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
American Ballet Theatre’s fall season has been brief, too brief to form a sense of the new director Susan Jaffe’s tastes and intentions. That will come in time. This fall, we got a roundup of some of the company’s past repertory, from Balanchine’s 1941 “Ballet Imperial” to last year’s “Single Eye,” by the San Francisco-based Alonzo King. In the final program of the season, which ended on Oct. 29, the latter was paired with Alexei Ratmansky’s 2009 “On the Dnipro,” the first work for the company by its former choreographer in residence. Between the two, almost as a palate cleanser, came a short pas de deux by Gemma Bond, set to a rapturous aria from Gustave Charpentier’s opera “Louise.” I caught two performances, on Oct. 27 and at the Oct. 29 matinee.
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