03 March 2011
Herman Schmerman in a Ruby Surround
On March 3 and 5 the Bolshoi is presenting a triple bill of one-act ballet - masterpieces of the 20th century. Works which have lost none of their contemporary appeal as we move into the 2lst century and are eminently suited to serve as reference points for new generations of choreographers.
Serenade, with which the evening opens, was first danced by the Bolshoi Ballet in 2007 since when the Company has virtually never been parted from it. It is lyrical ballet, evoking the play of moonlight on water, though it derives, to all intents and purposes, from a lesson in ballet class. Serenade was the great George Balanchine's first American ballet (1935). America became for him a promised land where he would find his feet and his talent would burgeon. George Balanchine: "As part of the school curriculum, I started an evening ballet class in stage technique, to give students some idea of how dancing on stage differs from class-work. Serenade evolved from the lessons I gave. <…>… many people think there is a concealed story in the ballet. There is not. There are, simply, dancers in motion to a beautiful piece of music. The only story is the music's story, a serenade, a dance, if you like, in the light of the moon" (from the book 101 Stories of the Great Ballets). The Bolshoi's new (2010) stage version of the ballet is by Sandra Jennings.
Submitted on 22 January 2011, Saturday