wed 03/06/2020

Russian Ballet Icons Gala: Celebrating Galina Ulanova, Coliseum | reviews, news & interviews

Russian Ballet Icons Gala: Celebrating Galina Ulanova, Coliseum

Russian Ballet Icons Gala: Celebrating Galina Ulanova, Coliseum

Roaring warhorses, filmy ballerinas - and dancing to stop the heart

The great Galina Ulanova as Giselle

Ballet galas are a curious institution. They mimic the form of “Greatest Hits” recordings, but what you get are rarely greatest hits, because they can’t be. Dance develops in its own time, its unfolding being an essential part of the magic. Rip a pas de deux (and galas circle around pas de deux like vultures in the Gobi desert) from its context, and you get pure dance, certainly; flashy dance, more than likely; lots of pyrotechnics, almost inevitably. But you don’t get the core, the magic, the reason people return over and over and over.

Ballet galas are a curious institution. They mimic the form of “Greatest Hits” recordings, but what you get are rarely greatest hits, because they can’t be. Dance develops in its own time, its unfolding being an essential part of the magic. Rip a pas de deux (and galas circle around pas de deux like vultures in the Gobi desert) from its context, and you get pure dance, certainly; flashy dance, more than likely; lots of pyrotechnics, almost inevitably. But you don’t get the core, the magic, the reason people return over and over and over.

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