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75° Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

75° Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Florence, Italy,  4th may – 10th june 2012

“Il Viaggio – Dalla Mitteleuropa al Sudamerica”

“The Travel – From Mitteleurope to South America”

By Fabio Bardelli

translation from italian to english Bruno Tredicine

The Rosecavallier by Richard Strauss will be back at the repertoire, conducted by Zubin Mehta.

FLORENCE: This year the prestigious Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, still one of the most important musical events in Italy, reaches its 75th edition. It was founded in 1933, so it’s the oldest Italian Festival and surely one of the most important worldwide.

Florence is internationally viewed as the cradle of culture; here Opera was born, thanks to Giulio Caccini and Jacopo Peri, between the 16th and 17th centuries. Music and culture are deeply rooted in this town, so it was almost a natural process that gave birth in 1933 to this Festival, thanks to Luigi Ridolfi, Vittorio Gui and their farsightedness.

Over the years the Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino added other “side events” of extra-musical nature, while operas and concert were still the core of the manifestation.

This year, checking the program, it seems that these “side events” have taken more space, leaving almost music on the background, as if – being impossible to organize musical performances of the highest interest – they had preferred to fill the season with any kind of events.

This year the title “From Mitteleurope to South America” is the fil rouge of the Festival, which is dedicated to Amerigo Vespucci, on the 500th  anniversary of his death. He was a Florentine, a great navigator whose name is tied to the discovery of faraway lands in South America.

Zubin Mehta

So this Festival is almost a prologue of next tournée of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra under Zubin Metha, next August in South America.

Regarding the operas, the Management has to fight against the economical crisis, something that affects the whole cultural world in Italy. Anyway, the good new is that Richard Strauss opera Der Rosenkavalier is back to Florence after 23 years. Strauss’ masterwork will be conducted by Zubin Mehta always beloved by the local audience, so much that in 2006 he was nominated Honorary Life Conductor of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra. Der Rosenkavalier will be staged by Eike Gramss and the vocal cast will be first class.

A contemporary opera, commissioned by the Theatre, is La Metamorfosi, based upon Franz Kafka, composed by the young italian componist Silvia Colasanti.

Two works by Bela Bartòk in one evening will follow, the ballet The miraculous Mandarin (choreography by Jo Kanamori) and the opera Bluebeard’s Castle.

Still in the ballet field, there will be Hindemith’s The four Temperaments with the historic choreography by George Balanchine, and Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht (choreography by Susanne Linke). The Bartòk evening should have had Seiji Ozawa on the podium, but unfortunately he had to cancel for health reasons, so in his place we will see the Hungarian conductor Zsolt Hamar.

Radu Lupu, piano Photo: Mary Robert, Decca

Then, there will be symphonic concerts and solo recitals; among others, pianist Radu Lupu, a concert under Zubin Mehta and the final evening with Georg Friedrich Händel’s oratory “Israel in Egypt” under Fabio Biondi.

Many concerts will take place in the old Teatro Comunale, but some of the others in the Sala Grande of New Florence Opera House, where works are still in progress and that will be completed unfortunately with some delay on the program. But the Sala Grande is ready, at least for concerts; it was inaugurated last December, so it’s beautiful and important to see some of the performances there, almost as a sign of change for the future.

John Cage

For the rest, there are many concerts, also of contemporary music, tributes to John Cage and Messiaen, Rihm and Debussy, plays, movies, meetings, art exhibits and so on, in many of Florence’s most important locations, such as Teatro della Pergola or Chiostro di San Lorenzo.

A musical evening with soprano Angela Gheorghiu and tenor Saimir Pirgu will be the link with Tuscan Sun Festival, that this year will move from Cortona to Florence from 11th to 18th June.




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


DANCE YOUR LIFE at Pompidou, Paris

Danser sa vie - DANCE YOUR LIFE at Centre Pompodue. Last day April 2nd. 2012. Photo: Henning Høholt.

DANCE YOUR LIFE at Pompidou Center, Paris last day April 2nd 2012.

This outstanding exhibition has managde to collect the mst impressing collection of dance with links to visual arts from 1900 until today. It is a large success for the Pompidou center, and has been visitid by a large audience.

