The future looks bright for Les Grands Ballets and I couldn't be more thrilled about it.
Earlier this week, the company announced its 2016-17 season along with plenty of other great news. Not only will Les Grands Ballets celebrate its 60th anniversary next year, but it will also move to its new Espace Danse studios in the Wilder Building located on Bleury St.
To add to the excitement, the dancers will have the honour of performing with live music as the Orchestra of Les Grands Ballets will join them on five of the six ballets scheduled next season.
But more importantly, we have learned that 2016-2017 will be Gradimir Pankov's 18th and last season as Artistic Director. After turning the company into a world-renowned institution, Pankov will pass the reins over to dancer-choreographer Ivan Cavallari. The Italian-born, who trained at the Teatro alla Scala Ballet School in Milan, is currently Artistic Director of the Ballet national du Rhin in France.
Ivan Cavallari, future Artistic Director at Les Grands Ballets
Here are the details of season 2016-2017:
Romeo & Juliette
By Jean-Christophe Maillot
October 13-28, 2016
“Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”
- Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare
Never was there a more timeless love story than that of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot conveys all of the power of this tragic romance set to Prokofiev’s powerful score.
By Fernand Nault
December 10-30, 2016
The entire family happily gathers to celebrate Christmas Eve. As the gifts are handed out to the children, the mysterious Doctor Drosselmeyer offers a beautiful nutcracker to his niece, Clara. During the night, while the young girl lies sound asleep next to her toy, mice and rats invade the room and battle an army of toy soldiers. Clara’s nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince and leads her into an enchanting, fairy-tale world.
Perm Ballet Opera
By Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
February 22-26, 2017
In Natalia Makarova's version (including choreographies by Frederick Ashton)
While hunting in the forest, Prince Siegfried encounters a flock of white swans. As he aims his crossbow at the birds, one of them transforms into a beautiful young maiden. She explains that she has been cursed and is a swan by day, a young woman by night. Fearless in the face of dark magic, Prince Siegfried listens only to his heart and falls deeply in love with the mysterious young woman.
By Ohad Naharin
March 23-April 1, 2017
Complex, meticulously crafted, the ballet’s component parts ingeniously interlock to produce what can only be called alchemy. In this explosive homage to dance and dancers, members of Naharin’s troupe speak as part of the piece, each taking turns dancing a solo to a recording of their own voice in which they share personal anecdotes and describe their relationship to dance.
Le Mariage de Figaro
National Ballet of Ukraine
By Victor Yaremenko
April 26-29, 2017
Based on the eponymous work by Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais Figaro and his fiancée, Susan, are happy and in love as they get ready for their upcoming wedding. That is until the other inhabitants of the castle begin to interfere... Cherubino imagines the beautiful young woman in his arms, while the Count pursues her relentlessly. As for Figaro, he is reminded of a previous promise of marriage. An eventful wedding in store, to say the least!
Triple-Bill: Falling Angels, Evening Shoes & Searching for Home