The Arts

Russian Seasons, Apollo and Theme and Variations

Russian Seasons, Apollo and Theme and Variations featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Russian Seasons/Apollo/Theme and Variations
Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky and George Balanchine
National Ballet of Canada
Four Seasons Centre
Mar. 23 to 27, 2011

The National Ballet is premiering Alexei Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons. Ratmansky is creating a new Romeo and Juliet for the company next season, so this is a first glimpse at his choreography.

In Russian Seasons, Ratmansky has depicted a rapidly moving kaleidoscope of different snapshots from life.

The score is Leonid Desyatnikov’s The Russian Seasons for violin, voice and string orchestra. The ballet mirrors the 12 sections of the music and is performed by 12 dancers, divided into six colour-coordinated couples. One of the more intriguing aspects of the ballet is when Ratmansky has the same-hued couples dance together, and when they dance apart.

Overall, the word complex is a good description of Ratmansky as a choreographer. In this piece, there is the colour subtext, but there is also the mood subtext and relationship subtext.

The bookends on the program are two early Balanchine works, Apollo and Theme and Variations.

The National Ballet’s mixed program continues at the Four Seasons Centre until Mar. 27.

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