Internationally renowned ballet dancers to perform in Mumbai
In a rare opportunity for Mumbai's balletomanes, a stellar international cast of performers brings the story of ballet's evolution to the city
There is something about a ballet performance, with its light-as-a-feather movements and seemingly impossible lifts on tiptoes, that fills you with pride about the capability of the human body and mind. It's no surprise then that the dance form has its origins in Italian Renaissance during the 15th century, when mankind was undergoing cultural metamorphosis, and creativity was at its pinnacle.
Nurturing and shaping the dance form are ballet companies dotted across Europe, almost as old as ballet itself. Among them is Paris Opera Ballet (POB), the oldest such company in France, which is counted among the best in the world. In a visual treat for Mumbaikars and as a tribute to Paris, star performers from POB (including étoile Agnès Letestu and premiere danseuse Muriel Zusperreguy) together with an international cast of principal dancers from Rome and Madrid will perform Paris Ballet Legends, organised under the aegis of Bonjour India.
"Ballet is deeply linked to Paris. It was born under the rule of King Louis XIV and has continued to thrive over the centuries," says Frederic Fontan, artistic director of Paris Ballet Legends, on a phone call from Delhi, where the troupe performed yesterday. Through classical and contemporary ballet, the performers will take the audience on a journey of the evolution of the dance form. "All the pieces, along with their composers and choreographers, are associated with Paris. The performance will showcase music by Chopin, who moved to Paris and lived there till his death. There are works by Marius Petipa, who brought some that he created in Russia back to Paris. We have adapted the famous French film Les Enfants du Paradis to contemporary ballet. The performance also features La Bayadère, which I was keen on getting to India as it is set here," he shares.
Do such performances open the doors for creative collaborations? "I discovered Indian dance 15 years ago, and felt it is very rich, vibrant and powerful. Ballet is different. It's more calm, and more about the melody than the rhythm," says Fontan. "It would be fascinating to mix the two diverse techniques. A collaboration between Indian classical and ballet dancers is my dream."
On January 13, 7 pm
At Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA.
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Entry Rs 640 onwards
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