovsky and the woman who loved him.
From the company:
Between 1877 & 1890, composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky and reclusive patron
of the arts Nadezhda von Meck sent each other nearly 700 letters.
Nadezhda supported Tchaikovsky financially for 13 years, but
stipulated that they were never to meet. DEAR NADEZHDA brings to life
this complex and passionate epistolary relationship -- a virtual
romance between an artist and a fervent admirer. It is set to a score
by Tchaikovsky and features a company of 14 dancers including Oksana
Maslova (Moscow Ballet, Connecticut Ballet) as Nadezhda, Tanner
Schwartz (Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet), Lauren King (New York City
Ballet), Alexander Tressor (New York City Ballet, Connecticut Ballet),
Cassandra Trenary, Steven Melendez (New York Theatre Ballet), Ariane
Mahler, Jocelyn Delifer, Jeremy Canade, Aina Tadokoro, Tracy Finch
(Ballet NY, Connecticut Ballet), and Carrie Walsh (Royal Danish
Ballet, Corella Ballet).
Also on the program will be several divertissements choreographed by
• Soul in Captivity: As the table turns, the master falls prey to his
victim. Music by E. Lalo. Danced by Nicole Graniero (American Ballet
Theatre), Tanner Schwartz, Carrie Walsh and Aina Tadokoro
• Patent Pending: A crash dummy decides to take his life into his own
hands. Set to Leroy Anderson’s famed typewriter music. Danced by
Anton Kandaurov (Moscow Ballet, Connecticut Ballet).
• The Butterfly: One day in a life of beauty. Music by A. Dvorak.
Danced by Lauren King.
• Harlequinade: Based on the characters of La Commedia dell’Arte, this
piece depicts the heartbroken and ever so hopeful Harlequin in his
attempt to attract Columbine’s attention. Set to original music by
Michael Zeiger. Danced by Cassandra Trenary and Steven Melendez.
• Liebestraum: Two people have just fallen in love and explore their
nascent feelings for each other. Music by Franz Liszt. Danced by
Oksana Maslova and Anton Kandaurov.
Tickets are available by calling 212-352-3101 or through www.TheaterMania.com.
Vegetable, Animal, and Mineral
Dances Patrelle will present GILBERT & SULLIVAN, The Ballet! at the Dicapo Theatre (184 E. 76th St.) May 3-6. Haglund saw this last year, and it was a hoot! Francis Patrelle has put together a revue of The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore and inserted his own imaginative reading of what went on behind the scenes to get these original productions on the stage.
Tickets are available through the DP website.