Mariinsky Behind the Scenes!

This week, we’ve played hosts to the legendary and remarkable Mariinsky Ballet as they performed Alexei Ratmansky’s charming version of Cinderella in our Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  The company simply dazzles on stage, and if you managed to see one of the performances, we’re sure you’ll agree that having such a world-renowned company come to LA is a real treat!  But now here’s a behind the scene glance at all the other things these brilliant dancers were up to during their stay with us at The Music Center…

Costumes, pointe shoes, bobby pins and boxes.  All backstage essentials!

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the ScenesThe Mariinsky Ballet Behind the ScenesThe Mariinsky Ballet Behind the ScenesThe Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes

Rehearsals and company class are just part of the routine!

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenesball from the wings

Prima Ballerina Diana Vishneva found time to help us out with our security rounds….

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes

Image via @ardanig

Company director Yuri Fateyev gave a master ballet class for the BFA students for the new USC Kaufman School of Dance…

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes

Photo Credit: Carolyn DiLoreto

See more pics on our Facebook page!

We celebrated with the dancers at our post-opening night reception…

post opening night reception Post show cheers

And on days off, the dancers took in a few of LA’s fabulous sights….

The Mariinsky Ballet Behind the Scenes

Huge thank you to all the dancers, musicians, and artistic staff of The Mariinsky Ballet for bringing a bit of your magic to us!  Come back soon!

#Cinderella DTLA

If you follow The Music Center on Instagram, you’ve probably seen our #CinderellaDTLA photos…

Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner-3346

We’ve been following our little Cinderella as she dances around Downtown Los Angeles on her way to The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to see The Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra in Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella.  

Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner

Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner

Since the shows are next week, little Cindy has finally made it to The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and is waiting patiently for opening night next Thursday!

Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner

The dancer, Matisse Love, is one of our former Spotlight Awards semi-finalists in ballet, as well as the current model for our friends at The Pointe Shop.  If you’re coming to one of the performances, you may just spot her hanging out in our lobby.  Feel free to snap a selfie with her and be sure to post it with the hashtag #CinderellaDTLA to add your photo to our campaign story!

And if you still need tickets, be sure to snag them soon – seats are going fast!

Photos by Heather Toner for The Music Center

Ready for Ratmansky!

Alexei Ratmansky

Photo Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

#ICYMI Alexei Ratmansky is one of the biggest names in dance right now.   He’s one of the most sought after choreographers in the world, and currently works as the Artist in Residence at American Ballet Theatre.  He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2013, and has been awarded the Prix Benois de la Danse for choreography,  as well as the National Dance Award for his work  The Bright Stream.  

One of the many things that makes Alexei Ratmansky so remarkable, is his ability to bring new vibrancy to classical story ballets which have remained mostly the same for decades.  His choreography in this traditional format has truly reinvigorated the story ballet; bringing it into the 21st century in a way that seemed somewhat impossible.

Here at The Music Center, we’ve presented several Ratmansky works as part of our Glorya Kaufman presents Dance series, including The Bright Stream (performed by ABT)  and Romeo & Juliet (performed by National Ballet of Canada.)  But this season, we’re thrilled to have our series book-ended with works by Ratmansky – starting with his Cinderella this October, performed by The Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra, and ending with his Firebird next July, performed by American Ballet Theatre.

Watch the video below to hear more about Alexei Ratmansky’s works and choreographic process, then be sure to join us at Cinderella to see his remarkable work live!

Another Cinderella Story…

The story of Cinderella has been around for centuries and the interpretations are vast… too vast to go into detail here.  But one element always remains the same – Cinderella is an underdog who triumphs over her oppressors, be it by the help of fairy godmothers, mice, or just her own wit and kindness…. And she has excellent taste in shoes.

In anticipation of our upcoming engagement with The Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra and their performances of Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight the many different “Cinderella-stories” of stage and screen….

Cinderella_ Vishneva photo N.Razina

Ratmansky’s Cinderella

In Alexei Ratmansky’s 2002 version of the ballet – being performed next month here at The Music Center by the magnificent Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra – he sets the classic story amidst the glamour and grit of 1930’s.  The ballroom scene is more Gatsby than gallantry, and you won’t find any mice or pumpkins in this version.  Rather, Ratmansky reinvigorates this classic story-ballet with vibrant choreography, feisty humor, and a glamorous twist!

