Bayadere: Exotic and mysterious India serves as the backdrop to this story of doomed love between the warrior Solor and the bayadère, Nikiya, who is killed by her jealous rival, Gamzatti. Breathtaking sets and costumes are designed by Ezio Frigerio and Franca Squarciapino in this exceptional production, recorded at the Palais Garnier in Paris. Direction and choreography in this fully restored version of Petipa's original ballet are by Rudolf Nureyev.
Romeo & Juliet: Prokofiev’s score finds a powerful echo in Rudolf Nureyev’s sumptuous and colourful production. With its sets and costumes straight from the frescos of Renaissance Italy, this great ballet passionately reflects the youth and vigour which drive Shakespeare’s tale of doomed love.
Rudolf Nureyev – who created the role of Romeo, with Margot Fonteyn as Juliet, in Kenneth MacMillan’s version for The Royal Ballet in 1965 – mounted his own production in 1977 for the London Festival Ballet, reworking the same ballet for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1984; a large-scale, colourful fresco full of passion and noise, set in a turbulent Verona where the sun-drenched squares are permanent open-air theatres, and the dark, narrow side-streets can turn into cut-throat alleys.
Nureyev placed particular emphasis on the personalities of Tybalt and Mercutio, ‘champions’ of each of the two rival clans – one sombre and vindictive, the other roguish and a little mad. He attempted to bring to life the argumentative and truculent people of Verona, opting for an atmosphere both sensual and brutal, an era both refined and bawdy, evoking a quattrocento, superb in appearance and cruel in reality. Life and death here take turns on the Wheel of Fortune, with youth fighting to the death in the streets.
“Romeo and Juliet tells the story of a boy who becomes a man. As an adolescent, he chases after all the girls, but he soon tires of the cold beauties he meets, and the platonic love they impose on him. He wants to experience stronger emotions. It is Juliet who decides for him. She is passionate, willing, more mature than he ... I am convinced that Renaissance Verona and Elizabethan London, cultures divided between old superstitions and the desire for a new world, were both highly sexual and violent – similar to our own age.” RUDOLF NUREYEV
The Sleeping Beauty: Tchaikovsky's classic ballet staged and choreographed after Petipa by Rudolph Nureyev and restaged by Patricia Ruanne.
Picasso & Dance: Between 1917 and 1962, Picasso was involved in creating the designs for nine ballets including Parade, Pulcinella and L'Après-midi d'un faune, in collaboration with such artists as Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Léonide Massine and Vaslav Nijinsly. Le Train BLeu dates from 1924 and Le Tricorne from 1919. These two historic ballets, created originally by Sergei Diaghilev, have been revived by the Paris Opera Ballet.