Please enjoy the photos from the exhibition by Henning Høholt

Presentation of the exhibition
by Christine Macel and Emma Lavigne, curators at the Musée national d’art moderne

From November 2011, the Pompidou Centre is showing an unprecedented exhibition on the links between the visual arts and dance, from the 1900s until today. “Danser sa vie” shows how they lit the spark of modernity to feed the major movements and figures that have written the history of Modern and Contemporary art. In a space of over two thousand square meters, the exhibition illustrates its theme with works by artistic figures of the 20th century, the founding movements of modernity, as well as the work and research of contemporary artists and dancers.

The entrance room is acting as an introduction, dominated by Henri Matisse large La Danse de Paris (1931-1933), where it immediately is placed in cooperation with a life performer of today. Photo: Henning Høholt

Divided into three parts, the exhibition shows art and dance’s common interest in the moving body. Highlighting this hidden side of the avant-gardes and this vibrant source of inspiration for contemporary art, “Danser sa vie” brings together all disciplines in an enriching dialogue – from the visual arts – up to contemporary video – and choreographic art. A vast selection pf paintings, sculptures, installations, audiovisual works and choreographic pieces testify to their ceaseless exchanges in a sometimes inseparable dialogue.”

“My art is just an effort to express the truth of my being in gesture and movement. (…) When I was in front of the audiences that flocked to see my performances, I never hesitated. I gave them my soul’s innermost impulses. From the beginning, I have only danced my life.” Isadora Duncan, My Life, 1928.

A Fauns Afternoon, that Vaslav Nijinsky created in 1912 as a part of Dhiaghilevs Ballets Russes, is presented in film version, but a never version with Nicola Le Riche from Ballet de l´Opera de Paris. Photo: Henning Høholt

A cross between Dionysian burst of life and Apollonian aspiration, dance played a pivotal role in the modern aesthetic revolution. Thanks to pioneers such as Loïe Fuller and Isadora Duncan, not to mention the genius of Vaslav Nijinsky, the art of the body in motion, an art of space and time, underwent an unprecedented shift. This upheaval had a decisive influence on the development of the visual arts. “Danser sa vie” retraces this little-known history, highlighting the common themes between the modern era and today, in order to delve back to the sources of dance, recently rekindled by the contemporary art scene. Its aim is to highlight dance as “a hidden face of the avant-gardes” and to weave arabesques in the historical design which links the past to the present : this desire became stronger in the wake of the loss of figures lately as important as Pina Bausch, Merce Cunninghma or Kazuo Ono.

The exhibition is organized around three sections with a constant to-and-fro between historical works and today, with unprecedented encounters. One of the main challenges was how to “exhibit dance”. Mediums are intermingled to encourage the spectator’s complete immersion, projecting him as close as possible to the body in motion through the use of film.

Costumes, and the same costumes in action in the film form the prformance behind. Photo: Henning Høholt

The first room introduces the exhibition’s themes: the modern masterpiece by Henri Matisse “La Danse”, on exceptional loan from the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, faces a work by Tino Sehgal, whilst the artist Daria Martin’s film, with its fixed tableaux where the camera moves in place of the body, represents the great figures of modern dance from Josephine Baker to Oskar Schlemmer and Martha Graham.

The same costumes seen from the backside.

These intermingled histories are part of a circuit articulated around a statement by Isadora Duncan that opens the 20th century. “My art is just an effort to express the truth of my being in gesture and movement. (…) From the beginning, I have only danced my life” she wrote in her biography My Life.

Duncan announced thus one of the firm convictions of 20th century art, the attempt to link art to life, from the Dadaists to the participative works of current art. As Merce Cunningham also says, dance is “the visible manifestation of life”, and “that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.” It places life at the heart of its project.

Dance sculptur, inspiration between dance and sculpturer. Photo: Henning Høholt

Three sections define the history of modern and postmodern dance with that of the visual arts. The first deals with the dawn of a new subjectivity which is embodied in the work to become its expression, the second deals with the abstraction of the body and its mechanization, and finally the third focuses on performance, born with the Dada avant-garde, which defined itself through dance to the point of merging with it from the 1960s.

Female dance sculptur, inspiration between dance and sculpturer. Photo: Henning Høholt

“Gesture is the direct agent of the heart”, claimed François Delsarte, a nineteenth century thinker who posthumously influenced the advent of modern dance and its art of expression. The invention of a new subjectivity and expressivity was explored through the emergence of free dance, unfettered by classical ballet and epitomized by the figure of Isadora Duncan. Dancers began to convey a sensual fervour that on occasions caused scandal, as was the case with Nijinsky’s rendition of Afternoon of a Faun which represented a new source of Dionysian inspiration for artists. In Germany, the Expressionist current triggered a wealth of exchanges between painters and dancers.

