The Ballet of La Scala is one of the big European companies, and this very varied programme is designed to show its dancers at their best.
It's an evening dedicated to great choreographers past and present, and it's interesting to note that, apart from one overlap, La Scala's programme is completely different from The Royal Ballet's own selection of works by great choreographers coming to Covent Garden in just over a month.
The overlap is, of course, Kenneth MacMillan, whose powerful works are admired and performed the world over. This gala will include the Act I bedroom pas de deux between Manon and Des Grieux, one of the very many poignant, sensual and totally involving sections of his L'histoire de Manon. It'll be danced by principals Virna Toppi and Gabriele Corrado.
Rudolf Nureyev is idolised in many companies throughout Europe, and La Scala is no exception. Not so long ago it had a whole evening dedicated to his choreography, which, truth to tell, if often hit and miss… but this gala starts with an extract from Act I of one of Nureyev's better productions, Don Quixote.
La Scala Ballet's relatively new director is Manuel Legris, formerly of Paris Opera Ballet, and so it's natural that French choreographers (sadly, hardly ever danced in the UK) are represented in this gala. Serge Lifar's neo-classical Suite en Blanc provides a series of extracts, and Roland Petit originates a pas de deux to music by Debussy, and a powerful work for two male dancers, Le Combat Des Anges, performed by principal Claudio Coviello and soloist Marco Agostino.
Giants of the past include Petipa (Paquita); and contemporary dance makers like John. Neumeier and Italy's own Mauro Bigonzetti will figure with, respectively, Spring and Fall, to music by Dvořák, and Cantata, to a score performed by Music Group Assurd, both pas de deux.
In short, there is much to enjoy while we await the reopening of our theatres; and for ballet aficionados, it will be fascinating to engage in an exercise of compare and contrast with the Royal Ballet's own programme of great choreographers.
|What||La Scala Ballet's Evening of Great Choreographers|
|Where||Online | MAP|
On 15 May 21, 19:00 BST Dur.: TBC