Julio Bocca has agreed to return to the Ballet Nacional del Sodre after walking out for a month long breather. He's keeping the acting artistic director as a co-director and has acquired a company master to be another partner in running the ballet company. Hopefully, he'll be happy, but we all know that he'd be happier in New York – and he knows we'll wait for him. There's a reason why he has kept his condo here all these years...
Royal New Zealand Ballet premieres its imaginative The Wizard of Oz on Wednesday night in Wellington. We can’t wait to get some comments. It's not anything like the familiar Judy Garland movie, but has been adapted from the book by L. Frank Baum.
Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia has created this full length ballet based on his earliest childhood experience with the story. He told the New Zealand Listener:
When he was five, he spent months in a children’s hospital. Close to his room was a girl of the same age who was seriously ill. One day he noticed she was no longer there and wanted to know where she had gone. His mother and his doctor told him the Wizard of Oz story to explain her death. “They said the girl was in Oz and had started a journey with friends, a lion, a scarecrow and a tin man. This story remained in my mind for a long time.
In Ventriglia’s ballet:
When Dorothy wakes up from her trip to Oz, she is not back in Kansas with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, rather she is in hospital recovering from a coma. Her exploits in Oz are coma-induced dreams.
My idea of this journey is that to ‘come back home’ means to wake up and become an adult and find yourself. Everyone is in the ballet – Dorothy, all her friends, little Toto – but in the background, it is very much me.
Back here in the USA, ABT has predictably waited until the last minute to predictably report that one of its Fake Principal Dancers, Polina Semionova, is predictably bowing out of the season on a medical leave. Predictably, McKenzie stuffed Hee Seo into most of the roles, which we don't care about, really, because we never intended to buy any tickets to Semionova's predictable performances anyway. Predictably, he has given one of Semionova's Swan Lakes to Boylston in order to continue to try to shove the unprepossessing dancer down everyone's throats as an Odette. When is this nightmare going to be over? The great tragedy in all of this is that Kochetkova has been moved over to Blaine Hoven's performance of Sylvia. What a stupid, dumb ass move. The only reason that she was ever hired was that she was small enough to be partnered by Cornejo. Blaine doesn't require a small partner. He's big enough and strong enough and skilled enough to partner god. What a predictable waste of an opportunity for a real, honestly talented, classical company ballerina to debut in the title role. Someone like Stella Abrera who always looks sublime with Blaine Hoven. Predictably, we're not buying a ticket to this performance even though we would like to see Blaine bring the house down. We predict there will be other cast changes trickling down weeks after ABT has known about them; so, predictably, we're keeping our wallets closed.