Art inspired by Dance. Or Art as inspiration for dance. Photo: Henning Høholt

While Laban embodied the new figure of the dancer as educator and theoretician, Mary Wigman, one of his pupils at the free community of Monte Verità, best epitomized the figure of woman beset with life and death urges, as illustrated in her famous Witch’s dance. Wigman, who viewed herself as a dancer of humanity, proved equally fascinating to painters Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, not to mention her pupil Gret Palucca. Following on from this Ausdruckstanz, a reflection of German Expressionism, came the creation of Theatertanz by Pina Bausch, who was herself a descendant of the choreographer Kurt Jooss.

Pina Bausch, front of dance book.

Dancers and artists invent a new repertory of gestures and plastic forms, inviting the body to cross the threshold of modernity.

The history of abstraction would not be what it is without dance. Mirroring the technical innovations of an increasingly industrialized twentieth century, dancers and artists invented a new repertory of gestures and plastic forms, inviting the body to cross the threshold of modernity. At the turn of the century, inspired by the advent of electric lighting, Loïe Fuller’s creative imagination sparked another revolution with her kinetic ballets. The impact of her serpentine dances on artists, from the chromatic, rhythmical symphonies of Sonia Delaunay to the vibrant energy of Gino Severini and Fortunato Depero’s Futurist works, was considerable.

“Dance has always drawn on life for its rhythms and forms (…) One must imitate the movements of machines with gestures; pay assiduous court to steering wheels, ordinary wheels, pistons, thereby preparing the fusion of man with the machine, to achieve the metallicity of the Futurist dance”, wrote Filippo Tommasso Marinetti in his “Manifesto of Futurist Dance” in 1917.

The whole gamut of avant-garde movements, Cubism, Futurism, Orphism, De Stijl, Dada, Bauhaus or Russian Constructivism, also latched on to dance, all fascinated by the body in motion and by the colours, lines, energy and rhythms of dance. From Francis Picabia to Fernand Léger, from Theo Van Doesburg to Varvara Stepanova, dance generates new abstract rhythms and mechanical ballets. This geometrised, elementarised, mechanised and stylised body also played a fundamental role in the research instigated by Laban, dancer, draughtsman and founder of the choreutic. His icosahedron, a multi-facetted volume encapsulating all the possible movements of the body, proved to have a major influence on dancers such as William Forsythe, and is also echoed in Olafur Eliasson’s more contemporary investigations, including Movement microscope (2011), a work directly inspired by this legacy specially created for the exhibition “Danser sa vie”.

Oskar Schlemmer’s humanist thought, firmly anchored on the future of Man in the face of technology, is echoed for its part in the works of many contemporary artists. One of them is Alwin Nikolais, whose aesthetic premise integrates the world of technology and the stage using lighting effects to create a metamorphosis, turning the geometrised bodies of the dancers into phantasmagorical elements of a global composition. The same can be said of Nicolas Schöffer, who, in the multimedia show Kyldex blends his dancers into his cybernetic sculptures, creating a single organism to depict the continuous flow of energy.

“Look at Jasper Johns’ and Robert Rauschenberg’s painting. They use the canvas as I use the stage.” Merce Cunningham

The last lap of the exhibition explores the exchange between dance and performance art. Ever since the first Dadaist acts at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich during the First World War, dance and performance have been inextricably linked. Dancers Mary Wigman, Emmy Hennings, Suzanne Perrottet and Sophie Taueber-Arp all took part in the Dada adventure, and key figures emerged in the Twenties, such as Valeska Gert or Niddy Impekoven. Performance art would not have been the same without dance. Black Mountain College was the hub of intense activity, with dance and performance becoming increasingly intertwined, largely thanks to the contribution of John Cage and Merce Cunningham in the late 1940s.

Film screening of different kind is being presented. Here a "Dance with me". film. Photo: Henning Høholt

In the 1950s, on America’s West Coast, dancer Anna Halprin made an unprecedented foray into the dialogue between art and life, dance and performance, by inventing “tasks”, movements tied to everyday acts, nature and the socio-political arena. The innovations of the Judson Dance Theater in New York in the 1960s and the happenings of Allan Kaprow and Fluxus in the 1950s and 1960s turned the body in motion into a seismograph of the soul-searching of contemporary society. The aesthetic, formal and conceptual to-and-fro between choreographers and artists seemed boundless. Some, like Robert Rauschenberg, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Morris and Trisha Brown, described themselves as plasticians just as readily as choreographers.

