Apr 162014
Rossella Brescia and the company of Amarcord on the Spanish Steps 500x340 Fellinian ballet flash mob descends on Romes Spanish Steps

Ros­sella Bres­cia and the com­pany of Amar­cord on the Span­ish Steps

Tour­ists on Rome’s Span­ish Steps were taken by sur­prise yes­ter­day after­noon when a com­pany of dan­cers des­cen­ded on them dressed as char­ac­ters from Fed­erico Fellini’s Amar­cord.

Italian bal­let dan­cer and all-round enter­tainer Ros­sella Bres­cia, with the entire com­pany of dan­cers from Dan­zitalia in their 1930s garb, along with cho­reo­grapher Luciano Can­nito and designer Roberta Guidi di Bagno, arrived dan­cing down the myth­ical marble steps to the delight of chil­dren and adults alike.

Cannito’s Amar­cord was cre­ated in 1995 for Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and was sub­sequently presen­ted at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and the Met­ro­pol­itan in New York. In 2012 it was revised by the cho­reo­grapher for an Italian tour with the com­pany Dan­zitalia which he runs with dance pro­du­cer Daniele Cipri­ani.… [con­tinue reading]

Apr 142014
Anna Maria Prina and students of the La Scala Ballet School in 1992 2 700x475 La Scala Ballet Schools director for 32 years on Teaching Dance

Anna Maria Prina and Robert De War­ren with stu­dents of the La Scala Bal­let School in 1992:  on the left Marta Romagna and Roberto Bolle; to the right Mara Galeazzi and Mick Zeni

Italian La Scala Ballet Schools director for 32 years on Teaching Dance

 ver­sione italiana

Anna Maria Prina was the dir­ector of the La Scala Theatre Bal­let School for thiry-two years, pro­du­cing artists such as Mara Galeazzi, Massimo Murru, Roberto Bolle, Mick Zeni, Ren­ata Cal­dar­ini, Alessio Car­bone, Vito Mazzeo, Marco Pierin and Paola Can­ta­lupo, among many, many others.

I asked her what the requis­ites are to become a dance teacher:

Teach­ing is an art, a sci­ence and a gift. It’s a gift to know how to leave a mark in the minds of those who wish to learn. Teach­ing dance isn’t for every­one: it is neces­sary to be gen­er­ous, curi­ous, author­it­at­ive and armed with great pas­sion and patience.… [con­tinue reading]

Apr 132014

Pereira 500x330 La Scalas new boss, Alexander Pereira, clears his nameItalian opera buffs, Milan’s Mayor and La Repub­blica news­pa­per were angry and amazed when news from Aus­tria revealed that the Salzburg Festival’s cur­rent dir­ector, Alex­an­der Pereira, was selling seven of its pro­duc­tions to La Scala, where Pereira will take over in Octo­ber of this year. That is, he was selling his pro­duc­tions to him­self. A con­flict of interests?

La Repub­blica asked one of their top journ­al­ists, Nat­alia Aspesi, to get to the bot­tom of things, and she spoke with Pereira in Moscow.

I want to let Milan know imme­di­ately the type of sov­rin­tend­ente I’ll be, and the type of pro­duc­tions I want to do there, so I have chosen the best of the Festival.

It was also falsely repor­ted that all seven pro­duc­tions would be in the same sea­son, whereas they will be spread over the first three seasons:

The four titles from Salzburg that will be divided over the 2015 and 2016 sea­sons cost Salzburg €4,450,000, and the Mil­anese theatre will get them at €690,000 each; a very good price.… [con­tinue reading]

Apr 122014
alexander pereira 500x281 Storm as La Scalas new boss buys seven of his own Salzburg productions for Milan

photo by Char­lotte Oswald

The new sov­rin­tend­ente at La Scala, Alex­an­der Pereira, has bought for his first sea­son with the Mil­anese theatre, seven pro­duc­tions from the Salzburg Fest­ival, where he is cur­rently play­ing out his last sea­son as its director.

The affair, first repor­ted in the Aus­trian press, came as a sur­prise to Milan’s Mayor, Giuli­ano Pis­apia, who is Chair­man on the Board of Dir­ect­ors at Teatro alla Scala:

I learned of the affair from the press. I’m amazed. I have asked for all the neces­sary doc­u­ment­a­tion and then will dis­cuss the mat­ter at the next meet­ing with the board of directors.

That meet­ing is in two days time, Monday 14 April.

