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
It is circles I see, and always have, whenever I listen, and often I do, to Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” For me, one stimulates the other, and the composition upon every visit sets to the business of drawing its familiar beloved circles, from the large and sweeping to the tightly coiled. Melodic circles that anyone can hum or whistle, or with finger tap out on the table; such a union of the senses is what “Swan Lake” is for me. That is what I hear in the music, and see in the choreography, a melody and a romanticism impossible to resist or ignore.
The Australian Ballet in rehearsal for Stephen Baynes' “Swan Lake.” Photograph by Lynette Willis
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