Merce Cunningham’s frequent encounters with abstract expressionist painters led to his conception of the stage space as a non-figurative painting, or as a non-hierarchical space. He is surrounded by a constellation of artists such as Nam June Paik, Warhol or Rauschenberg who were to renew with him the notion of the total art work and of Wagnerian theatre.

Pompidou Center is reaching out to many kind of groups, introducing the fantastic dance art to young and old. Here a group of children being informed. Photo: Henning Høholt,

The experimental tendency of post-modern dance, where art and dance merged, rejected traditional stage designs and the stakes of artistic representation. Trisha Brown, both dancer and plastician, was equally at home in a museum venue, on roofs or in the street. Dance was everywhere and anyone could become a dancer, according to the choreographers Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton and Anna Halprin. As philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman recalls “most of the time, we dance to be together”. This invitation to dance your life has a particular resonance in contemporary art and dance, especially through the revival of a new interest in popular dance, a ceaseless source of inspiration for artists, from Sonia Delaunay and the Bal Bullier to Josephine Baker‘s frenzied dances for Alexander Calder.

In combination for the exhibition it is followed up with an interesting large catalogue made by Christine Macel and Emma Lavigne. 320 pages, including 270 colour illustrations.

The golden age of disco in the late 1970s with John Travolta’s memorable performance in the film Saturday Night Fever still inspires new versions today.

Catalogues waiting for the visitors in the bookshop. In addition to the catalogue a 60 pages illlustrated exhibition guide with 70 illustrations is awailable. Furthermore an Anthology with writings on Dance 240 pages.

In the early 1960s, when he was still dreaming of becoming a tap-dancer, Andy Warhol imprinted his Dance Diagrams with foxtrot steps. The club culture he helped to forge inspired many later artists. The golden age of disco in the late 1970s, with John Travolta’s memorable performance in the film Saturday Night Fever is still inspiring Ange Leccia today, who also worked for a show by Merce Cunningham. Bootsy Collin‘s funk music formed the basis of Adrian Piper’s Funk Lessons and the later Shiva Dances, while bal populaire street parties and go-go dancers were to inspire two unique performance works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, an important artist working in the 1990s.

The bookshop at the Pompidou Center has an updated large well selcted assortiment of dance and choreography books in combination with the Dance Your Life exhibition. Photo: Henning Høholt

Jérôme Bel also draws on great pop music hits for his momentous piece The Show Must Go On … Recent years have witnessed a strong resurgence of dance in contemporary art. Throughout the exhibition, different works by Matthew Barney, Simon Dybbroe Moeller, Olafur Eliasson, Daria Martin, Jeff Mills, Kelly Nipper, Mai-Thu Perret or Tino Sehgal dialogue with modern masterpieces.


By Henning Høholt

As this presentation is so well made, and with so much of interesting details, it seems that the curators,  Christine Macel and Emma Lavigne, completely have forgotten that contemporary dance also existed outside of France and United States.

Why is Birgit Culberg and her special style note mentioned? Outstanding selected choreography by her: The road to Klockrike, Miss Julie based on August Strindbergs novel , The Moon Reindeer, The Lady from the Sea. Psychological insight was Miss Cullberg’s strength, as she showed again in 1982 when the Cullberg Ballet, which she founded in 1967, made its belated United States debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in attendance.

Never shy about exploring the neurotic and the erotic, Miss Cullberg was represented by a duet, ”Adam and Eve,” and an especially sensuous performance of ”Miss Julie,” which nonetheless focused on the class differences between Julie and her servant. In ”Adam and Eve,” Daniela Malusardi and Niklas Ek, Miss Cullberg’s elder son, moved seamlessly from innocent playfulness to adult passion, a couple expelled from Eden but rejecting God as well.

I am too missing her sons Mats Ek on this presentation. In some of Ek’s former choreographies, traditions of Kurt Joos and of his mother, Birgit Cullberg may be apparent. He uses classical as well as modern dance techniques. Social engagement of psychological dilemmas combined with subtle humor, form the basis of his choreographies. For Ek, movement is a means of individual expression. Aesthetic value is not his first priority.