La Repub­blica news­pa­per repor­ted that some board mem­bers are say­ing that as Pereira’s con­tract doesn’t start until 1 Octo­ber he has no power to start buy­ing and selling.[con­tinue reading]

Apr 112014

logo opera di firenze Zubin Mehta brings Kunde, Cedolins, Ferri and Kunde to open the new Florence Opera HouseI’ve only one thing to ask our Prime Min­is­ter, who is mak­ing so many reforms: I hope with all my heart that he will intro­duce tax relief for cul­ture. It is of the utmost importance!

Zubin Mehta, dir­ector of the Mag­gio Musicale Fiorentino, launched his appeal to Mat­teo Renzi, the cur­rent Italian Prime Min­is­ter and former Florence Mayor, dur­ing a press con­fer­ence to illus­trate the prin­cipal events dur­ing the Festival’s 77th edi­tion. The Fest­ival and its dance com­pany, Mag­gi­odanza, have suffered from massive fin­an­cial prob­lems over the last few years.

There will be excit­ing new changes for the Mag­gio Musicale Fiorentino — the old­est Fest­ival in Europe, after Salzburg - as the new opera house will finally open on 10 May, three years after its offi­cial open­ing in 2011.… [con­tinue reading]

Apr 102014
RBwinterstale2014prodJP02326 304x500 Preview of tonights new Wheeldon ballet: The Winter’s Tale

Sarah Lamb as Per­dita and Steven McRae as Flor­izel in Act II of The Winter’s Tale — photo ROH / Johan Persson, 2014

The Royal Ballet’s new­est com­mis­sion débuts at the Royal Opera House tonight: Chris­topher Wheeldon’s full-length bal­let, The Winter’s Tale.

An excit­ing cast fea­tures  Edward Wat­son and Lauren Cuth­bertson as Leontes and Her­mi­one, Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb as Flor­izel and Per­dita and Fed­erico Bön­elli and Zenaida Yanowksy as Polixenes and Paulina.

The Lon­don run is almost all sold out, before any­one has had the chance to see it, which says some­thing for the audience’s faith in the Royal Bal­let, their dan­cers, and Mr Wheel­don. Bal­let lov­ers world-wide will get a chance to see the bal­let on Monday 28 April.… [con­tinue reading]

Apr 092014
Steven McRae Dancer in the Fast Lane by Andrej Uspenski 435x500 Andrej Uspenski with Steven McRae in the Fast Lane

Steven McRae Dan­cer in the Fast Lane by Andrej Uspenski

Andrej Uspenski has phở­to­graphed Steven McRae over the past year, and the res­ults can be seen in his new book, Dan­cer in the Fast Lane.

The book con­tains more than 70 col­our images taken from the wings, in rehearsal and dur­ing per­form­ances at the Royal Opera House. Aus­tralian McRae, one of The Royal Ballet’s most excit­ing Prin­cipal dan­cers, has been with the com­pany since 2003, so this pub­lic­a­tion is a timely tenth anniversary present.

Steven McRae’s pas­sion for drag car racing has been fre­quently doc­u­mented, and speed is a char­ac­ter­istic of his dan­cing, so the fast lane is cer­tainly where to find him.

This is Uspenski’s third book; Dan­cers – Behind the Scenes at The Royal Bal­let and Nat­alia Osipova — Becom­ing a Swan being the pre­vi­ous titles.… [con­tinue reading]

Apr 092014
Roberto Bolle by Bruce Weber Vanity Fair cover 374x500 Roberto Bolle: a nude cover, politics, and finishing a career

Roberto Bolle by Bruce Weber — Van­ity Fair cover

Italy’s Van­ity Fair cel­eb­rates Roberto Bolle’s 20-year career with a cover and a photo shoot by Bruce Weber.

Silvia Nucini talked with the Italian bal­let star.

For dec­ades we’ve been gov­erned by short-sighted politi­cians. Our strengths are art and cul­ture. I can real­ise that not every­body can under­stand that invest­ing in these is some­thing that can uplift the human spirit, but why can’t they under­stand that art and cul­ture can pro­duce wealth. Instead, we hear only about cuts. Here at La Scala we do bal­lets that guar­an­tee a sold-out theatre, but this lim­its creativity.

In Amer­ica the arts are sup­por­ted by private sub­sidy, encour­age by tax advant­ages, or because such con­tri­bu­tions reflects well on the investor.… [con­tinue reading]