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
Cathy Marston has arrived. Actually, the British choreographer has been doing exciting work for decades now, but the Royal Ballet has finally given her a main stage commission, which is another way of punching her members’ card. Marston’s new ballet follows in the steps of a string of ambitious narrative productions for the likes of Bern Ballett and Northern Ballet, from “Wuthering Heights” to “Jane Eyre” to “Victoria.” Her passion (and gift) for dramatising left-field subjects hits a high note here: the focus is Jacqueline du Pré, a prodigious British cellist whose talent sadly dissolved in the clutch of multiple sclerosis. Marston has transcribed Du Pré’s biography with admirable compassion, celebrating her story without exploiting the tragedy that makes it dramatic.
Marcelino Sambé and Lauren Cuthbertson in Cathy Marston's “The Cellist.” Photograph by Bill Cooper
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