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Today I went to the first French screening of the movie Rain, which took place at 21.00h at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

On the 25th of May 2011, Paris Opera Ballet presented for the first time a coreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Rain.

The movie directors Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes have followed the rehearsals of the company, from the auditions to the première. The documentary focuses on the way  De Keersmaeker and the dancers of Rosas try to communicate the vocabulary of  contemporary gestures and movements to these classical trained ballet dancers.

They will eventually overcome the ballet rigidity and understand another form of rigour required by the plot of Rain, which develops at the mathematical pulse of a metronome, but which still contains an important emotional dimension.

A sober documentary on the work of an exceptional ballet company, with some funny excursions on the every day life at the barre.

The projection was followed by a discussion between the audience, Anne Teresa, the movie directors Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes and one of the main characters, the dancer Jakub Truszkowski. I must confess I was glad to find many of the ballet dancers who appeared in the movie being part of the audience and participating actively at the final debate. It was such a pleasant experience.

A short trailer can be found here.



Diana Vishneva was born in Saint Petersburg in 1976 to a family of chemical engineers.

She began to attend dance classes at the age of six and entered the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in 1987. Her acedemic career wasn’t smooth: she had to try three times and the last time she was accepted only through a personal interview.

In fact, even though she has an amazing body flexibility, she lacks some of those features required by the strict world of ballet: no feet arches and no hyperextended knee. Being a hard worker and a perfectionist, with her great musicality and passion for ballet, she managed to overcome these lacks and during her final exams she scored the highest mark ever achieved in the school’s history.

In 1994 the promising student set out for Lausanne in Switzerland to perform at the world-famous Prix de Lausanne competition. It is one of the most important international young ballet dancers’competition, well renowned for preferring the male participants. In the “freestyle” category Diana performed the miniature Carmen, specially staged for her by Igor Belsky, Artistic Director of the Vaganova Academy, and she took both the top prize and the Gold Medal. Since then the gold prize has been awarded once.

The meteoric rise of Diana Vishneva’s career began with her victory at that competition. During her final year of studies she also trained at the Mariinsky Theatre where she was immediately offered solo roles. While still a trainee, in 1995 she danced the role of Kitri in the ballet Don Quixote. Diana received the Benois de la danse award in 1996 for this role.

I just found this amazing documentary about the young Diana Vishneva as a ballet student at the Vaganova academy.

Hope you enjoy

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

A special Hamburg’s ballet production, “A midsummer night’s dream” was created by their long time artistic director John Neumeier in 1977.

A very demanding performance for all of the dancers, with 15 leading roles and a powerful presence of the corps de ballet on stage.


Guesting with the Hamburg Ballet as Hippolyta and Titania, Alina Cojocaru, with a superb interpretation and her usual flawless technique.

As Theseus, Thiago Bordin, blessed with a princely physique, looks charming and regal, but quickly transforms himself into an impish yet bossy Oberon, who orders Puck to do his bidding.



Photos by Nikolay Krusser


Carmen, Paquita, Bolero is the new triple bill by the Dutch National Ballet, which was premiered on the 18th of November at The Amsterdam Music Theatre.

The three separate ballets were chosen thanks to the Spanish element that runs through all of the works.

Paquita, which opens the evening, has been kept with its original choreography by Marius Petipa and gives a fantastic opportunity to all of the cast to show their virtuoso technical skills.



Krzysztof Pastor’s brand new Bolero on Ravel’s famous ballet music has not yet managed to convince most of the critics, who labeled it as a “flat and rather dull dance”. It did meet the taste of the audience present at the Amsterdam Music Theatre, who applauded the work with an enthusiastic reception.



Last but not least, a revival of Carmen by Ted Brandsen, with Igone de Jongh in the title role, which has been a recurrent audience favourite in the Dutch National Ballet’s repertoire.


As usual, thanks to the amazing work of the Dutch Natial Ballet, a lot of videos of both the rehearsals and the stage performance are already available on their web site.

As the second performance of “Programme A” was chosen a brand new ballet on Rachmaninov “Symphonic Dances”.

Coreographed by Edwaard Liang specifically for the San Francisco Ballet company, it premiered last march and has been largely applauded by the public since then.



ImageHere you can find Yuan Yuan Tan’s personal experience of this last London Tour.

San Francisco Ballet in their London tour which took place last September at Sadler’s Wells.

Unlike most of the other companies, they like to experiment on brand new coreographies.

With an ambitious programme on three mixed bills, they managed to impress the London audience with both their technical strength and passion for ballet.

Programme A:

Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, a powerful early piece on Mozart’s music.