DANCE and MUSICAL THEATRE REVIEWS BY CESARE ZUCCA

Last night I indulged in a dream.
The Scala Ballet Company was performing a very classical Swan Lake,as a tribute to the genius of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, the original creators of the choreography of this masterpiece. Petipa is considered the father of 19th-century Russian ballet. His thoughts on all aspects of ballet – the dance technique and style, the music, the structure, even the props used became prevailing practices For some Lev Ivanov is Petipa’s dependable assistant. For others he is ballet’s unjustly ignored unsung genius, who transformed Swan Lake into a very different ballet. Director Alexei Ratmansky created a new version respectful of Petipa style and intentions. The Scala Orchestra, directed by Michail Jurowski, started with some hesitations then was able to carry the passion and the drama on the stage to a great finale. Nicoletta Manni in the principal roles of Odette/Odile showed an amazing amount of grace, power and technicality. (I was carefully counting the nearly perfect Odile’ s32 fouettés in Act 3) Timofej Andrijashenko as the Prince Siegfried, colored his role with athletic moves and an amazing dramatic interpretation. Nicoletta Manni Timofej Andrijashenko ph Brescia e Amisano Teatro alla ScalaBravo to the female Ensemble that, in a challenging tour de force, spanned from being joyous courtesan to swans, to character figures from all over Europe, back to swans. The Spanish dance was a winner, thanks to the flamboyant Riccardo Massimi and Massimo Garon while Christian Fagetti as Benno performed a passionate pas de trois.Applause to the iconic Litte Swan, beautifully featured by Daniela Cavalleri, LusyMay Di Stefano ,Christelle Cennerelli, Agnese Di Clemente I wasn’t so impressed by the Jerome Kaplan costumes. In my opinion, the pastel palette worked great on the courtesans in the Act I, but I didn’t like the long-than-usual feathered tutus of the Swans, as well the ‘Cirque du Soleil-meets-Disneyland’ Hungarian look neither the Botticelli/Art Nouveau/Renaissance dresses of the ‘marry-me’ Ladies who kept fanatically fanning with their golden fans.Swan Lake will perform till July 15th Twww.teatroallascala.org/en/index.html
 Thursday, December 10th. It will be an amazing night for opera lovers.
It will happen in one of The Space Cinema, a  great chain of movie theaters                      all over the Italian territory, hosting two long waited live performances                                 from London Royal Opera House. I am talking off Mascani’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, two short works, each recognized as the masterpiece of its composer, are presented together in a new production of the award-winning Damiano Michieletto. Exaggerated and cheeky, tender and inventive, energetic and ironic: 40 years old Michieletto is considered the richest talent of Italian directors, who come and go between lyrical and dramatic theater.
The two masterpieces, set up as Sergio Leone westerns, will reveal their western soul.
marchiello dirige

The event, hosted by Director of The Royal Opera Kasper Holten, will see Damiano, the great sopranos Carmen Giannattasio and Eva-Maria Westbroek,                               his superb cast and the amazing production team        
explore the production, the tradition of verismo opera and why composers such as Mascagni and Leoncavallo chose to write gritty operas about real life as opposed to romantic fantasies.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 22.59.08MOSES PENDLETON, MOMIX,YESTERDAY AND TODAY
The first Italian debut took place in 1980 at Barclays Teatro Nazionale in Milan. After 35 years, the theater has hosted the world premiere of MOMIX FOREVER,

The School of American Ballet’s 2014 Winter Ball, in celebration of SAB’s 80th Anniversary, took place at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on Monday, March 3, 2014 and raised more than $1.2 million for scholarships and school programs.
A highlight of the evening was a one-time-only performance by the talented students of The School of American Ballet choreographed by Silas Farley, who choose Antonio Vivaldi’s music for a five movimento ballet .
ab low