008_roberthelpmann_frederickashton_cinderella_1972_clippingwomensweekly_730x730

Ashton’s Cinderella

Perhaps one of the best-known and widely performed versions of the ballet set to Sergei Prokofiev’s luscious score, is Sir Frederick Ashton’s 1948 version.  The choreography is something of an homage to the Petipa classics, and the full-length story ballet is brimming with panto-like humor (mainly in the form of stepsisters, traditionally performed by men in drag.)  It followers the classic story line and is pure fairy-tale sweetness with gorgeous fluidity of movement.

Cinderella-disney-31583119-701-422

Disney’s Cinderella (the animated version)

Disney’s 1950 animated classic perhaps is one of the most beloved and well-known versions of the story.  And while Cinderella is lovely and the stepsisters have their comedic moments, I feel it’s really the mice who steal the picture.  I mean who  doesn’t love Gus Gus?

anna-kendrick-as-cinderella-in-into-the-woods-ftr

Sondheim’s Into The Woods 

Sondheim’s take on Cinderella steers closer to the Brother’s Grimm version, with the Fairy Godmother being within a tree on Cinderella’s mother’s grave, and the gruesome efforts her stepsisters go through to fit into her glass slipper (hint: they cut off bits of their feet!)  But as Sondheim weaves Cinderella’s story with a myriad of other classics, and shines harsh lights of reality on each, we see a completely new side to our heroine.

EP-141019336

Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

The made-for-television special originally starred a young Julie Andrews, before being remade in 1965 with Leslie Ann Warren, and again in 1997 with Brandy. This version is as classic and magical as it gets!  The recent update to this Broadway musical staple was part of Center Theatre Group’s 2014/15 season in our Ahmanson Theatre and gave new depth to both the prince and Cinderella.  Her agenda to be princess was more about social justice than wanting to move out of her old digs, which was a pretty cool addition to the story.  #GirlPower

drew-barrymore-ever-after

Ever After

The 1998 Drew Barrymore film also brought a modern sophistication to the story, while keeping it set in rural France during the renaissance.  Leonardo DaVinci was thrown in to serve as fairy godmother (cause why not) and fellow human house servants were a nice change from talking mice!  Drew’s Cinderella, didn’t need the prince to save her (again #GirlPower.)  Plus that glitter face-makeup she wore to the ball was so spot on nineties!

That’s just a few of many Cinderella stories floating around out there.  Leave a comment and tell us your favorite!

Make Way for Mariinsky!

The Mariinsky Ballet Cinderella

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – The time when all the new seasons for dance, theater, music and opera kick off and there’s a sudden slew of amazing shows to see!  Round these parts, we are particularly pumped about the start of our new season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, which gets going on October 8th with The Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra.

Based in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Mariinsky Theater, The Mariinsky Ballet (formerly known as the Kirov Ballet, and before that, the Imperial Russian Ballet) is world-renowned for their technique, artistry and lustrous history in the ballet world.  The company was founded in the 1740’s, following the formation of the first Russian dance school in 1738.  That school would become the predecessor of today’s Vaganova Ballet Academyfrom which some of the greatest and well known dancers would emerge, including Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, and Natalia Makarova (just to name a few.)

Students at Vaganova School

Students at the Vaganova Ballet Academy

The historical importance of this ballet company is hard to pack into a single blog post, but to add some additional perspective on just how cool this company is,  factor in that for a number of years, Marius Petipa was their ballet master.   You may recognize that name as the choreographer of  such classics as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Raymonda, and The Nutcracker.  In other words, he’s like the Godfather of classical story ballets.  Iconic to the artform.

With just five shows this October, The Mariinsky Ballet brings Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella to our Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage.  Set to Prokofiev’s haunting score and performed by Mariinsky’s own orchestra, Ratmansky reinvigorates this classic story-ballet with vibrant choreography, feisty humor, and a glamorous 1930’s twist!

Diana Vishneva Mariinsky Ballet Cinderella

Cinderella_photo V.Baranovsky (4)

The cast list alone (which you can peruse on our website) is reason enough to snag seats to this show.  But throw in this company’s legacy, the orchestra, the enchanting music, the charming story and Ratmansky’s brilliant choreography, and well, this show is sure to be  one you’ll never forget!

