Tag Archive: Silvano Ballone

More of the Same

“The Song of the Earth”
Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier
Hamburg State Opera
Hamburg, Germany
December 09, 2016

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2016 by Ilona Landgraf

1. H.Bouchet and A.Trusch, “The Song of the Earth” by J.Neumeier, Hamburg Ballet © S.Ballone 2016While the Nutcracker-season is in full swing elsewhere, some ballet stages in German-speaking countries bring up serious and even fierce topics during Christmas time. Just recently, Christian Spuck premiered “Messa da Requiem”, his new creation for Zurich Ballet; the Bavarian State Ballet is in its final rehearsals for “Spartacus” awaiting Yuri Grigorovich’s finishing touch. In Hamburg, John Neumeier added another ballet, his fifteenth, to his encyclopedic collection of choreographies to music by Gustav Mahler. (more…)

Riding the Wild Surf

“Anita Berber – Goddess of the Night”
Ballet of the Theater and Philharmonic Orchestra Thuringia
Theater Gera
Gera, Germany
June 17, 2016

by Ilona Landgraf
copyright © 2016 by Ilona Landgraf

1. A.Kuzina and P.Jovicic, “Anita Berber – Goddess of the Night” by J.Bubeníček, Theater and Philharmonic Orchestra Thuringia © S.Ballone 2016Two months ago Jiří and Otto Bubeníček mounted the ballet “Doctor Zhivago” in Ljubljana. Last week the Czech Republic, their home country, honored them with the Gratias Agit for promoting the nation’s reputation abroad. Just this Friday the brothers gave their country a further reason for being proud of them: the premiere of “Anita Berber – Goddess of the Night” in Gera, Thuringia. This ballet traces the life and character of the scandalous German dancer, actress and self-promoter, a phenomenon of the “golden 1920s”. Choreography for the production is Jiří’s. Otto designed the set and costumes. Both brothers are responsible for the staging. This one acter, “Anita Berber”, again showed the Bubeniceks’ gift for storytelling. (more…)

A Bright Spot

State Ballet Berlin
Deutsche Oper
Berlin, Germany
May 26, 2016

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2016 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Ensemble, “Jewels” by G.Balanchine, State Ballet Berlin © S.BalloneSince Nacho Duato took over as artistic director of the State Ballet Berlin in 2014 positive news about the capital’s company has been rare. Neither has the repertory aroused enthusiasm nor has Duato been in favor with the local press. Though the dancers’ pay disputes and strikes dragging on for months last year met with the audience’s understanding, they caused no positive headlines either. It was high time to reclaim a reputation suitable for a State Ballet. Exactly what the company managed to do with George Balanchine’s “Jewels” which premiered last week. (more…)

A Natural Talent

Silvano Ballone
Hamburg, Germany
September 2015

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2015 by Ilona Landgraf

1. Silvano Ballone © Dario FranconiSome weeks ago I received the press photos of a ballet evening in Pilsen in the Czech Republic. Having got to see quite a few dance photos meanwhile, ranging from beautiful to poor, I expected nothing special from a one-time weekend’s guesting. But what had been sent to me proved to be a treat: a large selection of truly gorgeous photos! The performance I’m talking about was Les Ballets Bubeníček’s “The Piano”; the photographer in charge was Silvano Ballone. I later learned that he hadn’t known the “The Piano” before and had shot the photos when watching the piece for the first time. Kudos! (more…)

Bringing Sparkle Back to the Homeland

“Les Ballets Bubeníček” (“L’Heure Bleue”, “The Piano”)
Nové Divadlo/ J.K. Tyl-Theater
Pilsen, Czech Republic
July 18, 2015

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2015 by Ilona Landgraf

1. A.Morariu, S.Vinograd and J.Bubeníček, “L'Heure Bleue” by J.Bubeníček, Les Ballets Bubeníček 2015 © S.Ballone Pilsen, the Czech Republic’s fourth biggest town, is located in Bohemia between Prague and Germany’s Nuremberg. First and foremost it is known for its pils, a type of pale lager beer produced there since 1842. This year Pilsen is making headlines for another reason: in addition to Belgium’s Mons, it is one of Europe’s Cultural Capitals. More than six hundred cultural events, ranging from theater performances to concerts, art exhibitions and other events are offered. The project which started in January is more than a short-lived affair, promising instead to boost the town’s popularity and fuel local cultural life for a long time to come. (more…)

Trouble Backstage

“Shakespeare Dances”
Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier
Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden, Germany
October 04, 2014

by Ilona Landgraf
Copyright © 2014 by Ilona Landgraf

1. K.West, K.Tselikov, "As You Like It" by J.Neumeier, Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier’s “Shakespeare Dances” is a triple bill that he assembled in 2013 to celebrate his forty-year jubilee in Hamburg. It consists of short versions of “As You Like It”, “Hamlet” and “VIVALDI or What you will”, and aims to capture the essences of the respective full versions choreographed in previous years.

Not surprisingly, each piece’s unique qualities fade due to strong compression. While some characters could be omitted without much harm, Neumeier has tried to give the two Shakespeare comedies and the tragedy a degree of consistency. Does he tell the stories clearly? (more…)