Based on Gogol’s fantastical and comic story of the Devil’s antics on Christmas Eve, this magical blend of opera and ballet is brought to vivid life in Francesca Zambello’s colourful production. Magnificent set designs (Mikhail Mokrov) and costumes (Tatiana Noginova), and an excellent, largely Russian cast provide authenticity. Splendid dancing by The Royal Ballet and Cossack dancers completes the spectacle.
In 1974, British choreographer Kenneth MacMillan in turn decided to focus on the two protagonists for an ambitious ballet that could translate the feelings and emotions of two souls abused by the accidents of life and their own personal weaknesses. In short, how a young girl on her way to a convent manages to elope with the young student with whom she has just fallen in love, only to leave him to escape destitution and finally allow herself to be persuaded by her brother Lescaut to yield to the advances of wealthy “protectors”. Accused of prostitution and deported to Louisiana, Manon is rescued by Des Grieux. Driven to murder by Manon’s jailer, he escapes with her into the marshes where the young girl ultimately succumbs. Although sincere, the love that Manon and Des Grieux share for each other cannot stand up to the vagaries of existence. As a result, neither is able to escape moral or social decline. Rather than reuse the score of Massenet’s opera, MacMillan entrusted Leighton Lucas with the task of arranging a series of extracts taken from a selection of the French composer’s operatic, symphonic and vocal scores… The end result was a huge success from its debut performance in London in 1974 onwards.
The diversity of Wayne McGregors astonishing talent is demonstrated through Chroma, Infra and Limen, each created for The Royal Ballet, for whom he is resident choreographer. Intimate yet universal, light yet dark, frenetic yet lyrical, McGregor pursues his passion for exploring the inner workings of the human body and mind, his many-layered and beautiful dances providing visual, sensual and kinaesthetic stimulus for the viewer.
Filmed in HD at the Palais Garnier February 2008 Orpheus and Eurydice is Pina Bausch's masterpiece and the ultimate symbol of the genius of this German choreographer. Bausch was the artistic director of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, which she founded in 1973. She had a formidable international reputation as one of modern dance's greatest innovators. Her dance-theatre works include the melancholic Café Müller (1978), in which dancers stumble around the stage crashing into tables and chairs, and a thrilling Rite of Spring (1975), which required the stage to be completely covered with soil…
Ludwig Minkus’s Don Quixote has held a place in the repertoire since its premiere at the Bolshoi Theater in 1869. The music is charming and well orchestrated, but persistently a little bland. There are plenty of melodies, but none of them are particularly distinctive. This is certainly not Tchaikovsky or Prokofiev. The poor boy meets rich girl love story interwoven with the fantastic adventures of Don Quixote has attracted the biggest names in ballet over the years, with Marius Petipa’s original classical production being followed by Rudolph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and George Balanchine. Now, it is Carlos Acosta’s turn. His choreography is based on Petipa, but he has modernized it with his trademark physicality, and some new unclassical sounds (clapping, vocal exclamations) from the corps de ballet on stage.
Marius Petipa's 'The Sleeping Beauty' is one of the best loved of classical ballets, combining in a single work all the enchantment and virtuosity that ballet has to offer. The royal court, the panoramic journey of the Prince to the overgrown castle, and the great celebratory dances of the happy ending (in which other famous fairytale figures appear) are all brought to life by the luscious designs of this celebrated production, created in 1946 for The Royal Ballet. The inspired performances of its revival for the 75th anniversary of the Company in 2006, together with a magnificent High Definition recording, make this a superb tribute to The Royal Ballet's unique style and visual splendour.
Gluck‘s wonderful but neglected 1774 opera Iphigénie en Tauride, inspired by the Greek legend, is treated with forceful and convincing simplicity in Klaus Guth‘s revolutionary production staged at the Zurich Opera House. The psychological drama in a tense atmosphere of fears and traumas is underlined by Guth‘s use of huge masks and enclosed spaces. Conductor William Christie and his typically transparent but never cold orchestral sound perfectly match the descriptive elements in Gluck’s score, while the Armenian mezzosoprano Juliette Galstian as a fabulously good Iphigénie, the leading American opera baritone Rodney Gilfry as Oreste and the deceased South African tenor Deon van der Walt as Pylade head a superb cast.
This is the second creative project bringing together conductor Teodor Currentzis and director Peter Sellars (the first being the operatic double-bill of Iolanta and Perséphone staged in Madrid in 2012), and also the first collective production of three opera companies — the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Spanish Teatro Real and the English National Opera. The action is set in Central America. Spanish colonialists are at war with the native Mayan people. In the face of the armed forces the locals appear armed with bows and arrows, but they are mere children. Blood runs like a river. The Mayans resort to trickery – in order to infiltrate the enemy, the daughter of the Mayan chief becomes a concubine to the commander of the Spanish army. The plan brings her unexpected happiness (she falls in love with the commander and has children with him) but also tragedy (the Spanish colonialists continue the massacre of the Mayans). With nowhere to turn for help, the only hope is that the great Mayan gods will descend from the sky to the earth at the critical moment…
Uwe Scholz, ballet director in Leipzig, was hailed as one of the most brilliant choreographic minds of his generation when he died in November 2004 at the early age of 45. His ballet “The Great Mass” is one of the most impressive works of this important neoclassical Choreographer - a requiem, a choreographic revelation and certainly his grand legacy to the Leipzig ballet. The full length Choreography, here recorded at the Leipzig Opera in a performance in June 2005, takes its name from Mozart's famous unfinished Mass in C minor. It absorbs the structure of the liturgy of the mass and adds other works by Mozart as well as passages of Gregorian chant, and sequences from contemporary music by György Kurtág, Thomas Jahn and Arvo Pärt and readings of poems by Paul Celan. Internationally famous soloists from the Leipzig Ballet, among them Kiyoko Kimura, Christoph Böhm and Oksana Kulchytska, take on the leading roles and the staging proves the ensemble to be one of the best ballet companies worldwide.
Get ready for a jaw-dropping, eye-popping experience as you watch Gold-Silver-Bronze Medalist Joseph Michael Gatti perform the variations from Black Swan and Le Corsaire and then show "How It's Done" with Finis Jhung. Here is a thrilling display of the male bravura technique - all the virtuoso steps that stop the show and make audiences stand and cheer. Joe's ability to turn is uncanny - he finishes most all his turns, including 9 pirouettes - on demi-pointe.