American Ballet Theatre’s 75th anniversary

ABT LogoAmerican Ballet Theatre is set to mark is 75th anniversary with a celebration which will last 15 months. It will include historic revivals, new works, a new documentary film, a touring exhibition by the Library of Congress and an anniversary gala. With such a huge milestone to celebrate it seems the company is rather justified in its plans. If this news was not exciting enough, guest artists for the season will include Evgenia Obraztsova, Natalia Osipova and Marianela Nuñez, who will be making her American Ballet Theatre debut in a revival of Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella.

The spring season will feature works performed during the company’s first decade of work, such as George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, which was created for the company in 1947. The works will also include Agnes de Mille’s 1942 Rodeo, bringing out the company heirlooms from the archive. The most anticipated part of the celebratory year of the anniversary is Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty, which has its world premiere at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in California on 3 March 2015.

The company will hold its anniversary gala at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York on 18 May 2015, featuring special guest appearances, film excerpts of historic performances and interviews with major figures in the dance world. Esteemed choreographer Mark Morris will then create a new work for American Ballet Theatre’s autumn season for 2015.

The anniversary will also be marked by a new documentary by film maker Ric Burns, detailing the company’s intricate background. The Library of Congress exhibition – American Ballet Theatre: touring the globe for 75 years – will be on view until January 2015, and will then travel to Los Angeles where it will be available to view for six months.

Osipova And Vasiliev Reunite!

Natalia Osipova and Ivan VasilievTwo of the world’s most celebrated dancing partners, Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev are to be re-united this summer at the London Coliseum from 6-9 August. They will appear in Sergei Danilian’s production of Solo for Two: three diverse pieces including two world premieres commissioned by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Ardani Artists.

The evening will open with a piece to be confirmed, followed by Passo by Ohad Naharin, artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company. Naharin has choreographed more than 20 works for Batsheva and its junior division, Batsheva Ensemble. Naharin has also worked with Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballett Frankfurt, Paris Opéra Ballet, Cedar Lake, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The evening will conclude with a new work by Arthur Pita named Facada. Pita is a highly talented and versatile choreographer and director. He has created works for Johannesburg’s Dance Umbrella, Resolution! and Spring Loaded at The Place, Royal Shakespeare Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, CandoCo Dance Company and The Metamorphosis for The Linbury Studio Theatre Royal Opera House.

Osipova graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and joined the Bolshoi Ballet the same year, going on to reach the position of Principal Dancer. She has been a guest artist with the Mariinsky Ballet, Teatro alla Scala, Paris Opéra Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, and is currently a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Her vast repertoire includes Nikiya, Aurora, Juliet, Medora, Kitri, Swanilda and Giselle amongst many others.

Vasiliev is currently a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, having studied at the Dnepropetrovsk Ballet School in Ukraine and later at the Belorussian State Choreographic College in Minsk. In 2006, he was invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet as a soloist, making his debut with the Company, at age 17, and was soon promoted to the rank of principal dancer. Vasiliev has been a guest artist at the International Rudolf Nureyev Festival in Kazan and has appeared with the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater Mikhailovsky Ballet in St. Petersburg.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Natalia Osipova To Join The Royal Ballet

Natalia OsipovaThe Russian superstar, and incredibly versatile, ballerina Natalia Osipova, most recently seen in the Mikhailovsky Ballet’s stint in London, is to join the Royal Ballet Company. Previously dancing with the Bolshoi Ballet, Osipova went on to leave the company two years later for the Mikhailovsky, in which she became a balletic household name. Her 2006 performance with the Bolshoi made her an overnight star when then-director Alexei Ratmansky picked her out of the corps de ballet.

Osipova danced as a guest with the Royal Ballet last year in Swan Lake alongside Carlos Acosta, displaying her dramatic acting range and sheer talent which was a clear hook for the British company. The next season for the Royal Ballet, beginning on 30 September, will be Osipova’s first, and she will be taking on the full range of the company’s heritage and modern repertory.

Osipova is hoped to be dancing the lead in Acosta’s new production of Don Quixote, with critics believing that Osipova will rise easily to the fantastic virtuosity and brilliance that is demanded by the role with the Royal Ballet, having honed the leading role herself worldwide previously, perhaps even her signature with the iconic head kick-jeté that is so recognisable.

Currently a principal at American Ballet Theatre until the end of June as well as the Mikhailovsky, Osipova intends to continue performing with both companies in addition to the Royal Ballet. She will also remain involved in the three-year agreement for freelance engagements with her on- and off-stage partner, Ivan Vasiliev, which expires in 2016 but will be arranged around her Royal Ballet schedule. The pair will next perform in California with the American premiere of Roland Petit’s Le jeune homme et la mort, alongside a new creation, which will also be performed in Moscow. Osipova and Vasiliev are also returning to London this summer for a performance with the Bolshoi, and the pair will be moving to the UK.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Royal Opera House 2012/13 Season

The Royal Opera House

The Royal Ballet company has announced the Guest Artists who are due to don their show tights and ballet shoes and join the company for the 2012/13 season.

Tamara Rojo and Sergei Polunin are both set to return, despite Polunin’s controversial exit from the company earlier this year: it could be argued that Polunin was too hasty to throw his legwarmers out of his well-made and preparatory pram. However, he is set to re-join the Royal Ballet Company as a Guest Artist which, presumably, can be the favoured option for some dancers. Rojo and Polunin will return to the Royal Opera House for three farewell performances of Marguerite and Armand on 12, 15 and 21 February 2013. The pair originally danced the ballet to audience acclaim in October 2011, and is now expected to do the same 2 years on. Marguerite and Armand will be Rojo’s final farewell performance in Covent Garden as a reprise, before she takes up her new role as Artistic Director at English National Ballet in August 2012.

Additionally, Natalia Osipova is to debut alongside Carlos Acosta, a well-loved favourite of audiences globally. Osipova, Principal of the Mikhailovsky Ballet will make her Royal Ballet debut in Swan Lake, where she will dance alongside regular Principal Guest Artist Acosta on 10, 13 and 25 October. Next season will be Osipova’s first appearance (with her tutu) with the company, and it seems the arts scene is greatly anticipating her work with Acosta who is renowned worldwide for his strength, artistry and phenomenal technique.

Tickets for Swan Lake are currently on sale with public booking for Marguerite and Armand opening on 17 October.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.