Sunday, 17 September 2017
World Ballet Day is coming
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One of the compensations of Autumn is World Ballet Day in which five of the world's top companies present their offerings and those of their guests. This year it falls on 5 Oct 2017.
The day begins in Melbourne with the Australian Ballet. We have a special interest in that company as they hosted Amelia Sierevogel earlier this year. She told us all about her experiences with that company in Melbourne City of Dance 23 May 2017. The Australian Ballet is sharing its slot with three other companies with which we have a connection, namely the Queensland Ballet, the Hong Kong Ballet and the West Australian Ballet.
We welcomed the Queensland Ballet to London in 2015 (see A dream realized: the Queensland Ballet in London 12 Aug 2015). Gita and I also had the honour of meeting its legendary artistic director, Li Cunxin, when he visited the London Ballet Circle. Amelia and I have another connection with that company since our teacher, Fiona Noonan, trained and danced with them. Another favourite teacher, Jane Tucker, danced with the Hong Kong Ballet who are also guests of the Australian Ballet. The third guest that we follow with interest is the West Australian Ballet who are dancing David Nixon's The Great Gatsby in Perth this month.
The baton passes to the Bolshoi whose Taming of the Shrew delighted audiences in London last year (see Bolshoi's Triumph - The Taming of the Shrew 4 Aug 2017). The choreographer of that work was Jean-Christophe Maillot whose company Les Ballets de Monte Carlo will share the Bolshoi's slot. The Bolshoi's other guests are the Netherlands Dance Theatre who are well known and greatly appreciated here. The Bolshoi will rehearse for us Balanchine's Diamonds and The Golden Age and introduce us to The Moscow State Academy of Choreography.
Next comes London with the Royal Ballet and four of our other great companies all of whom I know well and admire greatly. The Royal Ballet will rehearse Anastasia, La Fille mal gardée, The Sleeping Beauty and a new ballet by Charlotte Edmonds. Students from the Royal Ballet School will dance Concerto and the company will dance Anastasia. The Royal Ballet's guests include some of the world's greatest companies including The Dutch National Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, La Scala, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Vienna State Ballet. This should be the highpoint of the day.
Across the Atlantic to Toronto with the National Ballet of Canada. They will be rehearsing Cinderella and Onegin and interview the great Karen Kain. Wayne McGregor and Robert Binet. Their guests include the Miami City Ballet whom Gita saw in February (see Gita Mistry Attending the Ballet in Florida: Miami City Ballet's Program Three 6 March 2017) and the Boston Ballet who were in London in 2013 (see High as a Flag on the 4th July 7 July 2917).
Finally to San Francisco, one of the oldest and finest companies in America who also promise rehearsals of Diamonds and Cinderella as well as Liam Scarlett's Frankenstein, Helgi Tomasson's Haffner Symphony and a new work by Yuri Possokhov. Their guests include the Houston Ballet which suffered badly from Hurricane Harvey (see Houston Ballet 30 Aug 2017). I take a special interest in that company partly because of its many connections with this country. partly because Li Cunxin started his career there but mainly because the outstanding young artist, Emilie Tassinari, has recently joined the corps.
Every year seems to be better than the last and this year promises to be the best of all. Nobody can watch the whole feast on one day but, happily, recordings remain on YouTube for months after the event. It takes about a year to savour it all.