The London-based choreographer Arthur Pita adapted “The Metamorphosis” for the stage in 2011 under the auspices of the Royal Ballet, with the hyper-flexible principal Edward Watson in the person—and bug—of white-collar drone Gregor Samsa.
Every era has its balletic superstars. From the early 18th century rivals, Marie Sallé and Marie Camargo, through the Romantic period’s Marie Taglioni (the world’s first “La Sylphide”), who was so adored that a male fan allegedly ate her slipper, ballet has mostly been about feminine mystique, beauty and allure.
This is decidedly not your mother’s “Nutcracker!” Sure, there’s that big, beautiful Tchaikovsky score—played by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra under the deft baton of Nicolas Brochot—as well as a little girl called Clara (an enchanting Anjara Ballesteros), who dreams that her toy soldier will one day be her main squeeze (Stéphan Bourgond). But as for Drosselmeyer, this is where any resemblance to those many “Nutcrackers” of Christmas Past ends.
Beauty and anger co-exist in a restless evening of hard-driving dance and thrashing rock music in Susan Marshall’s “Play/Pause.”
“The Inkomati (dis)cord”—a world-travelling collaboration between dance-theatre artists Boyze Cekwana of Soweto and Panaibra Canda of Maputo, Mozambique—ends on a bright, sardonic note, with a multilingual game of “Telephone.”
Ballet and jazz can make for some interesting, if occasionally odd bedfellows. Throw in some cookware and neo-Pina Bausch gestures, and a program could turn raucous, joyful and, well, neither balletic nor jazzy.