Ivo Cramér,  who often worked in folklore-inspired style with a burlesque incurring and mimic elements, His dance dramas have often had historical and religious subjects. His key work The Prodigal Son, for example, inspired by Dalarna paintings from the eighteenth century, depicting the biblical story of the prodigal son.. From 40th century onwards, Cramer created 200 ballets works. Other missing names are the Rolf de Maré and The Ballet Suedoise.  

Ny norsk Ballett,Norwegian ballet ensemble from 1948 to 1955, with headquarters in Oslo. Managers and principal choreographers were Gerd Kjølås and Louise Browne.Rita Tori replaced 1953 Browne, and the ensemble’s name was changed to the Norwegian National Ballet.

And the outstanding Norwegian choreographers Kjersti Alveberg, Alveberg’s ballets have always been thematically oriented – many were inspired by art, philosophy, poetry and music.  Her own statement: “I didn’t choose dance. Dance chose me! It’s not how you move, but what moves you “.   In 1990 her full length ballet: “Volven”, (Scandinavian saga of creation), premiered at The Norwegian National Ballet with music by Synne Skouen. Her creation “Volven” has been said to be the most grandious and poetic epos created by a Norwegian choreographer so far.

Sølvi Edvardsen  Norwegian choreographer, considered one of the nation’s best. She studied at the Ballet Institute, specializing in Indian dance, with her very demanding and own style.  The high artistic standard gave Sølvi Edvardsen Ballet Critics 1984 for her work Kimen (The Seed) and the same prize to dancer Catherine Smith for her performance in the balletTerra  in 1987. Her first full-length ballet,  the ninth in a row for the Collage. Through her carriere she has for several productions been coopearating with contemporary visual artists in different fields.

From Finland Jorma Uotinen is clearly missing. He is an outstanding Finnish dancer, choreographer, and in the later years singer. As a dancer and choreographer, Uotinen has worked both in many dance groups, both in and outside of Finland, since 1970.

The Royal Danish Ballet’s unique position in many ways has long shadowed the emergence of other ballet ensembles in Denmark, especially in modern dance. The opening of the Dance House in Copenhagen in 1987 have strengthened theposition of modern dance, and in 1993 opened a new scene, specifically designed for the modern dance groups. It is also on a trial basis opened a government-sponsored school that provides instruction in modern dance technique. It is firstand foremost postmodernist dance drama, created in collaboration with Danish modern composers, that characterizes the new dance groups. In addition to theaforementioned groups, it is Enjoy the Danish Dance Theatre, led by Anette Abildgaard and Warren Spears. By Danish choreographers, it is particularly Flemming Flindt who has won acclaim for his Enetime (solo lession) etter Ionesco drama.

It seems that the curators, still they have done a great work, only have had their eyes open in only a few directions, and except for the danish virtual artist Olafur Eliasson, dont know that Scandinavia exist.

However the choise the curators has done to present Dance and the Visual Arts in the 2oth and 21 st Cneturies is well done, but definitely not complete. With nearly 450 works they have included a lot. The exhibiton traces the high points of an untold story.

The videodance festival pesents 250 films that trace the history of dance since the beginning of the twentieth century. Numeros events have been organised in association with the exhibition:

16th International Solo-Dance-Theatre Festival Stuttgart

16th International Solo-Dance-Theatre Festival Stuttgart
A Homage to Tanja Liedtke

The Winners Have Been Selected
The 6 winners of the 16th International Solo-Dance-Theatre Festival Stuttgart are the crème de la crème: this year, 24 dancers and choreographers were chosen for the competition from 316 applications and 11 of them entered the finale which took place on sunday evening. At 10 p.m. the winners were announced. They were awarded for their extraordinary performances.

1st prize Choreography: Rodrigue Ousmane. Photo: Lars Menzel

1st prize in choreography
Rodrigue Ousmane with „Leda“ (see photo)
2nd prize in choreography
Eran Gisin with „Emotions, job, emotions, once a day“
3rd prize in choreography
Verena Wilhelm with „Fire and Forget I“

1st prize in dance: Eleesha Drennan with „Whiskers“. (see photo)

1st. Price Dance: Eleesha Drennan. Foto Jo Grabowski

2nd prize in dance
Hugo Marmelada with „Stepping over stones“
3rd prize in dance
Cass Mortimer Eipper with „Body Song“
Audience prize
Hugo Marmelada (choreography and dance) with „Stepping over stones“
The finale was also reached by:
Emma Sandall (choreography) with „Body Song“
Michael Miler (choreography) and Noa Algazi (dance) with „ME-ror“
Paolo Mangiola (choreography) and Fukiko Takase (dance) with „Nuclear Romances“.
The International Solo-Dance-Theatre Festival has been held by the vhs stuttgart since 2006. It enables young dancers and contemporary choreographers to present their pieces to an international top-class jury and an enthusiastic audience.

