Christian Holder takes a jump in Animus (choreographed by Gerald Arpino), with the Joffrey ballet in 1969
The year is 1976 and American choreographer Agnes de Mille is rehearsing her first significant work Rodeo with the Joffrey Ballet in New York. As Miss de Mille calls up each pairing it becomes clear to dancer Christian Holder that his name will not be called. Another day, another Vignette. No Christian.
“Immediately you know”, he imparts 40 years later in his home in west London. “I went to Mr Joffrey and said ‘Miss de Mille has no intention of letting me do the piece. This is a waste of time.’ I put it to him that she obviously doesn’t condone integration on the range.” The next day ballet master Paul Sutherland finally called Christian’s name and politely informed him he needn’t come back: ‘Miss de Mille doesn’t think you’re right for the part.’
This July, choreographer Patrick de Bana will be coming to London’s Coliseum with two of his latest productions: Cleopatra/Ida Rubinstein performed by Ilze Liepa with dancers from the Maryinsky, Bolshoi, and the Kremlin Ballet, and a new production of Jane Eyre performed by the Shanghai Ballet.
Ahead of his arrival, LBB was lucky enough to catch up with Patrick and discuss London, Ballet Russes, Lynn Seymour and how Russians still continue to show us how it’s done… Continue reading →
Two ballet companies, opposite pins on the globe. Whereas English National Ballet is in the midst of a re-brand, Bolshoi Ballet is on the verge of combustion, grappling under the weight of its own paranoia.
So, where do these two companies find themselves in 2013? And what does it tell us about the future of the art form at a crucial time in both their economic survival?
‘This is a tale, then, of artists and poets, dancers and architects-bewildered, always in conflict, trying to keep alive standards which they knew were essential, but which were also suspect, not to say dangerous.’
Emma Livry in the title role of the Taglioni/Schneitzhoeffer La Sylphide. Paris, 1862
Some people quaff champagne at Port Hercule when they’re in Monaco. I took a tumble and ended up in A&E. So, firstly, apologies for the break in posts. Blame the principality of Monaco for their uneven road surfaces. I do, daily. Continue reading →