Dance stars coming out for OCPAC's 'Tour de Force'
We're taking a look at some of the more practical aspects of putting on a gala performance in my Calendar story about the Orange County Performing Arts Center's "Tour de Force: A Gala Dance Spectacular," a one-night extravaganza of 16 works, performed by dancers from around the world.
It's the first dance gala of this scope and magnitude to be undertaken by OCPAC, a performing arts venue that Stephen D. Rountree, president of the Los Angeles Music Center, says has developed a stellar reputation as a presenter of dance. That means something coming from a competitor of sorts -- although most in the relatively small, insular dance world say that everyone supports each other and that dancers tend to share a perpetual, global group hug.
But all practicality aside, Culture Monster is drooling over the program, which includes the world premiere of a new work, "Fallen Angel," by the innovative Boris Eifman on the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg. You don't have to take the Monster's word for it: Tom Flynn, director of development for San Francisco Ballet -- he also oversees that company's tony annual opening night gala benefit in January -- calls this "a very impressive lineup; I think the variety is very striking. You have contemporary work ... and the classical stuff including 'Giselle' is just great."
Read on to see who's dancing what:
Participating companies are Bolshoi Ballet, Mariinsky Theatre, Berlin State Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, Complexions Dance Company and Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg.
The program (subject to change, with choreographers listed first and dancers in parentheses):
Boris Eifman: “Who’s Who” (Maria Abashova and Alexei Turko, Eifman Ballet)
Victor Gzovsky: “Grand Pas Classique” (Anastasia and Denis Matvienko, Mariinsky Theatre)
Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot: “Giselle” (Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, Bolshoi Ballet)
Jean-Christophe Maillot: “La Belle” (Bernice Coppieters and Chris Roelandt, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo)
Marius Petipa: “Swan Lake” (Maria Alexandrova, Bolshoi Ballet, and Guillaume Cote, National Ballet of Canada)
Mauro Bigonzetti: “Kazimir’s Colours” (Diana Vishneva, Mariinsky Theatre, and Vladimir Malakhov, Berlin State Ballet)
Boris Eifman: “Fallen Angel” – World Premiere (Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Bolshoi Ballet)
Alexander Gorsky: “Don Quixote” (Natalia Osipova, Bolshoi Ballet, and Leonid Sarafanov, Mariinsky Theatre)
Christopher Wheeldon: “For 4” (Denis Matvienko and Leonid Sarafanov, Mariinsky Theatre; Guillaume Cote, National Ballet of Canada; and Ivan Vasiliev, Bolshoi Ballet)
Boris Eifman: “Russian Hamlet: The Son of Catherine the Great” (Maria Alexandrova, Bolshoi Ballet, and Alexei Turko, Eifman Ballet)
Rostislav Zakharov: “Taras Bulba” (Gennadi Saveliev, American Ballet Theatre)
Dwight Rhoden: “Lament” (Desmond Richardson, Complexions Dance Company)
Edward Clug: “Radio and Juliet” (Anastasia and Denis Matvienko, Mariinsky Theatre)
Vasily Vainonen: “The Flames of Paris” (Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, Bolshoi Ballet)
Anjelin Preljocaj: Le Parc (Vladimir Malakhov, Berlin State Ballet, and Diana Vishneva, Mariinsky Theatre)
Boris Eifman: “Don Juan & Moliere” (Eifman company)
-- Diane Haithman
Top photos, left to right: Desmond Richardson; credit: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times. Maria Alexandrova; credit: Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times. Nikolay Tsiskaridze; credit: Christine Cotter/Los Angeles Times. Bottom photo: Diana Vishneva; credit: Christine Cotter/Los Angeles Times.