Ballets Russes Google Doodle

Yesterday marked the 145th birthday of Ballets Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev - to celebrate this Google created a doodle in his honour. Without Diaghilev the arts and in particular ballet would be very different. The Ballets Russes was the most significant artistic enterprise of the C20th and it was led by the indomitable figure of Diaghilev.… Continue reading Ballets Russes Google Doodle

Carlotta Edwards – Collecting Vintage Ballet

The 1950s saw an explosion of all things ballet in popular culture. One of the most prominent artists was Carlotta Edwards (1894 - 1977). Edwards was the daughter of the French painter Ferdinand Pourrier. Her ballet scenes once graced the bedrooms of little girls (and big) all over England but were very popular in Australia and New Zealand. Edwards appears to have… Continue reading Carlotta Edwards – Collecting Vintage Ballet

Two treasures of The Russian Ballet at ABT

  American Ballet Theatre this season is presenting two ballets from the bright and colourful canon of the Ballets Russes and Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. On the 6th of June ABT opened The Golden Cockerel, a reworked version of the popular 1937 production created for the Royal Danish Ballet in 2012. Please see my… Continue reading Two treasures of The Russian Ballet at ABT

The Golden Cockerel Flies Again

In 2011 I had the great opportunity to work with designer Richard Hudson on a reinterpretation of The Golden Cockerel for The Royal Danish Ballet. My role was to research the original productions from 1914 and 1937, produced by the Ballets Russes and Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. Hudson and choreographer Alexei Ratmansky then used… Continue reading The Golden Cockerel Flies Again

Sono Osato

Sono Osato, b.1919, was not only the first dancer of Japanese descent to join the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, but was also the first American. She joined the company at just fourteen and would go to become a widely acclaimed dancer, dancing with ABT and on Broadway. Last month, in Sono's native Chicago, the… Continue reading Sono Osato

A New Firebird

Last Friday I saw the Danish Dance Theatre's new production of The Firebird at the Republique in Copenhagen. Choreographed by the company's director Tim Rushton the production was performed live to the seventy piece strong Copenhagen Philharmonic orchestra. The multidisciplinary performance created an amazing new version of the ballet, with innovative costume designs by Åsa Gjersted and set by Johan Kølkjær and Martin… Continue reading A New Firebird

The Sleeping Beauty Wakes

American Ballet Theatre's new production of  Sleeping Beauty had its New York première at the Metropolitan Opera House on the 29th of May. I  was involved in the production by researching the 1921 Ballets Russes version of The Sleeping Princess upon which American Ballets Theatre's new production design is based. Designer Richard Hudson used the original designs 1921… Continue reading The Sleeping Beauty Wakes

A New Carabosse

In less then two weeks Alexei Ratmansky's production of The Sleeping Beauty  for American Ballet Theatre will open at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, California. Ratmansky's version  of the Imperial Russian classic is based on the 1921 production staged by the Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev created many links to the original… Continue reading A New Carabosse

Hooks and Bars

Here are some lovely photographs of one of the Mazurka costumes from Act 5 of the 1921 production of the Sleeping Princess, designed by Bakst. There were originally 12 Mazurka Ladies in this scene. These costume are now all over the world including the Museum of London, National Gallery of Australia, Wadsworth Atheneum and Dansmuseet Stockholm.

Waking the Sleeping Princess

In February last year I was asked by designer Richard Hudson and choreographer Alexei Ratmansky to research the Ballets Russes' 1921 production of the Sleeping Princess (Sleeping Beauty) for a new reinterpretation of the ballet. The production was originally designed by Leon Bakst and  no expense was spared. The new ballet is a joint venture between American Ballet… Continue reading Waking the Sleeping Princess