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 very hot Italian summer, travelling between Verona and Venice could reveal the tastes and manias of “the beautiful country” in the field of dance. In Verona, stormed by tourists this year more than ever, dance has a great tradition, as this writer remembers looking back at her childhood. At the Arena di Verona, you could admire the best of the then international dance scene, such as Maurice Béjart’s Ballet du XXème Siècle or classic ballets with stars like Rudolf Nureyev and Carla Fracci, Vladimir Vasiliev and Ekaterina Maximova, while at Teatro Romano more contemporary programs introduced companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater or Nederlands Dance Theater. Unfortunately, today the offering is as broad and is mainly Italian: the only ballet show scheduled at the Arena for the past decade has been the Roberto Bolle and Friends gala. (Granted, it has sold out every year, and is already announced for next summer on July 19, 2023.) While at Teatro Romano the dance program is focused on Italian contemporary dance. But we were lucky, staying two days in a row in Verona, to catch its two summer highlights, with the two most popular dancers in Italy: Eleonora Abbagnato, the eternal Juliet, and Roberto Bolle, the eternal gladiator.
Melissa Hamilton and Roberto Bolle in “Caravaggio” by Mauro Bigonzetti. Photograph by Andrej Uspenski
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