“The Peony Pavilion,” a 16th-century play written by Tang Xianzu during the Ming Dynasty, is one of the most famous love stories of Chinese literature. Originally performed as a 20 hour-long Kunqu opera, the National Ballet of China have created a considerably condensed version that has become one of the key works in their repertoire.
Admirers of the classic ballets will welcome Ivan Liška’s restoration of Marius Petipa’s “Le Corsaire,” which made its North American premiere on Boston Ballet this past month at the Boston Opera House in Boston, MA. Boasting the drama of “Swan Lake” and the comedic wit of “Coppélia,” “Le Corsaire” takes to the stage with brilliant gusto, striking technique, and adventurous flair.
Winning this year's competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize, hosted by the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto, were two dancers from Boston Ballet, soloist Angelo Greco, and corps de ballet dancer, Natasha Sheehan. Together they performed the pas de deux from “Giselle” for the classical repertoire, and danced a contemporary duet choreographed by fellow company member Myles Thatcher.
Feminism, queer theory, ontology, postcolonialism—these subjects and more cropped up in the whirlwind 90 minutes I recently spent interviewing Cecilia Lisa Eliceche ahead of the UK premiere of her latest work, “Unison.”
Glitter—this was one of the first details I noticed when I arrived at Wilderness Festival last Friday. The shimmery stuff was everywhere, winking at me from eyelashes, cheeks, t-shirts, bunting. Poking out of pockets and tumbling out of tents, glinting and gleaming in the hot August sun.
One of the greatest challenges—and for me, joys—of being a dance critic is navigating the not infrequent clash between contemporary values and those embraced in classical ballet, a centuries-old institution that venerates ‘tradition’ in all its old-world, patriarchal glory. What messages of value can women divine from stories that glorify female fragility and are primarily written and directed by men?