On a Tuesday night, I fancied myself carved from the pages of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. I cast myself as Gwenda Reed from “Sleeping Murder.” The year was 1951, and I pinned a bakelite Bluebird of Happiness brooch to my coat lapel. I swapped The Duchess of Malfi for “Coppélia” because this was fantasy, and made for the Palais Theatre in St Kilda. And true to the liberties of daydream, 1951 rolled into both 1962, when the Australian Ballet first performed “Coppélia”during its inaugural season, and 1979, when founding artistic director Peggy van Praagh and former theatre director George Ogilvie revived the production.
Ako Kondo in the Australian Ballet's “Coppélia.” Photograph by Jeff Busby
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading