Jeune Homme
English National Ballet has launched the New Year with two double bills anchored by August Bournonville’s beloved “La Sylphide.” Over the course of a two-week run, the Romantic staple—a flutter of forest sprites and lively Highlanders—is alternately paired with Kenneth Macmillan’s “Song of the Earth” and Roland Petit’s “Le Jeune Homme et la Mort,” both of which dedicate a principal role to Death.
Sturm und Drang—2017 saw the dance world roiling with it, both on and off the stage. Israel’s culture minister hit the headlines for refusing arts funding to performances involving nudity; Palestinian-Syrian refugee Ahmad Joudeh made a prominent debut with the Dutch National Ballet after fleeing death threats from Islamic State; discord boiled over in Moscow as the director of the Bolshoi’s long-awaited “Nureyev” was placed under house arrest on what many suspect are trumped-up charges intended to punish him for celebrating the life of a gay man on stage—a conspicuous challenge to Putin’s ban on so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’