Since her return to the stage in 2013 she has again graced her old haunts, dancing one of her key roles, Juliet, with ABT, and dazzling London audiences in Wayne McGregor's Woolf Works. She also danced smaller pieces, including Chéri with former partner Herman Cornejo and TRIOConcert Dance, which opened the refurbished Linbury Theatre in 2018.
Luckily London balletomanes don't have to go to the ends of the earth… they must just book their seats at the Linbury Theatre, where Alessandra Ferri returns for a series of performances of L'Heure Exquise, Maurice Béjart's interpretation of Samuel Beckett's play Happy Days. Ferri is partnered by Carsten Jung.
As in Beckett's play, considered by many to be among his very best, the protagonist starts buried to the waist; but unlike Beckett's actress, who is buried in rubbish, the dancer in L'Heure Exquise is buried in over 2,000 pointe shoes.
As the work goes on, so the protagonist recalls fragments of her past life in a series of captivating variations that showcase Ferri's very special qualities as a dancer.
She may be in her late 50s, but Alessandra Ferri has lost none of her sublime stage qualities: a solid, yet fluid technique, rare depths of emotional interpretation, beautiful feet and huge dark brown eyes that burn through to the very back of the auditorium. In many ways Ferri resembles Italy's prima ballerina assoluta, the recently deceased Carla Fracci, for whom Béjart originally choreographed L'Heure Exquise.
Set to a collage of music by Anton Webern, Gustav Mahler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Lehar, and staged by former Béjart ballerina Maina Gielgud, L'Heure Exquise is an unmissable event, marking the 40th anniversary of Alessandra Ferri's association with the Royal Ballet.
We couldn't recommend it highly enough.
NOTE: Alessandra Ferri talks about her 40-year association with the Royal Ballet in a special episode of Insights on 18 October at 19:45 in the Linbury Studio. Details and tickets here.
|What||Linbury Theatre, Alessandra Ferri, L'Heure Exquise|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
15 Oct 21 – 23 Oct 21, 19:45. Sun 17 at 15:00. No performance Mon. Dur.: 1 hour 5 mins no interval
|Website||Click here to book|