The Prizes:
1st prize EUR 3.500 donated by the Ministry of
2nd prize EUR 2.500 Science, Research and the Arts
3rd prize EUR 1.500 Baden-Württemberg
1st prize EUR 3.500 donated by the city of Stuttgart
2nd prize EUR 2.500 donated by WALA Dr. Hauschka Kosmetik
3rd prize EUR 1.500 donated by the city of Stuttgart
Audience prize:
EUR 500 donated by Christine Gugel

The Jury:
Christine Brunel (Germany)
Choreographer and dancer
Cristina Castro (Brazil)
Shane Carroll (Australia)
Dancer and dance teacher
Marco Goecke (Germany)
Samuel Wuersten (Netherlands)
Artistic director of the „Holland Dance Festival“.
Head of the Festival: Gudrun Hähnel
Artistic Director: Marcelo Santos
Curators: Marcelo Santos, Petra Mostbacher-Dix, Gudrun Hähnel, Birgit Brinkmann
Presentation: Aylin Bergemann
Funding provided by the city of Stuttgart, the Tanja Liedtke Foundation, the Robert
Bosch Stiftung, the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg,
the Department of Culture and the Arts in West Australia, WALA Dr. Hauschka
Kosmetik, Bürgerstiftung Stuttgart, the embassy of Spain, the consulate general of
Israel, the embassy of Portugal and the Instituto Camões Portugal, Christine Gugel,
the hotel Rieker Novum and goldfish.

Extraordinary ORLANDO PALADINO at Chatelet.

PARIS: Orlando Paladino (Haydn) at Theatre du Chatelet, was extraordinay good. I have never seen so good a combination between scenography, costumes, dancers, acrobats, singers, musicians. WOW. And the applause wouldnt stop, so they had to give two enchored, the last was definitely not prepared or planned, and became like a happening on stage. Wonderful.

Review by Henning Høholt

Alcina, the fairy, landing from the "heaven": Anna Goryachova n the center, right Ekaterina Bakanova as Angelica. Left Alcinas guard. Photo: Foto; Marie-Noëlle Robert. Scenography, costume: Nicolas Buffe.

Joseph Haydn: New production from the Théâtre du Châtelet: Orlando Paladino.

Following in the footsteps of some illustrious predecessors, not least Händel with his celebrated Orlando, Joseph Haydn and librettist Nunziato Porta were the next to relate the embroiled adventures of Ariosto’s hero.

In a piece combining elements of comedy, magic and heroism, the two authors conduct the action at a devil’s pace, its virtuoso delivery being not without its similarities to Rossini.

Orlando paldino, first act. In the tower: Ekaterina Bakanova as Angelica, the Princess. Foto; Marie-Noëlle Robert. Scenography, costume: Nicolas Buffe.

It seems that it has been a very playfull and fruitfull cooperation between the three outstanding “players”, Kamel Ouali, regi and choreography, Nicolas Buffe, scenography, costumes and the visuall conception, and last, but not least, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, musicality in making this production. Very well helped by the brilliant and playfull light by Renaud Corler.

Pasquale, (Bruno Taddia) is entering in this transport "monster" . The person here is a model.

I enjoyed the very many, but not too many, creasy ideas on stage, inclusive the different transportation bicycles, scooters, cars, and the twisting transparent tower in the first act. Furthermore the sea in the second act, which reminds me of old days scenery at Drottningholm Court Theatre by Stockholm, Sweden. And even with the same type of “sound”.

Furthermore the ballet and the acrobatic events, which only entertained, lifted up some parts of the “entertainments” and didn´t disturbe.  – In this playfull cooperation, notthing was too much. (But I hate, when I see in other performances notice that the stage director don´t trust in the music, and are starting putting in effects to make the stage alive). Here the good action was underlining the playfull production.

Krešimir Špicer´s long and beautifull aria in the last act was a hit.

