Bolshoi and London ballets coming to a movie screen near you
Ballet lovers who haven’t yet seized the opportunity to experience the enhanced view of detail and artistic interpretation inherent in cinema-casts have a slate of interesting opportunities from London and Moscow this spring, plus an even larger roster down the road.
Similarly to Metropolitan Opera and National Theatre cinema-casts, performances are first seen live, via satellite, and with repeat screenings.
Emerging Pictures co-founder Barry Rebo, whose company presents the ballets, said his audiences have been steadily growing "week by week, show by show" this year, with an overall 35% rise in ticket sales for combined ballet and opera offerings across the U.S. and Canada.
Numbers spiked noticeably when David Hallberg performed live with the Bolshoi Ballet in November, a performance in which the American actually danced after twisting his ankle early in the first act, said Emerging Pictures publicist Raymond Forsythe.
Almost like mini-residencies, this spring's offerings from London’s Royal Ballet and the Bolshoi Ballet from Moscow will each bring three unique concerts featuring some of the most beloved and stylistically demonstrative choreography born from those institutions. Participating cinemas include the Monica 4-Plex (Santa Monica), Town Center 5 (Encino), Claremont 5 (Claremont) and Playhouse 7 (Pasadena).
For 2012-13, Rebo said, his company has gained exclusive rights to Paris Opera Ballet performances and Opera Australia’s “Opera on Sydney Harbour” series.
First up this spring is the Bolshoi's presentation of "Le Corsaire," screening Tuesday. This performance, along with a later presentation of comedic "The Bright Stream," offer viewers the chance to see the robust Russian company perform works that choreographer du jour Alexei Ratmansky brightly re-imagined for the Bolshoi dancers during his award-winning tenure there, before he brought it to his current home, American Ballet Theatre. (These screenings will bracket the real thing: ABT brings Ratmanksy's newly created "Firebird" to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa on March 29-April 1.)
Lastly from the Bolshoi is Yuri Grigorovich's staging of "Raymonda," a three-act dramatic classic with a sample of Marius Petipa's finest choreographic morsels.
From London, the Royal Ballet will present some of the creme de la creme of British choreographers -- Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan -- on a set list that includes live cinema-casts of “Romeo and Juliet” and “La Fille Mal Gardée” plus an encore presentation of “Giselle.”
Here are the dates and times of the spring shows, some live via satellite (as noted), the rest replays.
12:30 p.m. March 22 (live); 10:00 a.m. April 1; 7:30 p.m. April 10, “Romeo and Juliet” by London’s Royal Ballet, choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan, music by Sergei Prokofiev.
7:30 p.m. May 15, "The Bright Stream" by the Bolshoi Ballet, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, music by Dmitry Shostakovich.
11:30 a.m. May 16 (live); 10 a.m. May 20; 7:30 p.m. May 29, “La Fille Mal Gardee” by the London Royal Ballet, choreographed by Frederick Ashton, music by Peter Ludwig Hertel, Riccardo Drigo, Louis Herold, Ferdinand Hérold, Cesare Pugni and Georges Bizet.
10 a.m. June 10, “Giselle” by London’s Royal Ballet, staging by Peter Wright (after Marius Petipa), music by Adolphe Adom.
7:30 p.m. July 10, “Raymonda” by the Bolshoi Ballet, choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich, music by Alexander Glazunov.
Full schedule of ballet performances at www.emergingpictures.com.
-- Jean Lenihan
Photo: The Bolshoi's "Le Corsaire." Credit: Damir Yusupov