Tag Archive: anna karenina


For much of the dance world, tradition is the backbone in the body of technique. Ballet and modern are perhaps at the helm of this, each with long histories of established customs. This rigorous structure allowed for an interesting tangent in the 1980s in the form of exploratory, creative movement; a sort of cubism of the dance world. These tendencies persist today, and not just in modern dance.

Russian ballet might not fall under the “unorthodox” category for most people, but that’s how Tobi Tobias described recent performances by Mariinsky Ballet.  Although Tobias undercuts the production of “Anna Karenina,” he speaks candidly and gives fair voice to the dancers who “did their best under the unfavorable circumstances.” The review also includes an assessment of Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Little Humpbacked Horse,” a remake of a ballet whose history began in 1864. Find a link to the story here.

The second installment in the wave of the unusual is enumerated in Deborah Jowitt’s latest post about Jonah Bokaer and his pieces “Recess” and “Why Patterns.” Paper and ping-pong balls both make appearances and contribute to larger questions: What is a pattern? When does it cease to be one? What do 10,000 small, plastic balls have to do with anything? Jowitt muses on these and other issues in her post on DanceBeat. Read it here.

It might sound like someone lost a bet, but a Guardian sports writer was sent to the Royal Opera House to review a production of “Tosca” a number of years ago. (The culture critics had to swap jobs with the rugby writer as well, as is sporting.) Despite the apparent hilarity of the situation, some interesting observations about the similarities of sports and dance came forth. For a video, follow the link here.

The New York Times decided in July that this was an idea worth considering. Perhaps because we don’t have rugby over here, book critic Dwight Garner was sent to a performance of Alexei Ratmansky’s “Anna Karenina” by Mariinsky Ballet, formerly the Kirov company.

As with Thomas Castaignède of The Guardian, Garner proffered an innovative perspective and some valuable insight into the story that, after all, began as a literary tale. The result is a modest article that makes ballet both more accessible and more enlightening, which tends to be a fine balance to strike. More than anything, both stories demonstrate the universality of arts and human feeling.

For the story about the ballet that “unfurled like a black rose” for a New York Times book critic, follow the link here.

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