Sincerelly I do hope that Theatre du Chatelet will put this production back on stage again, so an even much larger audience would get the possibility to enjoy it.

A very good art book presenting  Nicolas Buffe´s art is awailable in the bookshops. Buy it. It is good!!!

In the outstanding cast we enjoyed:

Direction musicale: Jean-Christophe Spinosi

Orlando Paladino, first scene second act. On the bridge: Kresimir Spicer as Orlando paladino. Photo: Marie-Noëlle Robert

Mise en scène et chorégraphie: Kamel Ouali
Conception visuelle et costumes: Nicolas Buffe
Lumières: Renaud Corler

Orlando: ( alternating ) Krešimir Špicer, at the Sunday performance that i attended. /David Curry

Kresimir Spicer was singing the part of Orlando on March 17, 21 & 25.
David Curry was singing the part of Orlando on March 19 & 23.

Angelica: Ekaterina Bakanova
Rodomonte: Joan Martín-Royo
Medoro: Pascal Charbonneau
Licone: ( en alternance ) David Curry on my performance /Krešimir Špicer
Eurilla: Raquel Camarinha

Anegelica and Medoro: Ekaterina Bakanova and Pascal Charbonneau. Photo: Marie-Noëlle Robert

Pasquale: Bruno Taddia
Alcina: Anna Goryachova
Caronte: Adam Palka

I also want to mention the names of the acrobates, dancers, and the jumping wader:

Acrobates: Compagnie des Farfadais – outstanding.

Danseurs: Marjorie Ascione, Delphine Attal, Cécile Chaduteau, Iskai Davis, David Drouard, Fly, France Hervé, Medhi Ouacheck, Geoffrey Ploquin, Gaëtan Renaudin, Salem Sobihi, Nadine Timas, Alexandre Zounoun.

The jumping wader: Louis Fait.

Wild with desire for the princess Angelica, the paladin Orlando is intent on thwarting the love of the young woman for her betrothed, Medoro. His squire, Pasquale, seizes on the opportunity to woo the shepherdess, Eurilla, while the boastful knight, Rodomonte, becomes Angelica’s protector and the sorceress, Alcina, watches over the lovers’ happiness.

The work:

Rodomonte: Joan-Martin Royo, surrounded by left David Curry as Licone and right raquel Camarinha as Eurilla. Photo: Marie-Noëlle Robert

Composed by Joseph Haydn and staged in 1782 after the libretto by Nunziato Porta, his usual librettist, this comic heroic drama inspired by Ariosto’s work was already part of the particularly “comic” opera repertory in 18th century musical theatre.

Intended to celebrate the visit of the Grand Duke Paul of Russia to Eszterháza in 1782, and staged for the festival of St. Nicholas (Patron Saint of Prince Eszterházy), Orlando Paladino was staged 30 times after its creation before becoming Haydn’s most popular opera, thereby taking him across Europe between 1791 and 1798.

As testimony to its widespread circulation, thirteen German copies and eight Italian copies of the score still remain in existence. But it was the publication of the critical edition, in 1972, which marked its big come-back to the international stage, in the early 80s.

It provides for irresistible entertainment, whose virtuosity and happy combination of serious and comedic, magic and heroic, is somewhat reminiscent of Rossini…

Ncolas Buffe´s oriental phantasy world is the surrounding around Orlando paladino. Photo: Antoine Piechaud.

Nicolas Buffe describes his world:

Ornament, grotesques
My work inherits its structure from the Roman grotesques, those ornaments rediscovered during the Renaissance in the ruins of Emperor Nero’s Golden Villa. Grotesques permit great freedom of work: improbable encounters, cumulative imagery, negation of spaces and fusion of species, the manipulation of weightiness of form and an insolent proliferation of hybrids. Far from being senseless, these juxtapositions permit great depth of iconological and iconographical debate.

Discoveries, DIY and a mix of erudite culture and pop culture
Joining, sticking, combining figures taken from popular and erudite culture, I proceed by producing the most eloquent associations according to whim. The dialogue between past and present, which is deeply ingrained in my work, is tantamount to entertainment. However, as during the Renaissance, it is a serious game that I strive to produce, one that questions and stimulates thought.

Nicolas Buffe is represented by galerie Schirman & de Beaucé.

Jean-Christophe Spinosi is conducting the playfull performance. Photo: Genestier.

