Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A chance to see more of Neumeier's work: Dutch National Ballet's La Dame aux Camelias

Those of us who were lucky enough to see Northern Ballet's Sapphire gala on Saturday were treated to John Neumeier's version of The Nutcracker. I haven't seen much of that choreographer's work and I would like to see more. There is now an opportunity since the Dutch National Ballet are dancing La Dame aux Camélias in Amsterdam from the 10 April 2015. For many of us outside London, Amsterdam is at least as easy to reach as our own capital and it is good deal less outrageously expensive once you get there.

This ballet which is based on Dumas' novel has been around for a bit. It was first performed in Stuttgart in 1978 with Marcia Haydée in the title role. It is in the repertoire of the Ballet of the Paris National Opera which can be seen on YouTube. This is not the first ballet to be inspired by the Dumas novel. Sir Frederick Ashton created Marguerite and Armand for the Royal Ballet with Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev as the principals.

The Dumas novel has also inspired Verdi's opera but neither Ashton nor Neumeier used Verdi's music in their ballets. Ashton chose Liszt'a piano sonata while Neumeiet preferred Chopin. Sets and costumes are by Jürgen Rose. I don't have any information about casting yet but I'll let you know when I do.

Performances take place on 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 and 26 April 2015 in the auditorium of the Stopera and tickets cost between C15 and 90 (£10.78 and £64.67 see what I mean about affordability). You can book through the Dutch National Ballet's website or call the box office on +31 020 625 54 55.

If you want a good hotel I can recommend the American which is a few hundred yards from the auditorium. The airport bus stops outside and the fare is only C5. Amsterdam is a fine city with plenty to see and do. It is very welcoming. Most of its residents speak at least some English. I greatly prefer it to London.

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