Put together the “Swan Song ” a vaudeville by Chekhov about an old actor in a
theatre after the lights go out, the eternal music of Tchaikovsky, the genially irreverent choreography and direction by Fabrizio Monteverde and a bunch of older, aching, curved dancers who want to live one more time the tragic love story of Prince Siegfried and Odette/Odile. The result is an amazing new version of one of the most celebrated ballet in the history The Swan Lake, this time retitled Il Lago dei Cigni ovvero il Canto.Lago-dei-Cigni-02-1030x686 A contemporary ballet that ancient dancers remember and recreate with enormous love and pain. From an amazing opening with all the dancers/swans lied down on ground covered with colored cloths of the scene, while only their raised arms are moving as swan necks to the Odette’s solo, first pure purity and then more and more disjointed and bloodless revealing physical stress and despair to an intense finale where topless Odette frees her body and her beauty to revive the lost youth.Soloists  Roberta De Simone, Claudia Vecchi, Luca Pannacci and Siro Guglielmi, among all the artists of the Balletto di Roma certainly know how give to the audience some emotional, intense, unforgettable moments.
At Teatro Carcano till April 30th


Here it comes again. The magic world of Mummenschanz hypnotizes one more time.
The group of four mimes debuted last night at Teatro Carcano in Milan, Italy.
Despite some technical issues, the show captured the audience, as usual.
The performance started with two huge hands that opened the curtain, flirted with the audience and finally met each other to give the green light to the 80 minutes show, that boasts some Mummenschanz favorite moments and features some new numbers.
In a totally black stage the group of four mimes, bring to life an extraordinary variety of imaginary creatures who fight, love, care, have fun and …reach.There is often a destination to land on, a goal to finalize, a mission to persue in the those creatures world. Like the paper toilet couple (she is in pink, he is in blue) that seams to flirt, or the funny Pac Man lookalike who finally reach the top of a tablemumm2Searching, and reaching, a comfort zone, either they are flying or folding their bodies. One of the best moments is the classic encounter between two masked creatures, which keep changing their plastic faces, in a never ending metamorphosis, transforming themselves into animals and humans.The company will tour around the world. Lots of dates in Italy and Usa, Check Mummenschanz international tour at http://www.mummenschanz.com/en/ Photos Courtesy of Mummenschanz.com

                             ‘FUERZA BRUTA’ DOES MILAN

fuerza-bruta-gioia-n-49-copy

Sleeping Beauty, a ballet masterpiece with the wonderful music of PI TCajkovskij
and the iconic choreography of Marius Petipa will enchant again Milan audience
thanks to one of the most famous ballet companies in the world,
the New Classical Ballet of Moscow featuring Stetlitsa Evgenii and Olga Kifiak,
both first soloists of the Opera and Ballet Theatre of Kiev, while the finale will bring some very special Guests such as Puss in boots and White Cat, Cinderella and the Prince
Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. The New Classical Ballet of Moscow is a young company with the aim of developing the great tradition of classical Russian ballet, but also seek new choreographic forms. The Ballet is made up of dancers from the best dance Academies in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ufa, Perm, winners of international competitions among etoiles from the best theaters in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg.
A magical fairy tale not to be missed.
At Teatro Manzoni in Milan For info and tickets http://www.teatromanzoni.it

D U M M
Sonics are the actor/dancer Antonio Villella aka Serafino and eight extraordinary aerial acrobats.Their new show is called DUUM and pays homage to the imaginary
underworld of Agharta. Sonics will bring on stage some breathtaking aerial acrobatics trying to make the Duum, the jump towards the earth surface.
Duum is actually the sound of a jump. always invent new expedients searching for the right vibration, the secret that will make them leave the underworld forever.duum-sito-3I loved the  show, the music and the costumes, created by Ileana Prudente and
Irene Chiarle DUUM will be performing at Teatro Carcano in Milan till Sunday Jan 31th, then will take the Italian tour to Faenza, Bologna, Cividale, Tolmezzo, Sacile, Varese, Forlì.
Here You can check the full Duum Tour schedule.

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 08.23.47An amazing, long journey is taking away the audience of Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan.
The voyage is guided by the spectacular cast, music, lights, and visual effect created by the Cirque Éloize Cirkopolis, a nearly two hour show directed by Jeannot Painchaud and Dave St-Pierre. It starts off with a back projection of a dreary factory populated by a crowd of people in grey overcoats designed by Liz Vandal, while an employer is constantly stamping documents at his office desk. It reminded me of a scene of the recent movie Anna Karenina as well as Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and the underground world of Fritz Lang’s  Metropolis. The amazing video screen by Alexis Laurence follow the action with an intense zooming through buildings or tunnels, giving us the feeling of moving through space. Cirkopolis is taking us to forests, machines, buildings and finally a black and white circus tent. The 10 member extraordinary cast of acrobats and dancers use ropes, trapeze, a Chinese pole, teeter-board German wheel  in a variety of different acts that are pretty astonishing to behold. Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 09.35.49 The great music by Stefan Boucher and the active choreography created by Dave St Pierre follow and animate constantly the show, like a modern ballet interacting with the  balancing acts. At Teatro Arcimboldi till February 24th 

