Alexei Ratmansky's new full-length work, Of Love and Rage, will be a co-production between the National Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
Of Love and Rage is based on Callirhoe, one of the earliest novels ever written, set in ancient Greece. The epic tale tells the story of legendary beauty Callirhoe and her lover Chaereus and the daunting obstacles they must navigate. French composer Cécile Chaminade told the story in her only ballet, Callirhoé from 1888. Chaminade was the first female composer to be awarded the Légion d'Honneur, and Ambroise Thomas said, “This is not a woman who composes, but a composer who is a woman.”
Of Love and Rage features music by Aram Khachaturian with sets and costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant, evoking a Mediterranean landscape to frame the lovers' adventures, with lighting by Duane Schuler.
The world premiere will be performed by ABT at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, 5-8 March 2020. ABT will reprise the work at New York's Metropolitan Opera House 2-6 June 2020. Of Love and Rage will make its Canadian premiere during the National Ballet's 2021/22 season in Toronto.
Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, said,
I am a great admirer of Alexei's work. His understanding of classical vocabulary is unmatched, and his ballets are always inventive and masterful.
One of the highlights of my tenure as Artistic Director has been commissioning him to create a new Romeo and Juliet in 2011 and I could not be more delighted to add Of Love and Rage, a second full-length work by him, to our repertoire.
Ratmansky created Romeo and Juliet for the National Ballet in 2011 to celebrate the company's 60th anniversary. In addition to Of Love and Rage and Romeo and Juliet, the National Ballet has several of Ratmansky's works in its repertoire: Russian Seasons, Symphony #9 and Piano Concerto #1.
The company's Executive Director Barry Hughson, said,
The National Ballet is very pleased to partner with American Ballet Theatre on the creation of this important new work by one of today's most revered choreographers. New work is the life blood of any ballet company but also a big financial undertaking.
In addition to the co-production of Of Love and Rage with ABT, we have been fortunate to partner with some of the world's leading dance institutions including The Royal Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet and Sadler's Wells to share the financial investment and artistic success of new productions.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.