reviews of opera, ballet, performances, classical music, design, arts, books.


By Henning Høholt

PARIS: It is not only the Ballet at the Paris Opera which is presenting ballets in Paris. Internationally the large famouse companies are also visiting Paris, and many smaller companies tryes to attend the interest of the Paris audience, and it is very interesting to notice that they are being noticed, and they are through that helping to build up their international image.

This summer Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shall visit Théâtre du Châtelet between 25 June – 21 July, and Paul Taylor Dance Company at Théâtre National du Chaillot between 19.-28. June. Both companies in the fram of the ballets summer festival in Paris Les Eté de la Danse. Lately we had the farewell tourne visiting Theatre de la Ville of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, who has stopped after Merce Cunningham´s died.

Contrasting to Les Ballets Russes 2012  at Théâtre des Champs Élysées which presents Cléopatra – Ida Rubinstein, Firebird and La Spectre de la Rose, 28 June to July 1st.  – But in fact contrasting is perhaps not correct to say. As what Les Ballets Russes was presenting 100 years ago, was at that time contemporary dance. Please read or presentation of the Les Ballets Russes programme at for 29th March.

Summer Dance Program

Renee Robinson in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

In 2012, the festival Les Etés de la Danse will have the pleasure to present the return of the ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER from June 25 – July 21 at the landmark Théâtre du Châtelet, under the artistic direction of its new director Robert Battle, for his first season.

Presenting 28th performances, with several different programs.

The company will perform a large and varied repertory of ballets, including the long time favorite Master work : Revelations.



ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance.

Briana Reed. Photo by Andrew Eccles

The Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 23 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents — as well as millions more through television broadcasts.

In 2008, a U.S. Congressional resolution designated the Company as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world,” one that celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage.

When Mr. Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his “blood memories” of Texas, the blues, spirituals and gospel as inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, Revelations.

Although he created 79 ballets over his lifetime, Mr. Ailey maintained that his company was not exclusively a repository for his own work.

A. Douthit K. Boyd and Y. Lebrun. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Today, the Company continues Mr. Ailey’s mission by presenting important works of the past and commissioning new ones. In all, more than 200 works by over 80 choreographers are part of the Ailey company’s repertory.

Before his untimely death in 1989, Alvin Ailey designated Judith Jamison as his successor, and over the next 21 years, she brought the Company to unprecedented success.

In July 2011, Ms. Jamison passed the mantle to Robert Battle. In announcing his appointment as Artistic Director, Ms. Jamison stated, “Combining an intimate knowledge of the Ailey company with an independent perspective, Robert Battle is without question the creative force of the future.”

The 15 ballets :
• 3 ballets d’Alvin Ailey : Night Creature, Revelations, Streams
• 3 ballets de Robert Battle : In/Side, Takademe, The Hunt
• 1 ballet de Judith Jamison : Love Stories avec Robert Battle et Rennie Harris
• 3 ballets d’Ulysses Dove : Episodes, Urban Folk Dance, Vespers
• 1 ballet de Camille A. Brown : The Evolution of a Secured Feminine
• 1 ballet de Rennie Harris : Home
• 1 ballet de Ohad Naharin : Minus 16
• 1 ballet de Paul Taylor : Arden Court
• 1 ballet de Joyce Trisler : Journey

– – – – – – –

Paul Taylor Dance Company at Théâtre National du Chaillot between 19.-28. June

Cloven Kingdom par la Paul Taylor Dance Company. Photo Tom Caravaglia

After welcoming the dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov last September, the National Theatre of Chaillot has renewed its partnership with The Festival of Dance Summers in with the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

Esplanade par la Paul Taylor Dance Company. Photo: Paul B. Goode

Paul Taylor (81 years) is a figure “history” of the American modern dance.

Having started as a dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company – like the late MerceCunningham – he moved away from these two choreographers, creating his own style, both made of fluidity, agility, strength and athletic daring provocations, indicating a free spirit and nonconformist.

Company B par la Paul Taylor Dance Company. Photo: Paul B. Goode.

The work of Paul Taylor (135 choreography to date) has several facets: clear andsometimes joyous, sometimes dark, sometimes funny, often even wacky, but alsolyrical and poetic.

Choreographer architectures light listening to music, he is alsoworried the observer of society, pitching with a portrait of the corrosive humorbehaviors, mocking the foibles of his contemporaries and denouncing the manipulators or the influence exerted by a group.

He also enjoys playing appearances and the real border of dream and imagination, visited by the angel of the bizarre.

The Paul Taylor Dance is not just “entertainment”.


Les Etés de la Danse is an annual dance festival that began in July 2005 with an extremely well received engagement of the San Francisco Ballet. Addressing the lack of major performing arts presentations during the summer in Paris, the festival brings the world’s greatest companies to enthusiastic audiences in the European capital of dance. Madame Jacques Chirac, former First Lady of France, is the Honorary President of the festival; Marina de Brantes, a leader of numerous artistic and humanitarian organizations, is the President of a prestigious Board composed of a number of prominent cultural, social, business and political figures. Valery Colin, a former dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet, is the festival’s founder and director.

The festival first presented the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2006 and it was a such a tremendous success for both the large audiences and the dance critics, the festival invited them back in 2009. In the mean time, Les Etés de la Danse invited two other fantastic ballet companies to perform in Paris : the National Ballet of Cuba in 2007 and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal in 2008. During the 2010 cross-year organized by France and Russia, the festival invited two long-awaited Paris premieres. First, Mikhail Baryshnikov performed in his internationally acclaimed program of contemporary solos and duets, and then the National Ballet of Novossibirsk presented some of its repertory, under the dynamic artistic direction of ballet star Igor Zelensky. During the summer of 2011, the Miami City Ballet, directed and founded by Edward Villella, one of America’s most valued dancers was invited in July. Their parisian premiere was the occasion for this company to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary. Then in September the festival was proud to present In Paris the new creation of the Dmitry Krimov Laboratory and the Baryshnikov Art Center (BAC). This work, staring Mikhail Baryshnikov, was greatly appreciated.

Thousands of people from all over the world are expected, once again, to attend next summer’s festival of Les Etés de la Danse to see performances, films, open classes, exhibitions and educational programs.

Beloved Renegades par la Paul Taylor Dance Company. Photo: Paul B. Goode


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