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-12-11-33screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-12-18-33 screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-12-44-21screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-12-34-23screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-12-32-52

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-11-49-28

This is the year of Brechtian celebrations, The legendary Piccolo Teatro Strehler of Milano hosts a new production ofThe Three Penny Opera.  Twenty actors, a superb staging and lighting, a full symphony orchestra and the clever direction of Damiano Michieletto an Italian opera director known for His innovative productions at several leading opera houses and festivals including his Olivier Award-winning production of Leoncavallo’s thrilling tragic opera of a violent jealousy.The story (that Michieletto starts from the end) tells about Mackie Messer, notorious criminal (Marco Foschi) who marries Polly Peachum (Maria Roveran) without the permission of Peachum, the girl’s father, (Peppe Servillo) the one who controls all the London’s beggars, here turned into migrants in orange life jackets and suggesting a mass drowning tragedy. Eventually Mackie manages to get a conviction but shortly before the execution, a Queen’s Messenger grace the accused and awarded him the title of baronet.  I love to mention  the amazing staging of Jenny’s song sung by the incomparable Almodovar’s muse Rossy De Palma surrounded by male hands. A great ensemble of young actors not to mention the perfect harmony between sounds and visual, thanks to the Sets by Paolo Fantin, costumes by Carla Teti, lighting by Alessandro Carletti, choreography by Chiara Vecchi and the Orchestra Sinfonica of Milano Giuseppe Verdi conducted by Giuseppe Grazioli.At Piccolo Teatro of Milano till June 11.
Midsummer Night’s Circus a new musical written by Tobias Rossi and Simone Nardini with music and lyrics by Antonio Torella accurately directed by Marco Bellocchio and inspired to Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream.Like in Pippin or the new version of Godspell, the action takes place in a circus, where elves, clowns, acrobats all together celebrate the circus life, spiced up from a brilliant cast of over forty performers, including young talents and hot stars such as Michel Altieri (in the role of Oberon) Pietro Pignatelli (Aegean), Giovanni Abbracciamento (Lysander), and a great Titania
played by Simona Samarelli
and an enthusiastic cast all work for this lovely version of a masterpiece, that probably Sir William himself may like.
May 13,14 at the Teatro della Luna of Assago FamePageFAME is back!
Fame, the Musical
is coming to Milanat Barclays Teatro Nazionale.
The electrifying show, inspired to the legendary movie that opened 35 years ago, provides an open look at the New York City’s High School of Performing Arts, where sweat and hard work are the key factors to a successful life as a performer.
The plot follows a group of students across the acting, dancing and music faculties from 1980-1984 as they learn to master their craft and grow up alongside each other, rising to the various challenges that face them.Fame-12-1
The new version, directed by Federico Bellone reserves to its audience a nice surprise: every evening 10 people from the public, will be hosted on stage as part of the Auditorium of Fame School. For more info
http://www.teatronazionale.it/tutti-gli-spettacoli/fame-saranno-famosi

Successful return of the beloved family show “Rapunzel” a musical inspired to the Grimm Brother tale, revisited by Alessandro Procacci, Davide Magnabosco e Paolo Barillari.
Great Cast starting with Lorella Cuccarini as the evil Gothel,Alessandra Ferrari as Rapunzel, while the role of Rapunzel child, is greatly performed by 9 years old Valentina Critelli the winner of a popular TV Italian kid contest”Ti Lascio una Canzone”. A big applause for the flamboyant Giulio Corso as Phil, a young robber who is trying to escape the royal guards and sheltering refuge in an old tower, where he will find Rapunzel , a young girl keep imprisoned by a witchy aunt.There are a lots of new characters, like the two talking flowers, the guard “Hound” who speaks in Grammelot and the mirror “Spiegel”, which reflects the conscience of Rapunzel and inner thoughts.
In addition to that I loved some cartoon animated outdoor sequences Great Idea! 
 A memorable moment: a multitude of lanterns flying over the audience.
Rapunzel will perform at Teatro Arcimboldi till Jan 10th 2016 then touring all over Italy .

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s