Jean-Christophe Spinosi reacquaints himself here with some characters who are familiar to him, thanks to his having directed and recorded them in the Vivaldi version for his Orlando furioso. He forms a team with choreographer, Kamel Ouali,

Kamel Ouli, stage director and choreographer. Photo: DR

to whom Le Châtelet has already played host for the stage production of Gérard Pesson’s Pastorale, and Kamel Ouali is this time also responsible for stage direction. Combining comics, cartoons and manga with the unbridled energy of Renaissance grotesqueries and other ornamental exuberances, visual artist, Nicolas Buffe, transports us into a world where pop and classical culture merge to become one.

OPERA and BALLET at Opéra de Paris 2012-13

Please enjoy how Nicolas Joel, Director of the Opéra de Paris presents the programme for 2012-13:

Palais Garnier, Paris. Photo: Henning Høholt

Opera programme includes:

This season will be rich in celebrations. In 1713, Louis XIV, wishing to consolidate the Royal Academy of Music, established a dance school which has ever since perpetuated the tradition of French choreographic style. In 2013, we will also be celebrating the bicentenary of two of the great reformers of 19th century opera, Wagner and Verdi, with The Ring of the Nibelung conducted by our musical director Philippe Jordan, along with Verdi’Falstaff and the Requiem.

We shall play host to La Fille du regiment starring Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Florez and to a new Carmendirected by Yves Beaunesne and performed by Anna Caterina Antonacci and Karine Deshayes. Both Ponchielli’s flamboyant La Gioconda, with Violeta Urmana and Marcelo Alvarez and Hänsel & Gretel by Humperdinck, staged by Mariame Clément and conducted by Claus Peter Flor, will also join the repertoire.

Other works alongside Tosca, Le Nozze di Figaro and La Cenerentolainclude Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress, Mussorgsky’s Khovantchina and the diptych formed by Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges.

Opera Bastille, Paris.

The Ballet programme includes:

In this its tercentennial season, the Paris Opera Ballet will be showing off its eternal youth and creativity. The greatest choreographers will be present. What better proof of the company’s extraordinary diversity than the fact that Pierre Lacotte’s La Sylphide, Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quichottand Signes by Carolyn Carlson and Olivier Debré all contribute to making up its identity? Marie-Agnès Gillot will create her first choreography for the Company and a new Boléro will be unveiled by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Damien Jalet and Marina Abramovic. All this and more keep the passion and spirit of this incomparable opera house alive whilst arousing the curiosity and passion of our ever-growing audience.

Edinburgh International Festival 2012

3,000 artists from 47 nations to Edinburgh in August for Edinburgh International Festival 2012

Cinderella - Mariinsky Ballet

 EDINBURGH: It’s here! The full programme for Festival 2012 has now been launched. Packed full of world-class dance, opera, theatre and music from around the world, Festival 2012 brings over 3,000 artists from 47 nations to Edinburgh in August for what promises to be an extra special year. We’d love you to join us.

Start planning your Festival now

Public booking opens on Saturday 24 March, so start planning your Festival today to ensure you don’t miss out on those must-see shows. Director Jonathan Millls has presented the 2012 program.

2008: Macbeth

Exceptional drama from some of the world’s greatest theatre directors including Tadashi Suzuki, Silvia Purarete, Dmitry Krymov and Matthew Lenton.

For the first time since 2008, the Festival returns to the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston with a packed programme offering three outstanding productions –  TR Warszawa’s 2008: Macbeth, acclaimed director Christoph Marthaler’s Meine faire Dame- ein Sprachlabor and a rare chance to see Ariane Mnouchkine’s spectacular fantasy, Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir.
Deborah Colker Company
We have scintillating classical and contemporary dance, from the famed Mariinsky Ballet’s innovative interpretation of Cinderella to the sultry Tatayana from Brazil’s Deborah Colker Dance Company.
Scottish Opera - Clemency
Our opera programme includes a new production of The Makrololus Case by Czech composer Leos Janácek from Opera North, Les Arts Florisant’s version of Charpentier’s David et Jonathas and world premieres from Scottish Opera.
Experience the very best international orchestras, ensembles and soloists, from our intimate morning recitals at the Queen’s Hall to large scale evening concerts in the Usher Hall including the London symphony Orchestra led by Valery Gergiev, the Cleveland Orchestra, Nicola Benedetti, Deborah Voigt, David Daniels and many more.