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
In the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale The Red Shoes, a young girl is given an auspicious gift: a pair of slippers, stitched with a curse. Once she slips on the red shoes, she can’t stop dancing. The shoes carry her out into the dark forest, and into an open grave. In the fairytale, she is doomed to dance until a kind executioner cuts off her feet. In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 film by the same name, the young dancer (Moira Shearer) throws herself from an open window.
Still from “Polina, danser sa vie,” directed by Valérie Müller. Image courtesy of Oscilloscope Films
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