As most everyone knows, Scottish Ballet will bring its acclaimed production of A Streetcar Named Desire to the Kennedy Center May 28-30, which is the weekend after Memorial Day. Tickets don’t go on sale to the general public until February 4th; so don’t forget about this event when calendaring your spring ballet performances.
This week Scottish Ballet opens in Glasgow with another unique program that includes Christopher Bruce’s Ten Poems. Originally conceived for Ballet Kiel in 2009, this ballet uses as its score ten poems by Dylan Thomas as read by actor Richard Burton. From The Scotman's Sunday edition:
IT ALL began with Richard Burton’s face. Standing in his local record shop in Somerset, choreographer Christopher Bruce saw a CD sitting on the counter.
The Welshman’s piercing gaze caught his eye on the cover of the 1954 album Richard Burton Reads Dylan Thomas, a collection of poems recorded a year after the poet’s death.
“I was just so moved to see his picture,” says Bruce. “I had always loved watching him, even in films that weren’t that good. He was such a wonderful actor.”
Bruce was already familiar with the recording, but hearing it again he immediately saw its potential for dance. The combination of Thomas’s hugely evocative words and Burton’s powerful voice rendered music entirely unnecessary – the poetry was lyrical enough to carry his choreography along.
“What struck me was the wonderful rhythm,” he recalls. “And my first thought was that I would make a fairly abstract dance. But as I began to work on the material, and listen to the poems over and over again, I couldn’t help but be moved and react to the meaning of the poetry itself.”
Watching Scottish Ballet rehearse the piece in their Glasgow studios, it’s impossible to disagree. Within a few seconds of Burton’s dulcet tones filling the room, and the dancers’ bodies responding to the flow of his voice, any desire for a musical score disappears. Key words have been assigned a particular move to give them extra resonance, but mostly Bruce just captures the feeling – not only of Thomas’s poetry, but Burton’s delivery.
Ten Poems is on a program with Helen Pickett's brand new dance based on Arthur Miller's The Crucible.
Scottish Ballet is such an interesting company. Can't wait to see them in May.
Jared Matthews and Yuriko Kajiya wowed the Houston Ballet audience and critics in Paquita with the Houston Chronicle referring to them as a "new power couple" and plastering gorgeous pictures of the can't-hope-for-more-classical-elegance-than-this Yuriko all over its pages.
ABT is going to feel the loss of these two fine artists from night one of the fall season to the end of time.
The good news, albeit unofficial, is that Yuriko and Jared will dance Giselle and Albrecht at the Detroit Opera House on Sunday, November 2nd at 2:30, in case anyone wants to book transportation and tickets. We're checking the tires on the Gisellemobile today.
Stella Abrera is on the cover of today's Sunday Manila Times Magazine following her acclaimed debut in Giselle with Ballet Philippines. It didn't come without a test, however. Typhoon Mario blew through in the hours preceding the performance knocking out Manila's electricity and flooding the roads.
UPDATE 9/22: From Philippine's VERA Files news outlet regarding braving the rains to see Stella's Giselle:
“I am used to bad weather but this horrendous monsoon rain was the worst to hit a ballet opening night,” said ballet teacher Perry Sevidal who has shared the stage with several Giselles from Natalia Makarova, Yoko Morishita and Maniya Barredo, among others.
. . .
“It was another interpretation and to me it was very special,” added Sevidal. “The mad scene was brilliantly underplayed and in Act II, she was indeed ethereal. The interpretation was very much her own and Whiteside gave utmost support. This is another landmark Giselle at the CCP.”