Posts Tagged ‘Kirov’

Late summer 2009 theater schedule

July 21, 2009

This time of the year is full of Russian ballet and barbeques and beach time and precious little else other than the Union Theatre’s annual Gilbert and Sullivan show. The Mariinsky/Kirov is running a bit rich for my tastes, unfortunately (though the programming is so unimaginative I’m not too hurt), Anastasia Volochkova was a disaster, and I’ve already been to the Union. What, then, is on my schedule for the next month an a half?

Shockingly, I’ve still managed to get pretty busy, with an average of two shows a week. Carlos Acosta is at the Coliseum this week – an event long awaited and for which I bought tickets back in April or so – and I’ve also got some Kirov Swan Lake tickets for August so I won’t be completely balletless this summer. The Arcola is doing Ghosts, so I’ll get to add to my life count of Ibsen shows. And the West End Whingers have given me a hot tip on a new show, Jerusalem (at the Royal Court), that I’m hoping will take the tang of the crappy Peer Gynt I saw away (and have also apparently saved me from seeing The Black Album – I want to see new theater but only if it doesn’t suck).

On a lighthearted, summer appropriate, wallet-friendly musical kick, I’m going to see “Blink! – and you missed it,” ” hits from the shows you missed” (including The Act, The Rink, and Ragtime), which should be thoroughly tickling my musical theater geek funnybone, as well as La Cage Aux Folles, which for some reason Ambassadors was hawking at a “fill the theater at any cost” price (£10) back in June. I’ll be hitting Forbidden Broadway for a second go-round in mid-August, then winding everything up with Alan Cumming’s solo show I Bought a Blue Car Today on September 1st. What a great way to wrap up the summer!

Schedule:
23 July Thursday: Carlos Acosta & Friends (have an extra ticket FYI)
24 July Friday: La Cage Aux Folles
31 July Friday: Ghosts, Arcola
6 August Thursday: Blink! … and you missed it
7 August Friday: Jerusalem, Royal Court
8 August Saturday: Swan Lake, Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House
19 August Wednesday: Forbidden Broadway, Menier Chocolate Factory
25 August Tuesday: A Streetcar Named Desire, The Donmar Warehouse
1 September Tuesday: Alan Cumming’s I Bought a Blue Car Today

(Other shows TBA.)

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Why is Russian Ballet so different from “normal” ballet?

April 6, 2008

Over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to see the Bolshoi in London for many performances – Spartacus, The Pharaoh’s Daughter, La Bayadere, and Le Corsaire among them. And I’ve been kind of … surprised by how different Russian ballet seems to American (and now English) ballet. The dancers seem … more … showy. Perhaps even egotistical. Everything is very over the top. Now, I LOVE the shameless overindulgence and all, but it’s been kind of hard for me to put a finger on what makes it so very different.

Fortunately, a wonderful article has appeared in the New York Times this week explaining why Russian ballet is such a completely different experience from American/English ballet. It’s not just the noisy audiences or the endless rounds of applause – it’s the very way a ballerina will push her body a little further to emphasize her technical brilliance – at the expense of the production of actual art. It’s really well written (even though I don’t know ballet well enough to follow some of his descriptions) and really good reading.

For those who follow this blog, this week we’re off to see Ballet Black at the Linbury, Carlos Acosta at the Coliseum, and Wayne Macgregor at Sadlers Wells. April is really a dance heavy month, but I can’t really apologize for it – there are two shows I’d like to see (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Punch and Judy) conflict with nearly everything else I’m doing … but who knows, maybe I can squeeze another show or two in somewhere.