Reviews

The Loveliest Nutcracker

For us ballet diehards, the annual “Nutcracker” marathon performs double duty, filling companies’ coffers for the “real” season, and giving rising talents a chance to step out as one of those myriad Sugar Plum fairies in a mid-run matinee.

A Freudian take on Swan Lake

Nureyev’s take on “Swan Lake” (1984) is often said to be tricky, narcissist, untidy. It is all that, to some extent, but it’s also one of the most mature, intense versions of the crowd-pleaser that has gone devoid of emotional stirring around the world. In Nureyev’s version, the psychological depth, ingrained in the Prince’s psyche, is reminiscent of the choreographer’s dark side. And when you watch men waltzing holding hands like women traditionally do in Romantic ballets, it feels close to what could have been in Tchaikovsky’s imagination.

A Hollow Spectacle

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night charts the turbulent romance between a woman beleaguered by psychosis (Nicole) and a man fixated on saving her (Dick)—a relationship modelled on the author’s marriage to Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. Drama erupts: there’s incest, alcoholism, corruptive wealth and more, much of it arising from Dick’s dual role as Nicole’s husband and her psychoanalyst. Factor in the heady setting—a glam expat resort in 1920s France —and it’s rich material for a stage production.

Interviews

Rising Stars of the Erik Bruhn Prize

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.

Leading Light

When Michael Smuin, founder of Smuin, passed away unexpectedly in 2007, Celia Fushille, dancer and then associate director for the company, had but a few days to gather her thoughts.

Best of 2016

Dancers of New York

Shades of Stephanie

“I was very fortunate in Australia; I had an amazing four years at the Australian Ballet School—which was the best training—and when got into the company, I got to dance Christopher Wheeldon ballet within the first three months of joining.

Rising Stars

Rising Stars of the Erik Bruhn Prize

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.

Editor's Picks

Features

Glitz and Glam: A Weekend at Wilderness

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.

The Cult of Fragility

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?

Gallery

Galas & Comps

A Southern Genée

International ballet competitions have become a somewhat necessary evil in the ballet world. Brought to popular culture’s attention by movies such as First Position, they are, by all accounts, high impact events. Artistic directors from world-famous ballet companies line the judging panels to the watch ballet’s rising stars train, perform and compete.

Young Stars on Summer Night

At the Roman Amphitheatre in Fiesole, a town on a hill that dominated Florence from above, the sidereal luminosity of a cloudless night, married with the soft (for once) hum of the cicadas and the breathtaking roman and etruscan stones reminiscent of classical artistic glory, provide the ideal setting for a dance gala.

An Australian Gala

There must be whooping. Lots of it. An abundance of whooping, cheering, hooting, and thunderous applause. This is what celebrations need in order to make them celebrations. And to make a performance a gala event: so it was for the Australian Ballet’s 50th Anniversary Gala, which I had the fortune of seeing twice.

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