American Ballet Theatre

Sweet Dreams

A kind of cross between Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and the booze-infested flick, Lost Weekend, the world premiere confection, “Whipped Cream,” landed with a sumptuous, if occasional cloying, sweetness in Orange County for a five-day run, before making its frothy way to American Ballet Theater’s home—the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House—in May.

A Jet-lagged Sleeping Beauty

Few personalities in the ballet world question the essence of classical dance nowadays. Masterpieces such as “The Nutcracker” or “Swan Lake” are little more than gainful blockbusters in December programs. “The Sleeping Beauty” is no exception: its seemingly Manichean argument, happy-ending, fairies' parade and decorative choreography had plunged the ballet into formaldehyde for centuries.

Firebird

Some things are eternal, such as the music of Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Bernstein. Alexei Ratmansky, one of the world’s greatest living choreographers, has made mostly astute and fascinating use of works by these composers in a program that also showed off the formidable talents of dancers from American Ballet Theatre as the troupe, in full-throttle dazzle mode, charmed Los Angeles audiences last weekend.

Triumphant, Tormented & Tragic

Alexei Ratmansky’s “Shostakovich Trilogy” is a poignant homage to music genius of twentieth century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. It’s also a reflection on the composer’s life—triumphant, tormented, and tragic—and his struggle to survive during the Stalin regime.

After You

Mark Morris’s “After You” is a brand new piece entering the ABT’s repertory this season, and it’s a real charmer—a lighthearted dance saturated with vibrant colors and elegant, loose-limbed movement.

Vish Fulfilment

Is there anything prima ballerina Diana Vishneva cannot do? Having recently turned 39, this reigning Goddess of the dance world (one who also commissions works made expressly for her), seems to be at the height of her powers—physically, emotionally and, possibly even spiritually—as she infuses every step, every swoop of her arms, indeed, her entire being, with breathtaking beauty, grace and a generous humanity.

In Pursuit of Petipa

American Ballet Theatre’s brand new production of “The Sleeping Beauty” proved the most anticipated and talked about event of the ABT’s spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, and the highest point of the company’s 75th anniversary celebrations.