The ballet divertissement Pas de Quatre was choreographed by Jules Perrot in 1845 to music composed by Cesare Pugni, commissioned by Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. It was first seen on 12 July 1845 and was an immediate hit, mainly because it brought together some of the most famous ballerinas of the time: Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni. The great Romantic ballerina, Fanny Elssler didn’t wish to take part, so the young Lucile Grahn was the fourth dancer.
Alessandra Ferri has been interpreting Eleonora Duse in John Neumeier’s ballet Duse, most recently in Venice at the beginning of February. Does she feel she has anything in common with Italy’s most famous 19th-century actress?
Much, starting with my approach to a work, stripping away the façades that for me have no part in an art that is an internal journey. You must know yourself, and grow, and have the courage to be true to yourself. It leaves me vulnerable but, at the same time, strong. Also for me, art was always an anchor for me to cling on to during life’s difficult moments.
I think my approach to interpreting a character has remained the same, from Giselle to MacMillan’s ballets: real acting, without outsized gesturing. Two significant roles for Duse were Juliet and Marguerite Gautier, as they were for me. Another interesting coincidence is that Juliet was also her first important character.
There’s a spate of Giselles about at the moment, radical reinventions of the 1841 ballet from Akram Khan for English National Ballet, and South African choreographer Dada Masilo, drawing on modern class and gender politics to rewrite the Romantic heroine for our times. But if you prefer your Giselle with original spirit intact, then Birmingham Royal Ballet is […]
Giselle is one of La Scala Ballet’s international calling cards. Together with Nureyev’s Don Quixote, this production has been seen all over the world, and rightly so. The company dances it beautifully, and its staging by Yvette Chauviré (based, of course, on the Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot choreography) would be difficult to better. It is clearly told, the story points being so carefully prepared that focus is […]
Opening Night – 17 September 2019 Giselle Svetlana Zakharova Albrecht David Hallberg Duke of Courland Alessandro Grillo Principess Bathilde Marta Romagna Giselle’s mother Beatrice Carbone Hilarion Mick Zeni Wilfried Riccardo Massimi Hunter Massimo Garon Peasants Pas de deux Martina Arduino, Nicola Del Freo Giselle’s friends Alessia Auriemma, Christelle Cennerelli, Stefania Ballone, Marta Gerani, Agnese Di Clemente, […]
70th Anniversary celebrations 2020 marks English National Ballet’s 70th Anniversary with celebrations taking place throughout the 2019-2020 Season that give opportunities for the Company to say, ‘Thank You’ to its audiences, fans, friends and partners. The 70th Anniversary will be celebrated with three special Gala performances at the London Coliseum featuring extracts from a diverse […]
After almost a month touring China, La Scala’s ballet company popped back to Milan for a run of Manon performances, before popping off to Australia for thirteen performances in Brisbane, from 7 to 18 November. It is the company’s first time in Australia and they are taking two of their most popular productions: Don Quixote […]
La Scala’s Ballet Company have been touring China for almost a month, taking in four cities and dancing 15 performances of Don Quixote and Giselle. Last night’s performance of Giselle in the Grand Theatre in Tianjin marked the last performance and today the company heads home. The Milanese company didn’t take guests — not even […]
The annual, starry, late summer gala organised by American Ballet Theatre’s Xiomara Reyes and Ballets du Monte Carlo’s Elías García for IBStage takes place at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu. Over 100 young dancers from the various summer ballet programmes which begin in mid-August, join international ballet stars, including Myriam Ould-Braham and István Simon. […]
In brief: English National Ballet and English National Ballet School set to move into joint state-of-the-art home in Canning Town, East London ENB’s success in stage two application to Arts Council England’s Capital Large Grants programme for a £3 million investment in its new home Christopher Wheeldon to create a new in-the-round version of Cinderella […]