To Sir Frederick Ashton’s fast footwork and musicality belongs the Australian Ballet’s double bill “The Dream” and “Marguerite & Armand.” To the charming misadventure distillation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream bubbles “The Dream.” To the legend of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, dovetails Amy Harris’s Marguerite, in Harris’s last stage role before her retirement. After 22-years with the company, Harris bids farewell in a delicious camellia-bloom, echoing Marguerite’s own departure (thankfully for altogether different reasons; Harris is retiring from the stage, whereas her character Marguerite is dying of tuberculous).FREE ARTICLE
Covid-19 has been devastating to the performing arts. However, over the weekend I watched a performance by the Sarasota Ballet that reminded me of a pandemic silver lining: expanded accessibility. From my apartment in Brooklyn I’ve been able to see performances streamed from all over the world. These digital shows are a little surreal, and they cannot compete with live ones, but they do offer a glimpse of companies I usually don’t have the ability to see. In a normal year, I would not have had the opportunity to review this small Gulf Coast troupe, but this year I was able to watch their charming All-Balanchine program virtually. They danced four excerpts as well as “Tarantella” in its entirety.
Sarasota Ballet in George Balanchine's “Western Symphony.” Image courtesy of Sarasota Ballet
When a choreographer takes on volcanic and iconic works from American musical giants like Leonard Bernstein and John Adams one move they could take is to cool them down with a couple of more soothing European works in between.Continue Reading