Get your tickets and more information on our website, at our box office, or by calling us at 213.972.0711.

Breaking Down Our New Season of Dance

Current. Classic. Can’t miss!

GKDMC-Season_800

We recently announced the details for our 2015 -2016 season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, and we’re proud to be bringing the most sought-after and exciting choreographers and companies of our time to Los Angeles. From re-imagined classics to ground-breaking collaborations, our season is brimming with the best in the dance world right now. Case in point: we’ve bookended our season with works by one of the greatest ballet choreographers of our time, Alexei Ratmansky!

Here’s an overview of the season…

Mariinsky Ballet - Cinderella

photo by V. Baronovsky

The Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra. Photo by V. Baronovsky

The Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra opens the season with Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella set to Prokofiev’s haunting score with a 1930’s twist.

Hubbard Street + The Second City, from left: David Schultz, Tim Mason and Tawny Newsome. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Hubbard Street + The Second City, from left: David Schultz, Tim Mason and Tawny Newsome. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Hubbard Street + The Second City will present their ingenious collaboration The Art of Falling, a show that takes sketch comedy to a whole new level.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Photo by LIU Chen-hsiang.  Dancers: LEE Tsung-hsuan, YU Chien-hung.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Photo by LIU Chen-hsiang.
Dancers: LEE Tsung-hsuan, YU Chien-hung.

Immersed in everything from meditation to martial arts to modern dance, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will make their Music Center debut in their stunning production of Rice.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Morah Geist.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Morah Geist.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet brings a mixed rep that combines technical precision, power, passion, and the occasional pop song.

Compagnie Käfig. Photo by Michel Cavalca.

Compagnie Käfig. Photo by Michel Cavalca.

The incredibly fun and fast-paced Compagnie Käfig is inspired by hip hop movement and capoeira with complex Brazilian rhythms and jaw dropping athleticism.

American Ballet Theatre. Misty Copeland and Roman Zhurbin in Firebird. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

American Ballet Theatre. Misty Copeland and Roman Zhurbin in Firebird. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

Closing out the season we have a very special American Ballet Theatre engagement as we welcome their roster of ballet rock-stars featuring a mixed repertoire of Symphony No. 9, Piano Concerto No. 1, and Alexei Ratmansky’s reimagined Firebird.

American Ballet Theatre. Symphonie Concertante. Photo by Marty Sohl.

American Ballet Theatre. Symphonie Concertante. Photo by Marty Sohl.

Full subscriptions are on sale now, and our subscribers not only get the best seats in the house, they also enjoy subscriber only discounts and benefits such as free exchanges, complimentary subscriber lounge and behind the scenes access.  What’s more, for the dance obsessed, we are offering an ultimate ticket perk package called Dance 135 including Orchestra Ring tickets to your choice of three shows with special offers, behind the scenes access, discounts, giveaways, and more!

This Week @MusicCenterLA

Another week of exciting openings this week at The Music Center!

ThisWeekMCLA042215

LA Opera opens and runs for this week only Hercules VS. Vampires. Check out this video teaser, and yes there will be popcorn and drinks in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion!

Center Theatre Group opens Immediate Family tonight at the Mark Taper Forum, and continues its run of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Ahmanson with only this week left to catch it if you haven’t!

LA Phil presents the Colburn Orchestra with Salonen on Friday featuring the talented young players of The Colburn Orchestra playing Stravinsky. Come early on Saturday for interactive art projects prior to Toyota Symphonies for Youth: Peter and the Wolf. Then later on Saturday night experience Gracias a la Vida: The Rebel Spirit of Violeta Parra as generations of musicians pay homage to the most important singer-songwriter-storyteller in the history of Chile. On Sunday catch Grammy®-winner Esperanza Spalding, performing the music from her recent studio albums.

REDCAT presents the much awaited Poor Dog Group: The Murder Ballad (1938) with a Friday through Sunday run gives forceful physical life to Jelly Roll Morton’s legendary 1938 recording. On Monday see Spencer Williams and The Blood of Jesus, one of the very first African American independent filmmakers, and his great cultural morality tale. Then on Tuesday enjoy Los Angeles-based concerto soloist and chamber musician for Piano Spheres: Nic Gerpe | Ces Espaces Infinis.