We have a new guest post up on the Royal Opera House blog, with snippets of five of Alexei Ratmansky’s coolest ballets:
24 Preludes, part of the Royal Ballet’s current mixed programme that includes George Balanchine’s Apollo and Christopher Wheeldon’s Aeternum, offers audiences the opportunity to experience Alexei Ratmansky’s first work for a UK company. Much lauded for revitalizing classical ballet and infusing it with his unique brand of inventiveness and rich cross-cultural references, the Russian choreographer makes ballets that often reveal new sides to his dancers. His works are very much in demand around the world and regularly staged in Russia, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US.
Ratmansky started experimenting with choreography at a young age at the Moscow Choreographic Institute (the school of the Bolshoi). His dancing career would take him to the Ukraine, Canada and Denmark, where he was exposed to works by such diverse choreographers as Bournonville, Balanchine, Neumeier and Tudor, who would later influence and inform his choreographic style.
During his time as Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet, Ratmansky set about re-staging historic works and revisiting ballet scores by composers like Shostakovich and Prokofiev. As American Ballet Theatre’s current Artist in Residence, he has created critically acclaimed versions of classic Russian ballets The Nutcracker and The Firebird. Known for his fresh take on dance comedies, dramas and even ‘dramedies’ (as in his most recent work for the Royal Danish Ballet, The Golden Cockerel), Ratmansky is also well-versed in plotless works, having created, in this commission for the Royal Ballet, a ‘ballet of mood’ set to orchestrated Chopin pieces for a cast of eight dancers.
To illustrate the choreographer’s diverse range, we also selected clips of some of our favourite Ratmansky works. Hop over to the Royal Opera House blog to check them out, while over here you can take a look at Alice Pennefather’s gorgeous images of the current Apollo, 24 Preludes and Aeternum mixed bill:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge & see as slideshow)
All Photos: © Alice Pennefather, courtesy of ROH
About Alice Pennefather:
With a twin brother flying high as a star of the Royal Ballet, Alice’s creative talents lie in image making. After studying photography at Falmouth College of Arts, she spent 6 years travelling and working abroad, focusing on scuba diving and filming underwater. She has recently returned to London and rediscovered her love of everything Ballet. Alice now works as a freelance photographer, and is a regular at the Royal Ballet General Rehearsals – photographing for us here at The Ballet Bag.
You can see more of Alice’s work at Alice Pennefather – Dance Photography.