On 28 and 29 January 2023 at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome the latest edition of the annual Les Étoiles gala will offer two programmes for the first time.
This gives the possibility of a “Les Étoiles Marathon” on Sunday 29 January with the 4.30pm performance featuring programme A, and at 9pm the dancers will perform programme B. There is a 20% discount for the second ticket. The 9pm performance on Saturday 28 January will also feature programme A.
The dancers include Alessandro Frola and Madoka Sugai from John Neumeier's Hamburg Ballet; Marianela Nuñez, William Bracewell, Marcelino Sambé, and Anna Rose O'Sullivan from The Royal Ballet; Polina Semionova (Staatsballett Berlin); Sergio Bernal (formerly with Ballet Nacional de España); Maia Makhateli and Giorgi Potskhishvili (Het Nationale Ballet, Amsterdam); Paul Marque and Valentine Colasante (Opéra National de Paris); Matteo Miccini (Stuttgart Ballet), and, following the practice of previous years, there will be a “mystery étoile” whose name will be disclosed the eve of opening night, to complete the cast.
Both programmes will feature pieces from the traditional repertoire, including showstoppers such as the pas de deux from Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Le Corsaire, along with modern pieces by some of today's leading choreographers: Carbon Life by Wayne McGregor (O'Sullivan/Sambé), Voices by David Dawson (Semionova), Spring and Fall and Shall We Dance? by John Neumeier (Frola/Sugai), Äffi by Marco Goecke (Miccini) and Orgía, a classical Spanish dance piece that will receive its world premiere (Bernal). Many of the modern works will be seen for the first time in Italy.
The gala is titled “Dancing The Cosmos”. Producer and artistic director Daniele Cipriani explains:
“Beauty will save the world”. I'm not repeating this like a lazy ‘meme', but this is a particularly grave moment in history with a war being fought that touches us closely and danger looms over the world. One can only rely on the so-called intelligence of the heart – and in this sense I fully take on board Dostoevsky's famous words which aren't a purely aesthetic statement if we consider that artists translate the justice and morality of the cosmos into images, sounds, and, obviously, dance.
I have always believed that, in this sense, Les Étoiles has a special mission: it is a gala where outstanding dancers perform, yet it isn't just a glamorous event starring glitzy artists, it is a concentrate of beauty that implicitly reflects a higher kind of beauty; an ideal brotherhood, regardless of nationality, beliefs, or lifestyle.
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.